Still On Top!

In 2016, I published a post about a British Acid-Jazz band, Jamiroquai.

Whatever happened to?: Jamiroquai

This soon became something of a phenomenon on my blog, with an incredible number of views. Since then, not a single day has passed without that post getting at least one view.

Today, I noticed that it had been viewed twice, so checked my all-time stats. Sure enough, it is still there at number one, with total views of 5,847.

Blogging About Blogging (Again)

Having recently been consumed with my daily serial, I suddenly remembered that it has been a while since I blogged about Blogging.

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If you look on the right hand side of any of my main blog pages, you will see that I supposedly have 8,585 followers of this blog. Don’t worry, I am not going to repeat myself about what really constitutes a ‘follower’. (Not on this occasion, anyway.)

However, let’s consider the statistcs.

Given that number of followers, you might imagine my views to be at least 50% of than number. But considering my best ever views barely exceeded 800 in one day, that is not the case. Despite that apparently healthy amount of followers, the best I can manage, on a very good day, is less than a 10% interest on my blog.

As far as I am concerned, that is yet more proof that follower numbers are little more than an illusion.

***Note to new bloggers*** Read that part before you ever concern yourselves about how many followers you have.

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The new year of 2021 saw a huge increase in people starting out with blogging. My own unscientific evidence shows that around half of them gave it up quite quickly. Maybe they didn’t get the interaction they had expected, or perhaps there was not the amount of followers they had hoped for. I don’t know the answer to that. But they have stopped commenting on my blog posts, that’s undeniable.

Maybe my stuff just bored them silly? That’s very possible too.

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Spam has increased dramatically. Yes, I know that 99% of it is caught by WordPress and put in the Spam Folder. But having 200 Spam comments a day doesn’t help when I am trying to trawl through them to find one from a genuine follower. As you might imagine, I have given up on that.

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Emails from people wanting to help me with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) have also increased, to the point of annoyance. For any of you bothering to read this, please stop. I don’t give a stuff about my Google rankings, or my placing on a page searched online. Don’t care, never will. Please stop. I’m asking nicely.

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Gravatar links to blog sites. Well this hardly ever changes, despite me posting about it until I am tired of typing the strange word ‘Gravatar’. In the last week alone, I have had at least ten followers with no site links directed from their Gravatar image. I’m not even going to bother to add a link about how to do that. It’s freely available online, so look it up. Or don’t look it up, and then you will never have any followers except your family and friends, as nobody else will be able to ever find your blog.

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That’s all for now. No doubt I will be revsiting the subject soon. I usually do.

Nice Times (3)

As much as I enjoy living in the countryside now, I will always be a Londoner. This post is about some beloved memories of that city.

An intimate gig at the famous Soho Jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s. It finished late, and after the club closed we walked across the street and were lucky enough to get a table outside the iconic Bar Italia coffee bar. Sitting on the pavement, heated by patio heaters, drinking lukewarm espresso at inflated prices. Watching the world go by in London at night. And then I had a glass of Grappa. Fabulous.

Standing on an almost deserted Waterloo Bridge, very early in the morning. Facing east, looking at one of the best views in London as the sun rose behind Tower Bridge. I loved being a Londoner that morning.

An evening trip on The London Eye (big wheel by the river) for my 49th birthday. Disappointed that the thing faces the wrong way, so all you get to see is the dull stuff heading west out of London. Then we walked down to Gabriel’s Wharf for one of the best pizzas in the city, an English Breakfast on a pizza. As we ate, we laughed about what a let down the London Eye is.

A late drink in a pub in Smithfield Market. When we left, the meat traders were setting up, much as they had done for centuries. The end of our day was the beginning of theirs, and it felt just right.

Sitting in a car in a street just off Brick Lane, east London. I had driven to the Bagel Shop in the middle of the night and bought two salt beef bagels. My mouth was watering at the thought of eating them, so I sat and ate them in the car, instead of driving home first.

Visiting an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, on the South Bank. I was on my own and had enjoyed the exhibition of historical propaganda posters. I had even bought some to take home and frame for my wall. (I still have them, now stored in the loft) I bought a large glass of wine from the Festival Hall terrace cafe, and sat watching the buzz of London life by the river. It was such an enjoyable experience, I had a second glass before going home.

Meeting friends at the Mar/Terra tapas bar, off Union Street, Southwark. Eight of us enjoying many small courses and lots of wine, for as long as they remained open. The owner was from Seville, and served some of the best tapas in London. A small restaurant, always full of atmosphere. A place to feel alive in.

Blog Stuff

As we come to the end of the month, and Autumn looms, I felt prompted to have a review of my blog once again. Regular readers will be aware that I cut back on my posts recently, and that has a significant effect on views and followers, just as I had expected. That isn’t a complaint, as that was my intention. And it worked.

On my Home page, WordPress now lists my follower total as 8,481. I am happy to report that I have had a reduction in ‘fake followers’ lately, and only a few companies trying hard to promote their goods by following my blog. There are also fewer followers without Gravatar links or posts on their own blogs. That’s great to see.

Including this one, I have posted 3,482 posts since 2012, and had 541,620 views of my blog. Even after posting less, I still get between 225-400 views a day, much easier to deal with than the 600+ I enjoyed previously.

I am currently following 114 other bloggers, and with six exceptions, they are all posting and active. If nothing arrives from those six bloggers by the end of 2021, I will follow six different ones after Christmas.

Guest Posts are still popular, and I would like to remind all my followers, old and new, that the offer remains open indefinitely. If you would like a guest post here, just send me an email to petejohnson50@yahoo.com

The latest series of fictional short stories has been well received, with views more than comparable to my usual serials. Each first line was suggested by a fellow blogger, and this is a good way to engage with others in the community. Using links to their blogs also helps make us all better known to each other, further developing the feeling that we are all in this together.

Any post about my dog Ollie guarantees a lot of interaction. As he gets older and slower his popularity never wanes, and he remains very much the heart and soul of my blog, with his many admirers and his ongoing adventures on our dog walks.

My blog trundles along in the same old way, and I still love being a blogger as much as I ever did.

Serial Review: A Good Runner

My recent serial ‘A Good Runner’ has now ended. As usual, I like to offer an overview of how it was conceived, and how well it was received by readers. Those of you contemplating writing a daily fiction serial might like to know about that, but if you have no interest in such things, feel free to skip this post.

The idea came about as I was walking Ollie to Hoe Rough. Crossing the bridge at Fakenham Road, I saw an old car driving toward us. It dated from the 1950s, and was immaculate. The man driving was relatively young, and that made me think about who might have owned the car from new, and the many hands it might have passed through over the decades.

By the time Ollie’s walk was over, I had the idea for the serial, and the last episode in my head. I came home and made some notes, then started Part One by working back from the ending to the first person to buy the car new. I set the start of my story in the 1960s, a period very familiar to me from my youth.

This serial was very well-received, and generated quite a lot of comments for each episode. It also enjoyed a consistent readership, with a minimum of 110 views every day, up to a maximum of 140 views (so far) for the final episode.

Allowing for an average of 115 views for each of the 35 episodes, that gives me a total of 4,025 views for the serial, and some are still coming in for that last part.

I will soon be publishing all those episodes as one complete story, for those of you who prefer to read it as a novella.

Thanks to everyone who read, commented, and liked. Also to those who reblogged, or shared any part of it on social media.

Best wishes, Pete.

Blogging: Content Is King

This post is mainly for the information of new bloggers. The rest of us already know about it.

I have recently reduced the amount of time I spend blogging. Going from 4-5 posts a day down to 1 or 2 has given me lots more time to do other things that were being neglected in favour of writing and blogging.

Reaching a peak of over 800 views some days, my own blog was tying up a great deal of the day, mainly spent replying to comments on posts. Then I had to read and comment on the posts of bloggers that I follow.

Many new bloggers ask questions about why so few people read a post on their blogs. They write something, put it out there, and they are then disappointed when hardly anyone reads it, or engages with it.

My answer to them has always been that they have to keep providing content for people to read. I have often used the phrase ‘content is king’.

Now my recent experiment offers solid evidence of this theory.

After cutting back on posts, I saw daily views drop considerably. As that was my intention, it wasn’t an issue. Views were averaging less than 200 a day, with a peak ten days ago of 450, for two posts. This Monday, I was very late posting.

With nothing new to offer the readers, my views dropped to a dramatic low of just 47. After posting late, that jumped to 210 views by midnight.

There you have it, proof positive. Content is king.

Easing Off: An Update

I am now two weeks into my plan of easing off the blog for a while. Some of you will recall this post, at the end of May.

Easing Off

Since then, I have been publishing my fiction serial, and adding one other post most days. That has dropped my output from 4-5 posts most days, to one every day, two on some days.

The effect on the blog stats has been dramatic, proving that to a large extent that the more I posted, the more views followed. I have gone from 750-800 views a day, down to 325-360. This has freed up a considerable amount of time answering blog comments, and I have still been able to follow other blogs and comment on those posts as I did before.

Because the hot weather arrived, I have been walking Ollie earlier than usual, and the extra free time before and after those walks has meant that I have been able to tackle routine housework more regularly, and keep on top of cutting the grass and doing some weeding in the garden.

Easing off seems to have worked out well, and as long as the good weather is with us in Beetley, I will continue to do that.

Thanks as always to everyone who has stuck with me, the new followers who are still arriving daily, and the regular readers of my latest serial, one that I am very much enjoying writing.

Besting The ‘Best Day’

I have just discovered that yesterday was my ‘Best Ever’ day for views on this blog, with 812 views in a 24-hour period. This figure easily beats the previous ‘Best Day’.

Obviously, I am very grateful to everyone who viewed my blog yesterday, and send you my thanks for doing so.

Best wishes to you all, Pete.

The ‘Clearwater’ Anomaly

Last December, I posted about the short sci-fi film, ‘Clearwater’.

‘Clearwater’: A Short Science Fiction Film

At the time, it had 50 ‘likes’, and around 18 comments.

But in the past week, it has been receiving almost 100 views a day, every day. Not one of these viewers has left either a ‘Like’, or a comment.

So I am beginning to think this is some kind of automatic system, supposedly viewing this blog post.

However, if you are genuine, please let me know.