Perusing the blog (Again)

A few times a year, I have a look back over this blog. I examine recent trends and stats, think about posts that have been very popular, and those that have hardly been glanced at. I always find this interesting on a personal level, but it has often been the case that other bloggers are interested too, especially those starting out, or at the other end of the blogging spectrum, thinking of giving up.

Regular readers and long-standing followers may well have noticed two things that have changed a lot about my blog over the past year. The most apparent will be the addition of many more photos. This is not just because photo posts are undoubtedly popular. (On average, a post on here with photos will attract almost twice as many views than one that is solely text. And generally gains one or two new followers too.) It is also because I bought a new camera last year, and I have been enjoying using it a great deal. As an aside to this, one example of just how good it is to be part of a blogging community became apparent when fellow bloggers urged me to reduce the file size of the photos, so as not to use up all my allowance from WordPress. Many offered help and suggestions, some going so far as to be willing to do this task for me, and return the altered pictures. This goes to show how beneficial it can be, to be an ‘engaged’ blogger.

The second thing that was different, was that I also posted a great deal more fictional short stories. These are mostly very well-received, and as well as attracting views of 50-60 per story (very good, in my world) they also generated a lot of positive comments, and stimulated feedback. They were regularly re-blogged and re-tweeted too, which is not only very kind, but also helpful for giving them a wider audience. Writing them is very rewarding for me, particularly as the ideas for them come out of nowhere, involve almost no preparation, and they are generally written and published under in one hour. I do not sit and plan to write fiction, it writes itself in my head, and I just type it up. So whether I write more, or how often, will depend on the arrival of those ideas.

Some of you have suggested that I wrote a novel. A few have gone so far as to send me a personal email urging me to do that, and promising not only to read it, but to buy it. That is very kind, and humbling to read. As things stand, a novel or a personal memoir is not on the cards for me. I have great respect for anyone who can write a book, get it published, and acquire a readership, even if I might never want to read about the subject, or have no interest in the genre. Because I am well-aware just how dedicated and hard-working you have to be to make it work. It has to be treated like a job, in some cases, a life’s work. It involves forward planning, notes, research, time-lines, detailed character development, and most of all, has to readable in depth. This is more or less the opposite of blogging, and certainly a huge step-up from writing short stories. Nonetheless, I thank you all for considering that I might be good enough to write a book you would want to read.

Including this one, I have now published 1,132 posts. This is far more than I ever intended to, making it very difficult to keep track of what I have written previously. It is harder to keep going back to update film and music clips that ‘disappear’, and obviously means that there has been a lot of repetition of ideas and themes, especially concerning dog-walking with Ollie, the weather, and my personal opinions. As I like to always reply to every comment, as well as keeping up with the 30+ blogs that I try to follow as an active ‘member’, it has also begun to take up a fair bit more time than it used to. (I actually follow 93 blogs, but many have dropped off the wordpress radar, and others rarely post anything.)

Despite increasing my film and cinema content in response to requests, this remains something of a blogging niche, perhaps better dealt with by dedicated film bloggers. The readers for these posts have never increased, and they attract fewer comments than posts with photos, or those about Ollie. I will still post as and when I watch something though, as I like to read the response from the film fans out there. I am also trying out some new ideas. Norfolk Tourism started out with a look at a local military museum, and will hopefully be developed further once the weather improves next year. (If it ever does…) And despite the ups and downs, I still enjoy blogging as much as I ever did. Where else could I meet so many interesting people from all over the world, and interact and communicate with them on a regular basis?

I still write posts for my other blog occasionally. (redflagflying.wordpress.com)
Compared to this blog, it has never really attracted much of a following, and the posts get few comments, and just as few readers. Given the nature of the content, that was always to be expected, so is of no concern.

With 2017 approaching, I will hopefully get to my fifth year of blogging. When I started out, I recall writing that I could not manage after 149 posts, it was all getting too much. I was amazed when I reached a total of 50 followers, and excited the first time that I ever got 100 daily views. Although my blog is tiny, in the great world of blogging that is WordPress, I had no idea back then just how big it would become, and what an important part of my life it would prove to be.

So I conclude this post with my usual suggestion. If you have never started blogging, or are undecided about whether to not to start, just do it. It costs nothing, it can be incredibly rewarding, and you never know, it just might change your life.

My very best wishes to everyone out there. Pete.

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43 thoughts on “Perusing the blog (Again)

    1. Thanks, SOS. You might like to check out some of my short stories in the ‘fiction’ category. They may be relevant to your blog style and themes. Feel free to re-blog any posts you like the look of, and I will do the same, where relevant.
      Good luck with your blog. As we say here, “You know it makes sense.” (To blog…)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You are such a lovely polite man Pete and this is seen throughout all of your posts – from sharing your life stories, your every day views of life in the country, the weather, the blogging world and your foray into short stories and especially your comments. As you say what would be the point of blogging if we didn’t visit other blogs and comment and share ideas, opinions, thoughts and exchanges of humour and ordinary chat! I enjoy the variety of your blog and the interaction you have with all your followers. Keep it up!
    Jude xx

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  2. I love this space, Pete and I enjoy visiting even if I don’t leave comments. your stories are a draw especially when Ollie is featured (more or less). keep blogging! πŸ™‚

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  3. As John Rieber has said in his comment, you are indeed a true “online friend”, as you comment on most of my posts….. And I, in turn, enjoy your posts from weather to walks, short stories and the film reviews. Keep ’em coming!

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  4. I haven’t published as many posts as you, Pete, but I know what you’re saying – it’s far more than I ever expected to write. (my site was supposed to be my father’s scrapbook and that’s all). You write well, you’re humorous and the posts aren’t long and boring – of course people want you to write a book!! I actually think a collaboration between you and Dan Antion would on the best seller list!!!

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  5. Hi, Pete. Self-publishing (not really vanity publishing as you can do it all yourself or mostly, depends on your set of skills) can cost nothing or close to it if you’re only thinking of e-books and there are options for printing on demand (like Create Space) that don’t require paying or buying a number of books personally, they only print them as people buy them and you don’t need to buy any stock, but it’s a personal decision. If you’re only interested in sharing the stories, Wattpad (https://www.wattpad.com/) is a good place to share for free and it offers you the option of building up different stories and gathering readers who specifically look for books and stories rather than other types of posts, but there are so many things you’re interested in…
    Congratulations on your blogging and let me know if I can be of help.

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    1. Thanks for the advice, and offer of help, Olga. I am sure that I may well be taking you up on that one day. I will investigate the links with interest.
      Hope all is well in Barcelona.
      Best wishes as always, Pete.

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  6. Pete, you have been a true “online friend” – you comment on almost all of my posts, whether they involve exploitation films, abuse of bacon and other wacky food stories, and even my Paul McCartney/Eagles/Todd Rundgren posts. As I told you, there are many Facebook fan pages that really respond to these posts, and that is rewarding – but what is even more rewarding is meeting people like yourself through wordpress – your daily walks, complaints about weather, and your well-written fictions – they are all a pleasure to see pop up in my email. This is another intelligent post that captures what many of us feel about this entertaining ride through the internet!

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    1. Many thanks for this comment, John. Your own blog is always a delight too. From exploitation cinema, to sushi-themed backpacks, and heart-attack inducing burgers, I always find it so enjoyable to read. Commenting and replying is an essential part of being a blogger to me. Otherwise, what’s the point?
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I appreciate your blog as a good pattern for a newbie like myself .. And I like the variety of what you post.. I sometimes worry I will run out of ideas but so far so good.. hopefully I’ll make it to 149! On the photo front, did you use special software to ‘downsize’ your files? What size did you end up with? I upgraded to premium primarily because the media space allotment seemed to be filling up too quickly!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Susanne. I am sure that you will not run out of ideas. I used to think that, but the seasons change, small things happen in life, and there always seems to be another story to tell.

      To reduce the file size, I used Adobe Photoshop Elements 10. I already had this, as a gift, but confess that I find it daunting to use, and had done little or nothing with it. That is more a case of my lack of computer skills, than problems with the software though. My friend Antony talked me through the basic steps of reducing the files, and how to save them in a different folder to use on WordPress. As an example, a 7.5 mb file of one of those tanks was easily reduced to only 930 kb, yet retained almost all the detail, and was still able to be enlarged by anyone who wanted more detail. Antony tells me that this is one of the best features of the WordPress platform, that they allow this to work on their site. In fact, he has taken down his own website, and will now operate through a WordPress Premium blog instead, as he was so impressed by this feature.

      There are many free to download applications out there that allow you to do much the same thing, but I found it hard to get them to work for me.
      If you have any version of Photoshop, and want to know how to do it, send me an email, and I will send you a step-by step guide in return.
      petejohnson50@yahoo.com

      Best wishes as always, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the good information… I appreciate it.. I’ve never used Photo Shop but it’s the one everyone talks about so I will look into it. Maybe I’ll try whatever is free first.. perhaps something is available in the Sony software that is connected to my camera… Fortunately I’ve got some time since I’m already paying for extra media space.. but since I like to take and use lots of pictures it makes sense to figure it out for the long run….

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  8. There’s so many things I love about your blog Pete, especially your photos and posts about Ollie, but I think I LOVE your stories the best. Obviously I read ALOT of books, and over the years I’ve discovered what makes a great book or story is its characters. Yours are believable and relatable and you always leave me wanting more. Bravo!πŸ’πŸ»πŸ˜Š

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    1. Kim, you make me blush with such kind words! As far as bloggers go, there should be more like you. Always engaged, writing an interesting and often amusing blog, and happy to be a part of a ‘real’ blogging community.
      Best wishes from England, Pete. x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, David. I did investigate ‘vanity publishing’ some short stories in paperback. It looked reasonably-priced at first, at so much for 100 books. Then I read that you have to pay so much for so many pages, so much for a choice of binding, more for nice paper, even more for black text on white paper, cover art, blurb, dedication, etc. The final total was beyond my means, considering that I would be giving away so many of them.
      You will have to let me know (by email) how you managed with ‘Pope On The Dole’, your excellent book!
      Best wishes, Pete.

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