During Blaugust, most of us end up throwing up some buzzer-beater posts. You’re maybe not sure if it works, or if it feels right, but you’re on a tight series of deadlines to keep up that daily posting schedule, so even if it feels a little wonky – in the basket it goes.
One of the things I find immensely interesting about writing in all forms is that sometimes, the least-thought-through ideas can land well, and the stuff that you think won’t find purchase among your audience does. For me, this year’s Blaugust sort of had that twice over.
In this very short post today, I wanted to take a minute to look at the top 3 posts I wrote during Blaugust 2021 by metrics and see what made them popular (or unpopular in a way worth gawking at, haha).
So, let’s go!
Clocking in at 8,474 views for the month of August 2021, this post ended up being popular because it was, in as few words as possible, not well-received by Final Fantasy XIV fans! It came down to a mix of things – it was an agree-to-disagree type issue for some, who found it interesting (and said so) even if they disagreed, while for others, it was a misguided attack on FFXIV that demanded immediate defense. There was one error I made in it, which is now noted and corrected, and that was what drew a few commenters out of the woodwork. Ultimately, as someone who plays both WoW and FFXIV and really enjoys both games overall for very different reasons, I find the comparisons interesting – and think it is very possible to directly compare the two and helpful in some ways as people find their way drawn from WoW to FFXIV.
This post was a fun one to write, largely because I took the very-founded (and now confirmed!) rumors of WoW Classic fresh servers and ran with them to suggest alternate rules servers in the vein of EQ classic servers. With 4,413 views, it was fairly popular, and I think that running fresh progression Classic servers is a great idea and one that would then allow other rulesets to coexist, pleasing the “no changes” crowd while also being able to use that Classic experience in new ways that would draw in players for whom core Classic isn’t appealing. As one of the latter players, it is what I am waiting for!
This one is one of my better-performing Sidenote posts, besides talking generally about GPUs! At 2,171 views for the month, it was pretty decent (although considering it was also my first Blaugust post for the year, perhaps not as good!) performing and I think it was fun to document. As a fairly neurotic person, my struggles to set aside unfounded concerns about what watercooling could do and instead focus on what it was doing and how it was working for me was a journey, and I think documenting it captured that very well. With my current system set and running and the temperature results still promising, it was a fun topic to revisit after the initial setup post back in January. Even today, I still have some unfounded concerns about it (the ambient temperature in my new apartment is higher because it is on the top floor during hotter months, so as heat rises, the baseline in my new place is higher and thus the idle liquid temperatures are higher, but the parts remain chilly and the performance remains high) but because the system works and works well, both as a general observation but also within specific parameters, there’s not really anything to worry about. Yet. (I’ll probably have a one-year anniversary post on this topic when I finally flush the loop and refill it!)
Lowest Performing Blaugust Post: Why Seek Spoilers – The Effect of Datamining
This was my final Blaugust 2021 post, so perhaps not a shock. At 8 views in a couple of days, not a terribly popular one, though. I think that’s for a few reasons – one, burnout among bloggers who read, who are more likely to be retreating into their shells for a recharge after 31 days of writing. Two: datamining almost always means spoilers, and because the topic was finding FFXIV datamining, people might have thought spoilers for Endwalker were coming in the post. I made sure not to put any in it, but I can see the logical thought and I didn’t call that out particularly well. Lastly, this is just the story of normal blogging, really. Not everything is a hit and with a huge back catalog (I’m rapidly closing in on post number 700), this one might be more interesting in a week, a month, at Endwalker launch, or years from now for some reason or another. Part of blogging for a long-ish time is knowing that a fair amount of your stuff isn’t going to immediately land or hit an untapped attention vein with people, and hey, I’ve had posts with worse 48-hour turnarounds! An actual final point I thought of as I typed the last sentence – that post may have been partially buried, as I posted my first Blaugust “Lessons Learned” post within about an hour of it, which I know in WordPress Reader means I get the dreaded two-post stack with the older post being shuffled down and both being presented smaller.
At the end of this year’s event, I’m pretty happy with the results of the posts I did get up, satisfied with my overall traffic, and delighted by the Blaugust “bump” I got, by which I mean, for my second Blaugust, just like the first, I had a 50% jump in traffic from July to August that seems to be tapering as the event winds down. The fact that it remains 50% even with the sharper scale of my current traffic compared to my first Blaugust in 2019 (about 10x the traffic now, actually!) is interesting, although I would imagine there are a lot of factors in play more than just Blaugust, because participation is down comparatively. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned about blogging in general is to be happy with what you write and to place the most value in that, because at times, it will be all that you have.
Which serves as an excellent ending point and segue into part 3, which should be up tomorrow before I go on my wedding anniversary trip!