Beauty on Lindisfarne - Cuthbert’s Chapel
I’m writing this from Lindisfarnewith other Christian bloggers in mind, because this is a day of celebration for me and I’m hoping that something of my observations may be helpful – and hopefully something of an encouragement. Today is the fourth anniversary of the first posting to ‘The Cross and the Cosmos’. The build up of page views has been an interesting pattern.
After 1 year, I had had 3000 pageviews
After 2 years – 7000 in all
After 3 years – 13000 in all
Yesterday, on the eve of the 4th anniversary - the count passed through 45000
So it seems clear that the longer the presence of the blog in the blogosphere, the faster the growth and presumably the greater the awareness of the presence. For me five things seem particularly interesting within these numbers
· I excluded my own pageviews right from the beginning (otherwise I’d be way up towards 60K, I suspect!) so every viewing is from someone else – somewhere. And they have have come from just over 100 countries which I find truly amazing.
· One has to ‘discount’ these figures knowing that there are people ‘trolling’ in the hope of selling services to me (There was one hilarious moment when I received an Email offering me an agency for ‘cattle stalls’ from an overseas company – someone had obviously noticed the wording of one of my carols!). I work on an assumption/guess that between 50 and 60% are genuinely interested in the material.
· It is VERY helpful to have seasonal material to which readers can be pointed. By using page links on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter to guide readers to such material, the pageviews accelerated hugely. Over the Easter period, daily views increased from an average of 30 – 50 per day to well over 100 a day.
· Not only is reference back to seasonal material effective but gathering the material into seasonal ‘collections’ encourages readers. The most viewed entry on this site is the ‘Easter Collection/Index' which you should be able to see alongside this entry in the right hand column..
Of course, as is evident, nothing on the site has ‘gone viral’ - but given the highly particularized nature of the material, that’s not especially surprising. So I feel very encouraged by this four year pattern and I would enthusiastically encourage any Christians who feel they have something worth saying to get started just as soon as possible. I found the book (UK) ‘Blogging For Dummies’ extremely helpful and I got started through the encouragement of others in Christian magazines to ‘get blogging’. It has been a fascinating ‘journey’, which I hope will continue – perhaps for the rest of my life. Maybe it’s a journey you might take too.Trevor Thorn.