Sunday, December 7, 2014

Hitting the Mark

I've had my ups and downs as a blogger.  Some of my posts have several hundred hits.  Some of them have less than five.  It's not like there's a huge degree of consistency.  The sheer randomness of the numbers is maddening.

Or is it sheer randomness?

Looking back, there appear to be three factors that contribute to some posts getting more traffic than others.  One of those factors is within my control(if not my apathy).  The other two are...well...a little more complicated.

Like any blogger, I market myself.  I try to put every post up for my friends on Facebook.  That way, my "friends" can see it and click over if they like.  I also comment on the posts of other blogs.  I don't do this solely out of a cynical desire to drive traffic - if I didn't enjoy the post and/or have something to say, I wouldn't say anything - but it doesn't hurt when someone looks at what I wrote and decides to follow the trail on over.

This part of driving traffic is completely within my control...even if I've slacked off recently.  My computer time has become severely limited over the last year and a half, and I don't have the time to spend roaming through blogs like I used to.  Other events may also hamper my ability to browse come next summer.  Nevertheless, I could expend more effort on this front and visit my blogging buddies with a little more regularity.  This excuses I have are just that - excuses.

The second element is a little more focused, and it's both good and bad.  I've noticed that my posts get more traffic when they involve the writing business, and they go way up when they involve ranting about the traditional aspects of that business.  I suppose this shows I have a knack for creating some level of emotion, but I don't know how healthy this is.  For starters, it will eventually start sounding like a CD stuck on a continuous loop.  I mean, how many times can I talk about why I think traditional publishing is stuck in the dark ages or why I took Amazon's side in its recent dispute with Hachette?  These things are novel when done infrequently, but relying on such righteous anger can easily get tedious.

The third thing I took notice of is that my short stories, for better or worse, also seem to get a lot more traffic.  This made me cringe.  Don't get me wrong - I love writing them.  However, the effort required to create a decent one involves a significant investment of time and energy(I believe the appropriate response here is "duh").  Therefore, I plan to write a few more short stories, but at not nearly so rapid a pace.  These things may go in the once or twice a month category rather than the weekly one.  Maybe that will help people forget the awful train wrecks I've produced.

Oh, and generate more traffic.  After all, that was the point of the post in the first place.

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