Posts Tagged blogging

About About Me

This is going to be a somewhat meta post.  It’s also going to cover some ground that I’ve seen covered before, but trying to approach it in a more specific direction.  See that second tab just below my name?  The one that says “About Me”?  According to Google Analytics, if you’re reading this blog there’s about a 10% chance you’re going to click that tab.  I’ll pull back the curtain and show you the actual numbers in fact.  These are the stats since January 1 of this year on page views for this site:

Yeah, I know, not setting the world on fire, am I?  But that’s not the point.  The point is that of nearly 600 page views for the main page, there were 56 page views of my About page.  It’s about a 9.4% rate of people clicking through to learn more about me.  I may have some pages or posts that end up more specifically popular in the short term (right now it’s my post about acceptance in Memory Eater) but the about page is the all time star of the site.

Which I took as a lesson in the importance of making that page accessible, making it accurate, and keeping it up to date.  That’s my face to the world, the longer biography, the links to my presence on social media websites, my email address.  It’s who I am, it’s how to contact me.  And for a writer, contact is one of the most important things we have going for us.  It’s how we network, how we talk to other writers, to editors, to publishers, to anthologists, to fans, and those conversations are all important ones.

Check out your own stats, whether you’re using Analytics, Jetpack, or another site visit tracking software.  See how many people are looking at your about page, then make sure that you’re giving them something you want them to see.  Gotta say, looking at those stats really drove it home for me more than any blog post I’ve seen about the importance of an “about” page, and made me update my about page with new information.

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State of the Writer: March

Time again for my monthly look at where I stand, and where I’m going.  Really, this is a bit of recap since I already made a post declaring March as short story editing month.  February saw no news on submitted stories, nor any new stories submitted.  March should see two going out, one that needs and edit, and one that I’m frantically trying to finish for an April 1 deadline but haven’t yet finished the first draft.

Calendars can be scary things.

February was one of my more productive months in far too long.  I’ve always been a momentum writer and I lost a lot of that momentum for most of 2010.  I think this blog is helping me stage the comeback, because even though readership is light according to Google Analytics, it still forces me to look in a mirror occasionally and say “what are you doing if you want to keep calling yourself a writer?”

I was looking for a good anthology to be my next challenge, and can’t seem to find one that really calls to me.  Okay, that’s a lie, I found one that interested me, but I can’t get behind “exposure is your payment” type things.  Sorry, exposure doesn’t get me closer to SFWA membership.  And really, exposure-as-payment deals typically don’t have all that much of the former and thus lack even more in the latter.  So that’ll probably be even more incentive for March to be an editing month.

And who knows, maybe if I get both stories where I like them, even doing some Capsule work.

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I’m back, baby!

So here’s what happened.  A few months ago, while I was creating my new blog I somehow managed to corrupt my old blog’s database in some horrible unrecoverable way.  At that time, it had been over a year since I’d gotten any comments on the blog, and hadn’t made a new post in several months.  Additionally, I was relying largely on Unleaded to replace my blog, since I was making weekly posts there.  And that was okay, but there was something I missed about having a blog.

Well, this weekend is Capclave here in DC.  And, among the other panels I sat in on, one was hosted by Tee Morris about what a writer’s presence on the internet should be.  It really just inspired me to reopen this blog and start it again from scratch.  And hopefully use it a lot better than I ever used it before.

Gone:  The old name of the blog.  It was such a spur of the moment decision that I liked less and less as I went (and really constrained post titles in a way that was starting to annoy me).

Gone:  Never updating.  Hopefully.

New:  I have an email address!  I mean, I’ve always had one, but now I’ve got an address @DLThurston.com  It feels so professional.

New:  Short stories.  I’m planning on posting the occasional flash piece here.  The plan is for the series to be called “Fortnightly Stories”, which will create a much better schedule than the old Thing A Week idea did.

New:  Twitter!  Well, not yet, but part of the Tee Morris talk had me thinking that maybe it’s time for me to stop being Mr. Luddite Head when it comes to Twitter and Facebook.  Except only Twitter.  My wife actually grumped at Tee for this, “why did you tell my husband to join Twitter?”  To make it clear, he didn’t tell me.  If I make the decision it’s of my own accord.

Gosh.  New blog.  Or renewed blog.  I’m going to see if I can backdate some posts and bring over some of my Unleaded contributions.  Unfortunately, everything else is just gone.  It’s a shame, but it was time to get the hell over it and get started again.

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