First of all, thanks for financial and technical support to my niece, Sarah Miranda, my sister, Ellen Fleischmann, and my son, Merlyn Ember. Thanks, also, to WordPress.com techhies and Q & A and fora participants.
Second, but equally important, I am grateful to all of my readers, responders, rebloggers, guest bloggers and/or followers for your interest, suggestions, support and interactions. My site would be dead air without you!
On my one-year Anniversary of my Blog, what many call a “Blogaversary,” I am summarizing and analyzing my accomplishments and progress, to date. Let me know what you think!
My Blog Stats
I ended my first full year of blogging with 243 Followers. 208 followers are on WordPress; 35 are on Tumblr.
I started with a site that was new and unknown so it wasn’t even rated by ALEXA. I had zero “backlinks.”
Today (8/9/14), I have 128 Backlinks. My ALEXA international rating is 419,061 out of over 4 millions sites.
For the USA, sallyember.com is rated 68,034 out of over 2 million sites.
If you want to check your site’s rankings on ALEXA, get the free extension to your toolbar and check about once every few days by going to your main page/splash page, then clicking on that icon on your toolbar.
I aspire to have a Google Page Ranking: yet to be earned.
Total Number of Visitors/Views: 8326
I figured out early on how to cross-post each of my blog entries to my personal/author’s pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (although I mysteriously have to “refresh” this connection periodically, according to prompts from WordPress).
Later, I added Goodreads, Amazon, Shelfari, BookLikes, and Google+ as well as my Spanners Series page on Facebook as automatic recipient posting sites.
About twice a month, I utilize one of the images in each of my original content entries and put those posts on my Pinterest “My Blog Posts” board, which then automatically cross-posts to Twitter and Facebook, again.
Mostly due to these cross-posting, my Followers on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn and Goodreads have all increased dramatically. When I started my Blog, I was brand-new to Pinterest, Author Central, and my series’ pages, and mostly inactive on LinkedIn and Goodreads; and had only 7 Twitter Followers. Here are the Blogaversary comparison stats.
FOLLOWERS/LIKES/CIRCLES TALLIES, August 10, 2013 – August 10, 2014
(all links are on the right sidebar of my website)
Twitter 7 to 3441
Pinterest 0 to 208
LinkedIn 200 to 500+ (LI maxes out the count at 500)
Facebook personal 232 to 1438
Facebook Series page 0 to 937
Google+ personal 0 to 1301
Google+ Series page 0 to 29 (not much action, here; can’t get blog to cross-post)
Goodreads author page 110 to 1113
Amazon Author Central page 0 to 142
My highest-ever number of views in one day was 197, spread around several posts and pages.
Aug, 2013 = 114 (first day was August 10)
Jan., 2014 = 999
(concussion/accident 4/6/14; offline a lot April – June)
Aug.(to date) 326
Highest single-day Views = 197
for 2013 (5 months): 13
for 2014 (7 months): 30
200 of my 357 posts (about 40 are reblogs) had 10 or fewer views. These include ALL of the Serialized Excerpts of my sci-fi series, Volumes I and II, most of the reports of these books’ reviews, and many others that I thought were more popular than that.
One of my posts was featured on “Freshly Pressed,” the elite selection gleaned from among all daily blog posts, highlighted for that day in WordPress’ Blog Reader!
Views by Country
Views by visitors from 111 countries
Highest = USA, with 5,909
2nd = UK, with 484
3rd = Canada, with 354
4th = Australia, with 155
5th = Germany, with 128
6th = India, with 125
The rest are 60 or fewer; many are just 1 or 2, so far.
Highest page views were for my site’s main pages:
–ABOUT (my blog’s splash page), with 2,001
–the Home page’s Archives, with 1,703
—The Spanners Series page, with 492
For individual posts, the highest number of views were for:
—#Buddhism and #Science: the Facts, the Yogis, the Practices , with 232
—My #Literary #Meh List 2014: 15 Plots, Devices, Characters I’m BORED with, with 205
—Why My First Experience with Using #Pre-Orders Will Help Get My NEXT #Ebook Higher on #Best-Seller Lists, with 185
—15 Points about the #Effects of #Concussions on #Meditators’ #Brains, with 160
—Pros and Cons of #Writers’ Critique Groups, with 112
—When #Spiritual #Teachers Respond with #Countertransference, with 110
Total number of comments (and half or more are my replies): 202
Setting aside the two posts with the most comments that were part of Blog Hops, the next-most commented-upon post was
—15 Points about the #Effects of #Concussions on #Meditators’ #Brains, with 12
BLOGGING and BOOK MARKETING ASSESSMENTS
I learned a lot about how to assess my book marketing efforts from many people. I excerpt from PROMOTING MY BOOK , by Lee Gale Gruen, with my commentaries as to my progress/use of these ideas and link to Lee and her sites at the end of this section.
(I first saw this article posted in “Funds for Writers,” compiled weekly by the wonderful Hope Clark: http://www.chopeclark.com Thanks, Hope!)
I am therefore scoring myself on Book Marketing for my first two self-published ebooks according to Lee’s great list, below, of marketing tips and ideas. Let’s see what I learned!
Lee recommends these activities, below, and I agree:
- 1. Read websites and books such as APE by Guy Kawasaki and Michael Kremer’s books. I also join and watch many free webinars, teleseminars, and Google+ Hangouts On Air regularly for more tips.
- 2. Join writer’s organizations. Learn from your peers. I joined several here in California with great successes. I will be looking for writers’ groups/clubs in St. Louis in September. Any recommendations?
- 3. Network at writers’ groups, conferences, online forums, etc. I’ve only been to one conference, so far, but may go to more. How are they worthwhile?
- 4. Check writers’ websites, materials, author talk/book signings. Learn from their examples. I need to more of this but I do follow quite a few writers’ blogs and learn from their posts.
Lee also talks about “creating” one’s own marketing “tools,” and I get an A+, here! I’ve done them all and I hadn’t even seen this list prior to doing them!
- 1. Have a website to refer interested people. I have that via my blog, http://www.sallyember.com
- 2. Purchase your website name (domain) immediately. Thanks to my niece, Sarah Miranda, I did this right off! sallyember.com is MINE!
- 3. Print flyers with your book cover, synopsis, photo, and bio to hand out at events. I have done this and gotten some new readers from it by handing them out at my writers’ groups.
- 4. Get business cards. I got free ones from KLOUT, at first, then ordered almost-free ones from Vistaprint.com.
- 5. Compose a cover letter to email to prospects. I have done this for, in my case, book reviewers.
- 6. Post a video of yourself discussing your book on http://www.YouTube.com. I did this by accident: the Q & A for my Book Launch talk didn’t work, so there is a 2-hour monologue of me on my youtube channel. Also, 2 more vids of me reading chapters from each of my ebooks and book trailers are on that channel. Starting August 6, almost-weekly episodes from CHANGES, my Google+ HOA, are also there.
- 7. Add an electronic signature to your emails with links to your website and video. I had done this, but then my son said a signature with many links after it is viewed as “spam” and “shouting” at email recipients, so I removed them. What do you think?
Lee’s advice for how to “Promote Yourself” caused me to realize how much I still have to accomplish here. The BOLD ones are TO BE DONE.
- 1. Sell yourself as well as your book. Develop a useful message other than just “buy my book.” I mostly do this by curating interesting content and creating it on my blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. I also repost on some sites like Suvudu, StumpleUpon, Reddit, etc. I’ve also joined and interact with folks in a lot of Groups on Goodreads, Facebook, LinkedIn and Communities on Google+
- 2. Give author talk/book signings.
- 3. Volunteer to speak at book clubs, speakers’ bureaus, panels, etc. I have volunteered to some book clubs, but no invitations have arrived, yet.
- 4. Mention your book in conversations using your “elevator speech:” a one-minute synopsis of your book with a hook to grab the listener. I don’t do this as often as I should, but I do it.
- 5. Ask readers to post a review on Amazon and Goodreads. If I could find my readers, I would do this more! I wish readers could “opt in” to “author can find me” lists.
- 6. Submit articles. I’ve been published in my local newspaper and my retirement newsletter. I want to do this.
- 7. Join HARO (http://www.helpareporter.com) to submit yourself as an interview subject for writers and journalists. I’ve had 6 interviews and will be in an upcoming book. I’ve started my own Google+ Hangout On Air, submitted responses as an Expert on Quora and Ask an Expert, and am considering joining this org, next.
- 8. Write a blog of interest to your target audience. http://www.sallyember.com is mine. Is it of interest?
- 9. Look online for similar blogs. Submit guest blogs. Links to my guest posts are on my site. Look to the right and scroll down.
- 10. Build an email address list. Email a notice of each appearance, blog, etc. I’ve been slowly building this list, but many commenters or followers don’t provide and I can’t find their email addresses, only Twitter handles or website URLs. How do I get email addresses without paying to get them via a service?
- 11. Host a book giveaway on http://www.Goodreads.com. Goodreads still doesn’t allow ebook giveaways. SNOBS.
- 12. Network or search online for professional reviewers. I submitted my book to http://www.midwestbookreview.com for small press publishers. I only do this when there is no fee. I refuse to pay for book reviews.
BIO: Lee Gale Gruen is an actress, author, speaker, and blogger. Her book website is: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com. Her blog, “Reinventing Myself in My Senior Years” is at: http://LeeGaleGruen.Wordpress.com
My Overall Grade/Score for Year One in Blogging and Book Marketing
Well, I give myself an A+ for effort
I earned about a B- for effectiveness, I think (but it’s difficult to make comparisons since I don’t have others’ stats nor know their efforts).
If I’m going by the numbers of books sold (Volume II of The Spanners Series, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, just went on sale June 9) or sold and downloaded since Volume I of The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything, went permafree on April 1 and went on sale December 19, 2013, the dates don’t jibe and the numbers won’t be impressive (to me, anyway). We all have Hugh Howey to thank for that, right?
Plus, even though I can get rankings or paid sales stats from some sites, I can’t get sales or free download numbers from all sites. So, the numbers below are not all-inclusive; they’re just what I can get. Here are the stats for book sales and downloads:
12/19/13 – 3/31/14 Sales and 4/1/14 –> Free downloads for
Volume I of The Spanners Series, This Changes Everything
66 books sold
2296 free downloads (about 40 for reviewers)
6/9/14 –> Sales for
Volume II of The Spanners Series, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever
4 free downloads (all for reviewers)
I look forward to becoming more “visible” via this and other parts of my “author platform” in my second year blogging and being a fiction author.
Please comment and share your experiences! Best to you all!
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