Sunday, June 9, 2013

One Hundred

For my 100th published post here on Potato Chip Math I thought I would delve into the history of my little corner of the blogosphere and speak to why I think it has seen so much success over the past six months.

I had blogged before, way back in the blogging heyday of 2005, but after a few years away I was getting the urge to start putting words out in the universe again. I was finally starting that screenplay I had been meaning to write for the last half decade and life was slipping into a nice little routine. Then, on March 24, 2010 I made a trip to the grocery store to pick up some snacks and uncovered a bit of math involving potato chips that got me thinking, I could blog about this. So I did.

Thanks to Tatiana Hedley
for the perfect pic

Then, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. What started as a random collection of posts, rants, and quirky facts about me started to evolve. In November 2011 I had a revelation after seeing Kevin Smith perform in Kitchener and a few months after that Kevin re-tweeted a link to something I had done. Within  half an hour my blog had more hits on a single day than my total for the previous year. Interesting.

Kev mentions me on Twitter and all hell breaks loose
on my blog (for about half an hour)

I managed to sustain a decent level of interest over the next while by putting a few things out there related to social media, specifically Twitter. Then, in July of 2011 I suffered a concussion. In an effort to work my way through this I started a little thing called 1000 Word Picture and thanks to a few writer friends and a link someone posted to Reddit I was reaching record highs.

Posting a couple times a month on a variety of topics my readership stayed fairly steady and predictable over the next 18 months. I was getting some spikes in traffic when I would comment on other people's blogs or if I posted something that struck a chord with a lot of people. Then, something happened that would change my outlook and the focus of this blog forever (or at least for the foreseeable future): I won NaNoWriMo.

50,000 words in 30 days
(it's a lot harder than it sounds)

This was such an amazing experience, not just for my writing, but also in terms of my interactions and relationships with other writers, that I decided I would use this blog for something a little more productive. I would maintain a consistent schedule of posts (something which I had difficulty with in the past) and focus my topics on my experiences and observations as an up-and-coming writer.

Then another funny thing happened on the way to the forum. My blog traffic almost doubled. Pardon? What could I have done to deserve this? Short of over analyzing this I think I can sum it up with one word:

Consistency.

We are barely into June and I've already posted more than all of last year. Hell, if I extend that into November of last year we have the fact that in the last six months I have posted 27 times. In the six months prior to that I only posted 11 times and during the same period a year ago only 10 times. That means that in the last six months I've posted more than the previous twelve months combined.

Bar Graph!

Probably the most startling statistic is that my monthly readership has increased dramatically. Now, I have been more active in reading other blogs and commenting - which goes a long way towards driving traffic to this site, but the fact remains that once I started delivering a more consistent message on a consistent schedule I started to engage with more readers. Monthly readership of Potato Chip Math has increased 40% over the last six months and more than 50% over the same time period a year ago!

Line Graph!

So there you have it. A look back at the last 99 posts and how a little blog that started about some stupid potato chips became a little bit more. If I am in any position to offer advice I will leave you with the following. Greater blog success can be achieved many ways. Content is key, but so is consistency.

  • Consistent messaging
  • Consistent theme
  • Consistent timing
  • Consistent phrasing

And if you talk to my editor for the Orange Karen short story I wrote, the most important...

  • Consistent verb tenses!

As always, thank you for being here and having read this ;)

~ Andrew

2 comments:

  1. Once you pass 100 posts, you're really in for the long haul. Glad Kevin inspired you, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading, as always. Kev did a good job lighting a bit of a fire. If all goes as planned this year - and so far it's tracking well - I'll get 53 posts done. Might set my targets on 75 for next year. We'll see ;)

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