I’ve been blogging regularly since July 2007 on my two blogs Looking at History and the History Zone, putting the posts I write on both. Both sites are designed to promote history as a subject as well as providing me with a vehicle for putting forward my own ideas on the subject as well as on current political issues. History Zone began life as a blog on Windows Live before migrating to WordPress at the beginning of October 2010; Looking at History has used the Google blog platform from the outset. The only reason for having two blogs with broadly the same material is the result of a comment from a friend who said it would allow me to maximise audiences. He was right…Looking at History has had over 830,000 hits in the intervening years while History Zone has had a mere 71,000…such is the influence of Google as a search engine. In many respects the blogs acted as first drafts of material that later found its way into some of my published books and though marketing was not one of the reasons why I began blogging, it is now an integral part of my marketing strategies.
Both blogs are now within spitting distance of a thousand posts, an average of 125 posts a year or just over two a week. This reinforces the point made by many professional bloggers that the key to building and retaining an audience is to post regularly and, in the case of political comments, make them current…little point in commenting on the question of tuition fees two weeks after politicians proposed to reduce them from £9,000 to £6,000 should they win the General Election. That, and their subject matter, has resulted in building a large audience in the UK, United States, Canada and Australia but also in Germany, France, Ukraine, Russia, Spain and India. At this moment, the blog is being looked at in the UK, Australia, United States, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Algeria, Kenya, the Netherlands and the Philippines using computers, phones, tablets and iPads. The blogs have become truly global in their audience, have been referred to on other blogs and have even found their way into several academic books.
Many people begin blogging with good intentions only to fail after a few posts or the posts become so irregular that the blog ends up lacking an real coherence. I was lucky in that I had a pretty good idea about what my intentions for the blogs and, though they have evolved over the years, those intentions remain largely unchanged. So I plan to continue doing what I’m doing and what I enjoy and hope that my audience agrees.