Tag Archives: views

Let’s talk about blogging

I admit to not being the best blog friend lately. In my defense, I've been kind of busy. One of the things I did was to create a list in WordPress. I follow over a thousand blogs, but those who interact went in that list. When I'm pressed for time, I limit myself to that list.

Blogging seems to have slowed down from my point of view. I've been at this since the Fall of 2013, and I suppose that makes me an old timer. People come and go, and I've gotten used to that. I had many friends who simply disappeared for various reasons. It seemed like new bloggers came along, but lately that isn't the case.

Maybe I should clarify a bit. New ones are out there, but they seem to be different. This is reflected in the stats: My views are up, but my likes and comments are down. I miss the interaction.

I've discovered a few new blogs over the past year. I tried courting them, but I get nothing back in return. Maybe you know this game. You comment on an interesting post or two. Maybe you get a “thanks,” or a comment like. They never visit my blog.

This doesn't make the person's blog any less interesting, but interaction is important to me. If I get interaction, I'm likely to keep up and leave comments. If it's a one way street, I don't have time for that.

I find it odd that the likes have gone down on my blog, but the views are way up. I had a couple of posts this year that did phenomenally well, but they never made it onto my top ten posts.

For the top ten, I use a WordPress widget. I had it set to track likes as the criteria. The post about Spying With Lana had thousands of views, but didn't get the 45 likes to make my top ten. This is odd, because the percentage of likes to views has changed.

My post about writing a short story went crazy thanks to Flipboard. Again, thousands of views. Never gained enough likes to make the list. There were more commenters than likes.

Recently, I changed the widget to track views instead. This screwed everything up to be honest. The post about my PSA and prostate warning should still be in the top ten. My “about me” page should too. Spying With Lana should show up too, but doesn't. This setting seems to only track the last week of posts for some reason. It said it takes about two days to fully adjust, so I'll monitor the situation.

I still get a few people who like every post, but never comment. I always assume they like it from the WordPress Reader, but don't actually read the posts. I know everyone gets a few of these, and don't give it a second thought.

The fact is that I've noticed a change in blogging. This is data, and it probably means something. What can I do with the data to move my writing career ahead?

I love blogging, and the friends I've made here. I have no intention of giving it up. My readers come for various reasons, but I have a small loyal crowd.

Is it time for me to look for an additional platform? It isn't just the followers and friends. This is an author site, and I want to build interest in my books. Is there something extra I should be doing?

I've had private conversations with some fellow authors, and the consensus is that fewer bloggers are willing to help these days. This is a limited group, but it concerns me. Authors need hosts for cover reveals, promotions, excerpts, and more. I've always helped, and intend to keep helping, but again… This is data, and it means something, even if I don't know what.

When I asked for beta readers for The Playground, I had two people take me up on it. This is in stark contrast to The Experimental Notebook where I started turning people away after seven volunteers.

I will always need beta readers, but if I have to start paying for them, I might stop publishing altogether. My writing journey has never been about the money, but I need to break even. I still get the journey of self improvement without the worry of promotion.

I admit these are limited observations. Maybe a bigger view would produce different data. So I have a few questions for you as bloggers and as authors.

My views are exponentially higher than 2015. This is great! My likes and comments are down, and that's odd. What does this mean? Are people just stopping by to collect new Lisa Burton art? They're welcome to it, of course, (I use them for iPad and iPhone backgrounds too) but a comment or two goes a long way.

Could it be that I'm reaching more people beyond WordPress, and it isn't simple for them to like or comment? If so, that's great. I've run into that problem myself, and understand.

Are fellow authors having a harder time getting help with promotions, hosts, and pushes?

Have I missed the newest form of social media somewhere, and need to jump on the bandwagon?

Do you prefer interaction, or would you rather have people read and move on?

Has anyone else courted an interesting blogger, but the relationship never happened? Maybe I'm strange that way.

In any case, I'm on vacation for a few days, and hope to get some writing done. Today was all about errands, and those are out of the way. I'll probably post a little more frequently this weekend, and I'll try to catch up on some blog reading. I promise to like the posts I read.


Filed under Blogging

What the heck?

Yesterday I posted a short story tip I thought people might enjoy. I kind of expected the usual suspects would give me about 60 views, maybe a reblog from someone who likes writing tips.

When I woke up this morning, that kind of looked like the case. A good post by my usual standards, some nice comments. Then I checked my stats. This post had over 450 views.

I thought one of the heavy hitters might have reblogged my post, but that wasn't the case. There are no reblogs.

I dug deeper, and my new visitors all came from Flipboard. This is the outfit that absorbed Zite magazine who I really loved. I have it set up to gather topics of interest for me. One of the things I can do is set up my own magazine, so I did that a few months ago and called it Entertaining Stories. Unless I'm just whining, I throw a link to my posts in there and don't pay a ton of attention to it. I've also thrown out posts by friends when they have a new release, or something particularly interesting.

I've shared all of the Lisa Burton Radio posts there in an attempt to drive my guests some traffic. Same thing for blog tour guests.

To be real honest with you, I thought it might be Facebook, or even StumbleUpon. I never expected this kind of traffic from Flipboard.

When I went to check it out, I was the top article in two different writing categories. I snapped a photo to share it with you.

Geez, if I'd have thought everyone was coming over I'd have gone with a book cover or something instead of my bronze bust.

The rest of the stats are kind of baffling. Take a look at these:

I'm over 2000 views at the time of this writing, and it's still climbing. Most of those people probably aren't in the WordPress system, because I only have 27 likes. This is my most popular post of all time, but without the likes it won't get into my top 10 in the sidebar.

Don't take this as a complaint. I'm happy to get action anyplace I can. That also means a few people read one of my micro-fiction pieces. There are even a few sales of Notebook to sweeten the deal.

Now if I could only figure out something intelligent to say about my other books, I'd be golden. I have no idea how to duplicate this process, but maybe something will come to me.

You can bet one thing, I'm going to be sharing more posts on Flipboard. This is another reason to have your characters appear on Lisa Burton Radio too, because I'm sharing the posts there.

I'm off to Atlanta in the morning. I'll probably manage a short update from the road, but I expect to be pretty busy.


Filed under Blogging

Holy Cow!

I never imagined my post about my squishy parts would be so interesting. It quickly became my most popular post, and reblogged dozens of times. It even out scored my about me page. Thank you all.

“Public Service Announcement” currently has 146 likes, and 136 comments. This is miles ahead of my other posts.

My post generated 164 views the day of posting, and 207 overall views. The next day it was 288 for the post, and 294 for the blog. These numbers may not blow bigger bloggers away, but for a guy that regularly gets about 50 views per day it's phenomenal.

There were dozens of new followers too, which is awesome. The best part was someone who used my post to convince her husband to get his own checkup. It makes the whole thing worthwhile.

I had a fleeting thought about an email saying I got Fresh Pressed. I'm not disappointed, because that isn't what my blog is about. Still, it would have been cool.

Welcome to all my new friends. I hope you'll stick around, but I don't usually post about my parts. This is a writing blog, but I think it's a fun one.


Filed under Blogging

Time for an assessment

I’m actually cheating on this a bit. I made the mistake of baking these garlic Parmesan rolls for my family about 25 Thanksgivings ago. They are everyone’s favorite, and an expected part of our Thanksgiving dinner. Rather than type this out through garlic and dough fingers, I’m typing it up Tuesday night. I’ll set it up to post sometime Wednesday. I’ll be baking tomorrow night.

It dawned on me that I haven’t posted an assessment about Macabre Macaroni. I like to try new things, and these were my Halloween themed micro fiction tales.

These were very popular posts. The least popular was about a robber who gets tricked into breaking into a vampire’s house. It was still 10% more popular than all other October posts. This is a great result.

The most popular Macaroni was six times more popular than that one.

I wound up with 300 more views during October than any other month. Numbers always grow a bit from month to month, but this is beyond expectations.

You guys surprised me. My two favorites fell somewhere in the middle of the Macaronis. For some reason, Mrs. Pumpkin and her son were the number one story. I liked it too, but expected the order to come out differently. The collaborative piece with Mari Wells was the second most popular.

The response to these absolutely blew me away. You guys are awesome, and I appreciate all the action.

I’m not a poet, and don’t usually get whatever they post about. Many writers post a bit of original poetry for their followers, but it just isn’t me. I wanted to post something different, and micro fiction turned out to be a good idea.

I’m not one to post excerpts, or to serialize a story. Readers miss some of the concept on an excerpt, and might miss a post on a serialized story. It looks like I need to post more short fiction every once in a while.

To tell you the truth, I’m thinking about saving up a bunch and making a short, cheap, Amazon book. It’s definitely getting some thought as I form my 2015 business plan.

For the rest of you authors, micro fiction worked well for me. If I had been smart, I would have included characters from my novels in these stories. That way it’s more than just a story, it has a bit of promotional value too. It could still happen. Ethan and Coop, from Panama, would fit right into a Halloween theme.

I’ll have to throw some more micro fiction on the blog. The challenge will be getting away from the Halloween idea. I don’t know if I can write Valentines Day fiction.

If anyone new is reading this, they have a special category called short stories and vignettes. You can find them filed away there.

Mrs. pumpkin, Jack, and I thank you all for the positive reception. It may take me a month or so to come up with more, but there will be more micro fiction on this blog.

For my American followers, Happy Thanksgiving. For my international followers, I’ll save a turkey leg for you.


Filed under Blogging, Writing

Holy, just, Wow!

Last night I wanted to gain two more views to tie my all time record, and three for the win. I woke up to about forty more than that. I’m overwhelmed at the reception my micro fiction is receiving. Many of you went back and read last week’s story too.

I jumped in the shower and lathered up my head and beard. I heard the door open and peeked out behind the curtain.

Lorelei* primped her hair in my mirror. She had on a black jogging suit from the Coeur d’Alene Resort.

“What the– I’ll be out in a minute.”

She looked me up and down. “Relax.” She wiggled a finger toward my nether region. “Cover your little self up, and I’ll make the room coffee. I want to talk to you about something.”

I rinsed my hair and wrapped up in a towel. She was on my iPad and going through my blog stats.

I made a quick dash for some underwear and pants. Lorelei smirked as I dashed by.

I pulled a comb through my hair and grabbed my coffee.

“You’ve been blog wanking.” She gave me that stern look that all women possess.

“Well, um, yeah, a little.”

“That’s a dangerous habit. Your fiction is strong enough to be interesting without resorting to tricks.”

“But I got my extra views, and received more likes than ever too. WordPress even sent me a badge.”

“Really? How old are you? What’s next a sticker and gold star?” She took my coffee and started drinking it. “It’s a neat trick, but the reblog of your friends promotion would have gotten you enough views, and it was a nice thing to do.”

“Okay. I’ll behave.”

“You have to save it for special occasions. If you become like the boy who cried wolf, you’ll lose credibility.”

I poured myself a new cup of coffee. “I need to get ready for work, but I promise not to get addicted to blog wanking.”

“Good boy.” She finished her/my coffee and opened the door. “I have a spa appointment, then I’m going on a lake cruise to look for eagles. Have a good day at work, and behave.”

Thanks everyone for the red letter day at Entertaining Stories. Time for work.

* Lorelei is my Muse; my cranky Muse today.


Filed under Blogging, Muse

Blogwanking , because I need to

Okay, so I’m within two views of my all time high number. Don’t get excited, my number is 77 in one day. I know blogs that get 77 views per hour.

I blame this on my morning post, Jack ‘O Lantern. It’s a fun bit of short fiction that was very well received.

I’m making this post just to get my numbers over the top. Please feel free to reblog Jack ‘O Lantern to all your followers. Help me set a new personal best. I need two views to tie, and three to win.


Filed under Blogging, Uncategorized

Wednesday Blogging

I decided to post twice per day over the weekend. I did this because I uploaded Wild Concept to Amazon and wanted a few more blog views.

I didn’t set the world on fire as far as sales are concerned. On the other hand, I learned something about blogging. I had more views over the weekend than I was getting in some full weeks. I also gained about twenty new followers by Monday night. Therefore; frequent posts are likely to increase readership. I assume there still has to be something of substance in the post, but – cool. I promise not to be intrusive if I don’t have something to say.

One of my posts, What a Wild Concept, became one of the top posts under my “Top Posts and Pages” widget. (Thanks to you guys) I assume this means WordPress will try directing other bloggers to read that post when they notify bloggers that I followed them or liked one of their posts. Since this is the one where I explain my novel, that has to be a good thing. That’s one I’d like others to read.

To make all this work, I had to learn how to put links on my images. It really wasn’t too hard, but it was cool to do something new. Maybe I’m easily entertained.

I learned something about book reviewers and blog tours in the helpful comments I got. I need to research these topics and take that plunge soon. All tips are welcome.

Finally, I became disillusioned with the Apple WordPress app. I decided to try BlogPad Pro. It’s more complicated, but it does so much more. I haven’t decided whether I’m sticking with BPP, but I like it so far.

So what’s likely to get on my weekend task list? Research into blog tours and book reviewers, with the end goal of approaching some about my novel. Start a final pass on Panama, which will be my next release. It’s only been saved for three years. Write some new words on Will ‘O the Wisp.

I had another visit from Lorelei* on the way home tonight. All these mini scenes have been floating around in my head, and they’re starting to feel like my next project. I left my cool fountain pen at the office, and my cool notebook is at home. I need to add some notes about characters and possible scenes. I can post about that later.

*Lorelei is my Muse.


Filed under Blogging, Uncategorized

Stats are weird

As a newer blogger, I check my stats several times a day. They say this is a common affliction, and that I’ll get over it someday soon. I have a stats question for someone smarter than I am.

How can my stats show two or three views for one day, when the article I published that day has six or eight likes? Six or eight people visited in order to like the article, but the stats don’t reflect that. Can anyone help me out here? (I’m not obsessed, or anything. I’m checking stats after I post this.)

My world map continues to fill in, which I think is cool. Welcome to the new visitors from Romania and Ireland. I’m still waiting for someone from the International Space Station, but they’ve been a little busy this week.

The post about internet safety was pretty popular. I updated it and invited everyone to forward it to their loved ones, or re-blog it. I never thought to suggest it when I posted it. No one should be taken by an online predator, and if even one person is helped it was worth writing.

The WordPress app seems to have a flaw, in my opinion. If I want to include a picture, it doesn’t give me the option to choose from my WordPress media folder. It allows me to choose directly from my hard drive. When I’ve done this, it seems like the images aren’t displaying on other computers. My theory is that the image isn’t going out into cyberspace unless it comes from the WordPress media file. I may have to write with the app, then edit the post to include the images. Any suggestions here are most welcome.


Filed under Blogging

Oh Yeah!

My Greg Urbano trick worked. I got some more international visitors from Italy and Portugal. This really excites me. I love seeing the international visits. Feel free to say hi in the comments.

A couple of my stories occur outside the USA . The Cock of the South is with an editor right now. It occurs somewhere between Greece and Rome. Another story is called Panama, and ought to be self explanatory.

This works so well, it ought to have a special name. I vote for the Urbano Gambit. Thanks Greg. Maybe I can figure out how to get a reader or two from the International Space Station. I wonder how that would show up on the WordPress map?


Filed under Blogging, Uncategorized

I learned something

I know I promised blog silence, but this was too good not to share.

When we post something, we have about two seconds to catch a reader’s attention. If I click on an interesting article, and I get ⏳. I’m gone to something else. This is usually caused by all the ads that have to load. I feel the same way about top ten lists. If I have to open a new page for each item, I’m gone. My blog allows you to scroll down, and top ten lists can too. It’s all about making me open a new page to log another view, and load more ads.

Take this logic and consider what I was up to yesterday, before we drove away. I was searching for blogs to read, and maybe follow. My logic was that if I liked an article, others who liked it might be interesting too.

Enter the Gravitar. I started clicking on them. Only about one in ten provided the ability to open the blog site from the Gravitar. When I opened the Gravitar and it was a dead end, how much effort do you think I put in typing a possible URL to visit the site?

I set my Gravitar up through WordPress. It must have included a link to the site? Right? I remembered liking something on Jade’s Jungle I went there, found my own Gravitar, and clicked on it. Well, this is embarrassing. There was no way to link to my blog from the Gravitar.

I spent some time figuring it out, but now someone can find my blog using my Gravitar. Without this link, the Gravitar is useless. It’s an interesting photo of Mom’s old purpling inkwell, but it wasn’t working for me. Now it is. My calling card now contains something useful, and may gain me a few readers.

Based upon the number of Gravitars I tried, yours may need some attention too. It’s one of those things that you make and forget about. Here’s to hoping we can all gain a few readers with this trick.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Filed under Blogging, Uncategorized