Being Offbeat Enough to Gain Steady Ground: My First 100,000 Hits on WordPress

Thanks for 100,000 hits!

One of the rules I learned as a musician doing live shows was to always acknowledge my audience.  The idea is that if people are willing to spend their time having you entertain them, then you should break the wall of professional distance and let them know you’re glad that they’re there.  So that’s why for each of the first five 10,000 hits, and now for the 10th 10,000 hit on Scenic Route Snaphots, I want to thank you for your support.  It was September 2009 when I began exclusively publishing my material here, and now, a year later in September 2010, I’ve gone from less than a hundred views to one tenth of a million.  And while this site has indeed grown in the past year, my audience has as well.  So that means I’m that much more grateful for my readers than last September… because there are a lot more of you now!

A special thanks goes out to all those who clicked the “subscribe” button.  People definitely come and go through Scenic Route Snapshots;  I’m often somebody’s fad website of the month.  But then they disappear as randomly as they got here. That’s not the case with subscribers; they typically not only faithfully read my posts, but are often the ones who pass my website around to their friends.  I am fully aware that my subscribers are responsible for a lot of this site’s growth. Thank you tremendously.

So what have I learned in my first official year of my own real website? First, that most of my readers are females. Second, people love to find out which celebrities are Jewish, because that is the most consistent and daily searched topic on my site. Third, that out of all the series I’ve written, one stands out from the rest.  It’s special and I’m treating it accordingly: dad from day one.

I knew as a writer that being the jack-of-all-random-topics but the master of none would only get me so far.  Then I found out my wife and I having a baby.  This particular series gains more instant hits when I post it on facebook and has more syndicated reads than anything else I write about.  If all goes according to plan, I’m expecting a few special things to happen with “dad from day one” in the weeks to come…

It’s one thing to capture a person’s attention for a second with a picture or a headline of one of my posts, but it’s another thing to get them to actually read it and come back again the next day for more.  And an important part of that formula is simply being interesting.  Fusing the familiar with the weird.  The offbeat with the average.

Granted, “being interesting” isn’t actually an easy thing to pin down.  Like “being funny”.  I’ve learned a common thread that “interesting” and “funny” have is that they both involve riding that line of what is comfortable and safe along with what is taboo and risqué.  For example, I should never write a post that reflects my convictions about abortion- if nothing else that deliberately goes against #6 of my personal writing code.  Yet I have, at least twice.  I was just very careful about it: dad from day one: License to Procreate and Popular (Yet Subtle) Songs Dealing with Abortion.

If I was smart, I would shy away from writing about how our own ethnic backgrounds affect our perceptions of ourselves and others, yet I do all the time: Like with this one, and especially this one.  Oh, and I can’t forget this other one too. And for those of you with a “Mc” or “Mac” in your last name, you definitely remember this.

And being that this site is not specifically a religious one, it would make more sense not to throw in explicitly Christian posts alongside ones that do not involve religion whatsoever, yet I do, with Taking a God-Nudged Leap of Faith, as well as Real Life Thoughts on Death and the Afterlife, and the particularly popular Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

Even stranger, as a fairly conservative Christian I wouldn’t endorse the legalization of marijuana through an original series/personal project entitled The Cannabis Conspiracy, proclaiming that the true immoral issue is that cancer patients are denied the mercy of a God-given medicinal plant in God Was the First Cannabis Grower.  Nor would I point out the hypocrisy in certain American hospitals giving Marinol (a synthetic medicine derived from marijuana) to patients but denying actual “medical” marijuana to them, in Man is Taking Credit for God’s Free Gift.

But all these random topics have relevance in our thoughts, subconscious or not.  If they are thought provoking, whether or not you agree with my perspective on them, they are still interesting.  Why do we read nonfiction?  To supplement our brains with new ideas, comparing and contrasting them next to our own outlook.  Weird sells.  And fortunately, I can do weird.

See you next time in this series when I get one million hits.

Other posts of this “10,000 Hits” series:

Being Down to Earth, Yet Never Really Touching the Ground

Being Original, Yet Never Really Breaking New Ground

Being Engaging, Yet Never Really Standing on Dangerous Ground

Being Excessive and Eventually Finding Coming Ground

Being Active in the Blogging World Yet Hanging Out in the Background

Being Offbeat Enough to Gain Steady Ground: My First 100,000 Hits on WordPress

Other Milestones:

200,000 hits on February 1, 2011

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