I normally do not regret anything I’ve done. I did it at the time and based my decision on the situation at the time and the data available at the time.
The situation was quite simply this – Kate Middleton was at the end of her first pregnancy and I have not forgotten the early English Reader from my kindergarten days. The data available at the time said that I was on a writing roll. So I put Kate’s impending baby-popping on.
This was followed up a year later with another post on the traffic the original post collected. This post digressed handsomely in all directions.
Since then, I’ve come to regret it. Not because the post has been panned by the critics. It hasn’t. This is a Little Red Blog, an example of blog that has limited readership, loads of anticipation, lashings of long posts, a wide coverage of topics. From what I can tell the blog posts that do really well fall under these main categories.
1. Self-help. Usually, these are How to blog, How to increase readership, How to use social media tools and How to write. These are very heavy on the interaction and traffic. Crowds of people have many conversations with a lot of cross-blog links. It seems every one either has ideas or is looking for ideas on how to become a successful social media icon.
2. Food: Filled with luscious pictures of food, recipes and reviews of the best restaurants. These also are well received with lots of readers, comments. Not quite as high as Category #1 above, but quite heavy still. I find the interaction here tends to be more one-way than two-way as compared to the Self-Help blogs. There are quite a few readers who take the time to comment, but the writers tend not to be quite as responsive as the Self-Help bloggers.
3. Travel: These are also filled with luscious pictures of luscious landscapes, architecture, waterfalls and seashores. And local food. Interaction here seems decidedly one way. Readers comment in droves, but bloggers seem to move on to the next location and do not respond as often as the Self-Helpers or Food bloggers. It also worries me that some bloggers travel all over the world with nary a problem or a day job or financial limits to interfere with their travel. What am I doing wrong? Why can’t I get out my office more often and see the world?
4. There is also the technology review blogs. These seem to have high readership, with low level of interaction. Silent readers come and go in high numbers. The visitors don’t comment and the bloggers are fine with the high traffic numbers. A numbing majority of these blogs are little more than cut and paste of tech specs. There are exceptions, of course.
This blog of mine, SloWord, is Little Red. It falls into none of the categories above. Consequently, it has low readership and low comment rates. I think the most comments I have on any post is 30 with half of them mine, since I respond to everything. So what is the regret? No, it’s not the paucity of readers or comments. This blog was created to teach me how to write. It is not built to make me a blogging star, earn money or become a bill board for brands and advertisements.
The regret is that I wrote the post Late Kate at all. One of the things that has always plagued me is my inability to let go of a problem to which I have no solution. It doesn’t mean I have to solve it. It simply means that I should know that a solution exists somewhere if I choose to look for it. As long as I know it’s there somewhere, I’m ok. It is the reason that things like the Kennedy assassination, UFOs and the popularity of the Late Kate post annoy me. In the Case of the Mystifying Search Term, Lord Peter Hercule Holmes himself would be hard pressed to find an answer. As I suspect would Aunt Jane, Tommy & Tuppence, Father Brown and Inspector Roger “Handsome” West. Yes, I’ve read quite a few crime thrillers, why do you ask? 🙂 Even Inspector Corner, “I’m Corner, Corner of the Yard” would, ah no, he wouldn’t, Corner wouldn’t he’d just give me the raspberry as he rode away in his dim hansom cab, that dim, handsome Inspector Corner, Corner of the Yard.
Why is this post so popular? It’s a very silly post, a throwaway piece of writing, it is mindless and mildly opportunistic. In short, it’s silly. But “Late Kate” is the most-used search term among visitors to SloWord. This search term generates a daily count of 4-5 visitors. So far, I have received 1, ( one ), comment on this. A vast ( by my terms of reference, see Little Red… ) number of seekers seek Late Kate. They find this blog. They visit. They leave. I wrote a follow up post, exploring Late Kate further. This also attracts them. They are drawn to it, likes moth to a flame. Then they die away, leaving nothing behind but the merest smudge on WordPress stats to remind me that they were there once, that they came, they did not knock and they sure as hell did not answer my plea to tell me why they came. It shall remain an unsolved mystery.
I hate unsolved mysteries. My brain hurts!
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I like your blog, I also like your comments on what makes a successful blog.
Once upon a time I was going to write a serious political blog about the way Italy treats its teachers, schools and pupils. (Mrs Sensible is a teacher) Unfortunately I couldn’t be serious long enough and my blog degenerated into its present form.
All the best
yeah, I can’t write a serious post, too, it seems. Thanks!
“Ten Essential Tips For Becoming A Degenerate Blogger” – get to it, man!
Is that for Pecora? Where de link? Don’t tell me I have to call Uncle Google.
It’s too early for Old Uncle Google. He’s not learned yet how to find stuff that will go up in the future, although it probably won’t be long 😉 PN had better get his skates on and write it up for us.
Ah! OK PN, you have your orders!
Most of us obsess over the problems that do no have solutions, don’t we? Anyway, I too have written a post about various types of bloggers, which is somewhat along these lines. But I’m over it now 😀
I don’t know… lots of people don’t. In fact I’ve met very few. Curiosity is usually confined to finding how much money you make etc…not how things work..
I worry sometimes that it is so stupid of me to get stuck like that..
One never can tell why something will work. On the other hand, the success of Late Kate might be fate. I run one of those too-diverse blogs myself, and have, as you described it, a low-view and low-comment rate. Bur rates and Kates have funny dates, and the view counter assumed a galloping gait when you least expect it.
I know that made no sense whatsoever. It was by design.
It did actually make sense…. I must be as weird as you. 🙂