My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

How Did I get Over 5,600 Hits in a Week?

Merrimack River, Lowell, MA

Last week was quite interesting; I was on a roll with my blog. How did this happen, what can you learn from this, and what did I learn from it?

How Did This Happen?
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has a free The Weekly Genealogist magazine. One of their features has been the weekly survey, In Nov. the question was how many genealogical blogs do you follow? The response was 60% don't follow any. I wrote about this in a post, A Surprising Survey.

As a result of this, Randy Seaver submitted to NEHGS a list of New England Bloggers and suggested they highlight our blogs. But first, we had to write our own introduction. Mine was the fourth to be highlighted, and I was at the NEHGS last Wednesday when I was told it had been posted. When I got home, I already had 1,855 hits, and that total went up through the evening. There were times I was downright scared, and almost took the blog off.

What Can You Learn From This?
As the days went by, and I was still getting a lot of hits, I realized there probably weren't a huge number of readers, but that the ones I had were reading a large number of my individual posts. I'm basing that on the emails that I received; they were all about the surnames, and the posts that were read. The surnames I have, the ones they have and the ones we share. They also enjoyed reading about murder. It is apparent, to me, that the readers looked at the labels I provided. I then spent time looking at some of the 250 blogs I follow, to gain clues as to why I was getting these hits, and compared my blog to theirs. I discovered there are a lot of bloggers who:
  • don't use labels
  • don't provide a search bar
  • don't allow you to subscribe via email. Only two months ago, I set up the email subscription, and because of that, in less than a week, I received 28 new subscribers, and 9 who used the "Follow" option, with their picture.
What Did I learn?
I should have reviewed my own blog before it went public. The tabs at the top of the blog should be expanded or eliminated. They are the worst of any tabs I've ever seen. A lot of things in my blog are not consistent with other postings of mine. For example, sometimes I bold the entire post, sometimes not. There are other improvements I'd like to make as well. Some of you might already receive these high hit numbers, but for me, I average between 700-850 a week, not 5,600!

My blog is not the best out there, that being said, I plan on providing a list soon, of what I consider to be among the very best of the genealogy blogs. Keep posted.