Thursday, 27 October 2011

Blogging milestones, what are they?

Recently there have been a number of people posting about personal 'milestones' they've achieved with their blogs. Nothing wrong with that at all, or indeed the milestones they've chosen to celebrate, and I applaud them in reaching their own personal goals. In fact, I think it's good to have targets or things that make you feel you're being successful, these things give you the energy and drive to carry on. Let's face it, it's these little things or achievements that keep you going, that push you forward to continue blogging, to do better. We all need those successes. However, I have to be honest and say I don't get the whole 100,000 or 200,000 hits thing. Until very recently I thought 100,000 hits was a pretty average thing to have achieved with a blog. I'm told, reliably it seems, by many people that 100,000 hits for a wargaming blog is a big thing. A very big thing. I'm also told that for someone to do that primarily without talking much about Games Workshop and in particular 40k is even more impressive. That I've also hit this 'milestone' in under 5 months is also seen by some as a big thing. But not to me it's not!

I was told to make a big thing out of it, but to be honest with you it really doesn't 'feel' like that big a deal to me. I was told getting 150 followers was a big deal as well, and don't get me wrong I'm absolutely over the moon that 150+ people have felt that what I do is important or good enough to warrant me clogging up their blogger reading list, or potentially their email inbox. But seriously, I celebrate every new follower the same way, I'm just happy somebody likes my stuff enough to subscribe. However, for me my goals and milestones are genuinely more internal. I'm happy when I read my blogs and they're written the way I want, and my message is clear and communicated effectively. The other day I actually wrote a blog without a single spelling mistake and the grammar wasn't too bad either. To me that was a huge personal milestone, because I'm dyslexic, and I derived more joy from that than I did 100,000 hits. I measure my success on the comments people drop below articles, or by the interesting emails I receive feeding back to me on my blog in general, or specific articles. Am I unusual in this? I mean what do you guys set as your personal targets to keep you going? How do you motivate yourselves? I don't think there are any right or wrong ways, as long as you have some goals I guess, because I do feel they're important. How do you set yourself targets and what are they, and why?

For a statistician, I guess, it's a little weird to actually admit that the numbers don't mean that much to me. But truly honestly they don't. I know only too well that numbers can be bent and twisted to mean anything and nothing all at the same time. I'll explain further, you see people seem to have attributed a timescale to hits ratio as being the important factor, in my case the impressive thing or achievement seems to be 100,000+ hits in 5 months = big deal. However, I think hits per article is more of an accurate comparable measure surely? If I've written 100 articles that have received 1000 hits each as an average surely that is more impressive than having written 1000 articles receiving 100 hits each? Or is it? I'm not too sure to be brutally honest with you, or even if it actually matters that much, but I do think that such 'external' or 'comparable' milestones are troublesome and problematic. Ultimately for me I won't take any personal pleasure from these arbitrary milestones. I will however say thank you to all those who have sent emails to me saying congratulations over it. The fact that you guys have been paying attention to it (more so than me it seems) means more than actually hitting the figure in the first place.

You see, I set myself goals related to content; around my opinion pieces, about making my reviews useful to people, and being entertaining. I mean, I hope I'm entertaining. I also hope I've achieved some of the aims I set out to. I wanted to be a voice for 'alternative gaming systems', even though I hate that bloody phrase, and just typing it brought me out in hives. I also wanted to develop a unique voice, with character and to communicate effectively who I am and what I'm about. Again, hopefully I've achieved some of those goals, but I'm a long way from achieving all of them, I still have my tick list and I've not even crossed off 25% of them yet. My biggest goal though was that I still wanted to be blogging 12 months after starting, and still be enthused about it. I still wanted to have things to say and to contribute to the static noise that is the Internet. That's my first real major milestone, that's the big goal I'm chasing. Thing is I'm not even half way there yet, and as such there won't be much back slapping from me over any targets, perceived or real, that I might pass. Yeah sure, I had a bit of a minor celebration at 100 blogs as that was one of my first 'mini' milestones. The next one though, as I said is roughly 7 months away, and hopefully the journey to get there is going to be fun. Peace out!


  1. You do bash Games Workshop on most of your posts, and that does attract people. So yeah, you do talk about GW. I can't say that is the reason for your blog's popularity though, for it is a great blog and I read it eagerly, specially the games reviews.

    In fact, I've given Infinity a second chance and it has blown my mind away thanks to you. So cheers!

  2. @Dogui, I'm glad my blog got you looking at Infinity again. I take issue over the GW thing though. Out of 150 articles 10 could be argued to be directly GW and a further 5 more mention GW but not exclusively. I've tried to steer clear as much as I can. However, for many GW are the reference point, so I throw them in.

  3. Congrats on a milestone that you..umm don't.. care about lmao.. =P It's still always a cool thing to see fellow bloggers doing well. Thumbs up man keep doing what your doing. =)

  4. Gotta second DO talk about GW a fair bit :P
    BUT I do enjoy most of the articles.

    However I also enjoy you're content on many new games and companies that I know little about.

    I'll keep reading as long as I'm entertained...
    Best of luck

  5. Shut up FG, you know bashing GW draws the crowd... its a cynical ploy !! :)

  6. @Ven, PMSL, the biggest hits I've had recently was on the Infinity new releases because CBs servers melted from the traffic. 1000 hits in under an hour. Mental. I might also be down your neck of the woods soonish Ven, so I might swing by with some Infinity and run some intro's at your club if you'd like?

    @Drkmorals, I do care about milestones, just mine!!! lol. I can't explain how good it felt to have my other half proof read an article and pick up on only 1 misplaced coma.

    @Lord Azaghul, I'll admit recently with Dreadfleet and my Imperium articles I've covered the GW a lot lately. My Dreadfleet articles though haven't had as many hits as my Gear of War review!!! Superb board game by the way.

  7. On occasion FG has mentioned GW and had articles about GW products, but he reviews many products from many different companies. I think it would be funny if he DIDN'T have a few articles on GW. Let's face it, they're still a big part of the gaming community, and they do put out product. However, since GW has lost sight on how to produce great products for a reasonably price, I can see how it's difficult to give them positive revues.

    I come here, over and over again, because I think FG and I have similar tastes in product. I know I feel better about trying out a board game that FG has reviewed positively, and I'd rather see if he wasted his money before I waste mine. :D

  8. Hmmm, I don't really have aims in mind at all really. I started Warp Signal to keep sort of a diary of my gaming, as I think about it a lot and I began to feel like time spent writing posts on forums and BoLS was time wasted. If I was unable to stop myself writing about it, I thought I might as well put it all in one place, and put my minis there while I'm at it!

    I'm curious though to look back on one year, two years, and see what I wrote and put up. So time covered is more important to me than hits or popularity I guess. I want to keep the blog going for as long as I'm gaming.

    Of course I enjoy it though when other people show up and comment, and it's nice to know that people think you're worth following! And I know I can count on my popular friend (that's you!) to plug my work if I come up with something worthy of a wider audience ;)

  9. I think the fact that so many of your posts are written with a lot of humour helps a great deal. Even if a write-up is generally disparaging about a product (as it was about Dreadfleet for instance) I came away from the article having enjoyed it. Perhaps for the same reason that I often turn to the one star reviews in Q magazine or Empire, they can make an engaging read :)
    But, as Dogui said it is also enjoyable to read about your enthusiasm, and in a similar way to him I am now collecting Infinity at least in part due to your introduction articles!

    Speaking personally, it's also great to read a blog that engages with hobby material, and such a wide range of topics. There are far too many 'X is changing the meta game', tournament and competition play-centric blogs around, which I have to be honest make my head loll to one side and a thin layer of drool fall out of the corner of one lip.

    Anyway! I'm hoping that you will continue in a similar way with future posts, write in a way that you are comfortable with and concerning topics that interest you, (and please cover the forthcoming 'Super Dungeon Explore' (the boardgame) and also Mantic's plastics for Warpath when they go on sale! :) )

    Keep up the good work!

  10. *shrug* Milestones. I made a thing out of 200 posts and nobody cared, and I've never been into the hits and followers counting. Comments are good though, and it does sadden me when something slips by with lots of reads but nobody saying a word. Content uber alles, though...

  11. @Jordan, thanks, I think I've tried to mix things up as best I can. As I said the biggest head scratcher for me is the fact that in terms of actual page hits some of my more popular posts have actually ended up with hardly any comments. Adventures with girls 1, 2 and 3 all way bigger than all but 1 of my GW articles (yeah the imperium one!!! :P ) hardly any comments. Ditto my articles on game balance and Infinity. I guess it's because people know GW product and feel 'safe' commenting I guess. It's just frustrating to see an article like the ones on game balance sail past the 1000+ hits mark so easily and then generate zero debate. I say Dreadfleet is crap and everyone goes yeah!!! FRUSTRATING!!!!

    @James S I've given you a plug or two already :P You're on my blog roll, what more do you want? Blood? Nope, as always if there is something I see that I think deserves to be read, I'll highlight it in an article as always. Like you, I think it's more of a length of time thing I'm looking for, I still want to be doing this years from now, and more importantly still be enjoying it! I to would like to see more comments on my pages, even if it is people saying they disagree with me, as long as they say why, I'm good with that.

    @Pacific, I'm not really interested in the Meta game, I'm interested in the games I actually play. Yeah I'm a statistician and if I see something broken or wrong looking I'll say, but luckily in the games I'm currently playing there's not much worth spamming and the things that are you can't spam anyway. Glad you like the humour. Oh yeah and Super Dungeon Explore has been on pre-order for AGES so I'll cover that as soon as I have it.

    @Von, lol, hits and followers counting isn't really my thang either. I do appreciate everyone who follows the blog whether you were 1st or 101st, it doesn't matter to me. Just grateful to have you all on board. I too would love to know what it is that makes people want to comment... or not comment. As I've said above I think in many respects people feel happier commenting on GW stuff because they know it, and feel they have something to add. Maybe not so much things like Infinity... ah well I'll keep doing what I'm doing.

  12. Well done !!!

    I find the hit analysis very useful, to gauge what folks are looking for, so I can help them with that, along with my blogging needs and inspirations/aspirations.


  13. @Colonel Shofer, yep I too look and see what articles are getting the hits. But somedays there seems to be no rhyme nor reason to it, so part of me gives up!!! However if Corvus Bellis servers keep going into melt down every time they put their new mini's up that could provide a nice new spike in hits every month!!! There's a hint for all you bloggers out there, honestly I was stunned to see how many hits that article got. Madness.

  14. You just keep writing, buddeh....
    Just keep on writing.

  15. Don't you worry about that SinSynn. I'm going to be here for a long time yet... unless those blasted psychiatrists put me back in that coat with the long arms again. Bally blighters the lot of them!!!