Wonderland Burlesque Celebrates Milestones - Or Mild Stones, Depending On Your Take On Things
It has been an interesting year of blogging. I’ve experienced a huge (relatively) surge in the number of hits and visitors to Wonderland Burlesque – an occurrence that is no accident.
Back in May of 2007, I was a frequent visitor to certain Craigslist related forums. My experiences there were less than stellar, as I was rather naïve about social media in general and, in particular, the ways of the internet troll. Being an opinionated soul, I was a natural target for these citizens of the dark side and it was my interactions with them that were the catalyst for the creation of this blog.
The name? It was simply a combination of a couple of my favorite things: ‘Alice in Wonderland’ remains one of my favorite books and I wanted something with a theatrical flourish with a sexy touch, hence the term ‘Burlesque’. Later I would learn that there is a burlesque troupe in California with the same name, but, other than the fact that they trump me in search engine results, it has never bothered me enough to change the name. They have yet to say anything, so I am assuming it’s a case of allowing sleeping dogs to lie.
However, whining about internet trolls proved not to be the stuff that blogs are made of, so I moved on to other things. I remained clueless about promoting my blog. The idea that anyone would bother read my scribbles never occurred to me. So I paid little attention to the number of hits per month. For the first four years my stats hovered around the 1,000 hits per month mark – surprising, in light of the fact that I was averaging a whopping seven postings per year for the first three years. In 2009, however, I decided to take things up a notch and actually posted something I wrote once a week.
I viewed my blog as a kind of writing exercise, but also a means of expression; a kind of self-help, therapeutic release. All blogs tend to be myopic and an exercise in narcissistic expression, even those that feature found pics or graphics. It’s all about POV and for the longest time, Wonderland Burlesque had no POV. No purpose to exist really, either.
That all changed in 2009, when, not only did I decide to post once a week, but I also moved my blog in a more adult direction. I decided to join the ranks of those blogs I tended to enjoy the most. Sex had long been a major preoccupation for me, so why not blog about it? Little did I know what a powder keg I was about to ignite.
For the next four years I morphed into a total sex addict, exploring the norm and the extremes of gay sex in the age of the internet. Most of the posts during this time period reflect that evolution, which peaked in 2011. By the beginning of 2012, I was growing a bit weary of all the energy and time I was spending in order to hook-up. However, I continued to write about my sexual exploits, as honestly as I could without putting others or myself at risk.
While I did manage to post something once a week in 2009, during the next three years I would experience various personal losses that would cause me to take one to three months off from blogging. Still, I managed an average of 42 posts a year. Keep in mind that those posts were generally 2,000-3,000 words per post. I envy (and enjoy immensely) those bloggers who post a single pic multiple times a day. That seems a lot easier than writing 2,000-3,000 words. But that’s not who I am. It’s a lot of work, but I do enjoy writing on topics ranging from sexual exploits to popular music to political commentary.
By the end of 2009, having achieved my goal of one post a week, I had a peak of 1,778 hits in a single month. However, shortly after that the number of readers returned to the 1,000 per month mark.
I wasn’t sure what to do, so I started looking around to see what other, far more successful bloggers, were doing. In that process I began commenting on their posts and… lo and behold, I saw an upswing in the number of folks visiting my blog.
After that, I began chasing the numbers. In doing so, I noticed that posts with lots of sexy photos got better results. Also, I began fine tuning my search tags for each posting.
My ‘Acquired Tastes’ series garnered quite a few hits, with one (Acquired Tastes XXIV: Gay Erotic Illustrations) currently closing in on the 15,000 mark. For about four months that post was the number one google search when inquiring about Gay / Erotic / Art – which surprised me. It has since been overtaken in the listings by other sites devoted to that topic. I stopped the series after #35, but may pick it up again. We’ll see.
Sean’s (Just A Jeep Guy) TMI Questions have also proven rather popular. I tend to take liberties with the questions, frequently allowing stray thoughts to hijack my answers, but it makes for interesting writing (and hopefully good reading). By answering Sean’s questions I have surprised myself on a number of occasions and perhaps shared too much.
Oh, and by the way, I am aware that there is, on occasion, something rather odd going on with Blogger’s/Google’s stat reporting. So who knows how accurate any of these stats are truly? I have chosen to believe that they are at least in the ballpark of what is happening with my blog.
The number of comments a given post has grown as well, which I really appreciate. I love hearing from people, especially my blogger friends. Sometimes you ask questions, but, oddly, I always feel odd about posting answers to those questions.
Recently I discovered Google+. And while most of my postings there are frequently flagged or removed (they have a thing about explicit erotic posts), I have found one group that will post my stuff and leave it up. I will continue to offer up new and classic posts on that site (until that site is shut down).
In any event, during this past year: beginning in November of 2012, I have seen the number of hits per month triple or maintain almost every month. It peaked in September 2013 with 22,642 hits.
It has since been sliding because, well, I am just not that interested in writing about sex these days. That probably has to do with my total lack of interest in hooking up for anonymous sex. As I’ve mentioned previously, I no longer have profiles on any hook up sites and no longer use Craigslist either.
My focus has been, well, rather monogamous lately. And no one is more surprised by that than ‘this guy’. I believe that I have written quite a bit about how I don’t believe in long term relationships. Turns out life can teach an old dog new tricks (no pun intended).
That downturn in hits per month may also have to do with the limited number of posts I have been doing. If it wasn’t for Sean’s TMI Questions, I wouldn’t be posting much at all.
I’m rather at a crossroads, both with my writing and my personal life. And in no hurry to define or redefine either at this time. For once, I think I will allow life to merely merrily roll out what it will, having adopted a healthier ‘come what may’ attitude about things. I have certainly learned my lesson regarding forcing things into being and the unnatural conditions that kind of pig-headedness frequently results in. That said, I have hope(s) for the future and can actual say that I am happier and more grateful than I have been in many, many years.
Well, I just felt like sharing some of those stats with you. Here are a couple more that I think rather remarkable, considering the type of blog I write:
In November of 2013, Wonderland Burlesque hit the 200,000 hits mark.
In October of 2012, I had 11 followers, and, as of this writing, I now have 150.
This marks my 300th post!
Both those and my other stats may seem like small potatoes to those of you who have millions of hits and hundreds of followers, but I’m very happy about them. I sometimes have to remind myself that people really don’t have either the time or the inclination to digest 2,000-3,000 word posts, or care about a given recording artist and their sales history as much as I do. I totally understand that. Sometimes I don’t have the patience to wade through all of my favorite blogs either, let alone comment. So I get that reading can be something of a chore.
Which brings me to one of the primary reasons for this particular post; see: it’s not (always) just about me tooting my own horn (pun intended). I wanted to thank the many bloggers who have served as such excellent examples of what it means to blog – many of which are featured on the right hand side of my blog.
Your support, comments, and interest is what has helped me power through the many times when I simply wanted to walk away from ‘Wonderland’ forever. I’d list you all individually, butthen would run the risk of leaving someone out. Just know that you have a big fan, here at ‘Wonderland Burlesque’ and that I really appreciate what you do.
I’ve learned so much from you and while I have never met any of you, in a way, I am grateful for your friendship (such as it is) along with your many comments and words of encouragement.
So, that’s the state of the union, here at ‘Wonderland Burlesque’. I don’t have any concrete plans at this time, other than to continue answering – as honestly as possible – whatever questions Sean dreams up for a given week.
In the meanwhile, I’m simply waiting for the universe to reveal what’s next.
Trust me, my eyes are wide open!