A year ago I hoped would still be blogging now and here we are. Time flies. From the Parapet is now two and in that time I have written 86 posts averaging at 600 words – 52,010 in total. Followers and views have increased at a slow, but somewhat steady pace.
- being cited by Rationalwiki
- getting two posts to #4 on google
- finishing National Novel Writing Month (not strictly blog-related, but announcing it helped)
My most viewed posts are similar to last year’s:
- The Caliphate of Cordoba
- Green Eyed Devils
- The Moor’s Last Sigh
- The Laotian Civil War
- The Historical Context of Cheddar Man
Laos and Cheddar Man have replaced Babylon and Haitian zombies. What does the list have in common? They are not my best but they are evergreen (5/5), over a year old (5/5), historical (4/5) and about Spain (2/5). Most importantly, they rank high on Google, my main referrer.
In September 2018 my monthly views doubled. From there they plateaued. They jumped in March 2019, then fell in June when Google rejigged its search algorithms. Since then, my posts have slowly returned to their places on Google.
I love writing, but a blog gobbles up time. I don’t know how people can post every day. Nevertheless, to watch your blog slowly build is satisfying. I find curating small pieces weekly more effective and gratifying than spewing out rambling drafts. I believe my writing has improved, if only because earlier posts make me cringe. As such, I will rewrite one from 2017 to gauge how my style has changed.
July’s experiment was sticking to one topic: the Eurasian steppe. I could do this again; sometimes I try but then a news item steals my attention, and the next post is something completely different. Other topics, like ancient migrations or hunter-gatherer societies, have sprawled across the year. I might do a month on Greater Iran, or little known cultures before the year’s end, but we’ll see.
There are over 75 million WordPress blogs. Saturated is an understatement. How can you make yours stand out? I try to write the blog I would want to read. Anything else would be inauthentic.
So how to increase exposure? Some ideas:
- writing guest posts
- writing for an established website (eg. Ancient History.com)
- making YouTube videos (a bit of a departure, but could be fun.)
I have faith ‘From the Parapet’ will turn three. Until then there is no shortage of possible topics – see you in the new decade!