Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A million page views ... and all I got was this lousy blog

When I started this blog, Publishing ... and Other Forms of Insanity, nearly four years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. Everyone said "You need a blog," so I blogged. (I always listen to Everyone.)

The purported rewards were enticing: fame, fortune, and followers. And it was free, so I was willing to give it a whirl.

In some respects, my blog venture was a lot like my publishing experience. Nobody read what I'd written. So, I did some research on how to drive more traffic to my blog, and I did ALL THE THINGS.

I got my blog onto various lists, I guest blogged on bigger platforms, I contributed to blog carnivals. I tweeted.

There were only modest returns on ALL THE THINGS. Significant numbers of people still weren't reading my posts.

Then, I had an epiphany. Instead of keeping all my publishing information in separate files on my increasingly chaotic desktop, why not transfer all that information to my blog? The advantages were self-evident. I could organize all the paying markets on handy tables (with links!), so when I wanted to submit a story, all I had to do was look at my blog posts on that topic. Plus, whenever new markets sprang up, I could just add them.

This strategy turned out to be so convenient that I did the same thing for reviewers (I figured I would need them some day), and for agents (I hoped I would get one some day). The blog posts expanded to include calls for submissions, which I like to keep tabs on, and contests, even though I seriously doubted I would ever win one. (But, you never know!)

I branched into publishers accepting unagented manuscripts, because after sending dozens of query letters, I was beginning to get discouraged. Once I started organizing those, I realized there were a surprising number of publishers with open doors, so I had devote a whole section of the blog to them.

The dramatic increase in monthly page views occurred after I began posting on Google+ in June 2014. The two major dips coincide with the December holidays. Currently, the blog gets over 60,000 views a month. It started at 600.

After that, more pages needed to be added: agents looking for clients, speculative fiction resources (all of which were originally files on my desktop), self-publishing (which I have done, and may do again, so those posts will come in handy). There was a wealth of information in my files, just begging to be organized in blog posts. And, there was even more information on the Internet that I could add to my burgeoning tables and lists! (Seriously, take a look at the tabs.)

Call me OCD, but being thorough has its advantages.

Lo, and behold! Not only were those posts and pages convenient for me, they were convenient for other people. I began sharing my posts. I shared them on Amazon, on Goodreads, and on LinkedIn. I re-posted them on Medium, and on Niume. (Even though I really don't understand Niume. What the #&!! is hype?) I posted links on forums (whose administrators promptly kicked me off). And, I discovered Google+. As it turned out, there were lots of writers on Google+ who appreciated my OCDness.

Bloggers and regular websites began to post links to my posts, and as a consequence some of those posts got tens of thousands of hits, which launched them into the top positions on Google searches. And that is currently where most of my traffic comes from - straight off the net.

Dang! I really wanted to see 999,999 turn into a million, but I was too busy writing this post.

I'd like to say that the million page views is due to my prowess as a writer, but it would be a lie. It is strictly due to the fact that in my own quest to get published - combined with what might be considered an unhealthy tendency to cover all bases - I've managed to address a question that a lot of other people are asking: "How do I get published?"

I have every intention of continuing to answer that question, and of sharing all the information I accumulate along the way. And when my book finally does get published, I will tell all of you how I did it. In detail.

A big "Thank you!" to Everyone.

6 comments:

  1. Hardly a lousy blog! It's good to see your hard work (and OCD) pay off.

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  2. Thank you for sharing all of this great publishing information. I often find tips on where to submit from your blog.

    Congratulations on your one million!

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  3. And a huge thank you to you too!! Best of luck with all your writing projects!

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  4. oh man! Sorry you missed seeing the 9s flip over! I stumbled across your fantastic blog 3 years ago and cannot count how many times I've forwarded them to the authors I work with (as an independent editor). I recc it to all writers I know, regardless of what king of material they're into.

    I DO regularly go back and rummage through old files -- and thank you for keeping everything so tidy! I do have favs stuck in my own files, but have noticed I'd rather come to your house and find things.

    [deep bow] Thank you for all your hard work, and for gathering all this information into one wonderful mountain for Everyone to play in!!

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  5. sorry--that should be 'what kind of material'---it's early, no coffee yet -- so kill me... :0))

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  6. Nice! What do you think of my Agent 54 blog?

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