The first thing I learned is that blogging every day is hard. Some people live their whole life without making a point and here I am, trying to make a point every day. In the last 50 days, I have published 50 posts, but written/attempted to write more than 100 posts. For every post that appears on this blog, there is one post that doesn’t make it.
If I average 500 words a post and taken into accounts only finished posts that appear on this blog, it would be 25000 words, half the length of a young adult novel. On average, I spend a little more than 2 hours a day, or 15 hours a week, blogging. If blogging was a class at Stanford it’d be a 5-unit class. It isn’t an easy ride given that I already have my real class (I have a 3.5 hour lecture every day), work at a lab, watch Suits (thanks Delenn for dragging me down with you), and try to have some summer fun in a foreign country. When it’s 2am and you just get back from a pub crawl with your friends in London, all tipsy and ready for bed, you really don’t want to write.
Struggle, yes, I struggle a lot. Naomi saw me sleep-deprived and offered her sympathy: “Why are you doing this to yourself?” Paul couldn’t grasp my logic: “What are you trying to achieve with this blog again?” A lot of my friends have similar questions, so I’ll try to answer it here.
First, I want to see myself committed to something. I want to teach myself discipline. My whole life I have been a quitter, and it’s about time I change that. I really thought I’d give up after a few days, but I did not.
Second, I find blogging a great way to learn. If I just think about something, I get distracted and forget about it quickly. When I write about it and put it out there in public, I have no choice but to think about it harder, do more research, try to really understand it and find the best way to explain it.
Third, I just love writing. It feels great to know that sometimes my writing gives value to other people. My post Timeline for all events related to the fish deaths in Vietnam was widely shared among people who cared about the unfortunate event and the following social unrest in Vietnam. It was quoted by a few Vietnamese news sites and even a French website.
Even though modest, this blog starts having readers. In the last 50 days, this blog got almost 35,000 views and 13,526 visitors, which means it gets about 700 views/day.
I didn’t do a great job of showing the subscribe options, you have to click on the menu icon on the top right of the blog to see it, but I start having subscribers. I have 140 subscribers by email and 98 blog followers, which means my blog has 238 subscribers in total. Yay!
I also looked at the breakdown of where my readers come from. As expected, the majority of my readers are from Vietnam and the US.
My blog is also pretty popular among UK and Singapore readers for some reason. And I have no idea how people in UAE found my blog. I even have 1 reader from Bhutan, 1 from Swaziland and 1 from Gabon.
Below are the 10 most popular posts on my blog in the last 50 days.
- [Day 5] How to become a CEO at 23
- [Day 10] Timeline for all events related to the fish deaths in Vietnam
- [Day 48] Tamypu
- [Day 26] Chip in Tinderland
- [Day 13] Weird things English speakers say
- [Day 19] Why are we such cowards
- [Day 41] Durians to Westerners is like cheese to Asians
- [Day 40] Asian fetish or yellow fever
- [Day 4] Why Stanford students are embarrassed of the school they go to
- [Day 8] Who exactly is the Thai cafe lady