unexplained popularity.

Explain something to me…

How come a random post of mine has so many more hits and likes than any other? I mean, three or four times as many. I’m not denying that it’s a brilliant post (ha)… but the randomness of its popularity is baffling. Why this particular post? This has happened before, too. Were these two posts linked somewhere really visible? They’re both poems… not sure if that matters. I’ve looked at the ‘referrers‘ in my stats, but that was no help… most come from the WP Reader.

Aside: I loathe the WP Reader, as it doesn’t show you my blog design or sidebar or anything… and it kills some of my formatting. (Visit my actual blog for the best ‘what sandra thinks’ experience.) /end tiny rant

I don’t think these two particular poems are standouts. I have some that I hate… and some that I love. These two are neither.

I’ll probably never know why… but I’m curious… which may not be a good thing. You know, the cat and the killing and all.

©2018 what sandra thinks

About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, sometimes blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Italy, but she would settle for a non-oceanfront home in Italy. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
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72 Responses to unexplained popularity.

  1. Miriam says:

    Go figure! I read both poems and they’re both really good but as for reasoning whey they’re so much more popular, who knows? Blogging stats can be so fickle. As for the WP Reader, I agree, it’s a killer for formatting. Do you insert the “Read More” line? That directs people to your actual site to read the rest of your post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I tried ‘Read More’ but it didn’t work! My whole posts were still showing in the Reader. I even went to WP for help and they initially suggested ‘read more’ but it didn’t work so I went back to them. They then told me that ‘read more’ does not stop the whole post from showing in the Reader! So, there’s no way around it. I tested it and what they told me was accurate — even with ‘read more’ the whole post came up in the Reader. I hate it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s a WordPress quirk. Sometimes I use GIFs and I’m linked to sites like giphy and the post gets popular. One of my most popular post is a review of a SyFy movie. There’s a spike every couple of weeks. I just figure they keep playing it but I’ve never looked into it. I try to avoid the stats page.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marquessa says:

    I have no clue. Some days, I get a handful of new subscribers (not spammers) and want to ask how they found me but I never do. On those days, it has to be “something”. Maybe a tag I used…I hate numbers and stats so i don-t even bother!🤔

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good poetry will always interest readers! And they were both well written!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The blogging world is weird. I’ve had many theories on what I should be achieving… or altering my content based on something popular and none of them seem to hold up.

    I think it comes down to the human element. Were these posts on a particular day at a particular time when more people flocked here. We’ll never know… but it’s thr best theory I have left.

    This space is strange because we’re all here to promote ourselves. It’s not like YouTube were an audience may be happy to watch. Everyone here wants to be read, very few if any just come to read. Maintaining a consistent audience can be hard because your always battling the desires of your reader to have their own work read.

    I’ll never truly understand why one piece is more popular…. but I do take note.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It will remain a mystery. Interestingly, the crazy-popular ones never seem to be my favorites. But I’m sure I judge my writing (and myself) more harshly than others do. That speaks to the growing file of poems and other posts I’ve written that I’ve ‘rejected’ because I think they suck. Maybe one of those could have been the next oddly popular post?!


      • We do judge ourselves and our ability harder than anyone else could. There’s no way to know what’s good and what’s bad.
        I know that with my work people think it’s too simple… that working in rhyme is ‘childish’. I however enjoy my style and keep trying to innovate with content. I tend not to reject anything I write and look for constructive criticism. I want to grow as a writer. I always have pieces that I think aren’t as good but I treat them as first drafts. They’ll go into a folder and eventually be dragged out and changed. Hopefully showing my evolution as a writer.

        I still work to the idea that this space is more about storage. I write and build a portfolio and show I’m building my brand. Popularity of posts right now can bring new friendships. That’s what I really enjoy.

        One day when I actually fully commit to publishing my approach will change. For now it’s just fun to see what clicks. The worst that can happen is something you consider your favourite doesn’t get attention… but you have to remember, you write for you!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I often revisit those posts I cast aside. Many are unfinished… maybe I lost my inspiration part way through… or maybe I just wasn’t happy with it.

          I think you write rhyming poetry very well. I think that may be more difficult than non-rhyming poetry sometimes. I don’t think it’s childish. It can be, but I don’t find yours to be.

          Maybe I should run off to my reject file today… maybe I’ll find something to mess around with. I’ve not had enough inspiration lately…


  6. LindaGHill says:

    I have a post like that, but my views come from Google, mostly. The post contains the lyrics for the song “If I Had Words” from the movie Babe. So random. The post has made it to #1 on Google, ahead of the Youtube video. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve always wondered about this myself. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to what is liked better than something else and I think it just comes down to what resonates at the moment. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Meg says:

    I hate that the reader never sends people to your actual blog, too. What’s the point of having all these nice layouts and features if everyone reads the badly formatted post on the reader? It makes me angry! I have widgets linking to my books and my Amazon page that no one ever sees! I have a suspicion that once in a while a post of mine will end up in the ‘read other posts’ like this at the bottom of some other blog’s posts in the reader. Have you seen that? At the bottom of your post in the reader, there will be two other of YOUR posts and then a little further down, two OTHER people’s posts with same/similar themes. I wonder if that’s how some posts get really popular?

    Liked by 2 people

    • The reader ruins everything! Yes… the widgets! Ugh… It’s so annoying! Like your books/Amazon links, I have links to my shops… twitter… whatever. I hate that most people probably never see that! WP tells us about all their great themes and customization options, but for what??

      I know exactly where you mean with the “read other posts” links. I have wondered, too, if that has something to do with it. It would make sense, especially since most of my “referrers” are the (stupid) reader…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Meg says:

        You know… I am thinking about contacting WP about the whole reader thing. It really stinks. 😠 Maybe if enough people complain, they’ll change the way the ‘read more’ option works!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve complained… and they told me to use ‘read more’… but that doesn’t work either. I went back to them to tell them that and they said, “yes, your right… it doesn’t.” End of conversation! I told them I thought that was awful… what’s the point of themes, customization, etc. All they said was that they make the reader the best reading experience they can for their members. Oh 🙄 !

          Liked by 1 person

  9. gigglingfattie says:

    uuugghhh I hate the reader! It’s so lame!! That’s why I encourage people to get email updates when they follow my blog. It makes things so much easier!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I think it’s a conspiracy by WP! I’ve tried all sorts of tests to try to determine how it really works. I’ve far exceeded the number of followers I ever anticipated, and some of them are really weird. Why on earth would “they” wish to follow, how did “they” get to see my posts. I even have a follower whose own site is dedicated to quite lurid erotica!!
    Interesting to note that the “happened before” post, which, incidentally, I had not read before today, had a large number of likes, but not so many individuals commenting.

    Although I ponder long and often, I think I shall not ponder too long on this subject.
    Anyway Sandra, just let it happen, and keep up the good work, because it is good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I have some followers that confuse me as well. I have no idea why they’d follow me… It doesn’t seem like they’d be interested. Oh, and I definitely have far more followers than I ever thought I’d have. But I suspect relatively few actually read regularly…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. There doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to the amount of traffic posts get. Some of the ones I’ve been most proud of get less than 20 likes and ones I didn’t think were that great get 75. I’ve stopped wondering why and just go with the flow. If you get a bunch of good feedback on something, I guess just be thankful and carry on. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  12. sorryless says:

    WP can be odd that way. But rest assured, your poetry and prose is quite lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hunida says:

    What I’ve been wondering is how Facebook is constantly one of my referrers and I’ve never linked my blog on there, ever. So interesting how people are finding our blogs?

    Liked by 1 person

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