It was just less than three years ago that I decided to move the focus of this blog away from politics and the like to “things that actually bring pleasure, meaning and nuance to life.” This has covered a variety of things over those three years but mostly books and reading. While it may not produce the same kind or amounts of traffic as political and other issues, I think this approach is effective in its own small way.
The largest source of traffic here is search engines, such as Google. I’ve noticed a steady increase in the number of book-related searches that bring people here, particularly in the last few months. For example, Google Analytics indicates that eight of the 10 pages viewed most often and six of the top 10 pages visited first are book reviews or book-related posts. (As might be expected, the main page is number one in each category.) Another statistical service indicates that roughly half the searches that bring people to the site are related to books in general or a particular book.
I know from experience that political items tend to generate more traffic. And, granted, some political links and doodads still appear here. But the change from politics (with a too long exception resulting from an initiated measure on the 2006 ballot) never was about generating traffic. In fact, if traffic was the goal, it made no sense to move away from politics. At the same time, it was never my intent to create a so-called “litblog.” The purpose was simply to give myself an outlet for my thoughts, both pertinent and inane, about the things in life I enjoy.
It’s refreshing to see that in the morass of a presidential campaign others are looking for and interested in a reading life.
[P]eople repeat vaguely that books are the medicine of the mind. Yes; but to apply the medicine is the thing!
Edward Bulwer-Lytton, The Caxtons