Monday, April 28, 2008

About Chuck for...

I've had occasion over the past week to tell folks that I'm unimpressed with the impact of this Blog on general terms and particularly regarding endorsements. This place seems to average 100-150 readers per day, and included in that number are the majority who come in for archived articles, most being gun reviews. Readers specific to this site or a recently published article seem to run in the 30s unless a large site links in.

Up in the top corner you'll see BNN Influential Oregon Blog rating, since that rating system has been in effect "Chuck for..." has spent quite a bit of time in the top 20, though I have no idea why. If you look at BNN to see what company I'm in, that is pretty flattering as well. In the last 60 days headline impressions from this Blog have been on a viewed article page 110,265 times on Reuters and the Chicago Sun Times 269 times. Since 8/14/07 the numbers are these: Reuters-271,084, USAToday-14,444, Chicago Sun Times-629, and some other smaller ones, in that time 14 separate articles have been picked up by major newspaper dot coms. Technorati gives the page a 45 rating or a ranking of 212,664th of all Blogs. Some blog friends link in from blog rolls and some have feed listings, all appreciated. But the end measure of all this big time "stuff" is that 30 some people think my nearly daily writing is worth time. A couple of that 30 some are from my own county.

I expect a spike in readership for a day or two with this most recent endorsement, and I can't tell you why that will happen. I don't know why it is suddenly important to know what I think about politics. Obviously I think it is important enough to keep writing about it and some editors take me seriously, but this place doesn't even begin to qualify as a "B list" blog. Since 3/14/08 Reuters has run Senator Clinton and the Democratic Party, Where Now? four separate times at the foot of articles with around 90,000 views, so they evidently think it is important. This kind of thing confuses the snot out of me. More confusing yet was an article I put together regarding problem solving, Asking Questions, which was no more than an exercise in seeing if I could write a readable article that reduced and an extensive conversation into a post, which was picked up by Reuters and appeared nearly 1,000 times and generated more post views/thousand than anything I've ever written. Frequent hits on archives or posts caused me to do some Google views and I was astonished how many gun articles are first page or even top 5 and many political posts follow the same pattern. There are some regular readers that are a little spooky, US Senate Sgt At Arms, US House Infosys, Pentagon; the State of Oregon doesn't spook, it's just flattering...actually the Fed is pretty flattering also.

If you can figure out these contradictions, feel free to set me straight because I have no idea what I'm doing right and wrong that makes these facts happen. I'm quite sure Sitemeter isn't absolutely accurate, but it should be a pretty good measure. Anyhow, for now I'm satisfied to write for a few dedicated "Chuck for..." folks.


Kevin said...

Believe me, Chuck, I can sympathize. My Indie Castle blog was much the same. I somehow had gotten it on the radar screen of one major outlet but all that really led to was the occasional spike in traffic associated with whatever specific post got picked.

I don't read here daily, but I do swing by about once a week - which is a heck of a lot more often than I visit 90% of the blogs on my blogroll.

If I might pass on some constructive criticism that was once given to me (respecting PK) by someone well connected with the Big Boys and Girls of the blogosphere. The advice was to find an underserved niche and focus on that. The reality, I was told, is that national news is already covered by wildly popular blogs. Trying to compete with them head-to-head would only bloody my head and they wouldn't even notice it. Ditto for many other niches.

The trick, I was told, is to find something that is both a subject area which you yourself are interested in and which appears to be underserved. And then focus on that and the hits will follow. How many and at what rate largely depends on how good of a writer one is. But at least you're not trying to steal market share from blogosphere behemoths which wouldn't even notice if you tripling your daily readership all at their expense.

We've struggled at PK because our interests keep shifting and we just haven't stayed focused on our own niche (intersection of politics & religion/faith).

Chuck Butcher said...

guns seem to be my niche, but I can't afford to buy enough of them to do that (nor get wife's purchase approval). pah, I like writing about politics and social isues - so I'll do it for the handful. Cripes, at least they can look at this thing's accomplishments and feel like the select few kindasewers kewl enough to be in on it. how's that for ego? hahahahaha