What a year!
My first full year as a movie blogger brought with it many challenges but also a tremendous amount of encouraging results.
2009 was frustrating for me. The Athletic Nerd was beginning to find it’s identity and a small audience but the site was stagnant and saw little growth.
But I care about this blog. I love this blog.
I write because I’m obsessed with movie and still strive to be a successful filmmaker, screenwriter and editor.
This site has always been about being a filmmaker and a fan and I think that balance gives me an opportunity to be unique in a world with THOUSANDS if not BILLIONS of incredible movie sites…
I’m willing to concede that there probably isn’t a billion movie related websites out there but that’s what it feels like when you struggle to reach people.
Lets face it, you can’t start a site that gets a high amount of traffic over night. Even now, I still feel like an infant in the blogging industry but I’m certainly not going anywhere anytime soon.
So what did 2010 bring?
The short answer? Tons!
Read on for the long answer.
14 months ago in October of 2009, 23 people visited The Athletic Nerd. You read that right. 23.
It’s a depressing number that I will never forget especially since I can honestly name at least 15 of those people.
I started out with family and friends visiting my modest and ugly posts. (I can be honest, they were simply huge blocks of text with little images or formatting. I’ve grown since then.)
When faced with those numbers, it’s easy to think that the huge amount of work required to maintain a blog isn’t worth it.
Stick with it if you are just starting out. I continued to debut new features and write something new every single day. I’m approaching my 500th post quickly and I couldn’t be happier that I didn’t give up on myself.
I pushed through the first year regardless of my tragically low amounts of visitors.
What’s traffic like now?
For some reason, many people online refuse to put their traffic numbers out there. It’s hard to figure out if my numbers are any good but that doesn’t mean I’m not proud of the growth.
I now get between 400-500 people per day and nearly 1000 page hits.
20,000 page hits a month would have seemed insane a year ago when I struggled to get 100 in a week.
I’m not saying that makes The Athletic Nerd a popular online destination but it’s definitely an improvement and that’s all you can really ask for. I couldn’t imagine working as hard as I do while only producing 30 visitors on a month to month basis.
The question is would I still stick with it? It’s a tough question to ask but I like to think I would. If you’re passionate about something you are bound to reach people out there eventually. Especially if you do your SEO homework.
The Features That Died
I think it’s vital to be able to step back and evaluate what is working and what isn’t.
I’m a professional editor by trade and every day I have to make quick decisions. It’s taught me how to let go of things that I may find cool but ultimately don’t work. The same can be said about screenwriting. Sometimes, you have to let go of a scene you adore because it doesn’t fit the story you are trying to tell.
The decisions are difficult but I’m sure you’ll agree that they are almost always for the best.
This year, I said goodbye to:
- What!? Movie News
- Rainy Sundays
Rainy Sundays in particular was difficult to let go of because it was one of the first features I created for this blog. Who doesn’t love watching movies on Rainy Sunday afternoons?
Lazy day movies are a fantastic way to relax and escape the pressures and responsibilities of daily life. (Even if it’s only for a few hours. We all need an escape)
However, there are only so many ways you can write about a specific topic before it gets old. It was time.
The Features That Ended
2010 featured a summer series I called:
Movies That Changed Everything.
This 12 part series detailed a dozen films that changed the way I looked at movies forever.
These select films have greatly influenced the filmmaker I want to become and continually inspire the film fan within.
Stay tuned for next summer’s follow up. (It’s a secret for now.)
The New Additions!
2010 saw the debut of a number of popular features that are becoming staples here at The Athletic Nerd.
Click the images to check out some (or all) of the posts.
A series of interviews with independent filmmakers and people in the industry. These posts are somewhat rare but so much fun to write. I’ve enjoyed compiling each of them and look forward to more interviews in the future.
The Screenwriting Spark
I spend a lot of time surfing the web for screenwriting information and I’ve come across a billion (There’s that number again.) amazing resources. The Spark is my way of passing these resources along to readers.
Wouldn’t It Be Awesome?
One of the newest features I’ve started is all about speculation. We often ask ourselves what if this happened? What if they remade that movie today? This feature is my own personal and often incorrect answer to those questions.
I think I might change the logo though. Not 100% sold on the look. The fire might stick around though.
I finally decided to run a weekly feature on the latest and greatest movie news I come across. I spend at least an hour everyday reading movie news online so why not share the trailers, updates and highlights I find?
The Features That Got Stronger
No other feature on this site got more attention than screenwriting this year. Now boasting more than 100 original posts about the journey of an aspiring screenwriter, this section has truly grown to become a main attractor of new visitors.
I’m planning to continue to develop new content each week in 2011.
My reviews also received a push this year. I only review the films I see in theaters so there aren’t thousands of posts but the reviews exist nonetheless.
What makes my reviews different? I focus on the entire experience.
The Returning Favorites
The End of 2010
Looking back is always a great way to see where you’ve been. The journey between the frustrated blogger of 2009 and the slightly more confident writer you’re reading today was a difficult road to travel.
Yet every post taught me something new. Every idea I followed through on made me feel productive.
I write every single day whether it’s my latest screenplay or this blog.
Who knows where this blog will be next year?
Personally, I think that’s precisely the reason why it’s so much fun.