2018: They Think It’s All Over…..

Englishmen of a certain age will recognise the source of my title!

A number of bloggers have recently posted reviews of their blogging year, and how 2018 was for them. I wasn’t sure if I should do the same, as I’m far from being the most prolific blogger, and I certainly don’t have a massive following or readership. And anyway, I did a kind of ‘part way through the year review’ when I wrote On Further Reflection so there isn’t much point in repeating myself. What those posts have encouraged me to do is to look back behind the headlines of my post statistics and try to analyse what this tells me about my readers and what they prefer – and this does give me the opportunity to give another plug to some of my own favourites from my 2018 ramblings. I’ve already covered some of the ground in New Beginnings? which I posted on Sunday with a reblog of my review of 2015, so I’ll try not to repeat myself more than I already have!

I posted 51 times in 2018, but there was no regular pattern to those: they weren’t synchronised weekly offerings with a week off for good behaviour. Both April and August saw just one post each, whilst there were twelve in November and nine in December. So much for giving your readers a regular expectation of when they can see something from you! But, as I’ve often said (probably to justify this to myself) I don’t think of myself as being a significant blogger: I’m not seeking huge numbers, nor am I looking to monetise my blog. Some do, and I don’t have a problem with that. But it wouldn’t be for me – I wouldn’t expect anyone to pay me for what I produce from the deepest recesses of my mind!

I rarely reblog someone else’s post: I did that just once in 2018, and that was this one, to assist a fellow blogger in raising money for charity. Call me narrow-minded if you like, but I regard this as my space and want people to come here because they enjoy reading my words. There are plenty of blogs that exist solely to reblog others: there is nothing wrong with that, but are they clear on their motivation? Are they doing it out of the goodness of their hearts and the desire to help others? Or are they doing it so they can bask in the reflected glory of having a blog with loads of page views when they rarely, if ever, write anything themselves? And, if the latter, are they using this to make money for their site? That, to me, is dishonest and not what I regard as true blogging. For me, a blog is where we share something of ourselves, not where we push products at people – and especially not by using others’ work as the vehicle.

Having said all of that, I am much more likely to reblog my own posts, or rework older ones into newer versions. My logic in doing that is simple: many of these were written at a time when my follower numbers were smaller, and I doubt that many current followers will have seen these before. I do it because they said something I felt worth sharing again and, in all honesty, because I liked them. I make no excuses for doing this, but I do recognise that there are only so many times that you can mine through your back catalogue without putting people off!

I did produce some new stuff in 2018, though, and it is gratifying to see that five of my top ten most ‘liked’ posts of all time are from last year, with another one actually equal on ‘likes’ for 10th place but not showing in the list. I guess I must be doing something right! I realise that hitting the ‘like’ button is a facility only available to those who, as I do, use WordPress as their blogging platform, so I know that there is not necessarily a link between ‘likes’ and the actual number of times a post has been read. But it suffices as a reasonably good proxy most of the time, though not always: the post of mine which has actually been read most times – by a distance – dates back to 2017. This was written in support of a friend whose ex-wife’s ex-boyfriend (still with me?) had just received a criminal conviction for the most horrible of crimes. My friend is the focus of a group on Twitter and my post was widely shared and read as a result. If you haven’t seen He Fought The Law before by all means take a look: it is a little different from anything I’ve written before, or since.

But let’s get back to 2018! I think my favourite post of the year was that one in equal 10th place on the all time list. My 15 Nanoseconds was one I greatly enjoyed writing – it is one of my lighter pieces and I got a laugh out of it. Having said that, it only needs one person to follow that link and hit the ‘like’ button to move it into 10th place all by itself – which would be something of a pity as the post it currently shares that placing with is one that I regard as among my most important. Maybe I should make that list the top 11 – do you think anyone would notice?

What pleases me most about the popular posts from 2018 is that two of the top five are themed around Mental Health, whilst two others are very personal to me. There are links to all from the list on the right, but to save you having to work it out these posts are I Hope You Dance and For Mother’s Day (the two personal ones),  World Mental Health Day 2018  and Mental Health Awareness Week 2018, plus the outlier A Man Blogs, Aged 64 And A Half, which was written in a fit of pique when I felt that the blogging world was becoming sexist and ageist. I probably proved the blogosphere right in believing it should be for females and younger people when I wrote that!

So, what does this tell me about what people expect from my posts, and does it give me any clues for what I should be writing about this coming year? Whilst they may not have garnered the most ‘likes,’ my musically themed posts are important to me, so you can expect to see more of them. If I can get my act together there may even be some more #SaturdaySongs posts at some point! But let’s take this back to the very beginning: as I’ve often said (though newer readers may not be aware of this) I originally began blogging to share my experience of depression, in the hope that this would help others. It seems to have done that, and I still get the occasional email from people who have read those early posts: they are under ‘My Story’ in the menu at the top of the page, if you want to see them. Six years on, there is still so much that needs to be done to raise awareness of mental health issues and to help fight the stigmatisation which still, sadly, attaches itself to those of us who suffer. I am acutely aware that my own mental health is precarious and I could find myself in relapse at any time, and I think it is very important that as many people as possible are writing about these issues. Whilst that was my starting point I’ve never made this a blog solely on mental health: there are many others who do that far better than I. But it is a subject to which I have returned at intervals, and I will continue to do so. Only yesterday there was a piece in the paper about young people’s mental health and the problems involved in supporting them, so I believe there is an agenda already there for new posts. I’d like to think my small voice will help in some way, so expect more from me on this.

To end this review, I’d like to thank everyone who has read, liked or commented on any of my posts, either in 2018 or previously. Those interactions are why I and my fellow smaller bloggers do this: if we know that there is someone out there it encourages us to keep going. I don’t know how or where you found me, but I’m glad you did. If you’re a regular you have my heartfelt thanks for supporting me. If you’re new here, I hope you like what you see and will be encouraged to read, like and comment on more of my posts. And a final plug for my Facebook page: all new posts are shared there, along with a #SongOfTheDay and occasional random thoughts and funnies. It’s small, but beautifully formed, and I’d love to see you there. Who knows – you may even be encouraged to follow both this blog and the page, if you don’t already!

Thank you, as always, for reading, and here’s to a great 2019!


22 thoughts on “2018: They Think It’s All Over…..

  1. What drew me to your blog aside from Stevie’s recommendation, was your authenticity. You seem to deeply understand your ‘why’ and this probably resonates with others. I look forward to exploring more of your blog Clive. Have a fabulous day!😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Clive, interesting to read your blog summary and how true that the interaction here on WP makes it a rewarding experience. Having a teenage son I see some of the mental health issues of some of his friends and think there can’t be enough discussion about the topic (and hopefully more action and help!). Happy Blogging in 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s that interaction that keeps me going – there would be little fun from writing into a vacuum though I’d probably still do it. I’m planning a new post soon about young people’s mental health: there have been several news stories about it recently and I agree, it needs to be highlighted. I hope you have a good year too 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice to meet you, Clive, through Stevie Turner’s blog post. I also don’t reblog a lot as I also like me blog to mainly reflect my own work. I generally share to Facebook and Twitter. I think it depends on whether your blog is an international and wide blog or a personal and individual blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And nice to meet you too! Thank you for reading, commenting and following – I’ve followed you back. Good to hear I’m not the only one who doesn’t reblog a lot, and for the same reason. I use Twitter too – I think we follow each other there – and have created a Facebook page since they stopped us sharing posts to our friends. I’m very much a small scale personal blogger, but the beauty of the web is that even my humble offerings have been seen in over 140 countries. Go figure!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Fab post Clive and I am slowly working my way through some of the posts you mentioned which I’ve missed, having only found your blog in recent times. I always enjoy hearing from you and agree that blogging is something we should do because we enjoy doing it and it’s obvious you enjoy it too. A great variety of topics covered and sharing your thoughts can be helpful to not only your readers but most importantly to yourself as well. Take care and all the best for the year ahead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Debbie, both for your kind words and for acquainting yourself with my ramblings. I’ve occasionally felt that I may have been overdoing the reblogging of my own posts but always have the excuse of sharing them again with newer readers, such as your good self – so I keep doing it. An annual review is the perfect opportunity to indulge myself! I agree that it can be helpful to ourselves to share our thoughts – it helps us to make sense of what is going on inside our heads. I hope the year ahead is a good one for you too, and I look forward to reading much more from you 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Nice round up…..a pretty long one with so many posts to read…will surely have to bookmark this one for further reading. I agree with almost all that you say here…..I don’t know much about re blogging, whether you can actually do that in self hosted blogs, but I love to host Guest bloggers on my blog for them writing their stuff…..that gives the blog much more versatility along with my own writing…:)….great read, once again..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you – I wanted to make it thorough! As you say, if you’re inclined to do so it can be dipped into rather than read all at once, and I feel it does give the reader a sense of what I’ve written in the past year – which is, after all, the point of a review! I’ve no idea how reblogging works in self-hosted blogs either, but I guess that if someone has made the ‘reblog’ button available on their post you can try hitting that. I totally respect that you host guest bloggers – it just isn’t the way I do my blog, but it would be boring if we all did it the same way, wouldn’t it!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is a great roundup, Clive. In fact, it makes such a difference to all the ‘My Top 10 Posts of 2018’ I’ve seen over the last couple of days. The main thing is that you blog the way you like to blog and don’t try blogging like some do when they try and blog like somebody who may have thousands of followers. Something I was told during my early days of blogging (and which has stuck with me ever since) was to simply be me when I wrote blog posts. They told me to be myself and not to try and be somebody else. That piece of advice has certainly helped me and, from what I’ve read in this post, is something you also seem to do.
    Blog as and when the urge takes you, and never when you feel you ought to. Keep the fun and enjoyment element in blogging, and you’ll never get stressed out or made to feel guilty about it. I’ve seen far too many bloggers go down that route.
    I wish you continued success with your blog in 2019 and thank you for that one reblog you did in 2018 being my Christmas Charity appeal post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Hugh, I really appreciate your kind and thoughtful words. It’s always good to gain the approval of someone you respect as a blogger, so I’m grateful to you for reading and commenting. That advice you were given is absolutely right: I’ve written at times about how I approach blogging, and ‘being myself’ is the only way I could do this. As I said in this post, I’d rather that people take me how I am, rather than aim for bigger numbers by being something I’m not! That explains the rarity of my reblogging others – I was pleased to do it for you, as it was such an honourable thing that you were doing. Big or small, we can choose, if we wish, to make our blogs places where we try to make a contribution. That sounds pretentious but isn’t intended to be – I just think that our words can, on occasion, help others.

      Many thanks for your good wishes: I wish the same for you and your blog too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome, Clive. I’ve come across a lot of blogs that seem to do nothing but reblog the posts of other bloggers and which seldom publish any of their own posts. They are known as ‘Blogging Farms’ and can become rather overwhelming to readers. I’ve now unfollowed most of the ones I used to follow, but may just pick up on one of the posts from the ones I do still follow on the WordPress Reader, but only if the title of the post is eye-catching.
        Have a great weekend.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That just seems to me to be the antithesis of blogging! As I said in the piece, I guess it depends on their motives, but it displays no creativity, no sense of what kind of person is behind the blog. I follow just the one of those, but have it set to a daily update – emails for sometimes as many as 20 posts in a day would severely clog up my inbox! You have a great weekend too 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Yeah I recognise that anywhere. Funny because I was thinking about it just yesterday. They think it’s all over… it is now. So iconic. Any English should know. Love it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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