DJROBBLOG – A Progress Report…in Baby Steps

Or better yet, a report of progress.  This week, djrobblog is celebrating its half-year anniversary.  I published my first article on January 24, 2015, after being encouraged by friends who’d read a couple of my FB posts.  First and foremost, let me say “thank you” for your encouragement and for your support throughout these first six months.

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Me at my grandmother’s house taking baby steps circa 1968.

Secondly, I’m happy to report that djrobblog is growing, but in baby steps.  Ever since I started tracking article “hits” in mid-April, readership has gone up each month, with July being the biggest month by far, and we’ve still got a week left.  The readership activity has fluctuated from week to week, which is largely dependent upon what article(s) I’ve published and, obviously, your interest in them.  However, the general trend is up.

For instance, of the 33 articles I’ve written, the most popular – in terms of readership – was “Why ‘No Sleeep’…slept” (July 8), which came on the heels of Janet Jackson’s latest single underperforming…no, bombing on Billboard’s main charts.  As of this writing, that article has been clicked about 250 times.

The runner-up, with nearly 200 clicks, is the article I posted on the eve of the Billboard Music Awards when I offered “Five Reasons NOT to Watch…” (May 16).  The amount of interest may have been sparked by your general surprise that I – whom my closest friends have often called “Mr. Billboard” – would blaspheme anything associated with the publication, particularly since it’s the source of all of my chart information.

The third-place article was the first installment of my four-part “Greatest Black Musicians of All Time” series (June 9).  That piece has had 171 clicks, with each subsequent part in the series having fewer reads than the previous.  However, all four of them have 115 or more clicks, with Part 2 (June 14; 154 clicks) actually receiving more hits in the past couple weeks than all the other parts.

In terms of monthly numbers, July was the first month to surpass 1000 hits, with May and June each coming close.  July actually surpassed June’s numbers by the 19th of the month, reaching 1000 earlier this week.

One of the beauties of using WordPress to power my blog (I recommend it to all bloggers out there), is that I also have the benefit of tracking where the hits are coming from.  So far I’ve received hits from 56 different countries around the globe, including some I’d never even heard of before they showed up in my stats tracker.  The biggest contribution by far has come from the U.S., of course.  The next biggest countries, in order, are:

2. Brazil
3. U. K.
4. Canada
5. Ireland
6. Italy
7. Australia
T8. Germany
T8. France
10. India
11. South Korea

Most of my hits have come via Facebook, over 1000 of them.  The second-biggest source of activity has been through Internet search engines, with Google Search dominating that field (about 90%).  Other hits have come directly from my WordPress dashboard, meaning you were likely already on my site and simply navigated from one article to another.

In terms of comments, the articles that have generated the most were “The 20 Greatest Black Music Producers” list, followed by the two articles about blue-eyed soul singers (the women’s article was in second, the men’s in third).  These stats don’t include the number of comments on Facebook, which is the preferred means for many of the readers (btw, y’all need to put a stop to that and start using the blog site for comments…I’m just sayin’).

Me at my grandfather's piano (Clairton, PA...outside Pittsburgh) circa 1970.
Me at my grandfather’s piano (Clairton, PA…outside Pittsburgh) circa 1970.

The article you clicked the least?  Well, since my readership data only tracks back to April, it’s somewhat skewed.  But, of those articles that were published since I started tracking, the one you’ve read the least was “USA for America…Why Not?” – my contemplation of whether today’s artists could pull off a “We Are The World” for American causes 30 years after the USA For Africa effort.  You only clicked that article 25 times, which told me you weren’t in a very charitable mood.

As for my Spotify playlists, the one you’ve clicked the most was “100 Greatest Black Musicians – Part 2,” followed by the “Blue-Eyed Soul – the Men” list.

Another valuable aspect of djrobblog has been your feedback.  I’ve taken to heart all the emails, phone calls and blog comments with ideas, compliments and constructive criticism over these first six months.  Some of my articles were extremely long (particularly the earlier ones, I know).  Some of the artists lists were questionable (of course based on individuals’ opinions).  And a few facts may have been omitted or skewed here and there (those get corrected immediately if you bring them to my attention).  The point is, I value your feedback and ask that you continue to give it to me so that we can continue improving and growing djrobblog (one of these days I wanna get paid!).

And a mea culpa: my first article may have been a bit premature in documenting the doomed state of black music in America, as it seems to have done a 180 (at least in terms of chart performance) with black musicians dominating the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart these past few months (led by the emergence of budding superstar The Weeknd, who’s had three top ten pop and R&B hits since I featured him in that first article).  Plus there’ve already been nine #1 albums by black artists this year as well, including this week’s new one by chart veteran Tyrese Gibson).

Maybe with the July 23 release of a remixed version of Janet’s “No Sleeep” single featuring rapper J. Cole, I’ll be serving up another “correction” in the next few weeks.

I look forward to what these next six months and beyond will bring.  I’ve got a number of fresh ideas for articles and features already in the queue, which I’ll be rolling out soon.

I hope that you continue to take this journey with me (and tell your friends also).

And, as always, thanks for all the love and support!

DJRob

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