Text by Lauri Laanisto
It´s been roughly a year since we started with this blog (with the accompanying Twitter account). And as the end of the year is close as well, it´s time to sum up our first year of blogging.
First some blog stats. The first year is usually not the most successful from the clicks point of view, especially in science-related blogs, where building up readership usually takes at least couple of years (link). In comparison with the aforementioned blog, our first year numbers are actually quite good. We had more than 2000 unique quests during the first year with total of 6700 blog views, which makes the monthly average of 560 views. There seems a clear rise in readership since September – number of views since then is more than 800 per month, and the best month yet is December, which already has more than 1000 page views, even though there is almost a third to go. Our blog´s “best views ever” day was right after opening in January the 15th (175 unique guests).
During the first year we published 80 posts, which makes 6.66 (\m/) posts per month. The initial idea was to publish at least one post per week, and this we managed nicely, although we did not manage to post something every week. In the race for the most popular blogpost, there were two gold medalist, two equal champions – Fieldwork (pinhole) report from Svalbard and Happy birthday, Ülo. Both by Lauri Laanisto, who happens to be the caretaker of the blog and the author of most posts.
Accompanying Twitter account has been relatively successful as well, considering that it predominately just sends out automatic tweets whenever there is a new blogpost available. Besides that there is not much activity going on, just couple of dozen of retweets. (That might change soon, however.) Yet we have already nearly 200 followers of which most are plant ecologists and physiologists. Thus the tweets reach directly their target audiences. Which is good, as it´s the quality rather than the quantity of readers that matters in such niche channels as research blog, which is not really aimed for general audiences.
And another nice aspect is that people from all over the world read us, not just from Estonia. We´ve had visitors from 74 countries so far (from most to least visitations): Estonia, United States, Germany, Australia, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Finland, New Zealand, Czech Republic, India, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Taiwan, Netherlands, Brazil, Sweden, Bulgaria, Japan, Italy, Hungary, China, Switzerland, Denmark, Argentina, South Korea, Indonesia, Bolivia, Singapore, Russia, Romania, Egypt, Israel, Norway, Lithuania, South Africa, Slovakia, Poland, Thailand, Austria, Colombia, Portugal, Turkey, Ireland, Ukraine, Malta, Latvia, Philippines, European Union, Panama, Malaysia, Cyprus, Peru, Slovenia, Belarus, Pakistan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Mexico, Suriname, Fiji, Iceland, French Guiana, Ghana, Benin, Iran, Guatemala, Jersey, Luxembourg, Serbia, Greece, Burkina Faso, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia.
The plan for the next year is simply to carry on in similar fashion.