3

Switcheroo

Last year I used this prompt and nominated Igg and friends as a blog I’d enjoy looking after for a week.

A year on I am aware of many more blogs.  In fact I am spoilt for choice for blogs to swap with.

I could swap with an almost inactive blogger and have a week off!

I do not have the skills to prepare some blog posts involving the superimposition of words on photographs.  I am not an artist or a singer/songwriter.

After thinking very hard about this challenge, I think a mutually beneficial swap is to be recommended.  A blogger I “met” during Blog Every Day in November has a new WordPress blog, but is not keen on the technical side of blogging.  I could spend a bit of time setting up a few widgets for her and she could do some writing for me, which is what she enjoys most.

May 26

Switcheroo

If you could switch blogs with any blogger for a week, with whom would you switch and why?

More on Switcheroo

http://rachbaznsime.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/switcheroo/

6

Analysis of blog stats and strategy

It is impossible to separate out all the factors which contribute to traffic to blogs. There are factors which bloggers have some control over and others which they do not. There are reasons people visit blogs and reasons they do not, which have nothing to do with the quality of the content.

Recommended ways to increase traffic:-
1. Publicise posts on other platforms, e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Google+ (including sharing with communities)
2. Link with relevant challenges, e.g. Daily Prompt on WordPress, #BEDN (Blog Every Day in November) and/or #BEDM (Blog Every Day in May), Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge
3. Take part in competitions
4. Write Guest Blog posts
5. Comment on blogs with relevance to your own

My “What’s New” page (on Sue’s considered trifles) is a history of my blogging journey. Because my blogs are not well-known, I can track the reasons for spikes in my traffic.
One spike in views on my first blog arose when I alerted a RL friend to my blogging activities after publishing a poem about the school we attended. She had never read a blog before!
The maximum on my second blog arose on Christmas Eve, when I took part in a blog hop with many of the A to Z community, posting a prayer for Christmas Eve.
Many of the comments on my blogs are pingbacks, generated when other posts link to mine. I have eliminated those from my totals in parentheses for 2 May 2014 in the tables below. I am unable to extract my own pingbacks from my comment totals.
Entering the UK Blog Awards did increase the number of views and followers of my blogs. I have widgets on each of my blogs to attempt to lure visitors across. Sometimes this works!
It is impossible to know how much the growth in traffic is due to one cause rather than another.

Reasons people do not read a particular post include:-
1. Holiday times (can go either way)
2. Sporting fixtures
3. Good weather
4. Failure to publicise
5. Not commenting/liking other posts

My most popular posts and pages on Sue’s considered trifles are:-

Title Views
Home page / Archives 2,114
About 368
Hands, knees and boomps-a–daisy 76
Links 66
How did I get here? 59
Good, better, best 54
Bread and butter – Food and drink (Part 4) 50
I’m a bookworm, are you? 47
Contents 39
Index 39
Writing 39
Introduction to Sue’s considered trifles 38
Hints and tips 34
What’s new? 32
That’s funny! 30
Do you roll your R’s? 27
Crash, bang, wallop 26
Pegging out 26
Dear School 26
Bonfire Night 25
How are you? 25
My favourites 25
Music 24
Sweet and savoury – Food and drink (Part 3) 22
With hindsight 22

For Sue’s Trifles my most popular posts are:-

Title Views
Home page / Archives 997
Cathedral Window Patchwork Pincushion 192
About 127
Tips for new bloggers from A to Z on wordpress.com 99
Christmas Eve prayer 93
UK Blog Awards 2014 66
A to Z Challenge 2013 63
Three men 58
Superpower 57
All is revealed 55
Twenty six 55
The key to success 54
When was the last full moon? 50
Let it not snow! 45
Too soon (or too late?) 44
Back to school 41
Alphabetical challenge 41
Quirk of habit 39
What every blogger should know 37
My blogging year – 2013 in review 37
Blog Every Day in November 37
What do you know? 37
A book review for World Book Day 37
A is for… 36
Politically correct? 35
B is for… 35
Reading matter 33
Stardom 32
Contents 31
A is for… 31
A great teacher 31
Looking forward to Blogging from A to Z in April 30
Wave power 30
Knock, knock  30

The organisers of the UK Blog Awards promised that they would help unknown blogs to grow. I believe that this was true, but involved a considerable amount of effort from the bloggers.

Here are some snapshots of my stats for both blogs during the time my blogs were entered for the UK Blog Awards and soon after the awards evening.

Sue’s considered trifles

Date Total views Best daily total Com-ments Fol-
lowers
Com-ments by Sue Posts Notes
16 Dec 2013 3815 49 682 253 195 164 After #BEDN
27 Jan 2014 4135 49 700 273 179 After public vote
5 Apr 2014 4620 50 714 314 198
20 Apr 2014 4763 50 720 330 202
2 May 2014 4885 50 728 (456) 337 206 After UKBA14

 

Sue’s Trifles (I was posting daily to this blog from before #BEDN to 2nd May)

Date Total views Best daily total Com-ments Fol-
lowers
Com-ments by Sue Posts Notes
16 Dec 2013 2974 52 883 133 171 After #BEDN
27 Jan 2014 3905 71 1183 170 After
public
vote
5 April 2014 5474 71 1703 238
20 April 2014 5775 71 1831 246 325
2 May 2014 6007 71 1904 (955) 252 440 337 After UKBA14

 

 

14

UK Blog Awards 2014 – the Awards Evening

It was a long time since I had been out to meet a large gathering of people, who were all new to me – although I had interacted with a few on social media.

The first blogger I met was Helen of www.kiddycharts.co.uk – we chatted for a while as we gathered up the courage to go off and meet other people.
Most people, who had not already formed groups of more than two or three, were friendly. More people approached me than I accosted. There were bloggers, judges (I met one of the education category judges and his PA), press, social media professionals, friends and family of bloggers and the co-workers of some of the above-mentioned.
The majority of people were from London and the south of England, although I did meet two people from Scotland and the organisers, Gemma and Becki, are based in Preston.
Two other bloggers had requested me to represent them at the Awards Evening. The first to do so was Arlee Bird, the founder of the Blogging from A to Z in April Challenge. For any new readers, this is a challenge which has been run for five years. It is increasing in popularity and attracted over 2000 participants worldwide this time.
The other request I had was to represent another short-listed entrant, who was unable to attend. He is Fletch the Perchcrow, a scarecrow who lives in the garden at Wordsworth’s House in Cockermouth, Cumbria. This National Trust property was the childhood home of William and Dorothy Wordsworth.
Before the awards were announced those present circulated, while drinking sparkling wine and eating kebabs and other tasty morsels.
I recognised the Fairy Blog Mother, Alice Elliott from her photos online and she introduced me to her friends. Then she had a turn on the Luma Wall, designing a bag. At first I didn’t want to have a go, but after watching her and seeing how easy it looked, I designed my own bag.
I was told it would be ready in a few minutes, but the print queue became very long and I hadn’t received my bag by the time I went to sit down ready for the presentation of the awards.
My blogs were both short-listed in the education category. I had looked at the blogs of the opposition and knew that mine had little chance of being selected. I was more relieved than disappointed, when they were not even highly recommended.  The winners are listed here.
Afterwards my bag proved somewhat elusive, but I spotted it for myself and was very pleased with it. It will be a reminder of a very special evening.

Sue's Trifles Bag
Bag designed on the Luma Wall at the UK Blog Awards Evening

I showed it to Gemma, by way of introduction. She must be familiar with the names of all the short-listed blogs. Later I met Becki and we had an interesting conversation. She had been very busy live-tweeting the proceedings for those who were not present.
One of the bloggers, who had taken part in two other challenges I had done or was doing (Blog Every Day in November #BEDN and the #atozchallenge), was a winner. This was very helpful to me, as I had been hoping to meet her, but without a smart phone to Tweet to her I was unsure how to find her. She is the OCD Squirrel. We had also taken part in a few #bloghour sessions on Twitter in the build-up to the awards evening.
Two other delightful young ladies, who introduced themselves to me, are Raj of secretweddingblog.com and her sister Rita of ritadharar.com.
The charity chosen by the UK Blog Awards’ organisers was The National Autistic Society. I was happy to buy raffle tickets for this as I have friends who are affected by autism.
I am sure the UK Blog Awards will go from strength to strength. I do not intend to take part again, but I am sure that my blogs have had more views and gained more followers through being entered than if I hadn’t bothered.
My memorable evening gave me lots to talk about to my family and friends in the following days. I may even have more to write here another day about the benefits of joining in.