2019: A Year in Review for the Blog

Last Updated on January 3, 2020 by Michael Brockbank

To say that 2019 was an eventful year for WriterSanctuary.com is an understatement. The brand and I have gone through a lot in the past 12 months, and it’s been a bit of long ride. Let’s take a look at what the site, and the YouTube channel, have accomplished in 2019.

And to be perfectly honest, I didn’t think this site was going to be all that active. Originally, it was a way for me to practice writing while sharing thoughts on freelance writing with content mills.

Boy, that seems so long ago now.

What has this Blog Accomplished in 2019?

Despite having a lackluster performance when it comes to creating content, this blog has surpassed its all-time high in terms of visitor traffic. And despite Google algorithm changes in 2019, it has continued to grow.

However, I’m a long way away from being the most popular website when it comes to freelance writing. Still, I call 2019 a victory for the blog.

Moved to a Much Faster Server

In August, I moved the websites from Hostgator to GreenGeeks. The move alone shaved several seconds worth of time off of every blog I have. And in one case, the load time went from 15 seconds to just over five.

I’ve been using Hostgator since 2008, but the service has just went to crap over time. Their answer to why my site was so slow was to pay more money for their Cloud-based hosting system.

Nah, I’ll just move to a faster and more reliable web host, thank you.

Surpassed Visitor Traffic Record

2019 Blog Visitors

Because most analytic software records spam and bot visits (depending on the system), it’s difficult to get an accurate result of how popular the blog is becoming. But according to Stats and Insights on WordPress.com, 2019 surpassed 2018 in terms of visitors.

Even after removing the Amazon spam visits, there was still more traffic to the blog than last year. Not by much, but it’s still positive growth. And this would have been far greater if I put in the effort to blog more.

But I can’t complain. This time in 2016, WriterSanctuary.com was getting about 1 visit per day. Now, it’s up to around 50.

Added a Contact Form, That is Actually Being Used

To help augment the YouTube channel and give people a way to contact me, I added a form to WriterSanctuary.com. Even though I have to delete several spam offers every morning, viewers and sponsors have been using it.

In fact, the form is used far more often than I thought it would. For the most part, I get a lot of questions regarding Textbroker.

But I’m glad I am able to help anyone who is looking to start writing from home.

Major Contributor to Adsense Account

At one point, CrossingColorado.com made the most money out of all my blogs from Adsense. After Google’s June algorithm update, the site took a flaming nose dive. Nowadays, WriterSanctuary.com is the breadwinner.

In fact, it makes almost twice what the closest blog makes, which is a gaming site, with fewer page views and impressions.

I know I shouldn’t focus on Adsense alone, but it’s still odd to think of WriterSanctuary.com as my flagship. After all, everything went through Crossing Colorado.

The site that I didn’t think anything would become of is the one doing the best overall.

Milestones of WriterSanctuary’s YouTube Channel

Perhaps the biggest reason why I created the YouTube channel was to give blog visitors another form of content to absorb. You could either read the blog post or watch the video, as I embed them into the post.

However, the YouTube channel has become more of a standalone extension of WriterSanctuary. Both the blog and the vlog send traffic back and forth to each other, and it seems both platforms are a complement to engagement.

397 Subscribers!

To be honest, I really didn’t plan on having a lot of subscribers to the YouTube channel. It was merely something to add more meat to the blog. Nowadays, it’s taking a life of its own and doing just as well as the blog itself.

I never really thought about how much I’ve helped people in the past. A lot of people made this apparent in 2019 through comments on videos or during the live streams.

It feels good to know that I’ve given hope, helped with issues and inspired others to follow their dreams. It goes a long way to boost self-esteem.

Support from Others Via BuyMeACoffee.com

I added the Buy Me A Coffee platform to the YouTube videos. It works similar to Patreon where viewers can send me a “tip” for the content I create. So far, I’ve made more money in tips than I have in Adsense over the last three months.

In the near future, I plan on creating an eBook for those supporters for freelance writing. Perhaps I can do more by offering something else of value. I’m also debating on actually launching a Patreon page and offering more that way as well.

I just feel weird about charging someone for knowledge. Making money isn’t what drives me. But I’m also a realist. And being able to cover some of my expenses would be a bonus.

Blog Traffic from YouTube Videos

I knew YouTube would help bring in a bit of traffic to the blog, but I didn’t realize how much. I mean, I didn’t have thousands of views in 2019. But those who visited from the channel explored the site quite thoroughly.

And the engagement this offered has helped WriterSanctuary climb the ranks in Google. Every month, there is an improvement in search position. It’s not a lot, but it’s still growth.

And any victory is still a victory, no matter how small.

Starting to Get Approached for Endorsements

I’ve said it in a lot of videos and live streams, “I really don’t care if I make that mad YouTube money from my channel. I just want to help others.” And it’s true…I thrive on the “thank yous” and “this is exactly what I was looking for” comments.

However, it would be nice to make enough to pay a few bills.

This last year, I started getting approached for endorsement deals. However, I only push the things I either use or love. So, I’ve turned them down for the most part.

If your product isn’t easily connected with writing, WordPress development or publishing, there’s a good chance I won’t be interested.

More in Store for 2020

Even though I had a rough go of things in 2019, I still have big plans for WriterSanctuary’s blog and YouTube channel. Not only do I find it fun, but I am driven by the fact I can help so many people.

I didn’t realize how I’ve inspired others to put in the effort to make more of themselves in the world of freelance writing.

Plans for the Blog

So, content is the number one priority for developing the blog in 2019. In reality, I’ve published about half of what I normally do in any given year. This is extremely poor performance.

And while I could say that my new job as Content Marketing Team Lead takes up more of my time, I still could have created more articles.

Another element I am toying with for the site is adding a community. Think of Facebook but specifically tailored for writers. A place where we can inspire each other whether the goal is to freelance or become a novelist.

I would like to find affiliates that are closely related to what this site delivers. Unfortunately, Grammarly turned me down a long time ago in ShareASale.com and there’s no way to appeal.

Still, it would be nice to add something that my audience would like. I’m just picky when it comes to the things I promote on any of my websites. Well, aside from whatever shows up in Adsense.

Plans for the YouTube Channel

While I am most known for Textbroker on YouTube, I want to take the channel further. I have plans to walk through building a website from scratch and doing more informative live streams.

It was nice of Minodomo to mention me on Twitter while doing the live stream for mind mapping with the brand’s service.

If I ever finish VII, I plan on doing a series of videos regarding self-publishing. I would like to record everything from start to finish. Of course, this also requires that I finish a novel and get it ready for publishing.

Here’s to 2020 Being a Banner Year for Everyone!

I have a really good feeling about 2020. Then again, I suppose I could say the same thing about 2019. Still, this is different. I feel more focused and ready to tackle everything.

Let’s all focus on a stellar year and make the most of our talents.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 8,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel. Currently, he is the Content Marketing Team Lead of GreenGeeks Web Hosting.

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Chris Desatoff
Chris Desatoff
January 4, 2020 11:05 am

Congrats on another year of growth! I expect 2020 to be pretty awesome for all of us – the opportunities are certainly there.

Marie Nicholson
Marie Nicholson
January 7, 2020 9:10 am

Thanks for all the tips and motivational pieces you have written in 2019. Even if they are not used, they are absorbed and stored for another day.

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