Andy, aka Captain Ahab, commented that he'd noticed this blog's recent rise in the ranking chart, and wondered if it was on account of my having included "999" in the title having attracted lots of "outside" interest.
Is it the headline-grabbing story which pulls in the hits, or the headline itself? The content or the wrapper? Initially it must be the headline which entices people to click, but if the story fails to live up to the promise, then, eventually I suppose, people will not bother. They will have learned that this particular brand of sweets is not to their taste.
The graph, from StatCounter.com
, plots daily hits against the date, for the last 30 days. It can be seen that these did indeed peak on 7th January, the date of my post entitled "Thames talk ends in 999 call
". But this post was timed for 23:59, so the hits on that day were looking at previous posts. That for the 6th January was called "Timelapse camera captures moment of rescue, against the odds
" A bit long for a headline, but there are certainly enticing elements there.
Since that peak of 283 hits that day, the trend has been ever downwards, reflecting the fact that I have allowed several days to go by without a post.
The graph over the last year shows five or six striking peaks.217 hits on 3rd May 2010
, attributable to the Granny Effect
, where Andrew Denny highlighted my blog in one of his posts on Granny Buttons244 hits on 8th September 2010
, when I was writing up our propeller losing antics
on the Thames258 hits on 14th September 2010
, after a post headed "Boat capsizes
"402 hits on 22nd September 2010
, after a post which included "Elvis
" in the title192 hits on 3rd January 2011
, after I'd written about the seals
on the Norfolk coast283 hits on 7th January 2011
, that's the one referred to above
One of the best headline writers is the afore mentioned Andrew Denny. While researching for this post I rediscovered Andrew's post headed "Halfie films 100-year-old Russell brand
" (the post talks about my film
about Russell Newbery, the engine maker). What a terrific headline!
Sarah of NB Chertsey is another blogger who knows the value of a good (or should I say sexy?) headline. "Male member
" is her latest inducement. I expect her hits will shoot straight up.
Jim of NB Starcross
makes the good point that the hits count gives no indication of whether a particular post has been read through from beginning to end (are you still reading this, by the way?). A hit is a hit, whether it lasted a second or an hour. There's no appreciation factor, in other words. How is it, by the way, that some hits can be registered as lasting zero seconds?Conclusions
: A good headline will attract hits, but it helps to be mentioned by people in high places! Frequent posting is essential to keep the hit rate up.