2018 in Review

I’m writing this just before I am to board a cruise. On that cruise, I’m seeing family, some of them I haven’t seen since two years ago, when we had a family reunion in San Diego. I’ll be away for a bit longer, so I wanted to write something so the blog isn’t dead. What better time than to write a year in review post about my blog? All the highlights and memories.

The Year of Engagement

This year has been about breaking more and more records, and I’m chuffed. As you might know, I’m the only one working on this blog so I’m very proud that I’ve been able to grow it this much.

This year, The Diversity of Classic Rock has gotten over 10,000 more views than last year, which is amazing! The most popular posts have been the OG ones (from 2015) about rock stars from different walks of life I wrote back in 2015 and continue to update as I learn more. On the top is my post about LGBT rock stars, receiving over 15,000 views this year. I’m on a journey to learn as much as I can about classic rock and making this a complete resource available to all.

Not only has the blog received way more views, engagement with the posts has skyrocketed since last year. Likes have doubled from 445 this year compared to 219 last year. The blog has received 109 comments this year compared to 39 comments last year. I love to encourage conversation and through comments I’ve learnt a lot. Thank you all so much!

A Rocky Start

Blogs have peaks and valleys. In the beginning of the year, my views went way down and I was concerned and sad, but I didn’t give up. I kept writing more and more, dedicating myself to this blog full time, while balancing it with my other jobs. I decided in March, to conduct a reader survey and I learnt a bit from it, improving the blog. I’ll go into detail about some of the changes.

The hard work paid off, and starting in May, my views picked up again and how! In June, my views were record-breaking, reaching almost 4,000 views in that month. October though, was the best month for the blog, where it passed the 4,000 monthly view mark. Never did I think when I started this blog as a class project that it would have this much impact and it’s all thanks to my readers.

The Year of the Glow Up

I used to have the Eighties WordPress theme for a long time. I tend not to change my theme partially because I’m lazy and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. At the top, used to be a still from The School of Rock (a huge inspiration for me to write this blog) that said “Your homework is to listen to real music, get inspired” with Dewey holding Yes’s classic album Fragile in a stack of CDs.

I changed to this new theme called Booklet and put my own character in it – lots of purple and I added some featured photos to blog posts so it didn’t look boring. Sure the blog looks a bit Tumblr, but that is where I got my start in the classic rock fandom.

Over time, I guess I’ve taken a more artistic approach with this blog. I wanted to show more of my creativity and originality, giving the blog more of my character. This blog isn’t a baby anymore. If it were a human, it would be a 3 year old and by that point, the kid definitely has a personality. I certainly did at that age, reading books to my family and being a shy kid.

I changed up banner artwork to something I’ve used before, some simplistic psychedelic watercolour design with a paisley print superimposed and The Diversity of Classic Rock in a psychedelic font from the 60s on top. The slogan of the blog was inspired by a quote from South Park: The Fractured But Whole, “retribution, but with inclusion”. Of course, I put the rock and roll spin on it and call it “rock and roll with inclusion”, since that’s what it’s about.

Collabs

2018 was also the year of the collab for The Diversity of Classic Rock. On the survey, I remember people telling me that they wanted to see more interviews on the blog. I delivered.  This year, I really took off and broke out of my comfort zone, conducting interviews with various musicians from all over the world: Donal Quinn from Ireland, Via Novus from Mississippi, Victor Moreno of Medusa from Mexico, Little Man from Minneapolis, The Count from Chicago, Sweet Sienna from NYC, Women of the Night based in NYC with members from Australia and South Korea, and The Stone MG’s from Austin.

On Tour

This year, I’m beginning and ending the year away from home. I started 2018 in New York City, right before my trip to Israel and I’ll be ending 2018 on a cruise ship in the Caribbean. In September, I went to Australia again, seeing the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney, and Melbourne. Right now I’m writing this post from Florida and in the beginning of January, I’ll be writing up all my adventures in Florida and the Caribbean. Starting with this trip, we’ll be calling this series The Diversity of Classic Rock on Tour.

Shop

I didn’t want to shove this too much in everyone’s faces, but I’ve finally opened up a RedBubble merch shop for the blog. This shop and my Patreon are great ways to support the blog. I have some cool merch designs – with just The Diversity of Classic Rock on it and some of my travel photography. On my Patreon, there are some really cool perks for patrons.

What next?

My goals for next year are to write about vegetarian and vegan rock stars for Veganuary, finish up that country rock series, write about classic rock inspired by classical music, rock and roll epics, and the beginnings of metal.

With the 50th anniversary of Woodstock coming up in August, there’s gonna be a Diversity of Woodstock series about all the musicians: what walks of life they come from, an overview of all the musicians, and what they performed at Woodstock.

Maybe write more about classic rock bands from mainland Europe. I’m thinking Greece, Italy, France, and Spain. More reviews? More travel? Can’t wait for more adventures in 2019!

I want to thank everyone again for their support!

Shout out to my good friend and Topaz level Patron, Patrick.

Loved this post and want to see more great posts like this and show your appreciation for The Diversity of Classic Rock? Chip in some money on Patreon (monthly donation) or Ko-Fi (one-time donation). Or buy my merch or my photography prints on RedBubble. This is totally optional, but extremely helpful. Every little bit helps.

All Diversity of Classic Rock content will remain free, but Patrons get some nice perks, like early access to blog posts, birthday cards, Skype calls with me, and exclusive behind the scenes posts. Every dollar helps. If you cannot afford to donate to The Diversity of Classic Rock, there are many free ways to support the blog: clicking that follow button on my website, turning off your AdBlock, following me on Facebook or Twitter, liking posts, sharing posts, leaving nice comments, or sending your music for review. Thank you!

 

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