2019 Website in Review

Happy New Year, readers! It’s hard to believe that 2019 is behind us. I can still remember watching the ball drop on TV on December 31, 1999, worrying that once the clock struck 12:00pm it would be curtains for civilization! As it turns out, the world kept spinning. Also, Jesus didn’t come back. That’s over 1900 years in a row! Damn!

To kick off the New Year I thought I’d give both of my readers a glimpse of how the website amateurexegete.com performed in 2019. So below you’ll see a list of the top ten posts of the year (by number of views), how many times each episode of the Amateur Exegesis podcast was downloaded, and screenshots of WordPress’ breakdown of my monthly and annual stats. My goal for the year was to have a three percent increase over last year’s stats and, well, it was way better than that. 

Doing the blog is surprisingly hard work. A lot of researching goes into the posts I write since, as an amateur, I cannot rest on my own laurels. Moreover, what takes a pop-apologist one thousand words to write may take me five to ten thousand to respond since so often apologetics fails because it rarely captures and appreciates nuance. Couple this with the fact that this is not my job and I do not get paid to do it, and you can see just how laborious it can be. I’d love to eventually monetize the blog in some form or fashion but I’m in that perfect purgatory where some Christians dislike my work because it is essentially historical criticism and counter-apologetics and some atheists dislike my work because I don’t always toe the line when it comes to hating on the Bible. 

In any event, thanks for reading and supporting my work as the Amateur Exegete. It means more than you know!

Ben 

TOP TEN BLOG POSTS (BY VIEWS)

Post Title and Date# of Views
Inanna: The Not So Parallel Goddess (Guest Post by Chris H.) – 8.21.19623
Biblical Studies Carnival 163 – 9.1.19585
The Christian Defenders’ Five Reasons: The Criterion of Embarrassment – 3.31.19411
Jesus’ Death in Mark and Luke: A Response to Pop-Apologist Mike Winger on Bart Ehrman – 1.23.19324
SJ Thomason Gets It Wrong (As Usual) – 7.19.18307
The Death(s) of Judas – 5.21.19295
Impeaching Robert Clifton Robinson – 6.25.19275
SJ’s Biblical Blunders: Or, First We Do the Reading, Then We Do the Writing – 10.30.19260
Bart Ehrman: The Spread of Christianity – 9.25.18197
My Afterword to Chris Hansen’s “The Foundational Falsehoods of AronRa: How An Educator Has Misinformed Thousands” – 9.3.19196

Observations:

  1. The most popular post of 2019 wasn’t even written by me!
  2. Two posts – “SJ Thomason Gets It Wrong (As Usual)” and “Bart Ehrman: The Spread of Christianity” – were written in 2018 but were still popular in 2019.
  3. Half of the posts were responses to pop-apologists or apologetics organizations like SJ Thomason, Mike Winger, Robert Clifton Robinson, and the Christian Defenders. This suggests counter-apologetics is the most popular category of work I do.

PODCAST DOWNLOADS

Episode Title# of Downloads
#1 – “Something’s Off”124
#2 – “Origin Stories, part 1”239
#3 – “Origin Stories, part 2”317
#4 – “Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen, part 1”279
#5 – “Many Are Called, Few Are Chosen, part 2”246
#6 – “Family Issues”322
#7 – “No Sign for You!”249
#8 – “Walking on Water”194
#9 – “Dirty Hands, Clean Food”212
#10 – “Portraits of Jesus”673
Total downloads: 2,855

Observations:

  1. The least downloaded episode is unsurprisingly the first. Since this was the very first episode of the podcast, I didn’t have a bunch of subscribers downloading. So it is also unsurprising that…
  2. The most downloaded episode is the final one.
  3. It is surprising that episode 8 was only downloaded 194 times. No idea why.

ANNUAL STATS (SCREENSHOT)

Observations:

  1. You read that right: an even 18,000 views in 2019!
  2. That number represents a 73% increase over 2018.
  3. I had nearly 8,000 visitors. Not bad for me!

MONTHLY STATS (SCREENSHOT)

Observations:

  1. The most popular month was September, likely because that was when I published the August 2019 Biblical Studies Carnival (see TOP TEN BLOG POSTS above).
  2. The least popular month was March, wherein I published only four posts.

PLANS FOR 2020

What does 2020 hold in store for the website? I plan on continuing “Quora Questions w/the Amateur Exegete” and the Weekly Roundup but don’t expect anything until February. And, of course, season two of Amateur Exegesis will hopefully commence in the Fall. I’ve also been working on turning season one of Amateur Exegesis into a book but it is slow going and will likely not be available until the end of 2020. A lot of the work is providing footnotes so that people can see where I’m getting my ideas.

Featured image: Wikimedia Commons.

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