When meeting new people, I always make sure to have a few safe topics of conversation ready in my back pocket. Though not always all together pleasant, they are things people might be able to relate to, or at the very least, things they know their great Aunt Sally or late ex-husband could relate to. Say, for instance, the topic of livers comes up — “And then I said, ‘Don’t make me turn you into chopped liver!'” — I could then segue the conversation to my Canadian grandma’s kidney stones. She kept them in a tiny jar at the head of her bed.
Or if it happened to be unseasonably warm that day, I could talk about sweating. Some people, most people, do not have a problem with excessive sweating. But when I find the people who do share my great propensity to sweat, oh boy, the topic of sweating alone can fuel the conversation for hours.
When I meet people who exude an exceptional level of nerdiness and who ease me into my comfort zone, I might really open up and start talking about Google Analytics. This is a subject most bloggers are aware of (sometimes to an almost painfully obsessive extent). But for those who are not aware of Analytics and the treasure chest of data it provides, there is an awesome feature which allows you to see the exact keywords people type into their search bar to find your site. Some of them make sense, like when I see keyword phrases like “blog about horses that are quiet” or “sweaty people and the lives they lead.” Others don’t make as much sense, but still may be somewhat related to your blog or its title. Once someone found my blog by searching for “woman fucking horse.” I can only imagine the incredible disappointment that person felt upon visiting and seeing nothing but lengthy sentences and pictures of swings and trees.
I love looking at the keywords, not because I’m trying to optimize my site or anything like that, but because they’re often the source of a really good laugh. The usual good laugh turned into a gut-busting, side-splitting guffaw when I checked my analytics the other day and saw someone had searched this keyword phrase: “if i ate myself would i become twice as big or disappear completely?” It’s a question I asked myself over and over that night, and then I tucked it into my back pocket for later.