Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Let's Celebrate: The Blog Evolves: Praises to God!

Today is a day of celebration for me. 100 page views in one day!
It marks the first time my blog has reached 100 page views in one day. As it stands at the time of this writing, I have 125 page views for 07/23/2013. Doing the happy dance!!!

#Blogger Statistics
In case you have not participated in blogging, I will share some statistical information with you. I have several pages of Overview material in my blog statistics that are broken down in "per page view": 
-Audience (countries), 
-Traffic source (URLs), 
-Operating systems (Ipad, Iphone, Windows, Linux, Macintosh, Android etc.), 
-Browser (Firefrox, Internet Exporer Opera, Chrome Safari Mobile etc.)
-Views per post (day, week, month, all).

How did this come about?
I began blogging a couple of years ago. Then I removed several of my blogs' content to use the material in another writing venue because I didn't want to double up the material in two sources. It remained status quo for quite a long period. I didn't have any agenda other than trying my hand at another vehicle for sharing my message of faith and interesting personal experiences. The only blog I felt I must write was "Lockdown." Interestingly, it is the only one that I am aware of being shared a few times electronically (on facebook). I do know of one person who has shared my blog address in her church newsletter and also printed the blog, What Happened to You? for her church's Awana leaders.

Enter....Book Completion.
I finished writing my book. I spent a bundle on self-publishing and a big chunk of change on marketing which was unsuccessful, netting just a handful of books sold. More of my books have been sold by me personally than by the marketing service I paid big bucks to advertise my book. It was a no-brainer that this wasn't working for me and they could bleed me dry. I also believe that my book has merit and is not only just a book for friends and family, but the jury's still out. I have learned though, there are several layers to helping a book sell and to become known, even if they all seem right it still may not take off. Just a comment: I am  at peace with this because I believe I wrote the book I was supposed to write. It is truly in God's hands. If He wants it to be read by a greater audience of readers, He will either propel it forward or enlist me in doing the work. Did you know that authors are often haunted by self-doubt, their thinking is, "Is my book really any good?" I've wondered the same thing. Some positive comments have helped me to not get discouraged. As writers, we can't determine the outcome, but we can take the necessary steps for the writing venue to be done well and to have a successful following especially in the electronic age in which we live.

What to do? 
I soon realized that I would have to become literate in the writing venue, become savy with the book market field and establishing an author platform (a year ago I didn't even know the term). I knew I would need to do two (really three) things. 1. Write more books  2. Establish a writing presence on the world-wide-web, and most importantly, seek God for wisdom and direction so I wasn't wasting time if it wasn't in His plan for me. No point in pursuing it if #God isn't in it. I knew I didn't want to waste any more of my hard-earned money (it's too hard to come by) by giving buckets of it away with no return on the investment. I also am in a deficit position, I don't have any writing partners, coaches, PR, or editors or anyone to help me in my endeavor. It was up to me. By the way, I hope this will change. I am considering some contacts.

Learning the trade
This spring and summer I have been doing my homework, essentially, learning the trade. I went where the information is. #Twitter has become my most useful friend/tool in finding information. It's easy to use and people love to write and sell their product. I put down "author" and became the target for many tweet friends. Perfect! It has been an effective way to find author/writing content information.  There is a host of information on self publishing. I read a lot of it. I have learned that there are cheaper ways and less disappointing ways to get the job done. With Tweets and Blogging I have learned that one must decide their message and hone their process as a way of staking a claim, getting a reputation with the followers, so the readers will know what to expect and how often to expect it!  I write #Tweets three or four times a day and have 70+ people following me. I usually publish my blog on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or Saturday. This all takes time, a lot of time. I do a lot of reading to learn this stuff since I am on my own in this so far.

The blogger blog has been a learning process for me. I keep finding more and more features that I can implement. Then I go about figuring out how to do it. Once in awhile it backfires. But it hasn't stopped me. My web page has been less successful in my ability to use it which is why I don't blog from my web page. I will be making a change soon.

Here's a picture I just took of my blog Overview page. I think you will find it interesting, especially the countries represented.

Looking Ahead
God has given me a message. I don't want to get off track by writing a script that benefits just my own need to write, but instead, hopefully, benefits my readers. I like to write and have always found words to be of interest. And, I love figuring out the lessons in life. I have a loooong way to go to become "successful" at my craft. At this point, the success is found in knowing that my words can be an encouragement, a thoughtful consideration, a prompt for personal growth, and a celebration of God and the gift of living.

I intend to begin podcasting in August. This particularly interests me. I like using my voice to communicate a message. I plan to read my book in 15 minute segments with my daughter's piano recording in the background. The few times I've orally read from my book to an audience, the response was quite positive, some asking me if I would record an audio book. Some people don't have time to read but they can listen as they drive to work. A friend who is blind, had husband read my complete book to her, a page a night. She was blessed because of the descriptions of nature and the heart of the writing. I believe God is giving this incentive to me as a way for Him to bless others. That is really what it is about anyway! 

I just learned how to put short videos I've taken from my Ipad on YouTube. I hope some of my readers will share my #Lookout Point video with their friends as a way to share God's love. It tells my story (God loves us) in a few simple words besides showing where my book was birthed. The video can be found on this blog's home page in the top right corner. I will be posting more videos and have uploaded a few walnut videos to go with my walnut blog topic. They are fairly crude but a start, regardless. I want to do three more videos at the Lookout.  I believe I will begin their titles with Meridian Moment in keeping with a consistent theme.

My Followers  
Thank you for your "page views." I hope God is bringing peace, joy, and happiness into your life, and that you know His forgiveness and redeeming love. God loves you so much.


I hope you have enjoyed this update. I welcome any comments. If you have been blessed or ministered to in some way by God using the words in this blog, I think everyone would be delighted to hear about it. God's best!

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