Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Successful Blog

Anita Mathias is author of "Dreaming beneath the Spires", one of the blogs on the Right Hand Side blog-roll of our own little slice-of-life account here. Or, for those of you on mobile - another blog.  One well worth reading.

I was interested in Anita's post "25 Ways to Rapidly Develop Your Blog". Mostly, to be frank, because I've now broken most of the rules on it, as I have removed all traces of analytics from it. I had to. Burton was spending hours every evening watching the Google Analytics Real-time feed. I used to tell him to go out - meet other accountants. But he'd be busy telling me we had two visitors on the site - one from Oregon and one from Kent - and wasn't I excited?

But partly because I found myself wondering, why would I want rapidly to develop my blog? Is it because I want to save souls? If so I might be better closing down the site and sending the Beaker People to march, Flagellant-like, through the streets of Bedfordshire clutching tea lights and preaching the Gospel.

And I have no ads, so that is no reason. Goodness know it's not that I object to the idea of making a few quick from drive-by adverts. It's just I know, from the ads with which Google blesses me when I am posting, that they would all be for homoeopathy, books about the end times, crystals and holidays in Luton. I was amazed, on a solidly conservative Christian blog recently, to read an advert offering to put me in touch with my dead ancestors. And I'd hate to talk to them, to be honest. I reckon they'd still be livid over that hay-baler accident.

And one cannot measure one's worth in page-views and links. What does it profit you if you gain top-spot on EBuzzing, and yet lose your soul?  We can chase the cheap buzz of unique visitors and Klout ratings (which site probably can extract your soul) but if we mounted up all our hits at the end of our lives, what could we do with them? We couldn't trade them in like Nectar points for days off in Purgatory. Or, at least, if you can the Pope's keeping very quiet about it. Maybe he's getting the cardinals always to use his loyalty card when they're filling up the Popemobile, and doesn't want anyone to know why?

I notice that Anita is an author, and so I suspect that she can achieve some exposure to her works - in the same way that Eddie advertises the work of Wyclif, among other things - but who would give fourpence for the Beaker Common Prayer? Some of the celebrities in the calender have been all but forgotten now - a bit like the saints in the Anglicans' Common Worship.

And I regret that, since I imposed a stricter anti-spam policy on comments, I've lost one of my regular commentators. At least, I reckon I have. For all I know "Anonymous" was more than one person, who now comment under a variety of logged-in identities.

Perhaps the definition of a successful blog is to make you feel good when you hit the "publish" button? In which case I fail dismally. Hitting that button is, for me, like prodding that weak spot in my soul that fears that someone in any published blog there is a typo or Freudian slip that tells more than a thousand correct words. That is why on average I have Burton proof-read my posts 12 times after publishing, to ensure I have not accidentally revealed my inner soul.

So I shall have to conclude that there is no measure of what makes a successful blog. Unless it is, of a wet Thursday morning, to share my endless introspection with an uninterested world. But if you've got this far, then thank you for your attention. As Stephen Fry used to say under the cover of Donald Trefussis - "If you have been, then please stop."


  1. What a depressing post!

    If you wanted to be popular, you'd have a headline picture of yourself, dressed in the skimpiest Druid Robes available, instead, we have a picture of a peaceful scene from Mars.

    And statistics lie all of the time. You can manipulate them to say whatever you want them to say. I come here often to ensure that my sanity is unchecked - and every day, I'm pleasantly surprised to know that insanity rules.

    No, keep you blog as bland and boring as you like so that us Trolls can continue to abuse you daily (if we dare) and get insights into the unique world of the Beaker folk.

  2. Judging by the ads Google comes up with with me, I reckon it knows my inner soul better than I do myself! Truly scarey.

    Definition of a successful blog? Makes you come back for more. That and the element of insanity and subversiveness, of course. Keep right on blogging.

  3. To be fair, it was a list on how to develop a blog, not write a successful one. Because, as you and your commentators have pointed out, "successful" is a highly subjective term.

    And there were 20 points, not 25 yet.

    I should add #21--rile the Archdruid into sending you traffic!!

    1. I'm not riled, Anita. And I picked the "Successful Blog" title because I thought it might be good for the SEO...

    2. Ah, SEO. That was something I did not mention. Forgot about Ebuzzing too. They no longer track my links after my template change in April--so I have decided I am well shot of them!! More peaceful this way!

    3. Ebuzzing seems incapable of dealing with the extension. At least that's my excuse. Not that I care. No-siree. Stats? Dross, I say.

    4. Dear Archdruid,

      PLEASE tell me how you set up your comment replies so that you can reply to a specific comment, and not just to everyone at one time. How do I get the reply tab beneath a comment?

      Also, I have removed verification & don't get spam. My filter catches it. The new verification is murder.

    5. You need to go for "embedded" rather than "popup" comments, Anita.

    6. Ah, thank you. People had trouble leaving comments when I used embedded comments (or at least I think that's what I used.)

      I haven't had too many complaints since I changed to pop up.

      Hmmm. Perhaps when i get the next complaint I'll go back to embedded!

      Your comments look so professional--like Word Press!

  4. Eileen, all I can say is that your blog is one of the very, very few that I am happy to read every day, or even more often. :-) Whether that counts as a statistic or just a statement, I'll leave you to judge....

    1. I'm pleased to hear it. I started this blog to make a few nice people laugh, and that'll do for me.


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