Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Guest appearances (or, deferring the decline)

Here's a graph of monthly page views recorded for this very blog, for the last 3⅔ years. Look what's been happening.

Until recently, New Amusements was just bumbling along, with a handful of core readers. My December round-ups of the year would provide a tiny bump in the figures, but that was about that. Indeed, 2016's figures suggested a decline from even those low levels. The end might have been in sight...

... but something has happened this year. After 12½ years of plugging away, I have some traffic. There are, I think, many factors in this. I'm now in the blogroll sidebar of a number of far more popular blogs which, if my statistics are to be believed, does actually generate traffic (I will post some other time about the serendipitous joy of blogrolls). On top of my constant readers (step forward The Man Of Cheese, Mark, Rol and a couple of others), I've somehow snagged and retained some new regulars too, one side-effect of which is increased activity in the comments. For me as a blogger, the increase in discussion "below the line" has been a real boost, and gives me what I've always wanted from blogging: the online equivalent of having a chat over a pint.

I think another factor in adding traffic, especially in the last month, has been my attempt at starting a series, in the shape of Fantasy Cover Versions. It's stalled already, of course, but you can still contribute. You should, by the way - your ideas would be excellent, I know it.

Over and above the blogrolls, new constant readers, active comments and series, the other factor that has really helped this year is, slightly counter-intuitively, writing elsewhere. And I'm not talking about my efforts with fiction - that really does continue to decline - but rather writing this kind of thing in other places. I can't recommend this highly enough; it gives the "other place" a chance to write about you, to link to you, and to send new readers your way, some of whom stick around. So far this year, I have these guest appearances under my belt:

  • a Radiohead Imaginary Compilation Album on blogging hero The New Vinyl Villain's site;
  • thrillingly, a reminiscence on the cinemas of my youth on Andrew Collins' new blog, Digging Your Screen. Yes, really. That Andrew Collins, off the telly, The Radio Times and The Guardian;
  • and, maybe as thrilling, I don't know because I haven't seen the end product yet, but a gig reminiscence of mine about The Wedding Present is set to appear, in some shape or form (maybe a line, maybe a paragraph, maybe the whole thing, who knows), in a new book entitled Sometimes These Words Just Don't Have To Be Said. Order your copy now, and see how much/little of the original article makes it in.
So, being elsewhere ... I recommend it. Hey, why not send me your Fantasy Cover Version suggestion and I can write about you...


  1. So chuffed to read your excellent piece on Andrew's new blog, Martin, that's brilliant. I'm a big fan of his writing (absolutely love Where Did It All Go Right? and Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now - so much to relate to). Will look forward to hearing more about the book with your gig reminiscence in too.
    Totally agree about the blogging interaction - I am a saddo though who, as a lone homeworker, has very little real life daily conversation other than with Mr SDS and the neighbour's cat, so this really is my equivalent to the coffee machine chat.

    1. Thanks, C. Yes, I love Andrew's writing too - he's been my blogger of the year every year since I started doing annual round-ups, and all three volumes of his memoirs are great (the two you mentioned plus That's Me In The Corner). He also wrote an authorised biography of Billy Bragg, Still Suitable For Miners - also terrific.

      Am very glad to be on your coffee machine chat list :)

  2. Tomorrow the world!

    Seriously, congrats on the Andrew Collins thing and the Wedding Present book... though I'm not sure I'll get to read that without taking out a second mortgage first!

    1. Cheers Rol, appreciate that. The world indeed... And yes, it's a pricey book alright - am expecting a serious coffee-table tome! And no, I didn't get a discount!

  3. The Man Of Fromage3 September 2017 at 22:55

    Well done Mr P, everything comes to he who waits,and most patiently in your case. Let's hope the figures keep heading up and up. Blog stardom awaits. Will put the Weddoes book on my Christmas list!

    1. Cheers ears. And it only took 12+ years for the blog to take off, ironically as blogging us killed off by Twitter...