The Half Mil Mark

June 19, 2014 § 29 Comments

Pleased. The boy, not the fish.

Pleased. The boy, not the fish.

Yesterday when I went to add Peter Gray’s blurb to the sidebar on the right I noticed this blog just went over a half-million page views. I don’t really know if that’s a lot or not; it sure seems like a fair bit to me, but someone once told me that Amanda gets something like a gazillion views per month. I have no idea if that’s truth or rumor, but I do know that the times she’d linked to my page, my traffic has gone lunar. Funny thing, though: None of them seem stick around very long. Maybe I need to start sewing my own dresses.

I stopped monitoring my traffic about the time I realized I never want to sell ads. Indeed, deciding I never want to sell ads was in some part dictated by my decision that I never want to feel beholden to growing this space beyond what it wants to be. That’s not to say I don’t care about having readers, because I do. I just don’t want to care about having readers more than I care about feeling free to write whatever I want, whenever I want. I suspect if I was a bit more strategic, I could figure out what sort of subjects attract the most readers. I’d probably figure out that using words like “ain’t” and “geezum” and writing about my sons shooting guns and eating beaver and furthermore admitting to my affinity for men-children like Van Halen and Motorhead aren’t doing much for my rep. Actually, they’re probably doing a lot. It’s just not good. By-the-by, as proof that my musical tastes are not obsessively childish, I offer this recording of our friends. Now if that don’t make you feel lucky to be livin’…

In any event. A half-million page views. I guess it’s a milestone, though of course it’s also just another number. Either way, it’s an opportunity to thank all of you who have supported this space, either materially, or simply by reading and maybe commenting.

So, thank you. It means a lot.

§ 29 Responses to The Half Mil Mark

  • Kent says:

    Half a million page views . . . wow! If even a fraction of these views result in a fraction of the pleasure I derive from my own single view . . . WOW, WOW, WOW!!! Thanks Ben . . . THANKS!

  • Martha Caldwell-Young says:

    Thanks for this taste of Sheesham & Mayfly. And thanks for introducing me to Jason Isabell – he quickly became one of my favorites.
    I enjoy your writing. Keep doin’ what you’re doin’. :)

  • Eumaeus says:

    Nice song. You know, I’ve found it hard to find modern music that I want to listen too again and again. But I like the substance there. I like the words. I like the tone. I like the mood. The tone and mood and words remind me of the early Carter Family stuff. Now that’s music I can listen to again and again…. and again…. and again.
    What’s the difference between that and this? I think it might be the weight of the emotion expressed. With the modern stuff it is almost like they give you something to carry. Where the old stuff carried the emotion differently. I don’t know if that’s making sense.
    The Storms Are On The Ocean was released in 1928, coming on a hundred years. hot dog
    Best song I know written is probably Suzanne by leonard cohen and that was 1968. That’s about as modern as I can get unless you count Marley. Survival was released in 1979. Anyway, thanks for the recommendation I’ll look for more from Sheesham.
    Half million page views should sell some books. I’ve had 6,209 views on the Worm. And I think that’s just because i’m not working as hard as I usually do to alienate people.

  • elizabeth says:

    You know, I found you through Amanda and kept coming back. Love the beaver eating and gun shooting stuff and I am European, so that should tell ya something.
    I think part of the reason that Amanda gets a gazillion views is because she has ads, she does give-aways and mostly steers clear of politically incorrect topics – things that will cost her her audience. I really like her blog, but those three things are exactly what annoys me about her website sometimes.
    So anyway, stay your beaver eating self and some weirdo’s may become very loyal readers. Thanks for blogging.

  • Julie says:

    It’s likely that I found you through Amanda too. I agree with Elizabeth, I find it terribly annoying that Amanda advertises and pushes her sponsors so heavily. Her authentic voice has been muddled and diluted through the years. I liked her blog so much better early on.

    Please stay true to your heart and keep this space ad free and authentic. I get such pleasure reading about your life. Keep it real!

  • amy says:

    Happy half mil! And that song… oh my. Fantastic.

  • Katrina says:

    Congratulations! I did find you through Amanda, and I enjoy the differences, and so keep coming back. I am very excited to read your upcoming book!
    And one of these days I’m going to be flush enough that I can be generous…. the reading, and then thinking, enjoyment you’ve brought me certainly deserves more than I can repay.
    I read many of your blog posts to my daughter and husband, and then we have great discussions!

  • Megan says:

    i dont remember how i found you but thanks for not having ads.

  • amy says:

    Thanks for being different, Ben, and for not caring overmuch about the number of views. And thank you for using words like dadgum and whatnot. And on the half a million mark: well done!

  • Joy says:

    I came via Amanda and stayed. Some of those half mil hits are me coming back time and again to re-read stuff and showing my boys the ham bone (i wondered what on earth that could be – a strange butchery technique?!). Todays song is great, cheers. I have loved reading about Nate and a calf named after a gun and all those ways you talk about living life as fully and completely as you do. Maybe some photos of Penny knitting…..?!!!!

  • Michelle says:

    I read Amanda’s blog. In fact, I first found your great writing in the Taproot magazine. I look each quarter, first thing, to see if you have contributed. Yours is by far my most favorite blog to read. So there you have it. :)

  • CassieOz says:

    I found you via Down To Earth and have stayed Ben. I appreciate your ‘voice’ and the life you so obviously love. I’ll be back again and again. Congratulations.

  • Catherine says:

    I really enjoy your blogs. I appreciate what you say, and how you say it.
    Congratulations, and thanks!!

  • Vonnie says:

    ah, I found you when I went to see you do a reading and discussion up in Concord (I hesitate every so slightly to tell you I don’t know who Amanda is). Saw the ad that you were speaking, I KNEWI loved the subject matter, so went to see you. Kept on coming back when you’re in my area, and have never been disappointed.

    Half mil, sweet mile marker for sure…but I’m also sure that it won’t be long before you’re over that mil mark, either. I admire that either way as I get about 10 consistent readers over on my blog (okay, maybe a couple more then that, but no where near the half mil mark!)

    Ads are definitely a double edged sword, but if it means needing to change what you write, fer sure, don’t do it. ~Vonnie

  • ncfarmchick says:

    I found your blog after reading “The Town That Food Saved” and thinking, “I’ve got to read whatever else this guy is talking about.” I enjoy so much about your writing but mostly your ability to make the reader feel as if they are having a personal conversation with you. I don’t know if its “voice” or just your writing style but it appeals to me immensely. We do not run into many people who share our lifestyle so finding inspiration and community on a blog such as yours (by far, my favorite!) fills some voids I don’t think we knew we had. Farming can be a bit isolating, in a sense, even when it is an isolation of one’s choosing. The lack of ads and gimmicks in this space that some other blogs chose to feature is much appreciated and just underscores that you are who you present yourself to be. Thank you, Ben! Peace!

  • Jenny says:

    I came over from Amanda’s blog which is a now and again read for me. And while you royally get on my t*ts sometimes (see below), I appreciate the authenticity and wit and appropriate level of “I don’t give a Shiitake.” I will say the post about going to NYC (and shucks Paw, a starbucks on every corner, forget them there museums and restaurants) was writing 101 thanks for the no ads and hopefully there is another avenue to make money via this blog.

    • Ben Hewitt says:

      Well, we simple country folk are shur sorry for gittin on your tattas. Golly. Must hurt like the dickens.

      By and by, there is another avenue to support this blog… just click on the generosity enabler in the right hand sidebar. Maybe you’ll leave me enough to afford one of them fancy city restaurants.

  • MissFifi says:

    I came over via Down to Earth blog and now your blog is one of my daily check ins.
    You cover all sorts of topics, including things people don’t want to discuss, politics, guns, unschooling and even if I do not agree with everything 100%, I appreciate the candor.
    I also wanted to say that you got me reading Ezra Caldwell’s blog, and it breaks my heart that he is no longer of this earth. Thanks for that tip and for so many others. Looking forward to so much more.

  • ~Yola says:

    Another person here who found you through Amanda (likely when she first posted the Taproot site, and I checked out all the contributors who blog).
    I check both your blogs daily during the week, for different reasons, mostly because they get me in the right mindset to have an enjoyable, laid back, crazy busy homeschooling day with my 5 kids, and because I love to read about other peoples methods of homesteading as I try to figure out how we would like to do similar things when we finally get some dirt of our own to tend.
    I love the no nonsense tone of your blog , and the honest dumbfoundedness that seeps through when your discussing the rat race that so many people seem to enjoy (I don’t get it either, at all, and can barely bring myself to leave the little rock in the Salish Sea I live on to visit Grandma in the little town I grew up in that seems to be trying to become a mini Toronto) You make me laugh on a regular basis, and teach me plenty to boot….so I keep coming back :)

  • stretch23 says:

    Ben, I enjoy all your observations about living an authentic life. You are an inspiration to those of us who feel compelled to opine about the life around us. Feel free to monetize my eyeballs any way you wish. (found you through Cam Mather)

  • Andrea Graves says:

    Hi, I came via Soulemama, and stayed. You don’t need to sew.

  • Kelsey says:

    Ben, My husband and I met you in Ashland,WI he helped facilitate the series you were a part of. We love your style and humor. It’s awesome that you don’t do advertisements, and I love that you say what’s on your mind in exactly the way it comes to mind. we’re tuned in for the long haul.

  • Dirk Anderson says:

    Less hair-metal bands and mammal evisceration, more fuzzy ducklings. It might bring in the readers, but it just wouldn’t be you.

    If you want to do a giveaway though, I could use a bigger chain saw.

  • Jenn says:

    Congratulations on the #s! Pretty wonderful. I have no idea how I stumbled here some time ago… I have been going back through your old posts lately and reading them out loud to the hubs – I might be a big part of those numbers recently :) I grew up on a farm in upstate NY (much of my childhood was like your boys and now am in Maine and slowly working to be self sustainable and give the same childhood to my little loves). I can’t wait for the new book and am thankful for your independent voice. Keep livin’ the good life, you guys are incredibly inspiring!

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