This is my 10 year blog anniversary. Yes folks, that inaugural post was on August 11 back in 2006. Somewhat unsurprisingly, it was about David Bowie. I've had 158,000 page views which, let's face it, isn't going to make The Huffington Post lose any sleep.
When I started, blogging was quite new in the UK. I was forever trying to reach out to other bloggers, because the name of the game was having other bloggers visiting you and leaving comments. There were quite a few blog challenges and "link ups" where you left a comment on someone's blog and they linked to yours via a widget called Mr Linky. Most of the people who linked to me were young moms from New Orleans, so I wasn't really getting to the right demographic.
Blogging was quite naive and pure then. Nowadays blogs from young wannabes writing about clean eating, fashion and makeup, with immaculate companion pages at Pinterest, Instagram and so on are ten a penny. I take my hat off to the successful ones, where they're fortunate enough to be deluged with "product", ads and trillions of followers. Some, like Zoella, have reinvented the nature of celebrity. We can all be famous, and not just for 15 minutes. Sadly the only product offer I had from a big brand was for Impulse, and I sniffily disdained it.
When I started, there were a few blog aggregators --- I suspect these were nerds in their bedroom --- who would include your blog on their list. Technorati was one of the biggest and best known. There were others like MyBlogLog and BlogFlux.
Meanwhile I was swotting up on spiders (not from Mars but from Google) and learning about meta tags. Now I don't do much to promote my blog except for a mention on Facebook an d Twitter when there's a new post. Blogger got bought by Google and they don't do much to develop it, although the search and translate functions are nice to have.
A lot of the blogs I genuinely liked have not been updated for years. They litter the web like shipwrecks on the sea floor.
My topics have been many. I went through a period where I reviewed TV programmes including Big Brother (how mortifying), The Apprentice and Celebrity Big Brother. I've also done a few restaurant and theatre reviews. I bore for Britain on the subject of my garden. I occasionally use to snipe at celebrities I didn't like. I also like a bit of nostalgia, so there are plenty of reminiscences about childhood and teen frolics and my former life as a journalist and radio reporter.
I used to opine about newsworthy topics until a former colleague asked if I was still writing "that right wing rant blog." To be called right wing, in those days, was completely intolerable. I considered myself a leftie! After that comment, I reverted hastily to the safer waters of gardening and nostalgia.
The way I look at my blog now is that it's a useful archive of my life, for when I'm in my dotage.
My Most Popular Blog Posts
1. Posts describing traditions do well with the search engines. My Christmas traditions, parts 1 and 2, the history of bank holidays and applebobbing at Halloween traditions are good stalwarts.
2. Some posts have done mystifyingly well and I can only assume it's because there's very little web dross available on the subject. My post, "Does John Torode wear a wig and More About Stenchpipes" still does well when Masterchef is on. I think it's Torode rather than the stench pipes who are the big draw. You must admit that the headline sums up the sheer randomness of my blog pretty well.
3. I attempted to scam the spiders and get massive hits with a cheeky post called "Carol McGiffin's bare bottom."
4. Certain nostalgic posts strike a chord - particularly the lure of the bottle stall.