2014 In Review – My Blog’s Annual Report

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,300 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy Birthday Blog

Happy Birthday to my blog, that turned a year old on March 26th!

Birthday Cake Ideas for a One-Year-Old Girl thumbnail

 

My personal goal of exceeding 5000 page views was reached, thank you readers! The blog now has 75 subscribers, and I hope this year will see more than 75 new readers join them.

I think I read somewhere that page views and blog participation grows over time (with the exception of a Freshly Pressed hit, which sky rockets a blog into the stratosphere in one day.) My blog has been the tortoise, not the hare, and I’ve seen a slow and steady increase in page views and participants. For example, this month (which doesn’t end for 2 more days…) already has the highest number of page views at around 730 views so far.

So this year I will have to set a new goal – reaching a 1000 page view month! I think I’m up for the challenge, with your help of course. ūüôā

Although I did a wrap up post in early January, looking back at 2011 as my first calendar year, this blog birthday feels good. It’s a milestone in persistence. Isn’t that what being a writer is all about? I think so.

I get mushy when I think about the many writers who have signed up for my blog and comment regularly. It’s gratifying to be part of the community and I love how we help and encourage each other. It’s a huge motivator that keeps me going when it comes to the blog.

Although I don’t talk about my personal life much, and stay focused on writing as my subject most of the time, I’ll say the past twelve months have been challenging for me personally. I’m healthy thank goodness, but there are other things going on which have disrupted my life and which I continue to deal with…it’s good to know you are all out there, reading, and being so supportive. It does mean a lot, to me. Thanks.

 

2011 Roundup – Highlights of My Inaugural Blogging Year

On March 26, 2011 I began this blog with the auspicious post: “Is This Thing On” with a two word revelation: Hello World!

Yeah, I had no freaking clue what blogging was about, or what I signed myself up for. Even though blogging is a ridiculous amount of work, I’m happy with my inaugural year results.

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THE NUMBERS:

  • 134 postings¬†created during 2011, and over 600 tags used. Some months, like June 2011 had only 1 posting, while others, like December 2011 had 23. (To look at the postings of a full month go to the calendar in the far right column of my blog towards the bottom and you can hover over any date to see what was posted, or move between months with ease.)
  • Pages were viewed more than 3000 times in 2011! I’m proud of that stat! I couldn’t have done it without YOU the reader,¬†coming to see what the heck I had to say. Which leads me to….
  • There are 432 comments on my blog. Because I reply to nearly every comment, about half of them are mine. Of the rest, my top commenters are: Wren Andre http://wrenandre.wordpress.com, Patrick of Sporting Sense, Scribbla http://scribbla.wordpress.com and Louise Jacques of My Other Book is a Tolstoy. You four have been my strongest participants in this blog and have enhanced it tremendously with your inputs. THANK YOU! And thanks to everyone else who commented too!
  • Speaking of participants, 47 people have followed my blog since inception. I had no idea¬†2 people would want to read what I had to say, nevermind 47. It’s exciting to see this number increasing over time.

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FLASH FICTION:

There are 10 flash fiction stories posted directly to the blog. Some of my favorites are: Fallen,  and Graduation Day.

Click on the tag “Flash Fiction” in my Tag-a-licious Cloud in the left column of my blog and flash fiction tagged posts will come up in a list.

AUDIO! On at least two of my posts, Flash Fiction: Traveler’s Journey and Flash Fiction: Consider the Pomegranate you can listen to me reading my work. I’ll be posting more of these audio clips in 2012.

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SHORT STORIES:

13 stories or flash pieces have been published by small press journals, or are forthcoming in Q1 2012. All of these are listed on my Published Stories page. Yay!

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PHOTOS:

I’m surprised by this number – I’ve got 175 photos posted to the blog. That seems like a lot to me, I hope you enjoyed them.

If you want to see a more composed view of my photographs, please visit my Shutterfly site: http://cdeminskiphotos.shutterfly.com

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HUMOR:

There are 15 pieces on the blog tagged as Humor. (Click on the Tag-A-Licious cloud under Humor.) These pieces are the hardest for me to write, and I’m never sure if they’re all that funny unless you tell me you enjoyed them (which you do, thanks…)

One of my most clicked posts is Funniest Tweets Ever. I’m not sure if this post still holds up, you can be the judge of that.

Here are the humor posts I like best:

  • Girl’s Guide to Living With a Sports Fan
  • What Upper West Siders Did During the Hurricane
  • Reasons Why Fran Lebowitz Has Writer’s Block
  • Reasons Why Your Short Story Was Rejected
  • A Fairytale – NYC Style (a re-write of Snow White)

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I look forward to entertaining you all for another year. 2012 – here we come.

An Investigative Inquiry About Clickages

Dear readers, I’ve noticed something quite peculiar about my blog, and I’m wondering if you have experienced the same thing?

About 50% of my posts have Links¬†to other things, whether references to places I’ve visited in real life, points of interest on the web, photographs, and most importantly to me – links to my stories – and guess what? You don’t click them. You don’t click them longtime. ūüė¶

How is it I’ve come to know this, you ask? Well, on the WordPress Dashboard there is a “Clicks” area which shows which links were clicked (pretty sneaky, right?)

Why is it readers don’t click on any links, hardly ever?

Can some magical blog guru out there please explain why this is so? I thought people liked links?

I’m so confooosed about this one.

Thanks for listening…

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CODA – I found a Copy Blogger article online that says people need you to insert the words “Click Here” so people will know to click. Really? That seems too simple to me. ¬†But according to the stats quoted, using “Click Here” can lift click rates by up to 8%. Soooo, if you’d like to read the Copy Blogger article….. uh, Click Here.

Thanks a lot

I have to wonder who put the “thanks” in Thanksgiving? Was it the pilgrims and¬†the indians? And in modern day America, do we still truly give thanks – during these challenging times – at Thanksgiving?

A friend of mine volunteers at a soup kitchen in Harlem every Thanksgiving. In some years when he’s eaten at my house (I love cooking a big holiday meal) he comes in all aglow and energized by his experience. I think it’s great he does the work, and he obviously enjoys working with the community.

Another friend of mine was born in Greece and although he’s lived in the U.S. for several decades, he brings Greek specialties to my Thanksgiving dinners of yore. Squares of flaky pastry spanikopita, or boxes of creamy Greek desserts or baklava adorn my table.

This year has been wierd for me, a kind of Dickensian “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times” type deal – and I’ve been thinking about all the things I have in my life to give thanks for and there’s a lot.

In the spirit of my blogging life , I’m thankful to have an audience of readers who engage with me on many issues related to my writing life and my journey as a writer. I’m thankful to have met so many wonderful people from all over the U.S., Africa, Australia¬†and the entire world who’ve applauded my victories and encouraged me to keep going. Many have provided valuable advice, friendship¬†and mentorship along the way.

So when you sit down to Thanksgiving dinner this year, think about all you have to be thankful for Рno matter how tough things can  get, there are always people in life who make it worth while and cheer you on so you can keep going.

I wish you all a healthy, happy and very thankful Thanksgiving.

Three Annoying Kinds of Blog Posts

Hello Campers!

Today campers, we’re going to learn about three annoying types of blog posts.¬† This will count towards your “best blogger badge” which also requires you to learn how to tie seven kinds of knots, wrestle a black bear, and mix a variety of cocktails for the counselors.

Guiding Light

In keeping with not annoying your reader, you may want to open your blog post with humor. This gets the audience warmed up and creates a sense of anticipation, which hopefully, you will not disappoint.

1) The first kind of annoying blog post is what I’ll call:¬† The Whine. (Not the good kind.)

This kind of blog post starts out telling you the blogger is bored. The blogger doesn’t have anything good to write about. The blogger can’t find enough topics. They don’t have enough time to blog. The blogger wonders¬†why¬†no one visits their blog by writing it in the blog.

Campers, this is laziness, pure and simple. It’s bad enough that you, the reader, are taking the time to read their blog. What’s¬†worse is, if the blogger had been more inventive, they could have created a marginally interesting post. Either that or they could stop blogging and go play in traffic which, under the right circumstances, could be entertaining.

2) The second garden variety of annoying blog post is: The Careless Blogger

Careless Blogger writes with impunity, mistakenly thinking that whatever is written in the blog doesn’t need to be spell checked or have facts straight. If Careless Blogger says that Italy is a province of Switzerland, then so be it. If Careless Blogger makes up fake stuff about their favorite movie star, hey, what the heck. If Careless Blogger says they invented popcorn, it must be so.

Now, this is NOT the same person as “oops I misspelled a word” blogger. That is totally different. “Oops Blogger” made a mistake, which is human and we the reader can forgive such an accident, especially¬†when the quality of other posts doesn’t have such errors.

Careless Blogger needs (aside from an attitude adjustment) to be introduced to the Interweb. The Interweb, (aka the ‘net, the Matrix, Al Gore’s network) is a handy tool to ensure you don’t LOOK like an idiot in your posts even if you are actually an idiot. You can look anything up on the Interweb, from maps of Italy to the Wiki link on popcorn (with 27 references!) Try it, you’ll like it.

3) The third kind of annoying blog post is: Writer’s Block

This blogger is similar to the whiner, but focuses all their energy on writer’s block. They want to tell you they have writer’s block, you could suffer from writer’s block, and the vitamins you should take to get over writer’s block. All I can say about that is bleh. BO-ring. Zzzzzz….

If you’re going to write about writer’s block, you must do it only when entertaining your audience so they can have a good laugh at your torturous misfortune.

Let’s review what we learned today campers:

1. It’s important to know how to make a good cocktail

2. If you met Al Gore in the Matrix, you’d know how to look up the genetic origins of popcorn

3. Fran Lebowitz is a genius, and on her worst writing days, is still funnier than me

and finally,

4. If you’re gonna have a blog, make ’em laugh.

It’s Official – My Best Month Ever for Blog Hits

Several days ago I wrote a post about how I might increase my blog hits and get more readers for my blog and I got a zillion responses to that post (you know who you are) which were very helpful. (Thank you.)

One of the top suggestions was posting to the blog more frequently. Although the idea of posting 4 or 5 times a week was daunting, painful, intimidating, terrifying…you get the idea…I decided to take on the challenge as an experiment. What the heck, I said to myself, it’s worth a try.

Now, it’s up to you out there in blog-land to determine whether or not you’ve enjoyed the posts as much as posts prior to the experimental phase which kicked in about 2 weeks ago, but hopefully my posting quality has not suffered. I’m still trying to bring you my most tortured thoughts, my publishing triumphs (few and far between as they may be) and the occasional humorous rant (have you read the one about the lucky underwear?)

ANYWHO… the bottom line is: IT WORKED!

As of today I will surpass the best blog hit month I’ve ever recorded! Muahahahaha!

It’s not an insane number or anything, but previously 329 hits per month is the absolute best I had achieved in this seven month period, but October will surpass that today. I have no idea how many hits I’ll have by the end of the month, but it would be AMAZING if I wind up having my first-ever 400 blog hit month. Now, I don’t want jinx myself, but if I write at least something reasonably amusing for y’all, I may just get there.

I’ll let you all know.

Thank you for listening to me continue to rant about this…I know I’m obsessed.

A Kindle, a Kindle, I have a Kindle…

I am SO excited РI just got my Kindle delivered today!  I opened it up and ooohed and aaaahed over the lovely glare-free screen, the sleek buttons and the cute little black leatherette carry case that came with it.

But after my initial rush of Kindle-adrenaline, I got to thinking. Hmmm – I could actually read BLOGS on my Kindle! Wow – what a thought!

I’m not exactly sure yet how to read blogs on my Kindle, but I know it can be done and I am going to investigate that, dear readers, and let you know what I find out.

For those who are already super-duper Kindle/blog saavy, please please feel free to leave helpful comments and suggestions – I can use them!