Happy Fifth Blogiversary (to me)

Surprisingly I could not find a ‘Blogiversary’ song so I guess this will have to do!

It is May 6, 2023. After five years and over 200 original posts it’s been a journey of listening, learning and sharing. What can I say, I really love talking about music, and in particular Cover Songs. I have been at WordPress for just over a year now and one of the best things about that is finding a welcome community of music enthusiasts. I don’t have any music talk today, just some thoughts and reflections on blogging.

Statistically you could say, as I am now very happy with the move but I had a bit of a set back leaving Google’s Blogger format. After four years, um, their search engine kind of, well almost, erased me. I was assured by the folks at WordPress that my web presence would come back and they have been true to their word. While the pageviews are not back to the old average of about 1,500 per week, on the upside if searching for the “most covered pop songs and artists”, in particular my most covered stats post has my site popping up on the first page. This had never happen with Blogger. I have exceeded all of last years numbers already. So I do know that people are finding me, primarily on Google but other search engines as well every day, in fact this is typically over 90% of my daily traffic.

I have been keeping a running total of the songs and artists stats for the most covered posts for a few years now and will continue to keep them updated on a regular basis. I have not found anyone else that tracks this information in this way. Not every post is of interest to everyone, but for my followers, email list and regular readers, hopefully you are getting something out of them. Some people like the numbers, some like the stories, some like a bit of both. Secondandsongs.com has been, well I couldn’t do this without them. As I mentioned Google as a search engine, I use it every day, it is a great help and can save many hours, especially if you know how to do a search. An acquired skill I might add. Wikipedia is a great resource as well, perhaps not always correct but ‘it’ sure knows a lot more than I do. Thanks to the many YouTube posters of the clips I use, it still amazes me that when I search for some obscure or ancient song that someone has taken the time to provide it. I do make a monthly donation to Wikipedia and I have a bit of a ‘rotation’ for subscriptions and payment to other sources. If we don’t support them they won’t be able to continue, this I feel is very important.

On that line of thinking, I do want to take a moment to discuss the integrity of information. Personally I do try to be as accurate as possible. Like all of us there is an amount of accumulated knowledge and the rest is just research. Sources I noted above I have come to trust and for example, with Secondhandsongs.com I very rarely find an error or omission when I am able to cross reference. The research and information from them, while not exhaustive is the most complete available anywhere.

However, when searching on the web, if I find what I believe is an error I have given up attempting to point out it out. I find them regularly, but here is just one example. I once suggested, correctly I might add that someone had confused names on a list of credits for a particular song they had posted on Youtube. In response I was told I was “smug” and they never did change it, despite me providing evidence. I guess that’s one interpretation but I’d like to think I am a bit more open minded about my own mistakes. This goes back a bit before Vevo and Official sites took over, but there was a post on Youtube for years that was labelled as an “official original” Dylan recording that had over 100 thousand hits, however it was not Bob Dylan singing. My reports at the time seemingly went unheeded, as I don’t think I had anything to do with its eventual disappearance. Given what people were saying in the comments section, some thought it really was Bob singing, despite many posting warnings it was not. So what does this have to do with integrity? Well, a couple things.

In order to get something right we need to have some facts. Some facts are easier to confirm than others. We find that the line between fact and fiction, or information and disinformation has become increasingly more blurred. I don’t really talk about anything too important but I find that there are some sources that make claims that are not backed up or particularly well researched. Even in major and well known publications. Opinions, my own or otherwise are great, but they are not fact. Refreshingly, I do find the blogger’s I follow on WordPress.com to be very well informed. However we see spam, scams and phishing every day on social media and trolls are everywhere. Just yesterday on a FB fan page I follow there was a spam post that many people had responded to, perhaps we get on autopilot or something and just click on things because they are there.

After some while of working at it, I think I have gotten to the point of writing a half decent post (some may argue that I’m not there yet) so if you go back to older ones try not to hold it against me. My grammar, syntax and more needs work. The formatting is messed up on the old blogger posts and I am slowing getting back to fix them where I can. Links die all the time so I try and check those as well.

I had no idea how long I would keep at it and truly I’ve thought about packing it in more than once. There was little in the way of a plan and frankly I still don’t have one. I’m all over the place for genres, most everything is ‘old’, and generally I just think of something, and then I write. I have also had the privilege of doing some guest writing on WordPress, in that case someone else (Dave and so far one from Max) decides the topic. This has helped to re-energized me, these are some of my favorite posts. Reading the hosts site and the other writers submissions is probably even more fun, many appear to know as much or more about music than I do, so I’m learning new things every day. It seems we all have our little niche and not all of them write exclusively about music.

I have had several positive comments from other writers and readers regarding the detail and statistical information I have provided in some of my posts. It is very nice to have this acknowledged. Perhaps some of this is not really necessary, but it is part of what I enjoy the most, the more I dig the more I learn. In the areas where I am most familiar, it is a matter of fact checking, so that I include the correct names and dates, adding it is me showing the reader that I have done my homework. There is a lot of filling in the blanks (having more of those than I would like). There is a site I often turn to for music charts, Barry Hits of All Decades. The link may show up as ‘unsecure’, but in all the years I have used it there has never been a problem, it’s like the encyclopedia of Chart history.

I have no actual qualifications to be writing about music, nor can I sing or play an instrument, excluding my school days and playing an awful (generously described) Coronet in High School. Thanks to that exposure, and having gained the ability to read music (long since lost btw) it did help fuel my interest. I’m fond of saying “I can’t hold a beat from one side of a closet to the next”. Mom could certainly do a jig, my Father had some musical abilities and dabbled on some instruments. However my two older brothers ‘stole’ that DNA and have real legit talent on guitars.

While some posts take longer than others, I do everything myself these days and despite a lot of editing I still manage typos in every post. Admittedly I am a slow writer so on the high end I can easily put in 40 plus hours to complete a post, the odd short one I have punched out in as little as 2-3 hours. I really can’t say what my average time spent per post would be, believe it {sic} I edit down my word count, sometimes by half.

I will admit to my vanity in regard to tracking some site statistics. While I don’t use a compass it’s nice to know where my posts have been. I could not have imagined having just shy of 190,000 total page views originating from 130 Countries. Just this past April I had visits from 53 different countries. The bulk of all my traffic is from the US, but it is interesting to see names like Guernsey or Malta show up several times. There are at least 70 of those countries with more than one visit. I referenced it earlier as my top post, the annual songs and artists stat’s update the last two (2022/23) had over 800 pageviews in April and have amassed over 8,000 in the four years I have been doing it. I’m sure some TikTokers are getting that many per day.

It’s not that I am competing with anyone but I guess what I am saying is that if one takes the time to write and post, you do hope that someone out there may be interested. If I stop enjoying it then I will stop writing. So it’s the readers, the feedback and the great chats with friends that keep me going. More stuff on cover songs and music yet to come.

I just want to thank my patient wife and #1 fan for backing me. My two daughters have pitched in to do some editing in the past and I have friends and family who have been very encouraging. Thank you to those who keep me alive on Facebook. To all my supporters, and I won’t name names but you know who you are, Thank You!

Happy reading and joyful listening! Randy.


40 thoughts on “Happy Fifth Blogiversary (to me)

  1. Congratulations, Randy! I’ve enjoyed following along with your website and look forward to more posts. Maintaining one of these websites is not easy – time and commitment are the greatest enemies, so celebrating even a month, let alone years of hard work, is always worth appreciating!

    I hear you on the stats, too. It can be deflating when something doesn’t connect for whatever reason, but it doesn’t mean the writing is wasted! I say as long as writing still makes you happy, that’s what matters most. Blogging is like a marathon – better to build toward the long term rather than worry too much over the short term!

    Again, congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on keeping it going. I (sigh) do know the work and time and facts that are all figure into the finished product. Writing a blog isn’t all brilliantly inspired insights followed by speed-of-lightning typing producing easy endless screeds of stunning prose! There is a bucketload of tedious scrolling and fact checking- and that never ever ending editing. Because the first person we must want to be happy with our output is ourself. If I’m not happy with it I sure as Hell can’t expect that others will be.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy Blogiversary Randy! You do a great job of creating blogs that are readable, relatable and understandable. To us (you know who we are) you have always been our music guru!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy Blogiversary Randy! You do a fantastic job pulling all this information together in a readable and understandable way. You’ve always been our music guru!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy anniversary! What a beautiful and heartfelt post Randy. As you know, I am fairly new to the game, but everything you’ve described about the process definitely rings true. Thank you for sharing!


  6. Congrats to you for 5 years! Since I found your site, I’ve come to really enjoy your blogs and the effort you put in is obvious…not only are many of the stats you present quite amazing, so too is the amount of time it must take to compile your lists, for instance.
    Good point on Wikipedia – I try to send them a few bucks regularly since I use it pretty much daily.
    Here’s to your next 5!


  7. Happy Anniversery Randy…I’m glad you decided to stay with it. I’ve thought the same thing before. Glad you enjoyed the Beatle thing…we have a massive “draft” every year that I should have started by now but I had all of that stuff to do…now that is done I will plan it out.
    You do some of the best quality posts here…great to have you in with our group.


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