I have now been blogging here for two years. In this time the site has undergone a lot of changes, not least of all a change of name from procrastin8or to the current name Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink. It started off as a journal for family and friends as an update on my writing as I tried to get back into writing fiction after years of neglect. Since then I have acquired 106 subscribers – and though the hit rate has dropped off since the name change – an average of 1000 hits per month with my busiest being June 2012 when I hit over 2000 (mostly down to the single posts on the film Prometheus). Continue reading →
Sock puppets are everywhere these days and now it seems that some writers are using the rather dishonest tactic of using pseudonyms on various websites and creating glowing reviews for their books in order to generate sales. The Guardian blog goes on to ask What does the sock puppet scandal mean for online reviewing?.
Personally, I find the apparent “scandal” all rather pathetic. The writer was pathetic for being insecure in his own talent that he felt the need to do this and the campaign to “Out” the authors who do it are being pathetic because, quite frankly, I can’t see fellow book bloggers caring enough to write about this issue. Also, is anybody really persuaded by a single review to either buy or not buy a book? Continue reading →
So I decided to give it a week or so between changing the site name from “procrastin8or” to “sweat, tears and digital ink” so that non-regulars and the viewers from the web had time to adjust to the new name. I was always going to change the look of the blog but not until I was sure that there would be no more confusion.
I started off with Pilcrow and that standard header image of the row of books. The theme felt a little clunky for me despite that I used it for the best part of 18 months and tinkered with it ove rtime. Approximately four months ago I changed the theme to 2010. It was nice, easy on the eye and semi-professional looking but it still wasn’t what I wanted. I added my own bookshelf image to make it feel more like a bookworm and writer’s blog. Even back then I was starting to feel that I wanted to change the blog name. “Procrastin8or” aside from sounding like the villain in a sci fi spoof, just wasn’t appropriate any more. I’ve stopped procrastinating and I have a passion for writing back again and then some. I write something every day now and I wanted a title to reflect the new step forward. Continue reading →
That’s the way my (web) hit rate has gone since I changed the address for my blog. Whereas before I was getting 40-50 hits per day, now it is fewer than 20. Kind of odd, because the same sort of posts that were getting a lot of hits from google are now getting next to nothing. I don’t think I’ve had a single hit from the web so far, they’ve all come from wordpress searches or my subscribers (now 101 of you, thank you!)
I have put a few of the most popular search terms into google to see if I can get the posts that they refer to but nothing is happening. I guess that was an incredibly stupid move. I guess I ought to start “like spamming” now
Any hints or tips to get that traffic back would be appreciated.
The more eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that the address for this blog has changed (I only did it about an hour ago). As I no longer procrastinate, the title of the blog as it was originally established is no longer valid. As of today, the new blog address is: Sweat, Tears and Digital Ink. I couldn’t quite figure out how to get the old address to automatically redirect to the new one so I ended up having to migrate it over to the new address and deleting procrastin8or. I’ll probably get zero hits from the web for the next few days then.
I feel this is a period of change for me in a lot of ways and my attempts to make it as a paid writer is part of those changes. I want to enter and win competitions. I want my work to be appreciated and most importantly, I want to write more. I may soon change the theme again but for now, everything stays the same except the title.
Keep on reading, there will be the same regular content as before!
I am getting a little fed up with receiving lots of likes on posts. Great, I enjoy good feedback like any other blogger and I appreciate that you appreciate what I write. However, there seems to be a growing trend on WordPress for “Like” spammers. That is, people who trawl hundreds of blogs in a day liking every post that they see yet never post a single comment. These people are not engaging with the content or using the feature in the spirit in which it is intended. It seems that the majority are not actually reading the posts they are liking.
How have I worked this out? Firstly, several times in the last few months I have acquired several “likes” on posts that have (at the time) registered zero hits. Secondly, I turned off “likes” on 2012 and all that several months ago yet I still get them. It is clear what is going on here. Using the reader (which shows only the first 50 or so words of the post) these bloggers are scrolling through a subscribed topic and hitting “like” on everything. Thirdly, I am seeing the same gravatar icons appearing on a wide range of blogs covering a multitude of subjects and in each case, they have not commented. So as of today, I have turned this feature off on this blog. Continue reading →
Since I posted the book review of Godless Morality by Richard Holloway, I’ve received a shedload of spam on that one post. Normal spam rate was about 2-3 per day but since then it has climbed to 10 per day (all of them are blocked by the way and all first posts must be approved by me so this crap will never get through even on the very rare occasions that Akismet fails to spot it).
This post can’t have been continually chosen at random, can it? Does the subject matter make such posts much more ripe for spamming? I’m genuinely interested to know if anybody has an answer about this. Anyway, just for fun here are the ten that I received for 28th May… Continue reading →
I spent the wet bank holiday weekend and most of this week, amongst other things, pondering which of my pre-existing short stories will go into my intended ebook anthology for the end of the year. I thought about each one in turn, considering how I might change each one (aside from the obvious polishing up the text for grammar, style and flow), which had scope and potential to be developed and which I am happy with how they are. This list is subject to change: Continue reading →
The more eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that I had a change of theme last week. I no longer felt that Pilcrow could be made to look professional enough to take this growing blog forward; besides which, there are many other blogs that use it that looked too similar to what I had. TwentyTen, though rather minimalist, is far cleaner and professional looking as well as having a broader range of customisation options. And yes, that is my actual bookshelf in the photograph header. The particularly eagle-eyed amongst you will recognise that all of the books on that shelf are currently in my Good Reads “to read” list.
I’ve spent the best part of a week fiddling around with the format and I think I am finally happy. The final change I made last night was to add external sharing options to each post for Facebook, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and Tumblr. I would be extremely grateful to my subscribers if you shared posts you particularly liked to these services. It will only take a second of your time to click one of the four buttons. Continue reading →
A nice little surprise this evening when I came online to do my once-a-week stats view. On the front of the summary page is a new feature showing stats by visitor country. Interesting little list; it must have only been running for a few days because I didn’t notice it last week.
At present, my all time stats are as follows (top 5 countries):
United Kingdom 185 visits
United States 152
Next on the list is Suriname with 10, then Turkey, Israel, Spain and Germany with 6, 5, 4 and 4 respectively. No matter where you are in the world, hello and I hope you enjoy my blog!