Every September 9th, I publish a blog post that’s totally different than everything else throughout the year. It was September 9, 2009, that I launched this blog, so every September 9th I do some kind of year-in-review / roundup article. It’s only once a year that I write this kind of article.

The big thing I did this year was that I published a book! It’s intended as a light hearted, fun look at what separates Starbucks from other major corporations. Tales of the Siren: A StarbucksMelody is my true stories and experiences demonstrating Starbucks’ unique way of doing business: Starbucks is in theΒ  “people business serving coffee.” A special thank you to anyone and everyone who has bought a copy of the book.

I’d like to thank the 1,036,965 absolute unique visitors who visited this site between September 9, 2013 and today. That number sounds more impressive than it really is. This year, unlike year’s past, I had wild (and unexpected) spikes in blog traffic surrounding the phrase “Frappuccino Happy Hour” and related to Starbucks and their holiday drinks and offerings. I have no idea why Google suddenly poured people my way in droves during Frappuccino Happy Hour, nor do I really think about it all that much. MyΒ  impression was that I had a spike of people who touched the blog to read about Frappuccino Happy Hour but didn’t really read much here or click through much. I say this because my time-on-site analytic dropped and my bounce rate increased during those wild spikes.

I started this blog with the hope that I would have a core, engaged, fun group of regular readers. So if one month’s blog traffic spikes up and then falls again, it’s no reason for worry wrinkles or gray hair. I’m not doing this blog to attain a certain number of “hits” or “clicks.” I don’t sell advertising space.

If it has been a while since you’ve said “hello” to me in the comments – just to let me know you’re reading – please do! Actually, I strongly suggest you subscribe too. There’s a box in the left rail of the blog to do so. That box was missing for a long, long, time making it really difficult to subscribe! You can finally easily do so! Please subscribe!

My blog is finally a little more mobile device responsive, and at about 47% of you browse this site from your phones.

Outside of the wild spike of visitors due to Frappuccino Happy Hour, the most common way that people find this website (meaning via organic search term driven traffic) is by searching on terms that relate to the Starbucks Refill Policy. The fact that that’s one of the most common search terms that bring people to this site tells me one thing: The refill policy causes confusion on both sides of the counter.

I find it amazing that one in five visitors to this site comes from the great state of California. The top three states visiting this site are California, Washington, and Texas. I have readers from all over the world, but most are in the United States or Canada. 77% of my readers are in the U.S. And 8% of my readers are in Canada. I have a trickle of readers in countries spanning from Austria to India to Mexico to Thailand … truly all over the world.

I know that at times, there are tense or difficult conversations on this blog. But on the whole, I try to bring to you Starbucks stories that let my readers see a perspective on it that they might not normally otherwise see, and that demonstrates what the “Starbucks Experience” means. One can’t ignore the need at times to take an unpopular view or bring up a tough subject that should be discussed, but as I mentioned, I try to keep this site uplifting.

Having said that, two blog articles this year jump out at me. What a privilege to be able to share partner experiences here.Β  One was an email sent to me called “What Customers Mean to Me,” and the other came from a Twitter conversation (and sharing a personal Facebook status update) called “This is What #ToBeAPartner Means to Me.”

One article that was surprisingly popular this year was something I threw together quickly, and mostly tongue-in-cheek: “26 Signs You’re Hopelessly Addicted to Starbucks.”

Every September 9th, I always re-evaluate whether I want to even continue producing this website. The funny thing is, I haven’t come close to running out of things to write about.

Feel free to say what you like below (assuming it relates to Starbucks or this site).

And thank you for FIVE years of reading StarbucksMelody. That is amazing to me!


PS: I sometimes get asked about the effect of Facebook on this blog (or blogs in general). Because Facebook organic reach is tiny (often at 3% of likers), it plays a diminishing role in bringing visitors to this site. Unless you have “notifications” turned on for my blog’s Facebook page, you’ll miss most everything that I post. Facebook is a pay-to-play system now. On the other hand, there are still a lot of conversations that happen on the Facebook side of this blog. By no means has Facebook lost its relevance.