Like every blogger, I like to look at my blog stats. Not nearly as much as I used to when – ironically – there weren’t many stats to look at, but I still glance at them occasionally. This is how I discovered that last month Joburg Expat surpassed 1.5 million pageviews.
But that’s not what I was actually looking for. I’m more interested in what brings people to my blog, which countries they hail from, and what they like to read the most. In this blog post, I decided to list my Top Five most-read blog posts for you, and then take a look at some other Top Five stats.
Top Five Blog Posts
To be sure, these are not my Top Five blog posts in terms of quality of writing by any means. And they seem to be the most boring of all in terms of uninspired headlines. But precisely because of that, and with the help of my friend Google, these are the most SEO-friendly blog posts I’ve written, meaning they match up with what people search for the most, which helps them rise to prominence in the Google rankings, that oh-so-important metric in the world of Internet.
This post was recently edited with many updates and additions, including a really sexy hand-drawn Joburg suburbs map, if I say so myself. I’ve written much more about schools as that is a perennial topic of concern to expats, but the private schools list is by far the most widely read.
This is one of my first blog posts ever, and for the longest time the most popular. Not sure if that’s because I give some good advice as to how to first buy and then register your car in South Africa, or because my readers love to witness my two-step-forward one-step-back tango with the car registration authorities. Or was it one-step-forward two-steps-back?
This was also recently updated to accommodate one irate reader who claimed I ruined his life by stating a 30-day grace period instead of a (correct) 21-day grace period. Note to future readers, especially those of the procrastinating kind: Do not take my writing for the gold standard. Do not gamble all your wealth and children and grandchildren on any statements in my blog, even if I speak with a most convincing and charming voice. (If you DO want to stake your fortune on my blog, I have a donate button somewhere).
which, good news, is entirely possible. Amazon now does deliver to South Africa, and quite quickly too, bypassing the dreaded postal service. You just have to be prepared to pay for shipping. What is really needed is an Amazo.co.za. Wake up, Amazon! Take an example from Starbucks – they have taken the plunge and recently made their grand entrance into the SA market. I’m sure it was my blog post about how to find Starbucks coffee in South Africa (which at #6 barely missed this list) that prompted it!
This one baffles me, since surely there are a bazillion other bloggers out there offering advice on how to write blog posts. I’d actually like to know if anyone ever reads the entire post. My guess is people check out after three lines when they realize that it’s not just a simple list to check off.
[Related reading: 10 Must-Read Articles for Expats Moving to South Africa]
Top Five Countries
1. South Africa – barely, but proudly, edging out #2.
2. United States – together with #1 makes up about a million of those 1.5 million pageviews.
3. United Kingdom – since I don’t know a soul in the UK, this one gives me particular pleasure; it also makes sense, because of a) language, and b) every other UK citizen wanting to emigrate to South Africa.*
4. Ukraine – I chalk this one up to hackers. Must check my spam traffic. I don’t think there is a large contingent of Ukrainians checking out a possible move to South Africa, but I could be wrong.
5. Germany – I always attributed Germany’s early success to my relatives who are all loyal readers. But at 41,000+ pageviews, I can no longer assume that all of those are relatives. Only in the sense that we are all descendants of Charlemagne, one way or another.
And finally, the search terms people most often use to find Joburg Expat:
Top Five Search Keywords
1. best schools in johannesburg
2. weaver bird nests
3. starbucks south africa
4. amazon south africa
5. “now” vs “just now” vs “now now”
The last one makes total sense to anyone who has ever lived – and waited for someone or something – in South Africa.
Nothing exciting or even entertaining in any of this, I’m sorry to say. But stay tuned – I’ve got greatly amusing stuff in an upcoming blog post about Joburg Expat reader inquiries. Stay tuned!
* …and half of those who don’t want to emigrate to South Africa only staying in England because they are former South Africans who don’t want to admit that they, too, on second thought, might rather live in South Africa.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly claimed you could not order from Amazon from South Africa. Amazon does deliver to South Africa, however there is no Amazon.co.za.