No Excuses BBQ celebrates a birthday

by zydecopaws on January 1, 2010

No Excuses BBQ is officially a year old today. The first actual post was on Jan. 2, 2009, but I spent most of New Years Day last year putting the site plan together, loading WordPress and all the desired plugins, and authoring the first post. For those that have been following this blog for any length of time, you know that our goal was to BBQ at least once a week during 2009 and blog about it. For the record, things appear to have gotten a bit out of hand…

In looking at our stats, there were a total of 206 posts last year, most of which were about food we cooked outdoors or BBQ-related events. We also put up 35 other pages on the site, most of which are recipes or other useful (?) information such as temperature charts, questionable BBQ quotes, and local information about the area of the country that we cook in. According to Google Analytics, we’ve had over 27,700 page views and 13,700 visits from over 10,200 visitors. Visitors have been primarily from the US and Canada, but we also get our fair share from our friends in the Netherlands, the UK, and Australia. Following a shift to Feedburner for our RSS feed we managed to attract 84 RSS subscribers, so I know that at least some of you come back regularly. To all of you that went into making up these stats, a huge thank you for following along, visiting the site, and participating in the conversations during the course of the year!

Along the way we met several new friends, fed the existing ones (a lot, but some would say not enough), and got more involved in social media. We discovered wondrous new recipes (like MOINK; thanks BBQGrail, our lives will never be the same) and expanded our cooking horizons as well as our stable of outdoor cooking equipment, from MOISTURE-RESISTANT Thermapens to Bubba Ho-Keg. BBQ judging classes were taken, and PNWBA certifications gained while tasting some of the best and worst BBQ all in the same day. 400 folks on Twitter decided we were worth following, and one decided that they didn’t like us questioning their “BBQ facts” (or our sense of humor) and not only unfollowed us but blocked us from seeing their timeline. Their loss, our gain, we’d much rather talk to those that are authentic and don’t post only for sales and marketing purposes.

All in all, its been a wonderful year. There were a couple of disappointments this year, the main one being that I didn’t reach my goal of recovering my very modest costs associated with running the blog. Of course, that might have had something to do with a decision early in the year to remove AdSense (I still don’t know what Alice in Chains has to do with BBQ) and to seriously back off things that were overtly marketing in nature. This year I will figure out how to at least break even on my costs by providing value that people are willing to pay for without sacrificing the site to ads everywhere you look.

All of this begs the question “what about 2010?” For starters, the weekly BBQ goal (along with a post) will continue. There may be a couple of weeks during the year where the post may be about BBQ, but not be an actual cook; we plan on taking a vacation or two this year that is about making SWMBO happy, not about barbecuing from foreign countries. However, to up the ante from last year, this year I will go out on a limb and state my intention to exit 2010 at least 25 pounds lighter than I enter it today. All while still cooking outdoors. Regularly. Nothing like a little accountability to further the goal. Oh, and I promise I will get around to writing that post about why Bubba Ho-Keg was purchased instead of a BGE.

Once again I’d like to thank all of you reading this for making it happen. Without you, this wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun, and wouldn’t stretch me to keep trying new recipes, spice combinations, and gadgets for the barbecue. Happy New Year to all!

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