Today, my blog has 5 MILLION page views!!

Today is a very special day. 

No, it’s not a birthday. Or an anniversary.

Today is the day that my blog, my pet project and passion, reached 5 MILLION page-views!

Screenshot page views blog improve by the year

Views per month on my blog

Honestly, I still can’t believe my blog has made it this far. I started this blog while I was studying abroad in Japan, back in mid 2012… I never intended it to keep it up, let alone turn this into a full-time job.

Blogging is great.

I wrote a post a while back about my 12 tips for running a successful “Personal Blog” – if you want to grab some of my bits of wisdom to use on your own blog.

Really, though, I think it all boils down to lots of hard work and luck.

I was lucky that I started this blog when I didn’t have a full-time job (or even hobby), I was a student on full-scholarship (and then some, paying for my apartment, studies, course material, and living expenses) to study for 13 months in Tokyo, Japan. The scholarship I was on had a strict rule that you were not allowed to seek paid employment (and unpaid internships and volunteer work were strongly encouraged).

I was really, really lucky.

I interned for the year and volunteered on weekends. And with all the leftover time I had, I blogged.

For the first eight months, I spent at least ninety minutes every day writing, researching, and formatting blog posts – even when my then-boyfriend (now husband) was the only one reading the blog… and I was getting an average of 5-10 views a day (the majority of which came from Ryosuke).

These are the stats for my first year of blogging (2012) – 1,775 views. 

I started my blog in August of 2012. For the first year, I averaged 9 views per day. And a lot of those “views” were me refreshing the page over and over again because I wanted to pretend my blog was popular (or Ryosuke refreshing the page over and over again to make me think that other people were actually reading my blog).

Screenshot page views blog improve by the year

That was 2012.

By 2013, I got a little bit better at blogging.

In February, a small Japanese site picked up one of my posts (how to eat Sukiyaki). They included a link to my blog at the bottom of their article (which was completely in Japanese). In the next 72 hours, I got about 3500 views, which was more than DOUBLED my total page view count.

I discovered this while I was at “work.” At the time, I was interning twice a week at a travel-startup company down in Shibuya. My boss (who is a really fantastic person, Ryosuke and I still meet up with him and his wife 2-3 times a year) saw potential in me, so he often assigned me “homework” and taught me about how SEO, blogs, and the internet worked. Without what I learned from that internship, there is no way I would be where I am today.

Once again, lucky me.

While I was at the office, we pulled up my blog stats during an SEO lesson and saw 1000 new page views that morning. The whole office crowded around my computer and congratulated me!

Of course, anyone who clicked onto my blog immediately left because my blog was written in English (which the Japanese site was in Japanese).

However, once I got that back-link from a high-ranked site, Google started including my blog in search results. I started getting 3-4 views per day from Google search, growing every week.

A lot of what he taught me (or I learned on my own, the hard way) I put into this post of 16 Things I wish I had known before I started blogging.

These are the stats for my second year of blogging (2013) – 374,027 views.

I got almost 200 hundred times the number of page views in year two. I picked up loyal readers. I started ranking in Google Search. My studies in Japan finished and I moved back to America. I started guest posting on other sites (I wrote over 50 guest posts in 2013). I graduated college. Ryosuke and I got married. One of my articles got picked up by Huffington Post.

In 2013 I averaged 1,024 views per day. 

Screenshot page views blog improve by the year

2013 was a good year.

In early 2014, Ryosuke and I moved to Tokyo for his job. 

For the first three months, I didn’t have a visa that allowed me to work. I didn’t want to job-hunt for a company that would sponsor my visa, because then I would be completely dependent on that company… and would only be able to legally work in whatever field that visa provided (if I got hired to teach English, I could only teach English and if I got hired as a regular employee at a traditional Japanese company, I could only do that).

Fun fact, “Spouse or Child of Japanese National” visas are the only visas in Japan that allow someone to work in any field. Since I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life, that seemed like the safer option.

So I waited the three months.

Once again, I was lucky. Ryosuke was making enough (albeit just barely) to support both of us. And he was 100% supportive of my decision to wait for the better visa.

After two weeks, I was bored out of my mind and threw myself into blogging.

I wrote something that went viral on Huffington Post. I did more guest posts. I started writing a book about long-distance relationships (and then gave up). By the time I got my visa, I realized that blogging was the only thing I really loved doing.

I joined a couple affiliate programs and I started putting ads on my blog. Combined, I was making about $120 per month.

I asked Ryosuke to give me a year. If I could make over $1500 per month blogging by May of 2015, I could keep blogging. If I was making below $1500 per month, I would give up and find a “real job.”

I didn’t know how I would do it… but I knew that I would figure it out. I believed in myself (and gave myself permission to try my hardest, even if I ended up failing). Lucky for me, Ryosuke believed in myself even more than I did – and he thought the “give me a year” thing was a great idea.

I got a job teaching English twice a week, to help with the bills, and spent the other three days on my blog.

I started drawing comics. I ran a Kickstarter campaign to self-publish a comic book (from the comics and articles on my blog) and it was funded over $14,000. I lost most of that because of printing and shipping costs, of course, but still walked away with enough to give me hope. I started a YouTube channel.

These are the stats for my third year of blogging (2014) – 2,220,261 views. 

With luck, hard work, and comics, my third year of blogging saw over 2 million views.

In 2014 I averaged 6,082 page views per day. 

Screenshot page views blog improve by the year

2014 was a really good year.

And 2015 has also been an excellent year.

I’m writing this post on August 9th, 2015, right as my blog hit 5 million page views.

A lot has happened in the nine months of 2015. Needless to say, I went above and beyond the “make $1500 per month or get a real job” deadline. In fact, Ryosuke quit his job in February and started working from home alongside me (as a freelance translator and helping edit/post YouTube videos).

Our YouTube channel hit over 50,000 subscribers (as I’m writing this, it’s at around 75,000).

Ryosuke started a blog where he posts my comics, translated into Japanese.

I published two more comic books.

I dealt with a lot of hate mail (it’s always been bad, but as my blog and channel grow, so do the number of haters). Someone followed up home from the supermarket and posted our address on 2ch (a Japanese site). I debated quitting all of this, but decided not to.

We moved out to the countryside.

These are the stats for my fourth year of blogging (as of August of 2015) – 2,406,094 views. 

The year isn’t over yet. Really, I have no idea what is going to happen. I’ve been lucky enough to have an amazing following (thank you, thank you SO much). And I’m excited to see what the future holds.

So far, in 2015 I averaged 15,038 page views per day. 

Screenshot page views blog improve by the year

And now, we’re back to the beginning. Or end.

I’m getting kind of emotional here, sorry. I just… I still can’t believe it.

I feel so lucky and blessed to have amazing people like you reading my blog, to have such a supportive husband, and to have this job that I love so much. 

I couldn’t have done it without y’all.

To celebrate my blog hitting 5 million views, Ryosuke and I got a trip last week to a fancy Ryokan in Utsunomiya.

Ryosuke and grace couple yukata ryokan amwf amww

Of course, I’m going to write all about our trip later.

But for now… I’m just going to be happy. And eat lots of chocolate.

About Grace Buchele Mineta

I got into the writing business by accident. Now I live in the countryside near Tokyo with my husband, Ryosuke, where I draw comics, blog, and make videos about our daily life. Contact: Website | More Posts

41 Comments on Today, my blog has 5 MILLION page views!!

  1. Congratulation dear u are the best 😘

  2. Grace, you and your husband inspire me everyday. You guys are amazing and deserve everything and more for your hard work! Congrats! *air hugs*

  3. S. J. Pajonas (spajonas) // 13 August, 2015 at 8:02 am //

    What an amazing post! I just found you recently, and I wish I had found you years ago, since I write fiction (romance and science fiction) about the very same kind of dynamics you have wrote about on this blog. I went back and looked at your post on hate mail. I feel you, so hard. It reminds me of the hateful comments and reviews I’ve received in the past (why I stay away from Goodreads now), and I applaud you for ignoring and moving on. That’s so hard. A lot of new authors I know quit after a few bad reviews. They can’t seem to handle it, and it’s hard, so I totally get it.

    Sounds like Ryosuke is a good support system and you’ll go far! I’m especially interested in hearing how things are in the countryside! I’m on my way to writing a new series that takes place in the Japanese countryside :) Good luck and I’m looking forward to more blog posts to come!

  4. Congratulations on successfully completing another year of life and 5 million views! I started following your blog in 2013 and I loved it! Many happy wishes to you and Ryosuke!

  5. Hi Grace and Ryosuke! I like many others have “stumbled” on your website, blog and YouTube channel. It made me smile a lot and oft times laugh out loud! Congratulations on your 5 million views! You rock! I was born in Osaka but am ethnically Taiwanese. My family moved to a small town in Eastern Washington State where I was raised. I then moved to Kansas and married a blonde from Wisconsin. One girl and one set of twin boys later, our relationship is still going strong! Keep up your wonderful outlook on life! Keep writing and drawing about your adventures! It brings a bright touchstone to those of us who walk the same path as you! Look forward to your new creations!

  6. Hello Grace, received your comic book and thanks for the note AND a huge congratulations on hitting 5 million views. Please keep blogging and vlogging!

  7. Majo Castañeda // 11 August, 2015 at 9:58 am //

    Grace, congratulations!! Your blog and youtube channel are awesome and Ryuske is so funny. Keep doing what you love :)

  8. Congratulations on attaining 5 million page views; great photo of yourself & Ryosuke, and such beautiful architecture! ‘Wish I were back in Japan…

  9. Grace, I only recently stumbled upon your Youtube channel, and that has led to your blog, of course. I’m learning so much, and laughing in the process. I am literally old enough to be your grandmother, and I just want to tell you what a delight it is to follow the adventures of you and your adorable husband. Young people like you reassure me that the world will be in good hands long after I’m gone. Bless you both.

  10. Congrats! I know nothing about SEO that is why my comics and videos are just hobbies :) Happily you have more devoted followers than haters ^^

  11. 🍓いちご🍓 // 10 August, 2015 at 12:49 pm //

    I can’t imagine you having haters . I mean there must be a reason right? I mean , come on , they must be REALLY jealous of you!

    I am a newbie in blogging. You are my inspiration. The reason I chose WordPress over any other site. Please keep going . We are all here for you.

    I’ll be back in Japan this week for good. I can’t wait to buy my own laptop and professional camera. I hope to meet you soon!

    Xoxo

    • Good luck with your own blog!

      A lot of the haters are, um, well racist and either are angry at my choice to marry a guy who is Asian, or are Japanese and are angry that my husband married someone who isn’t Japanese. So there’s really no helping that.

  12. Hate mail? I just don’t get that. Nothing you write is so controversial to warrant hating you.
    Congrats on the views and building your brand. I love your comics and wish you all the best. Keep going!!

  13. Grace, so happy for you. Keep going. Your blogs and posts are fun and informative and delightful, as are your videos. We enjoy them so much. Wishing you continued and ever greater success.

  14. Jessicavy // 10 August, 2015 at 2:27 am //

    Wow, congratulations!

  15. Congraaats you deserve it <3

  16. How did you talk Riosuke into wearing a kimono?
    He wouldn’t play in your “Trying on a Kimono” video.

  17. See Grace we told you that it would all be okay! How awesome is it to have so many viewers! You and Ryosuke are doing a great job, and I know that everyone here looks forward to reading your blogs, comics and watching your Youtube videos.

    You both are great and wonderful people and we are blessed to have you both in our lives, hears and minds.
    You help a lot of us experience and see Japan in a different way. And for those of us who have never been to Japan, You and Ryosuke help deepen our love for the country, food, and culture.
    Arigatou Gozaimasu for all you do for us and letting us experience the good, the bad and the sometimes weird with the both of you.

  18. Richard Solomon // 9 August, 2015 at 10:47 pm //

    Oh meditoh gozaimasu, Grace-san!!

  19. Moria Sexton // 9 August, 2015 at 8:11 pm //

    Congratulations! I am so happy that your blog is doing so well. 😊 I am a really big fan of your 3 comic books (which I reread), your blog (looking at it daily), and watching all of your Youtube videos. Keep up the great work. 😀

  20. Congratulations and Best Wishes!

  21. This is so amazing and inspiring to see!! Congratulations :)

  22. Congratulations! It looks like it was a really hard way.
    I have only started my blog recently because I was always unsure about sharing too much of personal information as I am too scared of haters, troll and what not cruel people hiding behind the anonymity of the internet.
    I think you are really strong and I am glad that you have still kept up with your hobby as you are doing great as you can see :)

  23. Anonymous // 9 August, 2015 at 6:08 pm //

    Congratulations!!! Best of luck!!

  24. Congrats!! I wish I have the patient and passion like you so I can keep my blog while I study abroad in US.

  25. Brilliant news :-) Love reading your blog, so interesting and funny. Lovely couple!

  26. Congratulations for reaching this mark. It is really amazing to see how your blog developed and also the YouTube channel :)

  27. Grace, I really enjoy your writing and cartoons. I found you through your 2013 Huffington news post. It had caught my eye because our younger daughter was adopted from China and I have wondered how she would navigate being a minority (in Missouri, not the most diverse population!), dating, etc. In addition she loves the Japanese culture……so because of these two things I find your blog fascinating. Congratulations……..know that your observations, thoughts and sunny disposition are truly enjoyed!

  28. Yay, congratulations Grace! You deserve all success in the world! <3

  29. Behind the Story // 9 August, 2015 at 3:16 pm //

    Congratulations, Grace. You deserve all the success you’ve achieved.

  30. Jesse Cadd // 9 August, 2015 at 3:09 pm //

    Omedetougozaimasu!

  31. Richard A. // 9 August, 2015 at 2:07 pm //

    Make that 5 million +1 (and counting, since August 9 has just begun here in the western hemisphere – – or do I need a course in Page View Counting for Dummies?) In any case, quality will out; yours has and does, which can only augur well for the future, to which we all look forward to further success for you. Carry on with your good work; for many of us you are one of a very few bright spots in an otherwise troublesome world these days. Bless you for being there.

  32. Congratulations Grace –

  33. This is absolutely amazing, and congratulations on that achievement! Even though I’ve only seen the public side of the hard work you’ve put into it all, it’s still evident that you devote a lot of time and energy to your projects, and clearly it’s paid off! :D

  34. Congratulations on hitting the 5million page views…couldnt happen to a well deserving person as yourself, Grace….and your husband Ryosuke wow humblest guy ever…whose been there through your ups and downs….you two are so addictive to watch with each video that you make…so inspirational and helpful…keep it up…

  35. Whoo! So happy for you! I love reading your blog so thanks goodness you didn’t quit. You guys make a great team :)

  36. Anonymous // 9 August, 2015 at 1:28 pm //

    Congratulations on your success hitting the 5million views….couldnt happen to a more humble person as yourself, Grace and also to your husband Ryosuke whose been with you on your highs and lows…..amazing!! Truly inspirational !!
    Well deserved!!! :-D

  37. Cheers! Excellent work and congrats!

  38. WELL DONE GRACE & WELL DESERVED!

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