Most of the blogs I read provide a year-end retrospective of stats, insights, popular posts, and favorites from the course of the year. I’ve only been at this since September, but now it’s January 1st: the numbers are in and the votes have been tallied. Let’s take a look!
From September 1st to December 31st, I published 133,600 words over a total of 117 blog posts. That’s an average of 1,140 words, every day, aside from a maddening oversight where I forgot to post on September 22nd. Oh well! Everyone needs a vacation every now and then, and that’ll be mine moving forward.
1,100-word posts are long, but I’m proud to have cracked 10,000 views from more than 6,000 visitors in four months. More people visited this space than live in Rensselaer, Hartford City, Monticello, Tipton, Linton, or Lawrenceburg! I’m mighty pleased with the results from 2022.
I started this blog to consolidate content from three niche websites and a Facebook group I ran. Since then, I’ve since branched out into other areas, and some of those new focuses have proven to be my most popular posts. In terms of views, here are 2022’s most popular posts:
- 5: More artesian wells in Northeastern Delaware County – I toured four flowing artesian wells north of Muncie. Three were well-hidden, no pun intended.
- 4. Jackson Street Pike: Muncie’s one-time connection to I-69 and parts unknown – I toured a forgotten turnpike long since bypassed by State Road 332.
- 3. The Pierre Moran Mall in Elkhart: Resting -and Rusting- in Pieces – I spent nearly 3,000 words giving as complete a history of an old shopping mall in Elkhart as I’ve found anywhere.
- 2. The artesian well at Granville, Indiana – I remembered how stumbling across what I swear was water pouring forth from a boulder infatuated me with flowing wells and led me to a new obsession.
- 1. West Muncie: A boom gone bust – I told the history of a prospective vacation community for Muncie’s elite just east of Yorktown, Indiana.
Traffic to those deep-dives represented 50% of the total views to this blog in 2022. I expect that the trend of occasional, heavy-hitter posts that buoy the rest of my content will continue, but here are my own top five favorite posts:
- A short segment of old State Road 67 near Anderson woke up my inner roadgeek – I tell the story of stumbling across an old cul-de-sac when I was fourteen and how it influenced my interests as an adult.
- Memories of Muncie’s Mark IV playground at Westside Park – I took a dive into the climbing structures that the Miracle & Jamison Company made in the 1970s, along with remembering
- Peterson’s Irish Whiskey 107: A Ghost of Christmases Past – I remembered getting my first new pipe, and how smoking it recently brought back the same sense of anticipation I felt thirteen years ago.
- Jay County’s White Oak schoolhouse from the air – I flew the drone over a forest to find an abandoned schoolhouse that hadn’t had its picture taken in fifty years.
- How to identify an old schoolhouse when you’re out driving around – I list tips and tricks I’ve picked up over the years to help you look at old buildings and farmhouses another way.}
Comments are going to be crucial measures of my success moving forward, but they’re paltry now. Iteractions are healthy when I share posts on social media, but most of that audience isn’t on WordPress. It’ll take some time to increase my readership to the point where more people comment via organic searches on WordPress. That being the case, here are my top five most commented-upon posts of 2022:
5. Exploring State Road 32 between Muncie and Anderson on my birthday – I toured two discontiguous alignments of State Road 32 in East Central Indiana.
4. Who am I? Why am I here? A belated introduction – this one’s self-explanatory.
3. Jackson Street Pike: Muncie’s one-time connection to I-69 and parts unknown.
2. A short segment of old State Road 67 near Anderson woke up my inner roadgeek – I tell the story of stumbling across an old cul-de-sac when I was fourteen and how it influenced my interests as an adult.
1. More artesian wells in Northeastern Delaware County.
None of my top posts have anything to do with old courthouses, schoolhouses, or tobacco pipes, which were three of the topics I intended to center this blog around. I’m glad- those topics will continue to be a major focus of mine since I think I all three are valuable to specialized audiences who might stumble upon something useful here in the future. Nevertheless, here are my most popular schoolhouse posts in terms of views:
5. Harrison Township’s Mount Olive schoolhouse in Delaware County
4. Center Township’s Orphan’s Home schoolhouse in Delaware County
3. What’s left of Licking Township’s Corn Cob schoolhouse in Blackford County
2. What’s left of Jackson Township’s Millgrove schoolhouse in Blackford County
1. Licking Township’s Carney schoolhouse in Blackford County
Here are my top five courthouse posts from the past year:
5. The Ripley County, Indiana courthouse
4. The Delaware County, Indiana courthouse
3. The Cass County, Michigan courthouse
2. The Jennings County, Indiana courthouse
1. The Marshall County, Indiana courthouse
Finally, here are my five most popular pipe-smoking posts from 2022:
5. The cheap Rossi Piccolo pipe is no woodwind
4. Boswell Pipes: Loud, proud, and hand-made in the USA
3. Peterson’s Irish Whiskey 107: A Ghost of Christmases Past
2. I knew it! Dr. Grabow’s Grand Duke pipe really sucks
1. Nørding’s Erik The Red pipe will make your friends green with envy
Those topics are ones I’ve been migrating over from old websites. The schoolhouse posts have required minimal work to bring them up to my standards, as have the posts about pipes, but the courthouses posts have needed some significant revisions. At any rate, relying on refurbished content helps me post every day, allows me to look at my writing and research with a critical eye, and lets me to focus more time on the deep dives that have become popular here. I’ll continue writing about those topics!
I’m encouraged that you, along with more than 6,000 others, found something I wrote to be compelling. In 2023, I hope to double down on courthouses and old roads, improve my storytelling, tighten up my writing, and keep doing what I’ve been doing. Maybe this will be the year that I can start writing about old pizza robots!
Thank you all for reading, liking, and commenting! Health and happiness to you and yours in the new year ahead.
6 thoughts on “2022: The Year in Review”
Ted, keep up the good work!
I for one enjoy your eclectic mix of stories, you never know what you’ll get, like the toy in a cracker jack box. (Pardon me if you are too young to remember that)
All of your stories are good reads, keep writing, I enjoy them all. Even the pipe smoking stories and I don’t smoke. 😃
Ted, I have one last request;
Bring out the pizza robots!
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Thank you! I’m glad you’re here!!
And now you learn that the annual wrap-up post is a way to keep publishing regularly at year’s end, when life is busy, without a lot of effort! 😉
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Woo Hoo, I am up to January 1 in WP Reader! Congratulations on getting to this stage. I enjoy reading what you write, even if I don’t always comment.
I have found that some of my favorite things to write about get the fewest views/comments, but that is OK. You will also discover that some things, once up, will have a really long tail and will bring in views regularly for a long time to come. Good luck with 2023!
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Thank you! And thanks for catching up!
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