What are you grateful for?
Each person in our family of three takes turns saying a few things he or she is grateful for as part of a regular dinner ritual. Quite often, one of us says something related to baseball such as gratitude for a particular baseball coach, an inspiring MLB story, being part of a fun team, or support for my son’s biggest passion in life. Of course, we also express gratitude related to many other areas of life.
Scientists have studied gratitude and the impact it can have on peoples’ lives. I know because my wife researched gratitude quite a bit before publishing her book My Amazing Day, a board book which helps toddlers and their families develop habits of gratitude. The toddler featured in My Amazing Day revels in everyday wonders, as any 2-year-old might do. It’s a great toddler gift, as the gift of gratitude is one that keeps on giving.
I’d like to share what I’m thankful for as it relates to this site. I’ll start with my readers, including some traffic stats:
I’m thrilled with the kinds of readers who visit FilterJoe. Thank you! Readers ask insightful questions, leave thoughtful comments, give me helpful feedback, and let other people know about my blog. I’m especially grateful when they come back for more. In round numbers, here are some stats:
- Date of FilterJoe’s first post: March 20, 2009
- Date of FilterJoe’s first baseball post: July 21, 2014
- Page views since inception: 1.3 million
- Visitors since inception: 600,000
- Number of approved comments: 1,030
- Page views for past 3 years:
- 2015: 255,000
- 2016: 356,000
- 2017: 300,000 – 320,000 (projected)
- Email subscribers: 90
I don’t fill my blog with ads or popups with calls to action like most successful income-earning sites because I want to make it easy for readers to focus on content and read long, in-depth articles.
However, without colorful ads, popups, or other common (but intrusive) calls to action, many readers don’t realize how easy it is to subscribe to FilterJoe by email, RSS, or Twitter (by category, if desired). The result is that I have few subscribers, just 50-100 each via email, RSS, and Twitter. Many people also don’t seem to realize how easy it is to browse by category. Simply select from among the categories listed on the blog’s menu (upper right).
I would love to lessen my dependence on Google search, so if you want to read FilterJoe on a regular basis, please join my email list.
Maintaining and adding content to a high quality blog is no small task. I couldn’t have done it without many forms of help. So . . .
I’ll end this holiday note with a list of the many people and technologies that I am thankful for contributing to this site:
- My wife, Karin Fisher-Golton. Karin is a professional editor. In the early years she edited many of my posts, and she still does occasionally. Karin also guest wrote a post about filtering air, gives me feedback on site design, and helps me in many other ways to keep up quality. But most of all, she has supported my efforts to turn blogging into a living.
- My son. He has given me feedback on many of my youth baseball posts, tested several bats extensively, and is fine with being mentioned in various baseball posts. His love of baseball is what inspired me to learn more and start writing about youth baseball, which now accounts for over 2/3 of FilterJoe traffic.
- My other guest writers this year, Karr Fager and Jim Hyman. I loved Karr’s article about multi-sport athletes, based on his own experiences as a multi-sport athlete all the way through college. Jim is more than just the author of the budget battery chargers article. He actively answers battery-related comments and will post more content soon.
- My friend and fellow baseball fanatic, Grady Carson. Grady freely shares his wisdom garnered from playing baseball in college, coaching youth baseball for 10 years, and his expertise as an educator. He provides feedback on roughly half of FilterJoe’s baseball articles, offering an alternative viewpoint and occasionally pointing out a baseball detail I get wrong.
- Leo’s grandfather. He gave his blessing for me to write an 11-part story about Leo’s baseball career since the age of 10, based on his lengthy, detailed forum thread.
- Matt Peterson of Baden Sports (Axe Bat). He has been generous with his time, provided bat samples, and arranged interviews with bat experts.
- Everyone else who has ever contributed a cool comment to the site, contacted me privately by email, responded to my request for information as I conducted research, or let someone know about FilterJoe.
- WordPress. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s amazing. It’s not an accident that in 2017, 29% of web sites are powered by WordPress. Edit: And still growing fast years later (WordPress powers nearly 40% of sites in January 2021 according to FirstSiteGuide and other sources).
- WordPress plug-in authors.
- Everyone who contributed to making the awesome Twenty Sixteen WordPress theme.
- Lightning Base, the reliable and speedy host for this site.
- The whole infrastructure that makes up the Internet and therefore makes possible information sites like this one.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!