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State of the Blog 2013

I’m happy to report that 2012 was a great year for Rickey.org. It started off slow — which was surprising considering some viral hits from 2011 (Scarlett Johansson, Lindsay Lohan, etc) carried over into the new year. However, after American Idol, The Voice Season 2, Game of Thrones and The Legend of Korra went into full swing, things really picked up beginning in March. The big success however happened in the second half of the year. We had a great summer with True Blood, Teen Wolf and the Summer Olympics. And the last 5 months saw record-breaking numbers powered by The Voice Season 3, Dancing with the Stars, The Walking Dead and The Vampire Diaries. Our big “viral hits” of the year included Kate Middleton, Heather Morris and Anne Hathaway.

The site averaged one million unique visitors a month this year — the most we’ve had ever. (I still remember the time when I would report to you guys when we reached a millionth visitor milestone — which took about a year to achieve!) Pageviews and visitors were the same from last year but with a big difference: the Top 10 posts made up 12% of total traffic compared to 23% in 2011. This means people were visiting the blog for more things instead of just a random scandal post. Homepage visits also increased by 1%. Mobile traffic was at 23% — way above the 10% average worldwide.

We also saw some new faces writing for the blog this year. After longtime interns Noelle and Jason left in May, I had a few people test as writers and interns. Some of them are still here and some have left, but it was all a learning experience for me in managing people.

I am very grateful to Tina Bradley who helped out immensely with our Summer Olympics coverage, and Tyler DS Edwards who rounded out our TV coverage during the summer. They both left in September.

Team Rickey now comprises of Nicholas Roman, Joe Tranchina, Trey Mangum, Amy Hyun, Melissa Wang and Clarence Tam.

Josh Batchelder, Kathleen NB, Nicholas Catania, Gabriel Etienne, Howard Stump and Jeffrey Christian are our regular guest writers.

I look forward to what all these guys will bring to us in 2013. I think it’s going to be good!

For many years American Idol was our biggest topic on the blog — earning us the distinction of being the “Essential American Idol Fan Site” for two years from Entertainment Weekly. Three years ago, when I realized that the decline of American Idol was imminent, I decided that I wasn’t going to let the fortunes of one show (or a group of fans) dictate what would happen to me. I was going to determine my own destiny. So I set out to do a few things.

First, I made a bigger push for the Reality TV shows we were covering. Every other show would be treated as if it was a cash cow like American Idol. I remember telling Howard: “I’m going to blog about America’s Got Talent as if it’s the greatest show I have ever seen in my life!” And I did — with everything. Now, the blog is a one-stop-shop for every Reality TV competition show throughout the year. I am loyal to all without prejudice.

Second, I started covering Pop Culture and news more frequently — and blogged in the day time. Back during American Idol Season 4, some people already suggested this to me, but I never believed that I could compete with the Perez Hiltons of the world who are in Hollywood, so I just stuck to the “niche” topics. It turns out that all I needed to do was try. Some of our biggest hits over the past three years have been a post about pop culture or news.

Third, I made a big push for TV recaps and coverage. A few years ago I would only write about shows I watched like Heroes or Lost, partially because I had only one brain and only so much time on my hands. Seeing this was a problem, I did something I hesitated to do for many years: hire people. It’s a slow process of finding the right fit, but I feel very blessed with the batch of writers we have now. That most important quality is that they share the same enthusiasm about what they do like I do. (Plus, every single one of them is CUTE. I swear, I cannot be this lucky.)

I am very proud that in 2012, the re-invention of Rickey.org has really worked. I still have more plans for 2013 and hopefully those turn out for the better as well.

For the past 9 years, I have been grateful for all the support you have given Rickey.org and I am still grateful now. This endeavor has enabled me to share my life with a beautiful dog named CJ who has changed my life completely. I love my work and my life because of this blog. Everyday I am able to blog here is a gift.

Thanks for all your support and here’s to a great 2013!

Rickey Yaneza

State of the Blog 2013

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