Every so often, I cast a detailed eye over this blog. It is usually to correct errors, look back over old posts, and occasionally, to update something previously published. As is my habit when I do this, I make a note of how the blog has progressed, and what is being read, as well as what is attracting no readers at all. It is is bit like an occasional health check, or perhaps a car service. Things are reviewed, decisions made, options considered.
Since I started this blog in the summer of 2012, it has attracted over 12,000 views. On most days, there is a ratio of just under three posts per reader, so I can assume that around 4,500 people have looked at the blog. Of course, many of these are the same people, the loyal and regular followers, so I can easily reduce this number down, to a best guess of about half of that figure, say just over 2,000. These viewers have come from more than 80 different countries, with the majority from the USA, UK, and Canada. This is to be expected, when you are writing in English. From strange places far afield, I have had views from Western Samoa, Lichtenstein, Angola, Moldova, and even Mongolia. I love this aspect of blogging. Something typed in a spare room in rural Norfolk, is of interest to a person from as far away as Western Samoa. I can think of little else in my life, which would ever cause this to happen.
I have published 360 posts (361 including this one), which is a lot less than the one a day I originally intended to write, but still a great deal more than on many blogs that I read, or follow. This is not a boast, as quality, good writing and relevance is what counts, not quantity. My daily average at the moment will see about 15 different viewers, reading a total of 45-60 articles a day. This can drop to lows of 4/12 some days, and highs of 25/70 on others. Never less than the lowest, and rarely more than the highest. I am told by WordPress, that I have a current following numbering over 275, including those on Twitter and E Mail only. I can tell you that many of these are follow-only canvassers, trying to get me to buy their products, join their travel schemes, or sign up to SEO services, at a price. Having recently searched the full list of followers, at least 15 are no longer blogging (so not following either). Perhaps 20 other sites are ‘dormant’, as in still in existence but almost never posted on. So, if I discount all the stuff mentioned, I can assume that around 100 of my ‘followers’ just don’t exist, in the way that is important in Blogging.
It has been hard to have to realise that this list of ‘followers’ is little more than an idea, a concept in number only. It is nice for anyone to have lots of followers, let’s face it. Not only is it flattering, it adds to the community feel of the idea of blogging as a whole. I have seen sites on WordPress that have staggering numbers, over 20,000 shown. Yet a perusal of their blog might show that their latest post had 10 ‘likes’ and 14 comments. Not much, out of 20,000. So, I think we all need to take this idea of followers with a proverbial pinch of salt, and put it from our minds. If I can count on the small and fiercely loyal group that have always been around, I am more than happy. However, like most bloggers I hope, I do like to get comments, or drive debate on posts. The lack of comments sometimes can be disheartening; even if a piece has got a lot of likes, chances are that they are just flicking through the Reader, and clicking ‘like’. Comments are the lifeblood of the blog, so we should all comment more, and keep debates and ideas going, don’t you agree?
I have recently added extra categories, as I have come around to thinking that some readers are never going to just read everything; it is just not possible. Busy lives, subject preferences, lack of interest in certain things, it will all come into play at some stage. Better to have categories that the reader can feel comfortable with, or avoid completely, if they have no interest in that subject. So, maybe more categories, not less, who knows? I have reconsidered my lack of photos and graphics, and decided to stay as I am. Regular readers will have seen that I have now added video clips for all music reviews, and in some film reviews too. I have also inserted some links, where I think that they will assist the reader, or improve the viewing experience. Compared to most blogs, mine remains colourless, and devoid of flash. I think it suits me better that way, not that there is any intended criticism of those others. I just don’t have the technical know-how for some of the stuff, and as I have said before, others do it so much better anyway.
An Autumnal review, without any breathtaking conclusions. I am still happy to be blogging, and intend to continue to do so. I am part of a small community, but it is extremely valuable to me. I thank all my regular followers and contributors, and hope to stay involved in their blogs too. For anyone considering starting a blog, I say, as I always do, just do it. It will improve almost everything about your life, yet take nothing away from it. That can’t be bad, can it?