A Year of Free the Animal Visitor Statistics in Review

A commenter a while back asked me why I cared about my blog stats. This, when I was reeling from all the traffic in January from links from various high traffic sites like Boing Boing and Gizmodo.

In my reply to that comment I explained that the stats are merely an indication that paleo is catching on. I also could have said that I care because I can. That is, because I have the high traffic to care about. But I also think that in addition being an obvious sign that things paleo are catching on, it can also be taken to mean that there’s a convergence going on. It’s not just paleo, but Primal and Evolutionary fitness and also of various low-carb approaches and the Real Food movement in general, typified by the Weston A. Price folks. And also keep in mind the three books published in 2010: The Primal Blueprint, The Paleo Solution, and The New Evolution Diet. Wow, big year!

So let’s take a look at the numbers and you can judge for yourselves.

For the entire year of 2010 ending 12/31/2010, Free the Animal achieved 1,057,000 visits and 1,970,000 page views. In terms of "absolute unique visitors:" 386,000. That’s pretty cool. And compared to all of 2009, 494,000 visits, 893,000 page views and 195,000 unique visitors. Pretty much everything doubled and more.

In terms of the last 12 months ending 1/31/2011, here’s what it looks like:

FTA Visits and Page Views
FTA Visits and Page Views

Yes, quite a bump in January, representing tens of thousands of new exposures to the Paleo-ish way. Visits in January were 185,000 and page views, 304,000. There were 91,000 unique visitors to compare with the 40,000 unique visitors for December, 2010.

The issue, of course, is keeping as many around to achieve their own results, get involved, and spread the word. So I guess I better get busy.

To keep on spreading the word, let your Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers know.

Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. The cost of two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance the travel to write, photo, and film from interesting places and share the experiences with you.


  1. Gary Wu on February 4, 2011 at 12:18

    Wow, amazing boost in January! I sometimes wonder whether it might take another 20 years to undo everything that the “fat-phobia” has done to our society, but indications like this gives me optimism that perhaps it won’t take so long. Kudos!

  2. Tim Morales on February 4, 2011 at 22:30


    And deserved.

    I first came to FTA through MDA. I love Sisson’s blog, but I come here for inspiration. You tell it like it is, AND you are the “real deal”: a (former) middle-aged fatty who got his life back. NOT, like so many plaeo-type bloggers, a life-long jock or a hardly-damaged 20-something trying to go from 12% body fat to under 10. I’m not knocking them, rather pointing out that your n=1 means so much more to me and obviously so many others.

    I think it would be interesting, hilarious, and probably off-topic to show some of the weirder search-engine queries that brought people here.

    Maybe one day you can do a success story of someone who came to FTA looking for “animals fucking porn” and ended up losing a bunch of weight.

    Keep up the good work.

  3. SeanC on February 4, 2011 at 09:22

    I’m one of the new January people. I found your blog thanks to Boing Boing’s no-shampoo linkage, stuck around because the whole paleo seemed to make sense. Been poo-less and soap less for about 3 weeks and hair is looking fine, and some persistent skin issues have almost completely cleared up.

    Better yet, after struggling to lose weight for years and just getting slowly fatter, I’m down almost 20 lbs and several inches around the waist. I feel better than I have in years!

    So yes, it is catching on, and that’s a damn good thing too!


    • Richard Nikoley on February 4, 2011 at 09:48

      thank you Sean. Your kind of comment, more than anything else, is what keeps me popping open that New Post compose screen just about every day.

      And congratulations. That’s a big achievement. Real Food, man. What a novelty, these days.

  4. Summer on February 4, 2011 at 09:35

    WOW, that is incredible. Thanks for sharing!! I always wondered how my stats compare to fellow Paleo bloggers (I’m about 20-20% of yours). I need to step up my game:)

    • Richard Nikoley on February 4, 2011 at 09:51

      Best thing of all, Summer, is that I did it by being 100% who I am, which means that I’m often different. I just let ‘er rip. So that’s my advice to any and all. Ask yourself: are ther 100,000 people in this world who might become a fan of me being me? Then work at it.

      Good luck. There is lots and lots of room.

      • Stu on February 4, 2011 at 10:30

        I just looked at your last year’s stats as well and you seem to get a boost around year end for some reason. Last year you said you were going to tone down the rants and lanquage but I’m glad you decided to just be yourself. I’m sure that’s why so many of us keep reading your blog.

  5. Tyson on February 4, 2011 at 09:57

    Very impressive! I am lucky to get 100 visits a day! I might need to step up my game as well!

  6. Raj Ganpath on February 4, 2011 at 10:34

    In addition to restating that the concept of paleo eating is spreading to the masses, I’d like to say that a lot of fitness enthusiasts (strength folks and endurance folks) seem to want to give this a go. I’m pretty sure your leangains segment turned a few heads and changed the way people looked at your way of eating – from ‘Oh this guy lost some weight… big deal!’ to ‘Holy shit… this guy lost a bunch of weight, got strong enough to pull 315 lbs off the floor, has amazing lipids and is above 50!’.

    Kudos to you for everything I mentioned above. Keep it cracking.

  7. CPorter on February 4, 2011 at 10:54

    Personally, I love stats. Keep ’em coming. And you might want to consider marketing this a tad more, you ought to be making a little money off all this work you do!

  8. Lute Nikoley on February 4, 2011 at 11:20

    All I can say is WOW! I just posted it on my facebook profile.

  9. Steve S on February 4, 2011 at 11:33

    I too am a new follower (or leader?) and love it. I watched food inc and was lost for days, looking for answers and then paleo was brought to my attention. it took about 5 seconds before I thought that this makes total sense! I asked some of your readers about an acne concern I had and was set to ease and am two weeks soap,and zit free and am down almost 20 lbs myself thanks to diet changes. Thanks for your work here, appreciate that you take your time to share your lessons, I love learning more about this and taking up arms with you

    btw, my mother has a failed pancreas from years of eating all the shit that’s been fed to us all this time, bad doctors’ advice, and who knows what kind of crazy meds. I’m glad to be on the right path!

  10. Dominic DiCarlo on February 4, 2011 at 12:08


    These are just the short steps on your way to being interviewed by Piers Morgan (someday?). Good things will continue.

  11. Aaron Curl on February 4, 2011 at 12:18

    Who would think that eating real food and being yourself would make for a high traffic website? So many people try this and fail. And I know why they do. It’s no big secret. They fail because they don’t care about their readers and they don’t offer their true nature. So, props to you for being yourself and sporting one of the best paleo blogs ever!

  12. Primal Toad on February 4, 2011 at 17:24

    Keep doing what you do Richard. Never change. How you write is VERY unique to everyone else. Its awesome to see the flood of traffic you got in 2010 and for the first month of January. This is a clue that the momentum is building.

    I just started to post again on my blog and I have had the best 6 straight stretch in the life of my blog – 8 months total.

    Let’s continue the growth!

  13. Ariana on February 4, 2011 at 19:16

    Exactly! Stats=exposure. Exposure=paleo touching the lives of more people. Unfortunately I haven’t hit you’re incredibly large status yet, but I’ll continue to add to your number! Keep it up.

  14. Christian on February 4, 2011 at 20:37

    I also linked here from the Boing Boing no soap link, and got a lot more intrigues by the whole paleo/real food idea than the no soap thing. I really liked what I saw and bookmarked the link, but I gotta say that I was a bit put off by the political commentary. Of course, it’s your site, and obviously you can post what you like, but if your objective is to spread the word about paleo and get more people on the right track to health and fitness, then you might think about toning down that aspect of your blog because turning off approximately half of your potential audience seems like a self-defeating behavior. But aside from that I applaud your efforts here and wish you the best.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 4, 2011 at 22:26

      “turning off approximately half of your potential audience”

      Damn! I shoot for turning off just about everyone about one thing or another. That keeps things real.

      People who come here looking to have their every whim massaged are in the wrong place. Nope, what you get here is all of me, straight up.

      And BTW, welcome.

      • Christian on February 5, 2011 at 20:43

        “Damn! I shoot for turning off just about everyone about one thing or another. ”

        Yeah, I kinda got that feeling from reading several of your posts. Heh. :)

        No worries, I never expect anybody to agree with me about everything.

    • CPorter on February 4, 2011 at 23:43


      Learn to chew the meat and spit out the bones. If you aren’t man enough to ignore what you don’t agree with why not stay on sites you agree with instead of complaining?

      • Christian on February 5, 2011 at 21:08

        Hysterical. The guy who’s advice is to ignore what you don’t agree with is giving such advice in reply to a post that he doesn’t agree with and that wasn’t addressed to him, and then questions the manhood of somebody he knows absolutely nothing about, and to make it even funnier he based it all on the fact that he can’t tell the difference between a bit of business advice and complaining.

  15. J. Stanton - gnolls.org on February 4, 2011 at 21:45

    Christian: you’ve got a better chance of getting Richard to start eating Wheat Thins and using medicated shampoo.

    There is a powerful undercurrent emerging. So many people have been dutifully eating their birdseed and their low-fat ‘health food’ for so many years – and they’re tired of being either fat and depressed, or skinny and miserable. They’re really tired of ‘doing cardio’, like hamsters on a wheel, and seeing nothing change.

    And they’re really tired of being told it’s THEIR FAULT for not doing it well enough, because the better they do it the worse they feel. So they give up and get fat again, because if you’re going to feel shitty anyway you might as well get to eat donuts.

    But every once in a while, one of them discovers a paleo website right about the time they’re giving up on the sixth gimmick diet from Oprah or Men’s Health, and they get inspired to try it, and they start feeling good instead of run-down like every other time they’ve tried to diet…and that is the truth, which is our absolute defense. Paleo works.

    Richard: congratulations on another great year, and thanks again for throwing me a shovelful of new readers.

    Stay strong,


  16. Doctorsh on February 5, 2011 at 09:04


    And my mother all told me I would never be a leader, always a follower, probably because I would be malodorous, if I did not use soap!

    Looks like you proved my mother wrong!

  17. Joe on February 5, 2011 at 16:52

    What do you think causes the spike in January? Are people looking for a new way of eating as part of their New Year’s resolutions?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 5, 2011 at 17:38

      It’s just coincidence. December of 09 is when I chose to report on my no soap no shampoo experiemrnt. It got picked up by Boing Boing 12/31, which of course carried over to Jan. This year I chose to do an update and it got picked again.

      Also, one of the BB contributors had tried it ang gave his report for the year.

  18. […] we reach out to others the best way we know how.  Some of us blog and reach millions of people (what up Richard!).  Some of us work it at the gym and convert cardio addicts.  Others change friends’ and […]

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