It’s been two years

Well. Two years down the line and here I am, still blogging away. It’s been an interesting ride, and thought I’d share some of my thoughts about blogging in general, stats of this blog and observations I’ve seen on this blog.

When I first started blogging I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to happen with it. Did I want speaking opportunities? Did I want to be a professional blogger? Did I want to make money from the blog? Did I want a large readership? Did I want to be a thought leader? As time has gone on, I don’t think I’m any clearer on a lot of those questions, but the stats of the blog do help steer some of where I think I add value.

To date I’ve had 9,526 visits to the blog. I wouldn’t say that’s too bad. I tend to post something 2-3 times a week which obviously helps the numbers move along. Also, I tend to vary my patterns for pushing the posts depending on when I write them. If I have the time in the morning to write one, I’ll tend to only push it that day. If I write one in the evening, I’ll allow myself to spill over to the following day, but never go into a third day. My only exception to this rule is if I publish a Q&A post, which is designed to be a longer engagement over a week.

Guest posts. I’m not averse to inviting others to guest post on my blog, I’ve just never either been asked, or not thought of ways to make it happen. Some recent examples I have very much enjoyed of getting the best from guest posting have been on Doug Shaw’s Heroes series and the currently running Advent Blogs on Alison Chisnell’s blog.

Sponsored posts. I’ve only done one of these and that was this year for Springest UK. It was done after much deliberation and actually was fine overall. It attracted about 70 views and they gave me £150 for doing so which was donated to charity. I don’t think it attracted the kind of figures they were hoping for, but I was open with them about this all along.

Topics. So I tend to write posts on learning and development, positive psychology and organisational development in the main. I also write about Sikhi, random topics like the English language and the odd philosophical type post. I did consider posting my tennis thoughts on this blog, but thought better of it and I keep those thoughts separate over here. I also tend not to write controversial posts. Most are informative, some are rants, and some are my actual opinion, but very few actually rock the boat.

My readers. 2011 has looked like this:

Views per month
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
146 810 1052 1499 1343 939 563 764 1203 1006 209 9534
Average views per day per month
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
12 26 35 48 45 30 18 25 39 34 34 33

The first thing to note is that I was over at Blogger for a while, before I decided to move to WordPress which happened in February of this year. So the figures above are since Feb 2011, and not inclusive of what’s happened since Dec 2009 over at Blogger. Regardless, since I’ve moved over here, the activity has certainly been more varied and certainly interesting.

July, August and September took a hit in the numbers. Bloody holidays.

Observations. I’ve noticed certain patterns with my audience. I seem to have a core group who will regularly check in to what I have to say. This doesn’t include my 11 subscribers. I mean people who regularly take the time to read what I have to say, and decide to pass it on in some way. And when I say core, I mean about 10-15 people. Considering on Twitter I have an alleged 885 followers, this might seem surprising. But when I scan down that list, it’s a jolly big mix of people who all follow me for various reasons. I’d like to think they’re all solidly interested in L&D, but of course they’re not. That’s fine actually, and certainly makes for interesting peaks and troughs in my stats.

Other observations have been around the consistency of readers. I seem to get readers of the blog who will read and follow avidly for a few weeks and then I never see them again. Others drop in and out and I see them enough to know they have some interest in what I say. In either case, I totally appreciate that reading patterns change on a very regular basis, and I’m not criticising the patterns, just making observations (he says not wanting to offend anyone).

Comments. Apparently I have 395 comments across all posts. Well, that’s bloody excellent! A fair portion of that is me responding in the comments, and any blogger will want interaction on their blog, and commenting is clearly the way to know it is happening. I’m glad people stop to take the time to write, it makes my efforts worth while.But I haven’t found the way to respond to comments best. Should you respond to each one, or can you wait and do a collective response? I have tried both, and regularly flit between the two. I still have no idea which is better.

Perks. I have, through the blog, been invited to write regularly for Training Journal from a practitioner’s perspective. This is highly motivating and very encouraging for me personally. I get to write about where I think L&D needs to head and develop and it goes out to their readership. I have no idea about numbers when a post of mine goes up, but that I’m still being asked to contribute suggests that it helps their numbers. (No news is good news and all that). I was also given a free full annual subscription to Survey Monkey. This did happen in 2010, but was certainly very kind of them to do so.

Blogging fatigue. Sometimes I just get tired of blogging or can’t be bothered. Writing a post takes anywhere between 30 mins and an hour depending on the topic. In a case like this one, several hours. I know a lot of folk who will write their weekly set of posts at the weekend ready to roll out in the coming week. And they schedule tweets using Twitter clients like Tweetdeck. That’s pretty awesome but an awful lot of organisation, which just isn’t my style.

Blog themes. I just can’t seem to find one that works for me. The banana theme I’ve had for a few months is fine and all, but I’m a bit meh to it really. I had the books before, and they were fine but didn’t really do it for me. I’m still on the hunt for a theme that works for me.

Blog widgets. Which ones are useful? Which ones aren’t? Which are just about self-promotion and which are actually useful to others? Bloody narcissistic tendencies.

If you’ve got this far in the blog, I thank you for taking the time to read this. Importantly, just thank you. I still have no better steer for why I blog, or what my ultimate motivation is for it, but for the time being, and the future present, I’m blogging, and that’s good enough for me.

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Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

4 thoughts on “It’s been two years”

  1. Hey I like this – a meta-blog – a blog about blogs. I’m notoriously stacked out with work and meeting people and so I would love to be blogging and I take my hat off to you for the time, discipline and intellectual effort you show in your blogging. You blog about useful, interesting and topical items and they make good reading. Your efforts, passion and beliefs show through and you set a real marker for what a good blogger does and what a good blog looks like. Keeeeeep bloggin’….

    1. This is a great comment, Perry and my thanks to you for writing it. I’m glad you enjoy my writing. To be honest I don’t get the time to blog at home, so end up having to do it during work hours as I suspect a lot of other folk do.

  2. Sukh – wanted to take my hat off to you. Openness, honesty & transparency – re. the info and stats all your blogging 😉

    Good on you…and a refreshing read 😉

    T..

    1. Thanks for visiting the blog and for leaving a comment. And such an appreciative one too! To be honest I saw Doug Shaw do it a while back, and Alison Chisnell some point later. I figure other bloggers are interested in knowing how the ‘competition’ are performing so why not just be open and share it?

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