Vital Statistics (All accurate at time of writing)
Followers: 133 + 3 email followers
Overall Hits: 7,922
Most hits in one day: 245 (Sep 6th 2017)
Most hits from countries: UK – 5,442; US – 1,773; Australia – 109; India – 99; Nigeria – 64
Most viewed post: Ashton-under-Lyne and the Prodigal Son (468 hits)
Overall Likes on posts: 848
Most liked post: Mystery Blogger Award (22 likes) (The Article of Astronomical Proportions is the most liked original composition with 20 likes)
Number of visitors: 2,397
Number of posts: 84
Number of reblogs: 7
Most popular day: Wednesday (18% of views)
Most popular hour: 9am (9% of views)
My favourite post so far (Fiction)
Choosing one particular favourite fiction post over any other isn’t easy as I feel a certain level of emotional attachment to each one, but if I had to pick one over any other then I would perhaps have to choose the final sub chapter of A Survivor’s Apocalypse Story; I Knew You Were Trouble! The reason I choose this one is because I always knew from the start that Ryan would be a bad guy, but I kept him somewhere in between good and bad throughout the story. This caused a lot of the readers to be on the fence themselves; unsure as to who and what Ryan was. Most seemed to believe he’d come good in the end, but then I Knew You Were Trouble! came along and Ryan turned full heel. I enjoyed writing it and I enjoyed the reaction I received. Read the full story if you haven’t already. Part two of the story will be along before you know it. Also read the awesome Just Another Apocalypse Diary by Kira Scribbled. Without that story mine never would have been.
My favourite post so far (Non-Fiction)
Again it isn’t quite so easy to choose one over any other. A large part of me is tempted to say Tea Time; a recent post telling the story of a time me and my friends spontaneously decided to head to Blackpool for something to eat. However, I’m going to have to head right back to the beginning for this one and say that my favourite is Shiver Me Timbers…Said No Pirate Ever! It was my first official post and I was heading into the unknown. I knew I had to start strong and that I should go with a subject that holds my interest in order to properly display my passion. To the day I enjoy reading back over that post. Some people were surprised to see certain things generally accepted as fact were actually made up in fiction. It felt great to educate people and that there were some out there genuinely interested in what I taught them. It whetted my appetite to write more informative pieces and was the springboard for me doing so.
My favourite bloggers
Me! Ha! Only kidding. I’m far too self-judgemental to consider myself one of my favourites, though I am happy with how I’m growing and progressing as a writer. I owe that to several of the people I’ve met here on WordPress. In my opinion, the best ones I’ve happened across so far are as follows;
- Eddaz for being not only a great supporter of my work from literally day one, but for being a brilliant blogger herself. Her musings always get my cogs turning (buy her eBook, Unveil the Eagle, by clicking the link).
- Kira Scribbled because she is literally one of my favourite fiction writers. Not just on WordPress. I mean ever! Her stories are simply brilliant and I really couldn’t recommend her highly enough. I wouldn’t care if she wasn’t effectively my WordPress “runnin’ dawg” and didn’t support me amazingly. Her work is so good that I’d be supportive of her regardless. If you aren’t following her then it’s your hard luck.
- I Will Not Live In Vain has been an incredible support base for everything I’ve done. She not only looks at, likes and comments on everything I do (even stuff that doesn’t necessarily interest her), but she also shares it around on other social media platforms. She’s as close as I have to a PR manager in essence. Add to that she’s a hell of a good blogger and you’ve got the whole package. Her non-fiction and fiction posts are equally brilliant. Read them for yourself if you don’t believe me.
- Mosaicca – There are certain bloggers on WordPress who have a really expressive writing style insofar as you can picture them writing/typing the post and what feelings they might be experiencing at the time of doing so. That’s exactly what I get from Charlotte aka Mosaicca. I’m not often taken by lifestyle blogs, but hers is the best I’ve come across so far. Add to that she’s an exceptionally lovely person as well. We’ve become embroiled in some great conversations over the months and I always value her input as much as I enjoy giving my input to her work. Definitely worth a follow if you aren’t doing so already.
- Klutzyhomemaker is every bit as likeable as a person as she is a blogger. She’s stepped up her game lately too and ventured out into fiction which is a very “undouchey” move on her part! Her non-fiction posts are great too and I absolutely love her frank honesty. Very quickly Klutzy has become one of my absolute favourites and reading her musings is an utter joy!
- SummerSHINES – “Sumani” and I connected several months ago and I haven’t looked back. I’ve learned so much about what sordid evils exist in this world thanks to her brutally honest blog. I respect the hell out of her! She has to be one of the bravest and most honest people I’ve ever known. Her blog definitely isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll either love it for its frankness or you’ll run away scared. I’m glad I’m of the former. The stories of her journey demand to be read.
- Flash 365 is understandably right up my street as fiction is my bag and that is all they post. Nonstop flash fiction and it’s all written to a very high standard and most all extremely surreal in nature. I would especially suggest the ongoing series “What Happened When Frank Died” that he posts every Saturday. It’s a fascinating series and each part is always completely different to its predecessor. Admittedly I feel sorry for Frank. He’s died twenty times now! Do yourself a favour and visit Flash’s blog today.
- Keri.L – Both a superb writer and a genuinely lovely person through and through. She’s been a great support of my endeavours for a while now and also pops up on other social media formats to give me a lift. Her posts are always a great read and she wears her heart on her sleeve. It’s refreshing to see what a positive influence Christianity has had in her life too.
My journey thus far
Six months. It’s passed by in lightning quick fashion and shows no signs of slowing. Blogging has been an arduous and time consuming process, but nonetheless enjoyable. It’s been fun trying to find my feet and slot into my niche; something that I’ve come to realise you’re always trying to do. I think if you find your niche and stick in it then you’re stuck full stop. For me the challenge comes from staying out of a niche and keeping yourself bouncing around; finding new ideas and keeping the variety flowing. Obviously variety isn’t what all bloggers are going for. They have a subject and run with it. There’s no harm in that at all. However, I’ve never been the kind of fella who’s happy to stick stringently to routines. I see the word “plan” and part of me dies inside. Of course it’s impossible not to go through life without some kind of plan. Not everything can be done off the cuff, but that rebel spirit will never die in me. Blogging has given me the opportunity to continue to explore that facet of my character as I continually try to mix things up. Yes, I have kept things uniform insofar as when I schedule my posts (it used to be once every three days, now it’s once every other day) and what kinds of posts get posted on those days, such as my Living the Dream and Top Five series’. What I haven’t done though is stick to one uniform style of post. I’ve ventured every angle apart from poetry (and I’m even thinking of having a stab at that soon). There is so much to talk about and I think it would be personally detrimental to stick only to one particular thing. That’s where my self-made blog strapline came from; “The world is a subject with many subcategories. Why not talk about them all?”
I’m very happy with my progress over the first six months. I can’t say if it’s gone better than I expected because I didn’t have any expectations. All I knew is that I needed to start blogging to supplement my writing ventures. If you don’t know by now that I’ve been writing novel length stories since I was twelve years old then you haven’t been keeping up with my blog at all. I’ve always been gripped by literature and have had a dream of being published for over twenty years. I finished a novel that I‘d been working on and off (mainly off for the six years rather than on) last summer and decided on blogging after reading some advice that it was a good way to build up a reputation in the writers community, get my name out there and showcase my abilities so that when I approach publishers they’ll have something to search for when they Google my name. It makes sense really.
If I’m honest I headed into blogging a little sceptically. I wasn’t sure if it would be for me at all (in those early days I didn’t know if fiction was acceptable on a blog and it was all I’d ever written), but I went ahead and got cracking anyway. I quickly got into the swing of it and found I was really enjoying writing the non-fiction stuff I was posting initially. It was fun being able to rant about things and tell stories about myself. As time progressed I got to know more and more bloggers and soon realised that fiction was an acceptable thing in blog world. With that in mind I went ahead and typed up some flash fiction (Desert Island – unique in that it was the first time I’d written from a first person perspective and I was the main character). It went down well and that started an influx of fiction work that has continued to the day. I drop the occasional flash fiction story now, but mainly work on longer stories that span over several posts (Dead End, A Survivor’s Apocalypse Story and Find Me a Find). I’m always thinking of new stories to work on and spend as much time as possible working on new posts. Blogging has become a part of who I am and I’ve met some amazing people along the way. Here’s to the next six months and beyond!
My advice to new bloggers
I see these posts a lot and I find the advice can often be quite contradictory from post to post, but here is what worked for me in three bullet points.
- Have a big picture in mind – When I started blogging I became quickly friendly with a blogger who was essentially writing a journal about her life as a mum and housewife. I always enjoyed reading it because she told it with straight honesty and very evident love for her little boy. However, it became quickly apparent that what she was doing was compensating for something that was missing in her life. When that thing she was missing suddenly reappeared she quickly gave up blogging and hasn’t been seen since. As happy as I am that things are going the way she really wished them to, it’s abundantly clear that she wasn’t blogging for the right reasons. There was no end product she was striving for. When the void in her life was filled again she dropped blogging on its head. So if you’re to start blogging then you need to decide what you’re doing it for. Have a goal for doing it. Don’t do it just to pass time. For one, your actions are discrediting those who are serious about blogging and for two, you’re essentially procrastinating. Sort your problem out the way it needs sorting. Respect the blog! If your goal is simply to do it as a hobby then be forthcoming enough to admit that to yourself and others. Just don’t do it for the sake of doing it whilst claiming there’s a deeper meaning. Do it because there’s something you want to gain from it. Keep that gain in mind every time you write up a new post.
- Don’t give up easily – If you go into this game with the idea of getting three million hits in three days then you’re very delusional. The only way that would be possible is if you were already a very famous person. If you are then disregard that. Your blog will take time and dedication to build and it will not build quickly. You have to be patient. Post frequently, but schedule it so that you aren’t tripping over yourself and don’t post daily initially. Ease your way into it. Keep your subjects relevant and don’t just post things for the sake of it. Give each post your undue attention. Prewrite a few posts to give yourself a jumpstart. Don’t concentrate too heavily on stats in the early days. You’ll drive yourself nuts. Connect with other bloggers and always respond to those who comment on your posts. It’ll get difficult to connect with everyone as time goes on and you amass more followers, but by then your blog sells itself so don’t worry too much about keeping up with every single follower you have. Just don’t give up. My stats read that between August 24th and the end of 2016 I got 4,070 hits. We’re almost at the end of February 2017 and I’ve already got almost 3,900 this year. Growth isn’t always that dramatic, but it will happen that way if you network properly. The longer you go on blogging the more popular your blog will become. Give it time and allow it the room to grow.
- Share, share, share! – It doesn’t matter how long you’ve blogged for. Don’t wait for it to gain popularity before doing so. Create a Facebook page, a Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and whatever other account you can that are directly linked to your blog (I wouldn’t suggest using personal accounts you already have, but that’s up to you) and share everything to them from the start. I have my blog set up so that every time I post it goes straight to my Paul.E.Bailey’s World Facebook page, my LinkedIn page and my Google+ page. I then share it manually to Twitter (I do it separately because otherwise I’m limited to the number of characters I can use on all formats as well as Twitter) and if there’s a certain image that sells my blog I’ll post that on Instagram and bombard it with relevant hashgtags. Trust me, hashtagging on Instagram works. I end up with at least ten likes per post; upwards of thirty on some and I only have fifty-odd followers (I started the Instagram account last month). This sort of stuff helps promote your blog and there are only benefits to be reaped from it. Share your posts on your own social media accounts by all means; I still do that. I just think it gives you a more professional edge if you have accounts that are solely for your blog and aren’t cluttered with your favourite memes, what you had for dinner or whatever else you may post on your personal profiles. Don’t be afraid to ask people directly to read your posts either. If you don’t ask you don’t get. I posted on my personal page the other day for somebody to click on the link to my blog because I was on ninety-nine views for the day and wanted to get to a hundred because it was winding me up. Because of that I ended up with nearly two hundred hits for the day. There are people out there who’ll help if you ask them for it and share your work with them.
I think that’ll do for my six month celebratory post. I’ve rambled enough I’d say. I want to end the post on a thank you to all people who have taken the time to view my blog since I started and that’s everyone. Each hit I receive helps. To those who have helped in even greater ways my appreciation increases thusly. I hope you’ll all continue to read and allow me to entertain you. There’s a whole lot more to come…
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