I got my 10,000th pageview on my blog tonight! I made gluten-free brownies to celebrate!
Back in February when I started, I was quite pleased if 4 or 5 people found my blog most days. By the beginning of October that number had risen to a daily average of about 75. I was delighted!
But the thing that I've been most interested in is the number of countries that my readers are from. That number hit 71 this week. I can't even imagine how these people are finding my blog.
Before I started actually writing, I spent over two months studying how to blog. There is an amazing amount of information out there on that topic. I read lots of blogs about writing blogs. I participated in Webinars on Search Engine Optimization. I read books about blogging. It seemed like I couldn't start blogging until I had learned everything there was to know about blogging, but the new information was coming out faster than I could take it in.
Then one day I realized that most of that information was really for people who wanted to make money from their blogs. Now, I like money just like everyone else, but money had little to do with my reasons for wanting to blog.
I wanted to blog because I had retired early, and I was on the leading edge of retiring baby boomers. Also, because I live in a retirement destination, I have lots of examples of retirees around me every day.
I see retirees with more money than good sense and retirees that don't have the good sense to realize that they don't have enough money to retire.
I know a few retirees that have set themselves the goal of better health and fitness in retirement, but I see many more who get most of their calories from alcohol, and most of their exercise comes from lifting that glass or bottle to their mouths.
I have friends who can't imagine leaving their children and grandchildren to travel or live in a foreign country, and I have other friends who move from one adventure to the next and can't imagine being tied down to one place.
I wanted to write this blog to give other retirees some ideas of what is possible in retirement. I wanted to show that you don't really need millions of dollars in savings and pensions to be able to retire in comfort. I hope to show people that we all have more control over our health than we've ever believed was possible, and also to convince them to take responsibility for keeping themselves healthy so they can continue to enjoy retirement for many more years.
I believe that many of us have at least a quarter of our lives left to live. We can't just sit around waiting to die or we will die of boredom -- or booze -- or atrophy of our bodies and brains.
I truly believe that retirement, especially when we are young and healthy is an amazing opportunity. There are so many interesting things out there for us to explore and experience -- a whole world of places to go and things to do -- and it would be such a shame to waste this gift that we have been handed.
That's why I write this blog. BUT...
On Friday night I realised that something unusual was happening. Suddenly I had a LOT of Japanese people reading my post about Daitoku-ji. I had no idea why this was happening but I thought it was pretty cool.
By Saturday night, that post had 1204 pageviews. By Sunday morning, it was up to 1505. I had no idea what was happening, but I could see that they were linking to me from a website called Searchina. I followed the link back to the site, but it was all in Kanji.
This morning the total had climbed to 2155 for that one post, and my total pageviews was up to 9,783. And it kept climbing all day, even though it was the middle of the night in Japan.
I finally went back to that website and was able to get Google to translate enough to figure out that it is almost like Yahoo News - a combination of hard news and blogs they've found around the world - and lots of ads selling things. This version of it is directed toward a Japanese audience. I guess they found my blog and posted a link or something.
Who cares how they did it? It's been a fun few days, and it shows no sign of letting up. And, yes, some of them are reading some of my other posts.
So my best friend asked me if I'm going to jump on the opportunity and write a bunch of Japan-related posts. The temptation is great just to see what I can make happen. Right now I am averaging about 750 pageviews a day - ten times what it was last week.
But that was never my goal. I used to have a favorite blog - Zen Habits - that I read all the time. He's got over 250,000 readers. I don't know if that is really individual readers or total pageviews but it doesn't matter. What matters is that his blog has now turned into a constant commercial for the "classes" he is offering online. He got so commercial that I didn't even like the blog any more.
So no, I'm not going after the crowd of readers. I'm going to continue on exactly as I have been. I'll write more travel posts about Japan because I figured out a way to handle the photo problem and because it was a wonderful experience to spend six months of my life there. It would be nice if some of the Japanese readers decided to stay with me, but I plan to continue to write just as I have been. I hope you'll stick around,too.