Whenever I peruse my miserable blog stats, I always click on the ‘search terms’ section (the word combinations that nudge people towards my little corner of the internet) to give myself a much-needed boost. Sure, the depressingly low visitor numbers indicate that I’m a failure, but at least I can console myself with the fact I’m not hitting the internet for nude photos of Barry Chuckle and Nadine Dorries (separate searches, I might add). Nor am I Googling for images of “Chris de Burgh’s nipples” or desperately trying to identify the cast of Glade’s ‘Poo at Paul’s’ Touch ‘n Fresh commercial. Yeah, life’s pretty good!
Until, that is, I had an epiphany. These search terms represent people who’ve landed on my blog unexpectedly and have immediately exited the page without reading a single word, disgruntled that “Tom Daley’s butt crack” didn’t appear before them like a sexy apparition. The upshot being: my blog is less appealing than a young diver’s chlorinated crevice. Is there really any point in my continuing, I pondered?
And so this, my 100th blog post, will be my last.
Far from being a decision based on a silly interpretation of my blog stats, it basically comes down to the fact that no one reads this stuff. It’s become an emotionally draining process for me to spend hours excitedly tapping away on my laptop only to see my words sink without a trace as soon as I hit ‘publish’.
I’ve only ever written one successful post, back in 2011, when I wrote about Nadine Dorries, the Mail Online and the sexualisation of children. Emerging from a dull meeting at work to discover that my blog post had been retweeted far and wide on Twitter – and even mentioned on other people’s blogs – was a dizzying and exciting experience. The biggest compliment I received on that day was from Dr Petra Boynton, who told me that she’d snorted coffee out of her nose while reading it. (Someone once told me that my turn of phrase made them choke on some couscous, but this really was the promised land.)
Of course, so-called ‘success’ was short lived (and has never been repeated). My next blog post – the difficult second album – hit the world with a whimper and was greeted with general indifference. I didn’t write a single word for six months after that. Blogging is all about peaks and troughs. But mainly troughs.
Anyway, I just want to say a genuine, heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s supported this blog over the last four (and a bit) years. And to anyone who’s ever left a comment, shared, retweeted or ‘liked’ a blog post, or said anything nice about the rambling nonsense I’ve written – you’re all wonderful (and probably know who you are).
Right, those naked pics of Pauline Quirke and the cast of Birds of Feather won’t search for themselves. I’m off.