It was April 18 of last year that I finally posted something to the blog I had created in January. I created it the moment I thought of doing it because, of course, I didn’t want to take a chance that someone would snap up my snappy name, Eilers Pizza.
I thought the blog would primarily be for teaching regarding all things transgender, along with how one can also be a traditional Christian. It has been that, but I have also used it for other endeavors, such as the humorous memoir with which I christened it, the time my youngest brother and his friend set the town dump on fire.
Blogs are not as popular as in their short heyday, and they are hard to get established. Unsuccessfully getting users of the wildly more popular Facebook to click links to my blog posts, I abandoned that until this past January. Finally, folks started clicking, and so did the blog. Then, this spring, I remembered to place tags on my posts, which has brought an even wider audience.
Facebook clicks, tags, and then my magazine article of a month ago saw my blog traffic increase dramatically. After the first eight months of relying on visitors going straight for a slice of Eilers Pizza, which netted only five or ten, maybe twenty visitors a day, since January I only have fewer than one hundred visitors some of the days I post nothing.
As one who, when collecting baseball and football cards as a kid, loved the statistics on the back, I enjoy the stats which WordPress provides.
WordPress tracks unique daily users. If people visit more than once in a day, they are not counted again, but if they visit the next day they are counted again. With that in mind, the total number of visitors I have had is pushing 10,000: 9,819.
Those 9,819 have viewed a total number of 33,407 pages from among my 131 posts.
My best day? On January 23, I posted “Shameless Self-Promotion.” At the time, I had my highest traffic—325 visitors. Those 325 made that day the reigning champ for most page views in twenty-four hours: 1,845.
At the death of my uncle Russ in February, I wrote a tribute and, because I tagged all of my Eilers relatives on Facebook, it shot to number one in unique visitors and total pages views. Publication day saw 485 visitors. It currently stands at 824 views. In second place is my open letter to Matt Walsh, from earlier this month, which is at 726.
WordPress tells me from what countries folks are reading each day, but does not provide cumulative information for this. I believe my best day was last week, with ten countries. I am always surprised to see that I have had visitors from such places as Paraguay, South Korea, Hungary, Indonesia, and New Zealand. Goodness, don’t those poor people have BuzzFeed in their smartphones?
I am regularly surprised, befuddled, pleased, and disappointed at which posts net a lot of views and which do not, and there seems no rhyme or reason to which day of the week a post is made. I used to believe that Saturday and Sunday were not good days, but “Shameless Self-Promotion” appeared on a Saturday and my tribute to Uncle Russ was on a Sunday.
Of course, I want wider and wider readership: Who undertakes an important endeavor and hopes it remains small? I am pleased that I am found more often via Internet searches, that my article appearing on Indianapolis Monthly’s website garnered me more new readers and, when I commented on Matt Walsh’s blog post to which I wrote the letter, the link I posted in the comments section on The Blaze was clicked more than twenty times.
I am pleased with what I have accomplished the first year with the blog. I was determined to take a potentially bad situation, with a condition largely unknown and misunderstood—gender dysphoria, then transitioning—and use it for good. Trusting in the Lord to provide clear answers to my fervent, long-prayed petitions, I have held on tightly to His Romans 8:28 promise, to use all things in my life for good, as He has called me for His purpose.
As a male who lost what he thought was his purpose in life until he died—being a parish pastor—this blog has been one of the various ways that this transgender person has been able to continue to use the Lord’s gifts, even as the pronouns have switched to she and her.