2013 was a big year for The Hunting Gear Guy. Traffic has gone up considerably since our launch in February 2012; we’re now at ~30,000 visitors per month and we send 350 visitors per day to a variety of gun shops and other websites in Canada. Things will probably slow down past January, but it’s been a very busy year.
Most Popular Hunting Reviews and Articles of 2013
2013 saw a lot of articles. In fact, this article is magic #100 since site launch! Here are the 10 most popular articles and reviews of 2013:
- Where to buy guns online in Canada
- Norinco M14s review
- M14 Stocks in Canada
- Savage 111 LRH 338 Lapua review
- Top 10 non restricted black rifles in Canada
- Other M14 accessories in Canada
- Savage 111FCXP3 review
- Norinco Type 97 review
- Savage Axis review
- Reloading for 338 Lapua
One thing that I got a lot better at in 2013 was product photography. I’m a lot happier with the sharpness, color, and composure of my photos now. I picked up a cheap 2 off-camera flash kit and they’ve let me take better pictures of bigger objects like rifles, as well as given me some flexibility in framing and setting up products so I can shoot without perfect lighting.
This setup, along with the right selection of lenses, has given me more options with pictures. That’s a good thing, because with rifles and hunting equipment, a lot of items are black, and black can be hard to expose for.
Some of you may have noticed, others not, but I’ve changed web hosts three times this year! I started with an inexpensive $5/month host, moved to WP-Engine earlier in the year as traffic got higher, moved to Media Temple once WP-Engine got to about $80/month, and then moved to Digital Ocean because the website wasn’t fast enough on Media Temple for my liking. This year, I’ll optimize my web host for even better performance and capacity to handle higher traffic. In 2013, my busiest day saw 3,500 visitors, so I need to make sure that the website will look great and run fast even with that many people using it at once. I’m happy that the minimal advertising on the website now pays (just) for the hosting, so at least my net cost is close to $0 for running the site, not counting my own time.
Well, the site has always been pretty mobile friendly, but we’ve tried to keep it looking great on mobile phones and tablets by using a responsive theme. Good thing too, because 44% of our readers are on a mobile phone or tablet. How do you guys even survive on those crappy, non-mobile friendly websites??
For starting in February 2012, I’m pretty happy with having completed 100 posts. That comes out to about 1 per week. For 2014, I’d like to increase the number of reviews, reloading, and other popular articles to maybe 2 per week. Over the Christmas break, I intend to pre-load 6+ articles. (note: done!)
Upcoming Posts for 2014
I have no idea what I’ll be reviewing later in the year, but what can you expect in early 2014?
- A review on the Remington 783 and Ruger American. My Savage Axis was decent this year, but I’d love to try out some of the other budget bolt action rifles out there.
- A review on the T97.ca FTU upper rail. I’m pumped to try this out, because it has the potential to solve the optics mounting issues on the T97, which is the only thing I’d need to use it to hunt coyotes rather than my Savage 200.
- More mini-reviews. I’ve got lots of smaller hunting items that don’t need a full, super in-depth review, but I’m sure you’d still like to know if they suck or not. These will be run as mini reviews, and will be shorter in length than something like a rifle review.
- More cartridge-specific reloading articles and reviews of reloading equipment. I’ll be getting into some more advanced reloading techniques in 2014 and sharing my findings as I go.
- Other milsurp rifles reviewed. They’re popular and few other reviewers review them purely from the perspective of hunting.
- More clothing items. It’s a wicked cold winter this year in Canada, so I’ve got the opportunity to stress test a lot of cold weather gear.
- Whatever you want! If you’d like to see a particular product or article for 2014, let me know in the comments below!