I try not to get too hung up on analytics, metrics, engagement, etc. — which might be proof that I’m not a “proper” blogger — but I do think it’s beneficial to reflect on the previous year and how the site did.
Admittedly, part of that is due to a desire for some validation; while Opus would continue even if I had zero visitors, it’s nice to know that others are, in fact, reading my posts and reviews.
But it’s also helpful to know what posts and topics are resonating with people, and from a technical perspective, to see how people are accessing the site so that I can continue to improve it.
Here’s a rough breakdown of how Opus did in 2020:
- In all, I posted 181 articles, or roughly a new article every other day. That’s a pretty solid pace but I was actually more productive in 2019, when I posted 274 articles on the site.
- April was the site’s busiest month, with almost 12,000 sessions and 13,000 pageviews. December was its second busiest month, with 10,300 sessions and 11,500 pageviews. By comparison, the site’s busiest month in 2019 was July (9,600 sessions, 10,500 pageviews). The site’s busiest month in 2018 was October (6,300 sessions, 7,900 pageviews). This sort of slow-but-steady growth is very gratifying.
- The site’s slowest month was November, with almost 7,600 sessions and 8,400 pageviews. In other words, Opus’ slowest month in 2020 was busier than its busiest month in 2018. (November’s slowdown doesn’t surprise me, as I was focused on another writing project for that month.)
- Overall, sessions and pageviews increased by 12.5% and 13.9%, respectively, over 2019.
- Chrome continued to be the most popular browser, accounting for 53% of all Opus traffic, followed by Safari (32%) and Firefox (4.2%). Both Chrome and Firefox lost some ground from 2019, while Safari’s use increased by over 4%.
- Internet Explorer continued to hang in there at 2.1%, which was a slight dip from 2019’s 3.6%.
- Not surprisingly, most visitors (almost 60%) accessed Opus via phone or tablet. However, I was a little surprised that number wasn’t even higher, given global browsing trends.
- Also not surprisingly, iPhones and iPads accounted for 49% of all mobile traffic, followed by various Samsung Galaxy models. But even the most popular Samsung phone only accounted for 0.9% of the site’s mobile traffic.
- The top operating systems were iOS (30%) and Android (29%), which wasn’t too surprising given the aforementioned mobile traffic. Windows and MacOS were next, at 24% and 14%, respectively.
- Digging deeper into the analytics revealed that 50 people viewed Opus on a Playstation 4, nine people used an Xbox, six used a BlackBerry device, and Opus was visited by one solitary OS/2 user in 2020. (If you’re one of these users, please reach out. I’m super curious to know what your experience on the site is like.)
- Nearly half (49.5%) of all Opus traffic came from the United States. This was lower than 2019, when 56% of Opus traffic originated in the States. The next countries were the United Kingdom (8.9%), Canada (4.8%), Australia (3.1%), and the Philippines (2.9%).
- Almost three-fourths (74%) of all social media-driven traffic came from Facebook, with 22% coming from Twitter. This was almost identical to 2019’s numbers. 2% of traffic came from Reddit and negligible amounts came from Pinterest, Instagram, et al.
These were Opus’ five most popular posts from 2020, traffic-wise:
- What happened to AllSocial?
- Silver Surfer: Black Is a Trippy, Existential Story About Preserving Light in the Darkness (Review)
- Bill McClintock’s Immaculate Mashups
- “Commando for Christ” by 316
- The Imaginative Worldbuilding of Lancer
Looking to Facebook, these posts received the most activity (e.g., views, reactions, comments) in 2020:
- Roy by Makeup and Vanity Set (Review)
- Giving Up On The Witcher
- My Favorite Songs of 2019: American Football, City Girl, ISON, Pedro the Lion, Robert Rich, Starflyer 59 & more
- Handful of Snowdrops Bids Farewell
- “Alas, Orpheus” by Akira Kosemura
As for Twitter, these were some of the most popular posts in 2020:
- “Alas, Orpheus” by Akira Kosemura
- It Won/t Be Like This All the Time Live by The Twilight Sad
- Ephemeral Love by Knight Sabers (Review)
- Тюрьма by Джуна (Review)
- “Algorithm” by Makeup and Vanity Set
Not surprisingly, Opus’ most popular posts on social media became popular primarily because the artists in question (e.g., Handful of Snowdrops, Makeup and Vanity Set) promoted them via likes and retweets.
Yes, yes, yes… 2020 was a year. (And 2021 is certainly shaping up to be a doozy in its own “special” way.) But working on Opus continues to be a bright spot, as both a creative and technical endeavor, and I’m continually humbled that y’all are still visiting and reading the site even after all these decades.
As always, thanks for reading, and for supporting the site.