Like a garden, a blog needs its own share of TLC. There’s watering (to nurture it along), weeding (to keep out the spam), some deadheading (to keep it fresh), and a fair amount of manure (to encourage growth). The real reward comes when blooms appear – as flowers, vegetables, or readers. This week, Nitty Gritty Dirt Man has seen a bountiful harvest.
My usual routine in the garden is to take a walk, check on what’s growing, what needs trimming, what needs weeding – that sort of thing. I keep a similar routine for the blog, where I try to post at least two times a week, usually on Sundays and Wednesdays. The structure helps keep me focused and organized.
I also check on the stats that WordPress tracks – mostly out of curiosity to gauge what readers seem to like and when their interest peaks and fades.
That was the case on Monday morning when I checked the stats from Sunday’s Super Bowl post. There were maybe 50 hits on Sunday night and one on Monday morning. That same afternoon, I checked in again, but the visitors’ number had surged to well over 200. Surely, I thought, there had to be a problem. I had never, ever had that many hits. Was there a glitch? A prank? A virus?
After some research, I learned that WordPress had selected my post “Bloomin’ Update 17: Anticipation” for its “Freshly Pressed” home page, a selection of the site’s choice blogs. I’m not sure of the criteria, but I am now sure of the power of the “Freshly Pressed.”
By dinner, the stats had climbed to over 400. By bedtime, they surpassed 700.
I have developed a habit of responding to each comment – I figure if someone took the time to read my posts and write something, the very least I could do is comment back. I also try to visit their blogs, as well as the sites of those visitors who clicked each post’s “Like” button. Needless to say, I have been reading and typing and clicking a lot – and to all of you who have found me (recently or in the past), I want to say thank you. Your comments and support have been encouraging and inspirational. They’ve also been educational. Some visitors identified my posted weeds as henbit, an edible winter annual that’s in the mint family. Apparently, one person’s weed is another person’s salad.
The experience has also opened up a world of blogging, and I would encourage anyone who reads the comments to click on the links, take a detour, and visit some amazing places. You will find photographers and gardeners, humorists and writers, therapists and students.
As the week continues, I am astounded at how many of us are reaching out to each other and looking for connections. We are no different than those early tribes of people who settled together to create communities – villages, towns, and cities. We humans are amazing creatures and I hope we realize that.
I’m about to click “Publish,” and I see that the stats have now topped 1,200 — that’s 1,200 more amazing humans who are a part of my world, a part of my garden.