There’s no figuring out why one of my blog posts does better than another. I know the one that triggered an immediate interest on Twitter and Facebook, plus newspapers, radio and television, was Facial disfigurement: A voyage around my face, and that really stunned me as it was my second blog post.
Other posts have done even better, such as A death in the family: The short life of my beautiful son Alan, but that was hardly a surprise. A personal piece about losing a son resonates with many people, and it still generates lots of interest.
The topic of facial disfigurement has also attracted many views because I have discussed bullying, hate speech, staring and physical violence, Hollywood’s equation of villains with facially different people. Isolation and loneliness also drew peoples’ attention.
If I write about books the views drop. It doesn’t matter as I like writing about a subject that is precious to me. I’ve always loved reading and music (the theme for a recent series.)
Would you believe my most popular post by some distance had nothing to do with facial disfigurement. Death of a Facebook friend and soldier was written in response to the death of Mathis Ellerbe, the son of a pen pal of mine. I had never met Mathis, but I wrote about the private messages we exchanged on Messenger and suddenly my phone was pinging with alerts. A friend of his, a popular fitness trainer in the US, shared it on his Facebook page and I was gobsmacked by the response.
I suppose everyone who writes a blog post always wonders when they hit the publish button will it do well. I’m not a slave to metrics, but I do wonder sometimes why one post prospers and the other seems to draw little attention. I once wrote a piece about graveyards that provoked a frenzy of criticism. Ouch! A few I thought might do well faded into obscurity. The best reaction is not to worry. There’s always another blog post to be written.
Although… A couple of weeks back I hit the publish button and sat back waiting. No one read it. Five, 10, 15 minutes later still nothing. I was being hard on myself at the time figuring this post was an outlier, just a dud and I should forget about it. easier said than done – after all, I wrote the damned thing and it was my baby.
And then it clicked into life, drawing some likes from fellow bloggers, a few nice comments, and the views counter starting moving in the right direction.
Some posts have a life of their own. They continue to be read scores of time each month. One I wrote that initially didn’t do so well generated strong attention down the years. For some reason it has resonated and I’m not complaining.
My point is that none of my blogs have been failures. Yes, some did better than others, but all resonated with a few people and that’s all that matters.
Some day, and perhaps not so far into the future, I’ll draw a blank – and this may be the time. I hope not. I hope you believe I have something to say worth a few minutes of your time. So to everyone who has read me – and you’re not just in Ireland, Australia, the US, UK or Canada, but also from Portugal to Russia, New Zealand, every country in Europe and practically all of Central and South America – thanks.
Stick around for future posts because there’s another one coming tomorrow.