Year-End Report (2017)

HAPPY NEW YEAR everybody! Here in Spruce Pine, NC, 2018 rang in with single-digit temperatures and an inch of fresh snow. According to the weatherman, those bone-chilling temperatures will be a staple for our week.

I thought I’d use this first post of 2018 to provide a 2017 year-end report for the blog. I probably should have done this during the last week of 2017, but it’s not the first time I’ve been a little off schedule. Of course, I don’t want you to think that I’m the one who does all the totaling up for the site’s numbers. No, that’s a nice feature that WordPress provides.

The good news is that 2017 was a banner year for the blog in every way. For that I say a humble and heartfelt, “THANK YOU.” I can write posts all day every day, but if no one ever visits the site or reads anything I’ve written, my words won’t amount to much. You see, whatever this blog is and however God uses it, you the readers are the reasons why.

I won’t bore you with every last statistic from 2017, but I will cite some of the most relevant ones. I know that I always enjoy seeing year-end lists, and my guess is that many of you do as well. So, here we go:

The blog’s total views for last year came in at 17,681. That was an increase from 2016’s 14,407. The most encouraging thing about that was the fact that the last five months of the year were the best months in terms of numbers, as each of those months saw an increase from the previous month. The increase went like this: August (1,515 views), September (1,612 views), October (1,687 views), November (2,082 views), and December (2,317 views). That sure looks good on a graph chart.

As for posts published in 2017, the most popular one was How Would You Describe Your Walk With the Lord These Days?, which came in at 138 views. Second on that list was Is the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia?, which totaled 79 views. Keep in mind, though, that every post always has more views than its recorded number. I say that because any new post initially gets viewed as the home page for two or three days as it sits atop the post scroll for the site until I write a new post. Consequently, those views get counted as views for the “Home Page” rather than as views for the post itself. In other words, a post doesn’t really start recording views under its own title until it’s no longer my most recent post. That’s why the “Home Page” views will always have the most views for any given year. For the record, those views totaled up to 7,711 in 2017.

Also, you might have noticed on the right side of the blog’s page that the site’s followers increased significantly this past year. 105 followers now get an email alert each time I publish a new post. That number almost doubled from the previous year’s 58. Likewise, the number of people who follow the site through WordPress jumped from 21 to 44.

Does this mean that all those followers actually read every new post? No, it doesn’t mean that any more than every person who views any post literally takes the time to read the entire post. What it does mean, though, is that around twice as many people as last year are being automatically alerted to my new posts. That can’t be a bad thing.

By the way, here’s another little tidbit for you. If you are one of the folks who get an email notification every time I publish a new post, and you link to that post from your computer or cell phone, your view doesn’t get recorded as a view on the blog. That’s because you don’t actually visit the blog site itself to read the post.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. (I’m tickled to death that you are interested enough to read what I’ve written!) I’m simply pointing out that every new post actually gets read by a lot more people than the stats show. Again, I’m not delusional enough to think that all 105 followers take the time to read a new post by way of their email, but if even 50 of them do, that’s 50 unreported views for not only that post but also the blog’s total views.

Anyway, that’s enough about the nuances of how WordPress records views. Now let’s get back to the stats. The top five new posts for 2017 were:

  • How Would You Describe Your Walk With the Lord These Days? (138 views)
  • Is the Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia? (79 views)
  • Will Christians Go Through the Tribulation Period? (67 views)
  • The Battle of Armageddon/The Second Coming of Jesus (46 views)
  • Is the Ark of the Covenant on Mount Nebo? (43 views)

As you can tell from that list, the series “The Ark of the Covenant” and the series “Bible Prophecy In Chronology” were very well received last year. In addition to being read by my regular readers, the posts from those series have already found their way onto search engine lists and are climbing up the ranks of those links. For that reason, I expect those posts to pick up views at a steady rate in the coming months and years.

As for that top new post, How Would You Describe Your Walk With the Lord These Days?, I was quite shocked to find that it had so many recorded views. Seriously, 138 views right out of the gate is impressive for my stuff. Try as I might, I just can’t always tell which posts will resonate the most with readers.

Of course, as these things go, not one of these new posts made the list of the top ten most viewed posts for 2017. Any post, after all, requires some time to build momentum and make its way up the search engines. So here are the ten posts that were actually viewed the most for the year:

  • Does God Want Everyone To Get Married? (2,137 views)
  • How Does a Worm Get Inside an Apple? (1,217 views)
  • What a Bird’s Nest Can Teach Us About God’s Will (366 views)
  • Should We Pray Silently to Keep Satan From Hearing? (264 views)
  • The Mayonnaise Jar (242 views)
  • Oral Roberts & “Seed-Faith” Giving (202 views)
  • Constantine & Christmas (185 views)
  • The Importance of Spanking a Child (177 views)
  • Why God Hates Gambling (175 views)
  • What Does the Bible Teach About Divorce & Remarriage (162 views)

In terms of the posts that have been read the most all time since I began the blog in 2009, that list reads as follows:

  • Does God Want Everyone To Get Married? (11,929 views)
  • How Does a Worm Get Inside an Apple? (3,946 views)
  • What Does the Bible Teach About Divorce & Remarriage? (1,603 views)
  • Oral Roberts & “Seed Faith” Giving (1,574 views)
  • The Importance of Individuality In a Child (1,158 views)
  • Tim Tebow & Jesus (1,147 views)
  • Should We Pray Silently to Keep Satan From Hearing? (891 views)
  • What a Bird’s Nest Can Teach Us About God’s Will (862 views)
  • The Importance of Spanking a Child (860 views)
  • What the Bible Teaches About Drinking Alcohol: post # 8 (848 views)

And now, finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t say something about how God continues to use the blog worldwide. Of all the stats, charts, graphs, and minutia that come out of these year-end reports, what constantly amazes me the most is the list of countries from which views are recorded. In 2016, people from 137 different countries viewed something from the blog, and in 2017 that number rose to 142. 2017’s number of views ranged from 551 in the United Kingdom to 1 in Angola, but I’ll take every last one of them. That top ten list looks like this:

  • United States (13,587 views)
  • United Kingdom (551 views)
  • Canada (504 views)
  • Australia (356 views)
  • South Africa (338 views)
  • India (319 views)
  • Philippines (219 views)
  • Nigeria (154 views)
  • European Union (128 views)
  • Singapore (127 views)

Well, that’s about it for the report as we put a lid on 2017. Again let me say, “THANK YOU” to each one of you who helped make all this happen. I’ll ask you to continue to pray for me that God will not only burden me with the posts He wants me to write, but inspire and enlighten me to write them in a way that is pleasing to Him. And remember that the goal of this blog always remains the same: to produce not just Christians but Christian disciples. That’s why it’s called “The Disciple’s Road.” I’m still walking that road myself as we move into 2018, and I hope that you and I can walk it together in this new year.


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