The readership demographics for this blog have taken a dramatic turn in the last six months. It's pretty easy to break them down because google blog allows me to see where my readership is coming from. For example, if I see the traffic source as "just common sense @ google blogspot.com I know I'm getting "hits" from those who have either subscribed or "follow" my blog. You might be interested to know that, of my 50 "followers" and the other 50 or so "subscribers", I only get about 20 of you who visit the blog daily.
And yet I actually average somewhere between 400 and 500 reader "hits" a day, the vast majority coming on to read a blog essay written months ago. This is rather remarkable because it is the same number of hits that I used to get when I was able to "pimp" my blog by promoting it with links on Craig's List in half a dozen cities. When Craig's List began banning the use of URL links I thought my blog would slowly wither and die. That didn't happen. Here's why.
I would bet my bottom dollar that I'm one of no more than 1% of bloggers who blog every day. So the sheer numbers of blog essays (963 to date) over the three year life of my blog, and addressing such a wide diversity of topics, has boosted me to the top of Google's search pages. AND, I did it without paying a single "traffic herder" to send business my way! For example, in the first six months of this blog, if you were to google "lost in america" you'd find the name of that old Alfred Brooks movie of the same name, or the title of a book, or even a similar sounding blog. If you looked hard enough you would find my blog link buried somewhere around page 8 of the google search....territory that most google searchers never get to. However, today, 963 blogs later, you'll find a link to my blog right on google's first page..about 7 entries down from the "mega hitters"...again not bad for someone who doesn't pay a "herder" to drive traffic to my blog. Even more pleasing is if you google "lost in america blog, there I sit right at the top..the first entry you'll see..with many excerpts from my previous blogs trailing along the pages like loyal puppy dogs.
A good example of "passive traffic" that drives up the hit count happened yesterday. i began seeing an inordinate number of "hits" for my blog on Burger King and other franchises fleeing from the military bases because of Obama's $10.10 minimum wage mandate. So, I see something like 200 hits the first thing yesterday morning, then it begins accelerating. So I run my Google blog numbers and find that three other sites liked the blog so much they put a link to it on their front page. By the end of yesterday more than a thousand people had read that one blog essay. And I'm seeing more of this kind of unusual activity as the word spreads on some blog essay someone liked. Also popular this week, with several hundred "hits" were my essays on "Arizona; Where America Still Lives" and "Weinergate, Filner's Follies"...my take on the Democrats' war on women.
So what does this all mean to you and I? Well, first of all, the daily 20 "hits" coming from my loyal readers is kind of a bummer. It tells me a couple of things....it says I write too damn many blog essays! ...as least far more than my loyal readers are willing to read. Secondly, it serves as a disincentive for me to write every day....if I can get as many hits by not writing as I can when I do, why the hell gin out a blog a day, right?
Well, what keeps me churning out blogs is that I keep finding stuff that pisses me off enough to write about it! So, at least for the short term I'll keep pounding em out every day whether you want to read them or not. (I've got blogs in draft to last a month or more, so profound is my level of dissatisfaction with the world around me!)
But my health is not what it used to be.....so last week I emailed my daughter and asked her what the password for this blog is...(I've arranged for her to print out something like a "blog obituary" should I up and croak some future night). I was testing her, kind of like we used to run emergency war ops in the Air Force. I also want my daughter to have control over these blog essays because my dream has always been to have the best ones...the ones still timely and meaningful, compiled into one or two or three books entitled "Musings of An Old Curmudgeon". (Part I, II, or III). Perhaps I'm vain but I think I've got a few hundred that are as fine as anything I've read by anyone else lately..so who knows? (One of these is the blog I have scheduled for Memorial Day...yes, it's a repeat...but I can't write any better than that one.)
In the meantime, while I like the attention of the 400 or so folks who drop in from elsewhere, my heart will always be with those loyal readers who drop by every day to see if I'm spewing sweetness or vinegar....the folks who have been with me since I was lost on page 8 of a google search....:)