It seems that no matter how long I keep doing this whole blogging thing I’m still unable to judge which of my posts will end up being popular, controversial or just simply fall flat on their face. The most popular post on my site (excluding the home page) for some bizzare reason appears to be my April fools post from a couple years ago that seems to draw in several hundred people a month simply for the fact that it has 2 pictures of ponies in it. The second is the only piece that was ever linked to by a reputable news organisation, my original post on BitCoins. Even then though the post wasn’t popular until a month after I had written it, an eternity here on the Internet.
What confuses me most is though is that the posts that I considered forced, rushed pieces of work (usually ones I write when I can’t find anything good to write about) usually end up being some of the most commented and thought provoking pieces. It could be that I’m just somewhat self defeatist in this regard, thinking that if I can’t hit that creative spark in under an hour then obviously anything I’m plonking down is going to be crap. Still though those particular posts are usually the ones where I’ve spent the least amount of effort researching, proof reading and polishing which would make you think that they’d be below average.
Normally I’d just write that off as confirmation bias, since there have been many posts from both sides of the equation that have had varying levels of success. The perceived failure of a well researched post sticks much more clearly in my mind however, because I feel like there’s been so much more effort put into it. A great example of this was last week’s post on eSports which was a massive undertaking for me, taking up a good 4 hours to research, analyse and write. Of course it could end up being a surprising success story a month down the line but for a post that managed to generate such energetic conversation amongst my peers I had thought that it would hit a chord with enough people for it to see a bit more light than it did. I might’ve missed the boat on that one though, as I ofte do with my strict “one post per day at the regularly scheduled time” routine.
Realistically though I don’t dwell too much on whether a post will be popular or not. My giant backlog of 600+ posts seems to attract a variety of people looking for posts on varying topics and there’s a good collection of posts that bring people back consistently. I am getting better at recognizing which posts will do better in the longer term but it still seems to be a guessing game for the most part. It might be a different game for bloggers who have a larger audience as right now my sample size is probably too small to draw any proper conclusions from, but until such time as I reach those dizzying heights of blogging stardom I’ll have to make do with working in the uncertainty of what the wider world would like to see from me.