Before we head off into 2013, I wanted to take a moment to look back on 2012, a year that put Eclectablog on the map.
As you can see from the chart below the fold, Eclectablog had a stellar year in 2012. When we started the year, we were getting well under 100,000 pageviews per month. Not bad for a small blog but certainly not in the Big Leagues. By the end of the year, however, we had 3,307,857 pageviews and nearly 3 million unique visits. Our highest month was, not surprisingly, October, with well over a half million pageviews. Even in December, when people were sick of the election and politics in general, we had 272,000+ pageviews.
In February, the inimitable LOLGOP joined our team which was clearly a major component to our newfound popularity. His amazing writing and social media expertise put our stuff in front of many more people than we had enjoyed previously. My wife Anne stepped up big time in 2012, as well. Her terrific photography made our site far more professional and her often viral graphical quote memes left an Eclectablog calling card all over the internets.
In March, we switched over to the new WordPress format which gave the site a much more professional feel and made it easier to read in many ways. WordPress offers many more features and we’re still learning new ways to leverage them to make the site experience more enjoyable.
This past summer, we moved the blog to new servers and hired Charles Gaba of Brainwrap to manage the mechanics of our blog. Though we’ve experienced some hiccups along the way when particularly viral posts shut the site down for a short time, overall things have run very smoothly and I’m very pleased with how things are going.
Certainly having Michigan at the bullseye of Republican overreach in 2012 helped drive traffic to Eclectablog and, with the attention we got thanks to frequent mentions and quotes on The Rachel Maddow Show, we suddenly were on radar screens across the country. It’s not hyperbole to say that, when people wanted to know what was going on in Michigan politics, they often turned to Eclectablog where we not only wrote about the stories but we covered them in-depth, in-person and documented the events that happened here with both words and photos in ways other sites were not.
We also teamed up with a number of groups in 2012 to provide even better coverage of progressive issues and news items. We worked closely with the DNC and the national Obama campaign through the election, we partnered with Progress Michigan, Democracy for America, various labor unions and other progressive groups to amplify messages and stories throughout the year. We became well-known for quality interviews and event coverage — so much so that not only were our phone calls for interviews returned, groups and candidates often approached us to help out.
This year, we actually made a bit of money through advertising and the kind contributions from our readers. I’m a long way from quitting my day job but it was rewarding that so many people found our content worth paying a bit for. We’ll be trying some new ideas toward that end in 2013 and look forward to your feedback as we test new ways of paying the bills.
One last thing: we have been discussing the possibility of changing the name of the blog. There were two reasons for this. First, the name is so often confused with “Electablog” that I found myself constantly correcting people. Unfortunately, “Electablog” is already taken. Also, the word “blog” itself is not always viewed in a positive way. People too often write off things written on blogs as not reliable or professional enough to be taken seriously.
At the end of the day, however, I think we’ve built up too strong a brand with the Eclectablog name to turn away from it now. From the Twitter feed to the Facebook page, we’ve created something big and I’m reluctant to start over again. That said, if I were to come up with a particularly whizbang name, I might reconsider. For now, however, we’ll keep “Eclectablog” and just keep reminding people that there’s an extra “C” in the name. (Honestly, we thought the new logo would go a long way toward solving that problem but, alas, that does not appear to be the case.) We’ll also continue to try to elevate the “profession” of blogging in people’s minds by providing high-quality content, reporting, and analysis. Who knows? Maybe someday people won’t sneer so much when they say “blog” or “blogger”.
So, thanks to all of you who have made our site the success that it is. Please continue to share our stuff on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and all the other internet nooks and crannies you visit. In return, we’ll continue to do what we do, only more so.
Warm regards and best wishes to you and yours for a happy and prosperous 2013.
– Chris, Anne and LOLGOP