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30 days a blogger

, . Filed under Web.

So, I completed a 30 day blogging challenge (31 if you include today), from August 30 to September 28, more or less successfully. I should declare when I ‘cheated’ – I failed to write something on two Fridays (due to being knackered) and once on a Thursday (due to a migraine). I was good and made up for it by blogging twice on other days, so you did get 30 blog posts in 30 days, you lucky people.

Here are those posts in stats:

StatNumber
Posts30
Words11,488
Average number of words383
Fewest number of words138
Most number of words870
Posts about the web7
Posts about music or books3
Posts about writing3
Posts about politics14
Posts about nothing1
Posts about libraries1
Posts about technology1
Unique visitors653
Highest number of unique page views (for my Clacton Parris the UKIP post)70
Twitter referrals251
Average number of pages visited by a Twitter referral4.1
LinkedIn referrals1
Search referrals293
People who noticed I blogged every day0 1
Alcoholic drinks imbibed9 bottles of beer, 2 pints of ale and a Glenmorangie

Which doesn’t tell us much except that blogging a lot doesn’t necessarily equate to millions of visitors. But you knew that. When I published a popular WordPress theme I’d get around 200 visits a day, and a couple of practical posts about hyphenating in Google Docs and writing newspaper articles still get the most visits, via Google.

But this is looking at things the wrong way. The numbers don’t mean much unless we know why I decided to blog something every day for 30 days.

Why blog to a schedule?

As I like writing the answer in one sense is pretty simple: it’s fun doing fun things more. However, although I’ve been fairly productive in the past, I’ve never posted more than 10 posts in any given month (I do admire those bloggers who post quality nearly every day without making a big deal about it).

I will admit that on a couple of occasions I was stuck for inspiration, and, to be honest, I’m not sure this post on writing to order added a huge amount to the world’s store of knowledge.

On the other hand, writing got me to turn related subjects over in my mind a few times, and it can be a pleasant surprise to find links between articles. Similarly, a piece on Clacton might spark something on austerity, or remind me of a passage in Sebald.

But the main reason for blogging every day was to do something that’s difficult – to make myself write, whatever the demands of two full time jobs and two primary age children in the family. Now, I could go to the gym every day or take up some dismal, solitary hobby in a shed or cellar, but, for me, there’s something magical in writing, no matter how mundane the end product, or how difficult it is to just get something written down.

Doing it again

Nope, probably not; I’ve kind of limped over the line here. There is something perversely satisfying in publishing something, anything to a schedule, and practice does improve, if not quite make perfect. But I think I’ll take a few days off.