2013 Andertoons Cartoon Blog Recap

So this is my last post for 2013, and it’s also my 2500th Andertoons Cartoon Blog post. I started this way back in May of 2004, so next year I’ll have been doing this for a decade. Can you believe it?!

Last year around this time I wrote about how I’d changed the scheduling and content of the blog to some success. So I thought this year I’d do the same sort of thing, ponder next year’s blogging direction, and highlight some of my favorite posts from 2013.

2013 Blog Stats

Analytics

Let’s start with the bad news. Blog pageviews dropped an average of 37% this year over last, which sounds awful, right? But when you look back, it’s not really that bad. Pageviews went up 293% for the same period (first 49 weeks of the calendar year) from 2009-2010, went up again by 1837% from 2010-2011 (I know, right?!), and went up again 21% from 2011-2012. And a lot of 2012’s traffic was spiky, especially around popular How-To-Draw posts.

Also, average time on blog pages increased this year over last by 28%, the bounce rate dropped by 12%, and overall pageviews on all of Andertoons.com were up. So it’s not as bad as it first sounds.

Here are the top blog posts from 2012:

  1. Blog Home Page
  2. How To Draw A Cartoon R2D2
  3. How To Draw a Cartoon Bunny
  4. LEGO Alphabet Spaceships A-Z (From 2011)
  5. How to Draw a Cartoon Shark
  6. LEGO Robot Santa Claus (From 2011)
  7. How To Draw Batman
  8. How To Draw A Cartoon Leprechaun
  9. Adding a Cartoon (Or Any Other Image) To Your iBook in iBooks Author
  10. MetLife Cartoon Superbowl Commercial – Characters, Errors & Where Waldo Is

And here are the top blog posts from 2013:

  1. Blog Home Page
  2. How to Draw a Cartoon Shark (From 2012)
  3. 20 Educational Cartoons for Back to School
  4. Teacher Cartoons for Back to School (From 2012)
  5. How to Draw a Cartoon C-3PO
  6. How to Draw a Cartoon Turkey (From 2012)
  7. How to Draw a Cartoon Bunny (From 2012)
  8. How to Draw a Cartoon R2D2 (From 2012)
  9. LEGO Alphabet Spaceships A-Z (From 2011)
  10. Teacher Cartoons for Teachers Appreciation Week (From 2012)

Here’s what I’m taking away from this. The How To Draw lessons were a good new draw (no pun intended) in 2012, but in 2013 they were less novel and garnered less interest. So while I think I can expect some nice evergreen traffic from them in the future, the HTDs are going away for 2014.

The blogs from 2013 that performed well were collections of cartoons on a single topic (thanks, teachers!), so I’m probably going to be doing those more often going forward.

And although video takes some time to do well, and it hasn’t performed as well as I’d like, I’m probably going to continue with the occasional watch-me-draw post. The people that watch them really like them, and I enjoy doing them. Plus, I get to just talk and let someone else transcribe the audio!

Best of Blog

So now that the numbers are out of the way, here are the blogs I thought were some of this year’s standouts, as well as the ones that got the most pageviews.

January

My pick – How to Draw a Cartoon Polar Bear – I did some GIFs for a few How-To-Draws this year and this is one. Plus, polar bears are great.

Most viewed Same as above.

February

My pick – Success in Comics 2013 – The Daily Cartoonist did a better job reporting this, but I had to include it here because it was just a truly fantastic event.

Most viewed – LEGO Valentine Spaceship – This was super fun to build, and, except for the pilot and the “arrow,” every piece is red!

March

My pick – Writing Cartoons – 9 Ideas For Generating Ideas – I talk in depth about how and where I find stuff to play with and make fun of.

Most viewed – How To Draw A Cartoon Baby Chick – Tutorial – I think this isn’t one of my better HTDs, but the numbers disagree.

April

My pick – I Get A Caption With A Little Help From My Friends – I document how my Twitter followers help me figure out a caption.

Most viewed – How To Draw A Cartoon C-3PO – Tutorial – This is just barely in April (on the 3oth), but like R2D2 the year before, it brought in big numbers.

May

My pick – FAIL! – A few of my most notable failures and why they’re fantastic.

Most viewed – Same as above (but just barely…)

June

My pick – 5 Cartooning Books You Should Read Right Now – $47 on Amazon will buy you a first rate cartooning education.

Most viewed – Same as above

July

My pick – Jack Kirby’s Lone Ranger (1971) – So the movie was a dud, but you have to see this Kirby card game art.

Most viewed – How to Draw a Cartoon Giant Robot – I loved Pacific Rim, so this makes me happy.

August

My pick – Custom Cartoons – A Look Behind the Scenes – Follow along as I create a custom cartoon for a client from beginning to end.

Most viewed – 20 Education Cartoons for Back to School – The little post that could.

September

My pick – Sketching, Resketching & Inking Cartoons – The 15 minute video takes you from pencil to final ink.

Most viewed – How To Draw A Cartoon Scarecrow – This trounced the above video, but I stand by my choice.

October

My pick – LEGO Zombie Spaceship Powered By Brains – I didn’t post as much LEGO as I’d have liked to this year, but I really enjoyed building and sharing this for Halloween.

Most viewed – Halloween Cartoons for 2103 – Halloween cartoons always perform well.

November

My pick – OSU Festival of Cartoon Art – 2013 – I think this is a good overview of the weekend, and there’s loads of pictures.

Most viewed – How To Draw A Cartoon Pilgrim – Maybe I need to rethink this whole dropping the HTD thing. Sheesh!

December

My pick – Christmas Cartoons – 2013 I just think this is a pretty good batch.

Most viewed – How To Draw A Cartoon Reindeer – Tutorial – So when I wrote this is was too early to tell, but based on the rest of the year I feel pretty confident on this.

Wrapping Up

So that’s it for the blog for 2013. When I checked in early December I was ranking #6 on Google for “cartoon blog” behind such notable blogs as Cartoon Brew, cartoony pal Mike Lynch, and The New Yorker. And while I’d prefer to rank a bit higher, that’s pretty OK with me. I sometimes need to remind myself that as much as I enjoy writing this blog, the whole reason I started it was to draw more traffic to Andertoons.com. So as long as it’s fun to create and driving traffic, I think you can probably expect another 2500 posts.

Happy New Year!

Comments

Anyway you slice it, I think you can call your cartoons a success.

One thought regarding the perceived drop this year: do your page views include those who are viewing your cartoons via email subscription? I suspect not. If your email subscribers increased and the system doesn’t count those views, then this may explain why your numbers seem a bit lower.

Happy New Year!

Hi Suzanne,

Thanks so much for the kind words. And you’re right, I should look into that.

Actually I have someone getting my analytics whipped into shape as we speak, so maybe that will help too.

Anyway, thanks again, and happy new year!!