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The Blog Post That Nobody Ever Read

September 15, 2013
P question

The problem with writing a post that nobody has ever read is that nobody can tell you what was wrong with it. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s something most writers probably wouldn’t want to admit.  I wasn’t going to, and I normally wouldn’t, but there’s a point to be made, I guess.  I have a blog post on Dysfunctional Literacy that nobody has ever read.  I published it on this blog almost two years ago.  It’s still there.  It can be found if readers look for it, but nobody ever has.  According to my stats, it’s never gotten any hits.  When I wrote it, my home page hardly ever got read either, so as far as I can tell, nobody has ever read that post. 

It would be embarrassing, but nobody’s ever read it so nobody knows about it.  How can something that nobody knows about be embarrassing?  In fact, I’m also almost proud of it.  I’m tempted to put up a link to it as proof, but then somebody might click on it to read it, and the whole point of this post would be lost.  Even worse, somebody might click the “like” button just for the heck of it, and that would really tick me off.  If somebody “liked” the post that I claimed nobody read, then I would lose all (or at least some) of my credibility, and I can’t have that. 

In this post that nobody has ever read, I compared two books about baseball.  It’s not a bad post.  It’s probably way too long, but nobody would know it was too long before they started to read it.  That meant the topic was bad.  Or the title was bad.  Or the lack of a picture turned people off.  For whatever reason, this post has gotten no hits in two years. 

I’ve written stuff that I WISH nobody had read.  I’ve written a bunch of lame jokes that I probably should delete, but I keep them up to remind myself not to publish every day just for the sake of publishing something every day.  I have nothing against writing every day; I think it’s a mistake to publish something every day (unless you’re that good of a writer, and I’m not). 

At first, it hurt my feelings that nobody read this post.  It was a long post.  I spent a lot of time (I don’t know how much) revising and perfecting (in my mind) the word choice.  I thought my Brad Pitt introduction was good enough to suck people in (it didn’t work).  I spent hours working on it, and then when I finally posted it, nobody read it. 

When I checked my stats a few minutes after publishing it (that’s always a mistake), nobody had read it. Nobody?   I was a little surprised. 30 minutes later, I checked again.  Nobody?  60 minutes later.  Nobody?  Overnight.  Nobody?  By then, I figured the post wasn’t going to get many hits, but I didn’t think the post would NEVER get any hits, not even an accidental search engine look. 

I could have just left it as a Word document, and it would have saved me some aggravation. 

I don’t get frustrated when I write an ebook, and few people buy it.  People don’t have time or money to buy ebooks from unknown authors.  I occasionally buy ebooks to support bloggers that I like (and some of the books are actually good).  But nobody was willing to read this blog post for free.  Even my worst selling ebook has sold more copies than this post has hits. 

Now that it’s been almost two years, I’m kind of proud that nobody has read that post.  Dysfunctional Literacy is doing okay as a blog, way better than it was two years ago.  I think I’m improving as a writer, and I’m learning a lot from other writers and their blogs.  But when it comes to responses, I have to remember not to expect anything because you never know when you’re going to write something that nobody will ever read. 

Am I the only writer this has happened to?  Have you ever written something that didn’t get read… at all?

20 Comments
  1. I have my interns log on and read all my posts just to make sure this never happens to me. 🙂

    • Haha! I saw that you (or your interns) have found the previously unread post and even commented on it. I’m not sure if I should be grateful that somebody has finally read the darn thing or disappointed that I can’t brag about having an unread post anymore. I might have to delete this whole thread just to maintain my credibility.

      • I think it was a case of the post not being tagged or categorized. No one knew you had posted it. You weren’t being ignored…no one knew to read it. It gives you more cred to have people digging around looking for it while watching the Notre Dame game! 😉

  2. I’m not sure how to check that. I don’t really look at my stats.

  3. Yes, I’ve had several posts that weren’t read by anybody. Most of them weren’t that good–I’ll have to admit.

  4. Your piece made me curious, so I took a look at my stats. I found a total of fifteen posts that don’t have any views recorded. Some aren’t that great, and others have bad titles, but a few of them are ones that I thought were really good. Who can say why some posts just don’t get read?

  5. I know that a few of my posts did not appear in the WordPress reader, so that really lowered the stats for these posts. That could be the reason for the zero views. Also, is there really a big overlap between people who care about books, baseball, and Brad Pitt?

  6. I go out of my way to try to publish daily.

    I don’t pretend to understand what the best way is. But I’ve always liked fresh content. So I want to create as much of it as I’m capable.

    I don’t believe my writing quality is any better than anyone else’s. But I’d still be very interested to hear why you think it’s a mistake to publish daily. Because your opinion matters.

    And because, as a general rule, I’m probably doing it wrong.

    • I agree with you about fresh content, but my fresh content isn’t very good if I rush it (and my early stuff is evidence of that), and I usually need more than one day to think through my idea(s). I think you’re actually a writer, so you might be more used to the whole writing process and can think through your ideas and revise/edit more quickly than I can. I read your blog; you’re definitely not doing it wrong.

      • You’re writing is HIGHLY entertaining. I really enjoy it. So, perhaps the lesson is just: Different strokes…

        I appreciate you reading. And thank you for replying to this.

  7. Now I want to go click through your archives, just to mess with you 😉

    I also have a few of these. I’ve also had some of my best posts (at least as far as I’m concerned) get very few hits while simple asides have garnered the most views ever. I suppose blog posts are like the publishing industry – literary masterpieces get left by the wayside while stuff that makes pig swill seem preferable become bestsellers. It’s no use to try and understand it. We must merely accept.

  8. Sure, it’s happened. I posted some early stuff that no one read when I started my blog. And it was some pretty decent stuff I had written much earlier – which I had actually worked on. I have a “Library”. No one uses it.
    Also I have two novels which barely anyone has read. But I’m working on that too.
    Hang in there. I’m going to go search for your early posts.

  9. I think we all have posts that went mostly unviewed when we first started blogging–don’t you think it’s just due to the fact that you were new and didn’t have readers at the time? I wouldn’t attribute it to the quality of the posts, though, in my case, my early forays into blogging really did sort of suck (so don’t go looking through my archives, because I’ll be embarrassed).

  10. That’s the downside of the stats, to be sure. I like looking at my overall hits for all my posts, until I go down to the bottom of the list and see stories I’ve written that almost no one has seen (I’ve never had a 0 hit post yet though).
    Of course, you know what you’ve done now: now, I have to go through and read every post you’ve written to find the elusive 0-hit post. By sharing the fact of its existence, you’ve ruined its purity. I promise if I do that I won’t write “First!” in the comments though.

  11. I’d guess that most blogs have at least one … I’ve got a couple that have yet to be read, even though they’ve been out there for a long time.

    I’m not sure it’s about the quality of the post as much as it is about timing. Depending on how your readers follow you … whether they use the reader, or rely on Twitter notifications, of Facebook, if your post hits at a time when people aren’t paying attention, it can be easy to overlook.

    Plus, you have your email settings to show the entire post in an email notification. I read this post in my inbox. If I didn’t take the time or effort to click on “like” or “comment” you’d get no hit, but, I’d still have read it.

  12. If you’re proud of your post that no one has ever read, then I should be gushing about my entire blog

  13. bdallmann permalink

    I find sometimes that my stats are not accurate. For example, I might have 5 people “like” my post, but my stats say it’s only been viewed by 1 person. Wut?

    -Brita
    Book Lust

  14. I am sad to admit that the majority of my friends haven’t read a damn thing I have posted…ever..so I feel your pain. 🙂

  15. I love this post, humour and honesty all mixed together.

  16. I had this one post on media bias. I wrote it after I had taken a mass media class where we dissected the political biases of various media outlets. I guess mass media and communication is something people aren’t interested in because it has no hits. Ah well, it happens to everyone every now and then.

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