Stats, Guest Posts, and Audiences

stats, guest post & audiences

 

The quickest way to go where you have never been is to find someone who has gone where you want to go.

 

If what they say is true, that your potential audience reach spans people ten years younger and older than you are, most people who read Livelytwist are in their thirties, forties, and fifties. I do not know for sure. The implication for reaching broader audiences including people in their teens, twenties, sixties, seventies and beyond, may be a change in style.

An acquaintance signs off her emails with these words, star differs from star in splendor. I have thought often about what they mean. If our lives are our message to the world, then our vocation is our platform. I believe that our experiences, location, age, race, gender, talents, and so on, position us to reach certain audiences. That only some are able to cross the barriers that separate us, innately or through learning, and have, more mass appeal than others do.

This past blogging year, Livelytwist’s total number of blog views was lower than the previous year, but I witnessed a shift in the type of blog articles that received the highest number of views. In the past, articles, which I wrote received the most views. Last year, the top five articles viewed, apart from the ubiquitous Open Letter to Akpos—search engine terms must bring Akpos seekers to my blog—were articles that others wrote for my blog. In order of most views:

Hardwired For Sorry [3]
Think Like a Man, End up Without One [1]
Hardwired For Sorry [5]
Think Like a Man, End up Without One [2]
Shifting Gears [6]

Storytelling is an effective means of communicating with a diverse audience. As much as I enjoy writing, I do not possess the authority or authenticity to tell all the stories I want to and therefore reach as many people as I would like. As William Faulkner noted, “A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.”

By sharing my blog stage with others, Livelytwist gained more universal appeal. At least one teenager and one writer in his seventies contributed an article to a blog series last year, as well as writers in every other age category in between. At least one person in every continent, in 125 countries, viewed Livelytwist in 2015, up from 115 countries in 2014. Guest writers shared the stories they wrote for Livelytwist on their social networks, engaging audiences I may never have reached.

world stats 2015

 

country stats 2015

After I ran a series on my blog that featured other writers, a reader scolded me for not writing my own stories. I understood her loyalty, the queasiness, which occurs when vision expands and threatens the status quo; as if I would abandon my blog. I explained that I conceptualized the series, handpicked the writers, and in some cases edited their stories. Then I sent her the links to a couple of stories I had written as part of the series.

What do my stats tell me? Numbers sometimes mean little. Perhaps they confirm something I wrote in my notebook years ago—I want to tell other people’s stories. I am getting closer to that dream, am I not? And it is because you said yes to sharing your story on my blog.

Thank you!

 

© Timi Yeseibo 2016

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Stats, Search Engine Terms & You

livelytwist stats

 

WordPress spared me the trouble of spreadsheets, charts, and graphs by providing Livelytwist’s annual report for 2014. Here are some highlights to mark Livelytwist’s second anniversary.

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

In 2013, Livelytwist was viewed about 13,000 times. By 2014, this doubled. The growth in number of views reminds me of a chorus sung in some Nigerian Pentecostal circles, everything na double double! What’s in a number? I publish articles once a week about subjects that don’t involve Kim Kardashian—the numbers tell me people still care about what I say.

At least one person in every continent, in 105 countries, viewed Livelytwist in 2013. Come 2014, Livelytwist travelled farther, touching down in ten more countries. Although we complain about the internet, it remains the universal passport, which defies visa restrictions. It is how I met you. Most visitors came from the United States. Nigeria and United Kingdom were not far behind, and The Netherlands and Canada made a strong showing as well.

 

These posts received the most views in 2014.

1. The Love Languages of Nigerians [posted July 2014]

2. The Body Magic [posted April 2013]

3. Open Letter to Akpos [posted May 2013]

4. I am Not Looking For Love, I am Going to Work [posted August 2013]

5. A Father’s Love [posted June 2013]

 

According to WordPress,

Some of your most popular posts were written before 2014. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

To me staying power is distilling current events in a way that transcends the present so an article remains relevant, year after year. Search engine robots also drove traffic to these posts judging by the most popular search words. Search engine terms are words and phrases people enter into various search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing that land them on Livelytwist.

A random sampling of the search terms shows my indebtedness to the creators of Akpos, a male character around whom many Nigerian jokes revolve, and to Ardyss for their corset, Body Magic. And yes, to romance and love. Below, I make my case.

 

A self-deprecating post about my struggle with weight and the Body Magic may be what bring these die-hard seekers to Livelytwist.

Search Engine Terms                                                             

magic chant for a round butt

  • When you find it let me know so I can retire early!

how to wear a body magic despite the pain to hide belle fat

  • Lol, vanity involves pain; just do it.

anything similar to body magic but cheaper

  • E.x.e.r.c.i.s.e maybe?

i hav flesh coming out from under my arms after wearing a body magic?

  • What did you expect? To drop 2 or 3 dress sizes?

 

A tongue-in-cheek stab at the ubiquitous Akpos, means that Akpos, and all things Akpos, are the search terms that bring the most traffic to my blog.

Search Engine Terms                                                             

akpose comedy – na we dey here 

  • What can I say? Akpos wins year after year.

what will i do so that i can be receiving  akpos joke every day as text message on my phone

  • So, someone actually typed this into Google?

i have a dream by akpos

  • That one day _ _ _ _  (fill in the blanks)

naija jokes that will thumble the girls and  make them shout

  • Girls beware!

Naija loaded akpos comedy

  • There in four words, the problem with Nigeria!                                                                                                                                                      

 

Every time I write about love, my stats go boom boom boom! But, what’s love got to do with these search engine terms?

Search Engine Terms                                                             

social network to find girls phone number or pin that are ready for marraige in nigeria 2014

  • This is not a dating site.

i am looking for love

  • I repeat, this is not a …

i want to friendship nigerian in mumbai

  • This is not a 419 site!

when will a female want a male to stop stroking

  • No comments. My lawyers are already writing Google.                                     #DefamationOfCharacter

when a woman acts up it means you pull her hair and show her whos boss

  • Osanobua! I haven’t even watched, not to talk of reviewed Fifty shades of Grey. I reject it!

i am tired of her in nigerian language

  • I apologise on behalf of all good Nigerian men.

timi yeseibo married

  • Get a life, read The  Economist!

 

Thankfully, these search engine terms reveal what the others may or may not: Livelytwist actually offers something intellectual.

Search Engine Terms                                                             

third world cultural profiles

  • Sociology majors welcome here.

what are the relationship between satire and social transformation

  • Satire can act as an agent of social transformation. Next question?

let there be peace in the land of my birth ( nigeria). Essay 

  • Indeed peace is a necessary ingredient for growth.

can an enemy be killed by splashing holy water on its picture

 

And these search engine terms remind me of why I do what I do…

Search Engine Terms                                                             What I Think

am bored..keep me lively pls

  • Came to the right place, read on.

latest blog by timi yeisibo-lively twist

  • Aw, sweet. People want to read Livelytwist!

livelytwist timi

  • So glad you found me!

 

A report tells one side of the story. I would love to hear your side. So what brought you here? Search engine? Facebook? Twitter? WordPress Reader? Other? And if you blog or have a website, what search engine terms drive traffic to your blog?

 

© Timi Yeseibo 2015

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Statistically Speaking

stats

I am drawn to my WordPress stats page at least once every day although the stats do not tell me things I am curious about like how old my readers are. I know a twelve-year-old girl who reads my blog occasionally and a man of fifty-one, who claims to have read everything on my blog. Are the rest of my readers older or younger? My stats do not also tell me if I have crossed gender barriers with my pen. Who reads my post more, men or women?

 
I know no one in Brazil and Azerbaijan is a place I must locate on a map, yet my words have gone where my legs could not go. My words have travelled over Congo, a place I visited in Wilbur Smith’s The Dark of the Sun, and touched down in the United Arab Emirates. At least one person in every continent, in 105 countries, has viewed my blog.

livelytwist country views

I have heard it said that Nigerians don’t read, and that the average Nigerian’s appetite for literature lies in entertainment (Nollywood gossip), politics, and religion. I think I have done my part to debunk that claim. My highest blog views are from Nigeria, closely followed by the United Kingdom and the United States. Mind you, nearly 5,000 views in a country of 150 million people is a drop in the ocean, but I’ll take that drop, thank you!

 
What brings people who I have never met to my blog? I’d like to think that although I don’t know what gnaws on your mind at night, my words do. More likely, search engine robots pull you to my blog when you search for words like Akpos or Body Magic. If Akpos is unique to Nigeria, then majority of the seventy percent of viewers from Europe and The Americas are Nigerians. It makes sense as my Naija experiences colour my metaphors, making me feel proud that I’m also exporting Naija culture to non-Nigerians.

 
Was it my smiling Gravatar or a comment I left on another blog that brought you here? If so, I’m never changing that photo! If Facebook brought you here, I am not surprised for people share my posts on Facebook more than on any other social media platform.

 
I wonder if you stay after you land on my blog or if you leave, bookmark the page, and return later. If you stay, what do you like to read most? When I read a book, I try to find someone I know or myself in its pages. Is the protagonist’s failure like mine or is his success worth aspiring to? Does he walk with a limp so I can catch up with him?

 
I think the best stories are about the human condition, which would explain why stories about my or another’s insecurities served with wit, are the most viewed, most shared, most commented, and most liked posts on this blog. Posts like The Body Magic, I am not Looking for Love, I am going to Work, The Measure of a Man, Any Comments, and Six Degrees of Separation. Perhaps vulnerability exposes authenticity that makes you stay beyond the polished prose.

 

statistically speaking

Now I know what drives traffic to my blog, do I write another Akpos post? Now I know which posts attract the most views, comments, likes, and shares, do I stop writing posts like, Grow Up Mikey and Our National Pastime, because they performed poorly at the box office?

 
I cannot confine myself to the prison of writing for stats; my mind is bigger than that. However, I realise that my stats are my friends and they are relevant to the degree that I can make right inferences, which affect my writing and ultimately enhance your reading pleasure. So please fill in the gaps and tell me what my stats page won’t: who are you, what brought you here, and what will keep you coming back?

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2014

 
Related posts from Livelytwist:
https://livelytwist.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/what-brought-you-here/
https://livelytwist.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/wordpress-106-writing-and-perception/

 

Image credit: illustration from Microsoft

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

WordPress 103… Recruiting Followers

follow me

I log into my WordPress account to check my blog stats. One visitor; one view. Hmmm, Australians are asleep and Americans just woke up. I scroll down to community and click support. I search for how to increase blog traffic. And that’s what you should do because this post isn’t about SEO, publicize, or  WordPress plugins.  Me? I started blogging six weeks ago.

The initial response to my blog humbles me. That you would honour me, an Ijaw girl, whose only claim to fame is that I come from somewhere near Oloibiri  in the Niger Delta, where Shell first struck oil, by reading my posts, I thank you.

Around midnight six weeks ago, I began sending mails to friends on Facebook and Linkedin. If I missed you, I’m sorry. I was struggling to keep my eyes open as I copied and pasted the prototype mail, changing the recipient’s name and customising each mail to take into account the circumstances of our friendship for that personal touch. Ko easy rara!

I sent the original to Yinka first. Then I copied and pasted it on Afi’s mail. I clicked the send button before I realized that Afi’s mail read: Hello Yinka!

What’s in a name? Plenty. People deserve to know that they are important no matter the time and distance that separates you from them. I couldn’t afford any more gaffes. At 2 a.m., I was still jogging my elephant memory, remembering the small details of our friendship and adapting  each copy-and-paste mail accordingly.

Did it pay off? You tell me.

It got to the turn of a friend who is an award-winning writer. The last time I saw her was in 2010. As we exchanged pleasantries, she mentioned an event involving her grandmother. I planned to attend, but didn’t get round to.

I sent this customised copy-and-paste mail to her:

Hello K,

How are you doing? Long time. The last my sister and I saw you was in PH-ou mentioned your grandmother’s burial I think?

I’ve just started a new blog which I think may interest you. But, don’t just take my word for it, check it out for yourself! Leave a reply, share & spread the word! http://www.livelytwist.wordpress.com

Regards,

Timi

A few days later, I received this response:

Hello Timi, I am okay, thanks. I will check out the blog. My grandmother is still alive.

Cheers.

I wanted to enter a forest so the trees could bury my humiliation with their green leaves. To think that my mail may have hit K as ill-wishes; tufiakwa! K, I only meant well o! May your grandmother live to be 120!

In his book, Axiom, Powerful Leadership Proverbs, Bill Hybels says, “Leadership is a lot about asking. After casting bold visions, leaders ask people to help make them become reality.”1 He writes about projects where the stakes felt sky-high and he had to remind himself to be absolutely shameless in asking people to join him.

So, here’s what I’m doing:

  • Casting the vision – this blog is about us, because we’re doing life together and when we connect, we do life better.
  • Stating the value proposition – every post you read will entertain, inform, inspire, or provoke thought.
  • Inviting you to join me – the follow widget makes it easy to subscribe, so you’ll receive my posts instead of occasionally stumbling upon them.

Recruiting followers goes beyond blogosphere because we lead daily. In my experience, men tend to be hunters, aggressively going after what they want.  Women on the other hand, tend to tell their potential followers all the reasons they should say no, and then apologise for asking.

Man:  I just started this project (goes on to make it sound larger than life), and I want you to join me (exaggerates all the reasons it will be worth your while).

Woman:  I know you’re very busy (adds more reasons why you should say no), but I just started this project (promotes project in humble terms), and I’d like you to join me (gives even more reasons for you to decline).

Well, it’s a new day for me. I’m learning to speak up about what I need and pursue what I want, without losing my femininity. What about you, how do you campaign for what you want?

 

©Timi Yeseibo 2013

 

 

1. Bill Hybels, Axiom, Powerful Leadership Proverbs, (Michigan: Zondervan, 2008), 21.

All people illustrations, animes, avatars, vectors by Microsoft

design: ©Timi Yeseibo

 

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Timi Yeseibo and livelytwist.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.