This is Bleistift’s blog post number 500.

As usual with an anniversary blog post you’ll get some behind the scenes infos today.


Well, 500 posts might sound a lot, but general stationery blogs produce a much higher number of blog posts and even when looking at pencil only blogs this number is not that high either (..plus more than 20 of my blog posts are about fountain pens, so they don’t  really count).

  • Lexikaliker is the #1 pencil blog (that’s a B outside the USA) with more than 1370 blog posts
  • Followed by the #2 (that’s HB), Pencil Talk with more than 620 blog posts.
  • Next, we got #2½ (that’s F), it’s Pencil Revolution with more than 560 blog posts.
  • #3 (H) is Dave’s Mechanical Pencils with more than 530 blog posts.
  • ..and #4 (2H) is Contrapuntalism. Already past the 420 mark, he’s getting close to 500. This is kind of unfair to Sean as he has distributed his pencil posts over different blogs (Blackwing Pages, Pencils and Music) so should actually rank much higher, but I’m not sure where exactly.
Some images from old blog posts to make this one less boring

A recent surprise

Recently Bleistift had the highest number of visitor’s on one single day in it’s more than seven years of existence. This was down to the well-appointed desk linking to my blog in a blog post collecting links. As my blog post was only one of more than twenty posts linked to I wonder how many visitors the well-appointed desk has. Is it even more than the Pen Addict’s a million a month?

Even a tweet/link from the official Terry Pratchett / Discworld Twitter account a few days earlier didn’t bring that many visitors.

The previous record for most visitors on one day was from 2015 when the Pen Addict podcast linked to Bleistift.

Some images from old blog posts to make this one less boring

Change in attitude

That brings to a recent change in my attitude. I used to think it would be nice if a large number of people read Bleistift’s blog posts (thinking it makes the time spend on writing them more worthwhile).  The number of blog posts on my to do list is huge, so huge that I don’t think I can ever write them all up, so in the past, I would pick blog posts from the to-do list that I think are of more interest to a wider audience.

After repeatedly coming across what happens to the makers of big stationery blogs (being verbally attacked and other things) I now think that it’s good Bleistift’s readership is fairly small. This changed attitude will probably result in me picking whichever blog post I want to write instead of trying to write up the ones interesting to a wider audience. This shift might also bring about some other changes, e.g. there might be more fountain pen blog posts. I have tried to keep the number of those down. Having stayed under 5% (p ≤ 0.05   8^D)  fountain pen posts on this blog this was successful, but in the future, this might change.

Some images from old blog posts to make this one less boring

Bleistifts new domain: https://bleistift.blog

Bleistift is the German word for pencil. It means ‘lead pen’, which is a name used for pencils in other languages as well, e.g. in Chinese (铅笔). So far bleistift was on a subdomain of a domain I bought in the 1990s. I should have bought my surname as a domain back then, but at the time I didn’t think the web would take off the way it did. I thought it will stay something geeky, like modems and BBS before the web.

Anyway, most (nearly all) stationery blogs, except some hosted on wordpress.com have their own domain, so I thought bleistift should have its own domain and I bought bleistift.blog. I actually pre-ordered pencil.blog in 2013, but I guess before the new .blog domains were released they run the domain names through a dictionary and didn’t release .blog domains representing common words, so I didn’t get my pre-ordered pencil.blog domain. It is now being sold by for a premium. I do actually prefer bleistift.blog, but pencil.blog would have been easier to spell for non-german speakers.

Some images from old blog posts to make this one less boring

A new SSL certificate and advertising

Some other recent changes you might have noticed is that addition of advertising to the blog. The idea was to use the advertising to pay for the new SSL certificate, which would have cost around £8, but a few things have changed now, partly because of the new domain. I won’t bore you with the details as explaining this would be boring to you and long wielded.

I also thought I could leave the advertising to pay for a month of Grammarly to go through the blog and fix all spelling mistakes etc, but the advertising I see here on bleistift is often quite odd and not topic related, so I will probably take the advertising down in a few days ..but out of interest I would like to know what kind of advertising you see on this blog, if you don’t mind telling me please write it in the comments.







14 thoughts on “500”

  1. Hello Matthias,

    Congratulations on this achievement! One post, two, three, and suddenly we’re engaged in something larger than our self. I’ve enjoyed the content, spirit, and liveliness of your blog very much over the years.

    Do you have access to your web server logs? Not via an app or plugin interpreting the log – but directly? Taking a look can be illuminating. I find there are a huge number of private search engines, brute force login attempts, and bots of all sorts downloading the entire web – and it can be very difficult to judge just how many real people are looking at something. “WP Stats” and similar can’t catch this. The typical metrics (whether ‘hits’ or ‘page views’ or ‘sessions’) aren’t very refined in terms of differentiating real humans just yet. So be skeptical about reported numbers. And don’t think you are somehow behind a blog claiming a million monthly page views – I almost never see a reader comment in such a place, while at Bleistift you have an engaged audience, so you’re way ahead in an important metric.

    As to advertising – at home, I don’t see ads. At work, I’ve seen an ad from Mirantis, whose website I’ve had cause to visit. And no other ad.

    Looking forward to the next 500!

  2. Congratulations on reaching 500!

    I am one of the visitors that started coming here when you were mentioned on the Pen Addict podcast but I have stayed here ever since and definitely enjoyed your blog. Given how difficult writing a blog can be, I’d definitely recommend writing whatever you’re most interested in at that moment. That way you get the most enjoyment out of writing.

    As for ads, I usually live in the US but am travelling for work in Germany this week and I see an ad for a Volkswagen dealer in Heidelberg.

  3. Congrats on the big 500! It can be challenging to be diligent in keeping up a blog, especially with other obligations in life. I have not yet seen any advertisement on your blog, but I will let you know if it ever surfaced.
    Being mentioned by either Pen Addict or Well-Appointed Desk can dramatically increase traffic/viewership. At least that coincided with my observation couple times a few of my posts were included.

  4. That’s a great achievement…as someone who has been writing on different blogs since 1999, I can say I’ve never hit 500 posts before I got bored and switched to something else!

    Instead of ads, I wonder why more of the stationery bloggers don’t choose Patreon? Like Stephen says: you have an engaged audience. These are people that would buy you a cup of coffee if they met you in person, why not ask for a $1 a month?

  5. Congratulations on this remarkable achievement! I have always enjoyed reading your blog and of course still do. Thank you for your effort and for the quality as well as the depths of your posts. I am looking forward to reading the next 500 posts!

    Regarding the statistic: I second what Stephen said. The figures provided by plugins and separate applications differ so much and have strange peaks now and then (at least with my weblog) that I don’t trust them any longer. It’s the quality of the weblog and the engagement of the readers what matter, not some numbers.

    Thank you putting me on top of the list but I don’t think that I deserve that position. My weblog is a mixed bag with some pencil-related content now and then which makes for only about 60% of the posts.

  6. Julie Paradise

    Memm, another milestone of yours, 500, wow!
    As for the ads: I do not get to see any, never did.

    @Gunther: Do not belittle yourself, your blog is great!

  7. advert for nissan rogue. 🙂 congrats on 500! you should absolutely post what YOU want. lifes too short to chase after numbers!

  8. Be it novel or blog you should write what you want to read.
    I didn’t understand a word of the techie stuff but congratulations anyway.

  9. Thank you very much for your kind comments.

    Stephen, I’m happy you like it.
    I do have access to the logs, but usually don’t check them very often as looking at them takes much longer than looking at the WordPress stats. I thought if I am bored I can filter some interesting things out with regular expressions, but that never happened. Your comments temps me to look at the logs again. The engaged audience you’ve mentioned sounds good am I am grateful for it. Thanks.

    Sean, thanks. Oh, funny that you don’t see ads.

    Rob, I wonder how the blog will change once I change what I write. Thanks and great to know how you found me.

    Shangching, hmm, so Sean isn’t the only one who doesn’t get ads. Doesn’t matter anyway as I will turn them off, but it is curious. Your posts are always great and should be included more often!

    Michael, I hope your stationery blog will stay and you won’t get bored. It looks really good. I only found it yesterday. Hmm, not sure what to think about asking for $1, the reasons are complex and unordered (in my head) so I won’t put them down, but I will think about it again.

    Gunther, thanks. Talking about engagement, I am very surprised about the many comments on this blog post. Regarding your blog, 60% of 1373 is 824, so your still on top 8^)

    Julie, more no-ads. Funny. I second that Lexikaliker is great.

    Hahna, thanks. Oh, car ads.. Life’s too short is something I am thinking more and more recently… I should act on it.

    Sapphire, thanks. I plan to do that. I hope it will work out. With techie stuff, did you mean the bit under the last heading?

    Sola, thank you.

  10. Congratulations on the milestone!

    I do enjoy the variety and easy reading style of your posts. Like you say, to expand to a bigger audience leads to bigger problems. The stress, the pressure! All for what- some free pencils to review? Nah- stay small and happy 🙂

    I also like the name of your blog- though I can’t pronounce it lol, it does stand out in my mind vs the multitudes of “xxx pen pun” blog names.

    Congrats again on 500
    PS.I’ve not seen any advertising on the blog when I visit.

  11. Katie, thank you for your happy comment.

    Well, it wasn’t really to get free pencils, but to get more readers, to feel writing is more worthwhile, but I get your point.

    Well, the truth is that I just couldn’t come up with a pun, but I’m happy you like the name 8^)

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