This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Do You Feel Respected As A Blogger?


Arlee Bird at the Sinks in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee
   What are your blogging goals?  

        Like I do, many of you diligently post content--often good content--to your blogs.  And if you're like me, you hope that your post will be visited by a few who will hopefully leave a comment and  that your post will generally be well received and perhaps even be helpful to some.  If we're lucky our visitors will click on one of our share buttons or pass the link to our post on through social media channels.

       If this is not the general intent of your blogging efforts then you are blogging for a different reason than I and I am not addressing of those kinds of bloggers.  The bloggers I am addressing in this post are the ones who are looking for what might be considered a certain sense of professional respect in their blogging niche or at least as much recognition as they can garner for their communication efforts for whatever reason they may be communicating.

       Think about where you stand on being a blogger.   My efforts are acknowledged to some extent in the form of a repayment for my own social media interaction.  If my media presence is active then I see an uptick in page views and a good number of comments.  If I am not making rounds and leaving comments then I have fewer visitors and typically experience a drop in my comment section.  I wouldn't say this has as much to do with respect as it does merely being an aspect of blog science.  Presence yields attention.

          Most bloggers are probably secure in knowing they are part of a community and respected by the other members of that community.   We have a circle of friends whom we can drop in on when we are available and they will stop by to see us when any of them has the time to do it.   Some bloggers are on a visiting schedule and we can count on them being there for nearly every post we put up.   That's comforting to know, but is it enough?

         Since blogging has a potential to reach millions and millions of people throughout the world, it does seem like it might be nice to know that a few thousand are reading my blog on a regular basis.  So far this is not happening for me and I would daresay for most of you.  Once again I can't say that this is much of a respect issue as much as it is a lack of visibility issue.  If I don't have wide ranging respect as a blogger then it's primarily because most of the world doesn't know I'm here and considering the millions of blogs that are out there I can see why my blog is like a grain of sand on the seashore.  Getting noticed by many is partly due to a blogger's own marketing ingenuity in promoting their blog and a wide cast social media net that gets posts promoted by others.

Going over the top

         Then there's the viral blog post.   Making the big time with a blog post is usually a fluke that comes as a result of well-written or unique content that is timely and of interest to many.  Virality may be that once-in-a-blogger's lifetime event that provides them a fifteen minutes of fame that amounts to little but bragging rights in the end.  Or that one episode in the public eye might be the beginning of something bigger.  Anyone who is using a blog as a promotional platform should be covetous of a blogger who gets catapulted off that springboard to recognition or even fame.   Or we might even say respect.

        You've probably heard about the blog post Thinking the Unthinkable (I Am Adam Lanza's Mom)  by Liza Long at The Anarchist Soccer Mom.    I'm not sure how many page views that post got but the comment section numbers over 3700.   Can you imagine having that kind of response to a blog post?   This post was publicized in just about every media outlet you can think of and that made a huge difference in the number of readers who visited Liza's blog, which by the way is a Blogger blog with "blogspot" in the URL.

       The comments for the blog posts after that one famous entry have mostly reverted to the 10 or so that she was getting before her viral post on a hot topic of the day.  Many of the most recent comments on her most famous post are primarily rather strange attempts at promotion that would essentially amount to spam that is somewhat in reference to the original post.  Still, that one blog post brought Liza Long scads of attention.

      Did Liza Long gain much respect from her Newtown blogpost?   Sure she got a lot of attention--a whole lot of attention.  A brief Google search will reveal that Ms. Long has intermittently been in the news throughout this year.  I also ran across a few announcements that say she landed a book deal with a respected publisher as a result of her blog post.  That's nothing to sneeze at.  I know I'd be pretty thrilled to be offered a book deal based on something I wrote on my blog and I think that would command at least some modicum of respect from at least a few people.

How do I compare with viral?

     According to my Google stats my typical post on Tossing It Out gets an average of around 250 page views.  This is nothing earth-shaking by any means, but I think it shows a certain amount of respect from my regular readers.  And I thank every one of you for being here so faithfully. This especially in light of my cutting back on my own visiting rounds and not making my web presence as obvious as it used to be.  I try to be a good social networker, but I've got other things to do sometimes as I know most of you do.

    Beyond that average per post range of 200-300 page views there are the anomalies.  For example my post this past Friday Tossing Out Another Throwaway Post  strangely had gotten over 1600 page views when I last looked.    My most viewed post is nearly 20,000 for one of my A to Z announcements.  That number kind of makes sense for that particular post, but my second most visited post seems somewhat odd.   That post is How Important Are Music Programs in the Public Schools? with over 5200 page views.   I've gotten comments on that post as recently as just the other day.  People are finding that link through Google.  Apparently it's a topic that interests a number of people.

     Do the page views equal respect?   I think I can confidently say that a number of you who are reading this respect me as I likewise respect you.   I appreciate you for that respect you give me.  I would never want to lose my inner circle of wonderful readers that I now have.  But to gain recognition beyond that circle is an exciting prospect.  To have one of my blog posts mentioned in national or even international media and draw large numbers of new readers would be an amazing experience.  To acquire new readers who actually continue to return to my site might be an indication of respect.

What is real respect in blogging?

        Sometimes it can difficult to define what respect really is.   In a way I suppose it's not unlike the old argument of blog followers.  Some bloggers say they don't care about having a lot of followers, but would those same bloggers reject additional followers so they could stay small?    That would be similar to an author telling people not to buy their books.  What author in their right mind would say, "I hope my book sells a few copies, but I hope it doesn't make any best seller lists"?

        That's the way I look at blogging.  I'm doing something that's a public activity so I'd like to see it go public in a big way--at least one post if nothing else.   A viral blog post would be okay with me.   Keeping new readers who respect me and my work would be even better.   A book deal because of something I posted on a blog would be beyond incredible.

         Fifteen minutes of blog fame would be pure exhilaration.  Respect after that would be the most I could ever ask for from blogging.

         Have you ever had a post that went viral?   What has been your most visited post? (feel free to leave a link to it!)   Would you like to see your blog posts receive thousands of readers?   How would you handle a thousand or more comments?  Do you feel respected as a blogger?

...And before you go...

       Please do leave a comment on today's post.  I want as many opinions on this topic as I can find.    The success of my research on this topic also depends on a big favor from you:  Please click on as many share buttons below as you can in order to reach a wider audience.   Please tell others about this post in every way you can think of.  I think the information I receive from comments will be very telling.   I will share what I learn here in my Friday post when I take the questions in today's post one step further in a direction that might interest some of you even more.

        Another reason that I want you to pass the link for this post on to others is that today's post is a lead-in for my mid-month Battle of the Bands post.  Since today's post will be the current post for today only and be replaced by another tomorrow, this post will be more easily lost without your help.   Please share the link!

        Incidentally, my post today is also a hint for the song I will be using in my Battle of the Bands face-off tomorrow.   Can you guess the song?  Be sure to be here tomorrow to find out the song and to vote on your favorite version.

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  1. I'm pretty secure as a blogger.
    I've never thrown out something controversial just to go viral. I've had a couple posts hit five thousand pageviews and the most comments I've ever received was 262. (Try replying back to that many in one day! 150 I can manage - 262 is really pushing it.)
    Chuck led me to a blogger who gets 5000 comments (the maximum allowed) with ever single post and usually within a day. She also has 58,000+ followers. I think I'd have a meltdown trying to keep up with that many...
    My most visited is a page rather than a post - the one for the IWSG, which is over 30,000.

  2. Hi Lee .. I certainly would be very surprised if any of my posts went viral.

    I'm grateful to you for creating an extended community for us - which I feel happy and secure in ...

    I don't sweat about blogging - but I do enjoy getting comments, and I do enjoy the learning environment I've created for myself ..

    I certainly reach people and that's mostly through your auspices of the A-Z ...

    I'd struggle having many more regular commenters ... I love relating to all my blogging friends - that's the important bit to me ..

    Cheers .. Lee: you certainly helped us all along the blogging road - and I really appreciate what you've set in motion ..

    Love the photo! I hope it doesn't get that cold here this winter!!! Cheers Hilary

  3. I've stepped away from blogging to see if it is something I really want to do or not and for a lot of the reasons you stated above, in addition to a personal reason.
    My pageviews were small and sometimes I just didn't know if it was worth all my time and effort because I did put quite a bit of time and effort into to it. I wanted to step away to see how much I missed blogging and learn more about it. I jumped in with no knowledge and then just tried anything and I thought maybe if I missed blogging I would start a new one with more direction and a game plan.
    I did have one post that got a lot of attention because I am apart of Blogher and they highlighted it. It has close to 1,950 views,which is a super duper bunch of views for me.

  4. I write for the pleasure of it also it's grand to belong to a virtual family. I wouldn't know what to do if mine went viral. I am happy getting the comments I get and if someone new comes my way so much the better.
    I love reading your blogs Lee, not only are you an excellent blogger you are a wonderful and kind person to have met.


  5. This was too long to read to the end.

  6. Wonderful post, even if it was rather long.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  7. I've definitely never had a post go viral, but I have two that consistently get viewed. I don't get comments on them anymore, really, but they're my two highest viewed (I'll put the links at the end). I would love to see several hundred readers or more a day. I don't think I could handle a thousand or more comments, that would be crazy and my site would probably crash. But I'd still love to get more.

    And I do feel respected as a blogger. My school's newspaper is doing an article on blogging and when the staff was in a meeting, my name was the first one that everyone thought of to talk to about blogging. I'm a big fish in a tiny pond here, of course, but it's nice that people know what I do.

    Here are links to my two most popular posts:

  8. Well, I know the small number of regular readers my blog has (7 for sure, maybe as many as 10) respect what I post because they have all said so at one time or another.

    Mostly though, I'm just preaching to the choir. It would be nice if some "Anonymouses" occasionally submitted comments stating that I had helped direct them toward The Truth and The Light, but that just doesn't happen.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  9. I think there are leaders and then there are followers. You are definitely a leader and you have my respect as well as that of almost everyone I can think of in the blogosphere. My blog views were growing until I hit a personal stumbling block this year. Humor gets me more comments but serious issues and good reviews get more page views. In fact, a book review I wrote about Gather the Children by Mari Collier, is my number one post. Since I have a marketing and PR type background I think I drive away a lot of good folk by trying to sell them my book. My biggest blogging no-no might be that I'm not consistent. I like to have unique content all the time. Writing about writing even puts me to sleep! Great post and I've shared it on Twitter.

  10. Alex --A viral post does not have to be a controversial topic.

    Hilary - Your post do generate a lot of comments.

    Lucy -- You may want to stick with your current blog, regroup, and proceed with a new plan. I'll check out the link.

    Yvonne -- Oh gosh, Yvonne, I'm blushing (with a big smile!). Thank you for your kindness.

    Charles -- I thought you had a longer attention span than that. That's what Facebook will do to you I guess.

    Shelly -- I tried to break it down, but I felt like all the content was relevant for the completeness of the topic.

    Jamie -- Career respect is usually a reputation that is built. You are going in the right direction. I'll check out the links.

    StMc -- I know you are respected as well and I am one of those who respect your blogging activity. I'm surprised that you don't get more hits via Google due to much of the subject matter you cover. At least you generate conversation between yourself and your commenters.

    Desert Rocks -- Thanks for the media share. Consistency is very important I think when you are trying to establish a regular audience. Content is even more important. With your background in PR I'm sure you can recover from your stumble and soar to new heights.


  11. I read the other post, Lee, and I can see why that post would touch a lot of people. It's sad to see mental hospitals closing, that's happening here as well, then they become homeless and become another problem. Our systems need fixing.

    As for blog respect, it seems what goes viral is either a heart rending item or something many identify with. It can be a negative or a positive post.
    What goes viral tells a lot about our society.

    My best post is still garnering looks, nearing 4000 pageviews. It's a post on a legend that had a reference in a movie. I wrote it as an offering relating to Halloween but it happened to coincide with a movie being released. Fluke.

    Perhaps if we offered gifts to the writing gods - wonder if that would help. . .now you've got my interest with the BOTBs reference.

  12. Thank you Lee for this amazing post. I will definitely share on e mail, FB and twitter. (I am assuming it is on FB .. still to see it there and will share there for sure).
    I always much enjoy yr posts as they are so well written with yr particular touch of who you are Lee. And of course you have my gratitude for the April A-Z challenge which was a stretch in many ways. But the comments received were always so rewarding. Not 100's by any stretch of the imagination! (nor 1000's!).
    Yes interesting about yr post on music being a hot one .. I wish I'd seen that one, I wld have surely commented. And no doubt yr post wld have deserved a wider audience.
    I blog (of late not for a while) because it is a way of communicating, putting down some thoughts on what I consider to be important in life, namely the psyche and aspects of it. It is a way of honouring the psyche for me - and from comments received it seems to have value.
    Yes, offering gifts to the writing gods is a good gesture! I'll do that! Who is he or she I wonder? I may steal that idea and blog about that. But will give you first dibs.
    Yes it wld be great to have more followers and more exposure. For this I wld have to increase my social media, but the time is not right for me now. But I surely will.
    My Zorba and the Q posts in the A-Z received many comments - as did surprisingly, my one on Hair - again not 100's. This was and is always rewarding, as have been the posts I wrote about my accident more recently. But it's a good month since I last blogged. Been thinking about it and what to say. I know that blogging takes a lot of time, and I also do not know WHAT I wld do if I received a huge lot. Maybe in the next one to acknowledge all those kind people who took the time and trouble to read and comment. A sort of cover thank you ...
    Also, if one wants to create followers on one's blog, then one must be persistent and blog at least once weekly and it must not be too long. I have heard that 500 words is ideal ... do you know if there is such a thing as an 'ideal' length?
    I hope this finds you well and I look forward to Friday's blog from you.
    (Thank you for saying about URL containing 'blogspot'.. I will look into that).

  13. Hey Lee! I just spent a happy half hour going through my old blog posts to see which ones got the most attention. The highest number of page views was And Then She Said with 13,853. MOST of those views were spam. In fact, almost all of my page counts are spam. I guess the spammers respect me... :)

  14. I really don't think much about respect as a blogger, rather I do think about what content would be the most interesting to my readers.

    Haven't had post go viral yet, but here's hoping. It would be a kick!

    My most popular post now is where I ask the serious fashion question, "Is Hair Rising Again?"

  15. I don't ever "share" blogs I regularly follow on Facebook. Why? Because I don't want my Facebook friends to know that I have this blog. My ex-husband and his kids are among my Facebook friends and I REALLY (in a vehemently strong way) do not want them reading my blog. Sometimes, not often, I have said unflattering things about my ex. It wasn't for his benefit and I don't say things like that to the kids.

    So, I am one of those rare individuals that doesn't really want my friends (and ex-husband) to know about my blog because of some viral link. I have had certain blogs get a crazy number of hits (particularly given the content), but I am fairly certain that all of these were strangers. And I am awesome with that!!! For instance one of my most popular posts was about Ally McBeal. Go figure.

    I hope you go viral. I mean that in the best possible way:)

  16. DG -- I don't think one can necessarily predict what will go viral or be guaranteed that something can be promoted to go viral. The connection with the public is what works, but who can guess what it will be? Your most popular post must have gotten decent SEO ranking so that people find your post when they do a particular search.

    Susan -- There is no magic formula for building an audience. Like you say it is persistence and consistency. I've seen some blogs that have posts going back many years with few or no comments. What are they doing wrong? Or perhaps it is better to ask what are they not doing at all? A solid audience is based on carefully established relationships. The viral post is sometimes luck or coincidence or just being in the right moment. If a blogger hits the virality jackpot then they just have to figure what is the best next thing to do. A thank you in a follow-up post is one thing that would be good, but as we see on Liza Long's blog the follow-up post was just a prelude to going back to where she had been. I like to think that she is too busy to blog and network because she's busy working on her book.

    Cathy - Thank you for the good laugh. I get a portion of the spam, but I don't find myself having to clean up too much of it so I guess a lot of views were not because of spam. You get a lot of comments and I think that says a lot.

    Tami -- I've gotta check out that "hair" post. Maybe a lot of readers like me want to reminisce about having hair.


  17. I blog because I love the variety of writing I get to do and get to read. I have no ambitions about garnering readers. If someone likes my blog, I am sure to thanks them and check their blogs as well. Have found some great bloggers who know how to write.

  18. Robin -- I can see your point. I don't refer much to my ex-wives and I try not to be negative when I do. I know my first wife has read at least a few posts because she has left comments. My kids more frequently read so I keep that in mind as well when I am composing posts.

    I'd like to go viral in the best possible way. I've already gotten my flu shot so I hope that will stave off bad viral though I am suspect about what I've been injected with.


  19. Susan-- But if you have a book you want to market wouldn't you like a huge platform to use as a jumping off point? Or better yet wouldn't be cool to be in a similar position as Liza Long and have a post that is so big that it gets the attention of publishers who come to you for a deal rather than you having to query endlessly for a contract? It's like the lottery, but I think the odds might be better.


  20. I think the respect I feel as a blogger is primarily from those that visit my blog and comment on a regular basis. As far as being highly respected beyond my base circle, well, I don't know. I think I got quite a few hits due to my Banned Books post but I can't really say if respect was part of the large number of comments or the giveaway I was doing that required a comment :-)

  21. You and I are totally in the same place, Lee. Once in a while I hit a homer--usually it is when I invite people to participate in something (BuNoWriMo has gotten me a couple of viral posts) or when I share the works of several people at once as all of THEM then share it. The former you can only do so often and the latter is frankly enough work I only have the energy for it every once in a while.

    Beyond that, I think we get about what we give... we get commentors for visiting and making comments.. which you could do ALL DAY and not hit 1000 views... I think you have to get famous to do much better.

  22. You know, none of my blog posts have gone viral. A while back I was trying to decide if it was even worth it to blog and was even considering quitting because I didn't think I was reaching a large number of people. But then I get a message from someone I had no idea was reading, saying how much she liked my blog! Then I decided that was enough for me, even if I was only reaching one person through my blog, and I don't feel pressure at all anymore.

  23. I've definitely never gone viral and I don't expect to. I write the blog to connect with other writers, share what I think might be of help, and take a break from writing books.

    Your post may have been long, but it struck several chords with me. I hope I'm respected for what I do on my blog. I try to be honest. I try to be fair. I try to be informative. If I slide in any of those areas, I have a feeling the readers will nail me soundly to the bloggy wall.

  24. Considering the possibility of a post of mine going viral is making me re-consider the A to Z challenge again. I spent so much time on the entries, with not many comments. Was it worth it to sacrifice my regular writing, or am I really writing anyway when I blog? And I haven't had enough time to go back and read blogs that I missed during the challenge. A real dilemma!

    Thanks for your post, Lee, and the reminder to check the post views!

  25. Hi Lee,

    Most of us probably write the best posts we can with moderate success in hits and then every once in a while we get a post with tons of hits--and wonder where on earth it came from (like your music in the schools post). And you're right--there are things we can do to improve our stats--visiting our friends, for instance, as you mentioned. Hard to figure out what will go viral. I've observed it usually presents a new and different perspective on an issue.

  26. My blog numbers are quite modest. I quit worrying about what people want to read or how can I accrue more followers. I'm satisfied with being a minor player in the big blogging leagues.

  27. It would be fun to have a post go viral, even though I know that invites spammers galore to the party. So, I'm mixed on that.

    My post popular posts and "searched for" posts are the gemstones series (started in the awesome A-Z challenge).

    But I looked it up and was surprised to see the post with the most views (over 6500) is "Painful Pet Peeves in Reading – Let’s Rant!" from Sept. It only has 20 comments.

    I wonder if so many looked at it but didn't say anything - did it suck? Or since it is older they don't want to add a comment, afraid it will get lost?

  28. I read your post with much interest, I have long puzzled about blogs and the ups and downs of promoting my humble little blog. I must admit I am just not interactive enough to attract followers successfully. One of the reasons for this is the fact I post most days, unless I am away from the PC. And writing a post every day based on my days events is actually hard work and takes time, so visiting blogs and commenting is tricky due to time as I have work, a house to slowly sort out, and various art projects I am doing.

    I am glad of the small group who regularly comment on my blog, but although I would love more followers I worry that if loads of folk started to comment it would make it impossible to respond to them all. However I am only about 30 posts away from the 1000th post on the Slightly Eccentric Diary and that goal is the point I have decided to post only two or three times a week.

    I recently found a blog that had gone viral earlier in the year and the blogger had just written a post saying that it turned into a nightmare with press phoning up and all sorts of people wishing to republish the particular post involved. They seemed really pleased that their blog had returned to obscurity and they had in fact deleted the post in order to do that.

    I have read about so called super bloggers but am not sure they really exist, to my mind the nearest I have found to a super blogger is probably yourself. What with the A to Z. I must admit I got a bit frustrated by the last A to Z as I felt it is being used by too many for self promotion first with only a half hearted attempt at a true A to Z blogging adventure..

    I am not sure my blog has much respect but I think due to its hopefully quirky British humour I have a feeling it is a little misunderstood; I use the same excuse at work too . . . .

    And I really am not sure why I blog but like mountains I think it is because it is there.

  29. Angela -- I don't think the big numbers are an indicator of respect as much as the fewer numbers who stay with you for the journey.

    Hart -- Yes, famous or have that one quirky post that catches on beyond your normal circle of outreach. It happens sometimes to certain bloggers, but for the rest of us the numbers are the result of a lot of work. Is that work worth it in the long run?

    Quanie -- It might be better to become established through arduous effort than be a passing flash on the web that becomes forgotten. If the flash becomes a lingering light in the public arena then that's maybe the best of circumstances.

    C.Lee -- It's perhaps better to build a solid reputation than to have to devise a reputation because everybody is looking at you all of a sudden. The former is more real and the latter can be quickly knocked off the pedestal if they can't live up to public expectations. It's important to be trusted.

    Jarm -- And yet some here have indicated that some of their A to Z posts have had highest page views. The forum of the April Challenge does bring the potential of greater readership. And lack of comments does not always mean lack of page views. My post of last Friday got relatively fewer comments than I am accustomed to receiving, but a huge number of hits and I think I can see why. I don't know how valuable those hits were, but if they were in the millions instead of thousands that might start to have some kind of big meaning.


  30. Elizabeth -- I think you're right about the different perspective, but sometimes even just the mention of something can have an effect like my post last Friday. I think I can say that my uptick in views had a lot to do with my mention of Obamacare since most of my views came from Google.

    Richard -- So why are you blogging? What do you want to see as the end result of your efforts? I think those are questions you might want to evaluate, but if you're content with what you're doing then that's really what matters most.

    Southpaw -- I'll have to check the link. I guess we'll never know why most people visit without commenting. I can certainly think of a few reasons though besides having to do with the content.

    Rob -- I like the closing statement. Why do most of us do any of the things we do? I think you've nailed it. I think the more personal our posts are the less people relate to them or are inclined to run across them unless there is something that really resonates with others. You are in that perplexing situation that many of us face with blogging--consumption of time. I deal with this as well and don't handle it very well. I can see how a super viral post could lead to a lot of distracting inquiries and such. Maybe that's why Liza Long stopped posting during the summer and has a sketchy internet presence over the past year.


  31. I don't think that much about it....once I put the post up, I'm kind of done with it.

    While I appreciate that some people read it, I knew early on I was unwilling to do the work it took to become a "popular" blogger (follow a million blogs, leave a million comments).

    I read more blogs than I follow, and I comment when I feel I have something to say.

    I seem to get far more hits than I have followers, although it seems that the same core group of followers leave comments (the same group whose blogs I frequent).

    Add all that got me!


  32. I have to be honest and admit that it really rankles me that some blogs that have almost no real content are incredibly popular.
    "Look! A picture of a cat doing something weirdly catish!" It just bothers me.

    I put a lot of work into my blog and a lot of work into having worthwhile content, and, often, I feel slighted by the fact that people actually don't respect that. I mean, frequently, the response is, "Your blog is too much work, so I'm not going to bother with it." And, again, I won't lie; that kind of response hurts and, well, just sucks.

    It is, however, the response I expect, because people want light and fluffy cheerleader crap rather than content that is actually genuine and worthwhile.

    I don't tend to have long time loyal readers. The people that have been following my blog faithfully for even more than a year are very few.

    My most popular post is from this year's A-to-Z. The one about how to be a werewolf. heh

  33. It's not something I've ever thought about before. Now that I am, sure, I feel respected enough for what my blog is all about. I get 10-20 comments per post, sometimes more, sometimes fewer. I rarely check my stats because I completely forget about it, so I don't know what my biggest hits are. I have my regular commenters, and some who pop in when they can, and occasionally newbies. I return the visits when I can.

    Blogging is a hobby for me. I started my blog to meet other writers and learn more about writing and find a supportive community, and I did! If blogging was something that I needed to make a living, then I'd be more serious about it. But it's just fun and a learning experience for me right now, so I don't take it personally if I don't get comments or many hits.

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  34. Larry-- And you're rather typical of most bloggers in your goals I think (though often atypical in content that interests me). But wouldn't it be cool if Todd Rundgren contacted you because he liked your blog so much that he wanted you to be his official blogger?


    Andrew -- Well, I had to walk away from the computer in a fit of laughter about the werewolf post.
    What you say is so true--and so sad. This is partly what I'm getting at. Those cat posts have an appearance of popularity, but probably have as much chance at virality as any of yours or mine. Although some cat posts might make wide coverage, I don't any would make the media or garner a book deal.

    Your posts have depth without being overly long. You make readers think and if they've thought they might want to converse. That's what I often strive for with modest results. I think my music education post was a thoughtful post that resonated with a large number of readers.

    But the posts that seem to generate most response are the lighter ones. I get too deep or "too long" then comments may drop and the page views aren't as many.

    Maybe solidifying your reader base is a process of separating wheat from the chaff. You may be smaller than the pop bloggers, but you will be saying something that people react to with something deeper than trite flattery.


  35. Laura -- Blogger as hobbyist is pretty common I think and if you decide to dive more actively into the pool then you've got a decent base to start with. I typically don't look at my stats too much. For today's post I happened to look more closely since it was the crux of my topic and I was taken aback by the curious stats of my last Friday post. This only got me thinking more deeply. I generally write with interaction in mind, but don't think too much about virality of a post.


  36. My top two posts have 40,000 and 35,000 views respectively, and they seem to continue to grow. All of my informative posts (book reviews, lists, histories, etc.) gain steadily. Personal posts and short newsy things have a short life, but I'm aware of it. I can't say that the posts with big numbers surprise me -- I seem to know when I'm onto something, so to speak.

    I've built up a few regular readers with similar book tastes, and I'm proud of those. I learn as much or more from them as they do from me. The bottom line, though, is that I mostly blog to have a forum for the stuff I collect while freelancing and reading that I don't have another outlet for.

  37. If I ever had the amount of different comments (minus spam) as you did on this one, I'd drop dead away. The point of my blog is, here's me. I can neither predict, expect, or demand that that rates respect- though I do get it from the few wonderful commenters who do drop by.

  38. Excellent post, so I had to add a comment too. I've blogged on various topics for as long as blogging has been going - fifteen years? Not sure.

    It was easier back then than now, especially given I'm blogging to writers who are busy people themselves, but I've always blogged for pleasure, so that's the respect I get out of it - for myself mainly, that I manage to motivate myself despite statistics or days where nobody notices. In the meantime I enjoy reading most of the bloggers listed above in the comments, and appreciate the amount of work that goes into a post like this one.

    I'm also annoyed that my biggest constant page hit is for a gimmick page I made up about a made-up writing companion, an alpaca. Apparently there is a lot of interest in alpacas and it brings in hits from places like South America, not so much when they find out it's actually a writer's blog.

  39. Part 1 of 2

    Do I feel respected as a blogger? Not particularly. Do I seek respect as a blogger? Not particularly. Let me explain.

    Lately, I have been questioning exactly why I blog. I initially started blogging in the spring of 2010 when I was planning a move to the Caribbean, as a way to chronicle that segment of my life. I started a second blog after I wrote my first full length novel, while living in the Caribbean. I listened to the ‘experts’ who said you should have a social media presence, when seeking publication. I don’t think I ever was, or still am aware exactly what a social media presence means.

    I began blogging about my writing and my story. Basically pretty boring stuff. I participated in NaNoWriMo and had a really good time working on my third full length novel. More blog fodder. Still basically boring. Participated in some blog hops and started following just about everyone. Developing that social media presence, or so I thought. Started participating in various blog contests and found that I didn’t yet have thick enough skin. From here I went on to participate in various blog conversations via the comment box, but generally came away with a congenial pat on the head and feeling somewhat dissatisfied. Seems most folks like it if you spill your guts and leave a lengthy, well thought out comment, but then they come back with a trite sentence or two. (I do understand the time constraints of a busy/popular blogger, but hey, what are we really doing here?)

    Finally I have decided that I blog for myself. Sometimes, I want to tell a story. Sometimes, I want to vent. Sometimes, I guess I just want to hear myself talk. I don’t really like to talk about myself. As is my background, I’m much more comfortable playing some type of character, hiding behind a persona, acting out a part. Funny, in never occurred to me to use a pseudonym when I started blogging, and I wasn’t even smart enough to hide my name or email address.

    I understand the reciprocal nature of the blogosphere, but have some people whom I like, and I read their posts regularly regardless of whether or not they visit mine. Sometimes, my feelings are hurt that most people don’t really follow that type of pattern. (We all seem judge from our own perspective.) In the past few months as I’ve dealt with health issues, and various other mundane life problems, I’ve been neglectful in commenting on a lot of blogs and of course, my readership and comments as fallen off drastically. (Sometimes, when we need a friend the most, they are simply too busy making new friends who fulfill their needs better.)

    A few months ago someone left a comment on my blog that was completely opposed to what I was saying. I don’t think they meant to oppose me, but rather they had completely misunderstood my meaning. I immediately typed out a response, calling their attention to my original meaning and rather bluntly stating that I, in no way, agreed with what they had said. To my complete disappointment, I deleted that response, and simply let it go.

    Why? I’m not sure. Probably because the person leaving the comment was a friend of a lot of my friends, and a far more popular blogger than myself and I simply didn’t want to make waves. Maybe I didn’t want to hurt the commenter’s feelings. Maybe I just didn’t want to look like the bitch. Maybe I simply didn’t care enough anymore. Seriously, I am still trying to figure that one out.

  40. Part 2 of 2

    Anyway…I’m now over 500 words and bleeding all over your comment box. I really don’t mean to do that, but hey you asked, and I decided to vent a little. Personally, I’ve had my fifteen minutes of fame about a half of dozen times so far, so that isn’t my purpose here, by any means. Having a blog go ‘viral’ because it really helped/meant something to/or actually changed people’s lives would not be a bad thing for me, but I don’t expect that to happen or write to it. It seems that everything I strive to do is more on a one-to-one basis. If I can make a few good friends, who are willing to check in on me, when I’m in some deep dark hole, as opposed to being the belle of the Ball – Miss Popularity (Ha, ha, ha!) that’s good enough for me.

    I do find that at times my feelings are a little hurt when I put a lot into a comment, expecting some return or cleaver phrase about my originality or what a fine comment it was. Likewise, when I read blogs that are dedicated to other loyal followers, while none has ever been dedicated to me; then I stop and think that at the very same time; I would hate that. (Am I one of those women, who it is impossible to make happy?) Other than standing in the middle of a stage playing the part of somebody else, I really don’t want anyone to ‘look at me, look at me’. Hell, I have never even posted a picture of myself along with my blog posts or as an avatar. Another telling idiosyncrasy.

    So now you’re probably asking yourself the same question that I’ve been asking myself lately, why does this person blog? If you come up with an answer, I would be interested to hear, but keep in mind that particularly thin skin, I talked about earlier. (Maybe this should have been a post in my own blog space, but then there is a chance that five or six people might have actually looked at me, and I’m not sure I really want than.) Go figure!

  41. Kelly -- So what is the source of your page views? Since you don't have that many followers people must find your posts somehow. Do you promote them in any special way?

    CW -- And the comments on this post so far are overshadowed by the numbers that bloggers like Alex Cavanaugh gets. Much of it is in the networking. Do you comment much? Do you promote your posts at all? If you have wonderful commenters who continue to return then that says a good deal about you and your blog. We should all hope for at least that much.

    Hunter -- It can be funny to see what draws people. If only we knew what they thought when they found us if they don't leave a comment.


  42. I'm sure a lot of music teachers found your post about the importance of music in schools. Those 'extras' in schools are fighting for their lives.
    I try to make my posts interesting and hope people realize I'm a professional writer. I don't think I address any issues controversial enough to go viral.

  43. Faraway -- Whew! Well that was such an epic comment that you deserve a response solely for you.

    And I agree that you should turn this into a post. This is exactly the kind of content that makes for a good contemplative topic that many of us are thinking and can relate to. I encourage you to use the material in your comment as a post on your blog.

    I know what you're saying. My networking has dropped off considerably and though my comment sections are still mostly good, they have dropped from what they used to be. But I understand that. We have to decide which things in life we have to divide amongst the time we have available. I was spending so much time commenting on blogs that I was getting hardly anything else done. I've cut back on the commenting and still have a problem doing everything I'd like and need to do. What a mess! But that's life I guess.

    I tend to do like you said, blog for myself and hope others want to listen. I guess it works much of the time since I'm trying to see what other people think about what I want to know. And if I do get into the social things like tours, cover reveals, or guest posts and the like, I want to make those fit into what I'm doing. I've dropped most of the blog hops since it is kind of like whoring although I'm always game for a music or movie hop or something that fits me.

    Blogging can be nutty so it's best to enjoy it and not let it drive us nuts.

    Thanks for that pouring out of your thoughts and feelings. That's the kind of comment that a lot of bloggers probably envy that they would get for their own posts.


  44. Susan GK-- The ironic aspect of my music post was that I was taking an unpopular side that I disagreed with. It was interesting to see how many people did not read closely enough to realize that and they became very angry with me. I must have been pretty compelling in my argument to stir that much emotion.

    Writer posts are niche material and unlikely to go very wide. But if you did tie it into something mainstream like movies or TV for example you could come up with a viral post.


  45. To be honest Lee I've never really had a highly viewed post and all of my readers generally tend to be the exact same people so I don't think I'm too notorious in the community, I'd like to think I am liked though even if I'm not respected.

  46. Lee,

    This is a very interesting, but long post. I don't get many comments either usually, and not near as many as you do. If I get a dozen comments on anything I feel like I'm doing well. I would never expect anything to go viral, but I would be happy if it did. Or even happier to get the book deal.

    I've never heard of Liza Long so that shows you how mach time I spend on the internet. I don't have a lot of time for constantly promoting and I believe that's what it takes unless you're a famous person.

    I visit blogs when I can, but I'd never get my book written if I did that too frequently. I do admit you get more comments by visiting and commenting but the people I visit don't always visit my site or if they do, they don't leave a comment. I don't always leave one either if I have nothing to add, so I understand that. I get way more hits than comments.

    I do have all my accounts tied together with my blogs, so they post on FB and Twitter too when I post.

    I have two posts I've had more hits on than the others. The post I've gotten the most hits on is the one I wrote about getting rid of the CAPTCHA, which I still get hits on but no comments. That link is here:;postID=1700965364467986507;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=103;src=postname

    The next highest one is the one I did about doing laundry the old-fashioned way for the A to Z challenge last year.;postID=9039616754703640333;onPublishedMenu=posts;onClosedMenu=posts;postNum=75;src=postname

    Beyond that, the one I wrote about the mineral Zeolite for the challenge, one about my cat and the one on the Milky Way have the most, but most of mine are well below 50 hits each.

    That comment you made about the flu shot and going viral was quite funny.

    I'll have to read your post on Obamacare. That subject really urks me to no end, but I try to stay away from politics and religion on my blog.

    All the best Lee.


  47. Yeamie -- Your comment made me laugh. I think you are liked as well as being respected.

    Sunni --The links you left are not URL's for the posts--they take me to something only you can access.

    The dilemma of commenting and time spent doing it is a common one. I face it to. We have to know what are limits are and take care of business as we see fit.


  48. Lee, You have defintely earned a huge amount of respect in the blogging community. In fact, many of us only got to know each other through A to Z. Occasionally, I'll see bloggers that have struck a chord with one post on talk shows, but that's a rarity. I agree that a lot of blogging is getting back what you put in.


  49. Thanks Arlee, and BTW I did notice your BOTB reference, but then I started typing and got so self-absorbed that I forgot.

    So...are we talkin' Aretha or could it be Mick and the boys, who are hardly ever satisfied. Either way I'm sure it will be a cover by their second cousin twice removed. Just kidding. I actually like that you tend to post familiar songs, done by the obscure. No pre-programmed votes here.

    I also forgot to mention, your mention of a flu shot...'are you kidding me?' Now, who knows what you have been injected with, possibly little cameras that will track your every thought, move and more. OK, I'm done now, and more than a little 'just kidding'. Not really.

  50. Your post often have truths and knowledge that I enjoy reading and learning. A-Z Challenge is a phenomenon and respect is definitely given to you from me for that and your well thought up blog posts and even some random ones. I feel accomplished as a blogger most of all because I'm nearly two years into a blog that's not only successful and regularly viewed and commented on. But I finally have a community of writers and online friends I can rely on. That's nothing to sneeze at.

  51. Lee - I don't have a ton of Google followers, but I have a good amount of subscribers through other means (RSS readers, etc.) According to my search analytics, people find me because they're looking for information on the books and authors I've written about. Because I often cover obscure things, I've cornered the market on a few topics.

  52. A good topic to think about. I've never had anything go viral, but then I tend to stay within the same bloggers. It's hard to branch out more, but also necessary to reach more readers. It may call for a complete blog revamp to appeal to other readers since mine is geared toward fiction. Something to really think about.

  53. Julie -- And the bloggers who show up on talk shows often are not consistent bloggers who interact with others. They just luck out I guess. Thanks!

    Faraway -- Not Aretha or Mick, but you are mighty close to the right ballpark. I'm still paranoid about those flu shots.

    Sheena-kay -- Amen to that! Community is what we aim for.

    Kelly -- So you've managed good SEO to be sought out for specific topics. I've noticed that some of my posts on peculiar topics have gotten larger number of hits. Topics such as "pickled pigs feet" and "chili brick". It's weird what people look up, but good when not there are not many sources on the web and my post on the topic ranks high.


  54. PK -- Your community of readers or blog niche do not limit your potential for viral posts. It's a matter of writing about the right topic that captivates a lot of people outside your normal readership. Most of the time you can't set out to do it, but it just somehow happens.


  55. It's an interesting topic, and probably why I always scoff a little when people say they blog for themselves. Generally speaking, they don't. People blog for other people to read them. We all want acknowledgement and respect.

  56. Hi Lee,

    I got drawn attention to your posting via your announcement on Facebook. You did something I wouldn't normally do. However, I often share others, include yourself, postings on Facebook.

    And if the truth be known, I have never been fussed by the amount of followers I have. In actuality, the number of followers is not that indicative of the popularity of a site. I have had a blog for nearly seven years and I have just over 400 followers.

    Yet, I can a lot of comments and I often get way over 200 to 300 page views per posting. The thing is, I'm happy as I am. I think my balance within the blogging community is a nice combo of interactive and proactive. I don't need to superficially raise my number of followers by setting up blog fests or blog hops or whatever.

    I do a lot of background work with folks, without the fanfare. That works for me. I admire the fact you are promoting yourself. I'm personally too shy to do such a thing.

    All the best, Lee and happy blogging.

    Gary :)

  57. Like you, I have to visit a lot of blogs to get return comments. My most popular posts are strange in their variety. A few little silly ones and then guest posts. (Guests on my blog attract lots of attention.) I'd like more blog attention, but then again, I have very little time to spend on the internet each day to give attention back to it. I'm curious to see if there will be a major difference when my son is in school full-time and I can dedicate much more time to networking.

  58. Very good question, and I do wonder, sometimes, why I do it, but prior to my current blog postings, I used the blog to promote my Blog Talk Radio Show, and not very well either, but still it is why I started, and now it's why I continue. My blog is to replace the marketing opportunity I used to offer authors I interviewed on the show. I'd love to start doing it again(the show), and may now that my electrical problems may be fixed - crossing my fingers!
    I'd like to think I'm respected for what I've offered and done for others, but how do you judge that? Comments, readers? Good question - I obviously have no answer!
    Oh, and no virals - but the most viewed is a post about the book Into the Red, and the next is a post about The Naked Writer - does the word naked make the difference? For these, I credit the followers of the individuals posted about, and the social media savvy, of my guests.

  59. I've been blogging since 2005, and I've had a couple funny things happen to a few of my posts.

    When they found Shawn Hornbeck alive in 2007 after having been abducted back in 2002, I blogged about how two VERY famous psychics had told the Hornbeck family that their son was dead. I blogged MINUTES after the boy was found, so I received over 50,000 hits in 24 hours.

    Another post I did about a sink hole in a middle of subdivsion was found by a geology professor out in California, and she asked if she could use my blog post as part of her curriculum!

    I've had famous people visit my posts too. Probably the biggest celebs were a couple members of the TV show Ghost Hunters coming by when I posted about my interview with them.

  60. Kellie -- I think there is often a balance if you're doing it right. I blog on topics that interest me and that I enjoy writing about, but at the same time I want to make it interesting enough to engage others. I want to attract an audience who will stay and that is a very important factor for me. Otherwise, what's the point of writing?

    Gary -- I might be tempted to use the old adage that if I don't promote myself then who will. In blogging at least, like you've pointed out, many friends will promote us. I think I can still make a reasonable case for building a cadre of followers, but then too it's a matter of our reason for blogging. Your motivation to blog may be much different than mine and others who want as many to read posts as we can get. Either way it's all good if we're okay with what we are doing.

    Christine -- I can guarantee you that if you network more you'll see bigger results on your own blog. It's a matter of blog science. I'd like to find the best ways to blog smarter and not more, but I don't know how achievable that is without leaving blogging friends by the wayside.

    Yolanda-- the word "naked" might have made a difference, but my experiments using the word "sex" didn't reap many results. It may be overused and too clinical for some. Sometimes my guest posts to wonderfully but occasionally they tank. I noticed that your appearance on my blog received a higher than average number of page views so I think that says something about the respect readers have for you.

    Jay -- The types of things you mention are exactly what it takes to get a viral type post. To a lesser degree I had similar results when I mentioned a woman who had disappeared in the Smoky Mountains several years ago. I guess maybe I was getting hits from people who thought I might have some new information, but I was just recycling other stuff that was already on the web. Getting a celebrity appearance doesn't hurt at all.

    Karen -- Actually I'd like to find the way to go viral without having to resort to too much social media work. I'm lazy about this, but work might be what it takes. I think you could manage the right post with the right topic. We can never tell when it might come.


  61. I haven't had a post go viral yet. I think I haven't been at this long enough (two years in January) to get to that point, plus I don't post as often as I think I should. For the most part the blog has been there so that I can participate in challenges (ROW80, A to Z, and recently the Ultimate Blog Challenge).

    The post that has gotten the most hits is a post I did on ten interesting facts about pi ( I have no explanation for it; it seemed to have a few weeks where it was getting hit all the time; maybe a bot of some type got hold of it.

    I don't feel that I've really earned the respect that some people have. I'd love to have the blog get thousands of readers and get lots of comments, but I'm still unknown by most. I think a big part of that is that I really haven't landed on what kind of content I'd like to feature. Up to now, there's been just the "Two For Tuesday" feature. I tried coming up with lists of ten (I called it "The Thursday Ten"; maybe I should try "The Friday Five" and see if that's easier), but I really suck at making lists (something I'm going to have to get better at if I'm going to survive in this business).


  62. My most popular post was a guest post and I threw the title on it, "Balancing Social Media". It's pick up almost 9000 pageviews since February this year. The one after that, about tips to get blog tours and guest posts right, has picked up 2200 pageviews since January this year.

    I get a lot of visitors who don't comment, and the comments I do get (except for a handful of dedicated visitors)are usually only because I've visited the person's blog first. I have a few rl friends who believe, for that reason, that blogging is simply a 'circle jerk'. Their term, not mine. It's not, of course, because I feel if I've even helped just one person, then I'm not wasting my time.

    And I often think about those who don't leave comments but definitely visit regularly. In fact, the last conference I went to, a writer came up to me and said, "I know you. I read your blog!" He hadn't left any comments. Now that was a nice surprise!

  63. John -- I posted my theory about your most visited post in the comments of that "Pi" post. But to reiterate here, your post appeared right before the movie Life of Pi was released so people looking up info about the film may have been looking at your blog post from that point and beyond the Oscars. Interest in the film is what I think may have generated page views of your blog post. I'd say just keep experimenting with your blog format and subject matter and eventually you'll hit on something that fits you and resonates with an audience. Good luck!


  64. Lynda - For most of my posts I seem to get comments from about 25-30% of those who have stopped by. I think a great many people either don't know what to say, are not in the habit of commenting anywhere they go, or can't figure out how to comment. I've had a number of people (friends and family) tell me the latter. The "circle jerk" theory has some validity, but I prefer a more positive approach in the vein of how you think. I enjoy visiting the blogs of others and it helps keep my creativity stimulated. It's another form of friendship I think. Labeling posts in reference to social media topics is a good idea because it's a popular theme for bloggers to read. Some of my more popular posts have been about blogging itself or social media. Today's post has generated a goodly number of comments.


  65. Hi Lee
    this is timely for me as I was recently told that posts should be short, should only take 20 mins to write, should be posted twice a week and a whole lot of other rules that I routinely break. This came from someone who doesn't blog btw and was in response to me saying my posts can take 2 days to write. She was horrified and told me I was doing it all wrong!

    It all seems extremely random and I can't imagine ever being noticed - When there are cats around who wants to think? But the same comment has been made on G+ , people want fluff. Having said that I do feel respected by people who matter to me and that's more important than having heaps of followers who don't interact.

    I'm still very grateful for having met you and joining the A-Z blogging challenge. My posts from that are still regularly accessed and people find the ones on bullying informative and helpful, and those on climate change interesting.

    This one on climate and food has almost 1900 views
    And this political one nearly 1000 (we've recently had an election where a lot of important things weren't discussed)

    I find it interesting that what I refer to as my 'grumpy' posts get more hits than others. While I don't have many regular visitors I do know that my posts are meaningful to random people who come across them - that means a lot to me. I also find it fascinating that people will comment on G+ rather on the blog post itself, so no comments on the post is not necessarily an indication of lack of interaction. If it was I'd probably stop! Any ideas why that happens?



  66. Hi there,

    Thanks for an interesting post.

    We're a new blog with a tight target - people who love MG books (aimed at 9-12 year-olds) - so we don't expect huge figures and currently run in the hundreds of visitors, rather than thousands, for each review/author interview.

    However, we've found that one source of big numbers is catching the attention of someone with a huge following. One day, when he was off school sick, one of our reviewers, 9 year-old Dylan, wrote a funny blog about Neil Gaiman's book, 'Fortunately, The Milk...' - . The wonderful Mr Gaiman then re-tweeted it with the description 'best review ever' and we received 90,000 hits in under 12 hours!

    All very exciting, but then numbers returned to normal, which is fine for us. We just want to help bring books and authors closer to kids in any way we can.

    Rachel (

  67. I used to worry over the lack of traffic at my blog; now I'm glad I'm not too popular so I can slack off. I don't always trust the "page views" feature though; I've have times I've gotten 30 or so comments (not including my own reply's) and the pages view counts only about 14. Maybe I just don't know how to read the stats.

    My blog is what it is. I don't have earth shattering news, and I've only a few short story publications to my writing credit. I created my blog mostly so I could comment on other blogs without being "anonymous".

    Still, its fun to interact with other writerly types, and it gives me somewhere to put my thoughts that my family and friends just don't understand.

    I've made some amazing friends here in the blogs, people I converse with through e-mails and have created a steady critique partnership with. And that was the major goal behind my blog. I hope I have interesting content; but those few loyal friends that encourage and support my writing goals are the true fruits of the blog. Everything else is just ego boost.

    Nothing wrong with extra comments on a well thought out post :) And I do visit a lot of blogs and make comments, so I think most people visit cuz I visit them. I don't mind.


  68. I try not to pay to much attention to the stats. They are too fickle. I just stay focused on the comment and am grateful for each and every one I get. It's nice to get recognition but I don't feel I need it in bucket loads. Just one person appreciating something I write is enough.

  69. While I would love to have more readers/commenters, I rarely check my stats. I observe how many comments I get, but most of all, I watch for the good comments, the ones that are a discussion of some sort. I love those. Am I respected as a blogger? I think I am by some. Am I a viral blogger? Nah. Have I had posts that went viral? I don't think so. I do have one that comes up in searches and gets me lots of hits (How Write Post-Apocalyptic), and it's big on two different blogs. I love that, of course! I'm considering taking that blog post and writing an article on the topic to submit for pay to a magazine.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  70. Stats are interesting. The numbers don't mean that that many people actually read your blog, it might mean they landed there as a search, but it wasn't what they wanted. So I don't take too much notice of stats. I've had up to 2,000 views which is accompanied by maybe 50 comments. Most people don't comment; only our close blogger friends and bloggers who want you to return a visit as they have something to promote, I've found.
    My most popular post, with over 100 comments, was on copyright images.
    Interestingly enough, I have a English Tutor blog where if I search for anything education wise, Google has me on top of the list, perhaps because I get tons of page views, but rarely a comment (which I don't covet on that blog.)
    But I do covet comments on my writing blog, especially when I have carefully crafted a post. And, yes, visability. During the A-Z you see it - unless you comment on 30 or so blog posts, you'll just sit there with 3 or 5 comments. Blogging is definitely reciprocal.


  71. Interesting post even if I'm way off having a fraction of your followers. I'm happy if I get a couple of comments to my posts. Sometimes feel I just write them to keep my brain turning... otherwise my disability would just claim me. Yet I feel encouraged somehow.

  72. Sue -- I might write my posts over a period of 2 or more days, but I don't think I've ever put more than an hour into a post and most of the time it's probably more like 15 minutes. Yes, a great many people want short fluff pieces so they can get through all the blogs they read. I personally will skim through many that are over laden with dull writing and content that doesn't interest me. However the shorter posts are unlikely to go viral since there is usually little in the way of content. More in my Friday post. Not sure what to say about the G+ commenting. I'll have to go to those posts you mention and see how the commenting system is set up. I've been seeing blogs that appear to only offer a G+ comment option.

    Rachel -- Great example. You're in a niche, but you were able to draw people through a celebrity tweet. Makes sense to me.

    Donna -- The sense of community is great, but it would be nice to have a far wider range of respect and recognition of blog posts without constant media presence. A happy meshing of the two circumstances would be rather nice and it would probably help book sales.

    Joss-- I agree that one can become overly engrossed in stats. It's good to look now and then, but not to obsess on them. You might want to think a bit more about your last sentence though and evaluate what you've said in context of the reason why you are blogging.

    Shannon -- Using your blog posts as a gage to decide whether the topic is right for expanding into an article for sale is a very good idea.

    Denise -- Stats can be greatly misleading and they should not be our sole evaluating gage of our blogs. My ratio of comments verses page views is probably around 20% on the average. The bigger the number of page views the more that ratio drops. 5000 views will probably yield 1% or less comments. There is nothing exact about blog response, but reciprocity accounts for a lot of our comments.

    Roland -- Stay encouraged. It's best to compare yourself to what you've done in the past and where you've been heading. Trying to match another's accomplishments is often being untrue to who you are.


  73. I think we're respected, which means a lot to us as the 'clowns' of the blogging community. People are laughing with us, not at us.

    We've had a few posts go 'viral,' and those usually hit in the 10-20,000 range. Our biggest viral hit, where we called out Amanda Bynes for being crazy, hit just over 180,000.

    We get a lot of views from non-blogging readers, which is weird to me because there's no feedback. I just think, so... did you love this post? Did you hate it? Was it so-so? You're back, so you must not have completely hated it, but... what do you THINK, gaggle of anonymous readers?

  74. Unfortunately, most people really don't want to think. I'm not stating that as an opinion but as something that studies have shown. People want to appear to be "thinking" people, but they don't actually want to do the work of that. Mostly, they just want people to tell them how to think.

    And, see, I know all of this and -should- use that information to make my blog more appealing to "people," but I can't bring myself to do it. In my teaching life, I have always challenged my students to think, which is how I treat my own kids (ask my daughter how long we went over once science question yesterday because I would not just tell her the answer).

    Anyway... I'm not sure what I'm getting at other than that my blog is too cerebral, in general, to probably ever "make it" unless I just start being controversial and saying outlandish things (but I don't want to do that, either).

    And, yes, this reply is so delayed because I had to spend a day thinking about it.

  75. Beer -- The real virality comes from the non-blogger readers. When we depend on our relatively small circle of community our posts go only so far and that's not much for most of us.

    Andrew-- Let me think about what you've said. Owww! Stop! My head's hurting.
    I think you are right for the larger part of people aside from a few thinkers out there. I like to think as long as the ideas are presented coherently. On the other hand, in the case of a lot of our readers they are rushing through to try to make it through as many blogs as they can. When they get held up by a thinking post it's a delay that hinders "progress" for them. I run into that sometimes on particularly challenging posts where I might plan to go back and don't. There are many readers and it's usually pretty easy to separate them according to the comments they have left.


  76. Lee,

    Sorry for the mix up with my posts that have the most hits. Here are the correct links:

    Surviving Life: Getting rid of the CAPTCHA on Blogger Blogs

    Surviving Life: Doing Laundry the Old-fashioned Way

  77. I blog for much the same reasons I wrote at my old Angelfire site, to provide information on subjects I knew a lot about and which were important to me. With my current blog, the focus is mostly writing and books, though I sometimes repost something on a different topic from my old Angelfire site, or do an original post on another topic, like silent film or a great album.

    Even the rare post that gets more than 20ish views usually doesn't get that many comments, unless it's part of a big blogfest, contest, or such. A lot of my most-viewed posts have no comments, or only a few comments. Right now, my most-viewed post (as opposed to my static pages, like "About Me") is one of the series I did on The Decameron awhile back:

    I'd love to have a lot more regular commenters, but maybe eventually I'll have several dozen people who always read and comment.

  78. Hi Lee, I haven't had anything go viral (darn it!) but I do get some fun attention from time to time, and that works out well for my guest authors.

    Lately I haven't been able to spend as much time blog hopping. Earlier in the year I was bogged down with travel because of some family illnesses...and now I'm the chief team builder and editor for the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers blog, a super fun project.

    However, my life is calming down a bit, so I hope to rebuild my network of friends by getting around the blogs more often.

  79. Sunni -- Still no links.

    Carrie -- Maybe you need to figure out what you are trying to achieve as a blogger and write in order to attain those goals.

    Patricia -- I've been sidetracked from blogging this year as well. Guests can make a big difference on blog visits depending on who the guests are.


  80. Great post Lee! I'm not surprised that you have some popular posts as you are an excellent writer. Plus your community is very loyal and supportive. Can't say I've been so lucky, but still plugging away. If I think about it too much, I would have quit a long time ago. My problem is visibility and building my community. As for a viral post, it has to be so "shareable" that even the non-blogger wants to read and share it. Thanks again!

  81. I've just returned from your post about Music Programmes in the school. Great post.

    I truly believe that input = output. That applies to everything we do in life. It's as simple as that. Blogging is reciprocal.
    I don't really check my stats, maybe I should. But how reliable are the stats?
    I blog to connect with people, meet new writers, learn and grow as a writer...
    Lee, whether you realise it or not, you ARE a well respected blogger.
    As the blogging community expands, I think that people just find it difficult to get around to many blogs and comment...

  82. Excellent post, Lee. I'm learning something new each day. I tend to be a short & sweet blogger, nothing phenomenal. Helping out my fellow authors, and wary about posting my personal views. I'll be checking in on Friday.

  83. I'd be quite pleased to have a post go viral, but I don't expect it to happen and it's not something I'm actively seeking. It's enough for me that I have regular readers who find my posts interesting and useful.

  84. I just blog, Lee. I've also got a few other writing projects I'm working on. Only time will tell whether or not they see the light of day, down the road sometime. I do watch page views and consider the comment ratio in relation to them. Just knowing people are reading my posts feels good, even if they don't leave a comment. Big fan of your research and hope you'll return the favor for my own research when you visit my blog :) Best of the day to you, kind sir. This was an interesting post to read.

  85. Buck -- You make an important point about the shareability aspect in order to reach the non-bloggers. It's the only way to get a viral post. Posting for bloggers in general and especially only for one's community limits one's reach.

    Michelle -- Thank you for saying so and I do feel respected for my blogging within our community. Stats are probably as accurate as polling figures and some extrapolation of data and analysis has to be done to make what are essentially educated guesses. And our modern society relies on polling figures to make decisions. So the stats aren't specific or totally reliable, but they still tell a story that can be useful. Social community blogging is reciprocal, but not all blogging.

    Cathrina -- Reciprocity bloggers do well with short posts and there's nothing wrong with doing that. I like to read short posts especially if they impart a takeaway point for me.

    Patsy -- In most cases of viral posts I don't think the blogger had the intent for it to happen. If they knew the formula it's something they could reproduce and it often does not happen unless they get a solid reputation or they are already of celebrity status.

    MJ -- I just blog too, but I do try to blog with purpose as much as I can. I like the fun aspect of blogging, but I'd like to think there might be a long range payoff in the future for my efforts today.


  86. Hi, Arlee. I have two blogs and I don't think any of my posts have ever gone viral. I have links on both blogs, at the very bottom, which list my top 10 posts for the last 30 days and of all time. I don't get lots of comments like some people do, but I get lots of hits on many of my posts. I guess all that tells me is that people are clicking on the links. Are they reading the posts all the way through? I don't know.
    I think you have a wonderful blog and you share some very thought provoking posts. I think you are a well respected blogger because you share from your heart. : )

  87. Susanne -- I think if you had a post to go truly viral you'd notice something was going on. Media coverage would definitely be a give away. Hard to say how many are reading all the way through--especially longer posts. Comments are the best indicators. Thanks!


  88. I'm glad I found this post via Alex Cavanaugh's blog! It was very interesting to read, as well as the comments.

    I definitely wouldn't complain if I had a post to go viral, but I honestly don't see that happening anytime soon. I'm a bit of a newbie compared to other bloggers. I actually watch my inaccurate view count because it gives me that sometimes needed push to continue posting my thoughts, opinions, and experiences on a public site.

    Essentially, I blog to connect with other writers such as myself. I know there are plenty of bumps on the road to publication so having that small community to connect/share with and learn from is important to me. I like tackling or discussing subjects that I know every writer must face. I don't do it for the popularity or numbers, I just do it because I love it...if that makes sense. :-)

  89. Clarissa -- So glad you found us. By all means you should be a part of the community and use the support it gives and the information you can find there. But I don't think any of us should snub the numbers either. Don't be obsessed either. Blog diligently with good content and focus on your own personal goal. There is something to be said for all aspects of the blogging.


  90. For some reason I just found that this blog of yours was not on my blogroll! I've added it again, but I know it was there before and I have no idea how long it's been gone.

    Hopefully I'll be able to show more of my respect for your blog and you from here on out, thanks to my trusty blog roll!

    I too have noticed the effect "slacking off" on visiting other blogs has on one's own blog.

  91. Well, begging for comments and for people to share your post is one way of getting more traffic to your blog. (smile). I think your writing is great. I enjoy visiting your blog. You have interesting content. You could try really hard to get a huge viral post, but do you really want to? Here's what I mean. A person could write on a hot button topic, put those words in the title, like "Gun Control leads to more Sex violence." Or, something like that. But, is that you? Is that what you want? I feel I get respect as a blogger because of the few comments I receive, because I have blog friends who are regular visitors, because locals who read, but would never comment on the blog, tell me that they read it. And, because I'm getting media passes to big time shows in the twin cities and treated like regular press. I think it's best to be yourself online and off. Go. Create. Inspire!

  92. Trisha-- Thank you! I'm glad to be back in your blog life. I find that bloggers can acquire a certain dependency on reciprocation. I think in some ways this can hinder some of us from doing other things.

    Mary -- Well now that you mention it that sex/gun control thing is kind of me since the attempt at controversy is what I've been doing in much of my blogging from the very beginning. But it hasn't been a deliberate attempt to create a viral post but my own interest in discussing issues, seeing what other people think, and learning new things. I don't want to just keep rehashing stuff and what to keep the ideas flowing. I toss out ideas to readers to see what they have to say about them. This is what I've done from the beginning and I've stayed true to my initial blogging mission statement. You can find this in one of my earliest posts on Tossing It Out. I'd like to see a post go viral because of the content within the parameters of my mission. And if I do a bit of promoting to gain attention to one of my posts I don't see anything wrong with this in any way. It's marketing--another one of my big interests. If we don't market ourselves to some extent we might as well go to work in some corporate job and stay away from being in business for ourselves--such as the business of writing.


  93. You've addressed a lot of issues here. If I expound on each, I'll get accused of having too long a comment. :)

    It'll be 5 years of blogging for me in December. It has taken all that time to find my voice and to be satisfied with my readership. I went from just wanting to write, to desperately trying to blog often in hopes of increasing my followers and hits so that I could potentially place successful ads on the blog, to being happy with the friends I've made and continuing to learn the craft.

    Regarding post length and number of comments - To be honest, I do better with average length posts because I can quickly get the point, comment, and move on the next meaningful blog; however, I have a few blog friends who write long posts and I am loyal to them-though sometimes I find myself skimming.

    Comments: After a while, people begin to say the same things that other people have said. I'll bet everything I've said here, others have already said. :)

    Oops, I went longer than I should have! lol last thing - to steal and butcher a quote - Luck/success is when preparation meets opportunity. Let's keep at it!

  94. Anita -- It sounds like we have been on similar roads with similar destinations in mind. If you said anything in your comment that was the same as someone else then you said it differently enough for me not to notice. Yes, the average length posts are probably easiest to digest, but the post that is well written enough with a good subject matter is worth reading no matter how long.
    I agree that we need to make the right preparations to make success have a better chance when it is time. I with you on that.


  95. Hi Arlee, what do you mean by respect, in what context. Do you mean visitors to your site, comments - kind or unkind? To be honest, I read a lot of blogs and I've never been once offended by a post. I admire the individual who is capable of blogging (writing) day after day, or weekly about life. That's what we are all here to find out - how to handle life without breaking it. I respect you and other bloggers, Arlee. Kharis Macey

  96. Kharis -- The point you are making expresses my own view on the answer to my question. There are many forms of respect and ways to show respect. I do feel respected within the community of bloggers with whom I interact. But I would like to see bloggers in general receive more respect (see my post of Friday October 18th) and I would like to get some element of respect for my own blogging work from others outside of the community.

    By the way, I have found some blogs which have offended me to a degree and I have not returned to them if I know that giving offense or going against my values is their mission. They are free to do what they want with their blogs, but I don't support those blogs nor do I respect what some of them are conveying to others. Mostly though that has not been the case.

    Thanks for visiting!


  97. I'm still trying to locate my "brand". Looking forward to the wisdom you will sharing with us on this topic!

  98. Greetings to you in L.A., Arlee. I lived in Redondo most of my adult life -- 30 years. A decade ago I returned to Delaware to become sole caregiver for my mother who suffered from dementia. I began a blog in early 2011 to share our journey, hoping to help others in similar circumstances. My mother passed on in April 2012, at 97, and I have since published two books based on my blog and our experiences, basically how-not-tos.

    While I believe my blog should be of popular interest, given the increasing number of caregivers out there, I have few commenting followers, mostly from within my social networking circles.

    I love blogging, so will continue, although my post topics have meandered into other arenas, and I have changed the name of my blog -- you will see when you visit there -- to The Scheherazade Chronicles.

    I need to shift my balance of time to promoting my blog and books, yet I find it difficult, as most of us do, to keep so many plates spinning. I do find, though, that when I diligently tweet or otherwise social network I draw more readers to my site and to my books (available on Amazon).

    My good friend Susan Scott,, sent me the link to your blog and thoughts on this important and evolving topic.

  99. Hi, I am just about to start my first A to Z challenge. Thinking about who I am writing for is interesting. I don't think it is about the numbers for me as I am writing my family history, but hopefully what I have to say is useful for cousins plus, my children and other close relatives. Delighted to make your virtual acquaintance.

  100. Hi Arlee,
    My posts do not even get close to a 100 views each so I am definitely not there yet but since i have been writing mroe advise/ HOW TO kind of posts I have been seeing more traffic.
    Not getting comments is ttally my fault because i fail dismally at doing blog rounds but my social media is doing well. i need to find bakance.


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