A mysterious drop in views

It may seem a bit tacky for a blogger to write about their blog stats, but I experienced a very strange phenomenon last year. I’ve been blogging here at WordPress for seven years and there was a noticeable increase in views from year to year over that span, until last year. As you can see from the WordPress graph above, this blog had 70K views in 2020, but “only” 45K views in 2021, a 36% drop! That’s pretty significant. The number of published posts did drop from 338 to 284 from 2020 to 2021 due to some upheaval in my personal life, but that’s only a 16% decrease. The content from year to year was pretty similar. So, what happened? I have my theories.

At excatholic4christ, many of my posts examine the Roman Catholic church and its false gospel of salvation by sacramental pseudo-grace and merit. We live in an era marked by rising intolerance for anything deemed to be “intolerant.” I’m sure many Roman Catholics and non-Catholics who are sympathetic to ecumenism would interpret my critical posts as “hate speech.” Even believers are losing their stomach for discernment material. Social media platforms are increasingly monitoring and filtering content that they consider to be “hate speech.” The EU and Canada are a bit farther ahead of the U.S. in this social media censorship. I don’t wish to be paranoid about this. Perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe the huge drop is attributable to other factors.

I surely don’t hate Roman Catholics. I was a Catholic for 27 years and many of my family and friends are still Catholic. For 1500 years, the RCC violently suppressed all opposition and non-conformists and led billions to hell with its false gospel. Yet for pointing that out, I’m the alleged “hater.”

Don”t get me wrong. I’m thankful for the 45K views last year and especially for all of my friends and readers here at WordPress who support this blog and its “controversial” content. We know the genuine Gospel of salvation by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone is bound to offend, as will the calling out of false churches and false religions.

1328 followers? Hardly.

I’ve been blogging for 5.5 years and WordPress shows that I currently have 1328 followers. Huh? 1328 followers? Really? The reality is that only a very small number of those “followers” actually interact with me and my blog on any kind of regular basis. Out of curiosity, I recently scanned through the long list of followers and noted those below who drop by, from every-now-and-then to daily:

Beth at Born Again

Bruce at Reasoned Cases for Christ

Cathy at Peacemakers

Craig at Poetic Perspectives

Chris at Wings of the Wind

Crissy at Walking by Faith

David at EttingerWriting.com

Jimmy at The Domain for Truth

Joseph at Complicated Politics

Kent at Gersom Clark

Lauren at Tulips & Honey

Lisa Beth at theburninglampdotcom

Mandy at Blue Collar Theologian

Marlagro at God Stories for Me, Yippee!

Marques at Overcoming The Times

Did I miss anyone? I’m grateful for the above 15 bloggers for their fellowship, support, and encouragement and for their witness for Jesus Christ and the Gospel. Thank you! I was introduced to half of the above folks in just the past twelve months. I’m very grateful for the handful of “old friends.” But what about the other 1313?

Many bloggers, expecting reciprocation, “follow” people in an attempt to gain followers for themselves, but shut off any and all automatic notifications. A blogging maxim is that you’ll get what you give. A blogger will attract followers by following other bloggers and by “liking” and commenting on their posts. But I try to actually read the posts of the bloggers I follow and there’s only so many hours in the day.

I noticed there are several who remain on my followers list who have stopped blogging over the years. I’m certain there are also a number of followers who disconnected because they were offended with one or more of my “controversial” posts or who were just not interested in Gospel outreach to Roman Catholics or in the dangers of ecumenism, my two major topics. I myself have disconnected from Christian bloggers who never bothered to reciprocate or who post views that I cannot support.

Although in our flesh we would like for other bloggers to like us and the posts that we write, that should not be our motivation. Our aim should be to please the Lord.

Postscript 1: Wally at Truth in Palmyra had to stop blogging in October 2019 because he went back to school, but he gets an honorable mention. In addition, Sbreaker95 regularly contributes comments to my apologetics posts, but doesn’t maintain a blog.

Postscript 2: Credit goes to David at EttingerWriting.com who wrote a similar post back in August in which he also questioned his inflated number of “followers.” See ‘Followers’: Fake News.

For 100 Bible Verses on Friendship, see here.