Tag Archives: popularity

How Frequently Should You Blog?

I’ve been having an internal debate today after reading several blog posts about blogging frequency. What’s interesting is that there isn’t a very strong consensus. However, there are very strong arguments for both sides: less is better, or more is better.

Blogging Less

I think this is the bigger camp. There are good reasons for it. Blogging once or twice a week means high quality blog posts that people will want to read. It also allows the blogger to spend more time doing other things. In my case, it would allow me to spend more time writing my book. The blogger can also spend more time promoting the posts they have done, as well as visit other blogs and comment on them. Also, people will see the blogger as having better quality posts, rather than always making short daily posts that may not have as much quality.

Blogging Daily

There’s another group who advocates blogging daily. And there are good reasons here, too. First, it gives the blogger discipline. They do it, and they become good at maintaining a schedule. It also helps a person improve their writing. If they’re only blogging once a week, they may take more time to actually get into the mood. If you’ve maintained a daily blogging schedule for a long time, you’re always ready to post. You also find your voice. However, you can burn out, get bored, or find that you’re only blogging because you feel that you need to make that blog post.

What do I do?

I blog daily. Twice a day, in fact. I don’t feel tired of doing it. I enjoy it. I always have ideas, and I have plenty of things to say. I wouldn’t say it takes away from my book writing time, because I don’t write blog posts when I’m in the zone. I write them when people are around. I can shut them out for blogging, but not for writing books. Writing twice a day started as a challenge to see if I could do it. But you know what? I enjoy it! It makes me want to write.

But you see, I can’t go down to once a week. That would mean I’d probably only be doing Authors Answer. That’s not the focus of this blog. If I were to reduce my blogging, I’d go down to five times a week. Authors Answer would always be there. I’d also work on one or two other series, including Worldbuilding. And the rest of the time, I’d be blogging about various topics, mostly related to books, book reviews, science, and education. I guess the topics wouldn’t change much at all. I wonder what would happen.

In April, I was blogging mostly once a day. Traffic dropped dramatically, and I had far less interaction on my blog. I love the comments and conversations that go on. This month, I returned to twice a day, and the traffic is better than ever, and the comments are back up to normal. Interesting results.

In the future, things will probably change. As I get more into writing my book, as well as working, I may drop down to five posts a week. I expect a drop in views, but I plan on spending more time going to other blogs. But it’s a difficult decision to make. I enjoy blogging daily. But we’ll see what happens.

What do you think? Which camp are you in? Let me know in the comments below.

What Defines a Successful Blog?

Blogging can be a hobby, a platform for selling something, or it could be a job. But what makes a blog successful?

My short answer: You enjoy doing it. That’s it. The numbers don’t matter.

But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care about the numbers. The numbers are fascinating for me. I like to see them go up, but this isn’t because I have an ego to stroke. More views and more followers mean my network grows and my ability to get my books out to more readers improves. It’s an important factor for my future livelihood.

If we look at the numbers, there are several to consider: views, followers, likes, reblogs, and comments. They all show something positive.

  • Views: The more you have, the more popular your blog may be, or you’re just good at marketing your blog.
  • Followers: Another measure of popularity. Or maybe you follow a lot, so they follow back.
  • Likes: If they like the post, then they click on like. Or they click on like merely because they saw it in their newsfeed without even reading it.
  • Reblogs: Someone really likes your post! But I find that these aren’t nearly as common as the other factors.
  • Comments: People want to talk about what you posted. What you said inspired someone to say something. It means your message is getting out to people and they want to engage with you.

Personally, I think the most important measure is comments, especially if many of them are your own. This means you are active, interested in your readers, and attract readers. They want to talk to you. Views are good, especially if you have a lot of return readers. You can easily tell this by your comments section. You want people to return. But I believe comments are the greatest indicator of your blog’s success.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below (see what I did there?).

Authors Answer 44 – Changing Genre for Money or Fame

Sometimes, writing in a genre that is over-saturated with a flood of books by indie authors can make it difficult to make any money or get recognised. The book gets lost, and so does the author. But how can an author stand out? Tracey Lynn  Tobin asks a question related to this.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 44: Would you ever consider writing in a genre outside your scope if you thought it would give you a better chance of exposure/financial gain?

Elizabeth Rhodes

I’ve thought about it sometimes.  I mean, YA and romance seem to get a lot of attention.  But that’s not me, it’s not my style.  I can’t even fit a romantic subplot in Jasper, much less design an entire book around one.  I think if I attempted, it wouldn’t be as successful, and therefore wouldn’t earn me the attention I’d be after in the first place.

Tracey Lynn Tobin

The genres in which I feel comfortable are horror, fantasy, and supernatural, with the addendum that I feel okay writing for either adult or young adult audiences. Those are all the areas on which I feel I have a strong enough grasp to write well. They are also difficult genres in which to make a name for yourself right now because the market is so over-saturated. So yeah, I’ve definitely considered writing in other areas just to see if anything comes of it, though of course it’s not just that easy. If you know very little about a particular genre you would obviously need to do a lot of research before attempting to write in it. You’d have to learn the nuances of the genre and its audience and find beta-readers who could help you determine whether or not you’re hitting the mark. It would definitely be a lot of work, but depending on what kind of an end-game you’ve got in mind it could also be totally worth it.

On a personal note, I’ve – on multiple occasions – considered playing my hand at short romance e-books. Romance is hardly my favorite thing to write, but I feel I have the knowledge and skill to do it justice, and I’m curious to see how such a thing would sell in comparison to my zombie apocalypse novel.

Eric Wood

I have written in various genres. I write mostly for children, but for my own amusement I have attempted thrillers, mysteries, and humor. They were just short stories that I shared with a couple friends. Would I attempt to write a book in a genre other than children’s to gain exposure or financial gain? Probably not. I enjoy the genre I write in and don’t really feel confident enough to try others. My 100 word short stories aren’t for children, but 100 words is easy. A whole book? Now that’s a whole other kettle of fish.

H. Anthe Davis

I have no desire to ever write a non-fantasy/SF work for any reason.  Sure, financial gain is great, but I hate literary fiction — going through creative writing courses in college severely burned me out to anything I couldn’t throw sword-fights and dragons into.  I don’t think I’m clever enough for mysteries.  I could maybe do a full-on horror, since there’s a fair amount of horror in my SF/F already, but…  I dunno, I just don’t like the real world, so I don’t care to set anything in it.  And I have plans for fantasy/western and fantasy/romance here and there, but more as side-stories to my larger projects.  Monetary pressures don’t really work on me; if I feel I HAVE to do something, I am infinitely LESS likely to do it, because I am stubborn and spiteful, even at my own expense.

S. R. Carrillo

Sure! Anything that gives me the chance to stretch and develop my strengths as a writer, I’m up for. See, the thing about genre is that I don’t necessarily write inside of any single one of them and I’m ever so interested in so many different ones that I would welcome the challenge. If exposure and financial gain tag along for the ride, then so be it. It’s not what I’m chasing after, though.

Jean Davis

I won’t rule out “ever”, but I write what I like to write so I’m going to lean toward probably not. While I’m all for stretching myself with writing, my best stories come from the creative place where I’m comfortable writing, which is likely not the place where the big money and exposure are.

Caren Rich

Of course I would, if I thought I could do a good job. I think trying new genre’s is exciting. Staying in a given genre could lead to stagnation and boredom. As a writer, I don’t want to be limited to one type of writing. I like trying new things.

Paul B. Spence

I suppose that depends on the genre. Something besides science fiction, sure — I love thrillers and fantasy, too. I’d never write romance, though.

D. T. Nova

That depends on how far outside, how much better a chance, the size of the project, and whether I had a good idea.

For something like a novel, I doubt I could actually finish one that I didn’t really want to write.

Gregory S. Close

I hope to write in several genres, regardless of my anticipated or potential success.  Aside from fantasy, I plan to eventually publish in science fiction, literary fiction and children’s fiction, to name a few.  If I thought I had a better chance of exposure or financial gain in any one of those fields I would just do it that much faster.

Allen Tiffany

I would consider it if it was a genre in which I thought I could write well. But enjoying what I write comes first, so it would have to be a genre which would be close to what I already write and enjoy. I could not become a Romance or Horror writer, for instance. I don’t much enjoy such stories, I don’t understand how they are built, etc.

Related, I am certainly getting very attentive to how to present what I have published and will publish in ways that get them more exposure. In fact, I just wrote an article about how I’ve been fine-tuning my keywords in Amazon to increase exposure and sales of my first book, which has helped me move into the top 10 and top 15 on a couple of Amazon’s best seller lists.

Linda G. Hill

I wish I could choose a genre, but my characters tend to lead me back to the same thing over and over again. For instance, I’ve tried to write romance. Just romance. But I can’t seem to keep violence out of them. I grew up on Stephen King. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. But seriously, I have no idea why. I’m not a violent person. Perhaps it’s just the way I see the world. What it comes down to is what I always say: I can’t help what I write.

Jay Dee Archer

I haven’t really been interested in writing outside of science fiction and fantasy. At the moment, I’m writing science fiction, and have another science fiction title in the planning stages, but I do have a couple of fantasy ideas, too. But outside of that, I don’t think I’d want to write another genre, unless it were alternate history. However, I could see myself writing non-fiction, as well. Young adult is possible, but only if it’s fantasy or science fiction.

But for profit or recognition, I don’t think so. I’d only write it if I felt like I could do it any justice, while also enjoying it. I only want to write what I like writing. If I wrote something in a genre I felt uncomfortable writing in, I’d feel like it was a sub-par book. I only want to do my best, and that means writing where my passion lies.

How about you?

If you’re an author, could you switch genres for financial gain or more exposure? Let us know in the comments below.

This Is the 1,000th Post

1,000 posts on this blog! It’s hard to believe.  So, in honour of this milestone, here are the top 10 most popular posts ever on this blog.

  1. INTJ – An Analysis of My Personality
  2. What does an earthquake feel like?
  3. Book Review – Macbeth
  4. Are Writers Introverts or Extroverts?
  5. The Power of Introverts – from TED
  6. Costco – Bulgogi Bake
  7. Colonising a World: Sex
  8. Bilingual Breakthroughs
  9. What Is the United States?
  10. What Will You Write? #1 – Neptune

Some are interesting, especially the one about sex. That became popular because it was one of the top search results in South Korea for a porn website. The keywords just seemed to match up perfectly. The INTJ post exploded in popularity in recent months. It’s by far the most popular post. And the earthquake post gets a lot of views whenever there’s a major earthquake.

I’m looking forward to the next 1,000 posts! Maybe by the end of next year.

Authors Answer 25 – One Hit Wonder or Prolific Author?

Harper Lee had a huge hit, To Kill a Mockingbird. It was the only book she published (thought recently, she announced a new book). But it was massively popular. Then there are other authors who seem to write a couple books a year. Many write without much recognition, but they keep going. This week’s question comes to us from the rather prolific commenter stomperdad.

320px-Modern-ftn-pen-cursiveQuestion 25: Would you rather write one book that’s hugely popular or many books with little recognition?

Linda G. Hill

Oooh, difficult question. Although I’d love to have a book that’s hugely popular, I love the writing part of making novels. So I think I’ll have to go with the latter.

…ask me again after I’ve published something. 😛

Caren Rich

Seriously, I just want to be published.  Writing a popular book would be amazing.  I don’t think it’s necessarily better than having a string of well-written books, that people have actually read. There is an allure to cult classics that bestsellers do not have.

D. T. Nova

It’s difficult for me to compare those as conflicting outcomes. I know that if a book I wrote became hugely popular it would just make me want to write more books even more, and it might even make it easier to be unconcerned with recognition in the future.

Amy Morris-Jones

I think I’d rather just write and not worry about popularity or publication—not great for a writer, right? I’d rather write a lot, so I’d pick the second option where I could build a small but (hopefully) loyal fan base over time. Those hugely popular books get far too much public scrutiny for my taste.

Jean Davis

I would rather write many books than one that hits it big. The pressure to top that huge success would make it hard to let the creativity flow enough to let the next books come into being and make it through the editing process.

Elizabeth Rhodes

I’d prefer to write several books with little recognition.  What would I do with my time after the first bestseller makes it big?  I’m not going to stop writing after that.  I’m also not sure if I’d ever feel comfortable with a Harper Lee level of fame.

H. Anthe Davis

I’m in the process of writing many books with little recognition, so I guess this is what I signed on for!  Yay me!

In all honesty though, I don’t care about popularity.  I just want to get these stories out of my head.

Paul B. Spence

Oh, bloody hell. I’ve already written many books with little recognition… But how could you only write one book?

Tracey Lynn Tobin

Tough one. I definitely would love for one of my books to become hugely popular, but if that meant no one would ever read anything else I ever wrote? It seems like quite the trade-off. Also, realistically speaking, it’s much more likely for a writer to build a little bit of recognition with each concurrent book than to become an overnight sensation based on just one book.

I think, probably, maybe, I’d go with the many books, because even if that one book was hugely popular, I think it would kill me if I just kept writing and writing and never got any recognition for any of my other work.

S. R. Carrillo

Popularity is really not all that important to me. I’d definitely rather write several of the little-recognized books. Seems I’m headed in that direction, anyway, and I’m all too okay with it. ;] Actually, I think I’d panic if I ever wrote a hugely popular book. I’m only ever truly writing for myself in the first place – publishing is merely a way of inviting others on this crazy ride with me, y’know?

Jay Dee Archer

I think it’s safe to say that most, if not all, of us would answer the same way: we’d rather have many books with little recognition. We spend a lot of time writing, not for the recognition, but because we have stories we want to tell.  It is extremely rare  to have that big hit, and I think we all understand that. I would rather have plenty of books out than one big hit. Besides, I’d continue writing even if I had just one big hit. I couldn’t stop.

With that said, recognition does build over time the more one writes. Each book gains some fans, which in turn results in more sales for all books. They may never be big sellers, but people are reading them. That’s all I want.

How about you?

If you had this choice, would you rather have a single bestseller or a bunch of books that gain little recognition? Leave your answers in the comments below.

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?