Blog posts are funny things – the ones you think are going to do well can occasionally flop, and the ones you least expect can take you by surprise. My biggest surprise of 2020 was a post I wrote on that cheeky little winter chap, Jack Frost. It didn’t take off at the time, but it’s now on page 1 of Google’s search results – and it’s got me onto Wikipedia too! Here’s how it happened…
After a frosty morning school run last winter, I started to wonder what his folklore origin might be. Once I started digging, there was very little to find on him, but I pulled it all together, drew some conclusions, and found a nice picture. I titled it “Where did Jack come from? The origin of Jack Frost”, published it as usual, and went about my day. It wasn’t one of my most popular posts, and that’s fine – sometimes the things that take your fancy as a blogger do not take the fancy of others. Sometimes it’s just a pleasure to write it, and I didn’t think much more about it.
But as the year wore on, and I checked my website stats as I regularly do, I noticed something curious happening – my post on little Jack Frost was getting more and more hits. It started as a few dozen here and there, and then into the hundreds, until by the end of 2020 it had become my second most visited post (behind the one about our experience of a COVID test centre).
And then the most curious thing of all – the referrers. This little section of website stats is one of my favourites, because it tells me where my site visitors came from. Usually it’s Facebook, because that’s where I share my blog most widely, but suddenly search engines like Google and Bing were showing big numbers…and most incredible of all, Wikipedia.
Astonished, I went to investigate. Using the search term “Where did Jack Frost come from”, I was delighted to find that my post was the third result on Google – under a Wikipedia page of the same name. I clicked into that – much of which I’d used in my research for the original post – and discovered that I have, in fact, been added as the number 4 official source!
Do have a look for yourself, here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Frost
So how did this happen? I think the clues were there early on in the researching process. If you struggle to find information about a particular subject, you’re probably onto a winner for becoming an online authority on the topic. Use the right title and keywords, and you’re even more likely to get up there. Share it in the right places, and you’ll speed things up even more. As for Wiki, I have no idea how that happened – perhaps the route is to make an edit to a relevant subject page yourself, then credit your post as a source!
I have no idea who all these people are who are interested in where Jack Frost came from – perhaps a school set the question for homework – but it just goes to show how quickly a post’s fortunes can change, if it finds its audience.