Sometime during the day yesterday Bob on Books was viewed for the two hundred thousandth time since I launched the blog in August 2013. For some blogs, this is not such a big deal. They may get that many views in a month or even a week or less. I’m still surprised that over 137,000 visitors were actually interested enough to visit a page.
The picture above was the one that appeared on the first blog. Since then there have been 930 more posts (an average of 215 views per post) and something of a rhythm that includes two to three review posts, and usually something related to reading, something related to larger life issues, and, since May 2014 posts each Saturday on Growing Up in Working Class Youngstown. I take Sundays off from writing new posts, but often re-post old Youngstown posts or others from the archives.
I have to say that this has truly been a delightful journey. Some of those delights have been:
- Readers: I’ve interacted with so many either on the blog or via pages on Facebook and Google +. With very few exceptions, people have been thoughtful, often appreciative, and many times have added insights of their own that have enriched my insights.
- Admins: I post on a number of Facebook and Google+ pages appropriate to content of particular posts. Page admins have been so gracious in permitting this. I could mention so many but several stand out: Byron Borger at Hearts and Minds Books, John Mulholland at Charles Malik Society for Redeeming Reason, Rob Bradshaw at Theology on the Web, David Swartz at Geezer 1, and those two amazing Youngstown women, Bobbi Ennett Allen at I Used to Live in Youngstown, and Joan Alfona Watters at I Grew Up in Youngstown. Tom Grosh at the Emerging Scholars Network has given a number of my review posts a second life and a wider audience.
- Authors: I am surprised by how many times I’ve heard from authors of books I’ve reviewed. Most gratifying is when they convey that I understood what they were trying to do.
- Publishers: A number of the books I’ve reviewed, and often enjoyed, were graciously provided by publishers. Yes, I took time to read and review these books. But I don’t take these review copies for granted. I hope I helped make their books known and helped sell a few.
- Booksellers: These folks, especially the Indies, have taken so many risks and work so hard to pursue what they love. Its been fun to tell some of their stories and share what awesome places are their stores.
And a few concluding insights about blogging:
- Strive for quality, and keep showing up. In my case, I had 3300 view the first year, 45,000 views the next year. Last year, I topped 100,000 views. Most of what I did was to just keep writing.
- Persist in finding new places and means to connect with people you don’t know, and some will follow, and many others view.
- Take your readers seriously. Respond where possible to their comments. Be grateful for them. They turn electrical impulses into conversations, shared experiences, and traffic of yet others to your blog.
All of you who follow, read, comment, share, and let me into your lives, whether readers or authors or admins have been gifts and made writing a joy. Very simply, thank you.