Thanks for all the hits

Thanks, Google! Thanks, Washington Monthly! Thanks, WordPress! Thanks, all those of you interested in satisfying your prurient interests! Thanks, casual surfers! I have all of you to thank, as well as my loyal regular readers, for visiting my blog.

For most of us bloggers, our blogs are at least in part an expression of our vanity. In real life, we may be too young, or too old, or too ugly, or too fat, or have too many annoying habits for you to want to have anything to do with us. Of course, on the Internet none of this matters because you cannot tell what I look like or how I sound. (Actually, I do have a small picture of myself on the About page, and you can see the back side of me here.) Here on my humble blog I can be judged, if not for who I am, then at least for what I write. Here is where I reveal at least a little part of myself: the part that I am proud of and I feel worthy of your time and attention.

For me, how many pseudo-friends I have on Facebook is meaningless. A significant part of what is meaningful to me you will find here. For I enjoy writing. I also like to analyze events and issues and provide my perspective on them. What I was missing prior to December 2002 was an audience. Thank goodness then for the Internet. I do not need the hassle of trying to market a book in order to find readers. The Internet has removed the middleman and well as given me many more readers than I could get writing a book. You are my audience. Moreover, in some ways, I am not just the writer, but also the performer.

A year ago, I mysteriously dropped out of Google’s search index. For about two months, I struggled without much success to rectify the situation. During November 2006, I eked out a mere 2000 or so page views. For October 2007, I had 9170 page views and 6430 visits. That averages to 295 page views a day.

Obviously, this is a mere pittance compared to many more popular blogs. I will likely never be a major blog. Yet I still am vain enough to aspire to someday be elevated into to the middle tier. For most of this year, I was averaging 100-150 page views per day. Currently I am averaging a bit over 400 page views per day and 300 or so visits per day. Moreover, these are just my SiteMeter statistics. I also have an unknown number of readers who are reading my blog with newsreaders. There are likely a few others reading via email or who are smart enough to configure their browsers so SiteMeter cannot track them.

I would like to assert that my content has gotten so much better and that is why my web traffic is picking up. I do not think this is the reason. Rather, my new traffic is a result of marketing decisions that I made, the volume of material accumulated here after nearly five years and finally a wee bit of luck.

Thanks to WordPress. You would not think that switching to new blogging software would make much of a difference in finding new readers, but it did for me. I should have gotten off Movable Type years ago. Perhaps Google has an easier time indexing content in WordPress. My traffic picked up by about a third as soon as I made the switch. Looking at my SiteMeter log, part of it also is that my tags are easier to find. Anyhow, to me it is clear that the WordPress effect is real. If you want to increase your blog’s traffic, try moving to WordPress.

Thanks to Google, which traditionally accounts for 75% of my new visitors. Since moving to WordPress, it has re-searched my site. Perhaps by having more links inside my pages it now judges that I am more worthy of additional traffic. A year ago, it took me two months to figure out why Google had dropped my blog from its search index. It upset me so much that I almost gave up blogging. A year later, all is forgiven.

Thanks to Washington Monthly. Its editor, Paul Glastris, noticed my little post praising their blog, which is authored by Kevin Drum. I said that in my opinion it was currently the best blog on American politics. As a result of his short post, I received nearly 1200 page views on October 25th . I received over 800 more page views the following day, most from Washington Monthly. Since his post, I have average more than 400 page views per day. I am hoping that a substantial number of those visitors found the site sufficiently good to come back and visit regularly.

Thanks to all you normal human beings with active sex drives. I do not often write about topics like pornography or sexuality. However, when I find something to say on these topics it usually drives up my page views. I certainly do not want my blog to turn into a digital red light zone. However, sexuality and pornography are undeniably popular topics that interest people. Bloggers who ignore these topics just drive away potential new readers. Consequently, I feel no shame writing about these subjects from time to time. My latest post on seems to have been well received by the Internet community. Since it was published, about twenty-five percent of my traffic is from people wanting to read that post. Meanwhile, my April 2004 post about ex-porn star Sharon Mitchell still routinely accounts for between 5-15% of my daily traffic.

I have been blogging for nearly five years. It has occupied much of my free time. I average a dozen or so blog posts a month. Each post is usually 1500 or more laboriously edited words. I sweat over this blog because I think a blog should be worthy of your time. If it is worthy of your time, it should be both interesting and well written. A good blog post should be written so well that it is like a hot knife going through butter. The best ones should carry you from first word through the last like a roller coaster ride. I am not sure how many of my posts meet this goal, but I always keep this goal in mind. (The posts I am most proud of are in my Best of Occam’s Razor category.)

I started to blog before the word had even become generally known. For most of this time, I have dwelled in some back corner of the Internet. It has been a long slog. I may still be in the Internet wilderness, but the sky is looking brighter. I think there is a clearing ahead.

Thank you all for reading and visiting Occam’s Razor. Occasionally, particularly when the search engines do not seem interested, I wonder why I bother to blog at all. My motivation may be pure vanity, but readers provide the fuel that keeps me going. I will do my best not to disappoint you and to make this blog worthy of returning here regularly.

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