For an extremely low-traffic blog, a surprising amount of activity occurs here on URC Psalmody. Today I’d like to embark on a short and hopefully enlightening tour of the various statistics WordPress provides concerning our site.
URC Psalmody is a blog with about 180 posts, 36 pages, and 360 comments. The math works out pretty nicely—an average of 15 posts and 30 comments per month, with each post receiving an average of 2 comments. Hence the description “an extremely low-traffic blog.”
Our daily site hits vary widely, ranging anywhere from 10 views to more than 100. The best day for views was Saturday, June 16, 2012 (the day after Synod 2012 concluded), which brought in just under 300.
While URC Psalmody’s reader base is tiny, we have been visited from over 80 countries, including such exotic places as Aruba and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Heading the list of countries are (not surprisingly) the United States, with more than 9,000 views this year; Canada, with about 2,500; and the United Kingdom, with about 400.
But where do all these views come from? Our biggest source of traffic comes from search engines, mostly Google. Some of the most popular search terms that lead users to URC Psalmody are “reformation day,” “dale grotenhuis,” “christmas psalms,” “psalter hymnal,” and “urcna synod 2012.” Other referrals come from Facebook, Twitter, and email providers. Surprisingly, the third largest contributor to site views is Heidelblog.net, a popular Reformed blog by R. Scott Clark. Over the course of the year, Dr. Clark kindly linked to three URC Psalmody articles: Psalm 58, Psalm 59, and Singing the Psalms: An Answer to Neo-Baalism. We’ve also gotten a significant number of views through links from some of our fellow URCNA bloggers: URCNA Synod Reports, The Reformed Reader, and Ascribelog (among others). We’re grateful for each link posted to help spread the word about URC Psalmody. And keep in mind that Facebook continues to be our second-largest source of site traffic!
Just as visitors click links that direct them onto URC Psalmody, they often click our links to external websites. The biggest attraction in this area is URC Psalmody’s YouTube channel, which I may revisit in a later post. Through the Psalter Hymnal Resource Library, many visitors are directed to .mp3 files from Cornerstone United Reformed Church in Hudsonville, MI. We’ve also seen significant interest in the materials surrounding the Book of Psalms for Worship (from crownandcovenant.com), the proceedings of Synod 2012 (on urcna.org), and the online version of the 1912 Psalter on Google Books.
The number of people who “follow” URC Psalmody (which simply means that they receive notifications via email or WordPress whenever we publish a new post) has been unexpectedly slow in rising. We currently have about 60 followers—about 30 fellow WordPress bloggers and the same number of email subscribers. This data is far from discouraging, however, since our followers come from a variety of backgrounds and span multiple denominations—even multiple continents. At the same time, it’s hard to judge how many of these folks are actually regular URC Psalmody readers. So we would urge you to drop us a note now and then if you truly follow the blog and enjoy our articles—it’s one of the simplest and most encouraging things you can do in the blogging world!
Finally, here’s a look at the five most popular articles (by number of post views) over the past year on URC Psalmody:
- Contemplating the Covenanters (7/18/12): This personal reflection by Jim on the Reformed Presbyterian Churches of North America (RPCNA) was this year’s number-one favorite article by a long shot, gathering more than 400 views to date. Our Covenanter brothers and sisters, it seems, were delighted to read such a positive and friendly report on their worship practices. Jim’s article was even featured on the official Facebook page of the Book of Psalms for Worship.
- Singing the Psalms: An Answer to Neo-Baalism (10/5/12): As mentioned above, this article was shared by Dr. R. Scott Clark on the Heidelblog—hence its popularity.
- Wednesday Update (6/13/12): Tied with #2 is this brief post, which is quite ordinary except for the fact that it announces the URCNA’s decision to merge efforts with the OPC to produce a new joint Psalter Hymnal.
- The Book of Psalms for Worship (7/19/12): Jim followed up his post on “Contemplating the Covenanters” with this review of the RPCNA’s songbook, The Book of Psalms for Worship. It was extremely well-received for many of the same reasons as its prequel.
- Dale Grotenhuis: Establish the Work of Our Hands (8/18/12): I composed this post as soon as I heard of the passing of renowned Reformed musician Dale Grotenhuis on August 17th.
Although sorting through a long list of statistics can be tedious, I hope this post hasn’t been altogether boring. As I reflect on the many ways in which URC Psalmody has grown over the past year, I am forced to stop once again and marvel at the impact the Lord has allowed this humble little blog to have. May he grant that its legacy may continue for many more years!