These two statistics appeared recently in my WordPress statistics page. Thanks to everyone who’s signed up as a follower on WP or by getting emails over the last 2,050 days. It’s not a big number when looking at bigger sites, but I’m no celebrity, so that’s to be expected. Of course the vast majority of followers (90%?) don’t read much or at all. But I am also grateful for all the views. That works out to be 24.4 view per day, which seems like a pretty incredible number given that some days it’s far less than that. Included in that number are probably all the times that I’ve looked at the blog myself. Nonetheless, these are milestones along the road and worth pointing out.
When I began blogging in January of 2016, it was because I was doing a lot more bike riding and wanted to document my journey. Since then I’ve come to view it less as a web log and more as a way of telling stories about what it’s like to be a middle-aged, overweight, car-free commuter and budding charity ride cyclist. Along the way I shared some things I learned as bike education and provided some inspiration along the way. The quality of writing isn’t always the best, especially at the start since I didn’t know what I was doing, and I still often don’t have time to edit. Some posts are pretty good though, if I must toot my own horn.
Therein lies the source of my relatively low numbers: I don’t enjoy the self-horn tooting (unless it’s my woodwind practice, which is fun for me, probably more so since no one hears). The few times I’ve had big spikes in views have come from other people posting my link elsewhere. I don’t promote myself on social media, since I rather loathe SM. I’d rather be doused in honey and thrown into a bear pit, or go bicycling instead of begging people to view my words. “Look at me! Look at me!” simply isn’t in the vocabulary of an introvert who uses a nom de plume / velo.
Of course, it could be argued that a blog is a form of social media, so by its nature it’s available for millions of people to read. I’m aware of the irony. This non-promotion is a major reason I remain small and unknown. Those who do find me stumble across my site in the Reader function or via word of mouth. I even signed up for a “Build a Better Blog in 30 Days” class with Problogger a good while ago, but have yet to take it. I’m not sure why that is except I got wind that it involved editing every single post and, you guessed it: using social media.
Might other reasons include fear of success? Perhaps. Imposter syndrome? Sometimes. Straying from my main topic and writing about movies, chocolate, books, racism, writing and my other non-bike activities (even posts like this one)? Could be. Do I have other things to do? Certainly. Value quantity and actual readers more than just numbers of followers, likes and comments? Indubitably. I don’t know if there I need to change anything. Yet I frequently wonder about quitting or at least pausing to focus on my book. I can see the argument for that although I resist it. I like blogging and reading others’ blogs when I can (which I’ve been horrible at lately – apologies to all!)
As news of the global coronavirus pandemic reminds us daily, any day could be anybody’s last. I’ve had my shots and avoid the humans to the extent possible and most of them avoid me… like the plague (ha ha ha!). As a cyclist, most likely for me is that I’ll get taken out by someone doing distracted driving in their car. Or I could choke to death and probably no one would notice for a few days until it began to smell. Someone once told me a phrase from New Jersey: “When you die, your hair and nails keep growing, but phone calls do tend to taper off.” Imagine, no more telemarketers or robocalls!
Stroke, heart attack, and cancer are the big three killers, but there’s also lightning strikes (I knew a guy who went that way), boredom, loneliness, asteroids, and of course, zombies. The point being life is short (unlike this paragraph) and unless I can bring in money (seems like a long shot), maybe this hobby will have to rest in peace, for a while at least. Who knows? Staying a live and figuring out how to get paid for my 600+ posts would be nice. Without super popular content, however, it seems unlikely. Shirley it can’t be that hard, but then again, it could be. And who’s Shirley?
I’ll end with this informative chart. Whether A Dude Abikes is around or not, blogging is here to stay.
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