Recently I met an old friend of mine in Chennai. He is a veteran ‘Word Press’ blogger with serious interests in writing on Politics, Philosophy, Culture, Management and Ethics. Since I just started my blog about a month ago, it was interesting to exchange our views on the medium and my experience so far.
I had taken a rather peculiar approach to blogging by posting some old articles and stories that I wrote in my late teens and early 20s in the local newspapers and magazines. While it is fun to re-visit them after 20 years, obviously a lot of them are ‘dated’ and certainly do not reflect my current experiences. So his sage advice to me was that I should open up my blog and write freely on my new experiences. I did tell him that I planned to do that as well some time soon – till then the blog also served a purpose of creating a digital archive of my earlier writings.
And I begin this effort by sharing my own experience on what happens to you when you start a new blog.Writing a post itself is very easy and convenient. And the blog tools help you make take care of the hygiene factors such as spelling and grammar. ‘Google’ is an ever reliable source to double-check any information on accuracy and presentation. Life is far easy for a writer nowadays than ever before.
Post writing the initial posts you are very keen on getting response on and use the few tools suggested to promote your blog. The strongest support I relied on was my Facebook network. In addition I had a few friends who shun the arc-lights of the social network and prefer to be in touch through good ol’ email.
New blogs tend to attract a lot of views, mostly from your friends I guess, so one can rack a good score of ‘Visitors’ and ‘ Views’ in the first week. Visitor is a count of individual people who viewed your blog, Views refer to the number of posts seen by Visitors. This tends to be higher since a Visitor is quite likely to view multiple posts. After the initial week the excitement subsides a bit and the trend depends on the strength of your network and the content itself. In my case I had steady views for 2 weeks followed by a strong dip and a gradual climb thereafter.
The above mentioned statistics can be viewed over different periods spanning ‘Day’, ‘Week’ and ‘Month’. This helps you understand the trend on Repeat Visitors to your blog. On reviewing the same I seem to have a few loyal followers who see most of my posts. A few posts still sank without attracting any notice – either the content was not relevant or it was posted at an odd time. Most blogs seem to lose their viewership pace within a day of being published. Subsequent views tend to be on account of ‘Shares’ on a strong network or due to matches thrown up by a ‘Search Engine’.
The next thing that a writer loves is to see the trend on his ‘Likes’, ‘Comments’, and ‘Followers’. Most people preferred to send me feedback on my Facebook or email and very few reacted on the blog itself. Also, unless you want to become as infamous as the friend hawking an Insurance policy, please do not solicit feedback actively from your network. It will not work and even if you get some response, it may be neither instructive nor illuminating. I prefer a slow approach on promoting my posts.
‘Share’ too is a powerful tool to popularize your posts, particularly if a person with a strong network does the same. My first blog, “Back to School” was very popular – I discovered by chance that this happened as a friend had quietly re-posted it on his Facebook site. A lot of ‘Visits’ and further ‘Shares’ followed.
It is very gratifying to find some ‘Followers’ on the very first day that you start to blog till you notice that possibly they do this with every new blogger. They seem to offer, without being asked, either advise of ‘Search Engine Optimization’ or try to help you into converting your blog into a commercial proposition.Thankfully a lot many of the comments posted by these profiles are stopped by the Spam filter itself.
Some Likes are so very interesting, you can detect that it was made by a Blogger on the day you posted a new blog wherein you have not had a Visitor to the ‘Post’. So you had someone who just ‘Liked’ a piece without even opening the link.
And yet its is an interesting world – you get Visitors and Comments from all corners of the world. Some of them are quaint and cute, some are bizarre and unexpected and finally a few are the routine stuff.
Many bloggers also use visuals and graphics to increase readability – sadly I have little experience or expertise to do this so I continue to write in the old-fashioned way till now.
It is also expected that you should actively interact with the Word Press blogging community to find your niche – I have again not found enough time to this as well.
All the same I continue to write for the sheer delight I get out of the experience. I believe in the old Master, Somerset Maugham who said, “For though to be read is not the motive which impels the author to write, his motive is other, once he has written his desire is to be read, and in order to achieve that he must do his best to make what he writes readable.”
I wholeheartedly subscribe to the need to evolve further on my ‘Posts’, so that the experience is a delight for both myself and my readers – I will do it at a more leisurely pace in a manner that builds upon my old passion for words and the play you can have with them.
प्यार का पहला ख़त लिखने में वक़्त तो लगता है
नये परिन्दों को उड़ने में वक़्त तो लगता है।