As the year draws to a close I’ve been looking at my stats for the years 2014 – 2018.  Since the start of it all in 2014 my stats have steadily increased from 9149 views in 2016 for example, to 24,924 views in 2018.

However, this year I’ve cut back a bit so as not to overkill the blog and bore any readers.  My views so far are 20,199, and I’ve written about 100 fewer posts.  After 5 years of blogging I find that all the same writing tips and advice have been re-blogged many times by many different authors, and that actually hey ho, some days it’s getting a bit of a drag to think of things to blog about.

For the last couple of years my most viewed blogs have been the monthly posts/winners from my ‘Share Your Short Story‘ contest.  This tells me something; people want contests or a platform where their own stories or poems can be seen and read.  I’ve found the answers to several other questions too, by running the short story contest and also by running a street team promotion on MeWe:

Do people want to read  my own stories? 

I’ve found they will read and comment on them more often only if I add them to the short story contest.  If I add a story, poem or a book review on a blog of its own then I’ll get a few ‘likes’, but whether or not people have actually read it or are just being polite I cannot really say.

Is it worth running a contest too often?

No, because you need to give people time to come up with new stories.

Is it worth charging a fee to enter?

No, because then there will be no entries.  However, if it’s free, then there’s always a spike in my stats on the day any new contest comes out!

Is it worth running a street team promotion?

The jury’s out on that one.  I’ve found that about half of the members take part each week, and that it’s always the same ones who share each other’s books around on their social media sites.   For the rest of them the novelty soon wears off and excuses start to pour in.

Is it worth keeping a blog going year after year?

Yes, I think so, just as long as the content doesn’t become too stale.  Readers do not want the same old same old day after day ad nauseam.  It’s always good to read about something personal to the author, and not about the same old writing tips or those ghastly author interview questions (Why do you write?  What is your writing process? What is on your desk as you write?)!

Is it worth blogging every day?

I’m beginning to think that no, it’s not worth it, because of the faff involved in trying to dredge up something worthwhile to write about.  I think that in the New Year I shall ease up a bit more and see what happens.

Is it worth being a writer?

Yes, just as long as you don’t expect to earn any money from it, and don’t expect to find droves of readers beating a path to Amazon to buy your book.