Fantasy, mystery, thrillers, horror, historical. . .I write it all, and review it too!

Jun 22, 2011

How to write a successful blog?

The title of this post ends with a question mark because I'm not actually sure how to write a successful blog. I only know what I've done and how it's worked out pretty well for me. Any suggestions on how to do things better would be highly appreciated.

I started this blog on February 16. Here are the stats for my number of posts and monthly hits since then.

February: 5 posts, 86 hits
March: 2 posts, 44 hits
April: 4 posts, 388 hits
May: 17 posts, 978 hits
June (up to noon on the 22nd and including this post): 8 posts, 784 hits

As you can see, life and the day job got in the way and I didn't get serious with this blog until May, when my virtual book tour started. The one thing that started immediately, however, were my Medieval Mondays posts, although they didn't get a regular weekly schedule until May. These get the most hits by far, more than my book announcements, guest posts that aren't part of Medieval Mondays, or any other stuff I've put up.

This gives an important lesson: while I want this blog to promote my books, people come here for Medieval Mondays. Content is king, as they say. Perhaps if people like my posts on the Middle Ages, they'll start buying my books! Medieval Mondays seems to be working for other people too. Two of my most popular posts are Jamie Gibbs' article on Vampirism in Ancient Egypt and Sean McLachlan's post on the accuracy of medieval handgonnes. Several top posts, both mine and theirs, have garnered more than 200 hits. My guest post on leather armour over at Mid-List Writer got more than 350. That's a more established blog, though.

Besides the book tour, I haven't done much to promote this blog. I only got a twitter feed on April 29, but several people have been kind enough to retweet me and link to me on their blogs.

So. . .on my second month of serious blogging it looks like I might break 1,000 hits. That seems like a pretty quick growth, almost entirely on the basis of having a once-a-week regular feature on a popular topic. Would anybody else out there in the blogosphere care to bare all and give the world their data? I'm curious to see how I measure up.


  1. I don't look at hits as much as I do comments. Interaction is what's good for a blog. Regular posts help, especially if they attract your target audience. Best way to continue gaining a following is to follow more, comment more, and participate in blogfests.

  2. Well, hits are good because that means readers, but you're right that interactivity is important. I get one or two comments per post, sometimes more. I want to increase that.
    I do need to comment more on other blogs. I'm a regular on about a dozen, including yours, but I should expand that. Now I just need to find the time. . .
    Do you know a good source for finding out about blogfests before they start? I won't have time over the summer since it's prime excavation season. I can do one in the autumn.