How to boost your stats by screwing up

Bloggers, do you want more views on your blog, preferably without putting any work into it? I’ve discovered the secret, and it’s not one that any of the experts recommend. It’s simple: Screw up.

On Tuesday, I posted a blog I meant to schedule ahead, for November. Life’s a mess right now. Giving myself some leeway looks like a smart move. So within a minute of posting it, I took it down a tucked it into the schedule, where it can slumber till the world’s ready for it–or at least till I am.

But–semi-responsible blogger that I try to be–I thought I’d let followers know what happened, otherwise I’d get helpful messages saying one of my posts had disappeared. I’ve sent a few of them myself. So I put up a three-sentence post titled “Oops.”

And what happened? It got more views than my (admittedly very long) post of why Britain’s called Britain, which I poured a shitload of work into.

What does it all mean, bartender?

95 thoughts on “How to boost your stats by screwing up

  1. Sigh. Two and a half days’ work after a day tramping around in the rain learning things and taking pictures = NO comments. One daft picture, no text=doubled viewing figures. Yes, the world’s not fair. Hope the frustrations work themselves out with or without your help.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, sometimes it just works out that way. I’d try to figure out what the formula is, but I suspect there isn’t one. I’m pretty sure it’s not publish trash. At least I hope it’s not.

      Thanks for the good wishes. It’ll work out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • When I wrote exclusively for print, I never could quite answer the question of who I wrote for. Since I started blogging, though, the comment section has taken off enough that it’s pretty clear: I write to get people pitching in informed or outrageous comments. For me, that’s what keeps this thing alive. Immediate feedback, actual interchange, very funny people. What more could I ask for? Oh–gazillions of books sold, I suppose, but in the meantime I’m having a hell of a lot of fun.

        Having said that, I’m the only person around when I have to decide if something’s worth posting, so in that sense I’m writing for me. If I’m not interested, why would anyone else be?

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, when our email box tells us somebody we appreciate written a new post it’s natural we click on the link and look, even for 3 seconds . I agree this world is a mess since totally blind quantity prevails and even matters over any criterion of quality .

    Liked by 3 people

      • I think that, too. But then I sit down to write, and even though I promised myself to keep it short, I end up writing a short novel. To me, that shows the author’s passion for the topic.

        Keeping all that in mind, when I stumble upon a lengthy blog post in my Reader and I am too tired/ busy/ whatnot to read it in full, I tend to keep the tab open until I can come back and finish the piece. It’s my sign of respect and a vote of confidence to the fellow long-winded writers.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with phildange, though I would also like to add that, all things being equal, a blog that publishes short posts tend to receive (quite a lot) more “Likes” for each post than a blog that publishes long posts, as far as I can ascertain from my observations. This is definitely a disadvantage for me as I tend to publish very long posts, many of which are also multimedia-laden and multidisciplinary.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Ocean Bream said more or less the same thing about short posts. The question for me–and it sounds like for you as well–is how much we’re willing to be driven by stats. One of the joys of blogging has been writing whatever the hell I want to write, without having to fit an editor’s needs or expectations. If I check everything against the stat-o-meter, that joy’s going to dry up and blow away, and along with it anything worth reading will go as well. So long it is, at least a good part of the time.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Ha ha! It just goes to show you that stats are no indicator of worth or value. I’ve been doing a few of those brain fart accidental posts myself lately, publishing drafts before they are ready or publishing to the wrong blog. I deleted but evidently should have let them be.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ah yes, but in some parallel universe the same post would win you a Nobel prize and a day out in Blackpool. C’est la vie.
    Wishing you and Wild Thing heaps of luck. I have put in a good word for you with Saint Blog.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I saw it yesterday but as I’ve screwed up at least twice, you just made me curious to wait for the one in November.
    I got so many likes to the post I had actually posted empty that made me write a post about this bizarre reaction, which generated even more reactions to my criticism of likes and removal of the button from my blog ! Eventually I brought it back.
    What a saga.
    I gave up understanding behavior here, I’d better buy the book of the guy who won the Nobel prize on behavioral economics.
    You’re not alone!
    Hope that things get better for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. People always prefer to read bad news over good. When someone has been an idiot over when someone has been clever. The human race is strange, the British in particular like to build someone up and then have fun kicking them when they are down.

    I hope you sort the chaos out in your life, sending best wishes

    Liked by 2 people

  7. ‘Rational creatures’? Ha ha, you must be joking! Your post, and the comments that it’s collected, are fascinating. Blogging is a curious business, for some a tell all, for others a place to brag. Happily for most it’s a space to share and to celebrate the everyday while maintaining a level of privacy. Hoping life will be on the up for you soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks. I didn’t mean to be all mysterious about this. I don’t see the blog as being about me particularly, and I didn’t want to get into a long song and dance. I’d have probably been smarter not to bring it up at all. But we’re getting organized here and ready to cope with what the world has to throw at us. It’s all any of us can do.


  8. Ironic–but still, any boost in views is good, right? Reading through the comments and thinking about my own experiences, I think most of us share your frustration: the post I almost deleted has become one of my most-read, while the post I spend hours tweaking scarcely gets a look. I will go take a look at your Britain post, which I missed, so you’ve managed to throw in an advertisement or two. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: On this day in 1967 – The Bryntin Project

    • Great link. Thanks. I can’t help noting that they mention “miner” errors. Damn. When a miner makes a mistake, it’s serious. It also reminds me of a publishing tale–probably true, but who knows–about a book that appeared with a dedication to a woman the author’d never heard of. Apparently, the manuscript was circulated with a post-it on top saying, “To Emma” [or whoever she was]. And no one ever took it off.


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