My experience of blogging over the last three months on WordPress – The good and the ethically questionable.

My experience of blogging over the last three months on WordPress - the good and the ethically questionable

This is going to be a review of my experience of blogging and the word press platform, and how I have gone from 0-750+ followers in three months. I will pre-warn you that not everything I talk about is going to be in the realm of good ethical behaviour.

Things I have learned:

  • Tags are important

    • Ethically correct: Use all the tags you can and make them as relevant to your post as possible. This will get you views from the type of people you’re interested in.

    • Ethically dubious: Some tags have more viewers than others, for example, I am PhD student, and I include the tag PhD in my posts; however, this only has around twenty posts in it per day, so if I were feeling roguish and all I cared about were views, I would drop this for a tag with more traffic as views are views right? No – more on this later.

  • Featured images are important

    • Only because it makes your post stand out more; in the early days I experimented by posting with and without a featured image, and sure enough, the featured image posts got slightly more views.

  • Good posts don’t necessarily get the most views.

    • You have all the seen the amazing poets and writers here on WordPress that have fewer than ten followers; and then there are the typical bloggers with their 10 best things you need for x, with a generic list of things, 8/10 you already have. They provide very little and have tons of likes and follows. Hopefully, you already knew the world wasn’t fair or just.

  • I get more views on the days when I post, so more post equals more views.

  • I am blogging from the UK, but the vast majority of my readers are from America, USA! USA! USA!

  • The most important thing – in my experience – for views? Interaction with the community.

I will come back to the last point in much more gory detail in a minute, but first some ‘proof’ of how my blog has grown.

After my last post where is talked about upgrading, I did just that, and now I am on the personal plan. My favourite thing about this is not having any ads on my site. Immediately after upgrading, I had my best day for likes (at the time) ‘BOOM!’.

Site stats - BOOM!

Now, this was not because I upgraded, but because I had got better at creating eye-catching posts and more followers, so I should expect to see many of these types of messages as the blog grows.

Below are a few other milestones that WordPress thought I should be aware of.

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Does having more followers equal more views? Yes and no. Yes, I get slightly more views now I have over 600 followers than when I had 100. However, I do not get anywhere 6x more viewers I get perhaps ten more views.

Why the discrepancy? Well, that is because people (mostly) follow you because they think you will follow them back and increase their followers. Therefore, you can end up with a ton of followers, but no one cares about your posts.

I do not know how many people you can follow per hour, but I would bet my entire net worth on the fact that you would gain a huge amount of followers if you followed every blogger you could, just from the ‘follow for follow effect’. I do not do this as I signed up to WordPress with an email address I care about – maybe a rookie error – and don’t want my inbox full of spam. How am I so sure this will work?

This is where we get into the dark arts and the ethical black hole that is marketing. I did a little experiment with likes. I liked as many posts as I possibly could – it turns out you can like 120 posts per hour—and found that from 120 likes I would get roughly five follows and 20 views. This may be a revelation to some of you and to others it may be a secret you wish I had not said.

Looking into this ‘like’ dilemma more, you might wonder if you should do this or not. My question is, why does WordPress set the limit at 120/hour? I highly doubt they think anyone could read 120 posts an hour, so there must be another reason.

Have they not thought about the issue and set an arbitrary limit? Highly unlikely. I think the fact you’re allowed to like this many posts per hour is to keep people on the site, I mean who doesn’t get encouraged when someone ‘likes’ your content? The more encouragement you get, the more you write, the more views you get, the more ads WordPress can serve.

I may be a bit cynical on this, but it does seem to encourage liking random posts to boost your stats. The limit of 120 must be to stop bots driving tons of views. This is the reason I say that engagement is important is largely from my results with the above experiment. I would be interested to know if anyone has tried to see how many follows you can do before you get capped by the WordPress speed limit? Scrap that, I tried it, and found that you can like 60 before getting an error.

Why do they allow 60 follows an hour? Well, they do need a limit, to discourage bots, and it needs to be high enough that you never run into a barrier and can’t follow someone you want to under legitimate use. Again, I imagine this number has been arrived at by a lot of data analysis, rather than someone saying ‘errr what shall we set the follow limit at Jeff?’, ‘just make it half the number of likes’.

Comments… As I have stressed, engagement is key to views. Leaving comments on other peoples sites leaves a persistent portal from their website to yours. This too is to be abused by the fiendish marketeer.

I have only had one comment marked as spam on my site by WordPress so far, and it was quite suspicious. It was very generic ‘hey I like your content!’ and then I clicked on the profile of the site who commented and I saw that the site had well over seven thousand followers and was much less than one year old. The content was entirely average. Well… don’t hate the player hate the game. Once again please leave a comment if you know the speed limit for comments,

I may make a fake profile and test it for myself before this gets released. Comments are my favourite metric for how well a blog is doing as this is the ultimate engagement on the site and it is the only notification I receive. Due to all the dark arts, I have described in this post, I no longer receive any notifications other than comments as the others do not mean anything to me. The reason I started this site was to get feedback to learn, so comments are all I need.

Regarding visitors and views, I have found that I get a 50 % difference. For every two views, I get one visitor; I am guessing this means that half of the people come to my site look at more than one page. I don’t see anything wrong with this statistic so I shall move along.

My feeling toward the dark arts is somewhat conflicted as it is clearly encouraged by WordPress by the fact that from the reader tab you can like, comment, follow and share a post without even reading it. All you will see is the image, the title and the first few sentences. This surely can’t be enough time to form an opinion on the post? Ethically I don’t think you should disingenuously like, comment, follow etc. On the other hand, if you want your blog to grow, you cannot just expect good writing and time to get traffic.

Now I am going to talk about one of my biggest hatreds that I have found about the community, it is actually my only hatred: blogger awards. I recently got ‘nominated’ for a sunshine blogger award. I can understand the people who made these ‘awards’ as they have created something to drive traffic to their site, with only idiots thinking they have achieved something. However, it seems that 90% of the community values these things, I see posts all the time where people are genuinely thanking the people who nominated them. I have even seen people proudly display these awards on their blogs! I guess most people do not see through these thinly veiled devices that drive traffic.

All I have spoken of above are symptoms of problems rooted in the larger society, where people see celebrities make a post about some product and earn loads of money from doing so. This inspires everyone else to do the same and suddenly everyone is trying to sell anything, including their dignity, for a punchers chance at fame and fortune. And me? I’m the worst of all, I tell myself I am better than them by disguising my attempts to get that passive income as a learning opportunity. I’m cognisant of the problem and still buying the ticket for the ride.

You may think that I haven’t enjoyed my time on WordPress, but this is not true, I have had many great engagements with people commenting on my blog and best of all have been the book recommendations. My reading list has increased massively, and I hope this continues. I can’t stress enough how much enjoy reading your comments; thanks for that!

I have not seen any other bloggers address these issues so it would be great to get your opinion (engagement bait). Feel free to ironically link your blog in the comments.

 

P.S

I have just seen this in notification settings. This a button that contains an ethical conundrum! A deal with the Devil I wonder?

no email button

I guess that is how you follow everyone and don’t get spam in your inbox.

 

Author: ljphd

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

266 thoughts on “My experience of blogging over the last three months on WordPress – The good and the ethically questionable.”

  1. Well… don’t hate the player hate the game….That seems to summarize this well. I like that you’re calling out the reality of blogging and the obsession with views and likes. It’s sort of a social media epidemic in general. I’m not saying I’m immune, but I am aware and try to take it for what it is. The follow for follow, in general, is rather silly. I follow a lot of people because I see something and I’m like – oh that’s interesting – but it’s very hard to keep up with all the blogs. So I go to my reader daily and scroll, but keep email notifications for my favorite bloggers turned on. That’s sort of how I manage it. Anyway, thanks for your assessment and “experiments”. It’s very honest.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I was surprised I could not find any of the information that I wrote about in other posts, so I decided to write about it myself! I was somewhat worried if it was too honest before pushing publish.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I kind of feel like the posts that are the best are the ones that make you feel a little anxious inside before you post them, right? It’s a good post and well thought out.

        Liked by 6 people

  2. This is something that even I, as a smaller blogger, have noticed. I had someone rush through and like 3 really long posts all in the same minute and that was the moment I realized that they were not reading anything. I then began to worry if any of the other people who liked my posts read anything. This genuinely is a concern for me because I’m trying to improve my writing/poems, but I’m not sure if I’m getting any better or if I’m just getting better at advertising. I’m glad that you were honest enough to state what many bloggers are probably thinking and maybe worrying about.

    Liked by 8 people

      1. I’m not sure, but maybe it might be helpful if a blog’s popularity was based on comments that are longer than so and so word count? I know we have no control over that, but it’s an idea. Maybe it would be helpful to do what you’ve just done, which is to write a post that directly interacts with and opens up communication with the readers? I’m really not sure — thanks for the write back.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting post. I tend only to like what I’ve enjoyed reading and only follow what I think I’ll want to read in the future. Maybe not the best marketing strategy but it does me fine!

    Liked by 5 people

  4. This was a very interesting read! It’s curious to see how all of this can be related and quantified. I also appreciated your candid tone and matter of fact perspective on most of the issues you brought up! There are definitely some ethically questionable decisions that can be made while blogging and it’s an interesting topic to ponder.

    I do disagree with your thoughts on blogging awards. You’re probably correct that some bloggers use them as traffic driving posts rather than genuine recognition. However, I’ve met a good few bloggers like myself who truly do see value in these types of recognition. I personally tend to stick to nominating blogs that I genuinely enjoy, blogs I feel put a lot of effort into their posts, and blogs that I feel deserve a pat on the back. I suppose it depends also on why a person is blogging. If their goal is to impersonally monetize down the road, I can see how these would be superfluous and merely for traffic. They probably arbitrarily pick blogs to nominate without a second thought. That might even be a majority of bloggers on WordPress. The circle of bloggers I’ve interacted with though seem to really find value and enjoyment in these posts. It is an achievement to be nominated in my mind because your writing made someone remember you. What you put out there was relevant enough to be recalled. To me, that’s the whole point. Make people smile and leave a positive mark on the writing and reading world. I didn’t know those awards existed coming into this but they became a nice part of my blogging journey.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thanks for the detailed comment. I had not thought about the blogger awards from this point of view. You raise a good point, maybe I should review my stance. It is good to hear they do have a genuine function.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for the thought provoking post! I think like you said there are bound to be bloggers who don’t see value in them outside traffic gain but I like to think there are more who value them. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I think this is a great article and an insight into the world blogging. I suppose I also wonder if people are reading my posts. Some posts I spend a lot of time on and some I thrash out quickly. I suppose the best way to genuinely support a blog is to comment. This shows comprehension, they’ve read it, understood it, been moved enough (whether in support of or against) to form an opinion. However commenting takes times and I guess some people. Who subscribe to that “follow for follow” attitude wouldn’t take the time to comment. So perhaps this is a lesson for me that I should like less and comment more! Get into a conversation with other bloggers to show I am interested in what they’re producing. Ultimately I have to think “if I knew no one were to read this post ever… Would I still post it?” most likely yes because I really enjoy the process. Thanks for the great post. A lot to think about.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. It’s really chilling to realize just how right you are, but I’m glad I got to know about all of these details so early into the game. I’m a new blogger myself, so I must confess, I had a pretty romanticized view of how it was going to go. I realized pretty quick though that following other people does get you more followers, but to think that people use that so manipulatively is depressing. It’s nice to see what people actually have to say and follow people who genuinely have interesting stuff that they write about. Thank you for sharing from your experience, I’ll be sure to remember it to steer clear of subscribers just looking for more followers.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I am sure there are a lot of people who know all too well what about what I have written but choose not to talk about it. The comment section is usually a bad place on the internet but in WordPress it is great!

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Big bloggers often will say things like ‘Engagement’ is key. I think they are talking about the kinds of things I have mentioned that just don’t address it explicitly as they have a reputation to uphold.

          Liked by 3 people

  7. interesting article. I have a keen interest in expanding through the internet and online opportunities; therefore, I think blogging is a great opportunity. However, frequent liking and following, along with countless notifications, can become too much. The problem is, bloggers are humans with complex lives in the real world; we’re not all staring at a screen deciding which blogs to follow.
    I think it’s great youve decided to blog and I wish you well with your PHD studies.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Btw – didnt mean to imply that you, I, or anyone else here spends their time staring at the screen in the hope of getting a few more likes….I was thinking more about social media and the way it can intrude when im in the middle of a real life situation. Best wishes anyway,

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Very Interesting read. I have a lot of the same pet peeve that you’ve outlined; follow to follow being one. Some are worth following, but I’m not going to follow if I don’t agree with the content. Some people follow, but don’t like anything; I guess their just want to watch. I’ve participated in a few awards, but I think that they’re a bit over the top; I may start declining. You’re right, some post are getting tons of likes, but the content is not that interesting. 🤔

    Great read, thanks for sharing! Be blessed!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, I’m not much into awards. I don’t mind participating from time to time, but I think that it gets sent around too often. I don’t think that people are really nominating from the heart, but more so for the sake of just putting down a name!
        I know one person who got nominated three times in one week, for the same award. Crazy!
        I’ve had about four I’ve participated in, plus a couple more that I haven’t said yes to, all in the past three weeks. Yeah, crazy!

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful! But I have a message I’m trying press into the hearts of the reader. With my extremely crazy busy schedule, these awards are becoming more of a burden; than a award!

        Blessings!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Congratulations on your success as a blogger – and also on not liking the terms ‘blog’, ‘blogger’ etc. I’m with you on that! I have the impression that blogs had a golden age before social media really took over. Comments were much easier to get. And it depresses me a bit that one of the most popular topics is writing; not because good writing is not valuable or is unimportant (good writing is *very* important) but because it suggests that this is or is becoming a writer-driven rather than a reader-driven medium. A bit like (but not as bad as) academic journals, which are now there basically for the benefit of the contributors rather than for readers. At least with blogs many write primarily for their own satisfaction and development rather than for any extrinsic benefits.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. You know, I was stupidly wondering why all these people were getting awards and who on earth decided who got those things.

    In other news, your post was informative and easy to digest. Good job!

    Have to admit, was kind of tempted to only type “Hey, I like your content.”

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Thanks for this! As a new blogger staring at my stats screen and wondering what it all means, I appreciate the valuable insight. Also, great sentence – “I’m cognizant of the problem and still buying the ticket for the ride.”

    Liked by 3 people

  13. Confession: I normally don’t like reading the statistically laden information that I receive from anyone, but your post here is interesting – likely because I want more readers! Recently I manually posted right after writing, instead of scheduling. I was amazed that I had barely stretched my tired fingers when, low and behold, somebody liked me! I would say that I was touched, but that would mean that I was touched in the head enough to think that anyone, even a champion speed-reader, had actually had the time to read my post. It’s junior high school all over again. You have to assume that people who like you might really want something from you. Sigh… Since we follow each other, though, you already know that I am an amazing writer. Unfortunately I fall in that category of not enough folks knowing that. They are missing so much! I will plug on and I expect you will do. See you in my inbox.

    Liked by 4 people

  14. I like your post. This is something I learned early on before I started blogging. To get noticed you have to show your interested in being noticed by pay attention to everyone else. Like I always say, life isn’t about you it’s about everything else around you. I didn’t have very many followers until someone shared my posts on their blog. I am not very good at leaving comments on others blogs so it took me six years to get over 300 followers. I didn’t care about people following me. I just wanted to have a place to put my creations. When I do comment I try to be honest and grateful for the person who has taken time to create a beautiful piece of work. I know how much time and effort goes into creating a blog so that makes me more understanding. I never thought I was a good writer until I joined WordPress. This community has given my passions a drive. I don’t like promotion so it took me awhile to be okay with sharing through my other social medias. I am glad I did though because I have made friends here.

    Thank you for posting this also thank you for stopping by my blog. I am very grateful. I hope you have a blessed day/evening. ♥️

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Interaction with the community is the best thing about WordPress. Its a cliche, but it is more important who follows you than how many follow you, from what I have seen so far!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s true. That’s probably why I got so many after certain bloggers followed me. I got more likes in a week than I did in a year once but I only got two or three followers before that. Makes sense it’s because of the followers. I recommend if any Blogger wants to get noticed fast look for blogs that have lots of comments take time to read their post’s and leave your own feedback. Make friends with the other bloggers. If people are willing to leave feedback that is related to the blog post they are more likely a true fan. I have comments from very loyal followers who I have made friends with and they are what drives my traffic most of the time. Other times I just have a good blog post that more people can relate too. That takes more work to achieve. I have been getting better at blogging since I started so I am glad I setup my blog on here. I am learning and that’s what I like to do. 😊

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Have you noticed the WordPress community change over the years? I to have had my biggest days for views when I interact with the community the most. The days when I make a good post and have lots of interaction with the community are the days when I see the most traffic to my site.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I have noticed that too. I think they updated the service so everything will work out better. Getting traffic has become a little easier to achieve. I think that’s good because it doesn’t matter how small a blog is it’s still a star shining brightly amongst other stars. 🌠😊

            Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you so much for giving your honest opinion about what you’ve noticed on WordPress! I totally agree with you because I’ve also noticed the same things and felt the same way. It’s a trap–people get desperate for followers just to get high numbers, and amateur bloggers like me might also be tempted to do the “follow for follow” or “like for like.” But then I wouldn’t be proud of high numbers if there’s not any real engagement in the comments.

    It’s truly a relief to find someone like you talking about this, along with everyone else in the comments. It gives me hope that there’s other people who actually want to make a difference with their blogs! 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  16. This is a really interesting post. I grew very despondent with my blog a while ago because I wasn’t getting enough likes, comments, or follows. I don’t think you’ve been cynical here, or if you have, then rightly so. It’s just a shame that our overlords reduce us to petty button-clickers when a lot of us are here to interact with a community of like minded people.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. I will say I have notice a lot of the things you speak of. I’m still new to the game but my biggest gripe is insincerity where people pretend to like your work and they haven’t even read it. It seems to be a numbers game to some, a popularity contest and honestly that doesn’t appeal to me at all. I will write the same of messages I would for three people as I would for fifty thousand because I want my content to be of quality and things I actually care about and not the stuff people seem to care about. Today is my best day yet and my phone keeps pinging but I honestly don’t give a shit.I think that’s the best way to view it. Write what makes you happy read the post that you relate to and forget the rest.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Absolutely. You need to write for yourself, otherwise, you will be competing on a marketing basis with people who only want commercial success and relatively few ethical principles.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I first read this and, upon seeing this line–“You have all the seen the amazing poets and writers here on WordPress that have fewer than ten followers”– thought, this is totally me!
    Then I read on and thought, what if I’m one of the 120 an hour experiments?
    Either way, finally someone speaks the truth about the WordPress game and for this I am happy.

    Liked by 4 people

  19. Underneath the spreading WordPress tree, I liked you and you liked me. Good post! I seldom check either my likes or my followers as I’m more interested in writing stories than blogging, though I quite enjoy it. Chasing numbers is not something in which I have any interest. I have noticed that if I tick ‘marketing’ in the categories column I get a lot more ‘likes’. I suspect this is because marketing men are playing this numbers game. I find annoying the message from wordpress that says ‘so and so thought your post was awesome.’ Hyperbole! None of my posts are awesome, or amazing or any of the other words used far too easily nowadays. Some are quite nice. I recently downgraded from a paid site to a free one when I discovered that I was using about one percent of the sites memory and a free one had plenty for my purposes. I don’t mind the adverts. When you use ‘free’ services like Facebook, twitter etc, ads are part of the price.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I guess the marketing option is for the business version of WordPress? I have not seen that myself. It seems that is always best to enjoy the process rather than the end result as it is much more reliable.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m part of an experiment and didn’t even know it! Hate that when that happens.

    I was going to add to something you said but the post was really long and I forgot, entirely.

    I do think that social media is a shell game. We don’t like commercials as much, fine. We like to share our opinions, great. We aren’t that tech savvy or motivated to host a website, server, and upload SEO data to Google. Great. Then, start a blog and be another nobody the few pennies from advertising a day/month/year on even the blog with the smallest following will pay for the space taken in the cloud.

    Liked by 5 people

  21. I confess that I quite like being a niche and little-known blogger. I feel like that means people who engage with me want to be there.
    Also I’m really bad at maths, so when people try to explain gaming the system to me, I end up confused and bewildered all around (Although you actually did make a lot of sense, so you are now my favourite person to explain these things to me!)
    Anyway, congratulations on growing your blog so quickly! Even if it’s not always ethical, it still takes effort and energy and time and ingenuity, so it’s certainly not a worthless exercise!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks for the Comment Cameron, I think I caught a wave of people starting blogs at the beginning of the year as a resolution and that helped boost my stats. Comments are the only thing I pay attention to anymore with respect to stats, and I am glad you’re one of them!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, I’m always sad when I get a lot of views and no comments and I sit there thinking ‘But did you like it? Where there things you agreed/disagreed with? What did you think?’
        Comments can tell you so much about what people like about your work, and they make me feel a bit less like I’m just talking to myself, but in word form (instead of the actual talking to myself I do all the time anyway, away from the internet…)
        Anyway, I shall have fun taking a look at your blog in general, and I’ll make sure to comment if I have anything worth saying!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. BTW, I was reading your ‘Books I Recommend’ page and I was thinking…
        (Sorry, I couldn’t find a way to comment on the page)
        So, I fully acknowledge that I have too many hard-copy books in my life, but leaving aside the more visceral pleasures of holding a physical object, I will say that I do love them for the way they allow me to share books I love with friends. You can’t lend someone an e-book, so you end up being stuck recommending that they spend money on the recommendation that you really liked it, which always makes me nervous. I also like the way that some hotels and other public places have little swapping bookshelves where you can drop off old books and pick new ones up and take a chance on a book just because you liked the cover.
        I worry that with ebooks we lose the ability to swap and share things we love with others.
        But then again, maybe that’s me being old and sentimental…
        I do that more often now I’m reaching 30…

        Liked by 2 people

  22. You do raise a very good point, well two good points, I have updated the page so comments are now allowed. Thanks for that! I had not thought about books from the ‘giving to a friend’ angle. I have gifted many a book to friends and family and I think it is the best thing about the physical copies. Even though I don’t get a high proportion of them back!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Heyyy, I’m taking your bait! I’m not sure about the likes and the follows, but I hope two months from now I could write something thorough like this post. I’ve been wondering myself about the push-and-pull in blogging and I’m thankful you’ve taken such a length so that I can make sense of the blogging realm. Lucky I follow you. Hahaha. Fyi, I followed you because 1) I want to know what’s happening inside a PhD student head; 2) I want to know if I could be one in the future; 3) your post is just hilarious (honesty is really fun!). Your blog and your writings are transforming. I’m not a grammarian so I’m talking about the way you present your main idea and the flow in each post (feel much less like random rambling now, but still amusing!). It was very enjoyable to see that. So, from those 750+ followers, how many are from Indonesia??

    Liked by 3 people

    1. If I can be a PhD student anyone can! I never planned on being a PhD student it just happened. So with a bit o planning, it should be easily achievable. I am not sure how to see how many followers are from which country, but Indonesia is fifth in the rankings for where my views come from 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  24. I sometimes wonder about these things like whether people genuinely ‘like’ my post or whether they even read it. I think you do and I read yours. I’m interested in your journey. But I get few comments but I still carry on. I just love writing and I love the ‘likes’ I get but I love comments more because they are signs of genuine engagement 🙂

    Liked by 5 people

  25. Thank you for this truly fascinating and insightful look into the metrics of blogging. I hadn’t considered half of the issues you addressed, but found myself recognizing them.
    Just out of curiosity, how much time each day do you roughly spend networking? I’ve found this to be my hardest challenge with keeping a blog as I haven’t had much time to put into it as I should.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I Probably spend about an hour a day in total browsing other peoples work and interacting with them. I should get better at marketing on other platforms but I haven’t done any yet!

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I know it sounds like a cliché, but I agree to pretty much all the things you pointed out. I still don’t know what to make of the blogging awards yet since I’m definitely not far enough into blogging to even catch a glimpss of it myself. As for all the notes on the statistics, I can certainly see it all happening to me, at a lower scale obviously. To tell the truth, I was slightly worried about all the random likes (especially those without visitors), but now at least I know it’s something that is bound to happen and that I’m not the only one in this sort of situation (unfortunately!)
    To cut it short, I just want to say this is the kind of content people should be looking for. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post from top to bottom. I hope you don’t mind if I reblog this 😀

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for reading! We all have the same concerns, but often don’t talk about them. If you are around for long enough you will experience all I have mentioned and more!

      Thank you for reblogging I appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  27. I’m writing for me. Very selfish and my blog is a Facebook replacement as I don’t want to be hooked on other platforms I don’t have control over. I only have like 100ish followers. Many I don’t know and the engagement I have is from people I did engage with in the WP society and friends and family 10.000km away.

    Some of the things I experience is nice to read. If I were someone else I’d like those posts and in the reader I also seek them out.

    I also don’t participate or don’t care much about likes and all. As the psychology behind it is the same as with any other encouragement to action behaviour.

    Sometimes I write a lot, sometimes not much for a while because I simply am busy.

    So. That’s all about me! That’s already the attitude I have towards others on the WP society. I do care for some interaction and I follow in my eyes unique blogs but I don’t want to spend mental bandwidth by being occupied for things that doesn’t benefit me.

    Though, through this blog I did discover I like writing and started experimenting with writing short stories. Let’s see how that will be!

    Lastly, one indicator I use whether a post is well read is the references. When there are many from the Gmail I assume people actually read the post and also when people come from search engines is an indicator that a post does well outside the WP community. I only didn’t upgrade that much to see the bounce percentage…

    But I do respect the effort for your investigation! 😂😂😂😂 Maybe that’s the difference between a MSc student and a PhD! Hahaha No way I’d take time to see how far I can go what you have done!

    Good one!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It looks like you have an equally academic approach to your metrics as I do!

      ” I don’t want to spend mental bandwidth by being occupied for things that doesn’t benefit me.”

      I couldn’t have said it better.

      Liked by 2 people

  28. This provided a welcome procrastination break from my own PhD this morning, haha. Very engaging read, I totally agree with the point about the blogger awards! Argh!!
    The only followers I seem to get are of the advertising type, and not people I would actively want to engage with.
    Alas, I am glad I have come across your blog – I think you liked one of my posts (it had a ‘PhD life’ hashtag) – so hey, looks like it’s all in the power of the tag! Cheers.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. First off- yeah, we see through the game- it rides all the way up into politics from small work teams all the way to the Big Ol’ White. A big back rub circle. But here’s the back side of that coin- some of us only like what we like, and follow what we admire. And in that we are edified in our chosen groups not by boosting our rep, but learning from one another and being inspired by one another, and encouraging one another. The difference- the driver- is integrity. Integrity finds integrity- and resists false pulls, or searches for a genuine connection (hi)- while false pulls any source willing to play the game. As society leans toward blowing smoke as opposed to building fires-unthought out likes, poopy shares, disingenuous comments- integrity can be hidden. But take heart, those fires light fires and torches carry through generations and remain even if the original source gets snuffed out. Gah- I ran that fire analogy into the dirt. Sigh. Keep writing. And please, support those you want to encourage. Makes the rest of us aim higher and work harder. And the world could really use less easy ins.

    Liked by 4 people

  30. I’ve blogged weekly for 3 years mostly on themes connected with my book. Few followers but I’ve made some good friends. I’ve been wondering why I’ve heard from few lately and you lifted the curtain!! THEY ARE IN READER!! Never realized that’s where they are now. Now to find time to read them.
    Too pressed for time this week so I threw about 3 sentences and photos together. No idea why you responded, but most of the other new people are selling something. I was attracted to your title and then couldn’t stop reading your outstanding analysis and comments.
    Published a memoir a year ago, now in a 2nd edition, blogging and Facebooking seem essential but I doubt I’ll write anything again. Writing a book was just the beginning. Ever since I’ve been chained to the computer.
    Thanks for your insights.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. Ugh, I hate the marketing tactics of people following others just to get follow backs. Yuck! I don’t fall for that at all. If someone does follow me, I do check out their blog and read/comment a couple of their posts just to get a feel about whether I would want to read/engage more with the blog in the future. If it’s a yes, I follow the site. If not, I don’t follow. Also, I don’t look at my stats page at all anymore. In the beginning it was fun to watch the numbers go up but now it’s just whatever. It’s not worth getting stressed over. Comments are my favorite. They’re so much more meaningful than likes or follows.

    I have mixed feelings about blog awards. On the one hand, I do feel flattered when I get nominated. Where the problem is that I feel some people may follow me JUST because my name is on someone else’s nominations list and that in fact they don’t even read the content of my posts. I usually do award posts if I am nominated and try to not take it too seriously, though I pick people whose posts I enjoy and who I believe deserve more readers. Like, I wouldn’t nominate someone who has 1,000 subscribers but I will for someone who has 60 or 200. I also make it a point to say on my award posts that I don’t want to push people to do their own award post if they don’t want to.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. If you enjoy the blogger awards then I guess there is no harm in it. I find it really interesting that you don’t look at your stats, that is probably a healthy thing to do!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, it is about just having fun with the awards. I don’t get those who use the awards with the intent of generating traffic to their site. The no checking stats thing is something I decided on this year because there’s no real point to being aware of my number of views going up or not. It’s not like I’m in the marketing business where it would be part of my job to show that I can garner that much traffic to my site.

        Liked by 1 person

  32. I do not like the fact that while many people will click on “like” (they do it from Reader), they won’t read anything. There are nice people, quite a lot, but more often you’ll meet somebody who is only interested in promoting themselves.
    I had 2 blogs initially, I was very disappointed that due to to the fact that we have an account on WordPress, not separate blogs or websites, I decided to transfer my art blog to a website, still the same platform. Well, I lost a few thousands of followers, got less presence, and nothing really changed. It is still 1 account.
    You cannot actually follow as many other bloggers as you want. I have been blogging since 2012, but only last year I found out that for some unknown reason I could not follow anybody. I had been absent and after I returned from Europe, I quickly wanted to catch up: respond to comments, likes and follow back. I got blocked out of following. You can read about my experience here: https://inesepogalifeschool.com/2018/04/16/did-you-know-wordpress-can-block-you-from-following/
    It is not so that anybody who sells products and blogs about celebrities is getting a lot of money.
    My website costs a lot, so, I cannot upgrade the blog. I believe it helps. Realistically, all paid versions are better. The bad side is: such expenses add up.
    The number of true followers as opposed to those who only want you to follow back increases over time. If you want and have time, you can post frequently. I personally cannot, so, the following is somewhat slow. All others who started with me 6 years ago, but were not held back by health issues are way ahead of me now. i am recovering from surgery again, yes, it isn’t that easy.
    There is a very attractive side to blogging: simply communication and opportunity to find new interesting people.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for the comment, it sounds as if you’ve seen it all in your blogging life! I guess blogging is the same as absolutely everything else in life, where consistency over time is the only way to get anywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Very new to WordPress so I really enjoyed this read. I didn’t join for the likes/views/comments but I must say, they make a huge difference in motivation so I can’t blame people who seek that approval. Besides, for some this is probably some sort of income so they have to dedicate much more effort. It’s no different than anywhere else in life so I’m honestly not too surprised by it haha.

    Liked by 4 people

  34. Haha that was an entertaining read! I like the humor in which you share your discoveries and knowledge, it makes it worth the read. Leaving a comment just to boost your notifications 😛

    Liked by 4 people

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