The Year of 5K!

Over the summer I set the goal to hit 4K views for each month and amazingly, I hit it and then some! July and August I surprisingly reached 5K both times! This was my first time ever getting such a high reach. So far I’ve been able to keep this streak going for the rest of the year as well so I hope December can pull through too.

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I also reached 5k followers on here as well back in September! I was hoping to reach it for my 3 year anniversary but was a few weeks late. Around this time I also reached 5k on Twitter! So it’s been a year of 5,000s for me and I’m thrilled with all the new accomplishments my blog is reaching.

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With all of this going on, I decided to finally take a closer look at these numbers. I realized Twitter was not a traffic driver at all for the site so I’ve stopped all efforts of gaining new engagement there. The only social I focus on now is Pinterest and I’ll post some updates there in a month or two.

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Interestingly, I check the site’s traffic through google analytics and it’s still under 5K so my goal right now is to focus on reaching it there since any monetary venues focus on how google values the site. My 2019 goal check up will be in 2 weeks so make sure to check back in for that as well.

 

Quarterly Favorites Recap – December

The last quarterly favorites recap of 2019!

Check out :           March                 June                 September

to see how the rest of the year went!

 

  1. Favorite show: I just finished season two of Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime! I’m also watching The Rookie and Stumptown via Hulu (both are on ABC).

 

  1. Favorite tweet: I was looking through my tweets and saw I was talking about naps and sleeping a lot so why don’t we all just take a look at that haha

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  1. Favorite blog post: I’m starting to write articles like I did back in 2017 such as What changed in dating apps. I excited to be going back to my roots and how this blog started out. I hope you guys are enjoying it too!

 

  1. Favorite phase /word to say: If I had to pick something I guess it would be ‘Can’t Relate’ mostly when people are talking about all the crazy, drunk things they get up to with their friends going out to the bars every weekend.

 

  1. Favorite thing you did: Watched Sunday football at a local bar with my cousins and family. I also saw the broadway play Come From Away.

 

 

  1. Favorite artist: It’s that Holiday Season so I’ll list some of my favorite Christmas songs!

Blue Christmas -Elvis

Please Come Home For Christmas- Eagles

All I Want For Christmas is You – Mariah Carey

Grandma Got Ran Over by a Reindeer – Elmo & Patsy

 

  1. Favorite Poem: I have two newer poems that are really catching my eye and hopefully they’ll catch yours too: Close Enough and Fallen Angel

 

The choice to self publish

The dream for me had always been to be picked up by a big publishing company in the future of my writing career. I knew that would not happen right away and self publishing some books would almost be like building up a resume. I could grow my own fan base, I would be showing that I’m not just a one hit wonder, and I would show that I have the passion and commitment to continue on for many more years. 

 

There’s definitely stress and frustration that comes with putting a book together but I do love having control over every decision and making my collection EXACTLY how I want it. As I’ve never been traditionally published, I don’t know when the hand off happens exactly. But I’m sure there’s Cover Designers and Illustrators that can give your collection a complete makeover – a makeover you may not want. You can be included in the conversation but how could you disagree with the professionals if you didn’t like the design?

 

A big plus of signing with a traditional company is the marketing resources that can be dedicated to getting your book to consumers’ hands. When you self publish all the marketing and promoting falls on you. The thing is I’ve seen some collections that were published by traditional companies but barely have 50 reviews on Amazon. I know reviews don’t equal sales but one of the big 5 publishing houses should have enough resources to ensure their books are being promoted well. 

 

Traditional publishing companies have been in the industry for a long time, they have a lot of connections, and they know all the ins and outs to get your book in front of the right people. But will they use that knowledge on you, that’s no guarantee as this recent thread on Twitter speaks to. 

 

After publishing my first two collections, I’ve learned I want control of all creative decisions and I want as much promotional help as possible, it seems there are plenty of examples in the industry that traditional companies don’t help me with either of those things. 

 

Being picked up by a publishing company could be the greatest thing to ever happen to your writing career. It could be the greatest to happen to mine as well, I’m just saying that I no longer feel that hungry desire to chase after one of the big 5 houses. I’m happy self publishing. It’s difficult at some points and I know traditional would have it’s own difficulties as well. Self publishing has been making steady strides in this industry for years and I am here for it’s next step.

 

Where to Focus to Gain Site Traffic

There is a ton of advice out there for how to gain traffic to your site. There are many ways to do it and the same way won’t work for everyone. The only advice I think I’m going to give you is this:

Don’t try to be a jack of all trades, but a queen of one. You’ll end up spreading yourself too thin and not maximizing any of the venues.

 

From here I’m just going to talk about what I’ve been up to, where I’ve been going wrong, and what I plan to do from here. The top 4 social media apps are Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. I really don’t have any data with Instagram so I’m not going to mention it. It’s lumped together in my ‘other’ percentage because it’s so low, a mere 1%.  

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Percentages from the “Referrer” stat section of my blog

 

Twitter – 2%

I was involved in the blogging community on Twitter first I think. It was great for connecting with bloggers and relating to their struggles. I put a lot of time and effort into growing my presence and following on Twitter. Twitter is where I announce my new books and blog posts. I liked the platform and I understood it. 

 

2 years later and I think this is the first time I’m actually checking the stats for where my traffic is coming from. I’m very surprised to realize I’ve been wasting all this time meanwhile Twitter is the 6th referrer by a large margin. I’m going to redirect most of my time to Pinterest and see if it makes a difference.

 

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Facebook – 4%

I have not taken the leap to making a blog or author page on Facebook and I don’t think I will. I get decent traffic from Facebook groups but I don’t really feel it’s organic so I don’t think that’s where I want to grow. Well organized groups will have specific posting on specific days to promote your blog or social media with either likes, comments, or follows. To ensure no one is taken advantage you’ll usually have 2 days to check out everyone else’s site so traffic is pretty immediate. 

 

Pinterest – 8%

I’ve heard Pinterest is a gradual build with traffic but it is long lasting once you get there. A pin has a month long lifespan while posts from Twitter or Facebook are mere hours. This might explain why Pinterest, which I haven’t used since March, is still my second highest referrer. That’s right, I didn’t use Pinterest for over 5 months but it close to doubles Facebook’s traffic which is next in line. I don’t use Facebook every month either but I think Facebook works more as ‘out of sight, out of mind’.

 

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screenshot of Tailwind dashboard

 

Pinterest is pretty hard for me to grasp though. It took me a while to get the hang of creating my own pins. It’s a lot of work in the beginning between finding group boards to join, creating all your pins and boards, and setting up your advance scheduling with tools such as Tailwind. Tailwind has a free month trial and then you’d pay $120 for a year membership. You can schedule hundreds of pins weeks in advance and you can also join Tailwind tribes. 

 

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screenshot of canva workshop

 

I had a membership last year but I was still figuring out how to use Canva to create pin graphics and the whole scheduling process took so long for me. It was exhausting, frustrating, and there were many weeks when I just did not have time for it. I knew it was time to cancel my membership and regroup.

 

Months later now, I’ve found this data and decided I need to give Pinterest another chance. Luckily, I’m still in the same groups but I will be looking into joining more which will be time consuming. I already made 21 new pins over the past few weeks so now I feel ready to get back into it and not feel like I’m lagging behind. I will most likely consult people with more experience to point me in the right direction this time. 

 

The bullet points:

Twitter is great for feeling less alone in the blogger struggle

Facebook can bring traffic within a day or two and best for advice

Pinterest will continue to bring traffic even if you neglect it for a long time.

 

I’m going to make this pie graph again in 6 months and see if I’ve made any impact so make sure to check back in for that update!

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Quarterly Favorites Review

Quarterly favorites review, September Issue!

 

Favorite show: I recently watched You and In the Dark, both on Netflix. In the Dark was great and definitely recommend, it’s a blind woman who realizes her friend has been murdered and tries to solve the case. You stars Gossip Girl’s Dan as a creepy stalker who will do anything to be with the object of his affection. The narration makes it a little funky but it’s a very popular show so I couldn’t not watch it lol.

 

Favorite tweet: Chipotle is my one true love <3Screen Shot 2019-09-01 at 6.17.16 PM.png

 

Favorite blog post: Debatably Dateable turned 3 last month! I can’t believe it’s already been three years since I started this blog! It’s grown so much and I can’t believe all that we’ve accomplished together! 

 

Favorite phase /word to say: I’ve been loving Truth Hurts by Lizzo since that scene in Someone Great that I watched back in May and now it gets a ton of air time and is always stuck in my head.

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Favorite thing you did: Went on a family vacation to the Westhamptons in August!!! 

 

 

Favorite artist:  Khalid has such a smooth voice and I love that laid back feel R&B has. His hits on the radio like Talk and Location have me thinking I might need to get one of his CDs soon!

 

Favorite Poem: My favorite recent poem was You Never Told Me AnythingIt’s got layers, it’s smart, and I just love it.