State of the Blogs

goodwriter meme

One of the most important benefits I get from writing is that it helps me clarify my thoughts and take a critical look at what I’m doing. Sourcerer and Part Time Monster have evolved to the point that I can’t do that sort of writing on those blogs any more, so I’ll use this space for it for the next couple of months. If you are following because you are interested in writing, pay attention to what I’m doing here. I’m not creating art or talking about how to write better. I am writing to make sense of my situation and to capture a moment in time.

We’ve made a lot of progress over the last couple of weeks, but you can’t see it if you just look at the content quality of our blogs. Content-wise, Sourcerer’s slipped a little bit. Here, you’ve been getting nothing but reblogs for awhile. That’s because I haven’t been writing.

Here’s the progress we’ve made:

  • Sourcerer and Part Time Monster both passed 300 followers and 4,000 all-time views on the same day.
  • We had our best two-day period ever last week on those blogs. Each had a day that was almost as good for visitors as Part Time Monster’s Freshly Pressed day.
  • I met a couple of bloggers on Twitter who who introduced me to a lot of other bloggers there. I’ve quadrupled my Twitter following in less than three weeks, and 70 percent of my followers are bloggers.
  • We’ve been experimenting with Stumbleupon. We’ve stumbled a few of our friends’s blogs to measure the effect, and we’ve decided it’s worthwhile to Stumble things, but it’s going to take a while to get that going. I have a stumbledupon account for Sourcerer that I’m using to do nothing but stumble blogs. Eventually, this will be very helpful, and will give us a way to help other bloggers find more audience.
  • We’ve set up a Facebook Interest List called “Bloggers with Fan Pages.” We’re in the process of adding every blog fan page we know about to it, and we’ve made it public so that anyone can follow it. That gives us a way to keep up with bloggers on Facebook and give them likes, shares, and comments to improve their news feed rankings.

Setting all this stuff up has cost me writing time, but it was necessary and it’s mostly done now. The experience made me realize that I need to streamline the process of creating and publishing a post, because there are going to be times when I have to do this stuff instead of writing if we want to keep growing. I’ve take a few steps to start doing that.

Just for example – I spend an inordinate amount of time looking for shareable images for my contributors. This is something I have to do. I can’t post something from a contributor without an image. If someone hands me a post, and I can’t pay them for it, I owe it to them to package their work with an image before I publish it. So, one of the things I am doing is reaching out to artists here and there, and trying to make enough friends who do the sort of art I need to have a few go-to artists that I can credit every time I post. Snagging an image that’s licensed for non-commercial use when I need it is ok, but I would rather be friends with 10 artists and promote one of them every time I publish.

January has been a great month for the Krewe of Part Time Monster. We’ve made the most of our opportunities, a lot of bloggers have helped us along, and we’ve gotten better at what we are doing. Our top priority for the next month is to post consistently and focus on the quality of our content.

In the next couple of weeks I will have a a strategic plan to take us through the spring, a post explaining my idea for the A to Z challenge, an award nomination post or two, and a new design for The Writing Catalog.

Shout Outs: Half Eaten Mind, Comparative Geeks, Scholars and Rogues, The Punchy Lands, Wine Wankers, Drifting Through My Open Mind, Alva’s Almanac, Taylor Grace, The Leather Library, Things Matter, Don Charisma, Peace, Love, & Great Country Music, Capt Jill, My Wild SurmiseTrue ClassicsLazy Lady. (If I’ve left anyone out, I apologize, and I assure you it was not intentional.)

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19 thoughts on “State of the Blogs

  1. I like that button on the top of this post. 🙂
    It sounds like you’ve been very busy! I hope all that work will bring its rewards. Congrats on those milestones!
    I have a lot of photos. You’re welcome to use them. Just ask me for whatever you’re interested in. I might have some pictures of it. I also have a few drawings/paintings that I’ve done over the years, but not very many of those.
    Keep up the good work and thanks for the ‘shout out’ (tho I’m not sure what that means).

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      • I have tons of stuff that I haven’t posted yet. Lots of stuff from offshore, travels, animals, places I go at home like the county fair and other events, the beach, etc
        Let me know what you’re interested in and I’ll let you know if I have anything.
        Take care,

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  2. Congrats on the milestones! That’s great! The button on top of the post is definitely true!

    When I got more active on Twitter last year, I was surprised of how efficient it can be for networking. I didn’t expect it at all.

    It’s interesting to see all that comes besides actual writing with blogging. I’ve been working on video editing for an upcoming blog series this month, and I know that this part of the work might end being longer than the actual post writing.

    Good luck with your projects!

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    • Hey, thanks. Twitter surprised me, too. You’re right about all the stuff other than the writing. It’s kind of a dilemma for me. I have to produce enough interesting writing to keep the blogs fresh, but if I don’t do the networking and keep improving the design of the blogs, I’m not going to have very many people reading all that interesting stuff. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Those are some big goals! Best of luck! And I’ve found that having a place to write out these thoughts helps – so the Writing Catalog will be a good outlet for you.

    Social Media is such a huge part of blogging, as are images and video. And taking care of those aspects can definitely take longer than writing a post – which often drives us up the wall! And sometimes we just post without any additional media… But media is such an expected part of a blog post that we try to not do that too often. Good luck!

    And Publicize is one of the best things… We used to manually share stuff which was a pain! Will have to check out Stumbleupon, have not used it before. We’re currently considering a Tumblr ourselves, as another marketing and sharing tool.

    Whoa, you can tell I’m putting off writing a post if I’m writing this long of a comment… Better get back to that…

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    • Lol, yes, there is a fine line between taking care of what needs to be done and using the adminstrative stuff as a procrastination tool.

      Stumbler’s going to take us awhile. It’s advantage is you can operate it from a browser toolbar. The disadvantage is you have to load a page to like it. Still, worthwhile to look at.

      Any you’re right about social media. Twitter surprised me, and it gave me the idea to put all the blog fan pages we know about into a Facebook feed.

      The goals look considerably larger when they’re all in one post, I think. Most are long-term, but I think that if we keep our quality up and keep posting, we’ll get there eventually.

      Always nice chatting 🙂

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    • one more thought, on the Tumblr. We don’t know how to use it. We have a few actual friends over there, but not many. It exists because I set up that account to test the platform before we went with WordPress, and it seems foolish not to use it as a feed. If we ever meet enough people who have Tumblrs and who we interact on other platforms, I’ll spend a little more time over there, improve it, and use an actual face for the avatar.

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      • I had actually forgotten you had a Tumblr! I haven’t spent much time over there as of late. However, I do like it as a reader – mainly useful for images, I suppose, and heavily used by various fandoms. I think the good use for it is, as well, as a visual space, although written word, etc. also works, and there’s question answering and such once you actually have followership.

        I think of it as a reader, as opposed to Twitter. I use Twitter to put thoughts out there, and there’s some networking and sharing, but mainly just throwing things out there. The amount of content coming in is so overwhelming that keeping up with it is impossible. So I don’t even try. I don’t know what this means for the future of Twitter, or if I’m just doing it wrong, but that’s my two cents. At the same time, I take advantage of how you can put the Twitter feeds on your blog!

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        • I’m learning Twitter, I think. You should check your connections when you have a sec. I’ll share once I get a handle on it, if I ever do. We’re looking into software that allows us to put lots of social media in a single channel, so that when we are networking as opposed to blogging, we can monitor several platforms at one time with tabbed browsing. I am using twitter to talk to bloggers and talk about blogging, mostly, but still learning all the etiquette and the language of hashtags.

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  4. Wow. I don’t know how you found my little pre-published writer blog or why you chose to follow it. You are so talented and diversified. I was thrilled when I turned over to 80 followers! I don’t know how you do all you do. But I know I will find entertainment and interest by following you! Gerri

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