What I've Learned From A Crazy Month of Blogging

by @edent | , , , ,

Well. That was an intense NaBloPoMo! I published a blog post every day in November - as I have for the last few years - but this was unlike anything that went before. I had over 50,000 viewers in a single day due to one of my posts, got hit by reddit and HackerNews, and even got asked to do some paid blogging!

I started this month hoping to average 1,000 page views per day. This was so I could hit the (pretty arbitrary) milestone of half a million page views.

This is what my November looked like...

Which means my total stats since 2009 are...

So, let me take you through what I learned.

When You Help Others - You're Really Only Helping Yourself

I've been badgering my wife constantly to write on her blog. I managed to convince her to partake in NaNoBloMo and she has done marvellously. I've been seriously impressed with her writing and her dedication. It has been great seeing her struggle with the challenge and having it pay off so magnificently.

People Are Stupid

I just wasn't able to put this adequately into words until my wife blogged, but some people really are stupid. I've been told that my arguments are invalid because (in no particular order)...

  • I haven't calculated something to N decimal places
  • I have an obvious anti-Apple bias
  • I have an obvious anti-Android bias
  • I used hyperbole
  • I mistakenly claimed something took X months, when it actually took X+1 months

In short, people seem to ignore the bigger picture, find the smallest and most inconsequential mistake, and then use that to hang an entire argument. Predictable, I guess, but a little depressing.

I could try to write everything in formal language, perhaps written in pure predicate logic, and illustrated with examples backed up by no less than 9 separate sources - but I have the feeling that would be a little dull to read. There must be a middle ground somewhere.

You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk

I hate being told I'm wrong. Especially by anonymous commentators. By contrast, I love being told I'm right. Especially by anonymous commentators.

It's a weird experience to see strangers praising and damning you in - so it seems - equal measure. Bad reviews stick around in your brain far more than the good ones.

Interestingly, when I've tackled the anonymous people saying I'm an idiot, they've either apologised straight away - or run away.


May 12, 2012 held the record for the busiest day - 17,186 views thanks to this article about the SIM-less Phone.

My ecosystem blogpost got 37,776 views on November 23rd. The 24th of November saw it get 51,928 views!

Which was nice.

Luckily, my blog is heavily cached and has gzip compression turned on - but even still, I started getting alerts from my host that I was edging close to the limits of my agreed bandwith. So, I bought some more.

My hosting provider - Vidahost (affiliate link) - stayed rock solid even at the height of the traffic. They were incredibly quick to respond to my questions and even gave me some free bandwidth while I was waiting to see if the traffic would continue growing.
You can use the discount code "edent" to get 10% off your order with them.

Tomorrow Never Knows

I was completely stunned by the posts which "made it" and those which fizzled into obscurity. I thought both the one about the HackerNews Effect and Why Don't Amazon Sell ePubs would do rather better than they did.

I don't know if they contained poor ideas, weren't well written, or just didn't get promoted properly. But, there we are.

Don't Hold Back

The majority of posts were written over the last two years. One was even three years old! They'd all been sat in the draft state waiting for me to be happy with them.

The Smuggling USB sticks post was my first big "hit" of this NaloPoMo - it got 22,553 views in a single day! Yet it was first written in 2010 after the BPI threatened to sue me. I'm not really sure why I sat on it for so long...

So, the moral is either "publish those posts before they get too old" or, alternatively, "Let those old posts mature like a fine wine."

Forward, Never Backward

I'm not sure if I can keep up with Richard Herring in blogging every day - although I do have a few posts lined up for December. It's been a fun - and slightly stressful - November, so perhaps it's time to take a short break.

Thanks for reading!

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