Eventfulness Maximised

WordPress Events are a great way to get to know more bloggers and build a community of like-minded friends. Today’s Blogging 201 task is to create an event on our blog and/or make plans to attend a conference or a blogger’s meetup.

I’ve already made plans to attend a Blogger’s meetup focused on bloggers residing in Mumbai, India so that base is covered.

As of the ‘create-an-event’, I have created an event. Awesome Quotes, which was initially a weekly Friday-feature where I posted a collection of theme-based quotes, is now an event where I post a single quote every Friday and participants can submit fiction, flash fiction, or poetry inspired by that quote, in the one week period. Check out more details about the event here.

Thanks for reading and do participate! 😉

Productive Social Networking

I’m catching up with Blogging 201, again. College work has burdened me a bit lately.

So the task was to dig deep into our social networks and use them to create communities and interact with them beyond the blog, thus adding a more personal touch and also a constant touch since one may not blog that often but can use things like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to constantly keep followers updated with our life.

I already have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Tumblr accounts, just like almost every other teenager these days. I’ve decided to create a dedicated Facebook page for my blog, which you can check out here. I’ve just created the page about an hour back so please don’t mind the emptiness. It will get more lively.

I have decided to make the most of the social networks I have and build a community on them. I think using questions and just random status updates is a great way to do so, and I can use Facebook and Twitter for the same. I’ll also be sharing links and other stuff that I find interesting, inspiring, funny or stimulating.

Here are links to my Twitter feed, Instagram and Tumblr, although you can also find them in the sidebar to the left.

So please like and follow! I see my blog and social media pages, one day, as a thriving community who is constantly rattling off comments, opinions and ideas among themselves and with me. To get there, I need you guys, my readers, to help by taking part in it. After all, there’s no blog without the community.

Sorting, Segregating and Reminiscing

Today’s Task in Writing 201 tells us to create a space on our blog that’s dedicated solely to bringing the best of our old archives to the fore so that readers can have an assorted collection of posts at their disposal.

Its a pretty awesome idea, especially to forge an almost instant bond with first time viewers. It is essentially a peek into your brain. It shows how you and your writing has grown over time. It breaks the ice.

I realise that, paired with the About page, this page could be instrumental to really make readers know us. Know and understand who we are.

So check out the page here. I’m calling it Upturned Archives and I’ve chosen the posts that I’m most proud of and I’ve tried to cover multiple categories and genres that I’ve written about so far.

Stats Galore

Task 4 of Blogging 201 basically revolves around crunching the numbers and using those crunched up numbers to create more numbers to crunch, later on.

So I thoroughly went through my stats from the time I started this blog back in May of last year to today and came up with some interesting facts.

I have received a thoroughly stupendous 1146 views (as of the moment I wrote this) since I started this blog about 9 months ago. A vast majority of those views have come when I took part in Blogging U‘s other courses like Writing 101, 201, Blogging 101 and now 201. That is understandable for a fairly new blog like mine. Recently, however, I’ve been starting to use tags more productively and that has bumped up my views ever so slightly in comparison to the time when I didn’t use them that well.

My most productive month in terms of views so far has been November 2014 when I took part in Blogging 101. I received 358 views in that month. In the productivity list, November 2014 is followed by January 2015 (197), December 2014 (165) and October 2014 (127), all suffering major view drops, again, quite understandably.

Further putting the magnifying glass to the paper, my most productive days so far in terms of views have by far been Wednesdays and the two weekend days of Friday and Saturday. Sunday wasn’t far behind. I am unable to understand why it is that I’m getting so many views on Wednesday, a day smack dab in the middle of the week. That’s probably because people see that they’re in the middle of the ocean and the shore is not closer from any side and it is in this despair that they plunge into the emotionally rewarding world of the Internet and thus end up on my blog. Huh.

Anyways, one man’s loss is another’s gain and I’m going to keep exploiting this human weakness to the mid-week and try and publish more posts around this highly rewarding day.

Coming to views for posts, my most viewed posts/pages were the Home Page and About page by a long distance. They were followed by, again, posts from courses by Blogging U. Stats for likes and comments were similar.

Speaking of referrers, I had a significant number of people arriving via Search Engines, Facebook, The WordPress Reader and Tumblr. A few also came from my Gravatar bio page and from other sites and blogs that contained the link to my blog in posts of their own.


One of the things that surprised me was the number of views a certain post ‘From Your Sister, With Love‘, received. It was published in early October 2014 and I hardly meant for it to get more views than my About page. It was just another post that I thought wouldn’t score very well. But it ended up doing just that and then some. To add to that surprise, I realised that 7 of the 9 known search terms related to this post and people had been redirected to this post of mine about 10 times by using these search terms. I didn’t expect this particular post to stand out so well, but it feels good that it did.

What confuses me a little after this little bit of stats is that this high-flying post I talked about comes under a category that I would hardly write about on my blog. It was basically a college assignment that I thought I could share here. Turns out people kinda like this sort of stuff, and even I’m not completely sure what I would classify it as but I’m going to try and figure it out.

Not surprisingly, my most popular tags and categories pertained to Blogging U’s courses. Now that I’m taking part in another Blogging U course, I’m bracing for a brief spike in stats that won’t, hopefully, dip as dramatically as it has before.

Coming to the editorial calendar, its something I’m doing for the first time. I’m going to try to stick to the goals I sketched out in Task 1. I’ll continue posting for Awesome Quotes every Friday, which will ensure some of the weekend traffic and I’ll schedule more posts for Tuesdays and Wednesdays to get some of that mid-week traffic I’ve been getting. That does it for the ‘at least two posts per week‘ goal. And hopefully for the ‘get more followers‘ goal as well.

Blog Brand Audit 1.0

Okay, this is a tough one. It takes time and looking around to thoroughly audit one’s blog brand, especially if you’ve never done it before. I titled this as 1.0 since this is the first time I’m doing anything like this, and I guess its something every blogger should do now and then to just go over what they’ve been projecting lately through their blog.

So starting at the top, my blog theme ‘Editor’ does not allow a header. In a way it is a good thing since I always had trouble finding and/or making a header image that was both eloquently conveying the message I want my blog to convey, and also of the right size. I may stumble into such a header some day and that will be the day I change my theme.

Speaking of the theme, I feel the ‘Editor’ theme is very minimal. I like minimal. It is also very clean and makes the content shout. It doesn’t look cluttered. It is also responsive, and is mobile-friendly. There aren’t a lot of free colour-palettes and I would prefer a colour scheme that was not so washed-out but it isn’t so bad to demand a theme change right away. I kinda like the light-toned, light-on-the-eyes approach.

Another thing that’s light toned and shares the shades of the theme is my blog logo or Blavatar, or whatever its being called. The background photo in the logo is a high-res stock photo I found somewhere and I printed the initials of my blog onto it with a web photo editing software. In the sidebar, the logo kinda fades into the blog’s background colour at one end and it doesn’t look out of place because the colour pattern is very similar to the theme’s. There were two reasons for choosing the background stock photo that I’ve chosen. One was the aforementioned matching colour pattern. The other was that the photo completely spells out serenity and that’s something I like and desire very much. Although almost no aspect of my life is remotely close to serene.

I already have a pithy description of my blog in the sidebar that I’m content with at the moment.

Speaking of contentment, I feel like I can come up with something better for the tagline and probably even for the title. Problem is I’ve not come up with anything good yet. Maybe I feel this way because I’ve had the same title and tagline for a while now and feel the need to change it. But that’s not top priority right now but I will give it sufficient thought and try to come up with something. You guys, too, please tell me if something does strike you when you’re reading my blog and you feel, “This should be up there in the tagline,” or “Oh this would make for a rad title!” or something along those lines. DO NOT HESITATE.

I’ve customised and tweaked with my widget names several times now. Not very recently, but again, I’m contented with it the way it is. I feel the same about my customised comment prompt.

Now all I’ve basically said so far is that everything is fine, I’m at peace with my blog brand and its all good. But there’s something that needs to change. Two things in fact.

I have my own email ID, but that’s my personal email. So I’m going to set up a personalised email ID especially for this blog very soon. Preferably in the name of this blog, provided it hasn’t already been taken. Seriously, in another twenty years, the most difficult thing for our kids to do is going to be picking a username that hasn’t already been taken.

The other thing is social media. I have Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr accounts. I’ve also linked my StumbleUpon and Instagram accounts. Its obviously difficult keeping up with all of this. I don’t use Facebook very often, simply because nobody else uses it as much as we used to a few years back. It was a fad. I’ve had a Tumblr account for a while and I’m just beginning to really use it. StumbleUpon is more of site discovery so that’s done once in a while. And Instagram is also a once in a while thing. Twitter I feel has the most potential at the moment. Not just to get traffic but to give traffic as well. It can be a great tool to discover new stuff that I might like. The only hurdle is the sheer volume of tweets one may have to filter through to actually find what one is looking for. And I’m making it a goal to start using Twitter more productively, gain followers, and create better outreach for my blog along the way. You can check out all my social media accounts through my sidebar.

Thank you guys very much for reading through this grand, lengthy, first official thesis of the Blog Brand Audit for Jai Vyas Writes!

I hope I’ve let my readers know, in the previous post what I’m striving to achieve in the next couple of months on this blog. And in this post, what my blog is all about, why I’ve made it the way it is and what I’m looking to change about it.

I’m sure some of you may have some inputs about the look, feel, or content on this blog. Please let me know through the comments. Your opinions and inputs are invaluable to me.