Jigokucho – January in Review
Some of you might remember a little while back in one of my posts, I was complaining about my lack of views. At the end of the post I promised to stop complaining and do something about it. So I did, and here are the results.
I’ll start with this: the Weekly stats. As you can see, and might remember from my last post about this, November was a really good first month for me and The Hell Butterfly. December was a hard month. Partly because of my moods, but mostly because I was at home over Christmas and so found I wasn’t posting very much at all. But then in January, I got off my backside, sat back down and loaded up my laptop to WordPress. And began posting. As you can see from above, January was a much more successful month. I will be reviewing this by outlining the things I did to get more views, the things that worked well, and things that maybe didn’t go so well.
Firstly, here is the daily stats graph for the last month:
I’ve tried to colour code it, and I’ll explain that now. The green bars are the days that I did two posts. The red bars are the days I linked back to the Daily Prompt.
This tactic I found had varying degrees of success. Some days it proved a very good idea, and on others (such as Jan 18) I got little to no views at all. This I found to be a little confusing, but on looking closer at the details, I began to understand some things. Let’s take January 18th, the day with two posts, but no views. The two posts I did that day were a Book Review of ‘Ten Billion’ and one about confidence received from a talk with my cousin. It was this day which gave me an insight into the kinds of things people want to read. I haven’t gathered many followers when compared to most, but I am starting to know what they (you) want. I’m not convinced that the Book Review has received a single view since it was written – book reviews are probably for a more specialised audience. I did receive a view or two on Some Unexpected Confidence, but I posted this one very late in the day. It was almost midnight where I was, so in all likelihood, the majority of followers were probably in bed or planning on getting there. Perhaps if I had posted this one earlier in the day, or left it until the next day even, it may have been more successful.
Now, in the case of Jan 27, I had one of my best days for views, but looking closer it would appear that the double post was only a part of it. On Jan 27, I posted Monday Workshop – Biography to Poetry, a creative post about what I had done in my workshop that day, and Sh*ts and G*ggles, the first of my Kerrang! Dating Chronicles posts. I know these both received views, but I don’t remember them getting that many. So I went back and had a look at just why so many views had been collected that day. Imagine my confusion then, when I came across this:
I remember getting a like or two plus comments on both of the posts I did that day, and yet apparently, they weren’t viewed. I’m not sure whether this is a WordPress problem or not. But this image in itself reveals a lot. Your Days are Numbered at Twenty-Six and I’m Probably a Terrible Human Being were both Daily Prompt posts. So even though I had received no official views for the double post, I had still had one of my best days on record. And I think I’m beginning to understand why.
Daily Prompt posting
Let us return to the graph – the red boxes indicate the days I linked back to that days Daily Prompt. January 23, 24 and 26. So far I have only done three Daily Prompt posts, and yet they have proven more popular than pretty much anything I’ve written and published without their help. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed or been proud of the things I’ve written separately, but in terms of views, the Daily Prompt posts proved a major success.
I have already mentioned two of these above, and the third (which was the first of the three to be posted) was in response to the Daily Prompt about your book synopsis. Let us have a quick look at the total views to date of these three posts:
1 – ‘Bed of Roses’ synopsis – 15 over three days
2 – I’m Probably A Terrible Human Being – 15 over three days
3 – Your Days are Numbered at Twenty-Six – 23 over four days
Your Days are Numbered is also my most popular post in terms of Likes, accumulating so far a number of 11. This post is by far the most popular since I began. 11 Likes, 23 views over four days, and at least four personalised comments on the writing itself (not to mention the several ping-backs from other DP posts.)
The one thing that I can say for certain that these posts have in common, and that my separate posts do not have, is multiple views over several days. Generally when I have done a post, it will be viewed on the day it was published and the day after, but then it will receive little to no further views. The difference with the DP posts is that they were viewed on several consecutive days and, though with lessening popularity, still with more popularity than my separate posts.
In my opinion, the reason for the popularity of the DP posts, is the ping-back feature. When you link back your post to the main body – the original DP post – others can click your link from there. Also, in copying the links from there on your own post, you begin to create a web of connections. If everybody doing a DP post does this same thing, and copies the links to their own posts, the chain extends, the web gets wider, and your potential audience is suddenly thrown wide open. This, I believe, is how these three DP posts of mine were so popular – on these particular occasions, the Referrers section of the stats page was busier than normal. This was because people were clicking on the links from other people’s blogs. This dramatically increased the potential readers, and from this system I have gained new followers. I have also, myself, found new bloggers which I have chosen to follow. The DP post system is without a doubt the reason for my gain in numbers, and is obviously a highly effective system.
For those trying to gain a wider audience, I suggest doing a couple of these. I don’t do them very often, but when I do I increase my chances of gaining a new audience, and obviously as I said before that it is about numbers for me, the results are clear. DP posts work.
Daily Prompt posts and double post days are not the only things that I have done to try and gain a following. I put the Post a Day Blogger 2014 badge on my page, and try to tag a post every day with postaday in order to appeal to that audience. This has helped a little, yet is not one of the most effective methods for me personally. It cannot be dismissed however.
I have also begun commenting on other people’s blog posts. It is essential to remember that you are not the only blogger on this website. There are people all over the world trying to do the exact same thing you are. For whatever reason they write, and whatever they write about, they are writing for someone. This is something I heard from my Creative Writing teacher once: everybody writes for someone. It doesn’t matter who it is – it could be your family, yourself, the children of the world – but everybody writes for somebody. And in going onto another blogger’s page and commenting on something they’ve written, be it to praise it or give constructive criticism, it will help both them and you. It will help them to become a better blogger, and will help you to see how you can improve yourself. And not only will it improve the quality of both of your writing, it establishes a relationship that could lead to you extending your following by one more person. If you are like me and it is about numbers, then commenting will get our name out there and people may start to come to you by association. If it is about the quality of your writing, which in itself will help to get more attention, giving feedback to somebody else allows them to help themselves, and shows you ways not to blog, and ways you can do it right.
I am beginning to get over my ‘all about the numbers’ thing, but it’s hard. With only a handful of followers at this point I know it will be difficult to pull the numbers that will satisfy my brain. But I know that there are ways to improve my writing, and to widen the net of potential followers, so I can take that away with me. This next month will be interesting. But before I sign this review off, I would like to share one more picture with you. The monthly statistics.
I said I would be happy if January was higher than December, but how damn close was that?