I suppose it’s serendipity, you could say. Regardless, I’m happy. Two cool things happened today:
1. My blog hit over 100,000 views.
2. I finished my book proposal.
Now, I don’t know anything about anything. My book may not sell. I’m on book attempt number 3, at this point. But, I will say, I’m proud of it. My first book almost sold. It was only the subject matter that held it back. It was about Oprah. You can read two sample pieces from it here and here. My second book was fiction. Out of 18 chapters, I’d say only about 1 was worth anything. I spent at least 10 months writing it, only to scrap the whole thing. That is after my agent and I laughed about it. (And I cried, a little.) This is book proposal, number 3, with one major overhaul implemented after hearing the thoughts from two of my very trusted readers. (One my Wifesy, the other my buddy, Jason.) And then a second adjustment and the marketing section added after taking the thoughts on the creative from my agent into account. Now, after all that, I can honestly say, I’m proud of it. I’m going to sit on it for one more day, re-read it tomorrow, and then it goes off to my agent. She’ll probably have more notes and I’ll spend the month revising them and then she’ll go out with it to publishers.
I mention none of this to toot my own horn. Only because I know most of you are writers and I figure it might interest you. If it actually sells, I’ll let you know about that process because it will all be a new one for me. If it doesn’t, I’ll start something else. And so it goes.
Now, the 100,000 views. I know I’ve hit over 100,000 views as of today because I checked my stats and included them in my proposal. Anyone who has ever written a non-fiction proposal will tell you that platform is almost as important as content. So, how in the hell did I hit over 100,000 views in about six months? I’m not entirely sure. But, here are my off-the-beaten-path thoughts on the whole thing:
WRITE ABOUT TOMKAT
I had two days where I was like, “Whoa, did I get Freshly Pressed again?” and I had not. I thought it had to be wordpress helping me out because my stats were rising and they were rising fast. That happened on the day I hit my 100th blog post and wrote about it, here. To commemorate it and as a thank you, I included a “link game” and linked to 100 of my blog followers. I simply listed a block of numbers with links from 1-100, then I told my followers to click on some at random and follow them. Needless to say, this post got me a lot of views. Another piece that came in almost as high as that was when I wrote a mini-post about the breakup of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, here. It was just a funny, short post on why maybe their marriage didn’t work. Here’s the cool part:
This is what my search terms looked like for most of that week. So, write about something that’s popular in the news right now and you will grab A LOT of views from google, especially if you produce content regularly, I believe.
EVERYONE’S A CRITIC. WRITE WHAT YOU WANT ANYWAY.
There are people who don’t like my humor. There are people who follow me and then unfollow me due to my content. There are people who don’t like the lengths of my posts. I write some super long ones. I write some super short ones. I write some in the middle. Feck ‘em. I don’t write for them. I write for me. Now, of course, you should hear the criticism if it’s true and you should RESEARCH the “industry standard.” For example, the optimal blog post length is 700-900 words. I know that. I often break that rule. It’s my choice to do so, but if you’re going to really blog in earnest, you should know the rules.
PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES
Sometimes the photos on my page bring in as much search traffic as the search terms themselves. I take my time finding them. I credit everything and I do my damnedest to avoid copyrighted stuff.
PLAY TO YOUR STRENGTHS
I’m crap at html and graphics. So, I try to stay away from it and focus on the writing. I think I’ve mainly done that and it has helped. More time spent on what I love doing and less on stuff I don’t. As I age, I try to work smarter because I’ve already done the harder.
I try to interact when I can. When I get busy, it is, in truth, one of the first things that goes. BUT, I play comment catch-up everyday and I read blogs. Even if I don’t have time to comment, I read them. Then when things slow again, I pick back up on commenting on everyone else’s blogs.
HIT PUBLISH ANYWAY
Not everything I write is a winner. It’s just impossible for that to happen. But, I hit the publish button anyway because I think it’s really important to try stuff out regardless. Maybe I learned that from my stand up experience, I don’t know. However, I know that you get no where by keeping your ideas to yourself. You get everywhere by putting them out there. Even if what you learn is to simply, never try THAT again.
That’s it, mostly it’s been fun. And I think FUN keeps me going most of the time. Thanks for reading and joining me on this insane journey to 365 posts. I truly appreciate it.