It’s perfect timing. Spring arrived along with its newness and growth. Many of us will celebrate Easter this Sunday with its message of life.
And in the middle of that, Darla Writes, turned six months old on April 1.
Looking back to the beginning of my new writing life was very entertaining. It also gave me the idea to share with you a few statistics and thoughts. Here’s a summary of what’s happened with the blog since October 1, 2011, the launch date, and what’s to come.
Time from idea to launch
Ten months. My idea to create a blog for new writers came in January 2011. Between then and October, I looked at every WordPress theme at least five times and finally settled on Pagelines Platform. I discovered Tentblogger and poured through John’s advice for creating an effective blog. Since I have a full-time day job and work occasionally as a freelance business service, I used late evenings and weekends to work on the blog. Everything but the site host (I use BlueHost) had to be free. It was tough, but knowing I was moving towards the writing life was enough inspiration to keep going.
First blog post
July 4th: Free to Write. Though I wrote this post in July, it wasn’t published until I launched the blog in October. It was one of several that I wrote in advance to have content in place. I reposted it in 2012.
In response to Write a Novel in a Month with NaNoWriMo. Ten days after the launch, I saw “1” in my Comments Waiting bubble. I felt that thrill you get after your hard work pays off. The comment was made by a reader of my writing collection, Afternoon Tea. Sonia has been a faithful blogging friend since I first went public with Tea, which was ten months before I launched Darla Writes.
Natalie Sharpston. I found her blog for writers while researching NaNoWriMo. She was about to go on hiatus from blogging and encouraged me in my new writing life. Natalie is blogging again, so be sure to visit her site. A growing list of subscribers is a great encouragement to bloggers.
First offsite promotion
Facebook. I joined Facebook in October 2011, the same month I launched Darla Writes. From writing snob to Facebook friend, I’ve done a one-eighty on the social media front. Since I made it my mission to learn about and use these tools, I’ve joined Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. There’s no way around it, writers: the twenty-first century requires participation in social media. It’s an important part of the writing life if you’re on a journey towards publication. Once you accept that fact, you’ll become a cheerleader for social media, as I am now. Just be sure to use them as tools; don’t let them become a hindrance to your craft.
Most popular post
Interview questions. Ten questions I’ll be asking a published author has the most views of any post I’ve written. Be sure to read the questions left in the comments.
Top 10 posts
- Ten questions I’ll be asking a published author
- Kreativ Blogger award for Darla Writes
- Start building your online presence: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn
- Copyright basics for writers: What is copyright?
- You can write fiction without using profanity
- The Hunger Games: Is this writing’s future?
- Know your writing terms: Story and plot
- Writers, rejection, and the Stockdale paradox
- Practice the craft of writing in your everyday work
- John Steinbeck on getting started with writing
Included within these Top Ten posts are all three of my main content categories: inspiration, resources, and technology. What’s interesting to note is that a technology topic, though it’s high on the list, is only listed once. That tells me that we are most interested in our craft and how to become better writers.
The number one post reveals to me that not only do we want to write well, but we also have a great desire to share that writing with others.
Number of views
Nine hundred sixty-nine (969). That’s an average of 160 visits per month. October 2011 had 99 views; March 2012 had 343 views. Statistic watching is a favorite activity of bloggers, and I only compare my blog stats to the previous month’s numbers, not any other blogs.
Number of subscribers
Ninety-two (92). This number includes those who subscribe to both Darla Writes and Afternoon Tea via email, RSS, Facebook, and Twitter. It’s fulfilling to know that people are interested in my work and what I share about the writing life. I appreciate all my current subscribers and look forward to seeing that number grow.
If you haven’t subscribed yet, here’s your chance. Click this nifty Subscribe button, or one of the other links, and sign up today. It’s free, easy, and you’ll never miss a post. Plus, I had a great time creating the button just for this post.
If you know a new writer who would benefit from what I share, be sure to send a link to Darla Writes. (You can copy and paste those words and link right into an email — easy!)
A new focus. When I started last year, I had big plans to attract all types of writers to my blog. Blog experts, though, advise a narrow focus, so I’ll be concentrating on fiction writing. With that will come a new blog header and tag line, and, most importantly, better post content as I concentrate on one area.
What’s in it for you?
There are hundreds of thousands of writer sites in the blogosphere. Your choice to spend time at Darla Writes is a huge honor for me. I will work hard to make your visit worthwhile with posts on topics relevant to the new writer. Thank you for visiting. You can contact me with questions and suggestions, and I’ll reply within 24 hours. I’ll continue to share with you what I learn, as I work to become a better writer and a published author.