After I publish a post, I entertain myself by checking to see how many views my blog is getting. Usually, I am disappointed by the number while striving to remain philosophical that I write mostly to please myself.
A nice feature of WordPress, the platform I began using in 2009, is the statistics I see and the surprises they offer.
For one thing, I am continually surprised by two sets of numbers: One is how individuals from the all over the world seem to find my blog and the second is how old are some of the posts they discover.
Nearly two years after having moved to Cambodia from Manhattan and retired from selling and writing about real estate originally in the Washington, D.C. area and then New York, I am amazed that readers keep checking out what I published years ago, however out of date might be information such as market analysis or auctions then upcoming.
Although I can see where readers come from and often how they find my blog (e.g. “search engines,” which are not otherwise characterized), I am unable to link readers’ countries or interests with particular posts.
Anyway, it is likely that no one but me will find fascinating some of the following numbers, but they do offer some oddities:
- My 1,324 posts have been viewed 278,421 times by a total of 50,187 visitors. Not a bad showing but certainly an insufficient sum ever to have monetized my work, a goal to which I never aspired.
- The best day was March 6, 2013, when there were 5,418 visitors seemingly taken with a post headlined “Whew! It’s a virtual stampede of buyers out there,” which concerned impossibly crowded open houses.
- Best year was 2011, when I published 264 posts and there were 62,980 views altogether.
- Aside from the home page, the most popular posts have been about pre-settlement occupancy (367 views), understanding the Consolidated Edison bill in New York (356), four other real estate posts (the 200s) and, gratifying to me, my profile (236).
- A post about air pollution in Cambodia received 192 views in 2015, but four posts concerning real estate ranked ahead of the next one that I wrote; it was about the arrival of food trucks in Phnom Penh (148). Then, it is quite a dry spell before the next highest selection from Cambodia, one in which I was sort of critical of expats (102). (You can search for any of the posts on the right.)
Given readers’ apparent continuing interest even in old real estate news and opinion, it is hardly a revelation that nearly 9,771 folks who viewed my blog during 2015 live in the U.S, according to the only details available for countries of residence. I confess to being somewhat dismayed that readers in Cambodia make up a distant second this year, with only 795 who have checked out the blog.
They are followed by Thailand (199), Canada (197), Singapore (196) and Australia (135). In order, I find in the double digits Vietnam, France, the U.K., Malaysia, Germany, Indonesia, India, Philippines, Austria, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Finland, Russia, Mexico, Switzerland, New Zealand, Italy, Pakistan, Chile, Poland, Thailand, Israel, Brazil, Spain, United Arab Emerites and Myanmar. Another 57 countries were in the single digits.
It is a mystery to me why anyone in most of the countries, let alone in a single-digit nation such as New Caledonia, would consider my old posts to be of interest. Maybe there are more prospective foreign buyers of New York real estate than I ever imagined.
How did they find me? A couple of other real estate sites — Curbed.com with 153 and Streeteasy.com with 179 — led people here this year. Search engines referred 6,002 readers, and I suspect many of them who Googled something were disappointed by what they encountered, presumably clicking away within seconds.
Among search terms disclosed this week, I see “church in Harlem up for auction,” which takes you to a very old post; “become a part-time broker,” which ditto; “king county auction,” ditto again; “how to read conedison bill;” “risks of moving at closing;” and “speech to be voted on condo board.”
I do like to think that some of the advice I have provided (for instance, that piece on pre-settlement occupancy along with that three-year-old post on my bill for electricity) has enduring value.
This year, between 200 and 300 readers found the blog — which has had the current name only since I moved away — through Twitter and Facebook, both of which make clear what the readers will find.
If you are wondering why I originally took up blogging, it was nothing more elevated than marketing my real estate business. Now, it has mostly to do with letting the folks back home know how I am finding life in Cambodia. I also hope at times to motivate those who live here to do some good.
There is another dimension to what I have kept doing. As a former traditional print journalist, I cannot seem to stop writing, though I have deliberately reduced frequency to less often than once a week.
Continuing to write, it is clearer to me than ever before what virtually all public figures understand and what a few discover the hard way: The Internet never forgets.
Good writing is a joy to read. You are a “good” writer.
Thank you so much!
There is another reason why people read your blog. (like me) We want to know how you are getting along. We hope that you have found a good life in Cambodia and that you are happy with your decision to live there. And yes, I can relate to the irresistible urge to write what you see and feel. Writing is something like any other art form. Expression must be honored.
Thank you, Arleen. Praise such as yours coming from a terrific writer is gratifying, indeed. I have much enjoyed your books about Paris and your lovable little dog Bogie as well as your talented husband’s books.