Blogging and Writing

Do You Get Surprised by Readers’ Reactions to Your Posts?

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I’m sure I’m not the only blogger who’s noticed that the posts on my blog that draw the most interest from other people aren’t necessarily the posts that are most interesting to me or that I consider my best posts. That discrepancy between readers’ reactions and my own has been longstanding on my blog, but sometimes I’m quite surprised by which posts take off.

These Sunday posts about blogging tend to be quite well-received. Where Will Your Blog Be in 5 Years From Now? did particularly well. For me, these kinds of posts just add a bit of variety, but they’re very much a side dish rather than the main course. However, it seems like people want to talk about blogging. I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to keep thinking of things to write about in that topic area, but we shall see.

A post I did not long ago on whether crying was good for you drew lots of views, and it also generated piles of comments. I wasn’t expecting that at all. In particular, it seemed to draw a lot of Indian commenters, but I have no idea why that was the case.

I also get surprised by what draws people from Google. For the last while, my post on chakras not being literal has been going strong as my #1 Google target. Presumably, there’s not much competition for that kind of article, and apparently, people are asking.

Sometimes, posts about topics that I find really interesting don’t get that much attention, but I’m fine with that. A trickle of views over time works just as well as a post that surges out of the gate and then falls flat.

I could try to tailor my writing to fit what’s popular, but besides the fact that I can’t predict it, I just don’t want to. I don’t really care what other people want my blog to be. I’m going to do my thing, and if people don’t like it, I’m not expecting them to read it. Writing for what your reader wants makes sense if your blog’s purpose is business; otherwise, I say do whatever floats your boat, whether that be writing for yourself, your readers, or the guinea pig giving you the stink eye because you’re late on dishing out the celery (ok, maybe that last one is just in my world).

Are you ever surprised by what does or doesn’t draw readers to your blog? Do you ever adapt your approach based on readers’ reactions, or lack thereof?

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70 thoughts on “Do You Get Surprised by Readers’ Reactions to Your Posts?”

  1. Well, you know me, I don’t care LOL I write what I’m feeling and I just scrolled through my last 10 or so posts and there is no rhyme or reason – sometimes food posts, sometimes music posts, sometimes books/words posts. I don’t think I’ve ever had a ‘visitor’ via Google since the titles of my posts aren’t Google worthy…I suppose I should check my stats one of these days – tho I doubt there would be anything interesting there. One thing I have noticed that I’ve picked up some followers who have blogs that fit into a certain genre that I don’t write about. I think they came over via comments on blogs that do fit their genre. (Is that vague enough?)

  2. I’m always surprise by the posts my readers find interesting. It could be something very random like how my day is going, or a poem I wrote, or a piece of fiction, also, my posts about therapy and life with mental illness get tons of views and comments. I just do like you do, do my thing, and if people like it cool, if not then they dont have to read it!

  3. I was surprised at the beginning.
    I still can’t decide if I’ll do business out of my blog or not. So I struggle a little with the topics because of that. I agree with you that topics matter more if you’re in for the money.

    Money or not, this is why I still haven’t written a book, I do need some feedback. How did you pick the topics for your books?

    1. The first one I did because psych meds was something I knew really well. The other two were just things I was interested in. In terms of what sells, I think it’s important to get specific enough that there’s not a lot of competition. The book I wrote about depression has never done very well, and I think a lot of that is because there are so many books about depression. The book on psych meds has done the best by far because there aren’t a lot of other books trying to that topic in a user-friendly way.

  4. Back in the day when more of my old Usenet and Facebook friends blogged, sometimes there would be an argument in comments, which would cause a particular post to have a zillion views. It didn’t seem to matter what I wrote ~ it was all about their old conflicts regenerating. That was actually annoying because it wasn’t about ME ME ME. That doesn’t happen now because almost all my views are from fellow bloggers who don’t have old scores to settle and are simply responding to my words. I sometimes get surprised as to which poems grab people more than others ~ my favorites aren’t necessarily the ones that take off. The keyword searches are amusing. A long time ago I had a post up about pantyhose… you can imagine what weirdos I got from that. It’s fun to check every so often!

    As far as blogging about blogging, it does appear that people love to reply to that stuff, no matter how boring or repetitive. Why do you blog? What inspires your blogging? Blah blah blah. I refuse to respond to any of that and barely skim other posts when they go on about it. WHO CARES?!?!

  5. I think I’m largely unaware of which posts people prefer!! But yeah, I usually blog just to blog, so if I found out that one post was taking the lead, I wouldn’t even know what to make of it! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Interesting topic!!

  6. I do my best to have posts centered around mental health based on the connections I have made on WordPress and the fact that it’s the theme of my blog. But I also agree with you that a lot of times I’m writing what I would like. I hope that my experiences can bring other people can relate and/or find comfort in my stories. But I would say first and foremost I try to keep my writing for me.

  7. Are you ever surprised by what does or doesnโ€™t draw readers to your blog? Sometimes. It has absolutely no rhyme or reason either in my opinion. One week I’ll write a short story and it’ll get comments out the back door, and other times a story just doesn’t hit what people appear to be looking for, so there are virtually no comments, but a few likes and such.

    Do you ever adapt your approach based on readersโ€™ reactions, or lack thereof? No. I think that’s a bit of a cop-out to oneself. If I have a core tenet it is ‘to thine ownself be true”. To do otherwise just feels wrong and the piece (post) doesn’t turn out well…

    I like to answer questions about most anything and I LOVE your mental health series and spotlights and term definitions very much indeed. I’ve learned a lot… Thank you!

    1. I like the “to thine own self be true” approach, and it makes for a blog that’s consistent with the blogger even if different topics and styles of writing are incorporated.

  8. I find the type of comments on different posts a bit surprising. Usually, if I write a longer, more informative post, I get more comments from people who clearly didn’t read or aren’t interested in the article. The ones that are like “Great post! Very well written.” But if I write something more personal I tend to get more real responses, but less search engine traffic.

    1. I used to wonder whether the generic “great post” comments were genuine or spammy,” but at this point, I’m pretty quick to assume that they’re not genuine.

      1. As you know, you have to click through to my site on WordPress Reader to actually read my posts. I know for sure some of those comments are self-promotion, because I get comments and likes without getting page views. Funny stuff.

      2. Wow. Now I am feeling a bit bad I enjoy saying great post. Yet, I MUST stick up for those of us who think posts are great! They ARE. So there. Ha. Now what, yall non liking us who like to say great posters, yall?!…hehe…the posts really ARE great to me. And, I spend so much of my brain working and writing that when I am enjoying other posts yall don’t make me HAVE to come up with thesaurus like words for the word great. Egads! Great post and responses. Frfr๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜

        1. Lol

          There’s a difference, though, between:
          a) Great post.
          b) This was such a great post! ๐Ÿ‘

          The first is probably left by someone who didn’t even read it, while the second is someone who wants to settle in and get comfortable.

    2. Okay, so I love saying great post and well written! Like this response of yours…fantastic! See? Now you have me wondering why you think the person didn’t read your piece or are not interested in it? Spill! Also, what personal pieces you got that have moved you? Okay, yikes I have forgotten the point of your response which was yakking on our thoughts of responses. I find it fascinating that folk from India tend to enjoy some of my pieces. Fascinating.๐Ÿ˜Žโค

      1. Yes, if you read my response to Ashley I mention that people comment without actually visiting my site, therefore they never read the article. WordPress Reader only shows the first paragraph of my posts, so people have to go to my site. There are a lot of people who comment without reading the post to promote themselves. I’m glad you read the posts and are genuinely interested, though ๐Ÿ˜Š

        1. I read that also and caught myself from wanting to meander there. I was going to add I read and respond for most via the emails I get daily and wonder if others do the same. Wonderful post. Howzat? Actually just kidding around in here today…

  9. I write what I feel. Sometimes there may be things that catch my attention that I may want to share, adding my own two cents if I feel like it.
    My posts can also reflect what is currently going on in my life.

    I remember being surprised of an old post or two coming back in searches, that seem to attract people’s attention.
    The only other time I have been surprised is seeing how my blog peaks in attention sometimes at my old blog on WordPress, to say things are quiet there.

  10. I loved this post! I agree, I write my blog for myself so if people read it wonderful and if they don’t that’s okay too. There is no plan for what I write, it’s what comes to mind in the moment. That is what makes it fun for me. It does feel good when something I have written draws attention. It means I’ve reached an audience that was interested in that particular subject.

  11. In the beginning i thought my blog would be an outreach for others i initially got a lot of followers then at some point i change to more journal stuff and followers are slower and i realized im ok with it as i see this as a community more than i first had thought it would be. I know you were talking about posts but it made me think over all followers and my want of popularity that i did want in the beginning. I must say though the post people do connect with sometimes surprises me.

    1. The community aspect was definitely something I wasn’t expecting when I first started blogging, and it’s been a very pleasant surprise.

  12. The ones that I second guessed posting seems to be the most popular. This is all still very new to me and I’m mostly simply enjoying the community and new friendships.

  13. I don’t adapt my posts to consider the reaction of a reader. But I do try to write titles that will not be click-bait, but will interest the reader.

  14. With WP readers, I haven’t seen this phenomenon very much on my blog, but it’s definitely the case with search engines. It’s weird and funny how sometimes a very inconspicuous (at least in my opinion) can draw loads of views, or even a surprising amount of Google people’s comments sometimes. My Sofi says she experiences this a lot on Instagram and finds this frustrating because people pay attention to completely not those pics she wants them to pay attention to and only look at the very boring ones. ๐Ÿ˜€

  15. I agree with your post. I am also surprised by what blogs people like or find interesting. My most popular blogs seem to be about helpful things here and there like a list of what to do on a rainy day or other posts that are a tad inspirational or educational. I guess everyone may get a little tired of shared experiences of trauma or illness. If I can convert the story into here’s what I did to counter the anxiety or the depression or the whatever-it-is rather than just recalling the anxiety or depression, people seem to gravitate toward that energy. Trouble is I don’t always have that energy accessible. ๐Ÿ™‚ So for now, I too will write what’s happening with me even if it’s not so inspirational or educational…..

  16. Yes, I certainly agree with this. I don’t get much traffic at all from Google, but I wrote something a year ago about character defects in 12 step recovery and it gets a few hits every day.

    For some reason, that post is answering a question, but I have no idea why lol.

    SEO in general is very strange. I do a bit for my FT job and I find it very mystifying.

  17. We forgot the stats page existed! We do look at notifications (likes and comments) but none of our posts gets much attention. Over time, topics like anger and stress seem to get the most likes for us. But we write what we want to write (and often donโ€™t write)

  18. I try to write on what I feel like writing on vs what I think might be popular. Keeps blogging fun. If I did it based solely on what people want, it would be burdensome.

  19. I suspect your blog does well because you are true to yourself and not that sort of “copy that sells well” blogger.

    My blog hasn’t surprised me yet but I’ll answer that in a year’s time ๐Ÿ˜. Happy Monday to you, yours and your readers ๐Ÿค—

  20. Itโ€™s definitely surprising at times to see what comes from each post. I appreciate your intention to keep being you and write about whatโ€™s on your mind. Itโ€™s why I read and always look forward to your insight. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  21. Interesting post ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t really say I relate to it – mostly since I’m still waiting for a written respons to anything I publish (I do get the occasional like though).

  22. Do people still wear pantyhose? i remember once many years ago, back in the mid 90’s working in a ladies retail outlet that a guy walked in and wanted the thickest pantyhose we had in stock which just happened to be xxx denier fishnet ph’s!! Turns out he was a builder tht wanted his hose to be really thick so he didn’t feel the cold!

    I don’t think even in all my days l actually sold any ph’s to actual women… strange. I don’t even like them, but the elastic legs were great for tying things up with like thiefs wrists!

    I tend to write for me, but as you know l have written for the audience before also because, just because l like it as a topic doesn’t mean l don’t write on the topic with a readership in mind. I have stopped things that l like doing because they don’t attract a audience or they are not working. We write to be read, if we want to write totally for ourselves we don’t need a public blog, so when we are writing and creating and by this l mean the entertainment things l used to do specifically for the audience as opposed tot hings l personally like and are not that popular all the time.

    The Hello and the greetings post was only written for an audience and that gradually died off, so l stopped it whereas the Theme Times are very much a personal interest of mine and l still write them because l enjoy them, but not everyone else does.

    I stopped the hello which got more hits, but was dying as opposed to keeping TT which always gets lower hits …………………. but then, l have really changed this year and woken up to a lot of different opinions too.

    1. You’ve certainly had a lot of changes on the blog to reflect those changes!

      I think pantyhose persist in more formal business settings. A lawyer in a skirt suit with bare legs would most likely be frowned upon.

  23. Strange, but l think you are right, although don’t they wear those funny pull up pop sock versions now? I suppose stockings is not something generally worn in the legal eagle department of life and maybe only in Hollywood films.

    Well l have learned a lot this year alone Ashley – and yet l am still as dumb as a box of frogs with some of the more basic blogging things – like now, l have a confusion that despite two conversations with engineers explaining it to me like l am 6, l still can’t understand ๐Ÿ™

  24. I’m sometimes surprised about both small and big reactions to my posts. I don’t exactly adapt my policies according to specific reader responses, but I refine my ideas as to what I would most like to post, based on what on what has proven most attractive.

  25. I’ve been thinking of saying this for quite a while, from my observations anyway… it seems like if you blog about blogging, you’ll get lots of interaction. To me, it feels like people look for a quick fix and how to make your blog successful and all that blah-blah. I love what I write about, if others enjoy it too then great but if not then there are plenty more blogs about.

    1. Yeah, blogging about blogging is what people seem to want to read about, but if everyone did that all of the time, the blogosphere would be an extremely boring place.

  26. It surprised me at first how well poetry posts performed relative to other posts. I think because the poetry blogging community is so huge vs. the community of people who want to read about some random stranger’s life updates that are tangentially related to Judaism. Also, the prompts drive a lot of traffic. I’ll participate in poetry prompts if I feel inspired, but I’m not interested in having a blog totally dedicated to poetry.

  27. Yes I am. Some days I get lots of views and a likes but no comment. Makes me wonder if my material isn’t good enough haha but I’m getting a lot of it and write on anyway ๐Ÿ˜…

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