I’ve been doing my experiments in how to post for quite a while now, first discussing it in this post and this one, back on 19Jan when I started the QuickReaction type posts. So there has been enough time to see some data and draw a tentative conclusion.
These posts reduce reader interest in this blog. I don’t understand (or at least can prove) the mechanism but the data seems to clearly support it. Now the most plausible hypothesis I can form is that multi-topic posts lower my search engine rating. Most of my hits, as probably is true with most blogs, come through search engines (and those readers rarely linger since probably my post isn’t what they want). So this mechanism would explain it.
Now I’ve done two things in my blog, just because I want to, regardless of whether they “work” for increasing appeal to readers.
- Rather than create a new post I often add comments to an older post, which means I’m grouping related material together. But less posts (and implicitly also longer posts) is probably a negative in terms of attracting readers.
- The multi-topic QuickReaction posts clearly make reading harder (they’re easier for me to write because I write them offline in MSWord and thus I rarely have to be logged into WordPress.com which is a secret activity for me I don’t want to accidentally leave on my screen some day). Some of the QuickReaction individual items could be separate posts, so possibly a better strategy would be to pull those out and make a few posts, leaving the real “short” QuickReactions in an aggregate post. But that is more work.
And one other thing I’m doing in the QuickReaction posts is not worrying very much (not even as much as I might usually do, which isn’t much) about “good writing”, even good mechanics like spell checking or including links. Writing good posts is definitely harder; writing really good posts is even harder still. And that takes more time. It’s probably better for readers, but it means I have a harder time getting posts done. And that’s why I started the QuickReaction series, I was accumulating topics for posts and never having the time to get them done.
So I think I’ll try for some kind of hybrid. One days where I have a little extra time, before just pasting the entire QuickReaction content I’ve accumulated offline as a single post I may pull out some bits as separate posts. And clean them up some (not a lot or I’ll get back in the paralysis of writing). But most days I’ll probably just continue with the aggregate post. Maybe I should try to determine what I think is my most interesting thought in the aggregate post and pull that out. Who knows, but I think I’ll give it a bit of a try.
btw: Using the keywords, ‘wired porn’ and ‘dragon’ didn’t do much, even though those persist as the most common search terms that lead readers here.