Just a trifle

This post is what I have written for this month’s meeting of the writing group I joined last year.  The prompt “Just a trifle” was really about how a detail can bring a piece of narrative to life.  Considering the names of my blogs, I could not resist writing about them.

One of the piano pieces I learned to play while I was still at junior school was called “Un petit rien”.  The editorial notes above the music explained that the phrase meant “A trifle”.  Once I began to learn French I realised that it actually meant “A little nothing”.

My Grandad asked a riddle.

“What is smaller than nothing?”

We were puzzled.

“The dot on the middle,” he told us.

We were still puzzled.

He fetched paper and a pencil.  First he drew the shape of a nought (or zero as we are learning to say.)  Next he put a dot in the middle.  “That’s smaller than nothing!”

Smaller than nothing

Smaller than nothing

So a trifle is something insignificant – or is it?

When I began my first blog in July 2012 I needed a name for it.  As it was going to be about sayings and perhaps proverbs, I thought a name along those lines would be appropriate.  Registering for a free WordPress blog, I needed a name, which had not already been used.

I tried “catintheadage” – it had gone.  So had “consideredtrifles”.  That was an abandoned blog about food.  Later in the day I tried “suesconsideredtrifles”.  It was mine!

After about eight months, having caught the blogging bug, I was debating whether or not to start a new blog.  I decided that if I could have Sue’s Trifles, I’d definitely do so.  I could and I did.  Sue’s Trifles now has 500 posts.  These range from craft posts to responses to blogging challenges, points of view and more besides.  A blogger wrote a memorable comment on a post I published about mental health.  She thanked me for tackling a not-at-all trifling subject.

Out of my 500 posts only three have been specifically about mental health, but one of those has the most votes as a 5 star post.  It is in my top five most-viewed posts.

My most popular post for a long time was the first craft one I wrote. It was about a pin cushion I made at the craft group using Cathedral window patchwork.  That has now been overtaken by a knitting one about enlarging the neck of a child’s sweater.  Two posts linked with other sites have also been viewed more than most.  One about overcoming shyness was featured on a site for bloggers over-40 and the other was the reflections post after this year’s A to Z challenge.

One of my favourite trifles is this, written in response to the prompt: Three people walked into a bar.

Three men walked into a bar.  They didn’t do it on purpose.

It was a dark and stormy night.  The electricity had gone off, so there were no street lights.  They had been in a bar earlier and were a bit the worse for wear.

They decided to take a short cut down a side street.  They were walking three abreast with their arms linked for mutual support.  They didn’t see the alley gate – a red and white striped bar across the road.

Three men walked into a bar.  Ouch!


Looking back over five months of 2015

Every few months I find it necessary to look back over my blogs and see what surprises there have been.  With my reduced blogging output (weekly instead of daily on this blog apart from April) It has been over five months since I published a similar post.

My first post for 2015 was an outline of my plans.  I had not understood that #MondayBlogs do not have to be published on Mondays.

Dealing with shyness was featured on Post40Bloggers.

Two personal posts

Social media and the difficulties of leading a balanced life

Blogging, belief and books

A new word – a rare submission for the Daily Prompt with photo and humour

Not the numbers The internet is huge

The Heretic – Book review of Henry Vyner-Brooks’ historical novel

Valentine’s Day and other Red letter days

Doll’s trousers and hat (crochet)

Life, death, luck and Lent thoughts from Sue, who listens to people talking on trains!

Doll’s clothes and “that dress” Craft and social media

Poetry in Lent A poem and a photo

How to enlarge a knitted garment without frogging

A to Z Challenge 2015 a link to over 26 posts relating to the challenge including the reflections post.

What I have learned about Social Media during April

What’s next on Sue’s Trifles?

Mental Health Awareness Week

Christmas crafts

Patriotic squares and other motifs Crochet

Looking back through my posts, I realise that closing comments after 30 days, while fending off spammers, makes it difficult for genuine readers to comment.  For the A to Z Road Trip, my A to Z page is the best place to comment.

My What’s New page on Sue’s considered trifles is also a source of information about what I am doing online.

Thank you for visiting.  I hope you found something of interest here.


Analysis of blog stats and strategy

It is impossible to separate out all the factors which contribute to traffic to blogs. There are factors which bloggers have some control over and others which they do not. There are reasons people visit blogs and reasons they do not, which have nothing to do with the quality of the content.

Recommended ways to increase traffic:-
1. Publicise posts on other platforms, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (including sharing with communities)
2. Link with relevant challenges, e.g. Daily Prompt on WordPress, #BEDN (Blog Every Day in November) and/or #BEDM (Blog Every Day in May), Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge
3. Take part in competitions
4. Write Guest Blog posts
5. Comment on blogs with relevance to your own

My “What’s New” page (on Sue’s considered trifles) is a history of my blogging journey. Because my blogs are not well-known, I can track the reasons for spikes in my traffic.
One spike in views on my first blog arose when I alerted a RL friend to my blogging activities after publishing a poem about the school we attended. She had never read a blog before!
The maximum on my second blog arose on Christmas Eve, when I took part in a blog hop with many of the A to Z community, posting a prayer for Christmas Eve.
Many of the comments on my blogs are pingbacks, generated when other posts link to mine. I have eliminated those from my totals in parentheses for 2 May 2014 in the tables below. I am unable to extract my own pingbacks from my comment totals.
Entering the UK Blog Awards did increase the number of views and followers of my blogs. I have widgets on each of my blogs to attempt to lure visitors across. Sometimes this works!
It is impossible to know how much the growth in traffic is due to one cause rather than another.

Reasons people do not read a particular post include:-
1. Holiday times (can go either way)
2. Sporting fixtures
3. Good weather
4. Failure to publicise
5. Not commenting/liking other posts

My most popular posts and pages on Sue’s considered trifles are:-

Title Views
Home page / Archives 2,114
About 368
Hands, knees and boomps-a–daisy 76
Links 66
How did I get here? 59
Good, better, best 54
Bread and butter – Food and drink (Part 4) 50
I’m a bookworm, are you? 47
Contents 39
Index 39
Writing 39
Introduction to Sue’s considered trifles 38
Hints and tips 34
What’s new? 32
That’s funny! 30
Do you roll your R’s? 27
Crash, bang, wallop 26
Pegging out 26
Dear School 26
Bonfire Night 25
How are you? 25
My favourites 25
Music 24
Sweet and savoury – Food and drink (Part 3) 22
With hindsight 22

For Sue’s Trifles my most popular posts are:-

Title Views
Home page / Archives 997
Cathedral Window Patchwork Pincushion 192
About 127
Tips for new bloggers from A to Z on wordpress.com 99
Christmas Eve prayer 93
UK Blog Awards 2014 66
A to Z Challenge 2013 63
Three men 58
Superpower 57
All is revealed 55
Twenty six 55
The key to success 54
When was the last full moon? 50
Let it not snow! 45
Too soon (or too late?) 44
Back to school 41
Alphabetical challenge 41
Quirk of habit 39
What every blogger should know 37
My blogging year – 2013 in review 37
Blog Every Day in November 37
What do you know? 37
A book review for World Book Day 37
A is for… 36
Politically correct? 35
B is for… 35
Reading matter 33
Stardom 32
Contents 31
A is for… 31
A great teacher 31
Looking forward to Blogging from A to Z in April 30
Wave power 30
Knock, knock  30

The organisers of the UK Blog Awards promised that they would help unknown blogs to grow. I believe that this was true, but involved a considerable amount of effort from the bloggers.

Here are some snapshots of my stats for both blogs during the time my blogs were entered for the UK Blog Awards and soon after the awards evening.

Sue’s considered trifles

Date Total views Best daily total Com-ments Fol-
Com-ments by Sue Posts Notes
16 Dec 2013 3815 49 682 253 195 164 After #BEDN
27 Jan 2014 4135 49 700 273 179 After public vote
5 Apr 2014 4620 50 714 314 198
20 Apr 2014 4763 50 720 330 202
2 May 2014 4885 50 728 (456) 337 206 After UKBA14


Sue’s Trifles (I was posting daily to this blog from before #BEDN to 2nd May)

Date Total views Best daily total Com-ments Fol-
Com-ments by Sue Posts Notes
16 Dec 2013 2974 52 883 133 171 After #BEDN
27 Jan 2014 3905 71 1183 170 After
5 April 2014 5474 71 1703 238
20 April 2014 5775 71 1831 246 325
2 May 2014 6007 71 1904 (955) 252 440 337 After UKBA14