New Years Resolutions

It’s that time of year to reflect on where we’ve been and where we are going next.  This blog began three years ago on 1/1/11.  I had no idea how long it would last or how it would play out.  I just knew I wanted to write about the sport I love and post hot wrestling images, while also explaining “why I like watching pro wrestling.

In total, I wrote 236 articles the first year, 305 in 2012, and this is the 215th article of 2013, for a total of 756 posts — just over 250 per year on average.  I estimate around 10 pictures are included with each post, so there have been over 7,500 images provided on this blog.  (And these statistics only apply to the past 3 years — not counting the 880 galleries from the original Wrestling Arsenal website posted between 2000 and 201o.)

Meanwhile, what has been the level of popularity of this Blog measured by the website traffic over the past three years?  Below is a monthly breakdown:

So we see a fairly normal curve where traffic grew steadily and peaked around August 2012 (plus one spike in January 2013) and has since fallen off.  Why has growth slowed?  Why are we losing, instead of gaining, visitors (the green dots) and page views (the blue bars) over time?

(To be honest, part of me doesn’t really care how many “hits” I’m getting on this website as long as I’m turning out great pro wrestling content and commentary– but another part of me doesn’t want to invest my time and energy to entertain an ever-decreasing audience.)

Granted, the number of articles I’ve written per year decreased in total from 305 in 2012 down to 215 this year, but at the same time, has the quality of the content decreased in order to justify not only stunted growth, but significant drops in visitors?  In my estimation, the images and captions are better than ever lately, and the written descriptions are increasingly more compelling and informative.  I’ve certainly been putting more time and thought into each article.

So why is traffic decreasing?  And why am I receiving fewer positive comments and e-mails of encouragement each week, and less participation in my Caption Contests?  Maybe the decrease in interest in this blog reflects the shrinking popularity of Blogging as a social medium.  Maybe Blogging in general is now seen as old-fashioned, and boring compared to newer, sexier forums like Instagram, Tumblr, or Twitter.

Certainly Blogging calls upon the visitor to read and think, whereas other types of social media are more simplistic and vacuous.  Reading a Blog is like chewing on a steak, but most people would rather just scarf down some sweets.

Maybe my writing is getting too long-winded, too hard to digest.  The reason I take the time to analyze the psychology and hidden meanings behind matches is because one purpose of this blog has always been to sort out my feelings for wrestling, to explore in my head why I love it so much.  Now I feel I’ve accomplished that over the past 756 articles.  No article alone really does the job, but all 756 put together certainly “explain why I like watching pro wrestling.

So these 756 articles are my manifesto — I have little more to say on the subject.  In fact, I find myself revisiting the same topics now, and referring to points I already made years ago.

I’ve now arrived at a level of understanding on why I love to watch pro wrestling, and continuing to rehash the same subject matter on this Blog isn’t really doing anything for me.

So what is the future of the Wrestling Arsenal blog?  Should I continue to invest time and energy into a sinking ship?  What would my favorite Baby-Face In Peril do when he’s on the ropes, tired and suffering?

One option is to Tap Out.  I considered stopping this Blog tomorrow on 1/1/14, exactly three years after it started.  But then I saw a match on YouTube and thought: Hey, that match would make for a great article on the blog! And then I looked on my hard-drive and saw dozens of images where I already wrote a good caption but haven’t found the right occasion to post them.  And I thought: Why let these images go to waste after I took the time to create them?

So another option available to a beaten down wrestler is to transform his gimmick — to adopt a new persona or new look, to change his attitude.  So that’s what I decided to do with the Wrestling Arsenal blog in 2014 — to transform its energy.

I will write fewer long articles explaining the nuances and psychology of matches — my traffic shows most people don’t want to read or think that much anyway.  I will no longer offer the Suffering Sunday series nor any other topic-specific series.  I suspect that you guys are getting bored of the structure and repetition.

The Wrestling Arsenal New Years Resolutions for 2014 are as follows:

  • Adopt a quicker, simpler approach.
  • Post more images and less written text.
  • Each article will be faster and easier to create, so post more frequently: at least 300 posts in 2014.
  • Forget the structure of specific topics and themes, and just post whatever, whenever.

I will try this new simplified approach in 2014 and see, from the traffic and the comments, if people like it.  If nothing else, it will be easier for me and require less time and thought.

Meanwhile, please continue to support and invest in pro wrestling in your area and across the world. Have a happy and safe New Years and a fantastic 2014!

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11 Responses to New Years Resolutions

  1. D. W. says:

    Happy New Year! Good luck with the year ahead and your new approach to the blog. Certainly, whatever direction you take, your commitment to excellence will stand out, I’m sure.

  2. Mark says:

    Hey man, I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your website (both pictures and articles). I’ll be honest, the only negative thing I have to say is that I don’t care much for the cartoon series, but that is just my personal opinion. I enjoy your photos and your articles a lot. The articles have helped me examine why I like pro wrestling and the latest SLT series has been great. I think the thing I take away from your articles (and your photos) is the fact that I’m not the only one who likes looking at a hot guy in trunks for a wide variety of reasons. I remember watching wrestling as a kid, having fantasies about it even, and thinking I was the only guy who felt this way. Your articles have helped me see that all the things I look at when I’m watching a match are things that other people are looking at too. So, that said, I look forward to checking your website in 2014 (almost daily) and hope that you realize your work is appreciated.

  3. David says:

    Thank you for all your hard work keeping my absolute favorite wrestling blog running. Looking forward to 2014. Happy New Year!

  4. Stay Puft says:

    Happy New Year, and Happy Anniversary! I’m glad you didn’t decide to stop the blog altogether, because it’s such a fun place on the internet. I love visiting, even when I don’t participate more actively (I never have any good ideas for the caption contests, even though I love the images!). But whatever feels best for you is definitely the way to go–maybe you’ll find your new approach will breathe new life into blogging. Maybe the “whatever, whenever” attitude will be less pressure and more freedom.

    And if you ever want to revisit Suffering Sunday, that would be absolutely fine with me. 😉

  5. tad brown says:

    dude don’t be disappointed with slowing traffic,,,i don’t understand why this would be happening
    I do know on my yahoo site and so many similar yahoo sites participation is virtually down to zero,,,the odd good fan commenting,,,,aquadude bunker an exception to the rule
    your site been great for a long time hope u keep it going in one form or another great work

  6. Leona Lewis says:

    Interested to see where the blog goes from here…

    …but don’t take away my Suffering Sunday! It’s like Christmas morning every Sunday :-p

  7. Shayne says:

    I check out your website daily. Please keep it going. I wouldn’t mind seeing you post new sets of “hold” galleries…especially new galleries featuring spladles, boston crabs, suspended surfboards, bearhugs, gory specials, stump pullers, and ab stretches! Also, more pics of suffering jobbers are always welcome.

  8. Chad says:

    I’ve been reading this site for years and LOVE it. Thanks for all you do! I’m wondering if you have a Facebook tie-in. Facebook seems to be everything right now as people want the stories *delivered* to them!

  9. Fireball says:

    Hey man, really like your work, go on! 🙂

    I for example really enjoy reading not your long texts, but your cool comments under every singlet pic.

    And often enough i would like to reblog some of the pics 🙂

    And dont take us suffering sunday! 😉

  10. Hot for burly men says:

    Happy new year! And thanks a lot for your fantastic work in this version and the previous version of wrestling arsenal.

    To be quite frank I share the same views previously expressed by other readers. Suffering sunday is something I look forward to every week… and I really don’t like cartoons or animes…

    One of the things, though, I miss the most is the continuation of project doughboy – though I know these days it is getting harder and harder to find chubbies in the ring.

    Once more, thank you and, please, continue your magnificent work in this blog.

  11. Jimmy says:

    Suffering Sunday is what I trawl through a crappy week of work for! Please don’t stop it :'(