End of the Month Details for July 2010

This concludes my second month of blogging. Like last month, I’ll throw out a few thoughts, statistics and requests.

I’ve learned several things about blogging in the last eight weeks. First, it takes a lot of time to consistently post – particularly if I’m trying to include pictures. Second, some days hundreds of people are going to read and some days I have to remind my own family. Which leads me to number three: My family and friends just aren’t that interested! That isn’t true for all of them. I have several friends and family who are dedicated readers, but really, why should everyone I know be interested in the same things I’m into?

Which leads me to one final observation: I’ve learned that I have to work as hard to gain readers as I do to produce content. “Write brilliantly and they will come” doesn’t seem to work. (I’ll say it before you do . . . “Well why didn’t write brilliantly to find out?”) I’ve had to learn to be a self-promoter (which has led to at least one nasty comment posted on my blog). I’m learning to be less introverted when I roam the streets looking for stories and, for me, that’s been a good thing.

So how did it go in July? Incredibly well. Average daily visits increased from 37 last month to 63 in July. Average daily return visits averaged 5 per day in June and increased to 12 a month later. I had 925 visits in June, which more than doubled to 1,964 in July. I’ve had readers from 31 states, 275 cities or towns and 12 foreign countries. I have a couple of persistent readers in Egypt and someone from Tazwell who spends tons of time on the site nearly everyday! Hey guys!

My poll results also improved. Last month’s poll got 13 responses. This month’s poll about buskers drew 71 responses. In case you missed it, 51 (74%) said leave the buskers alone, 14 (19%) said we should set some controls, 1 (1%) said we should discourage them and 5 (7%) said we should get rid of them altogether. I suspect it is obvious from my posts that I would like to see more of them, not fewer. One other thing about that poll: I live and die by spellcheck and I can’t spellcheck polls. Don’t be bashful to e-mail me if you spot an error in a post – like “ambience” is actually spelled “ambiance!” Duh!

So, there are more readers and more who are engaged and, as a writer, I find that very gratifying. I’ve written short stories for years and had one published. I enjoy writing, or as a friend of mine once said, somewhat accusingly, I enjoy “having written,” but I also really like having readers. Even when I had the short story published, I never knew if anyone actually read it. Now I can say several thousand people have taken time to look at what I’m doing and I want you to know I appreciate it very much.

So, what will I do next and what would I like you to do?

I’m going to keep writing and publishing as much of the best work I have the time to produce. My actual paying job is about to require my attention, so I cannot likely keep the same pace I’ve set for the first two months. That said, I intend to post often. What would you like to see me write about?

What I would like you to do is to sign up to follow the blog (to the right on your screen) if you have an RSS Feed. If you have no idea what that is, sign up for e-mail notifications (also to the right). You will receive the first lines of each new post and you can click to go to it and read it. (You do have to confirm your subscription. I have had some people fail to confirm and they never get the emails.) If neither of these suits you, then please bookmark the blog and return often.

Finally, tell your friends who may be interested. Are you on a listserv of people who might enjoy it? Post a plug for me. Do you have a Facebook page or web page with links? How about adding one for my blog? I would really appreciate it. Finally, comment. If you say something I know you are there!

Happy August Everybody