Behind the Scenes: Capt Jills Journeys

I’m still home. I’m still on the hook, waiting to hear if/when I’ll be going back to work. I’m still having computer issues. πŸ™

I thought it might be a good time for me to catch up and reflect a little on what I’ve been doing here- on my blog.

I started this blog last August. August 15th, to be exact. I was going to a travel writing/photography workshop in Boston which had an add-on blogging workshop and I wanted to have something to work with there.

By the time I got to the workshop (which started Aug 21), I had my blog up and running and already had 1-2 followers. I had it linked with my personal Facebook page which is where most of my ‘followers’ come from. Now I had actual BLOG followers! I was so excited just to see my first real follower!

The next month I was thrilled to see my numbers increasing across the board! I had steadily increasing viewer numbers and a total of over 1000 views for the month! I was really excited to think my blog might be one of the few to grow so fast. πŸ™‚

But the next month I had to go back to work and so I couldn’t keep up with the posting like I had been earlier when I was home and could concentrate more on my blog. My numbers fell off a cliff. πŸ™

I joined the Zero to Hero challenge in January, which helped me grow my blog. πŸ™‚

January turned out to be my best month yet, even to this day. It really was a challenge for me. I was at work, so I lost a lot of sleep. Not that the tasks were that difficult, they were but I had already figured out how to do most of them on my own after a lot of time and stress. I wish I had known about this challenge BEFORE, when I was first starting my blog, it would have been a lot more useful to me then. πŸ˜‰

Since then, I have been noticing that when I can find the time to post a lot, once (or more) per day, then I get lots of views. When I can’t manage to get here to post something for a few days, my numbers take a dive.

I’ve been working on this for 9 months now, my stats show I’ve made 480 posts which have received Β 614 comments (thanks everybody!). According to my blogs home page I have 841 ‘followers’. I don’t count all of them as followers tho, since they are coming from a few different places.

For instance, 388 of those 841 are just Facebook contacts (from my personal page). Contacts may never even see what I’ve been posting. I do have a few regular people who like and comment on my Facebook page, but I’m sure it’s nowhere near 388 people!

I recently learned that the Facebook page I started for my blog has not been working at all. I just started a new one. Now I’m trying to build traffic there instead of only on my personal page. I hope more people will find it and ‘like’ it. πŸ™‚

I also started a google+ account and page. I just started it so there’s not really much there yet.

I have 12 followers on Tumblr. I have never seen anything from any of those people, so I have no idea if they’re really seeing or liking my posts.

I have another 90 on Twitter. I do see a little bit of interest from Twitter, but I really would expect more interaction with 90 people looking at the kinds of stuff I post. Especially to Twitter! I think I put more out there than to anywhere else (check out the feed at the bottom right of my blogs home page). Maybe most people are like me and have a hard time limiting themselves to only 140 characters so they never comment?

The followers I’m most happy to see are the ones who follow this blog. Today (last night) I passed a milestone. I now have 351 followers of this blog! Plus another 8 that follow “comments” (I’m not sure what that means).

So, in 9 months, I’ve managed to grow my audience from a low of 0, to 350+ followers of my blog. If I keep going like that, I could hope to double that by this time next year. Maybe I can increase my followers on my other networks by the same amount or more. πŸ™‚

I wonder if there’s anything else I could do to increase my reach? Other than just posting more since I already post as much as I can find time to do. Does this seem Β normal? high? low? for numbers?

I’ve been trying to sort through my stats to see if there are certain things my viewers like more than others. From what I can tell, they actually seem to be interested in a lot of the same things I am. πŸ˜‰

I was a little surprised to see that they liked the maritime stuff as much as they did. People really liked the videos of the Costa Concordia and the Rat Infested Ghost Ship. πŸ˜‰

I’m glad to see they appreciate my photos. πŸ™‚

I’m not too sure where they stand on my politics, but since that is such a huge part of who I am I’m just going to keep on with that anyway. πŸ˜‰

I did notice a big (relative) increase in traffic when I was involved with any of the blog challenges. The photo challenges, the blogging 101 (zero to hero) and blogging 201 were all great for getting out there into the blogosphere. I did (barely) manage to finish the zero to hero challenge but still haven’t finished up the blogging 201 challenge. πŸ™

I was traveling (in Korea) for most of the time it was going on and so I just didn’t have time to check in and do the assignments every day. I started on it so late that I missed out on the whole community aspect of it. That is really the most important part IMHO.

I’m still working on it, it’s still in the back of my mind, but I hope the people behind it at WordPress will do another one when I’ll have the time to really focus on it. I do think their challenges are helpful in making better bloggers. πŸ™‚

I’m still trying hard to improve my blog and hopefully to increase my numbers. In the meantime, I’m still having fun with it and love to hear from people whenever they want to comment. πŸ™‚

So, that’s what’s been going on behind the scenes here at Capt Jills Journeys.



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