My blog just set a record for number of hits. It smashed my previous best monthly tally, even in puny little 29-day February. This month is shaping up to be even better.
So why am I not happy?
Because it’s never enough. Like the tycoon who already has more money than he can spend in ten lifetimes, like the athlete pumping steroids, like the seven-star hotel gold-plating the bath-plugs to qualify for an eighth star, the blogger is never satisfied.
There’s always some other blogger out there getting far more hits, writing about decorating cupcakes or their highly amusing kitten.
For those who do not yet blog themselves, I should explain. WordPress gives me an up-to-the-second count of how many people have visited this site, the search keywords they used to find it, and the posts they looked at. Hits become an obsession.
When I began blogging just over two years ago, I was delighted when I got my first hit. When for the first time 100 people visited RT’s LOTR on the same day, I was ecstatic, though I believed it was an aberration. It was.
I thought things were finally taking off one amazing day in August 2010, until I discovered that thousands of Singaporean horror flick fans had mistaken my thoughtful post Museum of Hell about the excellent Changi Museum for a gory ghost movie with a similar lurid title. A couple of days later the excitement had died down and my blog was plodding on again.
When I started regularly registering 100 hits a day, I was quickly disappointed that it wasn’t 200. Now I’m getting far more hits than I ever thought I would, and I’m still anxious if the graph dips a fraction. If it’s down for three days in a row I start to feel seriously unloved.
I can sometimes inject a sensational new post to bump up the figures, but I can’t keep that up for long. Sensational post after sensational post soon becomes same old same old.
My most successful posts for generating traffic are the ones with useful, highly entertaining information that a dozen or so people a day come looking for. Staying in a traditional Korean hanok, testing a Garmin 800 bike computer, cycling outside Amsterdam and a tour of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore have been doing well month after month.
Other posts that seem fascinating to me attract little interest.
So all I can do is keep writing about things that amuse me and hope for steady growth in readers, followers, likers and commenters. I’m pathetically grateful for the attention, so please keep it coming.
I enjoy following others’ travel, writing and photography too, and I’ve met some very nice people through cyberspace. Isn’t that reward enough?
Nope! I yearn for the day Singapore Airlines (or Emirates, Etihad or Qantas) will leave me a message in the comments box to the effect of, ‘Dear Sir Mr Richard Tulloch Esq, we would be honoured to offer you unlimited free first class travel, in the hope that you might occasionally give us a passing mention on your brilliantly witty and informative travel blog.’
To which I would graciously reply, ‘Thanks, Singers (or Emmy, Etti or Qanto). However, you must understand that my opinions are not for sale, so you better look after Mevrouw T and me exceptionally well if you want a favourable review.’
Then I’d think, ‘Damn! I could start making serious money here, and lead a happy, fulfilling life…if only my blog had more hits.’
Stay tuned for my hilarious video of a kitten decorating a cupcake.
Does anybody else out there know the feeling? Please share!