ROWing Back To Earth

Earth - from the NASA Earth Observatory

Hello everyone and happy Earth Day! Today is when we celebrate the planet on which we live. The sun is up, filtering light through the freshly-leaved branches and glistening on the dew-coated lawn and I cannot think but how fortunate we are to have such a beautiful world to live on. Take a minute and enjoy the planet today, friends.

This, of course, got me to thinking about grounding – not the kind parents give to their young – but rather, the place our feet are planted on. It is easy to lose track of that place, especially on the net and so once in a while it pays to look down and see what is we are standing upon.

Since I’m still reading The Eight (review next week), and you all know how I love “value-added” posts – I took a look at the ground this site sits on, specifically where all my visitors come from. The results were interesting (and yes, I’ll keep the numbers brief).

  • 54% of my traffic comes from subscribers. If you are one of those, thank you from the bottom of my heart – I adore each and every one of you!
  • 46% came through referrers. I then went through these to see what sources, social media platforms, etc., were contributing the most to my site. All numbers from here on relate ONLY to the referrers.
  • 60% from Search Engines -> Actual: Google Images 48%, Google Search 9%, Bing/Yahoo/Other Engines 3%. Behold the power of the images we use, nearly a quarter of my traffic comes looking for pictures.
  • Twitter 8.5% ; Linkytools (the fantastic ROWers), 5%;  WordPress Dashboard 2.2%. For all the effort I’ve put into Twitter this is smaller than expected. In looking deeper, Search Engines stomped Twitter 20 to 1 as a referrer on most days. What this tells me: SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the place to concentrate efforts because it has the best return on investment. Remember this is just about how people found me – I still love Twitter.
  • Facebook, on which I have NO PRESENCE currently: 1% – And, thank you to everyone that promotes me on FB, I am working towards starting an account. Patience.
  • Clickthroughs from Piper Bayard’s site, who is one of my fav peeps and you really should get to know her if you don’t already: .6% – Why did I put this stat here, well, because of the next one…
  • Triberr .5%. Yep, being on Piper’s mashups and posting to her comments is BIGGER than Triberr. Take that how you will, but I know where my time investment will be going.
  • Final number (I promise): 22.3% from smaller mixed sources, mostly other blogs. Which is why it is important to get out, read and comment on other peoples blogs.

So what does all this mean. For starters, content is king – it’s what gains subscribers, keeps them returning and gives the search engines something to look for. After that, SEO has the best return on investment and is where I’ll be concentrating my efforts over the coming weeks. Interestingly, Carrie Mumford posted 5 Resources to Help You Write SEO Friendly Blog Posts yesterday that will form my starting point for this new adventure. Another great resource is Lindsay Buroker’s site. It also means I won’t be as worried about using Twitter and Triberr for promotion since the return is far smaller then the amount of effort I’ve put into them.

Have you ever looked at your numbers to see if your efforts are being rewarded properly and know where to focus your efforts? It was eye opening for me finding out what the ground below me was composed of – hopefully it will be for you as well.

And now, this weeks ROW update.

-Write 7k of fiction per week. I only had 6,327 this week, which is still good and I’m pleased with it. I’ve been working out the details of a novella series I’ve been developing and that takes precedence.

-Read and review 4 books by May 20. I’m three-quarters of the way through The Eight and should be reviewing it next week.

-Visit at least 15 ROWers each week. I was able to get to 20 last week and am pleased to say that many of you are doing fantastic during this round. Always good to see *smile*. As always, I encourage you to get out and support your fellow ROWer’s – we are strong because we walk the road together.

Peaceful Journeys!

About Gene Lempp

Gene Lempp is a writer blending elements of alternate history, the paranormal, fantasy, science fiction and horror for dark and delicious fun. He unearths stories by digging into history, archeology, myth and fable in his Designing from Bones blog series. “Only the moment is eternal and in a moment, everything will change,” sums the heart of his philosophy. You can find Gene at his Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, WANATribe, Google+, Pinterest and StumbleUpon.
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19 Responses to ROWing Back To Earth

  1. Gene! I think you are spit on about Twitter and Triberr. I’ve looked at my numbers and while I get slightly more traffic from Twitter, I use it more to chat with people than just to promote posts. That is really boring. I really only RT the posts I love in hopes of catching the attention of my followers. SEO Optimization is where it is at. And I have to say, I love Piper. Her content is consistently amazing so when she gives you the nod, it’s like hitting the jackpot in Vegas! That said, I do get a lot of action from Facebook – much more than Twitter! Each time I post a new piece, I get about 200 hits from Facebook as a result of my friends and my fan page. It really is only a good thing to have, but only if you are going to reach a different group of people than you would on Twitter. You don’t need blogging friends on your Facebook page. You have to network with Admins from other pages to build your platform on FB. I’ve been slow about this of late, but hope to pick it up after the bar mitzvah is over at the end of June. Happy Earth Day to you!

  2. Ryan King says:

    I occasionally glance at my Google Analytics dashboard to see where my visitors come from but I know I don’t quite go into the detail that you do.

    6.3k is still pretty darn good. Good job as always being a sponsor too. I’ve seen you post on other blogs and you’re very supportive.

    Have a great week!

  3. I definitely need to take a closer look at my stats and will have to look at that SEO link in detail.

    Only :snort: Another great writing week for you Gene. Good job on your sponsorship too, I always appreciate your words of encouragement when you stop by my blog. Wishing you a fabulous week.

  4. I did not mean to “spit” on you so early in the morning!

    I meant you are SPOT on. SPOT on.

    I hate my fat fingers on my iPhone. ;-)

    Oh, I also meant just shooting out blog promotion via Twitter is really boring. Not talking to people. The chatting with folks is fun!

    Note to self: no responding to Gene before morning coffee.

  5. Carrie M says:

    Hi Gene! It seems we’re both looking into the same things lately: as evidenced by my post, I’ve been digging into SEO for the past few weeks. Phew! What a complicated topic (for me, at least). I hope my links help you! Let me know if you find any other fantastic resources :)

  6. Its great that the majority of your readers are subscribers. Maybe its better this way than having search engines be the main source because it could be that those search engine users are stopping and going, but at least you know subscribers are reading.

    You’re doing great as usual on your goals. Have a terrific week!

  7. alberta says:

    spent a log enjoyable time on those links -almost forgot I was visitng some more people – dragged myself away- have earmarked them for more time – good week and all the best for coming one

  8. Marcia says:

    You needn’t have been concerned that your numbers would bore anyone. I thought it was really interesting to see where your traffic comes from. I’ll have to go check mine and check Carrie’s post. I use Twitter mainly for promoting and never seem to find time to do enough of that. I do little on FB anymore either. I’m active on Pinterest and blog commenting, as well as Goodreads (just getting started there).
    Great job on your goals and wishing you another great week ahead!

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Renee: First off, you totally crack me up! Normally, I would have simply fixed your first comment for you but the second one was too fun to let go *smile*. I started looking into SEO a week or two ago but with Carrie’s resources I’m planning to push through this to the “next level”. Piper is truly a treasure, if it wasn’t for her and Jami Gold and Kristen Lamb I don’t think I would have survived those first couple of months blogging and tweeting. For an introvert, which I am, stepping out of my man cave to meet all of you was a traumatic experience, and one I’ve never for a moment regretted taking. Thanks for the big smile this morning, Renee :D

      Ryan: Yeah, I don’t do numbers often but when I do I can’t stop from analyzing all the angles. Thanks for the support and I’ve seen you out there being an excellent influence as well :)

      Raelyn: WordPress makes it fairly easy to analyze site stats and it didn’t take me very long to get a feel for where things stood. Always appreciate your comments and support as well. Thanks :)

      Carrie: It does seem that way and this is not the first time. I really appreciate you sharing what you have found and will be sure to pass on anything I find that is useful as well – both to you and my readers. I don’t really have a head for this either, but I’m willing to try and that is half the battle.

      Nicole: Good point on readers popping in and out. Obviously, I’d like more readers staying longer and that is part of SEO as well, mainly, targeting posts to a known audience. I know my audience better now, where they come from and what they are looking for which should help me (over time) to tailor more useful content. That is the hope anyway :)

      Alberta: It does draw one in doesn’t it. I’ll be reading them over the course of at least a week. Takes time to digest this type of material, at least for me. Thanks for the support :)

      Marcia: I think it is important to open our doors at times and share this type of information – it is mutually beneficial and I’ve already gained some great ideas and insights off of all the comments today. Goodreads is on my list as well, will be interested to see how it works out for you. Thanks much for the support, friend :)

  9. Jenny Hansen says:

    I LOVE your ROW updates, Gene! I get a ton of traffic from SEO, but how did you figure out how much of your reading comes from subscribers? I don’t see that number…tell me where to look!

  10. I check my stats sometimes, and it reinforces the idea that writers shouldn’t blog JUST about writing. I get hits from search terms because of things like my eye candy posts and other assorted posts that aren’t necessarily related to writing. Writing should be my main focus but not my ONLY focus. Maybe those people who are searching for something that brings them to my blog will actually check out my books while they’re there. You never know.

    Only 6327 words? Gene, you must be slipping. Hahahahahaha. Actually, I’m just giving you a hard time because your words counts are totally awesome. :) Great job, as always.

    • Gene Lempp says:

      Jenny: Perhaps I’m wrong in this assumption, but, I’m reading it that if someone arrives here directly that they are a subscriber. Or they should be *grin*. I don’t think there is a way to know the subscriber visits precisely (extrapolating), but I know that 54% are direct non-referred arrivals.

      Lauralynn: Very much agree. One day this week I had 200+ hits originate from a site in California that turns out to be a school – all looking for a specific set of pictures on the Dasha Stone which I recently wrote about for Designing from Bones. While the focus is on writing it is always important to keep the broad realities in mind. By the way, I give you a hard time on occasion so it is totally cool. Thanks for the support :D

  11. Julie Glover says:

    Great word count, even if you missed your target. I rarely look at my stats, probably because I can overanalytical with that information, but I should check to see where my traffic comes from. I have such a thrill when every type of reader comes around — my usuals, the occasional visitor, and a newbie to my site. There are still times that I think, “How cool! People read what I write!” :)

  12. Juliana Haygert says:

    Well, I confess I’m not that observant of my stats … perhaps I should. Though I know I get nothing from Facebook, though I have 700+ friends.
    6.3k is awesome!
    I’m glad you’re doing so well!
    Have a great week, Gene!

  13. K.B. Owen says:

    Gene, you are inspiring. I’m a bit lost in figuring out my analytics (esp. when Leanne Shirliffe “search bombs” me, LOL!). I make my content as good as it can be, and employ as many methods for getting the word out. Wouldn’t be anywhere without the fab supportive peeps out there!

  14. authormarieandrews says:

    Great post Gene! Spent most of Earth Day outside working in the dirt, planting some pretties, and appreciating the beautiful weather we got lucky with. My mom passed away on Earth Day, so spending it outside always makes me feel closer to her.

    Congrats on your week’s achievements! I’m curious to read your review of The Eight. You’ve another week of an impressive word count, but I agree the novella should trump the word count – it’s an important step of the process to the writing. And as always you’re very generous to spend so much time cheering others on as a sponsor. I hope this is another banner week for you and that you can dig into that novella soon! :)

  15. Oooh, thanks for sharing your stats, Gene. The trends for my blog have been pretty similar to yours — not so many hits from Twitter or Triberr, more from Facebook (this was surprising), and lots from Google image searches. Definitely gives me food for thought as I consider next steps for growing the blog.

    Anywhoo, great job with the goals this week! I’m looking forward to a review of The Eight. :D

  16. Pingback: Tall Tale Tuesday: That Was Random « Ellie Ann

  17. Reetta Raitanen says:

    Fascinating statistics, thank you for sharing. I didn’t realize how much pictures can do for your blog. I will have to pay more attention to them. And actually take a look at my SEO stats. If I get any hits from Facebook, it’s from the WANA group since I pretty much ignore it otherwise.

    And congrats on doing so well with your goals. It’s great that you’re supporting your ROW mates so well :)

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