My Blog

Despite the pandemic, or maybe because of it, my blog has never been busier, or more widely read. Most of my readers are still from America, followed by Britain, then India. But other countries seem to be catching on fast, and recent views include Ghana, Finland, Indonesia, Guadaloupe, and Bangladesh.

I have now published 3,922 posts, and had 466,000 views of my blog, from 148,000 visitors.

Jennie, you know who you are, and you are currently number one in comments on my blog. Thank you.

Daily views in excess of 600 are no longer unusual. And even one post can generate well over 350 views, for which I thank all my followers and readers.

Follower numbers, including social media and email only, now total 7,485.

More than I ever thought possible, even allowing for the fact that some 80% of those never actually ‘follow’.

Thanks anyway, to those of you who really do follow this blog.

It is my habit to keep plugging away at my favourite hobby. I try to write stuff you might want to read, and so far I seem to be doing okay.

So it is a big “Thank You” to everyone.

You make my blogging enjoyable, worthwhile, and rewarding.

Best wishes, Pete.

Blogging: Lead By Example

A lot of new bloggers arrived in 2021, and I am grateful that quite a few chose to follow my blog. Some of them wrote on their own blogs about how they are struggling to get to grips with blogging, had few followers, and little or no traffic. A couple even contacted me by email, asking for suggestions on how to build up their readership.

Of course, we all know that two months of blogging is too soon, and no indication of how your blogging experience might turn out. But excited new bloggers can find that initial lack of interaction very disappointing, especially if they have arrived here from fast-paced platforms like Twitter and Facebook.

So once again, I am offering some tips about how to make blogging work. Whether they bother to use them is up to them.

1) Lead by example. Blog how you would be blogged to.

2) If you follow another blogger, then at least comment on their posts occasionally. Once a month is adequate, if you are busy. Once a week is better though.

3) If you find you are not enjoying the content of a particular blogger, unfollow them. It’s easy to do that.

4) Never ask anyone to follow you back by writing ‘Please follow my blog’ as a comment.

5) Definitely never ‘tell’ anyone to follow you by writing ‘Follow my blog’ as a comment.

6) Engage and debate by all means, but never Troll or be rude. If you don’t like someone’s opinions, stop following them. And then ask yourself why you followed them in the first place.

7) Avoid boasting. Things like ‘I have already published six books’. ‘I have sold 1,000 copies of my e-book’, etc. Nobody likes a bighead. Of course this does not exclude you from promoting your own work on your blog, it’s a great way to do that. Just be nice about the way you do it.

8) Don’t try to upstage a blogger writing about illness or grief by stating that you are worse than them, or have more to grieve about. That’s tacky.

9) Be polite, and do not use swear-words in comments.

10) Thank people who follow your blog by leaving a thank you comment on one of their posts.
(Not required for people just trying to sell you things, or promoting their own religion)

11) Don’t expect all your followers to read everything you post.

12) Don’t expect any followers to leave a comment, but be pleased when they do.

13) Reply to those comments, to show them that you appreciate the time and effort. Even if only to say ‘thanks for commenting’.

14) Don’t expect a regular readership if you don’t post any content. You can’t put up a couple of posts, then sit back and not bother to add more content. Followers will disappear like ice melting if you do that.

15) Keep going. Two months is not enough time to see if your blog will be popular. It might turn out to be, but you must not be impatient.

There you have fifteen easy to follow suggestions that may help you enjoy blogging more than you are at the moment.

A Blogging Year

Only a couple of days to go before the end of 2020, a year that most of us will be pleased to see the back of. Let’s hope that vaccination programmes will lead to some major improvements in 2021, and life might start to feel normal again for many of us. Those who have lost loved ones will still find it hard to cope of course, and the businesses forced to close, and those who have lost careers or jobs, will face a complete readjustment of their lives.

In the world of blogging, lockdowns and lack of movement saw an explosion of new bloggers like never before. Many hoped to increase their income, or just start an online business. Whether by offering SEO and other blogging services, online courses, or just selling cosmetics. Thousands of entrepreneurial people took to blogging as a route to make some money. Most found out that it doesn’t work like that. Bloggers do not rush to buy such services, especially blog promotion services, fake reviews, and social media accounts that are built up to 5,000 followers before being offered for sale.

Do people actually buy Twitter Accounts, Instagram Accounts, or someone else’s blog? That was a new one for me, in a strange year.

Like some other bloggers, a little more time on my hands meant that I posted more. As well as fiction serials, I explored some more random stuff, and the popularity of those posts took me by surprise. I hardly posted photos during the past year. I lost the ‘muse’ for photography, along with any desire to read fiction. That surpised me, as I had been doing well with reading up to that point. But lack of concentration seemed to be one side effect of tthe pandemic that tended to overwhelm me at times.

2020 also saw an increase in followers, as new bloggers looked around for blogs to follow, and blogging communities to become part of. The other side of that coin was losing some regular followers that had been around for years. Maybe they stopped blogging, got fed up with following my particular blog, or just found a new hobby to pursue.

Some died during the past year, which was sad to hear. Others took extended breaks from blogging; whether through illness, lack of continued interest, or the pressures associated with dealing with familiy and work during a very difficult time. I hope some of them come back, I really do.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who has stuck by my blog, during this unprecedented year in our lifetimes. All the followers and friends who have been around since the start, and those new followers who have thrown themselves into blogging, and become great members of our small community.

I thank each and every one of you for your comments, your likes, and your emails. Thanks for reading my very long serials, and my everyday stuff about walking a dog in all weathers.

In your own ways, you have got me through 2020. I doubt I could have done it without you.

Enjoying A ‘Wallow’

beetleypete
The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Maybe it’s the time of year, the dark afternoons, or just my age, I don’t know.

But for the last couple of days, I have been enjoying a nostalgic wallow in the early days of my blog. (Hence reposting one of my original ‘Significant Songs’.) Picking a header comment, photo, and theme. Never sure if you got the blog name right, or if anyone was ever going to read so much as one word that you wrote.

It doesn’t seem that long ago that I got excited to receive as many as two comments on a post, and sometimes even six likes! I would return to my old computer and check on the progress of a post, just to see if anyone else had left a comment.

One of the sad things about revisiting those posts from the first eighteen months of blogging is seeing comments from former ‘regulars’ who just disappeared, or decided to stop blogging. I wish they were still around, and if any of them read this, I hope you are well.

Using the stats page to see which posts are being read is often a revelation. People have been reading posts that I had forgotten about, and in some cases don’t even remember writing. I love it when someone randomly reads very old stuff, as it reminds me of a time when I really didn’t have the first clue about blogging. (Before you tell me, I know I probably still haven’t)

FR (Fragglerocking) wisely counsels me to always look forward, and to never dwell in the past. But I can’t help myself, especially where my blog is concerned.

I am sure you all remember those tentative first steps. Checking your post over and over before hitting ‘Publish’, then wondering if anyone other than your best friend was ever going to bother to read it. The first time you were notified that you had a follower whose name you didn’t know, or received a comment from an experienced blogger who said something nice about your post.

Blogs needs to evolve to survive, and to remain interesting. But there is little to compare with that thrill of those early posts, and the feeling of dipping a toe into the vast ocean of communication and community known as Blogging.

So if you will forgive me, I am going back for another short wallow.

Marking A Milestone

At 10 pm last night, I noticed that I had 7,001 followers, according to WordPress stats. The total is made up like this.

WordPress Blog Followers. 6605
Email only followers. 45
Twitter Followers. 351

Total, 7,001

Whenever I exceed another 1,000 followers, it is my habit to celebrate that with a blog post announcing my good fortune. I last did this when I reached 6,000 followers.

Somehow, I feel this is the right thing to do. Not only marking off the significant moments in my blog, but also thanking the followers.

But of course, as we all know, this is only ever a number, and does not relate to the popularity of my blog in the real world.

Around 35% of those followers have never read a post, or left a like or comment. They have only followed me in the hope of selling me something, leaving a link to their own site, or hoping to be followed back.

On a good day, this blog might get 600 views. Most days, it now gets between 400-500 views, as long as I have posted some content.

Even the most popular blog posts will rarely get more than 50 likes, and perhaps 45 comments. The majority of those comments come from people who have followed my blog for more than five years, and are in regular contact on a daily basis.

My reckoning is that I actually have around 700 real followers, or 10% of the stated figure. I’m not complaining about that, as they are 700 of the best followers any blogger could ever hope for. And I suspect that if I ever reach the figure of 8,000 followers of higher, it will be those same loyal stalwarts who are still around, liking and commenting.

And for that, I thank you all. And of course send you my best wishes.

New Followers: Thanks And Apologies

This is by way of information to all the people who have recently followed my blog.

I no longer get notification of new followers by email, only in the sidebar. Then the sidebar does not allow me to comment about that at the moment. I usually visit the blog of anyone who follows mine, and leave a comment thanking them. Due to recent glitches, that is no longer possible.

So if you have recently followed this blog, please be aware that it is appreciated, and you have my thanks for doing so.

Follow Invitations: An Open Letter

*** Update! Just got another one! This it what the email looks like***

You’ve been invited to follow¬†Social artist!

Monis has invited you to follow Social artist.

You can accept the invitation by clicking below:

Accept

I recently posted about the sharp increase in being sent ‘Invitations to follow’. Those WordPress-generated emails that go something like this.

“Rudeblogger 123 has invited you to follow their blog”
Then there is a box marked ‘Accept Invitation’.

One day, the same person sent me one of those no less than four times.

I am not going to repeat eveything I wrote before about why I consider this to be rude. I will just add this, for the attention of anyone considering using this feature to send me a request.

I WILL NOT FOLLOW ANYONE WHO SENDS ME ONE OF THESE, EVER.

I hope I have made it clear now?

Book Promotion Offer From Me

With so many people beavering away writing and publishing books during the long period of lockdown, I thought it was about time to offer another promotional opportunity on this blog.

If you follow my blog or follow me on Twitter, and have a book to promote, you can publicise it here, completely free of charge, with no strings. I don’t even want a free copy, how about that? It will be viewed by a potentially large audience, as well as being shared on Twitter. The post will not be taken down later, so will always be on this blog.

Send me the details, including a photo of the book cover, to petejohnson50@yahoo.com
Add full buying links, and a personal bio and photo if you want one to appear.
Either a synopsis or a blurb would help too of course.

You get full credit, and no editing of your promotional post. It will appear here as ‘Blogger’s Books: + your name’.

I have a great bunch of readers from all around the world, so if your book has been translated, or is in a foreign language, that doesn’t matter.

Bloggers love to read, and they like to buy books, or get free copies when available. They also review them, which is a great help to authors.

Each person sending me their book to promote will be featured separately, so no need to worry about being compared to anyone else. I don’t care what genre your book is in, but if it contains ‘Adult Content’, then please add that disclaimer. Only one book photo and one author photo per post please.

Off you go!

For A Change: Blogging Stuff

I have been posting a great deal of fiction during this ‘Virus Year’, as well as regular reports about the effects of Covid-19 in Beetley, and reblogging old posts for all the new followers.

So I thought I would go back to one of my favourite topics today, Blogging.

Regular readers will be clasping hands to foreheads, knowing that they are about to get a recap of my familiar moaning.
I say “Clasp away”, because that is exactly what is going to happen.

Remember when I said I would Spam anyone who left a link to their own blog as a supposed comment? Well it is still happening, and I am very happy to tell you that I have spammed no less than 22 bloggers who ignored my warning. Here it is again, in case you missed it.

A link to your own blog or blog post is NOT a comment, and never will be. If you do that on my blog, you WILL be Spammed!

What about the ‘Followers’ who do the same thing? They follow this blog, then immediately comment on any post by linking to their own.

Same deal! You WILL be Spammed!

Another pet hate. Inappropriate one or two-word comments on post that they obviously haven’t read. Case in point, a post about one person dying from Covid-19, and the terrible effect of that on his family and friends. The comment from some clown? ‘Nice Post’. (With a smiley face)

You guessed it. He was Spammed!

Another one? One of my best friends died of Covid-19 in May. I wrote a very sad post about his death, and how it had affected me.
The comment received? ‘Nice. Please check out my blog’.

Another twit Spammed!

Keep doing it, and I will keep Spamming you. Your choice.

‘Invited To Follow’

In case you didn’t know, WordPress has a feature that enables you to invite other bloggers to follow your blog.

Admin Dashboard>
Users>
Invite New

Since I started blogging in 2012, I have never once ‘agreed’ to follow anyone who has contacted me in this way, and I still get around five a week on average. The people who use this facility are usually innocent of the implication, I am sure. But nontheless, they expect me to follow their blog without so much as a ‘Like’ or comment on even one of my own posts. In many cases, the blogs are brand new, with little or no content, so I have no idea what I might even be following.

I think WordPress should remove this general facility. If I want to follow a blog, I will find it eventually.

I have ignored no less than three of these already today, though part of me feels sorry for those bloggers who think it might be the normal thing to do.