An Oxford Historian
Blogging about History - an introduction
Updated: Jul 21, 2021
How easy is it to set up a new blog? What history content do readers enjoy? Howe many views can you expect? How much money can you make? In this case-study of my experience so far, I answer some questions and provide some data about entering the blogging world
I thought this week I'd have a look over the last four months since I began blogging about my research and resources, and some of the trends and lessons that have emerged. Hopefully this will provide an interesting case-study, both for those interested in blogging as a whole, and those interested in public education and history more specifically. What themes do we see emerging?
Articles Written - 30
Total visitors (minus a week or two at the beginning without stats) - 28, 213, of which 21,930 are unique
Website subscribers - 100
Visitors from 117 different countries
Trends in History Content
Consistently, the most popular articles have been those that foreground my own research topic of nicknames. Within this grouping, completely predictably, the articles about rude and offensive names seem to perform best. Interestingly, the much broader articles on nicknames seem more popular than those from a specific context (eg. Anglo-Saxon kings/ occupational bynames).
Rude 'Viking' Nicknames - 8,849 views
Early Medieval Nicknames - the Obscene and Offensive - 6,948 views
Anglo-Saxon Nicknames - 6,583 views
Viking Nicknames in Landnamabok - 3,054 views
Early Medieval Nicknames #2 - 1,447
Early Medieval Occupational Bynames - 1,293 views
Anglo-Saxon Royal Nicknames - 616 views
Also popular has been access to resources - blog posts that require less actual content creation on my part, but point towards useful websites and databases. Lack of access to these resources, free but often unknown or tied up behind universities, is a serious problem among many amateur historians, and the demand is certainly there. I intend increasing knowledge and access to these resources to be my main focus on the blog in the future.
Blog posts focused on in-depth looks at specific historical topics tend to get a relatively consistent 400 ish views - this seems to be the same set of people either time. For example:
Finding the 'Vikings' in the Danelaw - 454 views
If you're part of this consistent viewership and aren't yet subscribed to the website, you should!
Trends seem to show genuine interest in novel research, especially when its a bit more whacky and different, and in providing new resources for personal teaching and learning.
Sources of Traffic - Where does the blog's traffic come from?
The vast majority of my traffic comes from Facebook, with articles shared in related groups and then shared on from there by others. About half as much traffic comes from Reddit, serving a similar function - Reddit communities tend to be more focused in theme, so with fewer members (and less relevant articles), the traffic is lower.
In four months, the blog has only been accessed by google just 102 times.
Blogging Income - How much money does blogging make?
This will be the bit more interesting to those focusing on blogging than those who follow me for the history content, but might still be interesting! I'm happy to go into details here - the numbers are inconsequential, but useful data to anyone interested.
In terms of income, blog incomes tend to come from 3 major sources.
The first is advertising revenue. I use google adsense because it's the easiest to get approved for, and the ads tend to be less spammy. After three months of being approved, I have made a total of £24.36
Second is affiliate marketing, especially through Amazon - products bought through a link provided give a small percentage income. So far, this has come to (bank breaking) £8.54. (If you're interested in books to read, by the way, you can find my suggestions here...)
Finally, donations provide a source of income, especially to maintain the website fees. So far, I have had three very kind donors.If you'd like to donate too, you can do so here
I'm happy to answer any questions anyone has, about this blog specifically, my content, or blogging more broadly - head over to the contact tab to drop me a message.
Interested in history, and keen to access more information and resources? Confused about Oxford, want to apply, and need more advice? Subscribe to the blog using the form below to keep up to date!
LATEST ARTICLE: Rude 'Viking' Nicknames
Check out my previous articles on Anglo-Saxon (here), Viking (here) and obscene (here) nicknames. A new Deep-Dive article on Interpreting the Emporia can be found here.
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