It’s that time of year again, which is to say, it’s no longer the previous year, that time when I like to dig into site statistics and come up with some interesting insights for you, the reader.
Total Visitors and Views
Since Google Analytics wasn’t running for the full year (I believe I turned it on again in February), these numbers come straight from the built-in WordPress stats system. It more or less lines up with Google’s numbers for the part of the year where they overlap, so I believe them to be accurate. (Or, at the very least, wrong in the same way all the stats in this article will be.)
In 2017, traffic to the Soapbox doubled compared to 2016; the other two sites held steady.
As usual, the Soapbox takes the clear victory for both visitors and views.
The most popular few posts of 2017 were published in 2016 or earlier. Parvusimperator’s Battle Royale review of the P320, the PPQ, and the VP9 has been enduringly popular for us, mainly because it got great search engine play. In fact, in 2017, Battle Royale accounted for about 6,600 views at the Soapbox, between a quarter and a third of the views for the year. We tried to catch lightning in a bottle a second time with an M9/P320 comparison, but that ground was too heavily trod for us to make anything of it. We do have some plans for a future post in the same genre, but I won’t spoil them.
The second and third most popular posts also belong to parvusimperator: the Resurrected Weapons entry for 50mm Supershot and his Colt 6920 review.
Posted This Year
More interesting, I think, is the list of most popular posts published in 2017. After all, that’s most likely the year you started reading in, going by our growth from 2016 to 2017.
- Movie and Firearms Review: John Wick Chapter 2
This sort of post is our bread and butter: a fresh take on a niche subject.
The EDC X9 Is Stupid
Clickbaity, but effective.
Fishbreath Flies: DCS AJS 37 Viggen Review
I made it into the top ten! I was a little surprised.
How-To: Two USB Mics, One Computer, JACK, and Audacity
One of a very few guides on how to connect two USB microphones to one computer, this guide was the forerunner to a more detailed how-to I posted earlier this year. Hopefully that one appears on this list next year.
S&W M&P 2.0
An article from our SHOT 2017 coverage. We’ve had very little of that this year, which may handicap us somewhat. We were also handicapped last year by not actually being present at SHOT. On our list for 2018 is to continue to develop our supply of firearms-related content so that we can get parvusimperator a 2019 SHOT Show press badge.
Glock Trigger Pull Mods
Parvusimperator’s roundup of things to do to make your Glock less terrible in the trigger did deservedly well.
New VP Pistols from HK
We aren’t ordinarily a news site, focusing more on the opinion and commentary side of things, but we sometimes make exceptions for news of particular interest to us. Parvusimperator’s a big fan of the VP line, and I confess they have their charms, so we ran with it.
Fishbreath Plays: Starsector 0.8 Kind-Of-Review
I always try to write up big Starsector updates, because when it hits 1.0, it’s going to be one of the very best space sandboxes of the decade. People seem to like hearing about it.
Wilson Combat’s New EDC X9
I’m very proud of this one, and of parvusimperator’s work on it. We scooped the major firearms blogs by twelve hours.
Hudson H9 Range Report
Another SHOT show post, parvusimperator picked up the impressions off of some of his shooting forum buddies.
The Soapbox, like most websites, gets the overwhelming majority of its traffic from Google searches. 81% of our sessions come from Google. The next 13% are direct traffic.
The other 6% are spread across the lesser search engines, social links, and forum posts. We get the very occasional hit from some hnefatafl websites.
97% of the Soapbox’s users are male. The 25-34 demographic is the most popular, although our prime age range is 25-44. (After that, 45-54 comes next, followed by 18-24, then 55+.)
64% of Soapbox sessions in 2017 came from Americans. The UK, Canada, and Australia come in in places two through four, and Romania sits in fifth. (Romania slipped behind Australia very late in the year; we saw a few binges from Australia in the stats late in the year.)
Curiously, the Soapbox sees more mobile (that is, phone and tablet) views than views from desktops, by about a 60-40 ratio. 55% of our mobile visitors are Apple users; the rest are on Android devices.
Chrome, however, is more popular than Safari, which suggests that a strong majority of desktop users use Chrome. (Sadly, my favored Firefox represents only 7% of our hits.)
Many Words Main
The fiction arm of Many Words Press is dramatically less popular, but it’s my pet project, so I’m going to talk about it in a little depth.
As expected from a site with ongoing content, the front page is the most popular part of the site by a large margin, followed by the Archives page and the e-books-for-sale page.
In contrast to the Soapbox, only 5% of the visitors to Many Words Main came from Google searches. Direct traffic was the most common method of arrival, and referrals from various sources came next.
For all the effort I’ve put in getting listed on various web fiction aggregators, we see very little traffic from them.
Unfortunately, Many Words Main has no information on demographics; Google can’t tease out information which can’t be linked back to one or several users.
The location information is also less exciting: the US and Canada make up the top 65% of views. China, a bit unusual, comes in at 6%. Every other location on the planet is below 3%.
Fascinatingly, despite being more e-book-like, Many Words Main is viewed 75-25 on desktops. Apple devices also make up a mere 40% of the mobile views.
Not much to mention here, besides that the most popular Softworks product is our Out of the Park Baseball schedule generator. Even though it’s imperfect—highly so—it’s the only product of its nature with any recent updates, and therefore pretty frequently downloaded.
That’s all I have. Thanks for reading this post, and for your views in 2017. We have big plans for the future, and we’re glad you’re along for the ride.