Sunday, February 28, 2016

One Year

Well, The Cave blog is officially one year old.

I have to say that it feels like an accomplishment. A lot of people start blogs, but can't keep them going. Sure, I’ve been writing these stories regularly since early 2012, but it’s different running a blog. There's a little more control and a lot more responsibility. While it can be frustrating, it has mostly been fun, interesting and source of relaxation. My TV viewing has declined, but that's no great loss.

I don't want this to be a duplicate of my 2015/2016 post. I already thanked folks just two months ago. And I shared some previews of 2016, too. Instead of doing that again, I'm going to focus on results for this anniversary post.

WARNING ... a lot of boring numbers below the fold ...

Who Visits The Cave?

I know some people are scared by all the information that's out there and the death of privacy, but I'm not. I don't worry that advertisers know what I buy or read. I'm not particularly worried that the government knows, either. As part of having a blog, I have these analytics that supposedly tell me about whose visiting.

According to Google, odds are that you most likely are male (95%), between the ages of 25-54 (66%) and American (57%). More specifically, 28% of my readers are 25-34 year olds, the biggest single group and that's a higher percentage than the general US population. Only 9% of you are over 65, which is a lower percentage than the general US population.

Not surprisingly, the most common interest Cave readers share is being "Sports Fans/Fight & Wrestling Fans". Not sure I needed a fancy algorithm to tell me that or that many of you are news junkies and into movies and TV. That's all pretty standard stuff. However, Cave readers are also into comics, animation, photography, health & fitness and spending more time on sites for dating and travel. You sound like a fun bunch of guys!

What Do You Like?

Here's what you like, based on a review of the results. Because of the two-blog thing, I couldn't directly compare everything, nor did it make sense to just add them together, so I just pulled the info since I switched to one blog in November.

My stories and Ty Alexander are tops so far

I've been posting new reviews on The Cave since July, so there's a pretty big pool to gauge results. Here are the most popular reviews. Links factor into the success for several of them, but many have made it to the top on their own. Interestingly, Marco x 2 and Guido x 2 are re-posts and yet they're still top seven on their Cave views alone!

5/10 are Thunders, while
Ty, Jersey, Marco, Guido and Frey
all show up twice

Counting only my new reviews posted on The Cave since July (no re-posts included), CameronWrestler is the top promotion based on average reviews thanks to Ty Alexander. The next 3 (Rock Hard Wrestling, Thunders Arena, BGEast) are all pretty close together then there's a big gap to the bottom 3.

I have four times that really stand out for big traffic. First, July 10/11, which was driven by my biggest post ever, Tarzan and the Twins of Tibor. This is thanks to a link from Lucky Stallion's Barbaric Brawn.

Next was January 1-3, but I don't know why. Yes, I posted a story, but it's actually not that big. Folks were checking out other content, but there was no new traffic sources. Maybe guys just had more free time on their hands over that weekend.

I saw another boost on January 25/26, thanks to links from Ty Alexander's vast social network empire (Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr), which pushed my review of his match vs. Chace LaChance to be my most popular review of of all-time.

Ty's fans checked my blog out
to check him out

And finally on February 16/17, Cameron Matthews linked to reviews on my blog on Facebook, which drove those days to new highs, as well.

With the link, CameronWrestler became the third producer to acknowledge this blog's existence. Movimus was first with a promotional video and a link, followed by Thunders Arena with a few promotional videos.

Interestingly, some of my older posts keep drawing new or repeat readers (I can't tell which). It's funny how certain posts continue to draw month after month. Below are the older posts that stay near the top of my views.

Tarzan and the Twins of Tibor

How Are New Readers Finding The Cave?

Some of the most popular search terms (not including terms like Alex Miller Cave) that lead people here are interesting, too. I've learned, for example, that there's a straight porn comic book called The Adventures of SuperStar about a busty masked vigilante. I imagine the straight boys searching for a super-powered babe were disappointed when they clicked to my blog.

So what are some of the most common terms people use that lead them here?

"nick diesel wrestling"
"dash decker"
"dozer wrestling"
tarzan + one or more of
gay, naked, fiction, stories

How Are Results?

Success is relative. I might not have millions of views, but I'm happy with what I'm seeing. Page views continue to grow, even compared to the artificially inflated results from my initial two blog format. And it's not all one user just clicking away, at least according to Google.

March 2015 - January 2016 combined results
Cody and Jae lead 7 out of the 19 months

One surprise for me is that there is too much of a good thing. It appears that daily posts are too much. Both views and comments drop significantly. One post every 2-4 days seems to be the sweet spot for readers to keep up and comment. It enables each post room to brief, get noticed and get commented on.

Why Does This Matter?

Results matter, because validation is important. I think the value of it is sometimes under-appreciated by readers. A blog is a public space. If I didn't care what others thought, I could just write a diary or imagine my own stories. A blog is also free. When you sell your creativity, money can help validate your output. Selling a book, a song or a piece of art tells you someone likes what you're doing.

When you post stuff to the public for free, validation comes from views and comments. Views are great, but comments carry more weight, in my opinion. It's why I try to respond to your comments. The fact that people take the time to share a thought energizes me. Even if it's one nice word, I want you to know I read and appreciate it. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm glad that more and more people are finding the blog, but comments impact me to a greater degree.

While 12 guys make up over 70% of my total comments, there have been a total of 46 different guys who have commented at some point. And that doesn't include any of the ton of unidentified Anonymous comments (a whopping 15% of my total comments). I think that's pretty cool.

One closing note ... you may have noticed I re-did all the tags at the start of the year. With the Indexes, the way I was using them seemed duplicative. Instead, I'm trying to identify the content by its themes and content for those of you who have specific interests. If you noticed, please let me know what you think.

So that’s one year down. On to year two …



  1. Congratz for your first year! Man, I´ve been reading it since the beginning and I had the impression that this blog was older, lol.

    1. No, it just feels that way because my posts are too long. LOL. Thanks for the comment and support. Appreciate it!

  2. Congrats on year 1 under your belt! I'm not a numbers guy, but you put a lot of work into the analytics (no surprise because of all the work you put into your posts!)

    1. Thanks!

      This post actually started as a simple acknowledgement back in January, but I just kept adding and adding to it. Even yesterday I just added the review results. That's the one problem with running so far ahead. Gives me too much time to think.

  3. Congrats, man, on year one and all your success! It's very cool to see your stats (laid out so nicely, too! I'm way too lazy for that :D), particularly the search terms, which are one of the things I most enjoy looking at with my own.

    Here's to an even better 2016 for you.

    1. Thanks! I couldn't have done it without your help!

    2. That's kind of you to say, but no, it was all you. :)

  4. I wish you many more anniversaries!

    Your stories and the cast models are what I follow most.

    I've been in communication with RHW and I hope that they, too, take note of this blog.

    1. Appreciate it! And I appreciate your help in finding new models. I'm interested to see what RHW has coming if they're really going to have new matches again in March.

    2. I was thinking of making and sending you a collage of my favorite models, but I'm rationing my data.

      Any stats on who are the favorites in the story casts?

    3. It's tough for me to say on specific characters, because there's not a huge pool of stories and most were re-posts from Bard's Google Group.

      I will say that in terms of categories, it goes like this:

      1. Superheroes - both stories did really, really well. Small pool, so tough to extrapolate too much. I have a new Tarzan story coming 3/15, which is totally different, so we'll see how it does. It's kind of more story and less wrestling and sex, so it likely won't do as well. And I have a new superhero story coming 6/15.

      2. The Cave - all pretty good performers. The Bat and SuperStar do well. Luke's two stories did well. Spartan and Mimik stories have performed above average. I'm not rushing Pete back into action, as he's an underperformer. Guys seem to re-read the ones with the more intense stakes, e.g., Night/Day, Bat/Spartan, etc.

      3. Encounters - to the point about the more intense stakes, some of these do very well and overall, I think they're fairly popular.

      4. Route 69 - so-so. Not great for the original series or Bad Boys. Not sure why. Maybe it's too serialized for new readers or the idea doesn't click with some guys.

      5. AWL - all these were re-posts, but it's fair to say that they're the lowest performers, even against their re-posted contemporaries.

    4. Alex R:

      Interesting tidbits here. First with Pete. I have to say that at the beginning, I was not really that into him. Maybe it was because he was so fat lol, just being honest, or perhaps was because he was so arrogant & asshole with Cody. I was one of those. But Im digging him now. As a character he takes time to grown on you, so having him come out every so often is good. For example his little hit job of Cody with XAQ is a good example. So I wouldnt quit on him. On R69. I liked, I loved Ben and Jeff.
      I think it was maybe because the series went in hiatus for some period of time during the time it was in Bards group. We as a reader lose contact with the characters. Perhaps once it came to the blog it had lost momentum. Nonetheless, it gave us amazing character like Beau. It was also caught in the transition period bwtween the other blog. R69 BB? ITs more real. Its darker. Also again I think it might be the same situation as with Pete. Getting to know and CARE 4 the characters.

    5. Oh Pete's not going anywhere. I'm just not rushing him back into action (i.e., a match). He will continue to hang around.

  5. Alex R:

    I have to say Congratulations!!! It has been an awesome year to everyone that is a fan of yours. Also, as a numbers guy....I loved this post. Hopefully Im not the only data nerd here, but I ate this post like it was dessert. I think you know that of me haha. First more than anything I am a fan of your stories. You also know that. That is what make the Cave...the Cave. So I am curious like Almatolmen about the stories data more than anything. Although I understand your conundrum since you had two blogs running at the sametime which split the data. One thing I liked was the age data chart with the age related character behind it...ingenious man.
    But going back to my preferences. Since Im a a fan of the Alex Miller and the Cave, I would love for your stories to eventually become #1 in every category. With of course increased viewership Why? Because its your work! So the guys that come for the reviews...Go check the stories out!!! They are amazing!
    Congratulations again. Just so you know (which you already do if you follow the data haha)... THis is for me...Indy/gay wrestling Central. From here I click on your links for other blogs and or videos. I bet Im not the only one.
    To another year of great writing and amazing storytelling

    1. Thank you! I wondered if it was obvious that the characters matched the age, so thanks for confirming that it was clear.

      My stories do outperform reviews by a 2:1 margin in any given month. A review like Ty/Chace is an outlier, but Tarzan still has almost 3 times more views than it. So the ratio stays the same, even for the top performers.

      See my response to Almatolmen above for some general story data.

  6. Alex R:

    Well I try to do my best at looking over your posts. OF course Luke and Guardian are USA and Canada. Seeing the other flags...well made me want to read a "THe Cave" World Series lol. HAHA Representatives of those countries in the Cave LOL. Dont think I didnt go through the rest. This was one detailed and complex Post, I have to say. One I missed. Im happy that that is 95% male. Sorry but estrogen just KILLS Testosterone. LOL. I did notice all the other artowork that you did, plus the gifs and Screen Caps. Its one serious hardcore post when you really pay attention. Just organizing it had to be hard.

    1. It wasn't that hard. All the images are existing images, so I basically just cut and pasted them into shapes. As I mentioned to AH, I loaded this post in January, so it's just grown and grown gradually over the past couple of months.

  7. Congratulations!! I love your stories and other posts! I am always amazed at your imagination when you come up with exciting matches and scenarios. Also have to applaud your skill in writing! You really make the characters and the scenes come alive with your words and awesome pictures!! Thank you so much Alex for sharing your talents with us fellow fans of wrestling! Looking forward to your upcoming stories! :)

    1. You are welcome! Thanks for the compliment. I've loaded stories through 9/1, so we're good until at least then. :)