My blog is 2 years old – 22 Aug 2012!

Posted: August 22, 2012 in About the Blog, Blogging

Hopefully I’m not getting ready for the terrible two’s all over again. So far it doesn’t seem that way. I enjoy writing even more than when I started the blog. I’m accomplishing my goals for the blog.

  • I planned to write about one post a week. In two years, 104 weeks, of blogging I’ve written 103 posts, counting this one.
  • This blog celebrates a full life, but I also wanted to use it to stay inspired to plan and live a full life. This has turned out better than I expected too. I enjoy writing about planning as much as about the trips/events. The blog has inspired me to get more out of everyday life (Living Local in San Diego and Work Travel) and to try things I had given up even thinking about long ago (running the Marine Corps Marathon). With all the things I’ve done over the past couple years (check out my favorite posts on the left margin) I’m starting to see myself and my life differently. I have rediscovered the ability to challenge myself.
  • I had also hoped that others would find and get something from reading my blog. That seems to be happening more frequently as I go. I’m not sure of whether they find it useful or entertaining but I know they are finding it because I had just under 1000 post views in July, and should have over 1000 post views this month.
  • How do people find my blog:

    • Search – The vast majority find it by doing a web or image search on one of the major search engines – Google mostly
    • Subscribers – I believe I get regular subscriber traffic. It is likely the second most common way someone finds a post on my blog.
    • Trail of comments/likes on other blog posts – I believe this "traffic" is mostly other bloggers. Also the amount of post views I get this way depends on how active I am reading, liking, and commenting on other blogs. Usually a small percentage of my post views
    • WordPress Reader – The WordPress reader, which I use regularly, allows you to follow topics. Posts show up in the reader based on the tags they have on the post. Tag your posts carefully but completely. Look at some of the more popular topics and see if your blog fits that topic. Of course the popular topics have tons of posts every hour so your post will be way down the line in no time! I have found more than one cool place to visit or fun thing to try by browsing other peoples posts with the reader. It has become a regular source of inspiration for me.
    • Social Network Links – Very few visits come from Social Network links. Even fewer now that Facebook has started to group posts sent by WordPress’s publicize feature posts on the timeline. You can avoid this temporarily by highlighting the post. You have to view the posts individually, then highlight the new one. Regardless of the limited traffic I get from social sites, I do believe these links from social network sites, whether I create them or others link to my post, help my search standings.

    What do post views actually mean? If I get a post view does that mean they actually read the post? No way to tell unless they like the post, click on a link somewhere down the page, or post a comment. If they aren’t reading it I hope they at least check out and enjoy the pictures. I don’t post a comment or even like every post that I read. I “like it” if I really like it, and I post a comment if it spurs a thought or inspires me. WordPress provides tips to get more comments on your posts, which are good ideas. Another good way to get comments write posts that are controversial. If you write a post about religion, politics, gay rights, the right to bear arms, abortion, etc. more than likely you will get comments.

    What works to increase the number of post views? There are different approaches, but for me, what works is to write more posts. The most arcane post on my blog has been consistently the highest viewed post for the past 18 months. No pictures, no humor, just the facts about a travel resource. Why? Well… it comes up near the top of the Google search results. Why is it rated so high in the results? No idea, but because this post gets so many clicks I’ve worked to improve it. I get consistent clicks on links further down that post, so people must be reading it. You can’t write a post like that “on purpose”, but if you write regularly with the intent of providing useful, inspiring, controversial, or entertaining content you will eventually create posts that generate traffic.

    I wish I had time to write 2-3 posts a week, but I don’t see that happening. I make the time to write 1 post a week on average, but sometimes I feel that even that is taking away from other things. But I have to remember that writing the blog keeps those things flowing too. It keeps me planning, gives me a way to chronicle my trips, and I get enjoyment from maintaining the blog. So I will stick with my goal of one post a week.

    It has been a great two years. Here’s to… many more years living… a Full Life!

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