‘It is nearly 7 months since I started to blog on WordPress and today I am writing my 100th blog. Surely a good time as any to do some stock taking on the journey so far. Well here we go then.’#182779699 / gettyimages.com
Inspired by a friend who blogs on WordPress, I casually warmed up to the idea of having my blog. I used to love writing in my teens but I finally gave it up on reaching college and then pursuing my career in the Corporate world. Twenty years on, I still held an old diary that carried my early pieces so it was rather easy to just reproduce them in my blog. It was a bit of a lark as well since many of my old friends got to read these pieces and we reminisced wistfully about the good ol’ days.
But that phase eventually died and then I turned to writing about the books and movies that I admired. It turned out to be a good idea and helped me appreciate the nuances far better – there is simply no other way to it when you think of writing about something and start the wonderful exercise of putting pen to paper.
I am also writing a bit about odds and ends that followed no real pattern – so what better way to classify it than to call it ‘Random Thoughts’. And today I hit my century, so I would like to step back for a moment and look at what was interesting till now.
The power of Search Engines –
My blog followed a pattern that would apply to most amateurs. Initially I drew my audience from my social network and indeed the most popular piece would be one that was ‘shared’ by my friends. But subtly things started changing and I noticed the role Search Engines – and Google really dominates the space – play in popularizing your work. The ‘tags’ build up quietly before you notice and there is a pattern to your work as well. Random search hits reach your posts and ‘followers’ and ‘repeat visitors’ start to emerge from the woodwork.
The blog even hits an operating rhythm and to break it to reach the next level requires you to attempt something disruptive. Bloggers know this very well and will give a wan smile if I were to tell them that only about a week back I was educated by a peer member on the usefulness of having a ‘Read More’ tag in my posts. Well catching the audience for your blog is a science and art form in itself but it is a bit distracting for an amateur blogger who is not trying to ‘monetize’ his site. So a lot of stuff remains highfalutin to me and I am happy to go thus far but no further in exploring this realm.
The wide reach of the Blog –
Remember the Pareto rule of 80:20 – the pattern emerges early and you know that certain countries readership is more popular than the rest. No prizes for guessing that your home country attracts a lot of attention. But in my case, and intuitively I feel it would be for many others as well, US emerges as a popular destination. Am not quite sure of the reasons but would tend to think that the popularity of the net and the reach of the ‘English’ language has a lot to do with it. WordPress gives a nice pictorial view of the Countries you have reached across the globe and it looks good to see the colours reaching everywhere.
Visuals spice up the posts –
I was doing amateur blogging and did little beyond writing my stuff. It was till I came across a feature that ‘Getty Images’ permitted one to use to certain images in your blog as long as the photo is not used for commercial purposes (meaning in an advertisement or in any way intended to sell a product, raise money or promote or endorse something). Well that is a great option and helps you embellish your post. Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words.
The pleasure of writing –
But all the above is really incidental for me – the greatest pleasure for me has been to learn more about me and discover insights that were there somewhere but were not really in sharp focus. Somerset Maugham – he is my favourite writer and indeed I have blogged enough and more about him – really got it right when he said, “Writing is the supreme solace.”
As all bloggers know its worth something if you have bothered to read till the end of this post, so thanks for dropping by and do keep visiting my blog. I will be happy to hear from you as well for quite often a blogger gets a lot of hits and followers but the feedback does not quite flow in just as well.