Blogging Year One: Thoughts, Stats & A Giveaway

True confession: I expected to hate blogging.  Having a blog never crossed my mind until I started reading about stuff you should do if you have a book coming out.  I hemmed and hawed for a while and finally decided to give it a try.  Imagine my surprise when I found I actually liked it.  

I've long been a fan of blogs like Nathan Bransford's and Jackson Pearce's.  Ones with very regular posts that are always thoughtful, well-written and usually entertaining.  

That's not my blog. 

I learned really, really quickly that blogging takes time.  Much more than I'd have guessed:  fifteen-to-thirty minutes for a short post, easily a couple hours for a more meaningful one.  I give a lot of credit to those bloggers out there who come up with insightful posts day after day.   

I squeeze them in when I can, prepare ahead of time as much as possible and, when time is tight, try to pop in with at least something every few days.  It's not perfect, but I'd miss having a place to share if I'd decided it had to be all or nothing. 

My bar might be set lower than I'd like, but it's sustainable and, approaching next week's one year anniversary, I still really like doing it. 

So, on to the stats...here are some first-year numbers and info that's probably mostly interesting to people who blog, are thinking about it or are stat-geeks like me. 

Total visitors: 6329

Top referrers: 11% came from my website, 9% from Twitter and 2% each from my livejournal profile, www.ellzreadz.blogspot.com, www.the-bibliophiles-lounge.blogspot.com (thanks, Elie and Chase!). 

Top search terms: Searches for my name were first, followed closely by KISS - from this post - which brought in 122 people.  Then came searches for my editor or other authors who've been featured. 

People have also come here searching for:  jenna dol - which is NOT my name though Dia Reeves insists it is, raw shark texts jacket notes, food wich ceep the blud tenner (spell check anyone?), dirt green leaf background website, dirty little secrets jennie - sorry, only PG content here - and I hate Carolyn Hennesy.  

For the record, I do not hate you, Carolyn Hennesy.  I do not even know who you are. 

Top posts:  Contests brought the most visitors, taking the top four spots.  Fifth was the Selling Your First Novel post.  Stat geeks unite.

The lesson?  If you're thinking about blogging, be sure to include a picture of Gene Simmons, talk about your editor a bunch of times, and of course, give away free stuff...

The Giveaway:  A signed copy of The Mark plus bookmarks, notepad and glow pen.  To enter, just leave a comment on this post by the end of Friday, May 14. 

One entry per person.  Giveaway is open internationally to anyone age 13 or older.   I'll announce the randomly selected winner on Saturday, May 15 - the official anniversary of the blog.

However you got here, thanks for stopping by :-)