2015 Blogging In Review

I realize it could be a bit premature since there are a couple of weeks left in the year, but now is as good a time as any in the month to see how this year went…

The Biggest Year Yet

This was a BIG blogging year for me. Having been a part of the DeskPM team through the beta and into the big community forum launch, I took up the challenge to better my blog in 10 days. It was a great opportunity to put a bit more focus and direction to my blog. The biggest step was a commitment to blog twice a week for the entire year. The best part is that I DID IT!!! Technically there was one crazy week where I didn’t blog, but with some of the other weeks where I blogged extra, it all comes up to a nice twice a week blog post.

While I always seem to have something brewing in my head, taking the time and energy to sit down and “just write” (as John Saddington has encouraged) can often be the most daunting. But when you take away distractions, take away worry about what I’m going to say, or how I’m going to say it, the writing comes and it’s quite freeing. If you’ve never started a blog, I’d encourage you to do so. It’s not about fame or fortune. For me, it’s about sharing the love, and doing some introspection. Maybe it’s something different for you, but the writing process is a good one. I highly encourage it.

Top Posts for 2015

That said, a bit of numbers never hurt, especially for a type-A organizational/data junkie like me. Intersetingly enough my most popular posts are all several years old now (maybe due to the bots or something). So I did some digging and here are my top 5 posts from just this year:

1 – Fixing Video Display Issues with VMWare Fusion and Windows 10

With the Windows 10 release this past year, and quite a few folks like myself doing development thanks to VMWare Fusion, this one actually cracked my top 5 overall. It turns out that the solution became a simple reinstall type solution, but sometimes the hardest problems seem to have the simplest solutions.

2 – Laravel 5 Configurations in AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Part of why I blog is to dogfood my own code and make notes for later. Having started a huge project this past year that was built on Laravel and Amazon Web Services, this proved to be an elegant solution since it played nice with source control and automated deployments. I’m sure I’ll be using this one again.

3 – How to Add Foundation Icons to Zurb Foundation for Applications

Another “dog fooding” for my Prayer Journal side project. I really love the AngularJS based Zurb Foundation for Applications that was released this year and managed to build a scaffold for it. Additionally, I added the Zurb Icon library since the library that was included by default was too limited.

4 – Unboxing and Initial Review – AcuRite 2032CRM Pro Weather Station

This was a fun one! I’ve always been a bit of a weather junkie and this year thanks to some birthday money I finally was able to get a really snazzy one! Once I get a Raspberry Pi I’ll be able to track the data online and not just in my home!

5 – How to Debug Laravel Apps in PHPStorm

Another Laravel post for the year, and debugging it was always a bit tricky. Now I have something to reference when I get it setup on my new computer.

In Retrospect

In 2015 I nearly quadrupled the posts I had compared to 2014. However, the traffic only went up by about 12%. One of the common “blogging tips” is to provide more consistency in order to increase traffic. It’s hard to see if the consistency is increasing the traffic, but I don’t care too much about that. I’d like to see a few more “pensive” blog posts climb in the ranks, to balance things out a bit more. I’ll admit I think I need to be a little more open with myself for those kinds of posts, and that is probably another journey.

What’s Next?

Next year I plan on keeping the same pace as I did last year. I’ve even debated about going to three times a week. I could do a “freeform friday” type post where I can really embrace “just write” and do anything. Maybe an interesting news article I read, a silly meme, just some things off the top of my head. Who knows. We’ll see what the future holds!

What are your 10 bits on the matter? I want to know!

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