Blogging is a weird game. As a blogger, you share your ideas, experiences and stories with the world. You never know who’s going to read it. For me that’s part of the fun and beauty in blogging. Perhaps you inspire a colleague to start writing, or a friend to look at things from a different perspective. Or, even better, you reach a complete stranger, and brighten up their day, or teach them something new. It doesn’t matter what you write about. Whatever it is, as a blogger, you try your best to craft posts that are somewhat engaging.
Sometimes this works.
Oftentimes it doesn’t.
Knowing how readers respond to posts, by visiting, viewing, liking and even commenting, is perhaps not the most important part of keeping a blog, but a part that I find interesting. In my job as an ecologist, I usually try to identify patterns in numbers, so maybe that’s why I can’t stop looking at them.
Now my readership is relatively stable in terms of visits and views, and has been since I started daily posts almost one and a half year ago.
There have been some shifts in how visitors got here. Pretty much zero people come directly to my website. Most people are clicking through various other media platforms. I only share on Twitter, and this initially was my main source of readers. I assume that those people were mostly people I knew. Then around the one-year mark, a transition took place. Twitter viewership went down by quite a bit, say 60 percent. At the same time, my viewers from the WordPress reader went up, and more or less filled the void left by my friends who got bored of me rambling.
WordPress also has another statistic that I find interesting. The origin of the viewers that you attract to your page. As expected, being Dutch, most of my viewers initially were from the Netherlands, but this quite rapidly shifted to German, the country I now live in. Makes sense, doesn’t it? I guess these are still the people that know me to some degree, either through work, friendship, or Freisingian gossip.
Because I usually write in my blanket fort while I’m waiting for my son to sleep deeply enough for me to be able to escape the room, I mostly post at the same time of the day.
This week was a little different. First of all, I have been sick on the couch without much else on my hands. Second, I wake up at 5.30am since a week or so, for no apparent reason. I don’t mind at all, to be honest. I just go to bed earlier to make up for it. It turns out that mornings are beautifully quiet – usually without kids bothering me – and give me another, maybe even better opportunity to write my blog.
So this week, I posted blogs at different times. I wasn’t sure what would happen, as by now I was almost convinced that most daily readers were the same people.
Honestly, I was quite surprised when suddenly most of my readers were from Sweden, the UK, the US, and Portugal. These countries usually do not make it to the top four. Again, my reader numbers didn’t change. The same stable number, but apparently a different audience.
It makes sense, of course, with different people – especially in different time zones – being active at different times. I suppose this is true for both Twitter and the WordPress reader.
Now, I’m thinking… Probably my blog could reach a whole lot more readers if I played around posting times, posting on different time slots each day. Obviously another option would be to spam everyone three or four times a day on Twitter, but to be honest, I’m already worried that on Twitter one post a day is too much. Twitter folk rarely engage, like, or RT, leading me to think that they cannot care much, or blogs are too long for their tweet-adjusted attention spans.
When do you read? Let me know in the comments below!