Tag Archives: blogging

Joining the A to Z April Challenge

April means the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge! Last year, I didn’t participate, as I was in the process of moving and settling in during the month of April, so I was very busy. However, I did the challenge in 2015.

When I did the challenge before, I wrote 26 short stories related to Ariadne, and it turned into a kind of story. You can read all 26 parts here. You’ll even learn a little bit about the main character of my debute novel, Solona Knight.

So, what am I going to do for this year’s challenge? I’m not sure. They haven’t announced the theme yet, but we don’t have to follow the theme. We can do our own. I won’t be doing the same thing I did two years ago. I may do something about science, or I might do something about writing. Or I may do flash fiction based on words that begin with each letter of the alphabet. I don’t know yet.

So, I’d like to ask you. Do you have any suggestions for what I could write about? Also, are you participating? Let me know in the comments below.

Month in Review – January 2017

The first month of the year was a decent one. But it wasn’t what I expected. What was supposed to be a two post a day month turned into a post a day again. But despite that, the numbers have increased. And the blog reached a major milestone. January ended with 1,686 followers, an increase of 27.

January Stats

January’s numbers saw an improvement over the previous three months. That was nice to see. The average number of views per day was 78, which was better than the last three months of the year. Only 5 out of 31 days reached 100 views, which is better than December. The best day was January 4th with 127 views. The total number of views in January was 2,426, the 28th month in a row over 2,000. January ended with 100,243 views, passing 100,000 views. There were 34 posts in January, bringing it to a total of 2,206.

In December, there were 198 comments, which was slightly higher than December. That brings it to a total of 16,884.

The top ten countries were:

  1. United States (1,285 views)
  2. Canada (220 views)
  3. United Kingdom (124 views)
  4. India (110 views)
  5. Australia (105 views)
  6. Japan (94 views)
  7. Germany (42 views)
  8. France (30 views)
  9. Jamaica (26 views)
  10. Netherlands (24 views)

Top Posts

The top five posts of January were:

  1. Authors Answer 116 – Writing the Opposite Sex (54 views)
  2. Hit By the YouTube Subscriber Glitch (51 views)
  3. Authors Answer 115 – Common Mistakes by New Authors (35 views)
  4. Authors Answer 114 – 2017 Writing Plans (29 views)
  5. Authors Answer 117 – Difficult and Easy Scenes to Write (26 views)

The most popular post written before January was once again, INTJ – An Analysis of My Personality. It had 122 views.

Older posts remain popular, especially reviews of Shakespearean plays. The newer posts were slow again, thanks to my inability to keep up on social media again. My fault. The beginning of the month was actually quite strong, but it slowed down as I fell behind. As a result, several posts had fewer views than normal. Here are the ones which underperformed and I think you should check out.

Reviews

Nothing, except movie and TV reviews. Must get the book reviews done!

Social Media

On Twitter, I have 3,671 followers, which is a decrease of 3.  I follow 3,684, which is unchanged from last month. I haven’t been particularly active with following on Twitter. I finished with 10,180 tweets, with 149 coming in January. I was actually most active in the second half of the month.

On YouTube, I uploaded 12 videos in January. Very slow month. I have 366 subscribers, which is an increase of 24 from last month.  The month ended with 24,627 views, which is an increase of 1,912, despite the lower number of videos. Some of my older videos are actually remaining popular and ranking well in searches.

On Facebook, my author page has 84 followers, which is unchanged

On Patreon, I have 0 patrons contributing $0 per month. I don’t expect much until I really start to promote it.

Looking Ahead to February

I expect a better month in terms of blog posts, social media, and videos. I felt less motivation during the weeks after Christmas. I’ve been feeling a lot more motivation recently, so I’m hoping to get a lot done, including:

  • World Building posts and videos
  • Keeping up on social media
  • Keeping up with comments
  • New channel trailers for both of my videos
  • Science videos coming up!
  • Book reviews
  • More movie and TV reviews
  • More Star Trek!

There’s a lot to do, but I think I can do it. I’m looking forward to seeing what February brings!

Month in Review – December 2016

Happy New Year!

December slowed down. That was expected. I wasn’t planning on keeping the twice a day posting schedule I stopped doing three months ago. I even missed a day! However, the numbers aren’t that bad. With the holidays at the end of the month, a slowdown was expected. December ended with 1,659 followers, an increase of 26.

December Stats

December ended up being the second slowest month of the year in terms of views. It was better than October, but worse than November. The average number of views per day was 73, which is the second worst of the year. Only 3 out of 31 days reached 100 views, which is the same as November. The best day was December 29th with 121 views. The total number of views in December was 2,254, the 27th month in a row over 2,000. December ended with 97,817 views. There were 30 posts in December, bringing it to a total of 2,172.

In December, there were 187 comments, which was the worst in a while. That brings it to a total of 16,686.

The top ten countries were:

  1. United States (1,126 views)
  2. Canada (250 views)
  3. Japan (142 views)
  4. United Kingdom (140 views)
  5. Australia (81 views)
  6. India (71 views)
  7. Germany (31 views)
  8. Philippines (28 views)
  9. Croatia (23 views)
  10. Argentina (22 views)

Top Posts

The top five posts of December were:

  1. WordPress Changes Things Again (55 views)
  2. Authors Answer 111 – Killing Off Main Characters (37 views)
  3. Authors Answer 113 – Writing in 2016 (28 views)
  4. Authors Answer 112 – Characters Celebrating Christmas (24 views)
  5. The Multilingual Desire (23 views)

The most popular post written before December was an old favourite, INTJ – An Analysis of My Personality. It had 109 views.

Following the same trend from last month, older posts are remaining popular. That’s a good thing. However, since I’ve been falling behind on social media again, it the newer posts haven’t been receiving the benefits of publicizing. Despite that, there were some good performances. As for posts that didn’t perform well, and I think deserve a look, check out these:

Reviews

Nothing, despite what I promised. Next week, I have a lot of free time. Expect several reviews.

Social Media

On Twitter, I have 3,674 followers, which is a decrease of 10.  I follow 3,684, which is a decrease of 3. I actually followed a lot. I think Twitter did a big purge of dead accounts. I finished with 10,031 tweets, with 159 coming in December. That’s less, but I was busier last month.

On YouTube, I uploaded 30 videos in December.  I have 342 subscribers, which is an increase of 40 from last month.  The month ended with 22,715 views, which is an increase of 2,052. It was another improved performance. The channel is growing.

On Facebook, my author page has 84 followers, which is a decrease of 1.

On Patreon, I have 0 patrons contributing $0 per month. I don’t expect much until I really start to promote it.

Looking Ahead to January

With a new year comes new goals. I have plans to improve not only the blog, but also my booktube channel, get the science channel going, and have a stronger presence on social media. My specific goals are:

  • Resume twice a day posts on the blog.
  • Read other blogs for 15 minutes a day, including commenting and following.
  • Keep up on comments on this blog.
  • Post book reviews!
  • Keep up to date on social media regarding this blog.
  • Maintain a 5-7 video a week schedule for my booktube channel
  • Start my science channel and post 2 videos a week.
  • Make a new channel trailer for my booktube channel and another for the science channel.
  • Speed up my viewing of Star Trek and finish watching Attack on Titan, ending with a review.
  • Write at least 15 minutes a day.

As you can see, there’s plenty to do this month. There are other things I want to do, and I hope to get these things done. I really need to make sure I’ve got social media up to date and am active on it. I’m looking forward to the new year, because it has to be better than 2016!

WordPress Changes Things Again

A while back, WordPress completely changed the Stats page. The old stats page was still accessible, and I had it bookmarked. What I needed was the summaries page that gave me weekly, monthly, and yearly numbers, as well as daily averages for each month and a complete list of the month’s daily views. I use that for my Month in Review posts.

Well, that’s all gone, as far as I can tell. My bookmark just takes me to the newer stats page. However, I found a workaround that takes me to an even older stats page. Just go to the wp-admin page (That’s https:// (yourblog).wordpress.com/wp-admin/) and then Site Stats, and click on Summaries. That’s what I use, but it’s the old old version. It still works for me, though.

Another thing that’s disappeared is the Notifications page! I never liked using the Notifications menu (the button at the top right with the bell) because it never showed if I’d replied to the comment or not. The Notifications page showed me all of that, and it gave me a lot of options. But much to my surprise, the bell-button-notifications menu now gives me all those options and tells me if I’d replied! Okay, that is a step forward.

So, one step back for the stats, one step forward for the notifications. Unfortunately, WordPress is trying to cater more to mobile users than computer users. Mobile stats and other features are extremely limited, though. And I do not like writing posts with the app. Computer only.

Anyone else notice the changes? What do you think?

The Final Two Weeks of 2016

It’s already half way through the second last week of the year. I just finished three days of work with a Christmas concert at my daughter’s school. She sang a couple of songs with her Kindergarten class, but spent half the time looking behind her at the screen. But it was fun.

My next five days, I have no work. The next four days I’ll have a lot of down time to be able to work on many things, including my blog, videos, and reviews. After that, it’s Christmas! And that is a day I’m really looking forward to. The best part is watching my daughter open her presents. We still have to wrap all the presents, though.

After that, I go back to work, and I’ll be busier than usual. Longer hours and an extremely busy workplace. December 26th may be one of the busiest days I’ve ever experienced. There are some things I might not be able to do very much of, and that’s make videos. Blog posts should continue as usual, though.

But I’m really looking forward to getting a blog post and video up on Christmas Day. They’ll actually be done before then, but will be scheduled to go up. I hope you’ll be looking forward to them.

What’s the rest of the year like for you?

Month in Review – November 2016

What a strange month. The numbers were not what I expected. I continued with posting once a day, but that didn’t hurt the numbers at all. In fact, this month had the third highest number of visitors for the year, but the second lowest in terms of views. But that’s not where the strangeness ends. November ended with 1,633 followers, a respectable increase of 59.

November Stats

November was the second slowest month of the year in terms of views. That was not unexpected. But it was still better than October. The average number of views per day was 76, which is the second worst of the year. Only 3 out of 30 days reached 100 views, which is a slight improvement. The best day was November 2nd with 112 views. The total number of views in November was 2,290, the 26th month in a row over 2,000. November ended with 95,563 views. There were 32 posts in November, bringing it to a total of 2,142.

In November, there were 221 comments, which was very low. That brings it to a total of 16,499.

The top ten countries were:

  1. United States (1,029 views)
  2. Canada (256 views)
  3. India (176 views)
  4. United Kingdom (146 views)
  5. Japan (83 views)
  6. Australia (73 views)
  7. Germany (39 views)
  8. Netherlands (34 views)
  9. Sweden (27 views)
  10. Philippines (21 views)

Top Posts

The top five (six) posts of November were:

  1. Authors Answer 108 – Bad Advice for Writers (35 views)
  2. International Science Centre and Science Museum Day (34 views)
  3. Really, Americans? (32 views)
  4. Authors Answer 107 – Our Works in Progress (31 views)
  5. Authors Answer 106 – What Authors Learn (29 views)
  6. Authors Answer 105 – New Knowledge Wishlist (29 views)

The most popular post written before November was Authors Answer 104 – Best Advice for Authors, which had a whopping 183 views.

For the first time ever, the majority of views on the blog were from older posts. This means that the older content is now enough to carry the blog. What concerns me is that my posts from this month didn’t gain many views. This is partly my fault, again with the lack of engagement in social media, delays in responding to comments, timing of my posts, and too many generic posts. December is going to be different. Let’s take a look at the posts that didn’t do well, and I feel they deserve another look:

Reviews

Nothing done. Need to get on this in December.

Social Media

On Twitter, I have 3,684 followers, which is a very small increase of 26.  I follow 3,687, which is up by 76. I finished with 9,872 tweets, with 203 coming in November. I need to manage Twitter better.

On YouTube, I uploaded 30 videos in November.  I have 302 subscribers, which is an increase of 34 from last month.  The month ended with 20,663 views, which is an increase of 1,751. It was a better month, an improvement on October.

On Facebook, my author page has 85 followers, which is an increase of 3.

On Patreon, I have 0 patrons contributing $0 per month. I don’t expect much until I really start to promote it.

Looking Ahead to December

I’m taking a completely different approach to December. This is the month I return to what worked well before. I will be trying to move away from video digests (I’ll still have the weekly one, which does reasonably well) and back to what I used to do a lot of. This includes:

  • Book reviews done in a timely manner
  • Worldbuilding posts, which tended to be fairly popular
  • Quick Facts posts, focusing on the moons of the solar system again
  • An author interview

Something I plan on expanding is the TV reviews. I already do Star Trek episode reviews, but I also plan on doing other science fiction and fantasy TV and movie reviews. But not episode by episode, just season or series reviews for TV.

As for social media, I’m going to do a big cleanup on Twitter for people who I follow, but don’t follow me. There are a lot who follow me only to get followers, then immediately unfollow as soon as I follow. I’ll be weeding those people out. I don’t appreciate people who do that. When I follow someone on Twitter, it’s because I have an interest in following them. If they follow me first, and I return the follow, I expect they want to follow me. However, if they unfollow me immediately, I unfollow them. I really don’t like those tactics. Follow because you want to follow, not because you want followers.

Another thing I need to do is comment on other blogs. I need to get back to doing that.

Month in Review – October 2016

It was an odd month. It was also the first month in a while that I failed to make two posts a day. I scaled back to once a day, but it was for a few reasons. I needed a bit of a breather. I needed to concentrate on some other things. And it’s going to continue into November because I’m participating in NaNoWriMo. October ended with 1574 followers, which is a very good increase of 64.

October Stats

October was the slowest month since November 2014. The average number of views per day was 70, which is the worst of the year. Only 2 out of 31 days reached 100 views, which is not good at all. The best day was October 28th with 199 views. The total number of views in October was 2,180, the 25th month in a row over 2,000. October ended with 93,277 views. There were 41 posts in October, bringing it to a total of 2,110.

In October, there were 246 comments, which was very low. That brings it to a total of 16,278.

The top ten countries were:

  1. United States (1,008 views)
  2. Canada (289 views)
  3. United Kingdom (209 views)
  4. India (84 views)
  5. Australia (79 views)
  6. Japan (76 views)
  7. Spain (40 views)
  8. Germany (27 views)
  9. Turkey (27 views)
  10. Netherlands (18 views)

Top Posts

The top five posts of October were:

  1. Authors Answer 104 – Best Advice for Authors (158 views)
  2. An Introvert’s Life (47 views)
  3. Snow and Books! The Jay Dee Show 1 (32 views)
  4. Authors Answer 103 – Top Influencing Books (30 views)
  5. Authors Answer 101 – Books That Make Us Laugh (29 views)

Authors Answer 104 did incredibly well. That was a big one. The most popular post written before October was YouTube’s New End Card Feature with 141 views.

Underperformance was the theme for the entire month, except for a couple posts. Again, the issue was poor social media usage and responding to comments very late. Therefore, there were a few posts that didn’t do well. So, check out these posts, because they do deserve a look!

Reviews

I’d planned on doing these, but never did get around to them. Timing has been terrible.

Social Media

On Twitter, I have 3,658 followers, which is a very small increase of 16.  I follow 3,611, which is up by 45. I finished with 9,669 tweets, with 203 coming in October. A good number of tweets, but a very small increase in followers.

On YouTube, I uploaded 29 videos in October.  I have 268 subscribers, which is an increase of 39 from last month.  The month ended with 18,912 views, which is an increase of 1,576. It was a decent month, but a bit down from the previous month.

On Facebook, my author page has 82 followers, which is an increase of 1.

On Patreon, I have 0 patrons contributing $0 per month. I don’t expect much until I really start to promote it.

Looking Ahead to November

I’m pretty disappointed in October. More with myself, actually. Things I’d wanted to do at the beginning of October I never did. What I need to do are the following:

  • Use social media to promote the blog as soon as I’ve made the posts.
  • Schedule posts for late afternoon so they appear at times when people are reading blogs.
  • Schedule videos for late afternoon, as well.
  • Respond to comments within two days.
  • And probably most importantly, the thing that drives new readers and viewers to my blog and YouTube channels, go out and post comments on other blogs and videos! I need to spend time doing that.

I’m also going to work on getting those reviews up within the next couple weeks. There are four to do! And this is also the month in which I concentrate on writing. I’m doing NaNoWriMo, so I hope to get some good work done.

November, definitely the month to refocus.