After blogging for a few years, you start to notice patterns and trends in the posts published.
One overall trend is obvious – the longer a post has been published and out there on the world wide web, the more chance it has had of being read.
A pattern I really enjoy seeing is what I think of a sleeper post.
This is when a post might gain say only 50 views in the first month, then rather than it disappear into the almost infinitely expansive online graveyard of dead pages, it steadily gains momentum month on month beyond that.
Here’s an example, a post I wrote in February 2019 about Pentax Espio film cameras.
The graph below shows views per month.
Views in the first month totalled 244 – which is still really good for my site, where 100 views is more typical.
March’s stats dropped, as is typical, but then the next month reads began to rise again, and built month on month up to 1906 views this January.
There followed a steady tail off again, and then another unexpected peak last month, May, where the post received a mighty (again, for me!) 2256 views.
As I write this six days into June, it’s already seen another 346 views, far more than its first month. So the total views are now approaching 18000, over those 17 months.
Here’s another post that I wrote three years ago, back in 2017, about 135mm lenses.
The stats shown below are views per year.
This post hasn’t had huge views in total, but as you can see, last year, 2019, this post gained far more views than the previous two years.
And not even half way through this year, 2020, it’s already gathered more views than those first two years also.
Typically with social media like Twitter and Instagram, posts quickly vanish in the fast flowing stream, never to be seen again.
The emphasis is all about the latest, then newest, the now.
With blogs, it’s always about a longer view, creating a body of work that not only grows in terms of the total volume of posts, but where older posts continue to gather interest and feed and serve the blog’s readership.
The point of this post are two-fold.
First, if you’ve been blogging for less than a year, and aren’t seeing much interest, then don’t despair.
The more your post, (and the more consistently), the more chance you have of readers finding you.
The long tail of your site grows with each new post you add.
Second, we can’t predict which posts gain most interest, and most readers.
Sometimes (often!), the articles we spend hours carefully crafting and view as our best work, only ever get seen by a few dozen other pairs of eyes.
Conversely, those we write more quickly, or perhaps don’t initially seem to be our greatest, can turn out to be amongst the most popular. Like the Pentax Espio post I talked about above.
A post that gains in views (per week or month) over time not only gains readers for that post itself, but new readers arriving are likely to go on to explore other posts on your blog, and become longer term fans.
On this note, I would recommend the Related Posts facility, which shows three related post below the main post you’re reading.
It’s proved to be very accurate and useful in its recommendations on my blog.
Blogging is all about the long game, publishing consistently over a period of month and years to build a consistent readership.
Concepts like sleeper posts and the long tail add to the enjoyment of blogging, as well as the more immediate reward of interacting with readers like you.
It’s not always the posts you think that gain the most attention, or work hardest for you, but if you keep publishing, it doesn’t matter. Just keep at it!
What are your views on blogging, and do you have any tips from your own experiences you can share with us?
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