It is safe to say that 2016 has been our most successful year, in terms of blog visitors and podcast downloads.
The podcast had 146,078 downloads during 2016, which is a 52% increase on 2015. We published 27 shows in the year, plus 7 episodes of View from the Veranda.
The most downloaded show of 2017 (and actually our most downloaded show, ever) was episode 182, which was our interview with Gripping Beast and discussion of the Swordpoint rules. This has had 7,325 downloads during 2016.
During 2016, we amended the format of the show to be more structured. This received pretty much universal approval, but my concern was that the show length increased significantly. I have always thought the ‘magic’ number for a podcast to aim at is never longer than 2 hours (modelling that on how long radio shows are on for on the UK BBC radio stations) and I’ve been conscious of that all year.
We record content pretty much every week, and so the thought in the back of my mind was always that we could, should we so wish, move to a weekly release schedule with shorter shows without too much of an effort. This we ended up doing, quite by accident, in mid-November and the switch seems to have met with approval from listeners.
Looking to 2017, we will continue with the weekly format and see how it goes, but I think we will always reserve the right to switch back to fortnightly should the schedule prove to be too much. We want to redress the balance of shows too. We recorded a large number of interviews in 2016, but in doing so, stopped recording in-depth reviews – which is one thing our podcast had become known for. We will look to redress this balance somewhat in the coming year.
2017 sees the podcast reach its 10th birthday. Hopefully it will be the best year yet.
The blog received 268,929 page views in 2016, from 107,677 visitors, which is a 45% increase in traffic on 2015. It did help that I added 339 blog posts during the year (as opposed to 207 in 2015), so at least visitors had plenty to read.
One problem you always have with a blog is answering the simple question: what is your focus? As we come to the end of 2016, I’m not sure that I have fully answered that question.
I suppose, first and foremost, the blog is a landing site for the podcast. During 2016, I wanted it to be more than that, which is one reason why I updated the site during the year to have a ‘magazine’ style format. The site is split between general hobby news (all the ‘Hobby News’ sections), the ‘Podcast stuff’ (Podcast and Reviews sections) and my own hobby news & views (Editorial, Painting & Modelling and Battle Reports). Because I’m not full-time, it is always difficult to keep up with posting hobby news (and besides, I tend to filter this through my own interests anyway) so I’m not sure, moving forward, just how useful this is.
So, a fantastic year for the blog, but perhaps more changes need to be made to improve its focus.
Thank you to everyone who has visited the blog, or listened to the podcast in 2016. we really appreciate your time and support.