A career update in numbers

My Scribophile/blogger friend Sylvia Heike publicly reports the statistics of her writing career (examples here and here), including data from a myriad of places: her own site, social media, and Duotrope. I decided to follow suit. As it is the first of a new month and the beginning of high summer in Florida, this gives me the opportunity to decide later if I want to make this a monthly or seasonal thing. We’ll see.

Projections

Social Media

Here’s where I’ll keep a running count of my followers. As this is the first time I’m reporting my stats, I can’t compare numbers yet. So I’ll try to predict future activity and I’ll set some goals for good measure. But first, the numbers:

Facebook: 21 followers & 170 friends
Twitter: 178 followers
Pinterest: 101 followers
Goodreads: 27 friends
Scribophile: 20 favorites
Soundcloud: 5 followers

Explanation & Goal Setting

Facebook’s not an easy tool for an individual building an author platform, but as the busiest social network out there it’s kinda necessary. I chose not to create a separate author page on Facebook because I don’t agree with the way Facebook hides its pages content from users. Instead I chose to post career-related updates to my personal profile’s public feed. That way, a fan can “follow” my public posts without having to send me a friend request. I strictly monitor the privacy settings for my “Friends Only” feed and—fair warning–will more often deny a friend request than accept one. As Facebook doesn’t make it easy to freely market myself there, I’m not predicting much positive growth on that network nor am I setting any goals.

Twitter’s my main focus goal-wise. I’ve gained 70+ followers in the past month alone through my efforts there. My goal is to spend even more time on this network and gain an additional 50 followers by next update.

Pinterest is my “recreational use” drug, meaning I’m pinning a lot of personal content but not much “professional grade” stuff. In the past few months I’ve organized my baller word porn IRL board like woah, creating my own image quotes that link back to my original content, but I haven’t had much interaction on these pins. My goals are to create writing and reading specific boards to attract more followers and to continue posting to my word porn IRL board. I want 10 new followers by next update.

Goodreads garners me followers when I actively read, post my reading progress, and review the books I’ve read. Therefore, if I get stuck reading one really long or complicated book for a while, my Goodreads account goes cold. My goal is to post my reading progress more often to keep this from happening. I’d like one of two things: 1 more person to follow my book reviews or 5 more Goodreads friends by next update.

Scribophile isn’t a publicly accessible social network, so I’m surprising myself by including it on this list. I justify its inclusion with the results I’ve seen from remaining an active member there. The more often I post my own writing, critique others’ writings, and engage in community discussion there, the more often other users read and follow my own work there as well as on my own blog. It’s a beautiful thing. My goal is to get favorited by 3 more members by next update.

I debated whether to include Soundcloud but went ahead and listed it. I’ve posted a few sound recordings of original poetry as well as spoken word recitations of others’ writings. I’ve had a lot of fun doing this in the past and for that reason alone should become more active on Soundcloud. My goal is to post 5 new recordings by next update and gain 1 follower.

RNMcKinnon.com

Maintaining a professional website and an honest blog is a goal I have achieved over the years, one that I am immensely proud of. As you can see, I’ve managed to increase my traffic over the years, with significant progress made this year – the first year I’ve pursued a writing career full time:

blogviews_june2013to2015

Therefore, it is especially important that I continue to maintain the success of my own website over time. The more I post, the more my posts are seen, that’s always been the advice given to me by others bloggers and that’s always been a given in my stats. With that in mind I created a posting schedule a long time ago, and I’ve kept up with that schedule a lot better recently. Once a few things in my personal life settle down, I’d like to return to posting twice weekly (on Wednesdays and Sundays). Sticking to that schedule is sure to show me results.

E-mail Subscribers: 44
Page views: 5,391
Sessions: 1,991
Visitors: 1,558
Peak: 56 sessions on Friday, March 27, which was right after I published my first writing challenge post

As far as the site numbers go, I’m pulling the all-time data from June 2013 to June 2015 — I’ve had my site much longer than that but didn’t have Google Analytics correctly gathering data until 2013. Moving forward I’d like to focus on obtaining new visitors as well as retaining established visitors, so I’ll make my goal to hit 1,600 visitors and 50 e-mail subscribers by next update.

Publications

I use the online submission manager Duotrope as well as my own spreadsheet to keep track of the writings I submit for publishers’ considerations. It is my No. 1 goal to get my first publishing credit this year. At the very least I’d like to submit my writing on a consistent basis — at least one new piece of writing submitted weekly, so 4-5 submissions monthly depending on the month. This is a lofty goal, as it requires me to stick to a much stricter self-editing schedule. As of right now I start but don’t finish a lot of shorter writings, so hopefully having to submit something new weekly gets me past the editing and revision stages more often. We’ll see how it goes.

Finished Pieces: 2
Submissions: 10
Rejections: 8
Acceptances: 0

Yep, that means I have two submissions under consideration as we speak. It’s a writer’s life to live with constantly held breath.

Summary of Goals

It was surprisingly fun to summarize all of that. I got a chance to analyze stats I’d forgotten were being aggregated. And it’s always good to set a goal or 7…

1.) Twitter: gain an additional 50 followers
2.) Pinterest: create writing and reading specific boards & gain 10 new followers
3.) Goodreads: keep better track of reading progress & 1 more follower of book reviews or 5 more Goodreads friends
4.) Scribophile: get favorited by 3 more members
5.) Soundcloud: post 5 new recordings & gain 1 follower
6.) RNMcKinnon.com: hit 1,600 visitors & 50 e-mail subscribers
7.) Getting Published: obtain first publishing credit & submit one new piece of writing weekly (4-5 submissions monthly)

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