Thursday, September 18, 2014

Why Don't You Read Me Anymore? Some Questions on Turning Eight

This blog turned eight a few days ago, over the weekend. This is the first time I didn't put out an anniversary post on time. I did not feel like it. Given what my statistics tell me everyday, I did not think many of you would see it, let alone read it. I am more curious than sorrowful as to why so few of you visit here these days.

I'm not asking why you are not commenting. Oh no! I've gotten better at accepting that - but I am interested in knowing why my readership numbers are falling. I have never been wildly popular in numerical terms. If I were to borrow a leaf from a friend who worked in PR, I would call this a "niche blog", a "boutique blog". (But I won't borrow it - I confess that I do want to be wildly popular and wildly successful.) The readers are not many, but they were regular. They come/came for the stories, the discussion, the chat, not the photos, not even the recipes, I would guess. There would be a decent spike in readership as soon as I put out a new post and it would slow down to normal till the next post came up.

But this has changed over the past one year. Readership has plummeted, and the spike has lost its sharpness. And I am trying to understand why.

Is it because I do not blog as often as earlier? Are my posts less interesting? Is it me? Is it the death of Google Reader, because that's when I began to notice the drop in visitors. Had frequency of posts been the reason, the numbers should have started falling earlier as I had not been blogging frequently for a few months before that.

The one bright spot in recent times was this post - A Pox on Plagiarists - which took the first day's readership to an all-time high. And plummeted only on the third day, instead of the second. Of course, it touched a chord in the blogging world.

As I said, I am more curious than sorrowful, so let me know, will you, why my niche is shrinking. As much as I love blogging and want to continue it forever despite everything, I would be grateful for some cheering.

As always, thank you, dear readers, for helping sustain my blog all through these years.


27 comments:

  1. Well some of us usually just silent readers - those that dont leave comments. I think that its just the chaos of life that usually leaves us no time to do what we used to like to do so much. Also sometimes we change as people and want to read something different. I have a blog that used to be in the top ten in the baby days of blogs and I used to get tons of comments though content wise it wasnt much - just regular life.. But along with me people changed and moved on :) I kinda prefer that noone reads my blog anymore. And now my food blog is something I keep as a personal journal and I get a one off hit from weird sites :)
    Keep blogging only if you are doing it to make yourself happy... right?

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    1. Anu, thanks for taking the time to explain. It's because blogging does make me happy that I wanted to find out why but occasionally, it prompts an existential dilemma!

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  2. Congratulations Sra! It is hard to get the mojo to blog day after day but you have done it.

    If it make you feel better, you are still on my feedly and I read all your new posts. Just that I don't comment that often.

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  3. Happy blog anniversary :)
    I would like to think that i am one of those regulars. Lately I have been inattentive of my blog as well as those of others whom I read as soon as it shows up on my feed.
    Your posts are as ever, yes less frequent, but I speak for me that I have been distracted so much that I give even facebook news feed a cursory glance.
    Please keep posting.

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    1. Oops, I meant to say as engaging as ever and I did not type that ? how silly of me.

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    2. Thanks, Lata. Yes, I have less time nowadays so the frequency has come down but what puzzled me was why it didn't go up much even when there was a new post.

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  4. Happy bloggie b'day dear Sra!
    You have written exactly what I've been feeling for the past few months.
    While I do get numerous visits, I hardly get any comments. Trying to get used to it.
    I think the death of Google reader is one of the factors. And so is FB.
    Miss those good old days of happy interaction on the blog, appreciating recipes, discussing ingredients and sharing small slices of our lives.
    Do keep on blogging and don't let this bog you down.
    Love WMSCA. All good wishes to you both. :-)

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    1. Kichu, that's a sweet comment. Thanks.

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  5. Congratulations Sra. As soon as Google reader announced that it would cease to exist, yours is one of the blogs I moved to my feedly feed. I do read all your posts as soon as they pop up on my feed and enjoy doing so. Keep blogging.

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    1. Jay, that's nice to know. Thanks!

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    2. Happy Anniversary Sra! I've been reading your blog for years, but like Jayashree, you are on my Feedly feed. I do read every post of yours though!! I guess like so many others, we are all pressed for time and don't bother to log in and comment. Hope this is some comfort :-) Carry on!

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    3. Hi Alpa, thanks! It wasn't about comments at all. It's about readers dropping off. And I do remember reading your blog when it was active. I went and saw it again yesterday.

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  6. First, a very happy bloganniversary and wishes for many, many more.
    The reasons for a dwindling readership are many, Sra. I've noticed it on my blog too.
    From my side, I don't have the time to spend on reading blogs the way I used to. And I have been otherwise occupied these past many months.
    I'd still say, don't stop blogging.
    In general, today's average internet user/ reader doesn't have much time or the attention span to give time to blog posts so one gets more readers for topics that are "relevant" or "interesting". But then one has to write keeping the reader in mind and its no longer about what you want to write. Another thing that makes a difference is regular posting (as in once or twice a week), because people who follow you look forward to posts with regualr expectation.
    Then one has more readers if one has the time to engage with people on social media because they tend to check out what you write.
    These are just some of the factors..........

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    1. Thanks, Aparna. This post was not about one reader, it was about several!!! I do know that my blog cannot reach as far and wide as some others because I don't blog about many, many foods that seem to interest people nowadays - cakes, desserts, etc. I don't find it practical either, in many ways. So I can live with that. What bothered me was even the usual numbers falling off. I guess I have to put it down to frequency, then. Social media - oh well, it didn't seem to be doing anything for me. Half the folks there don't reciprocate even if I take the trouble to go like their pics or comment, I don't understand why they friended me in the first place.

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  7. I found out about your blog just a few months back. I liked reading your archives and subscribed to it hoping for more posts. Variety is the spice of life. However, relative to your earlier years, you have very few posts this year so it becomes that much harder to find recipes that appeal to different persons at different times. In fact, I would love to read a far greater number of posts on a variety of topics. I trust you will not take offence at my observation.
    Best wishes.

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    1. Kalind, no offence taken, I asked for it, after all. I agree I don't blog as often nowadays. And I don't eat a lot of stuff - desserts, cakes, etc - so I find it impractical and even a little dishonest to blog about it just for readership. But that just means I need to get creative!

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  8. Hi Sra, i have kept this post open in my browser for two full days before i finally found time to comment. I have always enjoyed reading you and i could be one of those readers missing from your statistics the past year. I have ignored my own blog this last year and so couldn't be bothered to even go to the dashboard and read other favourites. But when i do get to your blog even if once in six months, i diligently read up all the posts i missed (you can automatically deduce that i am by now too lazy to comment on each of them).
    I really love your blog (and even your readers/commenters) because i find you honest and witty, and also really enjoy getting you to read me for your thoughtful comments.
    I suspect your analysis of google reader's demise is accurate and us other loyal readers who don't depend on google reader can still be considered loyal followers of your blog. I hope you will continue to write. I look forward to more. Good luck.

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  9. La,I do intend to write. I know part of the blame lies with myself - perhaps in the number and quality of posts, I haven't felt very humorous lately, but I find it hard to accept how the number of readers has plummeted - I don't think I've ignored my blog that much or it has suffered that much in quality. But thanks for weighing in!

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  10. Happy 8th anniversary Sra! I love coming by to get your take on things and new recipes. Do keep on blogging. Good wishes to you and WMSCA :-)

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  11. Sra, yours is one of the blog I have always loved to read. Even I don't blog regularly. With hundreds of things that I have to take care blogging is not in my top priority list. As a result my blog visits have plummeted. It is really disheartening. But I don't want to shutdown this space. I want to keep updating whenever possible. And congratulations on your eighth blog anniversary. Please keep your posts coming.

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    1. Yes, it's hard to think of shutting down the blog. :) I don't intend to. Thanks, Radhika!

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  12. Sra,
    Congrats on completing 8 years of food blogging ..it's a long time but you did it and hope you will continue to do so in future..I used to check your feeds through google reader ..so you know why one is less..but whenever I have time I do come and read your posts ..sometimes 3-4 post at a time ..may not be commenting on them but I do read them ..please continue writing more..
    I myself have slowed down past couple of years, blog post are not that regular and on time and then people are more interactive in FB ( well I am not doing much even that :-))....personally I really like good old days when we used to inter-act with our blog post and sharing views ...So keep them coming ..do keep blogging and if it gives you happiness that is what is accounted..hugs and smiles

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    1. Even I find myself slowing down, Jaya, whether it's the blog or even FB - I don't think I'm ready to let go of the blog yet. Thanks for your comment!

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  13. I got to know about your blog through madteaparty. I could not stop reading since morning. Yours is good. It is just I did not know about your blog. Even madteaparty did not pop up in my search - whenever I search to freeze Indian food. Surprisingly it popped up yesterday.

    Please write. Your writing is so good.

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    1. Thanks a lot for taking the time to comment. Your post has me all inspired to write more. I have even stopped checking for comments frequently, but imagine my amazement when I logged in just like that and found so many today! Keep visiting!

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