Working Hard for the Blog Pays Off

Ever since I started my post-a-day month in November, my blogging life hasn’t been the same.  I’d tried it once before, and I saw an improvement in visitors.  When I stopped, it went back down.  In November, not only did I do a post a day, I also promoted my blog on several social media platforms.  I got an immediate response.  Although the number of daily visitors increased, it wasn’t until the end of November when things really took off.

After I finished my post-a-day month, I decided to continue posting as often as possible.  In fact, I posted more often in December than I did in November.  Also, this month has been busier than November, too.  I’ve seen an improvement every month in hits, as well as unique visitors.

Light blue is hits, dark blue is unique visitors.
Light blue is hits, dark blue is unique visitors.

July 2012 was a post-a-day month, and it gave me my best month until November 2013.  But I couldn’t believe how much it increased by in December.  Now, the unique visitors stats is rising, which is a good thing.  But also, the fact that the ratio between hits and unique visitors is now 2 to 1 is also a good thing.  That means my readers are sticking around to read more than one post.  I’m loving it.

But what am I doing that I haven’t done before?  I think it’s mainly just posting more often and using social media more, but also engaging bloggers on other blogs.  That’s quite important.  I’ve found several of my commenters are commenting because I comment on their blogs.  That is very important.  And I also feel that it creates a sense of community.

For those of you who are newer readers of mine, thank you very much for stopping by and returning.  I enjoy the interaction I have with you, and will endeavour to provide interesting material for you to read.  This goes for my old readers, too!  If you haven’t done so yet, please vote on my most recent poll.  I’d like to hear more about what you’d like to see.  And please leave a comment.  I love comments!

Thank you!

Notes and Outlining: Paper or Computer?

In the nearly 15 years of working on Ariadne, I have used various media to take notes and outline.  One of them is my brain.  But I don’t think the brain is the most reliable in storing notes.  However, it seems that I do my best outlining while I’m walking outside without a computer or a notebook.

In the beginning, when I made the original maps around 2000, I used only paper.  I did almost nothing on my computer.  However, after a while, I started using a spreadsheet that calculated maximum sustainable populations for countries depending on land use, land area, climate, and coastline.  I put the results on paper, though.

As time went on, I continued to use paper to write my ideas, and never used a computer.  But when I started to finally write the prequel (Journey to Ariadne), I relied on my computer almost exclusively.  I wrote at home.  Occasionally, I wrote some scenes on paper, but I found that all of my previous parts were on my computer.  I had no access to them when I was out.

With my recent computer problems, I’ve decided that paper may be the way to go.  It has many advantages:

  • A notebook is light and very portable.
  • It’s easy to pull out my notebook and a pen when I’m on the train, at work, or elsewhere.
  • I can include sketches.
  • It’s easy to look up information elsewhere in the notebook.
  • It’s faster to open a notebook than start a computer.

There are some disadvantages, though:

  • Writing is slower than on a computer.
  • I can’t edit efficiently.
  • If I have a lot of notes, it turns out not to be very portable.

Despite these problems, I think I can overcome the editing problem.  I can use different colours to highlight changes.  I can also make notes on my draft.

For those of you who are writers, what do you like to do?  Do you plan, outline, and take notes on paper, or do you prefer to do it on computer?  Leave a comment with your thoughts.