Cyber Hub

Today’s Blogging 201 task tells us how we can make our blog a hub, a sort of headquarters where all our other cyberselves (like the ones on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr) are redirected and channeled. It is very interesting stuff but incredibly difficult to balance.

I already have a Twitter and Tumblr account, and a Facebook page (the links to which are available in my sidebar and also in this post). I’ve decided to take the advice of this article and personalise the way I publicise my posts on various social media. I guess it adds that little human touch that connects to people. It also means more work but I’m ready to do that.

I’ve also decided to finally take out some time to personalise my presence on other social networking sites and tailor the look and feel of those to the brand I intend to project collectively through this blog and social networking. If you follow me elsewhere, you’ll soon see the changes.

I’m still working out what platform I’ll be using for what exactly, and whether I’ll be able to use all of them equally well, but I’ll work it out soon.

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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.

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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.

Spanish Commentators Be Like, “Goaaaalll!!”

Back to a course by The Daily Post! Feels like coming back home and I’m raring to do some assignments over the next two weeks.

The first assignment is (was, I’m kinda catching up) to set three realistic, simple, concrete and time-based goals about where I want to get with my blog over the course of the next week, month, whatever.

There’s so much I want to do with my blog and so many ways to do it that I sometimes get lost in the maze. I guess that’s where these goals are going to be huge helpers.

  1. The first goal I wish to set is definitely to be more consistent. I have usually had problems with being consistent, not just in the field of writing. Throw in the little issue about inspiration being a needle in the proverbial haystack and writing on a near-daily basis becomes difficult. So here’s the goal: Publish at least two times each week (apart from Awesome Quotes, which is a weekly feature) between next week and April 19th (I probably won’t be able to post much in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd weeks of March courtesy my Finals).
  2. Social networking is a big aspect of gaining appreciation for what one writes, whether in the form of follows, shares or views. That’s also something I’ve doing very less of and would definitely benefit a lot if I pumped it up. So my second goal would be to spend at least two to three hours more every week to drop in and give some heartfelt appreciation to people I already follow, those who may follow me and set aside half an hour to one hour of that to discover new blogs and reading and commenting on those that I like.
  3. For the third and final goal I’m going to focus on feedback on my own end. When I began blogging, it was because I simply love writing. I created this blog mostly to write fiction but I knew I would also dabble in a lot of other genres, which I think I have so far, fairly well. I also began blogging because the idea that there would actually be people reading and appreciating what I write, was very exciting and re-assuring, even before those people came by. What was even more exciting was the dream of, over time, building a community of followers who come back for my posts and read, like and comment on them from their hearts. I still have that dream. That can of course, only happen when I touch that heart of theirs. And that can only happen when I actually blog regularly, which takes us back to the first goal. So, the third goal is to gain at least 50 new followers by April 30th.

We all blog for at least the two basic reasons: there’s something we like (writing, photography) and we’d like people to see it. We all like to take these two reasons and use it to fuel our brains to get somewhere: more followers, more views, an active community, a good-looking blog, whatever. The above three are places I want to get to in the short term. Where do you want to get?