STATS AND OTHER BIG NUMBERS

IN RESPONSE (IN PART) TO “VIEWS” BY FANDANGO

We all want to know why some posts are popular and the rest? Not so much.

Everyone wants to know the secret. I think the secret is getting Google to notice you and put your posts on the top of their search lists. The year that happened to me, every post got tons of hits even when they were nothing special, but Google posted them at the top of their lists.

The highest SINGLE post I wrote got 14,531 views but it didn’t get them in one day. Not even close. This was one of those weird posts where it got a normal (on the lowish) number of hits at first but over a period of seven years, it has continued to get a couple of thousand hits each year. It has gotten almost a thousand THIS year and until I looked at the list, I didn’t even know it. Apparently there isn’t much written on the subject, so it pops up whenever anyone is looking for if there is a meaning to blood types.

The highest number of hits I got for one post in a single day (during one HOUR actually) was a silly post I wrote during the intermission of a TV premiere I was watching. It was weird because I kept seeing that line climb up and up and I read the piece and all I could say was “HUH?” It got 10,173 hits in less than an hour. It was a piece of writing so trivial, I would have forgotten it were it not for the really high numbers it got. And 9 years later, every time that particular show reappears on TV, I get another few hundred hits. I’ll be damned if I understand why.

I had year (2017) when for some reason, I was at the top of Google’s search lists. Every post went higher — at least twice as high — as it normally (whatever that means) would get. Then, one day, Google went away and it was back to the usual — around 50 to 100 for a good post. This has remained true even when I write a lot fewer posts — like this year.

Another long-running favorite has been my post on the Jonestown Massacre. I repost it every year because no one remembers it, but it’s something worth remembering. Probably especially right now. Overall, it has gotten 10,974 hits so far and will probably get few hundred before the year is done.

As for photographs? ONE black & white picture of a swan got more than 2,000 hits in a single day. It was my most popular photograph. It’s a good picture, but is it my best? I wouldn’t have thought so.

I’ve gotten a lot of total hits of more than 500 to 900 hits for many posts. Many of them were about the weather, especially hurricanes and blizzards. Weather is very popular subject and it cuts across political lines. As a side note, Garry gets more hits than I do on almost everything he writes, but he has his own fan club.

Rich Paschall has been getting very big numbers for his posts about “Bad Buddy.” He got more than 600 hit this past Sunday and got almost 1400 a few weeks ago. If you write about popular subjects, you get more hits.

I don’t do that. I’ve never wanted to write for the “hits.” I write what I want to write. It does well or not so well. If I think it should get more hits because it’s a better than usual piece of writing or photography (or both), I will run it again. Good posts often do better on a second round than on their first. It’s important to know when something you’ve written is particularly good.

I’m not sure what any of this proves except you can’t predict what will bring the hordes to your blog.

Do you care? Once I passed a million hits, I felt as if I’d done my bit. I cut back on how much volume I post. I also stopped writing a lot of political stuff. It got bigger responses than other posts, but it also made me crazy. These days, for political stuff I usually reblog other people’s material. I think my audience knows where I stand and writing the same material over and over again doesn’t mean I’m reaching anyone who doesn’t already agree with me.

Honestly, I wish I believed that writing on the “hot issues” of the day would make a difference but I don’t think it does. This is especially true for blogs like mine which have been around for a decade or more. We aren’t gaining a lot of new followers and our older followers are less likely to comment — but that doesn’t mean they don’t read. You can’t assume that the “hit count” is the real count. To get that “hit” someone has to open the post individually. If, for example, they are just scrolling? They can read a dozen posts, but you’ll only get a “hit” for the first one they opened and if all they did after that was scroll?

In the end, I have to ask you again: how much do the stats matter to you? Is popularity your goal? Or is putting up your best material your goal?



Categories: #Blogging, #Writing, Anecdote, Statistics

Tags: , ,

8 replies

  1. Popularity is definitely not my thing because I never even look at the stats. The reason I blog is the community and the exchanging of thoughts, ideas, and comments. I like my blogger friends and would miss them if I stopped writing.

    Like

    • I always hope to convince people to feed birds, let gardens go to seed, be creature and bird friendly — and please don’t get involved in cults. Do I succeed? I know I’ve gotten people to feed more birds and relax about their gardens, but the rest of it? I doubt it.

      Like Fandango, I think writing keeps my brain from drifting away. I have enough trouble remembering anything these days, so whatever keep the pencil sharp is a good thing.

      I never expected to be as successful at this as I have been. I never had a specific theme. I’m just a writer and I like writing AND I love begin able to talk to people who’ve actually read what I wrote. Most of my life, I never knew if anyone ever read anything I wrote, though I’ve written mountains of material. It’s great to get feedback and even better to make friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I notice my autumn leaves post this week did well, but I think that was because I was lucky to get a good picture last Sunday. I was walking back from the 7-11 and saw this brightly colored tree in the neighborhood. I don’t always have a phone or camera on me for these short walks, but this time I had my phone. Yep, it was taken with my Moto 5G+. The camera is as good as anything on the iPhone, just saying., and a lot cheaper.
    I loved the Bad Buddy series and that is the reason I wrote about it more than once. The buzz for it never died down and the original channel is running it again for the second year in a row. I did notice the growing fandom and thought they might respond. I believe that certain fans with a big following sharing the article have made a difference. It is a series I could watch again and again. #BBS (Bad Buddy Series)
    I also love the intense friendship of its two stars, Ohm and Nanon. Unfortunately for them, they can not escape the fact that everyone has a cell phone out and is recording. I saw them on a show recently and when they took a shot of the audience, they were all recording a show that was being recorded anyway! They are great together no matter the show. I think my review of their concert also did well with views.
    The top one for me was Angel Comes Out. It is a harrowing true story and Angel told me the account was spot on. I would not have done it if he had said no after reading it. I believe it did not have much response in the first few days but grew over time because people started sharing it. We ran it twice. I think.

    Like

    • I also ran your post on Cee’s “Flowers Of The Day” which was “Autumn Foliage.” It seemed the right fit. I do like adding music, but if the right music doesn’t show up for me, I tend to move on. It can take me a long time to find the right music or the best recording.

      The post I wrote on blood types has been running in the background for five years. There must not be much written about it because it comes up a lot.

      I don’t worry a lot about stats anymore. I’d like my better posts to be well received, but I don’t need thousands of hits. I think the number of views we get is vastly under-reported anyway and we get a lot more views than the stats indicate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have often thought views were not on the mark based on likes and other reactions. How can there be more likes than views on some posts? I did not even look for a long time, but lately I have been trying to gage the effectiveness of hash tags and introductions at Twitter. I used hashtags that were also used by others for Bad Buddy series and Ohm and Nanon and it has an effect. I write about it because I loved the series and the job they all did. I would not have written more than one though, if the first did not gain interest. I have one more on the brain if I can finish before the series ends again.

        Like

        • That’s exactly what I mean. If someone scrolls through posts, you don’t get a hit for each one they read or scan, only the ones on which they click. The only thing I did was to put in excerpts so they have to click at least once. After that, though, there’s no reporting unless they click on a picture or a link or something else.

          Very under-reported.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. “Is popularity your goal? Or is putting up your best material your goal?” Yes, but more the latter than the former. Actually, writing to keep my mind sharp and to keep me engaged and entertained is my primary goal. Everything else is I ing on the cake!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe — without any formal proof, but I still believe — that writing helps keep you from forgetting and keeps you sharp. I think we need activity that makes us focus. I think most of we older writers believe the writing is helping to keep away the shadows.

      I’ve never written to be popular even when I knew I could. I just didn’t WANT to. I write because I love to write and because I NEED to write. But popularity on the internet? I don’t think I need that.

      Liked by 2 people

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: