Tag Archives: wordpress

How A Post About Witches Increased Traffic to This Fine Blog

Nuclear missiles can be launched with less effort than it took me to add this picture to this post. I am really not a fan of WordPress’ new blogging functions. I was only starting to get the hang of the last version after 7 years.

A few years ago, I was younger (spoiler alert, a few years ago we were all younger by a few years) and I had more energy to write creatively on this fine blog. Among my contributions were a series of the top ten reasons why your boyfriend or girlfriend was…a vampire…a doomsday prepper…a ninja…an assassin…a wannabe rapper…and so on.

Now I’m a few years older and I have less energy. Also, quite frankly, I have less time on earth now and my mind no longer placates itself into thinking that I’m gonna turn it all around by becoming a famous write. I’m stuck in the bed I made for myself and let that be a lesson to you, 3.5 readers. Once you make your bed, you got to lie in it…forever and ever and ever and ever and ever. Ergo, I am now a grumpy old bastard with less time and/or interest in bringing myself to think of creative things to write on this fine blog.

But a few years ago I wrote a post about the Top Ten Warning Signs Your Girlfriend Might Be a Witch. Over the years, I saw interest in this post grow, including search terms like, “Is my girlfriend a witch?” (Son, I hate to break it to you, but if you have to google it, you already know the answer.)

I am curious if such googlers are worried their girlfriends are witches of the occult variety (i.e. some dude who saw a female silhouette strafing across the night sky atop a broomstick and he couldn’t help but notice that while this was happening his girlfriend and broomstick were nowhere to be found) or of the regular variety (i.e. she never lets him watch the game or chill with his homeboys and if he burps sideways she writes eighty-seven posts about it.)

Anyway, there is usually an uptick of interest in this post around Halloween. Hard to say, but 30 visitors a day to this exceptional blog is average. Around Halloween this year I received close to 200 visitors thanks in large part to this post. To the close to 200 dudes trying to find out if their girlfriends are witches, I think you ought to stop wondering and just go out and find yourselves girlfriends who you are SURE are not witches…unless you are ugly and/or poor and/or unsuccessful in which case you should probably stick with these witches because on a statistical level, no one else wants you so you need to put up with your girlfriend’s cauldron full of eye of newt and/or charging designer furry boots on your credit card without your permission, whichever witch case she may be.

Or don’t. Because hey, it’s better to be single than to be with a witch. Then again, I hear green women are freaky so maybe she’s worth it. You know what? Don’t come to me for advice about women, be they witches or non-witches. If I knew anything about women, I wouldn’t be writing on a blog that is read by only 3.5 readers.

Anyway, I hope this increase in visitors continues. Though Halloween is behind us, the daily visitors seem consistent at around 70, so there are still a lot of dudes who want to know if they are dating witches.

To those dudes I say:

  1. Probably.
  2. But are you a prize yourself?
  3. Maybe you should just go with it. Not all witches are bad.
  4. I’m sorry she turned you into a toad.

Do you want to know if your girlfriend is a witch? Read the epic post here.

https://bookshelfbattle.com/2016/04/02/top-ten-warning-signs-your-girlfriend-might-be-a-witch/

FYI: I would have embedded the above post into the words “Read the epic post here” but WordPress changes its blogging functions around more than Lady Gaga changes her outfits and I don’t have the strength to figure out how to embed links into words at the moment.

DOUBLE FYI: I just googled “Top Ten Warning Signs Your Girlfriend Might Be a Witch” and I’m proud to say that this post was ranked not only at the top of the page, but a similar post from The Washington Post came in second. A few years ago, that would have really stroked my ego, but today as I mentioned I am quite old and lethargic so I’m not that impressed…although I would note that when it comes to the topic of determining whether one’s girlfriend is a witch, this blog beats the paper that took down Nixon even while it has all the resources that Jeff Bezos can bring to bear, including the whopping 17.8 cents that Jeff has added to his fortune thanks to my self-published books.

TRIPLE FYI: Lesbians, I didn’t forget you. You may also be dating witches. You might also want to check out this post or you might want to ignore it because again, I’m not the one that straight dudes should be going to advice for about women so I doubt my advice will help you out either.

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Don’t forget…

…if I get 3500 WordPress followers, I will hire the guy on Fiverr who juggles chainsaws to make a chainsaw juggling video.

What’s wrong with you people?  Why haven’t you made this happen already?  It’s almost as if you don’t want to see a man juggle a chainsaw in my honor.  Get your priorities straight, people.

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Pick a New Theme for Bookshelf Battle

Happy Saturday 3.5 Readers.

I’m shopping for new themes. Take a look at some of them with me, will you?

After all, as my 3.5 readers, you’ll need to be as satisfied as I am:

#1 – NEWSMAG  – I like it but I’m not sure why the menu is there twice. This has been pretty much been my experience. I find something that seems acceptable but for one weird little thing:

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 8.26.21 AM

#2 – WILSON – Hmm.  I like posting various funny pictures right at the top of my blog, often pictures of the “bookshelf battles” occurring on my magic bookshelf. For the 3.5 people who read this blog, it really ties the theme together.

Otherwise, the theme is crisp, uncluttered, it does pull Twitter, Facebook feeds and other widgets up to the left instead of leaving them buried at the bottom like my current theme does.

I guess the tradeoff is the main photo becomes smaller and off to the left instead of prominently at the top.  Ironically, the photo does appear at the top on tablets and phones.

It’s free, so that’s a plus.  I do prefer the menu at the top but I think the design so clearly helps the user to distinguish what’s the written content and what’s the menu content that it’s not a concern.

Hmm. This one’s a contender.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 8.38.23 AM

#3 – HIVE – This one needs two photos. First, it didn’t cut off “my” face but rather it all just comes out to big to come out in one screenshot. Take my word that my head is there and you just scroll down through a pretty sweet funny photo and bold headline before you get to the meat of the blog.

“BQB you wanted a blog that has a prominent photo and bold headline.”

That I do. That’s what intrigues me. It is like $150 which I don’t relish spending but I guess if it’s something I enjoy doing I guess I can sacrifice some dough for my 3.5 readers.

If you move to the second photo, you’ll see the posts come out in a newspaper like format.  Side by side, crisp columns.

You end up with a blog roll where many, many of more posts are clickable before you get to the bottom of the roll and have to click next to get to the back log.

No one ever clicks next.  So more posts before you reach the end could attract more than 3.5 readers.

So I’ll call what’s on the front page “teasers.” You basically get a paragraph of the post and then when you click it you get the whole thing.

I’m not sure why my photos don’t show up in the teasers but they do show up in the post itself when you reach it.

I’m not too worried about that because I have read other blogs where photos are in the teasers so there must be a way.

I’m on the fence on this one. It’s very beautiful. It does come with a lot of features that seem like they’d increase the ole click-a-roos.

But I feel like no one understands the concept of my blog as it is. It’s a blog about a nerd with a magic bookshelf who engages in all manner of nerdy hi jinx while he pursues a career as a novelist to appease an alien dictator.

Does this format make it a newspaper about all that above?

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 8.43.51 AM

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 8.44.10 AM

#4 – PENSCRATCH – Oh my God. It’s got the prominent headline. It’s got the menu at the top. It’s got the menu at the top. It’s got the place for the funny header photo.

The shopping list is complete! But…shit. Is it me or is that font very light? It looks like what happens when someone tries to write with lemon juice on paper.

If I can figure out how to darken up the font and maybe come up with some spiffier fonts this one could also be a contender.

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 8.47.09 AM

CONCLUSIONS –

My gut is telling me to go with WILSON but I can also see the argument that PENSCRATCH is the closest to what I have now and perhaps I shouldn’t take my stinky socks off in the bottom of then ninth. Not crazy about that light font though.

Sheesh. Picking a new theme is like picking a mistress. Chunk’s like my toothless, frazzled hair wife. Sure, she’s not the best, but she’s always there for me and gets the job done.

If I’m going to leave her I want it to be for a super model that’s really going to rev my engine but it just seems like I’m trading one toothless wife for another toothless wife.

I’m from the 90’s. I can say things like this.

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Daily Discussion with BQB – Have You Ever Used Another Blogging Website?

Hey 3.5 Readers. You’re in luck.  A second Daily Discussion.

Obviously, you all use WordPress, but I was wondering if anyone out there has ever used another blogging website?

I don’t believe I’ll move Bookshelf Battle off of WordPress.  Too many of my 3.5 readers use it and I would lose them.

But for other websites, I have been thinking about branching out to see what other blogging sites might have to offer.

For example, I am thinking about creating a website that has information about my zombie western book and proposed zombie western book series.

I have my eye on Wix.  They have many pre-made templates, plus the ability to create your own.

They say it is “drag and drop” and they explain that means what it says.  Drag what you want to the place on your site where you want it to appear and voila it appears on your site.

If that actually works, it could save me a lot of hassle.  I hate to knock WordPress because I understand that sometimes it might be my lack of knowledge, but there are times when it won’t do what I want it to do.

WordPress has many nice themes but you are limited to that theme’s layout.  For example, I feel like I could get more Facebook/Twitter hits if I could put my Facebook/Twitter info at the top right of the blog but instead, this theme puts it at the bottom of the blog and few people scroll down that far.

My concern about Wix or another site is I don’t know if they come with the built-in audience that WordPress has.

My readership mainly comes from other bloggers.  If it weren’t for WordPress’ ability to let you tag your posts so they show up for people interested in those tags, I wouldn’t even have 1.5 readers.

Wix will allow comments, but you do have to comment through Facebook or Disquss.  I’m not sure how Disqus works but I know with Facebook you have to identify yourself and I understand many people understandably don’t want to so that could limit your comments.

So it seems there are some trade offs.  I suppose I might investigate more to see what capabilities the other websites have, but due to the built-in audience, I’m not about to leave WordPress anytime soon.

By the way, I’m told (and have seen it myself) this site doesn’t come off the best when you read it on a tablet or a smart phone.

Do you find that is the case?  I think the issue is on a tablet or smartphone people really want your menu to come up as a little button they can push and scroll down through that.

I have mixed feelings on that.  I think when the site is viewed on a laptop, the best option is to have your menu right at the top of the screen, all the choices laid out right there for you.

I have noticed there are some themes that split the difference.  When you view them on a laptop, it is all laid out right there, but then go on a mobile device and the menu turns into the button.

I’m not sure I want to abandon the theme I have now anytime soon.  Frankly, it is what gave me the idea for “Bookshelf Battle.”

When I started, I knew I wanted to blog, I wasn’t sure what about or what I’d call the blog, then as I looked through themes I saw this one with the ability to put a picture right at the top and I was like, “Huh. Well I don’t have much in the way of a graphic design department, but I suppose I could take pictures of my action figure collection and put them at the top and then I could call it umm…Bookshelf War? Huh no, Bookshelf Battle?”

I know. How more women don’t throw themselves at a guy who takes pictures of his action figures is beyond me.

Anyway, I like this theme because of that and also I just feel like it looks very comic-booky.  Add in the silly shutter stock photos and it feels, to me anyway, like you’re reading an online comic book.

So I don’t want to lose the theme anytime soon but I know in the long run I will have to resolve the mobile device issue.

Honestly, I know my menu sucks anyway as I have never really decided what to put up there and I am never able to figure out how to get it all organized.

Long story short, if you can think of an alternate WordPress theme that would fulfill BQB HQ’s needs, let me know.

Further, I have not yet given up on Pop Culture Mysteries.  It is just on hold a bit until I figure out how to streamline it a bit more.

I have been thinking that I need to rework that formula.  In many of Jake’s case files, he’s asked to solve a mystery – so example, if he’s asked something about Star Wars, he’ll start out by hitting on and getting rejected by Ms. Donnelly, then he’ll opine for a long time about some sad memory in his life, then he’ll walk through the neighborhood and complain about how the world has changed, then he bullies Agnes the Librarian into doing the research for him and THEN he’ll finally get to the answer.

I’m thinking the case files need to be shorter – ask the question (Why did Luke do X in Star Wars) then give the answer right away (He did it because…) and then I can take all of Jake’s life story stuff and work it into an ongoing online story.

At any rate, here’s what Pop Culture Mysteries looks like know. I like this theme because it looks like all the posts are files coming across Jake’s desk.

It does not have the “menu turns into a button on mobile devices” option that I suppose could be an issue, but I looked at it on my mobile device and thought it looks good and the menu bar stayed the same, it didn’t move around unlike how Bookshelf Battle’s menu does.

Anyway, give me your opinions on a) my current themes b) alternate themes and c) alternate blogging sites.

Also, give me cookies.  You know you have cookies. Stop holding out on me.

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This is my 15ooth Post

This one. Right here. 1500 posts in two years and three months.

1500 rantings about nonsense.

1500.

I wish I had planned something better for it but I just noticed I was at 1,499 and decided to make it an even 1500.

I’ll have to plan a party for my 2000th post.

Blogging has been quite a trip.  Often, I feel like it isn’t worth it.  That I write so much and there’s so little response.

But then I see progress.  All those followers and clicks add up.  I’ve seen more progress add up in this than anything else I’ve done.

Anyway, thanks 3.5 readers.  I’ll keep writing as long as at least 3.5 of you keep showing up.

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BQB’s Monthly Stats for the Past Year

Hey 3.5 Readers.1371251154

BQB here. So I just analyzed my monthly stats for the past year and here’s what popped out at me:

  • Every month I get approximately 1,000 visitors.  Sometimes it is one or two hundred more. It wasn’t less than 1,000 in the past year.
  • Every month I get approximately 2,000 views.  (Now, there’s a wider deviation here. Sometimes it’d be less, like 1700 views.  Sometimes it’d be way more, like 2,600 views.)

So my first reaction is that the people who stop by this fine blog like it so much they click on it twice.

But then I realized there are probably a lot of people who just click on it once.  Meanwhile, there are probably people who like what they see and click away to see what other posts are on here to enjoy.

It does tell me I need to organize things better. There are people who are getting a kick out of things enough that they’d probably read through my back catalog of online nonsense if I archived it better and made it more accessible.

It is a nice feeling though that people are liking what they see and looking around the site for more.

I have always looked at increasing visitor stats as being key because, well, the more the merrier.

However, I am realizing that view stats are equally important because it can tell you if people are enjoying the site.

I suppose there are different ways to analyze how good your party was. Did a lot of people show up? That’s good. Did they boogie down and mix and mingle or did they all sit in the corner and stare at the walls? We of course, want the first option.

Get down. Boogie woogie woogie. You know the song.

What say you, 3.5 readers? Am I reading my stats right?

By the way, I’m going to have to have a chat with my BQB HQ bookkeeper.

How can I get 1,000 visitors a month and still only have 3.5 readers?

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365 Days. 1 Nerd. Results of the One Post a Day Challenge – 2015 Complete

SECURE INTERGALACTIC TRANSMISSION

TO: The Mighty Potentate

FROM: Alien Jones, the Esteemed Brainy One

RE: Results of Bookshelf Q. Battler’s One Post a Day for a Year Challenge – 2015

DATE: Jan. 1, 2016

ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY POTENTATE!

shutterstock_121570807

Alien Jones tallies BQB’s 2015 stats.

Your lowly servant, Alien Jones here to report on the results of Bookshelf Q. Battler’s One Post a Day Challenge.  As you recall, Your Potentosity, you have identified BQB as “The Chosen One,” the only Earth writer capable of putting out a book that will convince the humans to abandon the reality television programming that you despise with such magnanimous enthusiasm.

HOW IT BEGAN

BQB only intended to write very brief posts for the purpose of drawing some attention to his blog. However, he quickly became hooked on seeing his stats improve and spent the year focusing on his blog instead of his languishing career as a novelist.

Further, BQB made daily postings on social media. He had Twitter at the beginning of the year. He got onto Google Plus early in the year. He had been on Facebook but finally began pushing harder on it in the Fall.

WHAT DID BQB DO?

  1. Posted 1 or more (and often, more) posts on his blog daily. Did not miss a day.
  2. Posted daily on Twitter from the beginning of the year.
  3. Posted daily on Google Plus when he started it (his pitiful human brain doesn’t remember when that started but believes it was early in the year.)
  4. Became more active on Facebook, by the end of the year he started posting there daily. Also, he spent a bit of his human money to buy some Facebook ads.
  5. Joined and became active on Wattpad, posting stories and offering comments on other writers’ works.

BQB’S BEGINNING STATS

BQB, ever unsure of himself, blogged every day in January, 2015 just to see if he could do it. He then announced Feb 1. that he’d see this through to the end of the year.

WHAT BQB SAID ABOUT HIS STATS FEB 1:

“At the time of this writing, I’m averaging 35-40 site visitors per day. I believe this is due to daily postings.

I’m also seeing an increase in blog followers. I had 400 at the start of the year, and about 450 now.

I had 2000 twitter followers at the start of the year, I’m at around 2500 now.”

 STAT COMPARISON A YEAR LATER

WORDPRESS

FOLLOWERS

JAN 1, 2015 – Approx. 400

JAN 1, 2016 – 1,520

INCREASE of 1,120 approx.

2014 vs. 2015

BQB began this blog in 2014, but did not blog daily. In fact, he often let a lot of time pass between posts.

2014 Stats

VIEWS – 4,658

VISITORS – 3,623

LIKES – 895

COMMENTS – 227

2015 Stats

VIEWS – 28,103 (Up approx 24,000)

VISITORS – 14,880 (Up approx 11,000)

LIKES – 7,836 (Up approx 6,000)

COMMENTS – 2000 (Up approx 1800)

TWITTER

JAN 1, 2015 – 2,000 followers (approx)

JAN 1, 2016 – 7,168

GOOGLE PLUS

2014 – BQB didn’t have it.  He started in 2015.

Jan 1, 2016 – 858 followers

FACEBOOK

Likes were barely existent starting 2015. BQB experimented with buying some Facebook ads in the Fall. Currently, the Bookshelf Battle Facebook Page has 169 likes and the Pop Culture Mysteries Facebook Page has 107 likes.

SOCIAL MEDIA OBSERVATIONS – IS SOCIAL MEDIA WORTH IT?

Human writers often debate whether social media is worth their time. Some praise it as a free marketing tool. Others complain it takes time away from their actual writing.

For all of the social media activity BQB engaged in…

TWITTER – brought 527 views total to BQB’s blog this year.

FACEBOOK – brought 368 views total.

GOOGLE PLUS – 270

 Thus, it is clear that having more followers on social media does not mean they will all visit your website. However, BQB feels his social media efforts did help to raise awareness of his blog and to make contacts with other writers, such as the fine authors who helped him out of the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse in October.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS 

SEARCH ENGINES – gave BQB 6,898 views. It pays to write a lot. The more content you have on your site, the more likely people will visit your site through a search engine.

WORDPRESS READER – 1,156 – The more wordpress followers you have, the more people will seeing your blog in their wordpress reader.

DAILY VIEWS – BQB found that for the most part, his efforts attracted somewhere between 30-50 visitors (more or less). Occasionally, it would push 100, a few times over 100, but never over 200.

To BQB’s credit, his view rate is high, meaning that there are a number of visitors coming to the site, liking what they see, and giving it a few more views.

OVERALL – WAS THE ONE POST A DAY CHALLENGE WORTH IT?

Yes. The Chosen One has gone from dabbling in a blog to building a platform.

BQB has a tendency to doubt himself, but will keep up with something if he sees progress and there was definite progress this year.

THE FUTURE

As a pitiful human, BQB can’t do everything, so in 2016 he will have to divert his attention to his novel writing career. However, the time he spent building this site’s readership will likely payoff one day…some day.

Somehow no matter what happens, BQB only reports having 3.5 readers though. That is likely to continue.

MY RECOMMENDATION 

Spare the Earthlings, Mighty Potentate. BQB is doing his best to write a novel and build a writing career. He will do his best to convince the pitiful humans to stop watching reality television and read books instead.

ALL HAIL THE MIGHTY POTENATE!

Alien Jones, out.

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Pages

Those pages at the top of this blog, under that big nerd, how do I arrange them in the order I want them?  Been trying to figure it out for a long time and am finally breaking down to ask.

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Ask the Alien – Halfway Through the One Post a Year Challenge

By:  Alien Jones, Intergalactic Correspondent

"Carry the one, add in the denominator and, hey!  What do you know?  It all still adds up to 3.5!"

“Carry the one, add in the denominator and, hey! What do you know? It all still adds up to 3.5!”

Greetings Earth losers!  No one’s bothered to consult my genius alien brain lately but that’s ok.  I’ve been monitoring your news reports and what with everyone down there on your pitiful excuse for a planet shooting each other every five minutes, I’ve no doubt you’ve all got this shit locked down.  Why bother asking a supreme being for answers when you all know everything anyway?

Sorry.  I don’t speak with emotion so you may not have noticed the sarcasm.

Anyhow, tomorrow Bookshelf Q. Battler will reach the halfway mark of his one post a day for a year challenge.  Yes, you poor people have been subject to BQB’s daily blatherings without a break for an entire six months now.  Either you didn’t notice or you’ve grown numb to the stupidity.

Stupidity?  I meant to say BQB is a genius.  I have to because for some peculiar reason, my boss, the Mighty Potentate, sees potential in this nerd.  That means I have to see potential in him to.

Yes.  Just change his name to Bookshelf Q. Potentialer.

How’s BQB doing now that we’ve reached the point of no return?

Let’s take a look:

WORDPRESS FOLLOWERS:

Dec 2014 – 450 approx

Today = 1,069

TWITTER FOLLOWERS: 

Dec 2014 – 2000 approx

Today = 4,586

VIEWS:

As of Dec. 2014 = 4,658

Jan-May 31, 2015 =  12,335

VISITORS: 

As of Dec. 2014 = 3,263

Jan-May 31, 2015= 6,941

YETIS ACQUIRED: 

As of Dec. 2014 = 0 (Considered a good thing

Jan-May 31, 2015 = 1 (A terrible setback)

I’ll hand it to our illustrious blog host.  The proof, as they say, is in the pudding.  I’ve never understood why Earthlings say that though.  Is there some criminal out there who hides all of the evidence against him at the bottom of a gigantic vat of tapioca?

But I digress.  Daily blogging, interacting with readers, social media, etc. has helped BQB put his stats on the rise.  He’s not at the point where he can assure the Mighty Potentate that his writing will distract the masses from the reality television that he despises so much, but it would appear that increased daily improvements, no matter how small, add up over time.

Thank you for your continued support of BQB.  Though I could care less, I can’t really, for the Mightiest of Potentates, He Whose Ganderflazer Dwarves Mine in Comparison, requires me to care.

So care I shall.

Alien Jones is the Intergalactic Correspondent for the Bookshelf Battle Blog, on a mission to raise Earth’s collective intelligence levels one question at a time. Do you have a question for the Esteemed Brainy One? Tweet it to @bookshelfbattle on Twitter, leave it in the comments on bookshelfbattle.com, or stop by Bookshelf Battle on Google Plus. If he likes your question, he might even promote your book, blog, other project in his answer.

Alien image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license.

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