There are certain types of news stories that always do well. Stories about celebs. Stories about Lotto. Stories about the truly awful things, the rarer the better: explosions, baby deaths, tourists being robbed blind. Stories about ridiculous social/scientific studies. Stories about stupid criminals. And of course, provocative op-eds.
With blogging, it’s usually harder to tell what will take off. Often posts we expect to do well get overlooked. Sometimes posts we bash out in a minute take on a life of their own. By now, I have a feel for what gets read, but I’m never really sure – it’s never a guarantee.
My post on authenticity was one that blew up, and while I suspected it might, I also thought it might make some people uncomfortable (the ones erring on the side of douchetastic, that is. That said, I’m pretty sure my readers are not of that ilk). That post had been boiling for a little while and was finally prompted by a blogger who (very politely) threatened to unfollow me if I didn’t start to follow back on Twitter. Said blogger also extended an offer of assistance with internet marketing services. Mate, if this is an indication of how you do business, I want no part of it now or ever. Well-meaning I’m sure, but a totally different world.
My take on ye evergreen topic of passion and career was apparently suitably provocative (one reader said they cried while reading it, which I take as a compliment). I’m still not entirely satisfied with it, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be adequately able to articulate the full depth and breadth of my feelings on it, but for now, it’s a close enough approximation.
One of my favourite posts of all time is this one: My first love was a practice run. I know a lot of people liked it, but didn’t comment – and this is something I find with some of the blogs I read. I often have little to say in response to a piece of great writing, so usually I resort to simply sharing the post online.
While my thoughts on being a first generation immigrant got some traction, my riffing on class differences or cultural differences (both based off books) weren’t so big. Soul-baring is all very well, but when it comes down to it, I’ve never met anyone who remotely shares my general life experience, though plenty can identify with certain elements of it – being personal is one thing, being relatable is another.
Meanwhile, my rant on overdone personal finance topics went off and garnered lots of inbound links. I bashed that out in a couple of minutes, not unlike this post on being an introvert, which got Stumbled. And one of my top posts remains my Friday Five confessions post, which somehow (lord only knows) brings in a lot of search traffic.
So, it’s been a funny little journey. Four years and along the way, I’ve worked a summer job that I didn’t make the most of, been burgled many times, proposed to twice, graduated, moved many times, got engaged – (and received congratulations from most of you before many of my IRL friends knew – as well as emails from those worried about me during the Christchurch quakes, bless), bought two cars, side hustled, changed jobs, and countless other small threads that make up the fabric of human life.
In that time I’ve seen bloggers come and go. Out themselves. Go freelance. Get engaged and married. Have babies. Buy houses.
I’d like to take a mo to single out a few who I’ve followed more or less from the beginning, and who are regulars here too. Sense to Dollars. Well Heeled. Revanche. Fabulously Broke. Jessie. Serendipity.
I’ve got to admit I’ve been less active in the social media sphere of late. I wonder sometimes if the amount of time I spend on this blog is excessive. I find talking tiring, so this is where I come to write things out, rather than discussing them with people, ya know, in real life. That, combined with other IRL stuff, has seen me retreat a bit. And while it may not be the best thing for my blog stats, it feels good.
I don’t see myself dropping out of blogging anytime soon. But if you see less of me, well, you know why. It’s that B word – balance, she’s a bitch.
I’ll sign off with a shoutout to my top referrers for the year, Add Vodka, Debt Chronicles, and again, FBand Jessie.
Love your work.
Happy 4 Year! You are doing a fabulous job. I just realised that makes four years for me too, albeit on two different blogs 🙂
You’re good people, I’m happy you joined the blogosphere. Congrats on 4 lively years from a 6 year vet (whoa). 🙂
I had never read your introvert post before today – but it’s totally kismet. Our post today is a little about being introverted… it has a link to a great TED talk on it if you’ve never seen it before.
Anyhow, I haven’t been on your site for 4 years, but I’ve enjoyed it so far – so congrats!
Congratulations! Four years is fantastic
Loved your post on authenticity!
Blogging is one of those strange things where good articles sometimes depend a little on luck and timing to get noticed. I’ve been surprised myself at what articles get more attention. Also this is my first blog (out of many) where I’ve had regular readers and commenters. Why now? I have no idea. It’s strange.
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Four years…that’s such a big deal! I’ve been feeling the same way lately about my posts…the ones I threw together people are really responding to, and others that I think are so monumental seem to get little response. You just never know. I understand about balance. Writers need to live life or they’ll never have anything to write about.
Congrats on your 4th anniversary!!
I completely agree with you on this “Often posts we expect to do well get overlooked. Sometimes posts we bash out in a minute take on a life of their own.”
It has happened to me a number of times this year and always amazes me.