12 December 2006

5 Things I've Learned From a Year's Blogging

Today is the first anniversary of opendotdotdot. Since this fact is of little interest to anyone but myself, I thought it might be useful to extract what pearls of wisdom I can from the experience of writing 1,260 posts in that time.

1. Google is your friend

Over half the traffic that arrives on these pages comes from Google. Moreover, the absolute number of visitors directed here by the Google machine just keeps on going up. I can only presume that the more posts you make, the more Googlejuice you generate, and the more you move up the ranks. Indeed, when I take a look at some of the keywords people enter in Google before arriving here, it is gratifying to find this blog pretty highly placed, albeit for some pretty wacky terms (like "wackypedia" and "seed gestapo") as well as a few surprisingly mainstream ones (like "philip rosedale interview").

2. Yahoo and MSN are a waste of time

I'm constantly amazed at how utterly Google dominates the search engine field in terms of the visitors it provides. I had expected MSN to be way behind, but not Yahoo; in fact, I get more visitors from MSN than Yahoo, which barely registers at all. Maybe this says something about the kind of readers/searches that end up at my blog, but it also emphasises the importance of Google. Interestingly, Technorati also generates far more leads than either Yahoo or MSN.

3. People like tags

The first version of the blog had no tags, for the simple reason that Blogger did not offer the facility, and I was too lazy to do it by hand. But when the new Blogger beta came out with tags, I dutifully employed them. I'm glad I did, because people really like using them to search within the blog. In fact, like me, people are lazy: they just can't be bothered entering a search term in the blog search box, but they can summon up the energy to click on one of the tags. One consequence of this is that I intend to go back and tag all of the older posts, since it clearly is something people find useful.

4. People like weird stuff

I am resigned to the fact that I am completely unable to judge which posts will be popular or not. Sometimes I spend ages crafting some witty/profound/novel/hot post, only to have it roundly ignored by almost everybody. Equally, I've often knocked out a trivial/pointless/content-free post only to find everyone and their dog rush to admire its insights. Sigh.

5. It gets easier

In many ways, the most important lesson that I take away from a year's blogging is that the more you do, the easier it gets. This is not just because you learn to type faster, but also because I've found that blogging helps me think faster and maybe even better. It's also a direct consequence of the fact that it's such damn good fun.


Anonymous said...

I love them all!p

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Glyn. One year is a long time in this business. :-)

I have been noticing that half of my traffic comes from Google also.

I enjoy your writing -- keep speaking the word!

Glyn Moody said...

Thanks for the kind words.

Maybe 50% Google is some new law of blogging, or something?