One Year Anniversary
I celebrated my own birthday this January, and today I am celebrating another, perhaps more exciting birthday, the 1 year anniversary of the start of www.jakeshell.com. The site was launched exactly one year ago today, and since then it has been a challenging and fun side hobby of creation over the past 12 months. The original concept was simple: I write/journal daily, why not share the thoughts, concepts, and ideas with the world, for perhaps I could help and inspire a few people along the way.
The past year has been a success then when measured against the original goals, as I have had the opportunity to reach several thousand people with my thoughts on swim training, personal productivity, and Faith (among many other thoughts), and have received quite a bit of positive feedback along the way. I would like to believe that I have inspired many to perform at a higher level in whatever endeavors they choose, and I am excited to continue as I move into year two of this rewarding hobby.
As I was about 15 years late to the blogging scene I did not know what to expect upon launching one year ago, but I have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of traffic and feedback the site has generated over that time. I do not know much about blog traffic and what is considered "good" for a first year blog, especially one without a niche, as I set out to write about anything and everything that came to mind. As the site features thoughts on building homes out of concrete to swim training to Faith and everything in between, it is not directed at one core group per se, and I was not sure if that would affect traffic in a positive or negative way.
The overwhelming advice I read for first time bloggers before launching was to find a niche and exploit said niche, but I figured if everyone was already going that route I would do the opposite and see what happened. After all, while I absolutely love coaching swimming and that would be my "expert niche" if I had to choose one, I am passionate about many areas of life other than coaching. As an example, I desire to inspire someone looking to build a new home to do so using concrete just as much as I desire to inspire swim coaches, and in another example I wanted to tie in matters of Faith with the concept of the Creation vs. Consumption of content. Neither of the aforementioned examples would be possible with a specific niche blog about swim training and coaching.
Over the past calendar year:
1.. Total Visits: 9,651
2. Total Pageviews: 15,603
3. Top Five Articles:
An Ad for the Ages features a 10 minute short film advertisement from Swiss luxury watchmaker Patek Philippe. The advertisement pulls deeply on the heartstrings of men worldwide, hitting on such topics as values, legacy, character, wisdom, wealth, and purpose. This article was quite popular overseas, and specifically in Sweden.
In this article I listed what I believe are the top 5 drills for sprint freestylers, and provided video demonstrations of the various drills. This article was shared by one of the top swimming blogs, www.swimmingwizard.blogspot.com, and received quite a few referrals from the site and a lot of positive feedback along the way.
In this post I shared a specific workout from a swimming practice here at Liberty, with a full description of the workout and a detailed explanation for why I wrote each specific set. This article was also shared by swimmingwizard, and again received a large amount of traffic from their site.
In Defense of Yards highlights the many benefits of college swimming for elite high school recruits. There has been much talk lately about the international performances of U.S. swimmers and the concept that swimming in yards hurts us on the international level, and I refuted those points here.
This article was the official public announcement of a book I am writing about Power Towers and Power Training for swimming in general, and along with it being a popular article, I have received quite a few positive comments from coaches regarding the release of the book. The reception thus far has been fantastic, and I am humbled and thankful as many are anticipating the release in September.
5. Top 10 Countries by Visits:
A. United States
B. United Kingdom
6. Top 5 Traffic Sources:
D. Organic Google Search
E. Share Buttons
7. Total Articles: 31
8. Total Pages Written (300 Words/Page): 135
9. Total Words: 40,619
10. Total Reading Time (150 WPM): 4.5 hours
I am excited for the future as I move into year two of the blog, for there is much to look forward to and much work to be done. Liberty continues to grow and will no doubt inspire more thoughts and articles on Faith and life in general. As I evolve as a swim coach I will have more ideas to share about the sport and coaching as a whole, and as always there will be a mixture of random articles about topics not relating to swimming or Faith specifically. As far as side hobbies go, this is one that I find most rewarding, as again I have an opportunity to reach people and inspire them, and that is after all, why coaches "get in the game" in the first place.
My goals for 2016, in no particular order of importance:
1. 40,000 page views
2. 20,000 total visits
3. 52 articles
4. Release the Power Tower book in September
5. Continue to help and inspire people (While this is not a SMART goal as it is not measurable, it is still a goal nonetheless)
As always, thank you for reading, and stay tuned for a great 2016!