Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Drawing Blog Readers

Monkey-toes “Tawna” Fenske is blogging about blogging this week and yesterday’s post was about drawing readers to her blog, and how her readership has grown exponentially over the past 6 months. Tawna is way funny and it’s pretty obvious why her readership has grown: we want to read more funny.

There are tons of posts on how to get more readers and they all generally follow the same formula of:
  • have interesting content
  • blog on a schedule
  • ask questions of the readers and give information
My blog visitor statistics reveal that it’s mostly me checking my blog. My readership really doesn’t grow and it’s pretty steady at 40 views a day. Of those 40, on average 4 of you comment. (And I worship you for it. Really. If I were a dog, I would lick your toes). It’s easy for me to fall into a pattern of thinking that blog readers and comments are what makes the blog go around (when in fact my blog only wants another fifth of Jack). It doesn’t.

I blog because I can’t shut myself up, really.

The fact that anyone reads this at all, including myself, is pretty exciting. Nonetheless, it is slightly worrisome that my readership hasn’t grown. Who are you secretive readers, those other 35 of you? Some of you read in Google Reader as part of your day (I lick your toes, too). Some of you are people searching for silverfish (that post still gets the most hits). Some of you are Google bots. Some of you are me. Whatever the case, I thank you heartily.

So what to do? Well, I went about this scientifically. I looked at which posts had gathered the most comments and response. First, it is worth saying that I really only started getting readers and comments last October; Jessica and CKHB and my friend Meghan were my early commenters and took pity. I heartily heart them for being charitable. Part of the reason I had so few is that I made it impossibly hard for people to comment; I used a dumb blog design that wouldn’t scroll down so you could actually click submit. Once I removed that and word verification and any other comment- prevention devices, things got a lot easier. So my true blogoversary should obvs be in like, December. :) Another reason is that I didn't know one must share the love and make other bloggy friends.

Anyway here are my most popular posts and what I have learned by examining them:

Writing-related posts:
  • Quick Edits in Nov 09 has a list of those pesky words you're supposed to search for and destroy. Many more were added in the comments.
Things that I made that you liked a lot:

Posts that humiliated or otherwise made you feel sorry for me:
  • Trolls in November 2009 complained that I never get any.
  • Awards in December 09, my first and last blog award because I couldn't stand choosing. (I think you liked my anguish.)
  • A different Monday in Feb 10 which was about a very sad thing. That not only got lots of comments with condolences but also some very kind emails sent to me. Very kind.
  • My April Fool's joke about an agent reading my blog and offering me a 7 figure advance without seeing a manuscript got lots of laughs. (But I'm crying, you know that right?)

And the posts that got the most comments were all Word Up Wednesdays:

So what can we learn from this? Well, you like it when I list stuff out. You like it when I make cute things for you in Photoshop. You are sympathetic when I share awful stories about myself. And you love my Word Ups, which garnered the most comments of any of other posts.

I think my mission is clear here. I'll be awful, make lots of things in Photoshop, and keep doing Word Up Wednesdays. I look forward to many fruitful blog posts!

*Drawing hands thanks to http://burningraindesign.com


Linda G. said...

If you keep threatening to lick my toes I may have to stop commenting. ;)

Seriously, keep blogging! You're helpful and entertaining. Your readership will build. (That's what I keep telling myself about my blog, anyway.)

Clarissa Draper said...

This is really good stuff. I don't check my stats enough. But, I think your blog is wonderful and glad to have found it.


Anne R. Allen said...

I first found your blog through a Google Alert because you gave my blog a mention in one of your Google Round-up Fridays. I've been addicted ever since. I love your sense of humor. (And I still think you should market your Queryland/fortune cookies/Got Plot Poster.)

Thanks for the recap of your best blogposts. That's a great idea. Bloggers should probably make that a regular thing. I sure will.

Sierra Godfrey said...

Thanks for humoring a post that is entirely about me and my blog today!! I love you guys and you're very sweet. (and hi Clarissa!)

DL Hammons said...

I always read, but I don't comment enough because we communicate in other ways. Not very supportive, is it. Time to do better!!

Your negative comments survival guide was pure genius!

Roh Morgon said...

I originally subbed to your blog because I love your Google Round-up Fridays. But since then I've enjoyed all your posts and read them everytime you have a new one up.

I'll be sure to comment more...

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