Tag Archives: comments

What Drives Traffic to My Blog?

I love stats. I’ve said this many times before, and it’s a reason I post monthly reviews of my blog stats. It’s interesting. This year has been big for traffic on my blog so far. With almost four months finished, I’ve been able to come to some conclusions about blogging and generating content that’s interesting for readers. Here are my brief thoughts.

The most obvious thing I’ve noticed are that February and April have been my slowest months this year. Why aren’t they getting as much traffic? What do they have in common? In February, I did a blog tour involving author interviews. This month, I’m doing the A to Z Challenge showing my own writing. Past experience has taught me that interviews perform poorly in terms of views. Also, showing my own fiction tends to not be that popular. I think that’s quite normal and I expected that.

There are things that people want to see, and interviews, flash fiction, and book reviews are not what generate a lot of traffic. Sure, people are interested in that kind of thing, but a lot of people are more interested in informational posts that provide advice and posts that invite discussion. My most popular posts tend to be about the writing process itself. But there are also hot topics, especially things that are trendy. My most popular post continues to be the analysis of my personality. I get a lot of INTJ people coming here.

What gets traffic are topics people search about. People want to know things. That’s where SEO comes in. I won’t go into it, though. I frankly don’t care about it, because I just want to write about what I like. And you know what? Even though my A to Z Challenge posts don’t generate a lot of traffic, I’m having a lot of fun with it. And that’s what matters. What I do get with it are the return readers who never fail to comment on them. My fans? Haha.

One final thing that I find drives traffic to my blog has nothing to do with what I post. It has to do with commenting. I notice that when I reply to comments promptly, I get more views. Not only that, when I comment more often on other blogs, I get more new readers and a higher number of views. In conclusion, interaction with other bloggers is probably one of the biggest ways to get readers. Support them and they’ll support you. It’s really simple.

What do you think?

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Operation Comment Reply

I’ve been slacking a bit in replying to comments the past couple weeks. Not sure why, but I feel like I’ve been completely swamped by life. I’m in front of my computer, but something always pulls me away from it. No longer. I will get back to replying daily. And I’ll get up to date tonight.

Not going to apologise, because sometimes life just happens. That’s the way it goes. But back to work. I’ll get caught up!

5000 Comments!

Today, this blog had its 5,000th comment.  That’s a big number.  And it was quite the comment.

So, in celebration, I’d like to draw your attention to the person who made that comment.  It is none other than…

S. R. Carrillo!

Yes, the same person who is always at the top of Commentition.  And the comment?  This is what she said:

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY.

Yes, that’s what the comment is.  To understand the context, here’s the post she commented on.

And her prize?  To have this song stuck in her head.

As for Commentition, while the top three are certain, the fourth through sixth place spots are up for grabs.  There are four commenters fighting for those last three spots! It’s going to be a battle.  Three have been in the top six recently, but the new one has never been in the top six.  You’ll find out who it is next week.

Incredible Response

Holy crap.  That was my response when I checked the response I was getting for my post What Is the United States?  I really couldn’t believe I was getting so many comments.  I didn’t expect that.

I also didn’t expect the number of views I got yesterday.  225 views, 98 on that post alone.  Without that post, I would’ve gotten 127 views, which is also quite incredible considering I rarely got more than 100 views in a day last year.  Now this year, every day has been over 100.  In fact, for the past 9 days, 8 of them have been over 100 views.  I don’t know why I suddenly have so many views.  It’s not like I’ve done anything different.

But back to the post in question.  I’ve gotten some very interesting responses, and it seems that there are some very common answers.

In question 1, the most popular places seem to be national parks, the south (especially New Orleans), and small towns.

In question 2, the most common food answers are hamburgers and hot dogs, which was quite predictable.  I got a few barbecues, as well.

In question 3, the most common activities were watching baseball and American football.

In question 4, the most popular answer was Mark Twain.  Other authors that got a lot of attention were Edgar Allen Poe, Ernest Hemingway, and more than one mention for Kurt Vonnegut and Stephen King.

Great answers, and there are still more coming in as I type this.  I also looked at the stats for the day regarding countries.  Out of 225 views, 149 were American, which was expected.  There were 26 from the UK and 22 from Canada, as well.  And 10 came from Japan.

The next country I do probably won’t get such a big response, but we’ll see.  I’m interested in seeing what the answers are regardless.

I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who responded to that post.  I’m just amazed.

Crazy Complaints

Ever get one of those comments on your blog that complains about the content, the colour of your text, or your choice of shirts in your profile picture?  You know, those kinds of complaints that make you wonder why they even bothered to comment.  I have.

A couple years ago, I got a comment that wasn’t directly on this blog, but it was on a poll I conducted.  The poll asked about which sequel I should read next.  Here is the comment:

With all due respect, is it really necessary to have someone make this decision for you? Or are you going to ignore it. In which case, why the need for a poll? Boredom, perhaps. If so go read a book. If not go read a self-help book. Smiles all around.

I’ll address each part of this comment.  No, it wasn’t necessary to have someone to make this decision for me.  No, I didn’t ignore it.  Why did I do it?  For a little variety, for some unpredictability, certainly not boredom.  Most of all, I did it for interaction with my readers.  And I did read the books in the order they were voted in.  I love how insulting this was, beginning with “with all due respect” and concluding with “If not go read a self-help book. Smiles all around.”

I had to laugh at this comment.  It wasn’t constructive at all.  The person seemed to want to insult me.  I’ll make the insult now:  People who make comments like this must not have much going on in their lives, probably sitting in their parents’ basement leeching off their money, eating their food, and not interested in making their lives better.

I’m all for constructive criticism, and I welcome it, especially when critiquing my writing.  On my most recent part of Journey to Ariadne, I received a wonderful critique pointing out so many problem areas with my writing. It’s got me thinking differently about writing, and I’m much more careful about using passive.  Those kinds of critiques do wonders and are great.

Now, I’d like to see some of the craziest comments you’ve received.  Leave them in the comments.

Writing Is a Waste of Time

I’m sure every author and aspiring author hears this.  “Writing is a waste of time.”  “You’ll never make any money.”  “Get a real job.”  “No one will read it.”

So, why do I write?  For myself.  I do it for purely selfish reasons.  I’ve been developing this story of mine for 14 years, and I am in the process of writing it.  I want to finish this book, and read it.  Because I want to write what I want to read.  So, how do I address these comments?

Writing is a waste of time.

No, it’s not.  It’s my free time I’m using to write, so I guess it’s like a hobby.  Hobbies do something for people, they help reduce stress, they help increase enjoyment, they help improve mental health.  It all helps me be a better person.  That is not a waste of time.  It doesn’t matter if I never publish (I will self-publish at least, though), all that matters is that I write this book for myself.

You’ll never make any money.

I’m pretty confident I’ll make a little money, but no money?  With the amount of time I spend promoting this book, a book that’s nowhere near finished, I’m pretty sure people will buy it.  Many?  I don’t know.  I can hope.

No one will read it.

Actually, people have already read what’s on my official page.  So, no one can say that no one will read it.

Get a real job.

I have one, thanks.  Writing is unlikely to be my primary job.  I have a full time job, and that is what supports me and my family.  It’s also what gives me a limited time to write.

So, authors and aspiring authors, what comments annoy you?

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!