Ten days ago my blog scored a record number of hits – 451 in one day. Trying to figure out why, I discovered that 319 of these visits were racked up by a single post – “Julie & Julie & Julia Part II” from September 2nd. My family and friends would find this ironic in the extreme. I’m a good cook when I set my mind to it, but I avoid the kitchen whenever possible. This post and the one that preceded it were about writing and blogging, and cooking got barely a mention.
So why is the J&J&J post so popular? Note to self: duh – it’s the search engines, dummy. Over the past few months, I’ve been watching my stats climb steadily, and as of today, I’ve logged 24,022 hits on a blog I just started in May. All along I’ve been under the delusion that I’m building a devoted readership, and the comments and stats tell me I’m not entirely wrong, but the majority of visitors are lured in by certain key words and especially by well known names.
Here are my most visited blog posts for the past week, according to WordPress:
- Julie & Julie & Julia Part II (September 2)
- Julie & Julie & Julia (August 31)
- Michael Jackson and the archetype of the tortured artist (July 8th)
- My blogging story arc – a field of dreams (June 22)
- Woodstock 1969 Part III: Requiem for the spirit of 1969 (August 12)
- Woodstock 1969 Part II: Stuck in the muck for 16 straight hours of music (August 9)
- Woodstock 1969 Part I: I was there with my paintings – now if only I could prove it! (August 6)
- Did Poe get fan letters too? (October 30)
- Affordable funerals Part II: Down by the riverside (September 12)
- TGIF Blog Party – You’re all invited (August 21)
It’s interesting that these are all older posts – the most recent is from October 30th. Does this mean no one is reading my more recent ramblings? No, those get visits too – just not as many. WordPress tells me where most or all of my readers come from, and a fair number come from other authors’ blogs as well as from online discussion groups like CrimeSpace and Murder Must Advertise. WP also tells me all the posts that have attracted visitors on any given day, so I know many folks visit my static pages with my bio information and sample chapters. Here’s hoping some of those folks are actually buying my books!
Most common searches that drew people to my blog recently: Julia Child, Julia Childs (I purposely inserted the misspelled name as a tag, a trick I picked up somewhere in the past few months), Edgar Allan Poe, Jimi Hendrix, Woodstock, Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, baseball diamond (I can’t figure out that last one!)
I tend to shy away from statistics. In fact, sheer panic drove me to drop out of a statistics class at Dutchess Community College – me with my hotshot degrees from Barnard, Columbia and NYU. (I eventually enrolled for statistics again and got an A – a necessary evil, since it was a prerequisite for the PhD psychology program I briefly enrolled in. But that’s another story.)
I’m hereby making a New Year’s Resolution to put more time into understanding the wealth of blogging statistics available to me on WordPress, thereby maximizing the effectiveness of the many hours I spend online. Meanwhile, for my Christmas blog post, I’ll create a short story incorporating all the popular names, subjects and tags that show up in my stats. Be sure to check back then! For anyone who’s read this far: sorry I never got around to the subject of cooking. But I’m sticking in some photos of Julia Child and Julie Powell as a consolation prize.
Fellow bloggers, do you have any wisdom to share about statistics and blog hits? I know many of you are far more sophisticated than I am on this subject, and I’d love to hear from you.
©2009 Julie Lomoe