Recently, Thistlehammer Transmutational passed one hundred followers. Hizzahs, and thank-you-very-muches all around. Given my entrance into triple digit readership, I thought I would discuss some of what I’ve noticed about readership and interest, and my planned changes to the site.
First, the most popular articles I write are split down the middle between my weekly flash fictions and my occasional diatribes. The fiction accrues fewer stats (views, visits, likes) per post, but is more reliably successful than my posted lamentations of modern civility. Of the latter, some are wildly popular and some seem set in a place where even the crickets are mute. I haven’t yet discovered a pattern to either.
Second, my science posts due fairly well provided I have lots of pictures and present the information plainly. I realize that most people who follow my site aren’t scientists, and that those with strong backgrounds in biology or botany aren’t likely to need my site to tell them the individual names and natures of plants about which I post, so keeping my information on here accessible seems best.
Thirdly, I’ve learned I’m shite at self-promotion. I feel as if I’ve gained your attention despite myself. This stems from several things; my prickly nature, my juxtaposed desire for literary popularity and intense desire for privacy, my grandpa-esque view of modern culture (I’ve several times literally and metaphorically shaken my fist at “those damn kids” for various perceived faux pas), and from the hit-or-miss success of any new endeavor.
Finally, regular posting has actually lead to fewer, not greater views. This could be a fluke or an error in WordPress’s stat registry (I already know it doesn’t record mobile views or visits for this site). My theory, however, is that I’ve become reliable. There’s less reason for regular readers to check back multiple times when they know I’ll post M,W,F.
As to how I’ll address each, I have some ideas. Starting backwards, my plan for dealing with my own predictability is to do nothing about it. I’d rather be reliable than sporadic, especially since the schedule helps me to keep up with the site. I’ll focus my energies on making better content instead of trying to trick those of you nice enough to follow me into coming back unnecessarily. This leads into the next item: promotion. Once I get a better handle on that, I think my regularity will become as much an asset to readers as it is to the writer.
Next, I plan to do more science posts. One of my post days, either monday or wednesday, is set to become plant science day. I plan for each article to be a fully researched and self-contained piece describing some aspect of local or domestic flora. I’ve got a backlog of growing experiments and boxes of seed to try, so that should carry me through even the winter months. As for keeping the posts interesting to those already familiar with the plants, I’ll keep adding links for my referenced articles so that any who’d like to know more can do so easily.
There’s not much I can do for the fiction and diatribes. They’re what makes blogging worth while for me. Creative writing is my intended profession, so to try to do the blog without them would be folly. What I can do is refine the diatribes to their best bits. The fiction, as with most fiction, is always going to be hit or miss. Not everyone likes every story, but I hope that with each piece I write I improve as a writer. If such is the case, friday’s futherance should take care of itself. Again, with some better promotion (my last few posts didn’t even make it to the reader without an excessive amount of finagling) I should have a clearer idea of what works and what doesn’t.
In any case, thank you all for the follows and I hope you’ll continue on with me into the future.