2019 was the first year ever that BirchTree saw fewer visitors than the year before.
Needless to say, after 8 years of uninterrupted (sometimes exponential) growth, this was a bit of a change. I could blame the decline in general blog readership everywhere. I could blame the big link bloggers out there getting more insular and linking the same dozen people everyday. I could blame things like YouTube and TikTok sucking up all of people’s free time.
I could blame all of those, but the real reason is obvious: me.
In 2019 I went through a bunch of changes, most publicly getting a dog for the first time in my life, but also some more personal things I don’t share online. Because of that, I posted less to this site than I have in years, and the stuff I was posting didn’t get as much love before I published it. Things like my phone reviews and watchOS stuff was well received and I put a ton of work into those, but the stuff in between suffered. Maybe you personally noticed, and maybe you didn’t, but I definitely noticed.
This didn’t just hit me, it hit me back in October when I started investigating WordPress alternatives, and it culminated December 13 when I moved the whole site over to Ghost. This will be my 26th post in the 18 days since making the switch. And while quantity does not equal quality, I also think the things I’ve written some of the better articles of the year in that stretch.
- I wrote about how I use Things to manage my wish lists and Christmas shopping.
- I wrote a review of AirPods Pro from the perspective of someone who lives in the Midwest and has to deal with cold.
- I wrote a very short piece about reminding you (and myself, honestly) that you don’t need to fill every available second of silence in your life with someone talking in your ear.
- Instead of a tweet storm, I wrote up my overall thoughts on the new Star Wars trilogy, which received lots of love, even from those who disagreed with me.
- And I wrote about the books and video games I loved in the past year, hopefully giving people ideas for how to enjoy their free time.
I’m doing quite a bit this coming year to improve several aspects of my life, and I’m hoping to make 2020 a banner year for BirchTree. The site is turning 10 this October, so it only makes sense to try and blow the doors off.
This is also the place where I remind you that the absolute best way to support the creators you like is to share their work. If you blog, write a link post to the people you read. If you make YouTube videos, put a link in the description. If you use social media, retweet the things you enjoy. It’s a small action, but it means so much to people like me who want to get their work in front of as many people as possible.