2022 Blog Wrap Up + Coming Changes in the New Year

Ah December. The time of year when we set up Christmas decorations, make all the warm soups and casseroles, and prepare for the long winter ahead. It’s also the time of year when bloggers take a look back at the last twelve months; it’s time to look at what worked, what didn’t, and what could change for 2023.

If you’re part of the blogging community over on Reddit, then you will know that Google updated their SEO, algorithms, and whatever it is that makes Google, well, Google. (I am no expert when it comes to such things, so I’m not even going to try and explain it). What I DO know is that these updates really affected many bloggers and, thankfully, it didn’t impact this blog all that much. So let’s begin this 2022 Blog Wrap Up

The Numbers. Y’all…you guys SHOWED UP! While I didn’t reach all my goals for the blog this year, I will be forever grateful for every individual who stopped by the site. I’ll never know if I’m really doing this internet thing right, but I still enjoy this little slice of life. All right. Here are the actual numbers. As of today:

  1. 115,000 words (plus more will be before New Years’ Eve) were written for just under 120 posts
  2. Visitors came from shares via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN and Pinterest
  3. Folks from 72 – that’s SEVENTY-TWO – countries stopped by. Most of y’all came from the US, Canada, Philippines, China, the UK, India, France, Australia, Kenya and Singapore!
  4. Readers from Germany, Ireland, Thailand, South Korea, Finaland and Denmark also showed up in style

What Was Added in 2022. A few Librarian Interviews were added to the routine this past summer (Maria Joseph, Kati Coleman, Susan Claus), but that fun project died out the more hours I got at work. Interviews take a LOT of effort, and when you’re working 12 hour shifts several days at a time…let’s just say I had trouble finding a good balance.

I also got back into reading this year, and subsequently added a First Fifty Pages book review section. Not many books were read at the beginning of the year, because in 2021 I read so much so fast that I couldn’t stomach doing yet another “100 books in a year” challenge. So, for 2022, I took it nice and slow, and taught myself that I don’t have to be on top of the latest releases.

Let’s see what physically changed with The Pittsburgh Writer in 2022.

Physical Site Changes in 2022.

The Name Change. The biggest change that took place for The Pittsburgh Writer was, in fact, the name change. Once Chocolate & Paper (and before that AnotherHartmanAuthor), I realized the name felt too restrictive. While “paper” can mean anything writing related, I found that I just wasn’t as into chocolate as I was in the past. With The Pittsburgh Writer, I finally felt a little more freedom to write anything.

A Whole New Look. The website itself also got a facelift. I am always up for honing my site building skills, and sometimes I like to take chances. Those chances don’t always work out, and I revert things back to a previous setting. But I really don’t mind streamlining a reader’s experience or digging up a cool feature I never knew existed. Other things that changed + were added to the blog:

  1. More history about Pennsylvania was added
  2. Book reviews!
  3. Blogtober participation
  4. Revamped social media involvement

Upcoming Changes.

Speaking of change, this blog might, once again, look a little different in 2023. I’m not talking about rebranding or anything like that. (I think I am finally happy with this site’s title. Only took six or seven years). Let’s take a look at what’s coming!

Web Series. Several years ago I attempted writing a web series. In fact, I built up a whole site just for it. The coloring was all dark and gilded for the era it was set in, and I fashioned the rest of the main site to match it in style. That WIP was eventually shelved, because I am notorious for not finishing things I start. However, I’d like to give some web series another try. Will 2023 be the year I finish something I start?

Book Reviews. While I am already reading and reviewing more with my First Fifty Pages reviews, I’d like to continue on with even more. I was lax in tackling my reading pile this year. Next year I’m going to try to up the reading anti by exploring more genres.

Writing Revival. One of my personal goals for 2023 is to revive my writing. Not only does this mean improving my blogging skills, but taking out and dusting off some old novel ideas to see if I can finish an old project or two I once loved. There are several to choose from, but one sticks out above the rest. Maybe it’ll become the aforementioned web series? We shall see.

Most Popular Posts.

Finally, these were 2022’s most viewed blog posts:

  1. I Read the First Fifty Pages of “Shine” by Jessica Jung. Here Are My Thoughts.
  2. Meet the Librarian | Maria Joseph
  3. Five Booktube Channels I Recommend
  4. Meet the Librarian | Kati Coleman
  5. Celebrating 76 Years of the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum and the Man Who Loved Them
  6. I Read the First Fifty Pages of “Bright” by Jessica Jung. Here Are My Thoughts.
  7. [book review] The Housemaid by Freida McFadden
  8. Meet the Librarian | Susan Claus
  9. I Wrote Nothing for Nearly A Year
  10. Exploring Pennsylvania’s Candy Companies

If you’re brand new to blogging, here’s my advice: don’t be afraid to try new things. Why? Because you’ll never know what idea will be a good fit for your blog, or not, if you don’t.

And so, my friends, it is a perfectly dismal Saturday here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. If you’re not planning on leaving the house, this might be a great day for some candles, your coziest outfit, a mug of hot chocolate, and a book. But if you plan on venturing out into that crazy weather today, then I hope you’ll be spending the day with those you care the most about! Happy Saturday, everybody.

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Budding #historian. Writer of #adventures and #sciencefantasy. Lover of mushrooms and libraries. Fan of #chocolate, #books and Pennsylvania history.

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