an internet pit stop

Wow. In the past 24 hours, since I posted about Tammy Faye’s death, my website has gotten more traffic than it ever has. According to the stats I get on my page, over 700 pages have been viewed. Most of those were reading about the recent Tammy Faye death news on my front page, but over 20 clicked to the old Tammy Faye post and almost 10 to the Samaritan post. And 10 people, all likely first-time visitors, wanted to learn about me.

Over 500 people (which likely account for almost all of the 700 page views) came from a blog and news website called sphere.com. As I was thinking about this yesterday (after the first 300 or so people had arrived), I likened it to being a small town on the side of an interstate. You’re likely to get a good amount of people stopping by to buy gas (the main draw) and maybe have a meal at a local restaurant (why not?), but they probably won’t be back. Maybe they liked the restaurant enough that they will come back again soon, eating at the same place again or trying another place to get a better flavor for the town. And maybe it had such a grand impression on them, they’ll even want to move!

But I find it unlikely that my website will suddenly become a widely read blog. More than likely most of the people who came to my site will never be back: they were just passing through. But seeing that a few people who I have never met (and probably never will) came and read some of my other stuff, something I have always hoped for but never really thought might accomplish, has made me happy. 2 1/2 months into blogging, I received my first hint of the “power of the Internet,” and while the numbers have never mattered to me — I simply enjoy the fact that maybe 10 or 20 of my family and friends might read what I have to offer — it’s always nice when you can get your point across to more people and reach those you’ve never me.

This, though, has taught me a few things about blogging, though:
Lesson One: Writing about current events/big news as it’s happening will bring people.
Tammy Faye’s death only happened Saturday, and my writing about it Sunday, soon after it occurring, when people were still searching the web and blogs for info, was a large reason people “showed up” to my blog.

Lesson Two: Linking is good.
The fact that people came and were able to then click on to other news sources or places for information was no doubt helpful and appreciated.

Lesson Three: Linking to oneself is a good blogging practice.
Since I had linked to the past Tammy Faye blog posting, nearly 20 people clicked on it and (likely) read it. That’s 20 new readers that I may not have had if I hadn’t linked myself.

Lesson Four: Keep writing.
It may sometimes feel like no one is reading when no comments are posted or the hits on a certain day are only a handful, but if one keeps on writing, one day the people will show up.

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One Response to an internet pit stop

  1. Valerie H. says:

    Eric, as a fellow blogger who is quite content to have my audience limited to friends and family (though I get a good deal fewer than 10-20 visitors…I think…I don’t really have stats to go on…all I have is comments)…uh…
    Well, anyway, I don’t know where I’m going with this, but I did want to mention that it really is quite gratifying when you realize that not all of your visitors are people who already know you. I get the biggest thrill when I get a comment from a stranger. Even if it’s mostly a nonsensical one.
    I guess the other reason I’m writing this is to let you know that I am a fairly faithful reader of your blog, so, you are right! “KEEP WRITING!”

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