With the world moving faster than ever, and online sharing sites like Instagram and Twitter seemingly all about the right here right now, we might be fooled into thinking that any article or content online only has any worth the moment its published.
And perhaps for five minutes afterwards…
Obviously after that, we’re told, it’s cast aside and washed away by the relentless onslaught of new waves of posts and updates, never to be seen again.
Thankfully, recent discoveries have reminded me that this is a very narrow vision of how us human beings actually like to discover, enjoy and share the written words and images of others.
My recent round up of the most read posts on 35hunter in 2018 revealed that none of the top five were even written in 2018.
Indeed, the most popular was written almost two and a half years ago.
Initially I was slightly disappointed by this. Does it mean that I can’t write an interesting post or headline anymore, so 35hunter‘s poor readers are having to pillage the archives?
Giving it further thought though, I started putting a more positive spin on it.
The fact that people are finding and reading older posts at all is cause for celebration. That they’re being read this much is even better!
Firstly, because it flies against that bleeding edge social media / advertising myth.
That anything created yesterday, let alone a month, year or decade ago, is outdated and worthless, and we must always seek the achingly new, the latest and the greatest.
It’s no coincidence that the cameras I use most are not cutting edge either, but digital classics.
Second, because it reminds me that posts – and indeed any writing – worth reading, are still worth reading a month, year, five years from now and beyond. They have a certain timelessness. As long as there out there to be found.
As blog authors (as well as photographers – this same theory applies), this takes away a great pressure.
Though of course most of us strive to make every post the best post it can be, it doesn’t have to be the greatest we’ve ever borne, breaking records for page views and comments.
Plus, the long haul rule of the internet means that many smaller views add up to more than a small handful with huge views.
A hundred posts gaining 100 views each adds up to far more than three posts with 1000 views each. And the blogger with those 100 quality posts has far more for a new reader to explore and enjoy than one who has only three.
Put simply, the more posts we have out there gently drawing readers in, the more views, and readers and engagement we are likely to have.
So, going into a new year as a blogger, you don’t need to think that you’re starting from nothing every time you write, and that each article you publish is make or break for your blogging career.
You already have your previous body of work out there beavering away for you.
There will be people that discover your most recent post, others that discover your first post, and others that see almost everything else in between.
Add into this mix the fact that we can’t entirely predict which posts will be most popular with our readers, and we have further encouragement to keep writing, keep sharing, keep inviting engagement and building community.
As I mentioned above, not one of the top five most read posts on this blog in 2018 were written in 2018, This doesn’t mean the 166 posts I did publish in 2018 had no views or were worthless, or that they won’t be viewed in 2019.
I love this long haul concept, how everything I publish is not a new shot at striking the pulse of the zeitgeist to go viral, but more like adding another small brick into the walls of a kingdom I’ve been building for years.
How about you? What are your thoughts and experiences of this long haul phenomenon – as a reader and a writer?
Please join the conversation in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
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10 thoughts on “The Love Of The Long Haul (Or Why We Should Keep Blogging)”
The really good things remain.
The short-lived mainstream stuff is forgotten the second you wrote it or saw it. Fire and forget. 99.9% of all stuff written on the internet is for the trash bin.
God save the Queen 😉
Yeh I pretty much agree Reinhold.
The challenge as a writer is creating work that lasts, and as a reader it’s sifting through that 99.9% to find the treasure…
The Internet’s long tail is the reason my blog gets the pageviews it does. People go looking for info on that old camera they found in Grandpa’s drawer, and find my blog.
A post I wrote in 2017 about one of the more obscure Olympus mju cameras got 1,655 views in 2018, thanks to search.
I justify placing ads on my site (which pay for the blog’s costs and then several rolls of film a year) because of the people who come in via search and don’t comment and don’t come back. Might as well get something useful from their visits.
I think it’s no coincidence that most of my more popular posts have the name of a less mainstream camera or lens in the title and then repeated in the article. Same thing as with you, people searching for this more unusual gear are finding us via Google.
I wrote a review of a quite good but nothing spectacular Pentax Espio a couple of years back and it still seems to get lots of views. There were dozens of Espio models made, so perhaps like with your Mju Zoom, when people type in a specific obscure model, there we are.
Oh and that’s a positive way to view ads on your site. I’m not keen on the non-commenters and non-returners too so yes at least you perhaps get something from them finding you briefly!
Wow Jim 1655 views that is fantastic feedback for what you do with your blog. As you know I try to comment often as you and Dan and Thursdays doors are the only photography blogs I view. More ideas welcome xoxo susanJOY
I agree, Dan. The stats you discuss do suggest that even in the age of immediacy, the body of ones work still counts. Personally, when I find a blog that interests me, I do read some of the older material. A good writer’s material remains interesting and relevant, even if not recent. In the same way, I hope that people who look at my photos on Flickr do so because they like my current work. I hope they take the time to look at my older photos, and appreciate them as well ( although I hope they think my newer material shows improvement!). Keep up the good work, your posts are valuable, new and old.
Thanks for your kind words Martin.
Yes as you say it is very reassuring in such a relentless fast paced age that older work is sought out and appreciated.
Dan, I must admit I enjoy the blogs and posts of people I also get feedback from so it is a dialogue of sorts. I get emails from people who give content as well as selling their talents and it I like once again those people where I feel a part of what they are doing xoxo susanJOY
Yes Susan, dialogue is the word, rather than monologue, which would get pretty lonely as a blogger!
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