Riding the Tina train.

Dear friends,

After years of blogging in virtual anonymity, I have finally, mercifully figured out the key to success:

Write about Tina Fey.

See — in my previous incarnation as Mayberry Magpie, I figured writing about small-town life was my ticket to blog fame. Two letters: N and O.

Then, I must have thought #gratitude would eventually trend big, but I’m still waiting. Today, it seems to be #FredWillard and #NameMyDickAfterAMovie. Too bad, really . . . although if #gratitude ever catches on, I’m certain I’ll be the next big name on HuffPost.

I had no idea, however, that writing a couple of posts in which I mentioned Tina Fey and my girl-crush on her was just the tag I needed to increase my hits.

During the last couple of weeks, a few dozen people a day have stopped by solely based on a Google search of Tina Fey. I know that a “few dozen” a day is a joke compared to the likes of Pioneer Woman or Kelly Rae, but still.

And I will say it: I can only imagine how disappointed those searchers must be when they land on Debt of Gratitude.

What I cannot imagine is how deep into the Google search results they must dive to find me. (They must be Tina Fey stalkers reading all the way to search result #49,861.) Oh, and the really tragic part? Even people who Google “Tina Fay” and “Tina Faye” and even “Tina Fay’s weight” find me.

Because I aim to please and I hate to think the poor folks who land here find nothing to their liking, I have decided to write a post wherein I mention Tina Fey’s sex life, nude photos of Tina Fey, Tina Fey’s secret love, why Tina Fey won’t admit to reading Fifty Shades of Grey but will play Ana Steele in the movie version, Tina Fey feet (hey, it popped up 9th on Google’s suggested search terms for Tina), Tina Fey’s scar (#3), Tina Fey’s belly fat, Tina Fey’s affair with Fred Willard, and the tragic dismemberment of Tina Fey’s nanny by Tina Fey’s crazy stalker.

You’re welcome.

Oh, and hey! Thanks for stopping by.

With gratitude {for the deep well of Tina love in American popular culture},

Joan, who needs to back away from the WordPress stats page and would if only she could move without weeping after day 3 of interval training



  1. You’ve poked something here for me. I regularly wonder how to measure “success” when it comes to what might on first glance seem to be a fairly private sort of public endeavor, such as blogging seems to be. Is “blog fame” the best measure?

    I read here and comment along with others I have come to recognize as regulars. Do you wish to have so many folks reading and commenting day to day that you are delightfully swamped? Will that change what your write or how much of yourself you put out there? Add several thousand others to my number and I suppose you are “there” fame wise but again, what does that really change? Anything central to who you are or what you do here?

    I struggle with the entire concept, frankly. If my blog were inundated with comments and page hits I think I’d be thrilled but I feel there is a dark underside to that public an endeavor so I try not to wish for anything other than being happy with what I’ve written whenever I hit the “post” button. I try…..

  2. Maridel says:

    I am fascinated by what you’ve shared about stats and searches. Don’t get discouraged; you have a community. Nice semi-colon, huh? Two unexpected benefits of being a Debt of Gratitude reader: texasdeb and sizzle.

  3. Deb and M’del — I love your comments and thoughts on this post! Honestly, I wrote it in 10 minutes . . . a late-night piece of fluff, the act of a desperate blogger who promised “daily meditations” but had nothing more thoughtful to offer this morning. I don’t long for blog fame in the way you might think (what I long for is a book contract!) and there is a plethora of advantages to anonymity and a small but loyal (and appreciative) readership. I do, however, spend a lot of time contemplating the appetites of “average” readers versus 1) what interests me, 2) what I have to offer, and 3) what I’m willing to put in writing in a public forum. The truth is if all my readers departed tomorrow, I’d keep writing and posting because it’s essential to who I am and how I process the world, whether or not it resonates with anyone. I dearly love this little community — the ones who show up and comment almost every day like the two of you, the lurkers who I don’t know well or at all, and the ones who stumble onto this site and may never come back. All of it feels very much like my little virtual neighborhood, and my favorite pastime is tending to its gardens, painting its fences, and socializing with its residents.

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