It’s hard to believe, and I owe it all to you. Yes, you:
I checked my WordPress stats, and was elated to find:
- 3,000 followers
- 65,000 views
- 610 posts
- 5,000 comments
- 170 countries
- 159 search terms (today)
- 699 posts in the self-publishing category
- 11 clicks to Amazon and 8 clicks to KDP.Amazon (today)
- and many other wonderful numbers
Technically, I have 3,492 followers, although I only have 3,029 WordPress followers.
You see, there is a little secret: Your Facebook and Twitter followers, if you associate these accounts to your WordPress blog, count as part of your following.
I was late to the social media game, so most of my followers are at WordPress. My 106 Facebook author page likes and 357 Twitter followers are the reason WordPress advertises that I have 3,492 followers on my blog site.
I’m glad to see that WordPress displays the actual number of site views on my webpage with the corresponding widget. (I tried another website once and it actually ASKED me what I wanted the initial number of views to be. Well, I guess we can’t believe everything we read on the internet…)
NOT THE WAY IT STARTED
The following graph tells the story:
The first year was ZILCH.
The second year saw a little activity.
It started out really slow, like virtually all other blogs.
Think you had a rough start? Mine may have been even rougher:
- I registered for WordPress and made my “Hello, World” post on May 8, 2011.
- To date, that post still has 0 likes and 0 comments. It had just a few views. Ever. Even now.
- I made my second post on December 14, 2012—a year and a half later.
- My second post has 5 likes, but at least it generated some views at the time.
I went 1.5 years without a single Like. Yep, it was a slow start.
I dipped my toe in the WordPress water in 2011, and came back with an actual plan at the end of 2012.
What was my plan?
- Provide free help to other authors and self-publishers.
- Motivate and encourage other authors.
- Become effective at marketing and serve as an example to other authors that it’s possible to embrace this and do it effectively.
- Enjoy writing articles on my blog and have fun with it.
The best parts were unexpected:
- The interaction here at WordPress is amazing.
- The community here at WordPress is incredible.
- I never expected to make such wonderful connections.
- I have come to love writing for my blog even more than writing books. (Shh.) (Don’t worry. I’ll keep writing books, too.)
Blogging can start out exceptionally s-l-o-w. But it has much potential to accelerate.
Don’t focus on your numbers now. See if you can grow your numbers over time. Play the long game.
If you can grow your numbers over time, your blog has much potential.
Likes and follows are absolutely wonderful, but there is another number you need to focus on.
How many visitors come to your website per day, on average, via search engines?
I had 375 views today. 243 of those are from search engines.
In the early days (2013), I just had a few views per day, a few likes per post, a few followers. But a couple of my posts were generating traffic through search engines.
My search engine stats steadily grew. Still, as you can see in the graph above, it started very slow and took much time to grow.
If you can get any search engine traffic and gradually build on this number, you have much potential to transform your blog into a content-rich website.
Your blog has three goals when it comes to marketing. Likes and follows only relate to two of those goals.
- The people you interact with regularly often support your posts with likes and comments. The support is amazing, and this interaction makes your blog feel lively. But don’t sweat it in the early days of your blog when you aren’t getting much interaction. This will come, especially depending on you—make valuable contributions to the community.
- Your followers include active followers and ghosts. It can be demoralizing to realize this. Your following is less than you’d like, and only a fraction of that is active. But don’t let that bother you. It’s growing, so it has much potential. Your following helps to support you when you release a new book. Perhaps not through sales, but perhaps through reblogs and branding.
- Search engine traffic can net you the most sales of all. If you get 100’s of visitors per day from your target audience exploring content on your website, these are people who didn’t already know about your book(s) with whom you are suddenly getting exposure.
Blogging is hard work, but it’s fun.
Blogging starts out very slow, but can become an effective content-rich website over time.
Blogging is amazing because of the WordPress community.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH, EVERYONE. That means you, too. Yes, you.
If you haven’t yet reached as many views and followers as I have, I hope you get there soon. You will. Don’t give up.
And if you’ve reached many more views and followers than I have, wow. That’s amazing! congratulations! Way to go!
No matter what, YOU are wonderful. Thank you for being part of WordPress.
Imagine a Black Friday type of event just for book lovers.
You don’t have to imagine it. It’s called Read Tuesday, and it’s free: www.readtuesday.com.
Please support the Read Tuesday Thunderclap. This will help spread awareness on the morning of Read Tuesday (December 9, 2014). It’s easy to help:
- Visit http://thndr.it/1CkO2Bg.
- Click Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr and sign in.
- Customize the message. (Optional.)
- Agree to the terms. All that will happen is that the Thunderclap post about Read Tuesday will go out the morning of December 9.
- (The warning message simply means that Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr need your permission to post the Thunderclap message on December 9. This is the only post that Thunderclap will make.)
Looking for some spooky books to read this Halloween month?
Copyright © 2014 Chris McMullen, Author of A Detailed Guide to Self-Publishing with Amazon and Other Online Booksellers
- Volume 1 on formatting and publishing
- Volume 2 on marketability and marketing
- Boxed set (of 4 books) now available for Kindle pre-order
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