WordPress: Yell Into the Echoing Void

Darth Vader

First of all, I do how one beef with a WordPress change.  Where in the world is the Underline toggle?  I see Italics and Bold.  No sign of underlining, which is a fairly common practice.  I have to use Ctrl-U every time, which seems to go against the idea of making things easier and more user-friendly.

On to the real topic, which is . . . How is everyone doing out in Blog Land?

I ask because my traffic has been pretty bad.  Likes seem to flow in pretty easily, but not much in the way of comments.  I was thinking it was just me since I haven’t been reliable in my book releases, I’m running out of interesting topics, and I’m still having bouts with depression.  Yet, I do see people wondering the same thing, so maybe it’s an across the board issue.  Wordpress might be losing some of its luster from when I started a few years ago.

Can’t say I’m surprised or that I think it’s permanent.  I think there’s only one person from my first few months of blogging that I still interact with and/or see activity from.  Many have disappeared, taken a short break that led to disappearing, openly quit, became nothing more than reblogs, or just left my circle.  Not that I have much of a circle to begin with.  I’ve been seeing a lot of groups turn up, which is cool.  Remembering my own time in one of those, I can only imagine the dedication going into those.  Time and energy aren’t in abundance with me right now.  The little I have tends to be shifted toward my own projects because I really want to finish Legends of Windemere this year.  Not that I’m bored with the series, but it’s written and I feel I should get the whole thing out there before my life takes more unexpected downturns.

Back on topic, I do wonder if more bloggers and authors are receding into their own corners because traffic is lower.  There’s a rise in newsletters and I’ve seen some authors do those only with no blog activity.  Maybe something on Facebook, but they go silent or show up with less consistency than before.  So, is the blogging platform becoming a dinosaur like Myspace and launching books through open windows?  That last one might be more of a potential felony than a dinosaur thing.  Guess I’m just trying to figure out what’s going on or if it’s just me.

So, how has your blog been doing?  Any changes that you’ve made that improved performance?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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95 Responses to WordPress: Yell Into the Echoing Void

  1. Lucy Brazier says:

    I have definitely noticed a difference in who comments and visits these days, could it be that the blogging community is somewhat transitory? But this is certainly something I have noticed a fair few bloggers mentioning just recently. Perhaps the unprecedented world events are distracting everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My stats are pretty much the same. Of course, my formula is standardized to the point where regulars know when they can come in or not. I keep it light and have noticed the only time my stats dip is when I’m promoting another author or my books. I confine that activity to one day a week so overall there is not much of a fall off.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. twixie13 says:

    Blog traffic…*watches a tumbleweed roll by* Well, there’s that friendly tumbleweed that drops in every so often. Though to be fair, I tend to have trouble thinking of what to post much of the time and there are times that my workaholic streak takes over and I don’t get around to posting all that much. The most traffic I’ve gotten in recent months was a character interview, and I’ve been considering doing those a bit more. The issue there is figuring out questions for the interview, even if it ends up being one of my characters that asks them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I heard that tumbleweed has 5,000 followers. I’m with you on the topic problem. Been at this for so long that it feels like I’ve done everything. I try to take a night to think up things and wander other sites for inspiration. News articles can help, but those haven’t done much for my lately. Character interviews can be fun. I think people like seeing behind the curtain.

      Like

  4. Ares . Three says:

    I’m new here so can’t comment on much regarding stats, but to answer your question the underline toggle is in the advanced panel: http://i.imgur.com/XuykjdY.png

    Like

  5. Interesting. My blog is hit and miss right now. My regulars are pretty solid, and I get some RRBC action fairly regularly. I think they’re still there, but they’re shopping selectively. Post a few word metrics and it stays quiet. Post a picture of your new bulldog puppy and stats go through the roof.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m seeing that too with the pics I posted of my son. I got more from that than yesterday’s post. A few years back, it felt like people were more interested in the author’s life than their work. At least for author blogs. I wonder if that’s become stronger. Do you think being in RRBC helps your blog stats in general?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Very few comments nowadays.

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  7. Like you, I use the old style post format and have to used Cmd-U on my Mac – I don’t like the new, improved, uninspiring, dull, bits missing, yucky, advanced post format 😝
    My blog traffic is higher than likes suggest (which are still good) and see the regular commenters chatting, but because my posts are by others, they are the folks chatted to (which is how it should be) 🐵

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  8. Traffic to my blog is about the same as it’s always been – low but consistent. I’ve never been very active on WordPress – like you, I need to use my small supply of energy for writing books.

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  9. fictionspawn says:

    Mine is going the right way, really, traffic is steadily increasing. Could be increasing faster, of course, but still…

    Like

  10. N. N. Light says:

    Okay, I have a millisecond between diving into my next item on my to-do list today so I’ll give you my thoughts on blogging and stats. 🙂

    I’ve been blogging almost every day since 2013 and I find, like everything else in life, it ebbs and flows. Depending on the season and time period, people comes and go. So far in April, my likes and comments are down about 25%. But there’s a lot going on in the world between various spring breaks, NHL/NBA playoffs, A to Z Challenge (blogging thing) and writers finishing up manuscripts, etc. I try not to jump to conclusions (followers fleeing because I said something they didn’t like) but I just keep plowing along.

    I agree with Craig, with my affiliations with ASMSG and IAN, I find consistency as far as stats go. The members know first-hand how difficult it is to maintain a blog while churning out books. I return the favor whenever I can find a minute.

    Charles, I hear you on the blog topic blockage and I’m going through that myself right now. Trying to create original posts to not only draw people in but keep the long-suffering followers tuned in.

    Interesting about what appeals to readers and what doesn’t. We’re all busy and yet show us a dog/cat/animal image and we tend to stop and read. Maybe there’s some hidden psychology there. My Friday Book Round-Up posts draw huge numbers on the weekends, usually.

    As for the WP post template, I’m using the new one and while it’s boring ‘ol blue, it gets me in and out of the dashboard quicker than the old format. I just wish they’d stop moving things. It makes my job harder. lol!

    Goodness, I wrote a lot here. Sorry about the book but I guess I had a lot of thoughts. lol! Back to the grindstone…

    Like

    • I’ve been seeing a down tick in comments more than anything else, which is what has me curious. Being someone who enjoys the interaction side of things, I miss that part. Funny that you mention A to Z because I didn’t see that at all this month. One person I know was doing the NaNoWriMo thing, so I wondered if those lost power too. I’ve used ASMSG and IAN on twitter more than here, but they’re certainly useful.

      Maybe pictures are easier to respond to than words. See a cute picture and you can get away with an ‘awwww’, but that doesn’t work with something that isn’t as visual. I’m going to see how the Sunday picture post goes, which will be an interesting test.

      Good luck with the grindstone.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I only started blogging in October so can’t really say if there are less comments. There are a lot of posts from lots of people so I look for topics that interest me and read those one’s. I have noticed with my own blog that either a snappy title or a good picture seems to draw comments.

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    • It took me a few months to figure out that pictures and videos could help. Things certainly improved after that change. I haven’t done a WordPress topic search in a while. Makes me wonder if they still have the Freshly Pressed thing.

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  12. I’ve seen less views on my blog recently, but I’ll admit I haven’t been blogging as much as I did a few years ago. I should be writing a post right now in fact, but I’m at a loss for ideas right now.
    I’ve never gotten many comments, I’ve tried different things to engage people, but I’ve more or less given up on getting comments now.
    I have seen more traffic whenever I write the word cat though…

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    • Cats always bring people in. You’d think nobody’s allergic to them. It’s definitely getting harder to think up topics after you’ve been blogging for a few years. Humor seems to work for getting people in, but not as much as it used to. Funny thing is that this post is the best I’ve had with comments in a while. Guess giving a platform for people to gather and release a shared frustration and opinions is a good way to go too.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. L. Marie says:

    I’ve noticed an ebb and flow too. Some of that might have to do with people reading less in general. When I ride the train into Chicago, I see most of the people I see are staring at their phones. When I happen to see what they’re staring at, I usually discover Instagram photos or Facebook threads.

    I only post once a week. Since I never know which posts will be attention grabbing to someone else, I usually post what resonates with me. If someone else enjoys it, that’s great!

    Like

    • True. Shorter posts and platforms to simply opine get more attention than informative or long stuff. Makes me worry about when I’m posting the Bedlam stuff in a month or two. We’re certainly becoming more of a picture-oriented society, which is a shame.

      How is your blog doing with the one post a week?

      Like

  14. This is one of the ironies of Internet communication. It sounds like you say one word and fans will come flocking. But, they really don’t. It takes time and patience. People do come and go.

    My traffic doesn’t seem like it’s dropped off, but it wasn’t that big to begin with. I think after 5 years I have 200 followers. Of those, five or six “like” my posts regularly. One or two actually comment. Some, I’ve noticed, don’t respond to my posts unless I’ve responded to one of theirs. I’m not sure if that’s an intentional “do me first” or they follow so many blogs that they don’t remember mine unless they see my comment.

    I do stay focused on my topic, dragons. Although, I have a wide definition and for instance will cover things like Leafy Sea Dragons and hoaxes involving dragons. I get most comments on the dragon posts that have to do with folklore from outside the US/Europe. Asian dragon stories are especially popular.

    Does it sell books? Hard to say. At least I seem to get positive interest when I feature one of my books, every 2 – 3 weeks.

    Like

    • There’s a big thing about reciprocation on the Internet. People won’t talk to you unless you talk to them first. I see it a lot on Twitter more than WordPress, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find it here since more goes into a post than a tweet.

      Good to hear that you get positive feedback when you post about your books. That’s always a worry for me since my books are the main reason I’m on WordPress.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. RedheadedBooklover says:

    Hi there ! I don’t normally do this but I had to comment and tell you how much I adore your blog! I just came across it now and I am so happy I have, it is so wonderful and you truly have a great blog. I am going to follow you so I can keep up to date with all of your latest posts. Keep up the great work!

    Like

  16. In regards to the underline thing, I guess they want to discourage people from using it online, as it usually suggests a link instead of an emphasized word.

    Like

    • Never thought of that. Was wondering if it was an attempt to force people to the other version.

      I’m noticing a lot of people claimed their worst posts were promo-related, which is interesting. Most of us are here to promote books while having fun. So, is blogging no longer a powerhouse when it comes to promoting books?

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s certainly a powerhouse when it comes to networking with other authors, I guess. So, all you need now is to target authors instead of readers 😀

        Like

      • That’s why I write so much about themes and other book-related subjects. Maybe readers are too busy reading books to be on their blogs. 😛 Seriously though, I have noticed a lot more authors go to their corners and not venture out as often over the last 2 years. Wonder what caused it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I wonder if they simply realized just how hard self-publishing is. For a while, it was presented as a free-for-all, so a lot of people got burned. Now, it’s mostly serious authors who remain, and they may find they have less time in their hands for networking.

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      • True. I was reading a post on how it’s rate/speed of release too. People want authors to crank out quality at a faster rate than before. Basically, the opposite of what most fantasy series authors do. It does seem like the best way to get sales is with a new book, but momentum seems to be even more essential than before. Learned this last year when my first release was delayed and I never recovered a lot of the earlier momentum. It’s happening again now too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • As you know, I’m dedicating my 4th year of publishing in mastering the dark art of promoting my work. New books are important, but even more so are ads.

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      • How are the ads doing? My goal is to just finish putting out the series. Not having much luck there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • AMS looks like a winner. Ads there are doing great. I’ve stopped the Facebook ones though, as they do generate sales but at too high a cost to make sense for me to continue.

        Like

      • I’ve nearly fainted at those Facebook prices before. Very cool about the AMS stuff. That’s Amazon, right? If I can boost my cash flow then I’ll have to give it another shot.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I want to write up an A-Z if you choose to go the Amazon way. All the stuff I found out about the hard way, as usual 🙂

        Like

      • I remember spending a year playing with them. The hardest part was picking products because I went with fantasy books. There were so many versions of Game of Thrones and Harry Potter that I never knew what to choose. Even going by the Top 100 lists didn’t help much because those had multiple versions of the same book at times.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You read my strategy, right? I used keywords and sponsored products (instead of product displays) this time. That’s made a big difference.

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      • I believe I read it a while ago, but I haven’t done any Amazon stuff in a while. Honestly, I don’t remember there being keywords or the term sponsored products. I remember there being the choice of category and then hand-picking a bunch of products. They might have changed it since last time I tried.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It has. And it’s both way cheaper to use and more effective.

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      • I’ll have to give it a look when (if?) I ever get the next Windemere book out.

        Liked by 1 person

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