Popular posts … Who knew?

For the longest time now, since about 5 or 6 years ago, the two most popular phrases used on search engines that have brought people to my blog are “baking bread in a pizza oven” followed closely by “meeting my best friend for the first time”. Here are the two posts that those searchers click on: Baking Bread in the Pizza Oven and I met my best friend for the first time.

The first search always made sense to me, because home pizza ovens are becoming popular among foodies, Dennis had built one here on Bequia, and I had written a number of blog posts featuring our experiments in using it, both for making pizza and baking bread.

The second search I always took as being very flattering. There seemed to be a lot of people out there on the internet who were nostalgic for that first meeting with a best friend in their own lives and wanted to read about and enjoy my personal experience.

At least, that’s what I thought … until recently, when those same search words came up with “writing an essay about …” attached to them. Then I saw a site link attached to those searches, and noticed that some of my hits and views were being directed from – a writing instruction site!! So, instead of being flattered, I became worried those students could be plagiarizing my essay and turning it in as their own work. I considered taking down the post altogether.

But then I realized that my experience was uniquely my own, and perhaps these students were being sent to my sight to read an example of how to write about meeting your best friend for the first time. (Oh, how we can delude ourselves at times …)

So I decided to leave things as they were and write this post about my findings instead. Perhaps … just perhaps, one or two of those students have come to my blog, read that post and more, have liked what they read and became subscribers. That’s a big “perhaps”, I know, but we can always hope the intentions that bring readers to read our work are ultimately good.

And maybe there’s an online writing instructor out there who actually did find my blog post to be a compelling example of how to write an essay about meeting your best friend for the first time, so much so they are recommending that all their students check out my blog!

And here’s the subject of that original blog – Darcie Friesen Hossack!

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11 responses

  1. If it’s any comfort, I read your best friend post and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m well past handing in assignments, so you can comfort yourself that there’s no ulterior motive when I say this. 🙂

    So I agree with your decision to leave it up. It’s well worth reading and it is your unique experience. Some people are reading it for the purpose it was intended for. And in the end, we have no control over how people respond to our writing.

    1. So true, Cathleen! Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

  2. I agree that a writing instructor could be using your posts as examples of good writing and it’s true that there are tools to catch (or deter) plagiarism. Still, wouldn’t it be nice if the instructor(s) reached out to you, at least let know you about the link? I just think that would be so cool 🙂

    1. Yes – in a perfect world … Which leads me to think, since they haven’t reached out, that they may not be the best sites for beginning authors to sign up with to learn how to write.

      1. Good point, but if it brings them to your blog, then at least they can see what good writing is 🙂

  3. I have no doubt a writing instructor somewhere used your blog as a great example to students of how to write compelling and engaging posts and stories. At the high school where my kids go, almost all their work is handed in through turnitin.com, a site which analyzes every piece of writing to determine what percentage is plagiarized. Usually it’s just the bibliography cites, but occasionally there’s a phrase that’s been used before. I think leaving your work up for people to read was a good decision.

  4. Good piece, Susan. Your blog is interesting and I’m sure many people do read and enjoy it. Meeting your best friend is a topic people would be attracted to. 🙂 — Suzanne

    1. Thanks, Suzanne! The writing is fun in the first place, so if readers enjoy it, that’s just great!

  5. You have to hope. (Did you know there are services that instructors and Professors can use to snoop out when/determine if a student is plagiarizing work posted or published?)
    In any case, new subscribers do arrive for such odd and unpredictable reasons.

    1. And I’m grateful for every one of them who finds me – and for whatever route they take!

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