Daily Prompt: If you feel successful, you are.

96-90,000Hits-NK-1

You can’t write about success  without defining the term. Success is relative, after all. When I started blogging, success was ten hits in a day, five of which were no doubt my husband. Then, as numbers rose, I  began to get the hang of it. The election kicked into high gear and a monster storm battered the east coast. I wrote about them and began to see pretty large numbers. My expectations rose accordingly, while simultaneously, my definition of success subtly altered.

September 8, 2012

September 8, 2012

Driving home last night from the Cape, I began thinking about where I am these day with my blog. I passed 90,000, close to 91,000 now. When it gets to 100,000 … I’ll celebrate. Maybe. Or when my followers, now at 476 (more or less, last I checked) hit 500.

The thing is, my numbers have slowed. Or maybe stabilized … sort of. I could push to speed them up … but I don’t want to. Because that would mean I’d have to write about things only to pull people in rather than what I feel like writing about. If I do that, I won’t have so much fun. My readership seems more or less steady. I’ve got friends out there. Maybe that is success.

My most popular all time post was written during a five-minute commercial interruption of the 2012 première episode of Criminal Minds. Over a thousand hits came pouring in for it in about an hour plus another few hundred over the next few days and many more in the months since. It remains my highest drawing post. When the season première came around in England, I got 1400 hits in one hour. It’s time has, I think, finally expired. I used to get a steady 50 or more hits a day from it, but it no longer makes the top 10. Just as well. It was a false statistic and only obscured the more important numbers.

I always know when the episode is playing somewhere because each time it shows, anywhere on earth, in rerun or as a new series, I get another thousand or so hits. The last time was the middle of June when a rerun of the episode was on cable and I got just under 900 hits in about an hour and another 300 the next day. Sure does goose up those stats, eh?

June 2013

June 2013

What have I learned from this? If you want to be popular, write about television shows. Be lucky. It helps if Google has you at the top — or near — of the search results. I wrote a little piece quickly, published it within a couple of minutes. It accounts for 10,111 total hits: The FBI can’t do a simple Google search?

In second position for all time hits, with a solid showing of 5,043 hits is a joke about cell phones and Albert Einstein. I copied and pasted it from Facebook: The man who saw the future …

Other very successful posts (in a viral kind of way) include reblogs, tech reviews, and photo galleries. The pictures never go “viral” like writing can, but good pictures get looked at. Nice and steady.

August 2012

August 2012

And well-written articles get read. Not as much as pictures get looked at, though. In the grand scheme of things, probably 75% of my followers come for photography. Which is okay. I make pretty pictures. Photography has been an important hobby for more than 40 years, though writing and editing has been my profession. I’ll bet a lot of people who follow me don’t think of me as a writer at all, but as a photographer.

We have, some of us, many lives. I have one friend who still thinks of me as a musician. When we were closest, back in college, we were both musicians. He stayed a musician, or at least, music has remained the center of his world, even if performing is no longer how he earns his daily bread. Me? I didn’t entirely abandon music, but I went back to writing — my first love, nearest and dearest to my heart. And stayed there for nearly 50 years. I took pictures too. But never professionally.

December 2012

December 2012

The thing is, I write about what I love and many of them, being books, are not my most popular posts. I also write about history and love those articles because ferreting out obscure historical stuff is fun. Doing it makes me feel like “The Time Detective.” If only numbers counted as success, these not-so-popular posts would disappear. Sure, I wish more people read them but I don’t write just for numbers. If that were the single reason to keep blogging, it would be work.

Blogging would stop being fun — and I would stop blogging. I would be poorer for my loss and maybe, here and there, a few others would note my disappearance.

Fortunately, there are times and areas where high interest (on the public side) and my interest (on the writing end) coincide. That’s when things get a little “hot.” Comments and hits roll and it’s fun, but I know the curve will continue to roll up and down and I have to live with that or become something I don’t want to be.

The real bottom line success is I love writing, love the interchange with readers. Love the conversations, pictures, life stories, new relationships. I love reviewing new books, even though they are my least popular posts.

The Best Moment Award - April 2013 from Mike Smith

The Best Moment Award – April 2013 from Mike Smith.

I am mad about books and being even a tangential part of that world makes me happy. That IS success, though there’s no statistical way to compile it.

I’m not a one-subject, focused blogger. When big events or issues are in the news, I write about them and reap a statistical bump from them. I enjoy it when it happens and if I can tie in news and other trendy stuff to this blog, I do. But I won’t force the issue.

– – –



Categories: Blogging, Cameras, Entertainment, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Reviews, social media, Technology, Words, Writing

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

19 replies

  1. Do u realize that MANY of our greatest works of literature barely made it to print ?? to fame? ! some were refused again and again .. until somebody finally relented and published them. Others were self-published. Otherwise they would never have been heard of.
    Therefore … consider this: for every work that gets get published or recognized, there are literally (excuse the expression) dozens that never see the light of day. Dozens of the greatest masterpieces ever made, Never seen. Lost. Unknown.
    That counts for movies and other media as well.

    Does that mean it wasn’t worth the effort for doing it ?

    Like

  2. Marilyn I so enjoyed reading the section of your book about your time and experience in Israel. I thought it was written brilliantly.

    Like

  3. I enjoy your blog & glad that I came about it.
    I don’t always get to all of your posts – but – when I’m on the WP & see you on my reader I do stop by.
    I also like when Garry posts on the blog too.
    You make a nice duo 🙂 🙂
    Congrats on your blog!

    Like

  4. Here’s where you could steal a line from Cody Jarrett — “Top of the world, Ma—–“. No, it wouldn’t blow up in your face. It would applaud.

    Like

  5. I have not yet have that one hit- the closest I came was when I did a little research on the red motorbike in front of Masterchef Australia.s kitchen. and a lot of other people also wanted to know what it was…

    Like

    • I had no idea before I posted them which were going to “hit big” and which would die a-borning. Now, I generally have a moderately good idea what has a chance of going big … but they don’t always. Sometimes, when I rerun them a few weeks or months later, they get a much better response. Go figure.

      Like

  6. A lovely piece, which I have enjoyed reading. Impressive statistics! You have made some excellent points, I think.

    Like

    • Thanks. I was actually thinking about this for the last couple of days, so it was good that this prompt came up when I was exactly ready to write it 🙂

      On Sun, Aug 25, 2013 at 11:37 AM, SERENDIPITY

      Like

Trackbacks

  1. Another subjective subject | Life & Times
  2. Daily Prompt: Secret of Success | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  3. Am I really concerned with being a successful blogger? | Rob's Surf Report
  4. Daily Prompt – Secret of Success | Joe's Musings
  5. ARE YOU SURE? REALLY? 100,000 HITS? ME? WOW … THANKS GUYS! | SERENDIPITY

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