}

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

This is blog post 333 for 2016

This is the 333rd AmeriNZ Blog post for 2016. That number means absolutely nothing by itself, but it’s as good a reason as any for an update on the blog post turbocharging I began last month. The short version is that it’s going very well.

This all came about, of course, because I have a goal of an average of one post per day over the course of a year. Every year that’s meant some months I publish a lot of posts, others, not many. Despite a strong start, I’ve struggled with blogging this year, as I did last year, and both required a revved up effort to meet my annual goal.

In early September, my target was 1.57 posts per day, as Roger Green pointed out to me in an email. As of right now, after this post, I need a daily average of 1.03125 posts. All of which means that I’m well on track to meet my annual goal for 2016, because for the past few months I’ve averaged more than one post per day.

Along the way, there have been some surprises entirely unrelated to the goal: The posts that are the most viewed are often the ones I least expected. In fact, in some cases, I have no idea why they’re popular.

Back in mid-September, I decided to start sharing my Instagram posts on the blog, too. In that first post, I said that Instagram posts were “a very convenient way to share a photo that briefly tells a story, and in a way I don't typically do on this blog.” That’s true, but on this blog I’ve ended up mostly using them to illustrate what I was talking about in the blog post. Put another way, most of those Instagram shares were really not much different than if I’d just used the photo by itself, and none of them have been shared without me saying something.

This has encouraged me to use Instagram more often, and that’s given me things to share on Facebook, too, where short (and, especially visual) personal stories are always better received than long screeds. At least, that’s what I’ve observed among my own Facebook friends. It never occurred to me that I’d use Instagram more if I shared the posts here, but that’s been welcome.

However, what I certainly never expected was that some of those posts with Instagram shares would have hundreds of page views (the first one being the lowest), some over a thousand. That's been true regardless of the subject. I have no idea why this has been the case.

The only thing those posts have in common is that they’re all tagged “Instagram”. In researching this post (yes, even this one…), I found two Instagram posts that weren’t tagged, and they had much lower page views. So, I tagged the two posts and made a note of them so I can check to see if the number of page views increases.

Overall, page views for my posts have been in a fairly narrow range, with most posts about US politics being among the most-viewed, and many of my posts about New Zealand politics being among the least-viewed. Some posts about me and my life are popular. For example, the post about our third wedding anniversary had had a huge numbers of views, maybe because I talked about using the word husband.

The bottom line, really, is that I have no idea why people view certain posts and not others. While I’d like to provide more of what people like, I don’t know what that is, exactly, so I just keep on doing what I’m doing.

And because of all that, there’s now the real probability of hitting my annual goal, something that seemed unlikely only a few months ago. That’s the power of persistence, aided by a very blog-worthy US election, to turbocharge my efforts to meet my target.

And now, with 333 posts done, there are only 33 more posts to go.

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