Taking This Blog To The Next Level

I’ve been maintaining this blog off and on for about four years, ever since the summer of 2008. Prior to that, I had sporadic blogs on wordpress and livejournal since my senior year of high school (spring of 2004). I’d start one up, post a few times, and then lose interest (and whatever miniscule number of readers I’d garnered). Even this blog had gone into the death cycle a few times. After a few months without posts, my readers drift away and when I come back to it, I have to start anew.

At the beginning of this year, I decided to get serious about this thing, and to post three entries every week. And for 37 of the last 38 weeks, I’ve managed to do exactly that. The result has been a doubling in traffic for each post and a tripling in overall traffic. The response has really been gratifying. For the first time, this blog has some kind of momentum. I haven’t done much work to publicize it, other than cross-posting to Twitter and Facebook, because, honestly, it was enough work just to write three substantive posts every week.

However, I’ve come to the point where I want to go out and start chasing down some new readers. The fact of the matter is, updating this blog is the same amount of work whether there are fifty readers or five thousand readers, and I’d kind of prefer to have the latter. Now, don’t worry, I’m not going to do anything crazy or crass, but I have taken a number of steps.

  • A month ago, I went through all my posts and picked 50-100 of the best ones and put links to them along the right side of the blog (so that people who enjoy one post can just glance over and find some other ones that they might enjoy)
  • I went through this complicated procedure (using a 3rd-party service, CloudFlare) to install Google Analytics on this site, so I can see how many people are visiting and where they’re coming from.
  • I’ve started a Tumblr, and I’m planning on cross-posting some or all of the new content on this blog to my Tumblr.
  • I updated my bibliography and put links to all my stories that are currently available online.
  • I’m planning on getting out more and being a bigger part of the community. I read tons of blogs and see tons of interesting stuff, but I’m lax about linking to it and talking to it. I want to write more posts that reference the ongoing conversations in the science fiction field and more posts that draw attention to other people. Part of this is self-serving (you don’t get noticed unless you notice people), but part of it is that I just really want to be a part of the online community. For me, this blog isn’t really about selling anything; it’s about connecting with other people. Oh, as part of this effort, I’ve also updated my blog-roll (to the right, below my top posts), so that it includes all the blogs I follow.

Those are the main changes for now. There’s no need for you to do anything. However, if you maintain a blog, I’d certainly be pleased if you linked to me in your blog-roll. And if you see something on this site that you think is really good, then I’d be pretty happy if you retweeted or reposted or shared it in whatever venue where you think it might be successful. Also, if any of you want to be my Facebook friend, I wouldn’t find that odd at all: I’m an extremely promiscuous Facebook-friender. Just make sure that you add a message or something so that I know you’re not a robot.

P.S. As part of my new effort, I might as well mention that much of this initiative is coming as a result of having just (two hours ago) finished Cat Rambo‘s online class on expanding your online presence. Cat is a science fiction writer who graduated from the Hopkins Writing Seminars and I first contacted her online when I was thinking about coming here. Then I met her in person at the Baltimore Book Festival. She gave me some great advice then and some more great advice today. The class was definitely worth the money.

2 thoughts on “Taking This Blog To The Next Level

  1. Michael Offutt

    I’d be a little careful with tumblr. It’s awash/drowning in pornography. So a lot of tumblr is blocked by many kinds of computers that professionals use.

    1. R. H. Kanakia

      Yes, I have heard that. Thanks for the tip. Everything is still going to be posted here (it’s only propagating links on Tumblr back to here). So I should be fine, right?

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