I blogged every day this month. Let me show you it.

Hidey-ho, precious inklings!

Today marks the final day of Blog-Every-Day August (BEDAug), my grand experiment to see what would happen if I blogged every day for a month. That month has now passed, and I am pleased to report two favorable results for which I’d hoped:

1. I am, in fact, capable of blogging every day for a month.

2. Blog traffic did, indeed, increase.

Because I enjoy doing things backward, I’ll address the traffic increase first (delving into which posts seem particularly related to the increase, as well as general topics for the past month) and the discovery about my blogging habits last.

Here we go.

Blogging Every Day: Increase in Blog Traffic

I. Traffic Spikes

On one hand, compared to tons of bajillions of blogs out there, my blog doesn’t get a whole lotta traffic.

On the other hand, compared to tons of bajillions of blogs out there, my blog gets oodles of traffic.

The gripping hand (and my hat’s off to you if you get the reference) is that comparing my blog to other blogs is silly. Comparing your blog to other blogs is silly. Comparing ourselves to others is silly. But that’s another story and shall be told another time.

After 1 year and 8 months of this blog and attendant Google Analytics obsessing checking, you’d think I’d be a GA expert by now. I’m not. Stats interest me up to a point (see Keyword Searches, below, which keep me entertained), but beyond that point, I don’t care to delve into all the numbers and percentages and blah de blah. A lack of interest in stats is actually what kept me from pursuing a major in Psychology instead of a minor. That, and the fact that going to grad school didn’t exactly swing my verge.

But I digress. As one does.

So. I don’t understand all the ins and outs of GA. But what I do understand is this: Several times during August, Court Can Write saw happy spikes of visitors. Because I lack GA-expertise, I can’t tell if each spike is related to what I posted on that particular day, or if it’s related to the post on the day before. For the sake of nothing in particular, I’m going to assume the former.

With that in mind, here are the spikes and what I think are their related posts:

Date: August 3rd

Number of visitors: 34

Post: “Glances That Fall Like Sunshine”

Topic: discovering Truth via poetry and changing the world in a good way by focusing on your personal circle of influence

Number of visitor comments: 0

Date: August 9th

Number of visitors: 32

Post: “We Must Disenthrall Ourselves”

Topic: patriotism and the drivel of both Democrats and Republicans

Number of visitor comments: 2

Date: August 17th

Number of visitors: 31

Post: “I Was a Weird Kid and Here’s Proof”

Topic: how my parents bribed my 8- or 9-year-old self into going on a week-long class field trip by promising me that we would go snail hunting when I got home, because I was into that

Number of visitor comments: 0

Date: August 29th

Number of visitors: 61

Post: “In Which Pregnancy and Car Wrecks Don’t Mix”

Topic: how I was in a car accident at 36 weeks pregnant

Number of visitor comments: 6

I’m not sure what conclusions to draw from these numbers. What interests me is that the spiked posts all relate to my personal philosophies or my personal history; none of my posts on the Writing Life sparked as much traffic. This makes me think that most of my visitors would rather read about me than read about writing.

While that’s a ridiculously effective ego boost ; ) I’m not sure what to do with it. Blog less about writing? Blog more about writing? Keep doing what I’ve been doing? Questions…questions that need answers, but I don’t think anyone can provide them for me. I certainly can’t provide them for myself.

Experiments with partially inconclusive results are fascinating but somewhat frustrating. ; )

Ah well. Onward!

II. Google Keyword Searches

Sadly, the keyword searches haven’t been terribly interesting this past month. From what I can tell, the only search strings possibly related to posts for this month were:

º “courtney cantrell” (obvious).
and
º “36 weeks pregnant” — which would bring readers to “Pregnancy Still Isn’t for Sissies” and “In Which Pregnancy and Car Wrecks Don’t Mix”.

Again, it would seem that what leads most people to my blog is stuff I write about me, not stuff I write about writing. Perhaps “Court Can Write” is a misnomer. Perhaps I should consider re-naming the blog “Court Can Live” or “Court Can Philosophize.”

Hmm.

(If you’re curious, other top keyword searches and their possibly related posts were:

º “bachelor in writing”.
º “light bulb metaphor”.
º “alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad day moral”.

But none of these three were BEDAug posts.)

III. Other BEDAug Blogging Topics

During August, in addition to posts and topics I’ve already mentioned, I also blogged about the following:

º editing
º my short stories
º being created to create
º the nature of sarcasm
º boundaries
º marriage
º zombies
º TEDTalks
º the power of doodling
º vorpal unicorn morphing powers
º my novels
º how to murder a character in a novel
º the Olympics
º famous people
º art
º parodies
º failure
º my Most Official Rules for Living
º relationships
º cats
º book reviews
º other people’s books
º my To-Read List
º reality

Just as a reminder, you can find all of the Blog-Every-Day August posts by clicking the tag “BEDAug” at the bottom of this one or by clicking “August 2012” in the sidebar on the left side of your screen.

Blogging Every Day: My Habits

Once upon a time, back in the dark ages of 2011, I resolved to blog twice per week and keep a cushion of blog posts. I started doing both of these things. I kept them up for a while. I’m not sure at what point these habits ceased, but cease they did.

If I rememory me correctly, blog traffic decreased incrimentally as a result.

As we’ve established here today, traffic has increased as a result of my blogging daily.

Increase in blog traffic is good. Increase in blog traffic means (hopefully) more connection with the readers of my novels and an increase in reader awareness of my novels. Both more connectivity and increased reader awareness are two of the main points of this blog’s existence.

Thus, it would behoove me to continue doing things that help meet these goals.

Thus, it would likely behoove me to continue blogging every day (and to work on my non-existent blog cushion).

Considering that I am about to become the main caregiver to a tiny, helpless human, it is not realistic to think I can keep up this daily blogging thing.

But.

At least until I see myself approaching the point of tearing out my hair, I intend to try. Keeping up this daily blogging thing, that is.

You heard it here first, folks.

Owing Copious Thanks

For my success in this month-long blogging adventure, I owe thanks to the following people:

Judy Lee Dunn, with whom I first started pondering the blog-as-lab concept and who spurred me on in this adventure by quoting Yoda and telling me not to try it but to do it;

Astrid Bryce, who saw my Blog-Every-Day August announcement on Twitter and promised me cookies if I made good on my intentions (Astrid, I’ll be in touch!);

and Joshua Unruh, who joined me in this scheme after I promised to give the month-long blogging challenge some “structure” (whatever that means), as well as deliver him cookies for his successful completion of said challenge. As of this posting, he has yet to finish up Blog-Every-Day August by tendering his August 31st offering, but I have no doubt that he shall do so by the end of the day.

Judy, Astrid, and Josh, I couldn’t have done this without you. Thanks for a great Blog-Every-Day August!

I Wordled Myself

 

*ahem*

Git yer mind out of the gutter!

Wordle is a fantastic, fun site that lets you make pretty word clouds. Yay! Click here to go play with it!

Me, I made a word cloud out of my most-used blog post tags. Let me show you it!

Click the cloud to embiggen!

 
And that, my dear inklings, is pretty much what Courtcan.com is all about. : )

10 Free Blog Post Ideas to Use as Thou Wilt

Not only that, but I also got a great new profile pic from Julie V. Photography

Or: In Which I Have Way Too Much Fun Taking Screenshots of Twitter

Apparently, dear inklings, I am in listing mode. By which I do not mean that I am a boat. But I do mean that I’m currently (ha! ha!) about writing lists.

LISTS! YES! Give me list-ery, or give me death!

*ahem*

I don’t know what just happened.

Anyway. Last week, I listed 33 Questions. On Tuesday, I listed 10 Novel-Writing no-nos. (Don’t do those no-nos, or cute things all the way on the other side of the universe will die.) Yesterday on Unstressed Syllables, I listed a googolplex of writing inspirations.

Today, my luvs, I shall list 10 blog post titles. These titles are for you. You may use them however you like. It would mega-cramazing if, when you use them, you’d link back to me so I can come read what you wrote in response to my titles.

If you don’t link back to me, I will send my legion of Evil Elves to tattoo “I’m a nerd” on your forehead.

So here ya go. Have at it, and have fun!

10 Blog Post Ideas for My Readers

(That was the first one.)

The following two titles resulted from a Twittersation with one Dean Carlton (@DinoCarlton), which went something like this:

 
 
 
 
All of which inspired this post you’re reading right now and leads me to the next two blog post title ideas:

5 Ways to Edify the Twitter Kitchen

 

101 Ways to Wok the Twitter-Bird

 
Moving right along… 

The Blogging Habits of 13th-Century Monks

 

How to Please Everyone on the Internet (Even Your Mom)*

 

All Dressed Up and No Place to Blog

 

50 Ways to Leave Your Blogger

 

Why Grocery Shopping Is the 9th Circle of Hell

 

Fruit Flies Like a Banana

Subtitled: And Other Linguistic Shenanigans
 

When Good Velociraptors Go Bad

 

And there you got it, sugar. Ten blog post ideas to vex, befuddle, and inspire you. No substitutions, exchanges, or refunds. And please do let me know how you make use of these!

Ooooh! And if you have some fun blog post titles of your own to share, list ’em in the comments! ;oD

________________
*For the record, I don’t actually believe it’s possible to please everyone, on the Internet or otherwise. But I’d love to see a whopping sarcastic post to go with this title. ; )

Photo credit Julie V. Photography.

5 Easy Ways To Get Your Blog Noticed

This blog went live six weeks ago — today! Woot, yay me, and all that. I’ve been having way more fun with this than should be considered sane, and to top it all off, I’ve learned stuff.

Squeaky wheel? Or tweeting without a muffler?!

My darling lovely readers, I’ve learned stuff about getting my blog noticed.

Granted, if I’m going to compare my case to all the cases out there, I’m still a newbie, so I don’t know a whole lot yet. But if I compared my case to other, more experienced cases, I’d end up a basket case, and I don’t think any of us want to see that happen. Let’s just not go there, mmkay?

So, here ya go. This is what I’ve got so far. This what-I’ve-got is subject to revision in future posts. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

5 Easy Ways To Get Your Blog Noticed

1. Write freakishly catchy headlines.
My main teacher in this has been blogging coach Judy Dunn. One of Judy’s main pieces of advice is to craft headlines that will catch people’s attention within a couple of split-seconds. If your headline doesn’t grab a reader at first glance, chances are she won’t click through to your blog, let alone read your post.

I had this in mind when I wrote The One Where I’m Not An Impotent Bachelor. Since I’m female and married, and most of my readers knew that already, that title caught their attention.

They came, they read, they commented. And there was much rejoicing. (Not to mention sniggering.)

2. Use a picture in every post
I’ve known this one for awhile, thanks to Aaron Pogue at Unstressed Syllables. When he first invited me to write What I Learned About Writing This Week, a weekly column for his blog, one of his top-priority instructions was that I should provide an image or two for each article.

Why? Because people like to look at stuff. We humans are that way from birth. Babies love faces. Thanks to tech, more and more of us are growing up as visual learners. Yeah, sometimes we get so much visual stimulation, it’s like binge-eating on a 12-course meal at 9 different restaurants at the same time —

— but on the other plate hand, if there’s nothing to look at, we look away. We click away in search of something visually interesting.

I haven’t posted anything without a picture, yet, so I can’t compare pictorially endowed posts with posts not so blessed. But still, I’d be willing to bet a post without a pic would garner me fewer readers. ‘Cause you people like to look at stuff.

3. Comment on other people’s blogs — and reply to comments on your own.
Thanks to Google Analytics, I know who you are. *ahem* Okay, not really. But I can see where most of you are coming from — and one of those wheres is blogs I’ve commented on. You’re reading my comments and clicking through to my blog.

And that, my dearies, is pretty freakin’ cramazing. People on the Internet actually want to talk to me. Me! They want to hear what I have to say, they want to tell me their thoughts about what I write, and they appreciate it when I answer back.

If you know me at all, you know I’m a sucker for a great conversation. I’m having those conversations in the comments sections of others’ blogs. As a result, I’m starting to have some of those conversations in the comments section of my blog. ‘Cause you people want to talk.

And I love you for it!

4. Tweet like a maniacal baboon — but don’t overdo it.
If you have any interest in generating traffic for your blog, then you needed to be on Twitter a year ago. If you’re not tweeting yet, have no fear; all is not lost! I’ve only been tweeting for nine months, myself — but even though I was a late bloomer, this lovely piece of social networking media is serving me well.

In fact, many of you now reading this are contacts I’ve generated solely from Twitter. (Follow me!) And you folks are fabulous, I must say. You’re retweeting me! You’re getting me new followers and, thereby, new readers! Oh sure, I’m greedy for more…but aren’t we all?

But I’m careful not to tweet too much. I don’t know how the rest of you feel — but when I see a blogger tweeting his/her posts over and over within the space of a few hours, I cringe a little.

I don’t need to hear about the same blog fifty times in one day. 😉

So. Tweet like mad, yes — but be the squeaky wheel, not the pickup truck cruising down the highway at 100mph with no muffler.

5. Write stuff people want to read
Um, you might be thinking. Duh?

Well, maybe not so duh. Let me illustrate. These are the goals of my blog:

a. Discuss with my readers the creative writing process.

b. Provide a peek into the mind of a creative writer.

c. Establish a platform for my yet-to-be-published novels.

Guess which posts have generated the most feedback so far?

If you guessed “posts in categories (a) and (b),” then you have chosen wisely. So far, most of you want to read and talk with me about the writing process and the writing life. Fewer of you are responding to the posts in which I talk about my works-in-progress (WsIP).

I wish it weren’t so; but I understand why it ain’t. You haven’t read the books; why should you have an overwhelming interest in them? Hopefully, that will change once the books are published and you have access to these wonderful characters and fascinating worlds I’ve been talking about —

— but in the meantime, I’m learning I need to keep my WsIP posts to a minimum. I’ll keep giving occasional updates, but I plan to be more conscious of where my focus needs to be for now.

I’m learning what you people want. And I’m not shy — I’m willing to give it to you. 😉

So, my darlings, there are my Newbie’s 5 Blogging Tips. Let me know if your own blogging adventures have taught you similar lessons!

Or, even better: What other things have you learned? What have you learned that challenges what I’m saying?

Lemme hear ya!