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One whole year of BX Project articles

5 min read

Well, that’s it, a whole year of articles on the BX Project.
The rebirth from a disused forum to a regular blogging site has now managed over 365 days. While the original intention was to try out WordPress and see how I got on, I’ve really enjoyed regular blogging. For a lockdown project to avoid some boredom, it seems to be doing rather well. Sharing stories and getting some feedback has proved hugely rewarding. I’ve had feedback from people I know, and some I don’t. All of it has helped me get through the hard spots of some automotive projects.

A year in numbers

While I started in May 2020 without much of a plan, I quickly built up a weekly blogging schedule. And this would mean that I’d have at least 50 articles by the following year. Well, I more than achieved that, a total of 88 articles over the year. Admittedly I cheated a bit and recycled some older articles at the start. This let me learn some of the fundamentals of the Word Press system, and the world of SEO. And improve the quality of writing.

BX Project article statistics from the built in Jet Pack plugin
BX Project article statistics from the built in Jet Pack plugin

In terms of numbers, there are a couple of big numbers I’m particularly impressed by. First up is the total number of views over the year. Just over 12,000 individual views according to the inbuilt JetPack statistics. Now, the reality is a little lower than that due to the way the system counts. Of those 12,000 views, 3,000 were of the home page, so the reality is 9000 unique views. Across the 88 posts, that’s an average of 100 views per post, so it’s not just my family reading!

The other big number I’m impressed by is the “most views in a day” a grand 342. Okay, that’s not a massive number. I’m not about to give up work and live life write nonsense and posting on the internet. But for me, that was a big milestone. It was really helped by sharing articles on social media. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the odd YouTube video. The world of blogging is a rather complex one, largely revolving around driving ‘traffic’ to the site from different sources. I really don’t like that phrase, ‘traffic’, we’re talking about people, the ones reading the articles. The people I’m sharing my stories with.

The when, when, and how.

According to Google Analytics, a total of around 4000 unique people accessed the BX Project articles over the last year. That’s an awful lot of people. For the Citroen BX articles, there are typically the same 100 or so readers. For me, that means there’s quite a lot of casual readers too. Fortunately, the mighty Google can give some more information on these readers.

BX Project where, when and how article statistics from Google Analytics
BX Project where, when and how article statistics from Google Analytics

The statistics give an idea of where and when and how people are reading articles. Friday and Sunday are the most popular days, but since that’s when I post articles, that’s not a big surprise. Initially, I was trying to post every Friday at 10 am, but man that was hard work. It takes quite a bit of planning to do something noteworthy, then process the photos, and write the words.

Perhaps not surprisingly most of the readers are in the UK. I guess that makes sense given the topics, publishing times, and use of English-ish language. There aren’t a lot of Citroen BX or little grey Ferguson tractor owners in the USA I bet. The ratio of device types is about what I would expect. 70% mobile and 30% desktop is about what Google’s own search engines are geared towards.

The most popular topics?

Variety is absolutely the spice of life. It also makes blogging more interesting. I do try to at least keep on a loosely automotive theme, to give the blog a purpose and direction. From tractors to workshops, there’s a lot to write about.

Top ten BX Project articles over the last year
Top ten BX Project articles over the last year

Looking at the top 10 articles over the last year, it’s pretty clear that variety is popular. The BX Project gets its name from my Citroen BX, most current articles are about the XPO rebuild. So it’s rewarding to see that the BX is not the most popular topic. The Scissor Lift is the best piece of equipment I’ve ever bought, I’m glad this is the most popular topic. And the blue light installation for CSI Basics is something I’ve very proud to be a part of.

The most surprising BX Project article

The BX Project Perego Gaucho article is the most surprising performer of the year
The BX Project Perego Gaucho article is the most surprising performer of the year

In the top 10 list, the article that really stands out for me is the Perego Gaucho upgrade article. It’s one of the oldest pieces of writing on the BX Project and seems to get views pretty much daily. I’m surprised it’s so popular, and I have some more upgrades planned. Lithium batteries, probably from a power tool, are high on the list. But I’d really like to make it 48v and fully off-road capable before the kids are too big.

A first-year facelift

After a year of looking at the somewhat bland interface, I’ve been pondering a cosmetic change. I figured now, for the one-year anniversary is a great time for an update. Don’t get me wrong the old theme was functional, just a little Microsoft Word and not enough World Wide Web. I also wanted to simplify some features where which making the site run slow.

The new and improved BX Project
The new and improved BX Project

After a bit of hunting around the incredible variety of WordPress themes, I settled on the one above. This design is called Hiero and is made by aThemes. It’s too different from the Amphibious theme, which means everything still works, but it brings the odd splash of colour. Included in the new theme are a couple of widgets which means I can do away with cumbersome plugins. That means quicker load times are far fewer cookies, which has to be a good thing. Unless you’re hungry.

And what future articles can we expect from the BX Project?

Well, there is still a long way to go on the Citroen BX rebuild project, XPO. Hopefully in the next few weeks, the engine work will be done and the bodywork can start, that’s gonna be a head-scratcher. I’ve been doing a bit on the Fergie, sorting some issues with the fuelling. And as lockdown restrictions end, it will go to its forever home. Then there’s the Gaucho. It’s stuck in reverse and needs looking at. A whole host of tool reviews are lined up to be filmed and blogged. All of this is building up, hopefully, for the next big project towards the end of the year. I’m really excited about this one, but I won’t give too much away yet.

M

3 Comments

  1. Congratulations on getting to 1. Really enjoying your blog especially the BX stuff. Keep on keeping on.

  2. I really enjoyed your CANbus articles. Very detailed write ups, I know its not easy developing tutorials but they were very well organized and easy to follow. The information was extremely helpful in my project. Thanks again for taking the time to document your work.

    • Thank you for your kind words Giff.
      I want to expand on the CANBus articles once I have time. The initial Can In The Middle hardware has been developed further and used as a base in a number of projects.
      If there is anything specific you’d like to see covered, please let me know.

      M

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