The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

500 Posts

I’ve reached one of those funny kind of blogging anniversaries. Give or take an entry or 2, I seemed to have created 500 posts. Added to this, in a couple of weeks I’ll have been blogging for 4 years, so I thought I’d share some of my blogging observations.

1. First up, some statistics:
I average about 10 posts per month
I’ve had around 73,400 visits
I’ve written more posts tagged “Family Man” than any other
I’ve started 2 community blogs, which both fizzled out after promising starts
Pat, from Past Imperfect is my most prolific commenter

2. No one remembers what you’ve written
I’m just one blog in 10, 50, 100 or more read by any given visitor. The chances of anyone remembering what I wrote about 2 years ago, or even last week, for that matter, are very slim.

Each time I mention I play the mandolin or bouzouki for example, even regular readers express surprise, even though they commented on the last post I wrote about it.

And almost every time I write about my CFS, someone will give me well-meaning advice I’ve been given many times before and probably blogged about in depth in earlier posts.

One thing’s for certain – it stops you believing your own publicity – we’re nothing like as important as we think we are.

3. Pity will only get us so far before visitors stop coming back

4. Constantly moaning about the world may get us lots of comments agreeing with us, but it steadily destroys our souls.

5. Bloggers Block becomes more frequent when we stop writing for ourselves, and start trying to appeal to some abstract idea of “the viewers”

6. All of us live in fear that someone is going to find out who we really are, and then we will be laughed at, derided and humiliated. And yet, the more I reveal about myself, the more real I am, the less anyone points the finger and the more respect I seem to gain for being honest, and admitting what everyone else feels but were too fearful to say.

7. If we want comments, we have to give comments, and answer comments
Some people will come and write no matter what, but most operate reciprocally. Comment on their post and they’ll come and comment on ours in return. There's a limit to how long anyone will keep visiting someone who never replies to them.

8. The days of expecting to make any kind of real money by blogging, or expecting to become some kind of blogging superstar are long gone.

Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter and various other social networking sites have all eaten into people’s blogging time.

RSS feeds, Google Reader and even the links on the sidebar that tell us when a blog was last updated, have all impacted on the number of visits to blogs – we only tend to visit when we know a site has been updated. Before we knew in advance we would go along to check, and if it hadn’t been, we might still view the comments or explore one of the links on the sidebar

All this means there very few opportunities to really build a huge following.

Four years ago I was going to conquer the blogosphere with my insights, wit and force of personality. However, from a high of only 100 visits a day a few years ago, I now get an average of 35, and most of that is people looking for Naked Bearded Men, or me looking to see if I’ve had any more visitors.

9. I’ve met some truly wonderful people.
Some of the people I’ve blogged with over the years I’ve come to know away from the blog, via email, chat and in some cases even meeting in the flesh. These people have become very special to me and I love being able to count them as real friends.

10. Only other bloggers will think of blogging for 4 years and reaching 500 blog posts is any kind of achievement.


Mary Witzl said...

What? You play the bouzouki? Amazing! (smiling face here)

You're wrong about people not remembering. I remember all sorts of stuff you've written here -- quiz me on it some time if you doubt it! (You're not thinking about nerds here, though, I'm guessing...?)

Now I've got to go see how many posts I've written. And NO WAY have I ever had 100 visits per day. How in the world does anyone get 100 visits per day?

Pat said...

Congrats and should I feel stalkerish? Don't answer that.

'One thing’s for certain – it stops you believing your own publicity – we’re nothing like as important as we think we are.'

I learned this thirty years ago and it is a salutary lesson to learn.
Whatever # 7 was my reaction was 'Here bloody here!'
I enjoyed reading that, with it's delightful honesty.
My post count is entirely misleading because the photos count separately mostly.
As far as visits are concerned your new posts come up on my dashboard so there is no escape. Har Har Har !

JRS said...

Congrats on the 500. I've been reading for a while and this is my delurking comment. I enjoy your writing and will be coming back. I'll tune in to hear Maggie's beautiful voice any day when you post her videos. I also appreciate how your daughter's Ds is just another part of your lives. I strive to remember that in my life as well.
Keep writing,

Brave Astronaut said...

A monumental achievement. Congratulations on the milestone. Your readers are very glad you are still enjoying the ride and continue to invite us along on your journey.

Sandy said...

500 Kim, by gum (I'm up to 57 - had a wee count. Actually all your numbers are astrological to me - 35 hits a day!! - that's an average week for me -for some reason I've scored 4 or 5 consistantly every day for several weeks, I'm dead chuffed, especially since I'm a bit overdue a blog.

Main congratulations for laying you heart on the line from time to time - a difficult thing to do and avoided religiously by me.

Haven't worked RSS feeds out yet so still have to do it the old way.

Best wishes, another blogger

mapstew said...

Cheers! ;¬)

Charlie said...

"Four years ago I was going to conquer the blogosphere with my insights, wit and force of personality."

Maybe not the blogosphere, Kim, but you've meant a hell of a lot to me for the past 3½ years. With people exchanging blogging for Facebook, etc., I know you'll always be around—and that's a comfort.

Ria said...

Great list! Congrats on reaching 500 posts! It's amazing how much we can find to write about over time. Yeah, I don't see how anyone can make any money to feed the family through blogging. I've met a few wonderful people through blogging too. It's nice.
Keep on writing!
Fellow blogger who thinks 500 posts is an achievement,

savannah said...

CONGRATULATIONS, Sugarpie!! you're an absolute delight to know and i look forward to someday sitting with you and yours in person! xooxxoox

Eryl said...

500 posts over 4 years, gosh; I think anyone who can keep doing anything for four years is pretty amazing, so well done that man!

Pat's my most regular commenter too – isn't she darling? – though you come a pretty close second.

Tom P. said...

Isn't a bouzouki one of those things they used in WWII to blow up German tanks?

You are right about posting for yourself and not for other people. And it is impossible to know who reads your blog unless they leave comments. RSS does away with any hope otherwise.

I'm up to 974 posts in a little over 5 years. But you get lots more comments than I do. :(


Kim Ayres said...

Mary - well as you've heard me playing the bouzouki and seen me showing Mr Witzl a couple of tricks on it, I'd be rather surprised if you forgot about it.

Forget the numbers, though - you have a very high calibre of commenters :)

Pat - you're always welcome here - in fact your continual visits make me feel pampered :)

JRS - welcome to my ramblings and thank you for taking the time to de-lurk :)

Brave Astronaut - but you're a fickle lot. If I gave up blogging you'd soon forget me...

Sandy - what holds you back is the need to be resitered with MSN just to comment. Get yourself on Blogger (or Wordpress) and I'm sure you could grow a following :)

Mapstew - Sláinte!

Charlie - but 3½ years ago, I thought you only had 6 months to live - you've been taking advantage of me...

Ria - way back in the old days - '06, maybe as far back as '05 - every blogger thought a potential book deal was just round the corner (chews straw, rocks in chair on porch, spits off the veranda)

Savannah - I really look forward to that day :)

Eryl - As someone who gave you a bit of help getting your blog set up, I feel a certain responsibility to visit. However, you're also a damn good read!

Tom P - I'm fortunate that I do have some wonderful visitors

hope said...

I promise to never leave you for Facebook, which seems more like a popularity contest from the description of it than actual intelligent exchange of information. We use to call that conversation. :)

Congrats....and play on. Please.

debra said...

I can't remember how I wound up here, but I am sure glad I did. So now I will go look at my stats, and see how much I've put out in the cyber-universe...

Anonymous said...

All such good points! What's funny is when I read my old posts and I get scared that I'm just recycling material over and over again! 500 is quite an achievement! I will never be a Facebook person, Twitter - tried Myspace but the blogging there was too pathetic and the scene was too desperate. I truly feel at home blogging. If you ever come to the USA, northeast, please let me know!

Apex Zombie said...

The half Grand! Awesome stuff, mate! Congrats!

"We’re nothing like as important as we think we are." So true, and something I'm continually reminded of.

I hope to see you continue on to the Grand.

The Hangar Queen said...

Congratulations on hitting the 500 and for this great post.
I'm an avid avoider of RSS and subscription for precisely the reasons you lay out. I rather like popping in and out of blogs and having a nose through the medicine cabinet.
Seriously though. I breathe a little easier when I see a new post from certain friends. If they can soldier on then so can I.
Thanks for being one of them.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - I'm on Facebook aswell, but it's a very different animal to Blogger. Bascially I spend too much time playing games - but it does allow me to have contact with friends who don't blog.

Debra - you probably bounced in via Eryl. I'm very glad you did :)

Starrlife - I can't imagine being able to casually drop by northeast USA, however, I'm open to setting up a reason for a visit. So if you can arrange for a few people who all fancy their photo taken, for example, so I can earn enough money to pay for the trip, then I'm up for it :)

FLG - actually, if I thought of writing another 500 posts I'd probably quit now. However, if I "accidentally" reach it without trying - just posting one at a time, I'll probably get there :)

Devin - I breathe a little easier when I see a new post from certain friends - I'd never thought of it like that, but now you come to mention it, it's really quite true. But you're one of the real inspirations of bloggers I know, as someone who has overcome so many obstacles to become the person you want to be :)

CG said...

Well, congrats on your 500 posts!!Very astute observations too!

LegalMist said...

I've been reading your blog with some regularity for about 3 years, although I just "de-lurked" less than a year ago. I read my favorite blogs way more often than I comment on them, sometimes through Google reader, so it doesn't even show up as a visit to your site (sorry about that).

If I thought there was hope of being a blogging superstar, and if that were my goal, I might comment more often all over the place and hope for return comments daily. Instead, I read and enjoy, and write and enjoy, and revel in the few comments I get. I'm constantly amazed that random strangers all over the globe care about anything I write! What fun!

And you are right, I can't possibly remember everything I've read on every blog I read. So I apologize if I've expressed surprise more than once about some random fact. :) But I remember a fair amount about all my favorite bloggers. Not enough to be stalkerish, but enough to know that certain bloggers would likely be my good friends or at least my favorite neighbors if I lived next door to them, or down the street.

You're one of those.

I'm glad you're still blogging. I hope you'll be around for a long time!

mapstew said...

(Taps foot repeatedly!)

Still waiting for the new 501!

(Just like the eighties!)


Barlinnie said...

Reaching 500 posts and collecting the delightful Pat as your official stalker?

Lucky... lucky man.

Keep them coming pal.

Unknown said...

Yay! Congratulations - it is an achievement!

Kim Ayres said...

CG - thank you :)

LegalMist - there are lots of bloggers I'd love to have as my neighbours. It seems easier to find people of like mind via the web than it is geographically

Mapstew - it's even longer since you updated your blog...

Jimmy - I'm a blessed man, and I do realise it, most of the time :)

Kate - thank you :)

Restaurant Gal said...

I was finally visiting your site after a long absence when your comment on my site popped up. Great minds and all that.

All of what you say about blogging is very true, but none rings so familiar as "the block." My best writing always seems to happen in an unplanned, spur-of-the-moment way--the resulting post often being a surprise to me. If I try to force a post according to what I *think* my readers will like, it is already boring drive before I begin.

Congrats on the milestone, my friend.

Sini said...


mapstew said...

Kim, true. And sorted.

Kim Ayres said...

Restaurant Gal - so much good writing seems to be about recognising a half decent idea and running with it, rather than trying to force one out :)

Sini - thank you :)

Mapstew - I'll be over to look shortly :)

Unknown said...

So of coarse I had to go back and see the first time I posted on your blog [as I know that would have been the first time I found you] and it was on November 22, 2005.

You will laugh, because it was a post of a photograph of fog and water, and just recently I just posted a photograph of fog looking out my window at a tree towards my pond ~ that you had posted on.

I feel like I have known you a thousand years.....and probally we have some lineage in common, as my Mum was the only one in the states [Ireland] and my grandmother here in the states is Cherokee Indian and Scottish we could be from the same clan.

Congrats on your stats!!!!!!

I look forward to the next 500 posts [give or take 21]

Peace and love, Tara Marie

P.S. I am still hoping to open that file and play around with the layers.

stinkypaw said...

Congrats, and may you keep enjoying it.

Very true about Facebook eaten away blogging time and about meeting wonderful people thru blogging; happy I've met you! ;-)

Kim Ayres said...

Tara Marie - I'm seriously impressed you managed to find your first comment!

I feel like we've known each other forever too, and am constantly surprised we've yet to meet up face to face.

I've just put up a blog post about that image, so I hope you have fun with the psd file :)

Stinkypaw - Facebook - fun for playing word games with old friends, but it's a very different thing to blogging :)

Jupiter's Girl said...

Another great, thought-provoking post, Kim. Happy anniversary. You've been most encouraging in my humble blog beginnings. I appreciate that and the fact that you're still at it.

sarah said...

aha, but i remember loads about you Kim. the mandolin, the bouzouki, your kids, step kids.. how you originally "quit" your job to be a writer, then moved on to photography...

am i stalking you? perhaps. but i'd prefer to think of us as friends instead. :o)

i've just about given up blogging! i'm more of a commentor now, i think that is the beginning of the end, really.

Kim Ayres said...

JG - thank you :)

Sarah - the end is usually the begining of something else :)

Unknown said...

Hey Kim.......the Atlantic Ocean is a big obstacle in our meeting face to face. But I know someday we will share a pint together.

Just the other day I told my oldest I was thinking of up and moving to Ireland....then we would only have a small body of water to cross to meet.

Kim Ayres said...

This is a lovely corner of Scotland to live in, if you fancy moving here :)

Vernon said...

Your comment about nobody remembering is important for bloggers to remember. I often find that I assume that readers know the back story, but, of course, many of them have no idea where you or the blog have come from or through.

Its a good reason to keep "about" pages updated, and I am just working on one myself.

Congrats...of course you are now already way past the 500 mark.

Kim Ayres said...

Vernon - it's why I created the "New Here? Read This..." page. But for the most part I try to make my posts self contained, or if they do relate to other posts, I'll inlcude a link to them

Long dark hair, blue eyes said...

you make a good point about previous posts not being remembered. It is not something I had considered.

I found your blog thru Blogs of note - like the 100 million other people who will no doubt be commenting and have commented recently. You have a really great mix of self disclosure, beautiful images and witty prose - it is a great blog - well done.

And congrats on the 500 posts

Kim Ayres said...

Long Dark Hair - thanks for taking the time to comment - and kudos for finding somewhere to post away from the crowd so it stands out :)

Mimi and Tilly said...

Hi Kim, I found you through blogs of note and am enjoying reading your posts. You've made me laugh consistently since I started reading your blog. I can empathise with regards to CFS. Sending smiles.

Kim Ayres said...

Mimi and Tilly - thank you, and welcome to my ramblings :)

The BLOGpire Types Back said...

I will admit, I have fallen prey to the "seeing things wrong and writing them" symptom, i just want people to think, any suggestions?

Kim Ayres said...

The BLOGpire Types Back - not really, I can only properly advise about the way I write. But you need to think a) what do I want to write, b) how can I make it interesting enough to be worth reading, and c) how can I put it in front of people who might want to read it.

tfs said...

Thank You. I just posted my 509 entry last week and had not even considered it a milestone. Now I do. You can rest easy, now that you have made someone feel good today.

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