Monday, August 13, 2012

Blog Olympics: Legos Beat Kardashians

I haven't been blogging much lately, for reasons that wouldn't interest anyone but the terminally bored. I've been involved in the normal range of activities that most people find manageable, but I, for some reason, don't. I've got the usual number of piles and projects deposited around the house in varying states of incompleteness, attesting to the fact that blogging hasn't lost out to productivity just yet.

I can't blame "not blogging" on the Olympics, either. I'm apparently a lousy American, because I barely watched 10 minutes total. And I followed the preparations in London like the sad Anglophile I am, thinking I'd finally watch "The Games" this year. I always think that, but then the coverage actually commences and I find I'm not interested. I watch highlights and recaps with the sound off, but beyond that, I'm content to look at Wheaties boxes to find out who won.

The competitive activity I've been glued to is the statistical analysis of my neglected blog. I have been trying to look at what I'm writing that "works," and what I post that falls flat. Blogger, the Google blogging platform I publish through, makes it very easy to analyze the impact of my writing. Studying my statistics, sparse as they are, is usually a pretty dull experience. As regular readers know, some months ago I attempted to build my readership by invoking the most trendy word I could think of: Kardashian. I used the name multiple times in a blog to see if the Google search insects would calculate that, based on the frequent appearance of such an important word (Kardashian), my article must be important and should therefore be featured high on any keyword search.

At least this is how savvy bloggers claim to get more traffic - choose trending keywords and execute careful keyword placement. So I gave it a go a few months back, writing not one, but two articles about the Kardashian phenomenon and how it has personally affected my family. If you missed them, the one about Eric's notorious extramarital affair with one or more Kardashians is here, while the recap of my blog's influence on the Kardashian's endorsement deal with Sears is covered here. Feel free to go back and read them, since you are really not missing much here.

Aaaaanyway, it was fun, and I'm sure a few random teenage girls stumbled on my blog before hurriedly clicking the "back" button, but other than a brief spike in hits on the day I published those two, I detected no lasting increase in traffic. I decided to let the Kardashians to go find another housewife to do their publicity. I was clearly not cut out for such a glamorous assignment.

So I went back to the tried-and-true philosophy of "Write What You Know," cranked out a few articles that were probably examples of better writing, but still my same predictable housewife schtick. Google Analytics showed very steady, undramatic charts and graphs to indicate a small dedicated readership, with only the occasional "Kardashian" search.

Real life continued to get in the way of meaningful writing, spring turned to summer, and one day I decided to look at my stats again, to see who or what was going on behind the scenes at "Polite Ravings" while I was ignoring it.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that a different Registered Trademark had overtaken the Kardashians in keyword search frequency in my traffic analytics? I'd always hoped the gushing odes to my Keurig or Dyson would finally draw in some random readers (or advertisers), but the magic product that attracted so much attention was one I don't even own:


I wrote about my introduction to today's microscopic building sets in a fun blog you can find rat-cheer. The post was really about how much I enjoyed the job of babysitting a charming 5 year old, owner of enough Legos to construct a mid-sized strip mall. Looking back, I'd have to say I was writing about how Legos brought this little boy and I closer. The catalyst could have been confusing baseball cards or a violent video game, but fortunately, we bonded over wholesome building blocks.

Legos, and their ninja subsidiary, Ninjagos, have propelled me to the highest number of search hits in my 2.5 year blogging history. If you include my favorite Ninjago character, Kai, in the keyword search data, the collective impact of Legos on my blog traffic is a staggering three times the total of the Kardashians!

I now see which side my bread is buttered on.

Oh, the Kardashians haven't heard the last of me - I'm sure they are shaking in their stilettoes as they read that promise. I browsed their trashy, poorly-made Klearance racks while at Sears yesterday. Not surprisingly, there were more Kardashian Kollection fashions on Klearance than there were new product. I could have left that store with four complete slutty outfits and a scarf for under $100, which is not a bad bit of shopping by my standards. But the stuff is hideous. That's just an opinion, but the racks echo my sentiment. It warms my heart to think that there are more sleazy clothes than sleazy people to buy them. I'm sure I'll be forced to bring up the Kardashians from time to time, just to keep them on their toes.

But what does it mean, that more people search "Legos" than "Kardashians?" What does it portend for hopeless, imitative bloggers? Do I have a future in toy reviewing or babysitting? How can I capitalize on my unintended success with Lego shoppers? Is there some way to combine the concepts of chin hairs and toys for profit?

Yes, these questions provide ample opportunity to think more and do less, which may have become my personal motto by default. In the medal count, I may not get any gold for blogging, but I'm clearly a world-class procrastinator.


  1. I heard Lego is having trouble marketing to girls. Even I know why--girls don't want a model to build with instructions. They want open ended free form play with pretty colors and fun shapes-but mostly they want people. I can see it now: Kardashian Legos. Little girls can form a little golden brick road and line up their little hooker Legos along the side of the street. My boys would happily build the cars for the "Johns". Boy it's a good thing I don't babysit.

    1. Mindy, you are brilliant! Please delete this comment so I can pretend that "Lego Kardashians" is my own idea! You are why I'm glad I only have 2!

  2. Nice line: "I'm content to look at Wheaties boxes to find out who won." ;-)