Assessing My Blog’s Impact

Today is a special day. This is my 28th post, and if you look on the sidebar, as of this writing, I have 28 followers. One follower for every post I’ve written. That’s pretty cool for someone going into this whole blogging thing without many expectations.

I started this blog in late February 2010 and it’s now mid-May. And as you can see from the picture below, interest is taking off. Relatively speaking, of course.

Something that is both frightening and heartening at the same time. So I’m trying to make sense of where I’m at, where I’m going, and who I’m indebted to for making my little blog more visible.

To begin with, here are my top five posts overall:

Top Posts (in pageviews)

415   Coffee Shop Etiquette
244   Lessons Learned – My First Writing Conference
132   A Tale of Two Writing Groups
84     Resource Roundup Part 1 – Finding the Right Word
46     Anatomy of a Story

Total page views: 4,528

The first three I tweeted (via @bluemaven) and were picked up by some Influentials and their followers. The last two I tweeted and were picked up by others in the twitterverse, but not to the same extent as the top three.

@elizabethscraig has picked up a lot of my posts and retweeted them, and I credit a lot of my traffic to her. (You should be following her!) She scours the web on a daily basis and posts the best finds over the course of the day. And I know if something I post and tweet about doesn’t get picked up by her, then I just need to work harder on my next post. Kind of a built-in quality detector.

So what is immediately apparent, Twitter is my friend. This is confirmed when I take a look at my top 10 sources of traffic for my blog:

Traffic Sources (accounting for 791 of 854 unique visits or 92.6%)

178   Direct Link
156   Twitter.com
132   Inkygirl.com
103   Blogger.com
62     Lauramarcella.blogspot.com
51     Google.com
45     Stumbleupon.com
35     Blog.writersdigest.com
18     Hootsuite.com
11     Childrenspublishing.blogspot.com

Number 3 on the list, Inkygirl.com, featured Lessons Learned: My First Writing Conference on the website and it was tweeted widely by @inkyelbows and her twitter minions (you should be following her, if you aren’t already). Thanks to her influence, that post was featured by Writer’s Digest’s weekly blog feature Best Tweets for Writers, which sent an addition 35 people to my blog (source number 8 on the list). If this isn’t a convincing enough demonstration of how getting the attention of the Twitter Influentials can work for you, I don’t know what is.

Another big surprise was how much traffic Laura Marcella’s blog Wavy Lines generated for me. Laura’s been a great blogging buddy in terms of passing along awards and commenting on a regular basis. (Thanks again, Laura!) She has all the blogs she follows displayed on her sidebar, and I’m sure that has helped send some of her readers my way since her blog has really taken off thanks to all her hard work. The blogroll feature is something I don’t have on my site just yet, but after seeing what it has done for me in terms of increasing my visibility and gaining followers, I am thinking about adding it and providing the same benefits to others. Geez, this social networking does work.

Number 10 on the list, Adventures in Children’s Publishing, surprised me as well. They’ve been great followers and commenters, and recently featured my post A Tale of Two Writing Groups on their site. That sent another 11 people my way. You hear all the time how links are the lifeblood of blog traffic yada yada yada, but this really cemented that concept for me. Thanks, ladies!

All in all, I couldn’t be happier with the reception my posts have had and the followers I’ve gained here and on Twitter, and all in less than three months.

I’m encouraged, I’m honored, I’m thankful, and now I’m even more determined to keep up the hard work!

So to recap, here’s how I attribute my blog’s success so far:

  1. Using Twitter to bring in new readers.
  2. Following Twitter Influentials and others with similar interests, and hope they’ll take note.
  3. Reciprocating in terms of comments, following, and linking.
  4. Striving for quality in every post.

PS. All the data came from Google Analytics, which is tied to this site. There are other services out there. WordPress has analytics built in, and StatCounter is another free service you can use to monitor your blog.
var gaJsHost = ((“https:” == document.location.protocol) ? “https://ssl.” : “http://www.”); document.write(unescape(“%3Cscript src='” + gaJsHost + “google-analytics.com/ga.js’ type=’text/javascript’%3E%3C/script%3E”)); try { var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker(“UA-15029142-1”); pageTracker._trackPageview(); } catch(err) {}

9 thoughts on “Assessing My Blog’s Impact

  1. Be proud, it is a wonderful thing. I love reading your blog. I am glad you have had some wonderful advocates to bring you along to others out there that might not have been blessed with your writing otherwise. Blog on.

  2. Wow, this is interesting. I have absolutely no clue how people find my blog and decide to follow, except perhaps by me following them? Or when I get put on someone's sidebar and that attracts followers. I don't twitter at all. I've thought of it, but haven't figured it out yet. I don't even know if you do it on your computer or your cell phone lol!

  3. We're so proud of you for making it to lucky 28 in posts and followers today! It was interesting to see how your traffic is broken down. Twitter is an amazing platform. We're touched to be in the company of amazing, supportive writers. Thanks for giving us a shout-out!

    Martina & Marissa

  4. I personally found you through @inkyelbows (if someone reading this hasn't heard of her, she RTs great writing blog posts) for your resources roundup post. I too have only begun to learn how wonderful twitter is for connecting writers. It's almost scary how effective it is! Thanks for sharing and keep writing!

  5. Awesome awesome awesome! I'm thrilled I helped generate traffic for you! I appreciate it so much when others link to my blog since I'm relatively a new blogger, so I try to do the same for others. Thanks for the kind things you said!

    I love your posts; they're insightful, inspiring, and helpful. I'm thankful I found your blog, Bluestocking!

  6. Very cool post and analysis. I haven't gotten twitter figured out yet. I go and lurk there, but haven't linked it to my blog…

    What does DM me on Twitter mean?

  7. Thanks to everyone for the comments and inspiration. That warm and fuzzy feeling is great!

    Sharon – it took me awhile to get into Twitter, and I'm not as hardcore about it as some writers, but I do recommend it. A DM stands for direct message, and you can send twitter messages directly to people who follow you. DMs are not publicly viewable.

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