Ten thousand hits on my blog! But what does it all mean?

Renoir Moulin Galette For the past few days I’ve been watching the stats on my blog roll climb steadily toward the 10,000 milestone, and this morning I finally made it – 10,007 hits as of 11:13 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time. But what does it all mean? Who’s reading me, and why? And are any of my blog readers buying my books? If so, it’s not yet reflected in my royalties.

When I began blogging seriously back on May Day as part of the Blog Book Tours, I imagined that I’d be writing primarily to promote my own novels, and that I’d focus on the craft and the profession of mystery writing. Instead, my posts have veered off in all sorts of directions I’d never planned, and people seem to like it that way. I enjoy reading posts by other writers who discuss the ins and outs, the ups and downs of their craft and the publishing industry, but frankly, I feel so many folks are tackling these topics so well that I don’t have that much to add.

For me, this blog has turned into a journey of self-discovery, and I’ll probably ramble on in my own quixotic fashion, writing about whatever strikes my fancy. But today, I’d like to hear from you – especially those who’ve been lurking, who seldom or never post comments. I’ve got a few questions for you:

How did you discover me, and who are you?

With a few exceptions, most of the people who comment are writer friends from the Capital Region of upstate New York or folks from my online BBT group, but that can’t account for my stats, which have been averaging well over 100 a day. So who are the rest of you?

Do you ever buy the books of authors you’ve discovered through their blogs?

 I confess to a dirty little secret here: although I’ve accumulated a list of authors whose blogs I enjoy and whose books I plan to buy, I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Among my Blog Book Tour colleagues, I found Elizabeth Spann Craig’s Pretty Is As Pretty Dies in my local Barnes & Noble and bought it instantly, and I checked out Ann Parker’s Leaden Skies from among the new releases in the East Greenbush library. But I keep procrastinating about ordering books online, knowing all too well how easy it is to run up a significant bill. I hereby promise I’ll order a bunch this week. How about you? I know budgets are tight, but have you bought any new books lately?

Do blog reading and social networking cut into the time you spend actually reading books?

Again, I plead guilty: I know I spend less time reading books than I used to. Frankly, I find this virtual online community more fascinating than books right now. Will I ever get bored – or suffer terminal eye strain from staring at a computer screen for hours – and  retreat back to the world of printed, bound pages? I honestly don’t know.

Why are you reading this blog right now? Are there topics I cover that you’d like to see more of – or less of? How can I improve?

If you’ve read this far, I assume you enjoy being here, at least to some extent, but I’m always open to suggestions. I may totally disregard them, but that’s my prerogative.

Okay, faithful readers, and especially lurkers, it’s your turn now – let me hear from you!

Today’s painting, Renoir’s “La Moulin de la Galette” from 1876, depicts an open-air cafe and dance hall favored by Parisians back in the day. A fine reflection of my festive mood!

22 thoughts on “Ten thousand hits on my blog! But what does it all mean?

  1. Hi Julie!

    I’ve found blogging has taken me in a lot of different directions, too. I love finding out more about my friends online….their books and lives. I’ll admit to spending more time online than writing, although I’m still hitting my writing goals.

    I have bought some books….and need to buy more and read more! It’s hard for me to make time for all the things that I really want to do.

    Mystery Writing is Murder

  2. Hi Julie — I’m do all the stuff you mentioned, including buying the books of BBT friends. Both of your books now rest happily near the top of my TBR stack, as well as several others I discovered through BBT or by blog-hopping. My problem is that I buy books a lot faster than I get them read — I recently reorganized the top shelves of two bookcases so I could fit more books in the available space. LOL

    For my stats, I don’t pay too much attention to hits (page loads), but focus instead on daily unique visitors. My total page loads are at 9,400 since the beginning of May, but my unique visitors average only around 30 a day, more if I tweet the post.

    In the last couple of days I found that blogging, passing on blog awards, and blog-hopping to meet new people definitely has an effect on my book sales. My sales rank jumped on amazon this weekend, and I know who bought the books that made that happen because she contacted me before she bought the books. I’m a believer.

    • Hi Patricia. Thanks for buying my books – yours is definitely at the top of my “most wanted” list. I admire you for figuring out all the subtleties of page loads, unique visitors, etc. WordPress has lots of ways of analysing this stuff, but I haven’t yet taken the time.
      I will before my blog book tour, though!

  3. Hi Elizabeth. For me, writing online is just as valid as writing books. But I admire you for having the time and discipline to do both without neglecting either.

  4. Hi Julie,
    Like you, I decided not to blog about writing and all its various aspects. I’m still confused about blog stats and what they mean and do they translate into book sales. I have purchased books by those I’ve “met” online and will continue to do so. I think it’s the least we can do to support our fellow writers. I still have more to purchase, but I’ve read six books by writers I met in BBT so far, especially those who continue to make comments on my blog.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Karen. I admire your willingness to disclose your innermost thoughts and discuss personal issues. Keep up the good work!

  5. Congratulations Julie! You know how I come to visit your blog. I do find blogging quite time-consuming, although I’ve made a few friends. Blogging does promote my book, I think, as the referrals from my blogs to my website are increasing each month. I assume some of the readers will buy the books.

    Bargain with the Devil

  6. I’m not a lurker, but I’ll chime in anyway. I enjoy visiting your blog because I know whatever you write about will be interesting and well-written. I do buy books by some of the bloggers I visit – that includes Mood Swings (which I thoroughly enjoyed, by the way). I’m just really far behind in writing reviews of these books to post on Goodreads and Amazon – but I will get it done one of these days.

    • Thanks for the compliments, Jane. I’d love it if you review Mood Swing on Amazon and Goodreads. I’m signed up with the latter but haven’t yet gotten fully involved.

  7. Okay, it’s now almost two full days since I wrote this post. Lots of new visitors in that time, but the six women who posted comments above are all members of Blog Book Tours, so I’m still mystified about all those other visits. Some folks have e-mailed me, asking how I managed to get 10,000 visits, but I still don’t have the answers!

    Dani Greer started BBT, and I don’t believe she has any new classes scheduled, but newbies can join the BBT Cafe where the alums hang out. It’s a good place to meet people who can fill you on the intricacies of hits vs. visitors, how to use Twitter effectively, etc. The link is in my sidebar and in the post above.

    I’m finally starting to plan my own Blog Book Tour – November 9 through November 20 – so I’d better be more tech-savvy by then!

    Now it’s off the computer and away to Woodstock, to visit my daughter and granddaughters in the house she just bought in August. I’ve promised Stacey I’ll measure and diagram the garden and teach her about perennials vs. weeds before the first hard freeze – which could be any day now.

  8. LOL! That’s okay, I certainly don’t expect other authors to purchase my books. After touring for many years, attending dozens of conferences & events, and going through BBT twice this year, I’ve met a lot of neat authors – and yet, I probably own less than ten of their books.

    • Hi Diane. Now that I’m going to be a guest blogger on your site to launch my BBT on November 9th, I’ll definitely check out your books.

      Frankly, although I really love the blogosphere, I believe it also behooves us to buy each others’ books. I don’t know about others, but I could definitely use the money!

  9. Hi, Julie,
    First question–I discovered you on CrimeSpace and followed you to FaceBook. Second question– yes, I do occasionally buy books by people I’ve met through on-line networking. Recently bought 5 such books-blew my Fall budget. However, Eldercide is on my next budget-list.
    Keep up the wonderful blog, Julie! I do enjoy it.

    • Thanks so much, Donna. This reminds me – I’d better get over to CrimeSpace. It’s a great site, and I haven’t been by in awhile.

  10. I stumbled upon your blog through Susan Wittig Albert’s FB page. I have read her stuff for years and am a big fan. I also have a blog and I do blog about books once in a while. I’m a member of a book club and that’s usually what I blog about. I have not read any of your books – never heard of you and seen any books that I know about. I’m a mystery fan so I’ll see what I can find of yours and try them. My blog has gone over 13,000 hits but my blog is “a little about alot” – mainly decorating, gardening, books, friends, and family. I’ve found I get more hits due to participating in other blog special events directing traffic to my blog. Leaving comments on other blogs also brings them to yours. Good luck with your writing and sales!! PAM

  11. I found your blog when I was searching for information on how to read blogger stats. For instance… today I got over 150 hits, but only 19 hits on today post. So, that must mean all the other hits on my blog came to some of my other posts. Interesting… I’ll be back to check your blog.

    I haven’t bought any books of authors I have found online, but then I’m stuck up on a mountain and don’t order online. I’m sure that if I was frequenting bookstores I would be trying out the books. I have bought Lois McMaster Bujold’s new book, Cryoburn. I’m waiting for C.J. Cherryh’s next Foreigner book.

    I find that now that I’m older I am very choosy about what I spend my time reading and although I still read as many hours as I used to I find myself rereading favorite books. Why? I love them, but also because there is a real dearth of good writing out there. And I’m picky.

    I have the time to answer and I figured that since you obviously would like to have some answers and are trying to meet your readers expectations… the least I could do is respond.

    I just went to read your latest post and do hope you are feeling better. I found that what works for me when blogging is to write about what is happening to me and not worry about meeting the readers likes or dislikes. If you want to blog do it for yourself. And I have found that the blogs I like to read are those that are like sitting down and chatting about what is important now in their lives.

    But, you need to please yourself! Stay involved in the moment with things that are positive. Works for me. Sorry this is a long comment, but I type fast and am gabby. Hope all is well with you!

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