85,000. What it means. What it doesn’t.

To put this into perspective, my “about” page and five top posts account for around 35,000 hits. “The Me Page” alone has gotten more than 12,000 hits.


Still, the cumulative effect is that a lot of people have visited this little blog of mine, for whatever reason and it’s a bit humbling to realize that’s the number of people in a pretty big town, more than a packed crowd in Yankee Stadium. I know there are people out there whose statistics put them into the hundreds of thousands. What’s weird is I see if I don’t quit, I’ll get there too. Not tomorrow, unless something I write goes viral (unlikely) … but I’ll get there. Because every day, I get around 200 hits, unless the première show for the 2012-2013 season of Criminal Minds is playing — in which case I get closer to 1000 hits (that’s how I know the show is airing).

I am writing this before I quite hit the 85,000 mark. At this moment in time, I’m at 84,958, so I’ll cross that bridge tomorrow. I don’t have the exact numbers, but it ought to be more than 85,000. I’m probably jinxing myself.

Number of posts? Closer to 1500, but I deleted several hundred and I’ll probably have to do it again to keep the website from collapsing under the weight of too many posts. I’ve been a busy writer. Meanwhile, I’m beginning to rerun posts because — hey — I think they’re pretty good and worth running again.

The ups and down of statistics can produce a lot of anxiety, so … you gotta have faith. I don’t just look at raw numbers because they are only a part of the puzzle. I don’t have more visitors or even as many as I did — the total number of visitors is down considerably from the peak last fall. It was the election and the Internet was a wild and crazy place. Yet the overall hit count has remained reasonably steady because guests spend more time on my site, read more posts, look at more pictures. The average number of posts hit per visit is greater than 2, sometimes a lot more. That tells me I’m doing something right.

It tells me I’m writing more interesting stories, posting better pictures. This matters to me far more than raw numbers. To know you come and stick around, enjoy my work enough to read more than a one post makes me feel pretty good.

The numbers of followers I’ve got has topped 400 from WordPress. I’ve got a bunch more from Twitter and Tumblr, maybe a couple of dozen from Facebook (not quite as many as WordPress counts them). A year ago I couldn’t even imagine so many followers.

Followers get  emails. Many people read posts in email and don’t bother to visit the website. It’s a peril of email notification. If you can read it in email, there’s no incentive to go to the main site since the emails contains 90% (or more) of the post. It’s a trade-off. Followers are good to have, even if they only read the email. Honestly, I don’t care if they read my posts on a telephone pole. Where isn’t important.

Sudden drops in hits are alarming and baffling, especially when numbers pop back up the next day. What was that all about? You will never know. One of the great mysteries of blogging. Numbers by themselves don’t mean everything, but they don’t mean nothing, either. A lot of hits indicates interest at the very least. Hit counts on individual posts tell me a lot too.

There are two kinds of posts in the blogging world. There are posts that are highly topical and burn really hot for a short time. Most of these involve breaking stories, current events, scandals, stuff like that. And there are slow burners. Timeless material, fiction, reviews.

Reviews can have a very long shelf life. People keep coming to read them over and over. Many of these are informational in nature, reviews of technology, books, movies. Oddly, reviews of extremely obscure movies do quite well, maybe because it’s difficult to find reviews of them anywhere. Camera reviews seem to have an eternal life. Book reviews of popular authors continue to be accessed months after original publication.

The posts with a long shelf lives gather a lot of hits over the months. One of my top three posts has more than 5000 hits, but it took more than 9 months. As long as the material remains relevant, people will find it. Good placement on Google helps too, but over all, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the longevity of reviews in general, technology in particular.

So for all that WordPress doesn’t think much of my work, a lot of other people apparently feel otherwise and in the end, that matters. It matters a lot. My followers, my readers have become a kind of family. We share each others’ lives, pains, joys. We celebrate and mourn together. We’ve never met, but we aren’t strangers.

I still save every “like” and every notification of a new follower. I would follow all my followers, but I’m out of time. I can’t keep up with that many blogs. I can barely keep up with the books I’m supposed to be reading and reviewing.

I can’t imagine how people do this when they have full-time jobs and young children. I’ve never been more impressed than I am with homemakers and career men and women who manage to handle their family obligations, jobs and blogs. All honor to you. You are the real rock stars.

Categories: Blogging, Book Review, Entertainment, Humor, Life, Media, News, Personal, Reviews, Technology, WordPress, Words, Writing

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

39 replies

  1. Congrats!!! 😀 those are lovely numbers!

    I’m finalllly getting to the point where I can’t actively follow everyone who follows me. It’s a bit of a bummer, but– as you said– I don’t do this full-time. I can’t imagine having kids and doing this! 🙂

    Also, I loved the graphic you made for the numbers. 😀


    • I don’t want to do it full time anymore. I really have been, but I want some time to read, take some pictures, play with my husband and my dogs. I just can’t read 400 blogs a week, much less per day and a lot of my favorite bloggers are very prolific. I honor them, but I just can’t read’em all. Who can? Really?

      Thanks about the graphic. I’m learning. I couldn’t have done that even a couple of months ago. I got new tools and CS6, the latest greatest photoshop. But getting the NIK filters have made a huge difference. What used to take me hours now takes a few minutes. I love my NIK filters. A lot!!


  2. Congrats, again on a well done site.
    Me, being a reader not a blogger originally wanted to read you on my phone either Thursday or Saturday nights in bed. It became difficult to keep up with you by reading once a week.
    I’m a follower yet do not receive emails. YEAH, I don’t want to read you there.
    George, I have not read at your site because this is the first time I have read you on this site.
    That is how I find other bloggers I enjoy. They comment at a site I enjoy, say something interesting, then Im at their blog. I read for a time and if I enjoy, I follow.
    Again WTG Serendipity.


  3. You know you’ll always have a fan here Marilyn. You’re the one that got me started and now I’m hooked. I rotate my favorite blogs and check in at least once a day. Your blog has always been at the head of my list of favorites. Good luck. – Bob


    • Thanks. You’re on the top of my list, too. I’ve learned a lot from you. And it’s AMAZING how much the NIK filters have helped. I could do the same stuff without them, but it took much longer and didn’t come out as well. Also, it’s just plain fun messing around with various effects. I can do the same photograph 5 different ways. And do! The processing has become as much fun as the photography.

      Just don’t get too bent by wildly gyrating numbers. I had the fewest hits yesterday that I’ve had in more than a year, but today is back to more or less normal (whatever that is). The numbers can really make you nuts. Anyway, today is my day to spend money on dogs since I’ve got one that’s not right and have to take her in. Sigh. Always big big bucks no matter how minor the problem. And I sure do hope this is minor!!


      • I’m so glad I was able to share the plug-in deal with you and many others. It does save a ton of time and gets our creative juices going.

        The frog picture I just posted is an example of how processing can give a trash can shot new life. If the colors are muted, blurred or the exposure isn’t bright enjoy convert it to black & white and have fun with that. Nik Software’s Silver Effects Pro 2 is what I used to make this capture interesting again. I also used Topaz Clarity to up the contrast and add pop.


        • I’ve been working over some shots that were taken on cameras quite a few years ago and were of dubious quality. There is a limit to what I have been able to do, but I have managed to rescue and revive more than I would have expected. I wish I had known enough to use high resolution back in those early digital days. But I didn’t know. Oh well.


          • As I learn more & more of how to post process using CS6 and all my plug-in software I’m sure glad I shoot only in RAW format. This has allowed me to return to the original negative to apply my new knowledge to old shots. It’s all so much fun.


            • I had a 20 year period during which I didn’t really shoot at all, and if I did, it was just el cheapo cameras. I didn’t really get back into it until about 10 years ago after that long break. There were just some years when I was in a different place. Pity, though. I missed a lot.


  4. Congrats on your achievements, you thoroughly deserve it.


  5. Whoo-hoo! Hurray! Cheers! You rock, sister! 🙂


  6. And I thought is was just you and me on our opposite coasts! I so enjoy your photographs, your edginess, your sense of community and the connection you show between you and your man.


  7. Nat sound full!! (Applause)


  8. Reblogged this on euzicasa and commented:
    Congratulations! Somebody’s doing something right around here….And it ain’t me!


    • If I had any idea what the formula is, I’d give it away. It think it’s luck, sometimes timing, more luck, writing about stuff people what to read — whatever that is — and I’m right about half the time. Finally: persistance. It’s a real ego killer when all of a sudden, for no obvious reason your hits drop by 50% from the day before. If you give up, you’ll never know it was just an anomoly, a glitch. Sometimes counts drop even more than that, like from 275 on Monday to 95 on Tuesday (it just happened). Huh? you say. Have faith. The numbers pop back up the next day or the day after. Summer and holidays in general are slow. Unless they aren’t. Weekends? Dead. Or the best days of the week. Go figure. Mondays are usually great. Except when they’re not. Ditto every day of the week!!


      • Very interesting synopsis…I try to make sense of the patterns…Somehow I think Wednesdays and Saturdays are tops, and, like the waves of the seas, it all comes and goes. What i really enjoy is the pattern around the clock and globe, and the countries that have done away with the internet… I got 187 countries at euzicasa, the last being Bali I think: Incredible!


        • I don’t even know all the countries I’ve had visitors from. Some of them come from countries I’d never heard of. I had to look them up.

          There are overnight visits from overseas, late night west coast visitors (we’re 3 hours ahead here on the east coast). What are the best days? I get a lot of hits on Mondays because that’s when the weekly summaries go out in email from WordPress. That usually gives me a statistical bump … unless it’s a holiday, in which case everything will come in late at night or the following day.

          I always know when the premiere episode for the 2012-2013 season of Criminal Minds is playing — anywhere in the world — because I get somewhere between 700 and 1400 hits, usually in about one hour. Which is weird. I can tell what country it’s playing because (tada) all the hits are from that country. Even reruns yield several hundred hits.

          If you like statistics, analyzing them can be really interesting. For me, being able to see that while I’m getting fewer visitors, but each visitor stays to read more posts is very meaningful.


          • The few episodes I did published were somewhat successful: For me is a measure of interest, and areas of the world interested. But I did something really good from the beginning: i got the two visitor counters almost from the beginning (mapclst is good in itemizing but if you don’t blog for a while (which happened to me earlier this year, they restart the count. Ten there is the flag counter, that is more accurate in likes, but not breaking the countries into cities, regions, etc., as far as visitors! I got them both, as free widgets, easy to install (i had to learn how). I tried to put Alexa, but was appointed because they are only after the commercial aspect…As i had the widget up, my place within the blog world went to a lower rank, and so did the So called value (worth) of my blog) all about money: it is not the reason I blog for, nor will it ever become such, so I decided I don’t need them to judge and jury my blog!
            Nice sharing thought with you Teepee12.
            Have a wonderful weekend!


            • There’s always a bottom line. Even if we don’t see it or know what it, it’s there. WP has to be earning or they couldn’t stay in business. They sure aren’t making big bucks off of me. I guess not you either.


  9. Congrats..although I don’t think that is what you are looking for. I enjoying reading your blogs……You have an element of surprise…a journey of sorts!


  10. Congrats..although I don’t think that is what you are looking for. I enjoying reading your blogs……You have an element of surprise…a journey of sorts!


  11. Very nice! Congrats!



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