The Expected Verdict

The Expected Verdict
Image provided by
Lex McKee
@ https://www.flickr.com/photos/lex-photographic/

A week ago this last Sunday I posted an entry asking readers to fill out a survey. My original plan was to prove that a newsletter was worth publishing. The results were an eye-opener for me — in more ways than one.

Later on last week I published another post exclaiming the quiet shock I experienced as the results of the survey came trickling in. The idea of a quarterly newsletter sounded so fine three weeks ago when I was reaching the climax of the first draft of my first novel. I had thought that after a tiny bit of research including the survey and digging into Facebook and Twitter to find out how to work with those two sites in relation to the publication, I’d be all set to write and publish my first edition.

I’m blessed with readers who aren’t afraid of telling me how they feel and what the truth really is. Without their honesty, I’d be following an ill-schemed dream that, most assuredly, would have turned into a big ugly nightmare. In short, I was promptly told the idea of a newsletter in my particular case was nonsensical (good word!).

Even though the notion of a newsletter is thwarted, I have learned some things about my visitors that will hopefully improve my blog posts. If I had just gone by the comments I’ve been receiving for almost the past two years, I would have been misjudging the druthers of my readers. Yes, surveys are a good thing. I just wish I had used other site that offers a free plan other the Survey Monkey. I’m aware that PollDaddy is offered here at WordPress.Com, but, for reasons unknown, I shied away from it. I’ll know better next time.

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What I learned from this survey is this:

  • Most repeat visitors read my blog whenever a new post is published. There are a few who opt for once per week and a few stragglers who pop in ever now and then.
  • Most readers prefer the WordPress Reader, although email subscriptions came in as a close second. No one uses an RSS feed or goes through the social media sites to get alerts of new entries to my blog. (I should have asked how the visitors found out about my blog. Oh well. Such is life.)
  • I was taken aback by what types of subjects my visitors are most interested in. As I stated before, if I had gone by the comments, my conclusions would have been so different. In order of popularity:

Personal stories

Struggles about writing

Personal insight

Personal opinion

Fictional stories and scenes

Updates on current novel project

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I was blown away by the findings. I thought the writers coming to my blog were interested in the progress I’ve been making with my book. Judging from the response to fictional stories and scenes, I’m now questioning my ability to write this book. (Truth be told, I doubt my ability anyway.)

In spite of my initial reaction to the results, I plan to go on pretty much the same with my plans, that is without the newsletter though. After many hours of reflection, I realize that the personal stories are a favorite because I have little, if any, problem writing them. No one knows my life the way I do, right? The struggles with writing, the insights, and the opinions are more of the same, except that they aren’t stories, are they. Well, that’s easy to fix. As for the fictional stories and scenes, I think what is needed is for me to just do a better job on them. Not an easy achievement but definitely worth trying.

The updates on my WiP will be trashed. There’s only two or three chapters left in my first draft anyway. Whenever I get close to the end of that third or fourth draft, I’ll come here to my blog to ask for beta readers. If any of you are really interested in the progress I make from here on out, just ask.

There’s still a full week and a day before Autumn officially starts, but I’m going to start my new blog schedule now. Posts will be published at 1:30pm on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. I know the time of day is quirky, but it assures me that the entry is more likely to be completely ready with this timetable. It has to do with my inner clock and my daily life. (These times is according to Central Time here in the U.S.)

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As with all of my posts, I welcome all comments so start typing out there.

Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterward. — Vernon Law

 

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10 Replies to “The Expected Verdict”

    1. Fridays will be more like Saturdays for eastern Europe, Asia, and our English-speaking friends down under. Sundays are for those of us in western Europe, and North and South America. Tuesdays are just because. 😀

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I was doing Sundays for a while, but I got happy with Saturday because of the SoCS prompt. Then I started the periodic “If having a beer” and I think that works better on Saturday. It’s funny how we approach these things.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I like your dialogue in “If having a beer” despite that fact that I really don’t like the stuff. And yes, I agree, having a ‘beer’ conversation on Sunday doesn’t sound as good as on a Saturday.

          Liked by 1 person

  1. I don’t subscribe to many newsletters for blogs I read. I figure I’m up to date. The reason I have my newsletter is for the email addresses–so I can let people know when my book is out. But, I think that’s flawed thinking because most of my subscribers are blog subscribers.

    I’m pondering the same moves you are.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My original plan was to have the newsletter every 3 months telling people where I am in getting this book written and published, plus one or two short articles about something I’ve personally learned about writing a book. Somehow this idea has been misinterpreted to something to do with my blog. Jeri Walker pointed out that I probably had enough on my plate and to add more would be unwise. I decided to take her advice.

      Like

  2. I don’t connect to blogs via social media, but I do get some great readers from FB & Twitter, so it is worth having an account. I don’t do much other than tweet my own or other people’s posts and answer a couple of comments here and there. I’m not sure I am surprised by the survey, but it’s such an intriguing way of deciding on a blogs direction. I’m not sure if the opinion about wip is a reflection of your book. I tend to look for something more personal in a blog, but rather than a quarterly newsletter about book progress, why don’t you do a 3mthly update by post. I think people will still be interested to hear of the progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve beat you to the punch, Cat. Yes, a quarterly post about the progress I’m making on my WiP will be happening — with a small twist — a super short story about the progress or lack there of. 😛

      Like

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