2012 Statistical Roundup

Word Press, whose software powers this site, sent me my site stats for 2012, which included no big surprises. This site has grown modestly since its launch in the latter half of 2011. Reading the story behind the numbers, these are the main take-away points:

a) at least as many visitors are random Googlers as people who are familiar with my writing

b) the larger part of the site growth is from an increase in the number of evergreen items, thus drawing more of these random Googlers, who, therefore, rarely leave comments

c) I’m a writer but not a blogger and I know it, so I don’t expect that to change in the future.

What about my more general writing stats? I’ve started writing regularly at three major new markets this past year, and have published at least once at five or six additional “new” places beyond that. I think I’ve probably pitched my writing to 50 or more markets so we’re talking about a success rate only somewhat in excess of 10 percent, which could be worse, I suppose. For 2013 I have my eye on at least two additional writing spaces that I really hope to get involved in.

My best month in terms of sheer volume was January (while still in Costa Rica and not doing any other work besides writing), but my best month in terms of writing income was December (while working a full-time job). So by the end of the year my average pay per job, per word, per hour, however you want to slice it, had improved considerably.

As far as page views go, my writing at Care2 ranks highest, with one of my articles last month hitting close to 30, 000 readers, while the number commenting was less than 300. One of my all-time favourite pieces, listed under my portfolio page, received over 500 comments, but I don’t have any additional stats for that piece, and there isn’t always a direct correlation between comments and page views, so I can’t assume 50, 000 or more people read it. That said, I’m thinking my all-time most popular piece must be in that ballpark, even if I don’t know which one it actually is.

Number of times editors have fought over me because they simultaneously wanted me to cover the same thing for their own publications: twice. Different publications each time.

Number of things I’ve learned about improving my writing: lost count.

Holiday Work Schedule

Just a quick note that I did indeed make it back safely from Panama last week, but have had very little time for writing since then. It’s been a busy month, lots of touring around both in Panama and here in CR. I did manage to squeeze out a couple quick reviews, one of which I’ll post up here later (another hasn’t been placed yet), and I also finished up an author interview I’m polishing up today for a potentially-interested outlet.

I’m also pleased that I’m officially caught up on all my assigned reviews. I have a pile of books that I’ve requested myself, which means I am not beholden to any particular editor or publication to review them for.

But I do have to make up for lost time. Before New Year’s, with any luck, I’ll get through a good five or six of the features and reviews that I’ve been meaning to start, or have half-finished, as the case may be. I do wish I wrote faster — it takes me a solid two or three days for a decent feature article.

And of course there’s the ongoing chore of placing my finished work, which means pitching, pitching, and pitching. Anyway, I normally try for three updates a week on the site, but I’m giving myself permission to do less than that from now until the New Year. Let’s call it a holiday schedule.

Another Auto-Post (with Comics!)

Still in Panama. Having a good Saturday?

Back in (I think) 2001, I made a little humour site for myself. I did some Googling (actually I probably used Yahoo or Metacrawler way back then) and found five one-hour lessons on basic HTML (it’s not a difficult thing, even for those who don’t care much for computer languages). I spent a couple evenings on it and then starting editing source code.

WordPress is user-friendly enough that I rarely edit the HTML manually anymore, but I still find this comic hilarious.

The Freelance Life

I started this site — which is now, and likely will continue to be, primarily a blog — because I’ve recently started writing full time, and I thought I could justify grabbing my own little piece of the Web. I foresee this as a focus of organization for myself, more to help me keep track of my ongoing projects than to promote them, or myself. It seems like I’ve been writing articles and essays and, yes, blog entries, in my head for some time now, and I need a place to get it down.

I’m sure the blog will develop its own focus over time. One of the things I hope to do is share some of the nitty gritty details that have taken me from part-time writing to being able to take a year off from my day job and being able to pay the bills with words. The full-time writing experience, for however long it lasts, is also something I’d like to get down for posterity. And of course, I’m always looking for work, so any readers out there are invited to contact me for my services.

We’ll leave it at that for now. See you soon.