At the end of next week, we are making a rare trip away from Norfolk, to attend a wedding in Sussex. So, I will not be around for what will be the second ‘birthday’ of this blog. With the first posts published in July 2012, the blog was set up, and rough work done, two years ago, next month.
I could not let this pass by unnoticed, and thought that I would give an overview of both my blogs, and the experiences of being a blogger. It may interest regular readers, fellow bloggers, or anyone considering starting out, with a blog of their own. Then again, it may be of absolutely no interest to anyone, except me.
Statistically, it it still a minnow, in the sea that is blogging. I have now published 462 posts on beetleypete, in 11 featured categories. They have attracted just under 17,000 views, and almost 3,000 comments. I am told by WordPress that I now have 400 followers, including those on Twitter, and e mail. Some blogs enjoy these as daily figures. I am not so sure that I would want the time and responsibility that comes with such a following and huge amount of viewers. Though the money might be nice…
I try to ‘manage’ the blog on a daily basis. Whenever possible, I reply to every comment received, (which means you can essentially halve the number above, as fifty percent are mine) and try to comment on all the blogs that I follow myself. At the moment, I only follow 26 other blogs. There were more, but I ‘un-followed’ some, as they were no longer posting anything. I also contribute to a film website, and have had 10 articles published there, as well as a single film review on another site.
I also have another blog. For those of you who didn’t already know, or would like to read it, here is a link. It is very different to this one. https://redflagflying.wordpress.com/ On that blog, I have only published 34 posts, and had less than 100 comments. Views are rare, and followers number just 40. It will happily plod along with no readers for days on end, and as I post infrequently, I can expect no more.
Here on beetleypete, I get on average around 20-30 views a day. A popular post may attract numbers in excess of 50, and something spread over Facebook (which I am not on) might exceed 100. In the grand scheme of things, it is small potatoes. But it is my small potato, and it makes me very happy. Some posts attract views far and above others. The most regularly read, and by far the most popular overall, is ‘The Driest County In England’. This was a sardonic look at the fact that Norfolk is supposed to be the driest county, but it rains a great deal here. There are no likes or comments on this post, which is mainly discovered from Internet searches by people looking for somewhere dry to live in the UK, I must presume. I suspect that I may have put them off Norfolk, in that case.
In my two-year blogging journey, I have made some great ‘friends’. Sadly, I have also lost some, and some of the best at that. Other bloggers become part of your community, as you become part of theirs. There is a familiarity despite never meeting, (except on one valued occasion) that is assumed. Sometimes this is a false assumption, but generally it is all good. There are the viewers from the most unusual places, something that never fails to fascinate me. Who can I possibly know in Bhutan, Ecuador, or Samoa? The answer is no-one of course. That is the wonder of blogging, contact with the unknown. Losing regular blogging friends is sad indeed. Some simply drop off the radar, tired of the routine. Others lose heart, or find other things to occupy their time. Some move to other countries, or become involved in work. I have even gone so far as to send e mails to ‘absent friends’, as I was worried that they were still OK. They replied courteously, and all had their reasons for departing. New ones arrive to take their place. Different subjects written about, other themes explored. And so it continues.
In my long life, I have found little to compare with the experience of blogging. It is not simply a diary, as I first intended. It is not ‘writing’ in the accepted sense, at least not as far as I am concerned. My own efforts at fiction were below average, and it will be a while before I attempt more. It allows expression, sharpens ideas, and facilitates the acceptance of new thoughts, provided by others, from all over the planet. It is a conduit for discovery, a mine of information and experience, and at the most basic level, a release. I have said many times, that if you are even remotely considering becoming a blogger, just do it.
I look forward to the coming years, and hope that I remain mentally active enough to carry on, and to provide articles worth the time and effort of reading them. I would like to thank everyone who has ever read my blog, posted a comment, or clicked a ‘like’. I could do it without you, but I wouldn’t want to.