How do you summarise a year?
I suppose you could use a one-word expletive, which I notice a number of my Facebook friends have used to describe 2016. But, there are a number of factors that make up a year with its various highs and lows. The variables of family, friends, work, hobbies, recreation, health and fitness, and more, make up much of what we call life. Each of these areas we may be able to summarise, but to tie them all together is difficult.
First, I had six good months and six poor months of posting content. I obviously don’t like winter very much nor am I inspired during these months. I posted often in the January to March period but soon dropped off before taking up publishing again from October through December.*
Second, the main topic I posted about was ‘youth ministry’. Of the top five most read posts three of them were on the topic of youth ministry. This isn’t too much of a surprise considering I was intentional in what I was to post about this year. Youth ministry was one area I wanted to write more about and this is clear through the posts I’ve written in 2016. The other factor would be the change of ministry role, becoming Associate Pastor for Youth and Young Adults at the start of the year. These things seem to point toward a youth ministry passion and this is being seen in what I write about.
Here are my top five posts:
- The Ageing Youth Pastor
- Starting Fresh As A Youth Pastor
- Why Every Youth Pastor Should Watch ‘Spotlight’
- ‘N’ As A Social Media Movement
- I’ve Never Been To Aleppo
Third, there was a 30% increase in traffic to the blog in the past 12 months. This has been encouraging and positive. You do expect an increase when you’re coming off such a low base though. 🙂
Fourth, the top five countries where readers come from are: Australia, USA, Brazil, New Zealand and the UK. Four of them are not surprising. One of them is. You can probably guess which one.
Fifth, each New Year that passes brings with it a good opportunity to reflect on the worthiness of writing and blogging. I’m one of those people who enjoy reflecting on events, conversations, experiences and time-periods. Blogging is no different. And while some people are against New Year resolutions, believing that January 1st is only another day, I do find it helpful to reflect and set goals for the next 12 months. These goals don’t need to be anything complicated, but they do need to be specific. My choice to write more about youth ministry seems to have been achieved as I’ve seen a few things here gain some traction with readers. It’s also helped me think through the topics in more depth.
For 2017, consistency will be the key and the main goal for this blog. I seek to me more intentional about writing topics and will also aim at writing at least one decent piece per week.
If you’re a blogger (or perhaps there’s something in your life you need to be more intentional about) then what would be your main goal for your blog in 2017?
*Another factor here may well be the birth of our second child. Probably can’t discount that variable either!