It’s that time of year when I post my yearly review of what’s been happening on the blog and there is a lot to talk about for this blogger as I’ve been a very busy lady in the last 12 months.
As the bells rang in 2016 I made a resolution that I was going to make changes to my tartan tights and I knew that these changes may surprise a few of my readers pleasing some and disappointing others but sometimes there are risks you have to take if you want to grow and develop your blog and take it to the next level.
2016 was a year of challenges for me and I was certainly up for meeting them head on. Not only did I complete my second NaPoWriMo in a row I also attended two blogger events, posted no fewer than five outfit of the day posts which is five more than I’d posted at the turn of the year, and successfully completed my first Blogmas and trust me this is much harder than NaPoWriMo.
As for my overall performance I would say I am reasonably satisfied and though my post views dipped from just under 15,000 to just over 12,000. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the change of focus from one where political commentary featured prominently to a more personal narrative which focuses strongly on female and trans related issues.
This is not to say that political issues will not feature on tartan tights. Politics has always been and always will be a big part of my life and as my blog reflects my life it wouldn’t be the same without the odd considered political rant it’s just that I made a decision to post fewer of them and I think this have a beneficial impact on my blog in longer term.
As for my top five posts of 2016 let’s just say there were a couple of surprises in it which both delighted and to some extent astounded me. Topics which covered in these were the death of a neighbour and friend. Transgender Remembrance and why it’s important to me. I also looked at Sectarianism and extreme British nationalism and how its supporters made fools of themselves just after the Scottish Election, the EU Referendum and journey of former no voters to saying Yes to independence and my friendship with a brilliant young feminist poet who is the greatest talent to come out of Sweden since a certain Henrik Larsson.Yes I do mean you Agnes Torok. The list is
(1) Driving Instructor 172 Views This post makes history as it becomes the first poem ever to be my top post of the year. It was written in memory of my much loved and respected neighbour Ed Cullen who died in May after a battle with illness.Ed was described at his funeral as the quiet man who knew everyone and would I think be smiling at the fact that the poem written to celebrate his life beat poems written for far more famous entrants to heaven such as David Bowie, George Michael, Ronnie Corbett , and Muhammad Ali. This is I think a fitting testimony to one of the genuine good guys.
(2) The Girl The World Never Knew Has Become The Woman It Does 167 Views. The fact that my very personal story of my gender transition and why commemorating World Transgender Remembrance Day is a matter of honour to me was my second most popular post of year surprised me only slightly as it was the kind of post I had thought would reach my top ten but if there were posts which I thought would fair better than they did there were also those which exceeded expectations.
(3) Billy Boys And Bully Boys Are Running Out Of Options As Nicola Was Scotland’s Choice To Play A Better Game 166 views My third most popular post was one of my most contentious in a year in which I tried to steer clear of controversy. This was I have to say one of my most overtly political posts and I didn’t miss my targets who in this case were the foaming at the mouth brigade of extreme British Nationalists that Better Together and the unionist press and media were in constant denial about during the 2014 independence referendum.
It didn’t take long for the unionists very own demented tendency to make fools of themselves after the Scottish election. They achieve this by demanding the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon who had been democratically elected First Minister of our country just weeks before for the crime of congratulation to Hibernian for winning for the Scottish Cup.Final.Unfortunately for them they were put in their place whilst Nicola despite the their deluded rantings remains very much in hers.
(4) Family Tree 131 views This poem was written to welcome former no voters who voted against independence in to yes family. I wrote it in the aftermath of the EU Referendum in which the United Kingdom proved it wasn’t as united as some would like to believe as Britain voted narrowly for Brexit and Scotland voted the empathetically to remain in EU.
(5) Learning Swedish 128 views This poem which I wrote for my friend and fellow poet Agnes Torok after she received hate mail for her ground breaking feminist poem This Is My Body. When it comes to my own work this poem is not just one of my favourite poems of last year it is one of my favourite poems ever because of who it’s about and I was delighted that it got a place in my top five posts.
As for where my visitors came from, I got traffic from 73 countries and my main sites for driving traffic were Facebook, Twitter, WordPress Readers and later in the year Google Plus. As for the geography of my readers the top five countries for generating traffic were the United Kingdom , USA, Australia, Canada, and Ireland. This to be honest I think the was pretty much the top five I thought it would be. Other countries which featured reasonably prominently in my tartan tights visitors list included Spain, India, France, Germany New Zealand and The Netherlands.
Whilst my page views may have dropped in the 2016 it
was a very positive year in other areas as I finished 2016 with 147 new comments on my posts. This is almost double the 76 I received in 2015. This is a great result for me but I don’t intend to rest of my laurels and I will try to improve on this trend in 2017.
During a year which was very active for social engagement my main contributors who posted comments on the blog or on other social media sites are named here and in some cases I will refer to them by their blog name. They are in no particular order, Bob Leslie, Charlene McElhinney, Suzanne Egerton, Last Year’s Girl, I Didn’t Have My Glasses On, GisforGingers, Political Tourist, SoulMurmersBlog, Iain Moss, Colours Of A Rose, Dash Of A Fashion Girl, OfmgFaye, Derek Read, Steve Allan, Katharine McFarlane, Jamie-Lee McHugh, Kelly McGhee, Angela Strachan, Lesley Traynor, Linda Grant, Janet Crawford, Rona Fitzgerald, Jim Monaghan, Sheila Templeton, The Curvaceous Vegan, Victoria McNulty, and Carla Woodburn.
As for my most commented posts of the year. It comes as no surprise that my poem 16 Cinderella’s on the day we launched Women With Fierce Words got more feedback than any other post. Indeed my only surprise about that post (see fierce women picture below) is that I didn’t finish much higher up the list than it did.
Other posts which performed well included The Great Debate That Never Was which was my poem about the Scottish election debate, my outfit of the day post I Wore My Seasonal Colours With Just A Touch Of Satin, Scotland We Need To Talk About Sex Banish Our Tartan Taboos, and 50 Random Facts About Me.
2016 was as I said earlier a year of challenges and I believe accomplishments. Successfully completing both NaPoWriMo and Blogmas were both rewarding experiences and I will taking on both again this year. However in a year where I believe I have grown as a blogger I believe my biggest blogging achievement in the past 12 months was getting the chance to write for Common Space on World Transgender Remembrance Day. Common Space has for those who don’t know , been at the cutting edge of blogging and is in my opinion the best social media news outlet on web,so to be given the chance to share my thoughts on a very personal issue meant a lot to me both as a trans woman and as a blogger.
So as you can see 2016 has been a very busy year for me and the fact that I managed 22 consecutive posts from late November to mid December was no mean feat. In truth the last year was a bit or a rollercoaster ride for tartan tights, it had to be with the changes I made to it. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and are ready for more of the same in 2017. I know I am, well I quite like rollercoasters
Love And Best Wishes