It is a fine balance when you put together a blog. Firstly, it must add value for the reader – you are writing for them afterall. But then comes the conundrum of how how far do you push a topic in order to generate decent page views.
Remember what is the point of writing if very little people are reading. Often some of my best blogs – in my opinion – get very few reads. For example I recently run a story looking at the high number of retirees who find themselves becoming a parent again when in Thailand. It’s a very real ‘problem’ – yet my readers were not so keen on the subject.
You see people want to read things that validates their own decisions, makes them feel good or, absolutely by the same token, makes them mad. There is not really grey areas in among this. I knew when I published a story about Indian tourists spending more per day than their European counterparts I would have a war on my hand. And boy did I have a war. Web traffic was insane and the comments on the social networks were, by and large, fuming that I would ‘manipulate’ data and lie about things. OK I sensationalised the story and it was a home run of a title ‘Why Indians and Chinese tourists spend more than cheap charlie farangs in Thailand’. But there were truths in the article, yet many readers refused to accept any of this. People that don’t accept the truth, don’t want their illusions destroyed. Facts and figures in this case were not consistent with what they were seeing for themselves – so of course, they chose to dismiss the facts.
I try and write a new blog every day so that the site is getting fresh content and that I can build some rapport and consistency with people that enjoy my articles. Coming up with stimulating subject matter each day is hard. You can not keep going over the same type of topics – it’s boring and adds no value.
Subjects like Thai girls, immigration, tourism or really exciting locations I have visted, like the Mahanakhorn Sky Walk, always do well. It seems the biggest topic to drive traffic is the ones that make readers a little angry – which at the moment involves the Chinese and Indian tourist. When I wrote an article on why hotels prefer the Chinese tourist the traffic went through the roof – and, like the case with my high spending Indian blog, people did not want to agree with the argument the article put forward.
The importance of Social Media
Platforms like Facebook have been great for traffic as you can push your blogs out and create that important reach. Unfortunately sometimes you need to envoke an emotion – like anger – to get the reader to read your post. It is what the Daily Mail and The Sun do all the time when they post on Facebook – they know what they are doing.
It’s an oxymoron really. You build readership and following by people who you made angry and got them to read your post. It is one big balancing act.
This is why it is so difficult developing a blog and vlog site, and also next to impossible to please everyone with your views. The option is to keep neutral, but that’s no fun all the time now is it?
I hope you continue to enjoy the content I put out there on Dan about Thailand, and let’s all not take life too seriously!