Sign up now: quest for blog success

Personalizando WordPress 1.5

No, it’s not me. I haven’t changed so much on my travels. It’s not even my photo. (www.flickr.com)

How do you measure a blog’s success? By the hits? The comments? The headlines? By the quality of prose? Or something else?

Visitors to your site give you instant statistics to work with and platforms such as WordPress easily allow you to track your visitor count. It’s quite addictive trying to beat your previous day’s figures and I love the new addition of being able to see where in the world your visitors are signing in from.

But I see blogs with high hits where the quality of language is poor. How do they do it? And I’ve read posts that are elegant, succinct and proofread but only draw in a niche audience. This game is far too confusing and unfair for me!

Whilst I’m not very marketing savvy, I find it interesting how a headline can really affect statistics. Bring in numbers or sex or sensationalism and it’s a relative hit.

Topping my hit list is Why won’t you give me a Maori moko? I don’t know who’s reading it. A fair few people are clearly interested in Maori art. I hope I haven’t pissed anyone off here. Following on is 9 Reasons why solo travel is great. Clearly this either resonates with people or draws on their curiosity. Next up is Just how sexy is Ipanema Beach? It’s not a favourite post of mine at all. I wasn’t happy with it. But it has sex in the title, and sex sells. The next two posts contain numbers again: 10 things I loved and hated about New Zealand, and 21 things travelling has taught me.

But what about my personal preferences? I do like the 9 Reasons why solo travel is great and 21 things travelling has taught me posts, but I also enjoyed the creative process of My, oh my Manly! and The Bicycle Thieves of Byron and even Crashing a white water date, but what do I know? They didn’t score highly at all.

For me, a successful post is based on quality, integrity and consideration. And a sprinkle of humour where appropriate. I’m writing about other people and places from a subjective viewpoint and I don’t want to screw over those people and places for my own gain. It’s not my game.

Sure, like all writers, I’ll cherry pick what points I choose to include and omit, but not in a way that distorts the truth of my personal experience. I partially base success on how I feel once I’ve pushed the publish button.

With the statistics stuff, I don’t really know what I’m doing. I try to understand it but the truth is I’m far more interested in writing and being creative.

So that’s what I’ll keep doing and if I manage to raise a smile or make you think or plant a seed of wanderlust in your mind, that’s success for me.

But of course I’d love you to sign up. Do it now. Why not?!

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12 Comments

Filed under blogging, random

12 responses to “Sign up now: quest for blog success

  1. Forgive me but I’m confused. The about page describes a Fiona, but the email is a Rob Aderly? Huh. At any rate I couldn’t agree with your post more if I’d written it myself. I find these awesome things around the world, I want to tell people about them but I just can’t seem to get anyone to listen, or even notice. Case in point I just found a way to help travelers get better exchange rates (most people just get money when they need it from the ATM not when the rates are best for exchange) and nobody’s listening. I just don’t know what to do. Hell, money is important and keeping every little bit helps. Oh well, I guess I’ll just keep plugging away. Nice blog (although still confused regarding to whom I’m writing). Cheers

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I am Finola, the person who designed the logo is Rob. Hope that clears things up! It sounds as though your post has definite value – I really hope it reaches its audience. Keep up the good work!

      • Thanks. quick question though: given that you are a traveler do you think this would help you? if not, who do you think it would be of use to? Thanks for the input. Cheers

      • I just found a way to help travelers get better exchange rates (most people just get money when they need it from the ATM not when the rates are best for exchange) and nobody’s listening. I just don’t know what to do. Hell, money is important and keeping every little bit helps.

        Yes, it would definitely help me but only if it ensured it wasn’t going to over complicate things. I think many travellers I meet, myself included, are a little lazy with getting the most out their money and getting cash out of an ATM is just quick and easy… but there are plenty of frugal travellers out there too who would drink up the info.

      • well thanks for the feed back. Just so you know it’s not hard (more of a set it and forget it proposition which kinda takes care of itself). At any rate, take care and all the best. Cheers

  2. Hi Finola – I’ve been following your blog for a month or two. I’ve especially loved reading about your experiences in South America – many of which are similar to mine. And, you’re a good writer. Keep up that “quality, integrity and consideration.” I think writing quality is key, even if readers don’t always seem to value it. And, like you, I’m also in a state of consternation about why some of my blogs get lots of hits and others (some of which I think are better) find few readers. The title means a lot, but the mysterious workings of search engines also play a part. Let me know if you find out more. And, keep creating and smiling, inspiring us to do the same!

    • Thanks for your comment, motivation and feedback! It’s all a bit of a mystery indeed… If I figure out any magic tricks, I’ll pass them on. Likewise, if you find out any, let me know.

  3. ‘Tis a mystery, isn’t it? Great photos are the key, I think, as everything has become a visual media. As much as us writers would love to think our words are the most important part of any article, I think the visual aspect has taken front and center. Your call to action at the end of your post was great! Keep writing and I’ll keep reading.

    • I think you’re right with the visual side of things. To start with I wanted to just write, but we all like some visual accompaniament, I get that. When I met another travel blogger who actually funds his travels through his blog, he said that is exactly what I need to do. Another told me to add videos. Think that will be the next step. But still! – how does this draw people to your blog?! – they still have to find out about it in the first place! Thanks for commenting, and I’ll be referring to your blog as I hope to embark on some sailing adventures myself!

  4. Lucia

    umm… metablogging, I like that! keep it irie

  5. Love this post. I’m fairly new to blogging and I struggle daily to comprehend the mysterious ups and downs of the stats page histogram! The only thing I’ve established for sure is that when I don’t post, I get hardly any hits.

    For the record, I loved your solo traveller post, you’re quite right, it did resonate with me. I might write something similar myself. I’ve got an idea for a future post, ’10 stupid things I’ve done travelling’. Reckon that will get me some hits?

    • Absolutely! – I’ve thought of similar posts myself but I look forward to reading where you went wrong! Cheers for commenting and I look forward to reading your blog.

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