Rahway Rising enters the Terrible Twos

Rahway Rising is a lovable toddler today. Two years ago I launched this blog to get some of the information in my head out to the public, hopefully informing our community about what’s going on in their neighborhoods.

For a look at our first year, here’s a blog post from Nov. 1, 2008. We now have about 230 subscribers by email,which fluctuates from 225 to 250 regularly. About 150 visitors come to the site daily, some days breaking 200. We cracked 300 visitors in one day for the first time last month, just after a post about foreclosures beginning at Riverwalk.

Here are some stats from our first two years in existence, according to Google Analytics:
20,408 visitors
73,709 visits (42% direct visits to the site)
127,542 page views
1.73 pages/visit
71.9% bounce rate
1:56 average time on site
27.75% new visits

Some other tidbits from Google Analytics: As far as keyword searches, the top five are all related to Rahway Rising (16%), rahway blog, or rahwayrising.com, although coming in fourth was “rahway new jersey skyview condos for sale”. Also in the top 10 of keywords searches were Brooklyn Pizza, rahway nj skyview, nancy’s townhouse rahway, and cubanu restaurant rahway.

Food/restaurant-related blog posts, regardless of how old, continue to be among the most widely viewed. Here are the top five posts since we began tracking:
1. On Tap for 2008: Park Square, Sky View, 1,747 page views
2. Cubanu: A review, 1,284
3. Luciano’s set to open, 893
4. Pizza pizza, 866
5. Brooklyn Pizza coming to Rahway, 642

Surprisingly, all those posts are from 2008 yet still garnered the most page views. Among the most viewed posts of 2009 are Carriage City violating redevelopment agreement (428 page views), Carriage City declared in default of agreement (353), Return of White Castle in the works (347).

In our second year, we’ve ventured onto Twitter and Facebook, with about 40 followers and 75 fans and friends, respectively. We’ve also started Google AdWords, and as you can imagine, I’m already planning my retirement.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, hard to believe another year of blogging has gone by, and we still haven’t organized an official Rahway Rising happy hour, despite the urging from some readers. Well, let’s change that. Pick a night that’s best for you and vote in the poll. Let’s try to set a date before the holidays get into full swing (We’ll also take suggestions on where to have it). Unfortunately, I probably won’t be able to make it to The Taste this year — which is always fun for meeting up with readers — so now we must have a happy hour.

I often write “We” when referring to the blog. Although I’m the only writer, there’s a cadre of people I turn to for their opinions on potential blog posts, coverage and general advice. To them, I say thank you for putting up with me and always being willing to listen to my rambling and brainstorming. When I use the term “We,” I’m also referring in a sense to our readers, who often email their tips and observations or comment on blog posts. Thanks to all who have taken the time to read the posts and comment, whether anonymously or not. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep this up, but hearing from you at least makes it seem a worthwhile endeavor. Thanks everybody.