A Year of Blogging

It’s now been a year since I started blogging again. During that time I’ve made 42 posts, levelled up this blog from a Tier 1 to a Tier 2 blog (for an explanation, read on) and enjoyed connecting with both old friends and many new readers. Almost all posts now get in the hundreds of views, and three have got in the thousands.

That’s why I’m using this post to do an annual recruitment drive. If you enjoy reading the blog – tell someone about it, and encourage them to subscribe. Tell one person, tell five people, tell 50 people if you can – but do tell someone! 🙂

More readers mean a better community, more comments and better dialogue between different readers with different perspectives. It means more people to do things like the Prediction Contest, or the Who’s Rich Survey, and more competition in the Christmas Quiz(1). And most of all, if you enjoy reading this, or feel you get something from it, it means sharing that with more people.

I know not everyone will respond to this call, but if just 1 in 10 of you do, that would be fantastic. Here are some of the things that would make the most difference:

  • If you’re not currently subscribed, then subscribe using the box below – it’s free, and you never miss a post.
  • Email or WhatsApp a friend – or two friends, or five friends, or fifty friends – to tell them about the blog and encourage them to check it out, suggesting they read it or subscribe to it.
  • Post about the blog on scoial media – either the Blog page, here, or a few of your favourite posts – and encourage people to check it out and subscribe.

To help, I’ve put a dozen of my favourite posts below, separated into different categories, if you want to recommend them – or others. Maybe you lean to the right, and cheer along with what I write. Maybe you’re a lefty, who’s interested in getting an insight into what conservatives think from someone who doesn’t come across as too mad. Or maybe you don’t care about politics at all, but are just here for the posts about Tolkien. Anywhichway, there’s a post to recommend.

So, what did I mean by levelling up from Tier 1 to Tier 2? One could define a classification of blogs and personal websites as follows, based on the number of people who read a typical post:

Tier 0 (1-9): You have a blog! It’s read by your Mum, your brother and your best friend.

Tier 1: (10-99): Tribal bard. Your readership is in the tens, mainly people you know and see regularly, plus perhaps a few others.

Tier 2: (100-999): Small community. Your blog is read by hundreds of people, including many people you don’t know. You’ve broken out of your ‘personal contacts’ space. In the grand scheme of things, it’s still pretty small.

Tier 3 (1000-9,999): Large community. Thousands of people read your blog every week. You’re likely to be known and cited within a particular specialism, field or hobby, though probably not outside it.

Tier 4 (10,000 – 99,999): Global or national reach. Tens of thousands of people ready your blog; it will be shared many times each week. It’s likely that some of those readers are influential, or speak of it to others. Yours is a name that other people may have heard of, in that if someone says, ‘I was reading X’s blog’ to a stranger, they might know of it. Based on the number of subscribers, blogs such as Scott Alexander’s, Bret Devereaux’s, Ed West’s or Matt Goodwin’s are in this category.

Clearly, I am a fair way off that! In the last year I’ve posted 42 times (a bit less than I’d hoped, largely driven by lower posting over the summer) and gone from the typical post getting 30-50 views to it getting 200-300. I’ve had good participation on the Who’s Rich? survey and on the Prediction Contest (the latter of which I can’t wait to score and am hoping will be an annual affair) and am well on track to get 20,000 views over the course of the year(2). Which I’m quite happy with for a first year – especially if you can help keep it growing at the same rate!

Selection of favourite posts

Most read posts

These are my three most read posts of the last year – all about politics or government.

Favourite posts about society

This is probably my most frequent type of post, and was the hardest to choose just three from – all ones that are only tangentially about politics, and more about society.

Most underrated posts

OK, it’s presumptuous of me to claim any post is underrated (maybe it’s just a bad post!) but the three posts below are ones I personally thought were good, received good feedback on from those who read them – but are among the rare posts that have been viewed fewer than a hundred times. So look past the title and show them some love!

Favourite posts about books

And to make a Baker’s Dozen

I didn’t think this post was anything special, but a lot of readers liked it a lot, so I should probably include it:

This post above all others, if you enjoy what i write – tell someone about it. You can also ensure you never miss a post, by entering your email address into the subscription form below.

(1) OK, maybe that’s a bad reason to tell people.

(2) For comparison, this is about two orders of magnitude below a professional specialist online news site such as Conservative Home, which employs several people and posts multiple articles a day.