Later in 2014, my personal circumstances changed to make it so that I’m back to spending most of my days writing (the majority of which has nothing to do with this blog).
I started writing again after Christmas mainly because I didn’t like not-writing. There was no particular plan behind the blog other than that I wanted to write only longer, high-quality articles. The only one that really turned out the way that I had hoped that it would was this one about the poor and the equality doctrine.
For most other things, there’s almost no correlation between how much effort that I put into something and how much people enjoy reading it. My most trafficked post of the year took less than five minutes to write, whereas others that may take hours of researching, writing, and editing earn maybe 20% of the traffic of the five minute reaction.
While traffic isn’t the only thing that I pay attention to, it’s the most easily quantifiable, so it’s what gets managed the most on my end. As I (hopefully) release some books and review more books by other people, I’m going to shift over to revenue/earnings as what I focus on, combined with my subjective interpretation, just because it’s what I focus on for all the other sites that I work with.
Most of the time, I try to avoid writing about myself, but there tends to be little relation between which work of mine that I think is good and what other people tend to think is good. I am only a mediocre editorial director, and a competent hack.
This makes some sense to me, because promoting something on the internet is generally 10-10,000x+ more expensive in terms of labor and service costs than just writing something, so really the writing part is only marginally relevant compared to actually getting the right material in front of readers in a format that they enjoy and understand.
For a good chunk of the year, I was satisfied with just writing my Tuesday column at Social Matter and screwing around on Twitter.
In November, I decided to try writing on consecutive days to see what would happen, and it resulted in a lot more traffic for much less effort, so I kept at it. What that meant is that the last two months of writing accounted for over 50% of the total annual traffic.
The increased scale gave me some more writing ideas, as did re-noticing how easy it is to get first page search ranking for lots of book and author related terms with reviews (I used to get a lot of search traffic on some of my older sites with book reviews of novels sometimes taught in schools).
So instead of the original purpose of this blog, it’s turning into more of a method for building useful connections, testing out various ideas to see if they resonate with readers, and as a way to introduce worthwhile books and other works to new readers.
- Nick B. Steves for all the encouragement and for the weekly round-ups.
- Free Northerner for linking generously and continuing to operate his neoreactionary aggregator.
- Hestia Society for giving me a column and otherwise being helpful.
- All my new correspondents and friends.
- Moderators of /r/darkenlightenment and /r/newright for maintaining mostly solid forums as islands in the garbage-ocean of reddit.
- The NRx eldars for all their generous intellectual contributions.
- The original Soap Jackal for helping out on a publishing project
- The people who have trusted my book recommendations enough to buy products off of my Amazon links.
- All the readers who pass my articles along to friends.
Here’s to a better 2015.
Congratulations on a highly productive year! I’m amazed how you keep up this level of quantity and quality. Compared to other NRx publications, I also very much appreciate that you refrain from both long-winded speculations and sledgehammer propaganda. Great thought-provoking commentary for sharing with “non-believers,” without immediately putting them off.
The quality/quantity just comes from lots of practice. The same goes for concision.