Tomorrow is the final day of 2019. It’s a time for taking stock, looking back over our achievements and being proud of our efforts. It’s also the perfect opportunity to consider where we want to go in the future and decide on a new direction for the next decade.

Although I’ve vaguely thought about resolutions and goals for the blog at the start of each year, it’s not something I’ve ever really taken that seriously; and I was nervous when I first came up with the idea of publishing an end-of-year review. But then I realised: sharing this information wouldn’t only help me grow as a blogger, it might be useful to others out there too. So let this be the start of a new tradition. Read on to find out how Later Levels did in 2019 and consider how this could potentially shape the site in 2020.

An overview of 2019

  • Views:   21,696
  • Visitors:   11,032
  • Likes:   4,867
  • Comments:   3,347
  • Best day:   23 March 2019
  • Posts:

  • Total published:   200 posts
  • Most popular:   Gamers blog party: summer 2019 invitation
  • Most liked:   Gamers blog party: summer 2019 invitation
  • Most discussed:   Gamers blog party: summer 2019 invitation
  • My favourite:   Not getting it: video games, sex and bad research
  • Gaming:

  • Played:   56 games
  • Completed:   44 games
  • Reviewed:   18 games
  • Kickstarted:   6 projects
  • My favourite of 2019:   Eastshade
  • Achievements:

  • Raised £612.14 for SpecialEffect as part of GameBlast19
  • Awarded ‘Best Blogger’ in the Normal Happenings’ Blog Awards 2019
  • Awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the UK Blog Awards 2019
  • Completed the Blaugust 2019 challenge and posted every day for a month
  • Met Chris, TriformTrinity, Dan and Quietschisto in person

  • Views, visitors, likes and comments

    While 2019 saw a higher number of views on average per month (1,831) compared to both 2017 and 2018, the trend overall is decreasing. The decline is most noticeable from August onward and this correlates to a real-life event: I started a career change in the summer and have had less time for blogging as a result. I’ve been unable to interact with other blogs as much as I’ve done in previous years so this could go some way towards explaining the drop.

    Conversely though, the number of unique visitors, likes and comments is actually increasing. So Later Levels may not be getting as many views as it once was but those people who do visit are more willing to interact and get involved in discussion, which is positive. For 2019 we’ve seen an average of 31 readers, 14 likes and nine comments each day – and although these numbers may be small, I think they’re pretty good for three posts a week.

    This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    Best days and times

    Wednesday mornings have been the most popular times for Later Levels visits in past years, so I was a little surprised to see that change to 06:00 on Mondays for 2019. However, I think I know the cause: blog parties. These have been taking place on Mondays, and a record number of posts and comments were shared at the summer event. This may have skewed the statistics somewhat and so the figures may not be truly reflective.

    So why was Saturday, 23 March 2019 the most popular date? No posts were published on this day so it’s strange; and although there were a few big blogging events for the site that month, they all occurred well before or after this date. The best I can come up looking at the WordPress statistics is that a particular visitor from the UK checked out an awful lot of posts from that day – although I’m unable to say who they were and what they were looking for.

    Popular posts

    It’s no surprise that the blog party posts performed the most successfully during 2019. I’ve been running these events since March 2017 and they’ve remained popular throughout the past three years, and it’s great to see new bloggers participating in each one. The parties are currently taking place in March, June, September and December, which explains the spikes that appear in the graphs shown in the first section above.

    It’s pleasing to see that seven out of the top ten posts for this year are the result of collaborations. I do wonder however what the future for such projects holds; take a look at this post over on Adventure Rules which excellently sums up the situation. As for the search terms, perhaps I should consider writing more articles about tattoos because related phrases appeared more than once. There are no rude terms to share this year but maybe we’ll get lucky in 2020.

    Friends and commenters

    The WordPress statistics show an average of 17 comments and 24 likes were left for each post published during 2019. The lovely people mentioned in the tweet opposite deserve a round of applause: between them they left a total of 179 comments so we clearly had a lot to talk about. It’s awesome that I’ve had the chance to meet one of them in real life this year – Quietschisto from RNG – and it has been a pleasure working with Gao Li on the GIFs for our GameBlast20 streams.

    As well as getting to know more people within the community, perhaps the length of posts also has something to do with the increase in the number of comments left this year. The average article length is now 827 words compared to around 30 less in 2017 – that’s almost half a paragraph. Perhaps it’s a sign of having more to discuss; or maybe it’s that I’ve grown more comfortable in my writing skin over the past couple of years.

    So there you have it: a round-up of Later Levels’ performance over the last 12 months. But what does this mean for 2020? Come back on Wednesday for a post sharing my blogging goals for the coming year and in the meantime, have a very happy New Year’s Eve tomorrow.   🎉

    Save point: a review of 2019

    14 thoughts on “Save point: a review of 2019

    1. I hope that person in the UK found what they were looking for on that date! Must have been a lot for it to be a popular date. Could it be connected to the UK Blog Awards? Judges looking at the blog and such?


      • Great minds! I thought that might be the case, but I checked the awards website and it said that the judging finished in February. I just haven’t been able to figure out what they were searching for by looking at the stats… maybe our mysterious visitor will return in 2020. 🤔


    2. Ha! I should have read this post first before leaving my last comment. 🙂

      Very interesting post, and it’s awesome that you get this much interaction on your blog.

      All the best in 2020!


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