Wednesday, January 08, 2014

On Blogs and Blogging


It's almost nine years since I began to blog - the actual anniversary is this coming Sunday. It's a funny kind of a thing - writing articles, reviewing books, watching and waiting for visitors and comments. Speaking into the air to see if anyone is interested. It seems that the visitors come more readily than the comments, for whatever reason.

Depending on what counter you're using, there are around 51625 (Google Analytics), 73000 (Statcounter) or 102000 (Blogger) pageviews last year. Quite a divergence of numbers but either way, it's good that someone at least is viewing my material - at least 140 pageviews per day by the most conservative measure. But what are they interested in?

According to Google Analytics, nine of the ten most popular pages were all sermons. The top page was the home page, and the next nine, indeed, the next thirty-two top pages were all sermons. So the book reviews are less popular than the sermons. In fact, you have to go to position 69 to find the highest rated book review in last year's visitor figures. Those sermons aren't even necessarily the new ones - rather they're the archived sermons which are attracting the visitors.

If sermons are the feature that brings visitors, who might it be coming to read the sermons? I've previously noted that the weeks where I happen to have a sermon that ties in with the Revised Common Lectionary, my visitor numbers are through the roof. Even on New Year's Eve in the late afternoon there was a visitor who had googled 'What sermon can I preach at a Watchnight Service?' Perhaps the blog should be renamed Desperate Preachers or Last Minute Sermons?

Sermons are an easy way to produce content. The script has already been produced, so it doesn't take much to copy and paste it for the world to view (and possibly use). The book reviews have developed over time. There are still occasional pictures if the camera has been out and about (increasingly rare these days). The chatty posts have all but disappeared, compared to the early days of the blog where it was all about what I'd been doing and what the weekends held. Perhaps now I'm finally finding my niche and my voice - even if that niche is for lazy pastors to find quick and easy content for their own sermons.

The blog has suffered for a while, but maybe in this new year there'll be more regular content. We'll see... but for now, I'm hoping to keep on blogging.

According to Blogger, the posts published in the last year which were viewed the most are:
668 That Monday Morning Feeling
352 Sermon: Ezekiel 37:1-14 The Valley of Dry Bones
342 Sermon: Luke 4:1-13 The Testing of Jesus
260 Sermon: Matthew 25:1-13 The Wise and Foolish Virgins
220 Orange Parades: History Repeating Itself?
212 The Orange Order: Faith Proclaimed or Feet Parading?
212 Book Review: Five English Reformers
159 Sermon: Luke 5:17-26 Our Greatest Need
155 Sermon: John 15:1-17 Connected to Jesus
144 Book Review: Empire State

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