Looking Back On Blogging Goals From 2008

New Years Fireworks Happy New year to everyone. Here’s hoping 2009 will be your best year ever.

You may recall back in December of 2007 I participated in a group writing project where bloggers were challenged to come up with goals for the coming year. I came up with a few of my own and published my New Year’s Resolutions for TailgatingIdeas.com. What I will do is revisit those goals I set forth over a year ago and see how I did. In the next few days I’ll offer up a recap of the most successful posts of 2008 and I’ll also come up with a new set of blogging goals for 2009 as well. So let’s jump right in and see how we did on achieving our goals for this year.

  • On average, publish at least four to five new articles a week.

Without doing the exact math I believe this goal was met. This will be blog post number 912 so I am pretty confident that average was surpassed.

  • Average 750 page views per day. (Last December TailgatingIdeas.com was averaging 330 page views a day)

That goal was met and surpassed easily. From Jan. 1, 2008 to Dec. 31, 2008 TailgatingIdeas.com received 565,530 page views. That’s an average of 1,550 page views a day. I’d say by doubling our goal of 750 per day this one was a success.

  • Rank in the top five on Google for the term “tailgating”. (In Dec. 2007 we ranked 11th at the top of page No. 2)

Depending on the day and what Google is doing that day, we currently rank No. 2 or No. 3 for the search term “tailgating”. No. 1 is Joe Cahn’s tailgating.com website and the way Google works, there will be no taking over the No. 1 spot just based on the simplicity of his domain name. Depending on the day, we will sometimes rank No. 2 for the term “tailgating” but typically we rank No. 3 just behind the Wikipedia entry Tailgate Party. Again, no shame in ranking No. 3 behind an authoritative resource like Wikipedia. So I believe we are three for three on achieving our goals so far.

  • Increase the average comments per article to 5. (averaged 1 to 2 comments in Dec. 2007)

I think I fell a little short on this one. Although this was a goal I had no direct control over, I would still like to increase my number of comments. Some of my very popular posts received numerous reader comments (The Bucket List For Tailgaters and The 14 Tailgaters Who Annoy the Crap Out of You both took in 22 comments each) while a vast majority went without one comment. I guess I need to start writing more controversial posts in order to get people emotional enough they feel they need to leave a comment.

  • Have two of my articles make it to the front page of Digg.com

This goal was not achieved at all. Here is my take on Digg. If you try to hit the front page of Digg you are really doing a disservice to your target readership. Many times you are writing just with Digg in mind in hopes of getting that traffic rush hitting the front page can bring. Digg is a lot like a popularity contest in high school and it still has all the games and politics of high school in it. I finally gave up trying to hit the front page of Digg the day one of my articles was linked to by Sports Illustrated. In 2008 between SI Extra Mustard Hot Clicks and SI On Campus, we were linked to about 20 times. Each time either one of those sections linked to us a rush of traffic followed. So despite failing to hit the front page of Digg once this year I was able to discover a much better and higher quality way to gain large amounts of visitors. All hail Sports Illustrated!

This goal was achieved half way through the year. We currently have a Google page rank of 4. A perfect Google page rank is a 10. Just to give you a perspective, huge websites like eBay and ESPN.com have a Google page rank of 8. YouTube has a 9. CNN.com is a perfect 10. So even though a Google page rank of 4 may seem low in the grand scheme of things, it is definitely doing well compared to the other millions of websites and blogs on the internet that are at 2 or 1.

  • All four advertising blocks on the home page taken by direct advertisers.

This goal was achieved in the fall right at the start of football season. Although not all four advertising spots are currently taken now, (visit our advertising page if you are interested) that is a result of the increased traffic this site was receiving and justifying raising advertising rates. I do want to personally thank those direct advertisers that are currently advertising with TailgatingIdeas.com: Cornhole.com, LetsGoTailgating.com, How The Pros Play and Gameday Eats. Make sure to visit their sites and support them. They are one of the main reasons this website has been able to continue on this past year.

  • Print promotional T-shirts and sell them on the home page.

Didn’t get around to doing this one. Just didn’t have the capital to invest in making the T-shirts this past year. If you have a cool design or an idea for a T-shirt, make sure to send it my way.

  • Create five YouTube videos showcasing how fun tailgating can be.

I would say I achieved this goal however the videos were more product reviews and demonstrations than showing how fun tailgating can be. Feel free to check out the previous videos I did this year. (In order of when they were recorded and appeared on YouTube.)

FlameDisk Product Review
Beer Pong N-Ice Rack Product Review
Fire Wire Product Review
Washeroos Tailgating Game Review
Freedom Grill Demo Compared to a Coleman RoadTrip Grill
Booze Belly Demo
Taco Rack Demo on a Freedom Grill for Tailgating
Shotgun Party Can Opener Demo
Can Grip Demo

  • Host or attend at least 20 tailgate parties in 2008.

I think I came up a little short on this one. Looking back I think I tailgated about 15 times this year. 10 times before the San Diego Chargers games and a few Cal State Fullerton baseball games. I even tailgated prior to a Junior College football game. 20 was an ambitious number of tailgates seeing how it works out to be about every other week out of the year.

  • Get quoted in a newspaper or TV story as an expert on tailgating.

This did happen a few times. I was quoted or referenced in the St. Petersburg Times, Arizona Republic and the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. I appeared on Sports Radio 810 WHB in Kansas City twice, WTMD 89.7 FM in Baltimore once and was a regular Wednesday morning guest segment on Lazer 103.3 FM in Des Moines, Iowa. The Morning Moose Show in Iowa would call me every Wednesday morning and we would discuss one or two new tailgating gadgets that help Iowa tailgaters do it better and little more comfortably. Although I was not a guest on the show, Tom Leykis used one of my posts as a topic of conversation for an entire hour of his syndicated radio show. No appearances on TV but plenty of newspaper and radio coverage make this goal one that was met and exceeded numerous times over.

Of the goals I set for myself last year, I achieved eight out of 11 of them. Some of the ones I came up short on were beyond my control so for my goals in 2009, I will make sure to make resolutions I can have a direct affect over. Stay tuned for those goals and also a recap on the best posts from the previous year in a day or two.

Happy New Year to everyone and I hope this year is a great year for not only your tailgating but for you and your family as well. Have a safe and prosperous 2009.