2019 State of the Blog: Hillbilly Highways Edition

Hillbilly Highways officially launched on June 6 of this year, and it has been a tremendous experience.  It was a bit of a leap of faith to start a new, second blog after spending three years building my SF blog, especially one so different and so personal.  I have been gratified to entertain and enrich some fans of the old blog (“I’m beginning to like highways better than your other blog. The topics are far closer to home. I love Americana, and nothing is better than Appalachian tales, folk heroes, honest struggles, and a touch of mystery.” – Oghma), attract new fans (most notably the inestimable Jim Cornelius at Frontier Partisans), and even have some small measure of numerical success.

My most personal posts, and four of my favorite posts, were on Chris LeDoux’s This Cowboy’s Hat, Chris Stapleton’s Was It 26, Joan Williams’ White Working Class, and Charlie Robison’s Photograph.  I’ve got another one coming this month that I’ve had a hard time writing.

Establishing a fresh beachhead on the war-torn internet mainland is no easy task, but, while I may not be getting the numbers I get at Every Day Should Be Tuesday, Hillbilly Highways has done better in its first seven months than Every Day Should Be Tuesday did during its first seven months.

Thank you for joining me for 88 posts and contributing 254 comments and 276 likes.

You can find my State of the Blog for Every Day Should Be Tuesday here.

no-angel knows what I need to review next.

I expect 2019 will be a big year for Hillbilly Highways.  I settled into a nice little blogging groove with music posts on Mondays and everything else on Wednesdays and I plan to continue along that path.  I would like to get back to my originally planned mix for Wednesdays of 2 parts fiction, 1 part nonfiction, and 1 part TV/film (as well as to write more essays).  In 2018 I categorized 20 posts as fiction, 5 as nonfiction, and 13 as TV/film (a number skewed by my Friday Night Lights Friday series).  There were also 9 oddments posts and 41 music posts.  I averaged 422 words per post in 2018, well under the average for Every Day Should Be Tuesday, but that is skewed by all the short music posts.

Hillbilly Highways’ number one referrer last year was Facebook, and I plan to continue to focus my promotional efforts on that platform (you can find the Hillbilly Highways Facebook page here).  I might even start one or two Facebook groups to help support the blog (Facebook seems biased toward groups over pages).  I have some non-Facebook promo in mind, as well, and if you have any ideas in that vein please feel free to holler.

Most of the changes to the blog in 2019 will be non-content related.  I need to write my review policy and add one or two pages to the top banner.  I am leaning toward moving both blogs to self-hosting—the numbers at Hillbilly Highways are still relatively low, but Every Day Should Be Tuesday is probably popular enough to make the advertising money worthwhile.

Content-wise, the biggest challenge will be finding time to post at both blogs while juggling work and soon-to-be mobile, agile, and hostile baby.  Every Day Should Be Tuesday will suffer the most, but time constraints will probably prevent me from running any series here.  I also need to just admit that my blogging will suffer on the frequent occasion that my wife leaves town on business.  I do have a super-secret project in the works over at Every Day Should Be Tuesday that will eat up a ton of blogging time when I launch it later this year.

I have some bookish resolutions, but I am going to save those for another day and another post.

I ended the year on a strong note—Hillbilly Highways got more views in December than any month except November.  Below you can find my top 5 posts for December as well as my top 10 posts all-time.

 

Reviews

 

Top 5 Posts for December

 

Top 10 Posts for 2018/all-time

 

You can find the books I acquired, started, and finished in December at my 2019 State of the Blog: Every Day Should Be Tuesday Edition.

8 thoughts on “2019 State of the Blog: Hillbilly Highways Edition

    1. Naw, hollers are valleys, so you drive down them. You drive up the mountain. You can tell I’m from the mountains because I think of driving direction mostly in terms of elevation change.

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  1. Pingback: 2019 State of the Blog: Every Day Should Be Tuesday Edition | Every Day Should Be Tuesday

    1. This is one of the reasons I don’t want to jettison Twitter entirely. It still drives good traffic to the other blog. But I deleted the app from my phone and don’t spend as much time there as I used to.

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  2. Only discovered your blogs a few months ago but I like them both. My musical interests have moved in other directions over the years; I’ve ignored country except for the stuff I already own. You’ve helped me discover some great stuff I would’ve completely missed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: January 2019 Month-in-Review | Every Day Should Be Tuesday

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