I mentioned in my 1,001 post that I was getting a couple hundred visitors a day, but it was less impressive than it sounds. See, I can tell what those visitors are reading, and most of them are not here for my glorious prose and brilliant thoughts. And I thought, as a gift to you, my readers, I would lift the curtain a little and explain why I post what I post, and why you read what you read. And at the very end, I tell you what my top 3 posts of all time are right now.
Here’s the deal. I check my viewing stats several times a day. And there are certain patterns I look for.
- 3-10 views every hour for the first 24 hours: that means my subscribers (through WordPress following or twitter) are all clicking through to read it as they get time and see the notification.
- 1-3 views every hour for the first 12 until something else is posted: that means a few of my subscribers are forcing themselves to read it, but most of them aren’t interested.
- 10-20 views every hour for the first 24 hours: that means someone somewhere posted a link and I am pulling in people from outside of my regular audience (for instance my Lamhe review suddenly blew up when the Sridevi Facebook group stumbled on it)
- 20-40 views every hour for several days in a row: that means lots and lots of people are google searching for something that somehow brings up my blog (this happened all of a sudden with my Indrani Mukherjea post when new-news about her case broke)
- Insanely High Number of Views: it means a bunch of people are looking for movie spoilers.
Now, seeing as I can kind of read your minds and figure out the patterns, here are my all time most popular/representative posts in these various categories:
1.1.Manichitrathazhu: I’ll tell you a secret. This is the real reason I watch and write about Malayalam films. Yes, I also enjoy watching them and find them fascinating to think about and write about. But oh my gosh, do my readers like reading those reviews! Manichitrathazhu got a bunch of views right away, and consistently keeps getting views as I add more readers. They check out a review of Thira or Premam or Kali, and then they click over to Manichitrathazhu. So, if you want me to write more about Telugu or Punjabi or Tamil or Hindi or any other language groups, try to get your friends to click on those reviews more! So far, nothing even comes close in popularity to my Malayalam stuff. And if you want me to write even more Malayalam reviews, then open a DVD production business and start making them more available with subtitles for international sale.
(By far the most popular post among my regular readers)
2. Hero: Love Story of a Spy : This is one of my guilty pleasure movies, and I really enjoyed writing about it. But no one enjoyed reading about it. In general, the older Hindi action movie reviews get the fewest clicks (recent releases of any genre always do well, see point 5). No one cared about Company either. Or Ghayal. Or Suryavanshi. So, if you were wondering why I don’t write about many of those movies, that’s why. I watch them just as much as I watch everything else, but a thoughtful Malayalam human drama or a SRK romance gets way way more views, so those are the ones I write about.
(I love Hero: Love Story of a Spy! Why does no one else?)
3. Kabali: I am legitimately proud of this one. It is a really really good post, and it deserved to be mentioned and linked to from various websites. I had some other posts that similarly blew up because of links, but in those cases it was more about people reading the headline and not the article (for instance a couple of Box office reports, where I just had a catchier way of saying “this movie beat this other movie”, like “Dilwale Breaks Worldwide Record, Bajirao Lags Behind“). But this one, this really is one of the best pieces of writing on this film on the internet. People should be linking to it!
(It’s also a legitimately good movie, and I’m glad if I helped people think about it more seriously)
4. Reel Incest: I wrote a quick post about the rumor that Kareena’s stepdaughter might be launched opposite Shahid’s brother, and how weird that was. Very few views initially, but then it blew up months later, and still picks up regular views. Because people are googling “incest Bollywood”, and I pop-up. They must be so disappointed when they get to the actual article.
(Here’s Shashi Kapoor singing to his soon to be niece-in-law. I also mention that in my “incest” article, but I’m guessing it’s still not as exciting as people were hoping)
5. Fitoor: Oh Fitoor! My little workhorse of a post! Got almost no views in the first few days, and then about a week and a half later, BOOM!!! The deluge! Hundreds of views a day. It’s been months and months now, and I still get a few dozen Fitoor views every single week.
And I know my regular readers don’t like the detailed summary posts (unless it’s a really popular movie), because they fall into that #2 category of almost no views per hour in the first 24. And I feel bad that all my time and energy goes to those posts that you guys don’t like. But oh my gosh is it worth it! I got over a 1,000 views on my ADHM spoiler review within the first 2 days, and over 500 new visitors, mostly just for that.
Of course, most of those visitors don’t stick around. They just pop-over, skip to the end of my summary to find out what happens, and then leave, never to return. But it’s a nice little thrill for a few days, having thousands of strangers descend, just to find out what the resolution is of some movie they’ve seen ads for. And it just keeps coming, in waves, I can tell every time a film is on TV or DVD or added to a streaming site, because I’ll get another little burst in my SPOILER posts from months earlier.
So, because of this, not because of popularity among my regular readers, ADHM spoiler review is my most popular post right now, Baar Baar Dekho is my second most popular post of all time, and good old Fitoor is number three. The key seems to be, a movie that was promoted enough that people are curious about it, but at the same time so bad that most people can’t stand to actually watch it through to the end. Or, in the case of ADHM, a movie that isn’t as widely released as it could be. And then the producers lose, and I win!
(Everybody watched this song and went “what a fun song and interesting cast! I wonder what happens?” And then they read the reviews and went “I will never see this movie, but I still wonder what happens.” And then my SPOILER summary comes along and I get A MILLION views!)