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GrahamTheDev
GrahamTheDev

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My writing stats for 2021, best time to post on DEV and plans for 2022-2023 [over 250 articles planned]

In 11 months of writing I have amassed over 250k views on DEV, not to be sniffed at...but I can do better!

In this article I will share:

  • my content stats with you for the last 11 months
  • some analysis I did and never released on when to post on DEV
  • and my (ambitious) content creation plans for 2022!

Hopefully you will find the writing stats interesting or when to post on DEV if you are a content creator, but if you don't create content / aren't interested in that you can skip to my plans for the year here as I am sure you will find that interesting!


Contents


2021 in review

So I started writing in February 2021, so these are stats for 11 months as a complete beginner!

Views

271,755 views on DEV

Although views don't really tell you much (as I could have just written a load of pandering listicles) it is still an interesting number to see.

And I am not going to lie, hitting quarter of a million views did bring a smile to my face.

I could easily have doubled that number if I had written to a schedule but overall it was a good first few months as a content creator and it let me "find my voice" (which is apparently angry, sarcastic and mean! 🀣)

But how much effort did it take to hit those numbers?

Number of posts

83 posts published, 1820 comments written, 0 tags followed

83 posts...not too shabby. Although I will admit a lot of them were silly posts.

But for every post released I also have loads of draft posts that didn't make the cut!

181 total posts

Yikes, 98 unpublished posts! Some are almost complete too but I either didn't like what I had written or just didn't have the motivation to finish the article as it didn't appeal to me.

One job for this week is to rescue the posts that were nearly complete and just finish them, just because I didn't love them doesn't mean that someone else won't find them useful!

So going back to my released articles, that means that with 83 posts and 270k views the average number of views for each of my posts is 3,274. Not too bad, but I could certainly improve that (more on that later).

Comments

The one that surprised me was number of comments. 1820 comments in 11 months? I spend too much time here (seriously, one of the things I will be changing in 2022)!

What would be good to see is how many of those comments were on my own posts. I could probably work that out using the forem API but I don't think I will bother as it is just curiosity!

All I know is that although i enjoyed writing essays in the comments (seriously some of my comments are 2000+ words!) it is not a very productive use of my time so I need to stop that.

Badges

Badges are pretty pointless and if you are a new writer do not place as much emphasis on them as I did.

At first I thought it was really cool when you got a new badge but now I realise that most of the time the "achievement" is quite empty and down to luck in some ways.

But I might as well share my badges for the year.

Badges earned: CSS3, Top 7, 4 week streak, 8 week streak, 16 week streak, accessibility, beloved comment

So we have the CSS3, Top 7, 4 week streak, 8 week streak, 16 week streak, accessibility and beloved comment badges.

As I said, the gamification aspect of the badges makes them feel special at first, but in reality they don't tell you much about the quality of your content.

Last but not least, interactions

The one stat that has a little meaning to me is interactions. It does at least give me some idea of if people like a particular piece of content.

6,874 post reactions

So yet again the average reactions per article is roughly 83 (weird, 83 articles with an average of 83 reactions - perhaps that is my new lucky number, but either way there is something pleasing about having a square number! 🀣).

But that isn't particularly useful on its own, what I look at is reactions per view.

So by doing this I can see which posts have the most engagement from the DEV community.

101 Digital Accessibility (a11y) tips and tricks, 516 reactions for 8857 views

My most popular post (reactions wise) is also the post with the most reactions per view.

It makes sense as that article was a monstrous and high effort posts so that does make it worth it (even if the view count was a lot lower than I would have liked at 8859 views.)

Still it is the top accessibility article for the year and in the top 5 for all time so I am happy with that.

The one thing I certainly learned that I haven't covered yet is:


When to post on DEV (Release time matters)

Over the last year I tended to just release content whenever it was finished. This was my first big mistake!

Although it is a little out of date (I did the analysis in June) I did analyse the best times to release articles for likes on DEV so I thought I would share that with you finally!

Table showing times and days of the week in relation to average number of likes on an article, link to a more accessible version is 4 paragraphs down from this image.

What I did was download every article that was live on DEV (yup, 250k+ articles for a total of 10.6GB at the time!), which includes the like counts and release date etc.

Then I discounted the top and bottom 5% number of likes to account for outliers / over-achievers / under-achievers.

Then I looked at the publish time and collated the data together into sections in the table.

You can find the live table here (3rd table, the other two are less relevant! This was only designed for personal use! 🀣)

All the times are GMT and you can certainly see some interesting patterns.

So the best times to release articles are:

  • Monday at either 1am, 11am or 5pm
  • Tuesday at 1pm or 4pm
  • Wednesday at 12pm
  • Thursday at 9am
  • Friday - you shouldn't release
  • Saturday - you shouldn't release
  • Sunday - 6am (top time to release!)

The worst time to release is Friday at midnight!

If you write here on DEV I hope that is useful for you so you can tune your release times for maximum impact!

For me personally one of the big wins / changes for the year is to write articles and then "sit on them" until the prime time to release them.

So my release schedule starting 09th January 2021 is going to be:

  • Sunday at 6am
  • Tuesday at 1pm
  • Wednesday at 12pm
  • Thursday at 9am

As I plan on writing 4 articles a week!

Which leads me nicely on to...


2022 the year of series!

I have decided that the best way to focus my writing while making it easier for people to read stuff that they find interesting is to write some mega series!

Here is what is coming this year!


Ultimate UI

75+ UI components that are "perfect". Covering performance, accessibility, progressive enhancement, backwards compatibility and more!

Read the introduction to the series here:


WCAG in Plain English

Another mega series!

This time I am going to tackle one of the biggest barriers to people building accessible applications and websites...the complexity of WCAG (the guidelines around accessibility).

I am hoping to make 2022 the year of semantic HTML and accessibility and this is just my way of making accessibility more approachable.

You can read more about the WCAG in plain English series in the following introduction:


Conversion Rate Optimisation

The third mega series!

In this series I explore the exciting world of Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO), helping turn visitors into customers or mailing lists subscribers etc!

I am hoping I can help people see the difference between "pretty" and "effective" when it comes to UX design!

You can read more about the CRO series in the following introduction:


1000 days to Β£1million

The 4th and final part of this "year of series" is more of a general series on taking a business from Β£0 to Β£1million!

I will be sharing how I am optimising my time (so I can create all these series!), producing an MVP, launching a product and raising capital for the product to reach my goal of Β£1million turnover by 01/09/2024!

This series will have loads of little tips and tricks for time management and optimising your work day so it will be worth following for that!

But even if that doesn't interest you it will probably be interesting to see how the Ultimate UI series and WCAG in English series are part of a much bigger plan!

Think of it like a weekly roundup of what I have been working on and a curated public journal of what I have been up to personally!

Oh and in case you are wondering where this is all leading...

I am building a site builder / CMS...that has to make the article worth a read just to see why I would do something so stupid! 🀣

You can read my introduction to the idea here if this interests you (it is a little long, future entries will be better structured and shorter!):


Round Up!

Over 250 articles planned:

  • 76 for Ultimate UI
  • 89 for WCAG in plain English
  • 68 for Conversion Rate Optimisation
  • 52 for 1000 days to Β£1million

I don't think there is much else I need to say other than - I better get cracking on writing!

Oh there is one more thing I forgot to mention...I will be releasing some YouTube shorts / Tik Toks for WCAG and Conversion Rate Optimisation so if you prefer quick summaries rather than in-depth articles they might be right up your street!

Oh and one more thing - I have 3 EPIC guides planned on images, forms and performance similar to my mega article on accessibility:


Β 

Β 

**Anyway, that is my plans for 2022 and beyond, what do you have planned for this year?**

Β 

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Latest comments (34)

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kasuken profile image
Emanuele Bartolesi

out of my curiosity: how did you download the articles from devto?
I didn't find any endpoint to download all the contents :)

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grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev • Edited

I cycled through each article ID up until the current latest ID (which at the time was about 650k if I remember correctly).

It also took over 20 days from what I remember so as to not hit the service too hard all at once I throttled it to 10 per minute out of courtesy.

Of course there will be no "take every single piece of content on the site in one go" API endpoint πŸ€£πŸ€£πŸ’—

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kasuken profile image
Emanuele Bartolesi

ahhhhh I just figured out that the id is a sequential key! :D
cool :D

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ingosteinke profile image
Ingo Steinke

Hi @grahamthedev , long time no see. Hope you are doing fine. Any chance to expect some end-of-the-year post here on DEV?

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lyqht profile image
Estee Tey

I'm curious, what timezones are those times in?

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grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev

All GMT πŸ‘

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brewinstallbuzzwords profile image
Adam Davis

Thanks for sharing the data about publishing time. I usually post on Wednesdays, but slightly later than the optimal time of day you mentioned. I'll post a bit earlier this week and see how it goes πŸ™

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emmanuilsb profile image
Emmanuil B.

This is so inspiring ❀

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grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev

Thanks so much Emmanuil ❀,

Do you have any big (or small) plans for 2022?

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emmanuilsb profile image
Emmanuil B.

I plan to up the pace of my dev writing this year.
Have some great article ideas, just need to stop procrastinating and start writing πŸ˜‹

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grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev

I struggle with this also so don't worry!

The only tip I have is to put time in the diary for it and treat it like an appointment. Once you start writing the "oh I enjoy this" part kicks in and you can get it done πŸ’ͺ

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emmanuilsb profile image
Emmanuil B.

Thats a great idea. Cheers!

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moopet profile image
Ben Sinclair

A couple of people have done the "best time to post" thing over the years. I don't really like it: if people all pile on the best time (and by best we mean quantity of views here) then it'll change. The feed will become swamped and your masterpiece will go unread.

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grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev

It is why I didn't release the original article, but I wanted to share it as it took me 15 DAYS to download all that data via the API.

The feed will become swamped and your masterpiece will go unread.

And that is when i download all the data again and rerun to find the new best times πŸ˜‰ (kidding)

With all of the experiments going on with the feed at the moment the data is also less relevant now anyway, but I thought it was interesting to see when people were reading (second table in the link is more relevant for that).

More than anything it is a good excuse to set myself specific times to release articles and if it helps just a little then it is worth it!

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siddharthshyniben profile image
Siddharth

Random thought, do write one of your rants once in a while, or it will get boring! 🀣

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grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev

The rants are never planned, I just need something to trigger me and off I go so I have no doubt I will still write them at some point! πŸ˜‹πŸ€£

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siddharthshyniben profile image
Siddharth

Well I definitely need to get back to writing! I can't let you win so fast 😜

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aernesto24 profile image
Ernesto Lopez

Wow, amazing work, i have only 12 post, but certainly i have made some of the mistakes you just mentioned at the beginning like publishing on fridays, lol.

Thanks, really god info.

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skylerdevops profile image
Skyler

Thanks for the time! Definitely gonna try this out and see if it does anything for me :D

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grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev

Cool, let me know how it goes!

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charalambosioannou profile image
Charalambos Ioannou

Excellent read and love the posting analysis. I will definitely take this information into consideration for my next articles. Thank you!

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grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev

Thanks, I do hope you find it useful!

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Sloan, the sloth mascot
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grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev

Same lol, hence why I am focusing on not doing that going forward! 🀣

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hellonehha profile image
Neha Sharma

Your plans are so inspiring and useful too.

I am pushing myself to make accessible components but I am lazy.

I am rooting for you from here...looking forward for the wonderful content.

All the best!!

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grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev

Thanks Neha, I will be seeking your feedback on things! πŸ˜„

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theodorusclarence profile image
Theodorus Clarence

This is awesome, thanks InHu!

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GrahamTheDev

Thanks for the support Theodorus! ❀️

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kiranrajvjd profile image
Kiran Raj R

I will be following you...😊

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grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev

Thanks Kiran, same for you now you are back creating content πŸ‘

Hopefully the WCAG in plain English will help with the accessibility stuff we were discussing (part of the reason I chose to write that series is from our chat!)❀️

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kiranrajvjd profile image
Kiran Raj R

Yes, but you could mention my name πŸ˜‚, I will go through the article more detail tomorrow. All the best for your future projects.

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