When I started this blog, I promised myself I would first write 50 posts and then see how things went before I decided to continue or not. I managed this many posts in a little under two months, which translates to almost a post a day. This is actually my second WordPress blog (my first is Sweets Reporter). Being the analytical guy I am, I was curious to compare the stats of these two blogs.
For each item, I’ll give the figure for this blog followed by the stat for Sweets Reporter at the 50th post point.
Followers: 61 33
Total Views: 467 (best 31) 565 (best 51)
Comments: 12 1
Likes: 125 ?? (147 after 69 posts)
First of all, I want to thank each and every one of you that liked, followed, commented, or simply read one of my posts.
In terms of the followers and comments, this blog has been much more successful than Sweets Reporter, which is very motivating. To be fair, I was more active this time with commenting, liking, and following other people’s blogs which is likely one factor in this blog’s relative popularity. Originally, I thought “If I like their blog they’ll just arbitrarily like mine, so whats the point?”, but now I understand that commenting and the like (pun intended) are one of the most natural ways to advertise one’s blog. It gives people a motivation to check out your blog and see if they like it or not. Sure, some people might just like or comment as a thanks, which has little to do with the content of your blog, but many people will not.
As for the lesser total views of this blog, I explain that by the fact that sweets are generally more popular than Japanese study, and also that many of the keywords in this blog were very general (“Japan”, “Japanese”), compared to more specific ones in my other blog (“Haagen Dazs”, etc.). One reason I think this is that even though I’ve mostly stopped writing posts for Sweets Reporter, I still get at least 20-30 views a day from various countries around the world, which is significantly less than for Self Taught Japanese.
Interestingly, my post with the most likes (12) was Japanese bookstores in America, whose popularity I attribute to, at least in part, by usage of the keyword “bookstore”.
Another thing I’ve learned in this blog is that there is an element of chance, or randomness, in blog feedback. Or maybe another way to say it is that it is impossible for me to predict how many likes or comments I’ll get for a given post. Sometimes posts I only spent a little time on get several likes, and those where I have spent much more effort and research don’t get a single like. As another example, last weekend I got 5 more followers even though I didn’t post a single article either day, and I got less followers the previous few days when I did publish a an article or two. But I’ve learned to, as they say in Japanese, 長い目で見る (“Watch with a long eye”), which means look at things in a wider sense, in the long term.
And after all, the main purpose of this blog is not to get likes or followers. Of course that is nice, and if I can gradually grow my fan base over weeks and months that is great, but as long as I am enjoying researching and writing articles for this blog I consider it a success. If, on the other hand, I had 1000 followers but didn’t enjoy the subject matter one bit, then it would be hard to continue.
I’ve tried hard to keep the content of this blog to Japanese study, and not let too much personal unrelated stuff creep in. For the near future I’ll continue on this track, though eventually I may change that since I have a lot of things to say on other topics as well.
Another reason this blog will likely outlast Sweets Reporter is because the content is more diverse and interesting, and I feel I have more to contribute from my experiences with the subject matter. Ice cream flavors and ingredient lists start to all taste and look alike after blogging about them for awhile, apart from marketing or dramatic turn of phrase. In addition, there is a great deal of subjectivity in food reviewing, in both the flavors and the healthiness of the ingredients within. Language study is much more satisfying because a majority of things I write about are closer to verifiable truths – though I will acknowledge a certain subjectivity regarding strict interpretations of certain words and expressions.
I have much more to say about learning Japanese, at least enough to get to 100th post, so I hope you’ll all continue to follow me on this journey!