A tall tale featuring my top ten tags

Julia Child

Today’s blog post is a statistical experiment. Never fear, I know that sounds dreary, but I’m going to have fun with it by creating a fictional journal entry using key words and phrases that seem to have drawn people to my blog.

I study my stats religiously, and they’ve been down in the past week. Perhaps my topics haven’t been uplifting or intriguing enough – I wrote about the death of an artist friend, website anxiety, agita and acid indigestion. On the other hand, “affordable funerals” has been one of my most popular topics to date, so go figure. Today, I’ll start with a true statement; after that, all bets are off. I’ll highlight the popular tags in turquoise, and see if I can drive up my stats for the day.

As Administrator for the Memorial Society of the Hudson-Mohawk Region, I get a lot of inquiries about affordable funerals. I’m fairly well versed in what’s going on with funeral homes in upstate New York, but I decided it was time to broaden my horizons. What better place to start than Baltimore and the grave of Edgar Allan Poe? I’d visited there before when I went to Bouchercon, but I didn’t want to linger, so after paying my respects I caught a shuttle to the Baltimore-Washington airport.

Next stop: London. Once there, I realized I wasn’t in the mood for research, at least not of the kind I’d come for, so I decided to cure my jet lag by exploring the local nightlife. I found a pub in the Soho district, and lo and behold, a devastatingly handsome bloke named Harold was soon chatting me up. He looked much the way John Lennon might have if he’d lived to see 60.

Jimi Hendrix

I regaled him with tales of my past – how I’d shown my paintings and won a prize at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, how a disc jockey had helped me sneak my paintings into the Beatles’ suite at the Warwick Hotel, how I’d lived in New York City’s SoHo district at the height of its glory. How Jimi Hendrix bought me a screwdriver and asked for my phone number at a Greenwich Village club, and I stayed in my loft for a week waiting for his call in vain.

Baseball diamond

Harold and I discovered we both had a passion for blogging. I told him how amazed I was to be getting hundreds of hits a day, but that I couldn’t figure out what made certain posts more popular. I could understand the appeal of “Norman Mailer ogled my chest” and “Julie and Julie and Julia” Parts 1, 2 and 3, but why “My blogging story arc – a field of dreams?” Enid Wilson’s steamy take on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice was a big hit too. Michael Jackson I could understand – I blogged about Michael as the archetype of a tortured artist. Harold and I agreed about the poignancy of his death, but that he’d probably passed his prime, and that the brilliant film “Michael Jackson’s This Is It” was a fitting legacy.

After my second Black Russian, I was feeling confident enough to pull both my mysteries out of my carry-on bag. He raved about my cover illustrations, and immediately insisted on buying both Eldercide and Mood Swing: The Bipolar Murders. My first sale on English soil! I was thrilled.

“I’d love to show you more of London tomorrow,” Harold said.

“That would be great, but I’m not sure my husband would approve.” I pulled out my BlackBerry. “Come to think of it, I’d better give him a call. . . .”

 [the scene ends here]

Actually, it turns out that most of the above is fact, not fiction. I’ve been to Baltimore for Bouchercon and and visited Poe’s grave, but I don’t have plans to return any time soon. I didn’t jet off to London and meet a dashing Englishman, but everything I told him about my background and my blogging is true. Now I’ll type in all the tags and see what happens.

Hey, this isn’t a bad creative writing exercise – maybe I’ll try it again sometime. You’re welcome to try it as well. What tags and subjects have drawn the most people to your blog? Can you turn them into a story? I’d love to hear from you.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Morgan Mandel
    Apr 06, 2010 @ 19:41:52

    That is a great writing exercise. I’ll have to weave my own tall tale some time.

    Be sure to tell us tomorrow what your stats are from your exercise.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

    Reply

  2. Jean Henry Mead
    Apr 07, 2010 @ 11:49:17

    You have a great site, Julie. Don’t worry about your numbers. A lot of people are busy filing out their tax returns instead of reading blogs right now. 🙂

    My best numbers have occurred when I report on medical problems, interview bestselling authors or blog about ways to improve one’s writing skills–all things that I’m interested in. I’m a fellow former journalist, so I also comment on current events.

    All best,

    Jean
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fans-of-Jean-Henry-Mead/334147262834?filter=3

    Reply

  3. heidiwriter
    Apr 07, 2010 @ 18:00:10

    An interesting exercise, Julie, very entertaining! What do you check to find which topics draw the most attention?

    Reply

  4. M. E. KEMP
    Apr 08, 2010 @ 10:07:30

    Always entertaining, Julie. I don’t know why I haven’t checked in lately – must be the Spring weather finally coming to Saratoga! I’ve been outside trying to get a little tan for my winter-white skin. I’d be interested in the numbers since your post. Marilyn aka: M. E. Kemp, author: DEATH OF A DANCING MASTER – out in the Fall.

    Reply

  5. julielomoe
    Apr 08, 2010 @ 10:44:21

    Hi Morgan, Jean, Heidi and Marilyn – thanks for stopping by and leaving comments.

    So far the results from this experiment have been underwhelming and inconclusive. I had 303 visitors yesterday, up from the 200’s in recent days, but I can’t attribute the climb to the new blog – as always, it’s a combination of factors, only some of which I can decipher.

    Jean, I think you’re right – I shouldn’t worry about stats! There’s no telling what attracts the most readers, and I’ll probably continue what I’ve always been doing – writing what bubbles up and begs to be written on any given day.

    Heidi, WordPress has exhaustive statistics I can look up to see which topics drew the most visits, including visits to each topic per day – but the popular posts continue to be the older ones I highlighted above.

    Reply

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