#Blogwanking for 2014: #WordPress and #Twitter

Usual caveats apply: I’m providing this information because I think it’s interesting and I know some of you like to read about it; I’m neither bragging nor whining, just providing my data, which will be better than some of you and not as good as others.  There will be one more 2014 wrap-up post sometime in the next few days where I break down all of my book sales for the year.  That one will be interesting as I don’t actually know what the numbers are going to look like just yet.  I haven’t actually tried to combine all of the spreadsheets Amazon’s given me into one place, much less combined all the places my books are available.

But unto the breach!  Here’s what my traffic has looked like so far:

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Sadly, the huge traffic surge in January and February has yet to repeat itself.  The low point in the year was in April, and traffic has been on an upswing since September.  I expect December to just barely edge November out, but not by much, since I’m not expecting much traffic on New Year’s Eve and the last few days were unsurprisingly very low-traffic.  Interesting things happen when I look at the bar graph, though:

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The highest number of visitors I’ve ever had was last month, at 3822, and this month is definitely going to be in second place for visitors overall by the time it’s done.  I blame the surge of visitors on the Snowpiercer post; compared to January and February I have more people looking at the blog but they’re not looking at nearly as many posts.  Historically I have a really high visitor to page view ratio; that’s been closing up lately as the Snowpiercer post attracts lots of visitors who don’t necessarily stick around.  February 2014 had a ridiculous 4:1 page view: visitor ratio, which I can only attribute to it being frozen and cold outside and no one being able to leave the house.

Here’s the geography data, which is always my favorite part.  First, the highest and lowest-visiting countries:

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 4.29.58 PMScreen Shot 2014-12-26 at 4.30.38 PM

The interesting surprise here is Puerto Rico; I don’t think I’d had any visitors from the island at the end of 2013 and it’s in the Top 10 for countries/geographical regions/whatchamacallems for 2014.  Here’s the map:

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 4.30.09 PM

Pretty well filled-in, I’d say.  The only countries in the Americas I haven’t seen traffic from are Cuba and French Guiana; I’m probably going to have to keep waiting for a while on French Guiana but I’m hoping Cuba shows up in the near future as relations between our countries continue to thaw.  Kosovo is still a white spot in Europe, and I’m becoming more and more convinced that the way WP figures out geography actually makes it impossible for traffic in actual-Kosovo to register as being from Kosovo.  Most of the rest of the countries that I haven’t seen traffic from are some combination of dictatorships, theocracies, sparsely populated, or desperately poor.

On to Twitter!  There’s only one graph here, and I’ve fiddled with it a bit to show a bunch of information at once:

Screen Shot 2014-12-26 at 4.33.12 PMI have, as of this exact second, 3,532 followers on Twitter.  (4,373 on the blog, by the way, but I don’t have a graph for that.)  As you can see, nearly all of those have been this year, and 6/7 of them or so have been in the last six months.  I’ve gone through two big surges where I was trying to aggressively add followers, one at the beginning of the summer and one in the last month or so.  I’ve added fifteen hundred followers in the last four weeks, and I haven’t decided yet if I want this growth spurt to end at 4,000 or 5,000.

The way I’m doing this, by the way, is pretty simple.  I use JustUnfollow’s feature where you can pull followers from other people, to make sure that the pools of folks I’m looking at are probably interested in the same stuff I am.  So I might decide to look at people following, say, Sourcerer’s account.   And I follow 250 or so people.  A couple of days later, I unfollow the ones who haven’t followed back, which JustUnfollow makes easy.  If someone catches my eye who doesn’t follow me back, it has a whitelist feature that will let me keep them so that I don’t accidentally unfollow.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  Generally about a third of any given group will follow back if I give them a couple of days.

This method, by the way, makes it essential that you use lists in Twitter, because once you’re following thousands of people your basic feed becomes a firehose that no one can pay attention to other than to catch a sense of what people are talking about.  I have a list called “writers” that I put anyone I want to pay special attention to into; not all of them are writers but I haven’t bothered to change the name of the list.  That’s just over a hundred people right now and is much more manageable; I generally put anyone in it who I interact with more than a couple of times and anyone who I find interesting regardless of whether they interact with me.  Right now if I send out a Tweet it’ll reach 120 people or so if it isn’t RTed by anyone, and I’ve reached a point where most of my tweets will be responded to somehow by someone, which is nice.  Twitter’s more fun if you’re talking to people, obviously.

The Facebook page has 96 Likes.  It’s seen some attention lately, but I have doubts as to whether it’s ever going to have any real numbers– especially since my sporadic attempts to drive attention to it don’t seem to work too well.

I continue to accept any and all friend requests on Goodreads; I have 151 friends currently, which is more than my “real” account has on Facebook, which makes me feel like I’m doing something right.

Later this week, book sales.  How did your blog do in 2014?

15 thoughts on “#Blogwanking for 2014: #WordPress and #Twitter

  1. My blog post that got the most views (119) was one from late August. (“Warning: harsh sarcasm ahead.” http://northofandover.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/warning-harsh-sarcasm-ahead/) In it, I ranted (yeah, that’s so unlike me 🙂 ) about a discussion on some forum about whether or not men like, or are ALLOWED to like, science fiction that isn’t entirely about robots and explosions and space battles, and whether all women who read sci-fi want “50 Shades in Space.” I guess it struck a chord (or a nerve), because people who’d never read my blog before were dropping by and even leaving comments.

    Compared to last year, this year (so far) my blog has had 7 times as many views and visitors, 50 times as many comments, and 100 times as many likes. (Sounds impressive until you realize that I have fewer than 200 followers…)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so reading that sarcasm post when I get done with this thread.

      Also, your blog followers don’t mean much. It’s search engines and the rest of the social media that you should be looking at.


  2. Nice stats. I like stats. My Twitter account is up over 2,000, and I also use justunfollow. Maybe not often enough. My blog stats aren’t as high as yours, but it’s been on a constant rise all year. I have more views in the last 3 months than I had in the first 2 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In comparison, my stats are pathetic. In sum I’ve gotten 5,092 views all year, my big post being “Editor’s Desk #5: Types of Beta Readers” with 892 views. Amazon KDP’s team linked it on Twitter, Facebook, and I’m sure a couple other places. The day of the link was my year’s best (far and away, no competition) of 560 views. That’s trailed by “Reputation: The New Currency of the Creative World” with 221 views. I’m prouder of that post because it didn’t get an unexpected link from an account with hundreds of thousands of viewers. I’ve got 38 followers as well.

    On Twitter, my approach is much different from yours. I’m obsessive about having people I can converse with, and not just blast with materials promoting my work. I have dozens of retweet-only or “thanks for following”-type accounts that follow me, and likely unfollow when I don’t reciprocate. I know I should move to lists, I just haven’t taken the time to split people out, and figure out a nonoffensive list name for accounts that I know will contribute absolutely nothing to the conversation.

    As a result, I get tons of follows that I don’t follow back. My follower growth has been steady, starting at 16 followers on 24 Feb and being at 953 as of today. It’s actually rather pleasing to see the step curve to it. No slowdown, no sudden spikes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I figure I get the best of both worlds with my method– pulling followers from people who I already like (and I’ve gone through yours, too, btw) at least gives me a good chance of getting people I want to interact with, and it’s no damage to me to automatically follow back because those accounts get dumped into the firehose until I notice them anyway. I’m pretty consistent about unfollowing accounts that are pure spam or annoying in other ways; I want my follower count high but not at the expense of filling it with people who are actively working to make Twitter worse.

      I’m getting to the point where even mentioning my books is getting pointless– I used to limit it to no more than 1-2 a day unless I was doing a sale, but my two book posts today were the only posts of the day with no interaction. Everything else at least got a click. NOTHING from the book posts. One of these days I’ll figure marketing out.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I use private lists to avoid the whole list-naming problem. I have a ton of private twitter lists.

      Your total views are roughly what I got in a year of trying to have a writing blog, but your best days are better than anything I’ve managed so far.

      And I know we hardly ever talk, but I will never unfollow you on Twitter, unless it is by accident 🙂


      1. Thanks! I’m a firm adherent to the Gandhi quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” so for as picky as I may seem about my follow-back/follow policy, I’m no hypocrite. Hopefully that means I’m actually interesting to listen to. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The Twitter info here is very helpful. You’re following/unfollowing way more people at a time than I have ever done. I got suspended when I first started, and that sucked, so even a year later, I am still a little gun-shy about “Follower Churn.” Good to know that you’re working with 250 at a time. I am still working in 50s.

    I don’t think two days is enough time. If we didn’t know one another, and you followed me on Tuesday, then unfollowed me on Thursday, most weeks out of the year I would not even notice that you’d followed me. I allow a week to ten days.

    Otherwise, I am doing the same thing with twitter you are doing, just with different apps. JustUnfollow is my backup app for when I need to unfollow an extra hundred people in a day. I mostly use ManageFlitter.

    I’m just about to start unfollowing all my unfollowers. I am following about 5300 and have 5200 followers. When I am done, I expect to be following about 4400. Got tons of accounts following me that I will never follow back.

    Here is a trick. If an account follows you, and you don’t like it but it isn’t blockable, MUTE that account. They may unfollow you eventually. Or, they may not. Either way, you never see another notification from them again. And until they unfollow you, it’s a free follower 🙂

    I’ll have quarterly stats to discuss soon. Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: 2014 Review, with Blogwanking | Sourcerer

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