Technically, I began putting it together a week beforehand, so that people would have something to read when I “opened up”, but on Saturday, June 18th, I posted my review of “Green Lantern”, announced it to everyone on Facebook, and we were on our way. I got 57 page views. And I was here, sitting at the keyboard refreshing my site stats page like mad, cheering each and every one of them as they appeared.
I’ve been working hard since then, and the blog has come a long way. It’s been really rewarding watching its incremental progress. It’s gotten over 1,500 page views since then, and I’ve received a LOT of great compliments - really genuine words of encouragement both here and in person. I can already tell that running this blog is going to be very personally fulfilling, and I plan to keep it going well into the foreseeable future.
In addition to working hard, I told myself when I started this up that I was going to swallow my pride and do whatever it took to grow the site.
So now I’m asking you for your help.
Still just a little seedling
At this point, the majority of the visitors this blog gets are friends and family. I KNOW most of you. So, I know you’d all like to help, you probably just didn’t know I NEEDED help, or that you COULD help. But yes, I need your help. I need help to grow and build this site into a better place for all of us. Polls are better when there’s lots of votes. Posts are better when there’s lots of comments. I want to hear counterpoints. I’d like my jokes to lead to other jokes. I need to get feedback on my reviews. You have to trust me when I say that a larger community swinging through here will help this place become more enjoyable for everyone.
But I can’t do it alone. Trust me when I tell you that every single thing I can be doing, I’m doing. If I see something somewhere to the effect of “How to grow your blog” or “How to increase traffic”, believe me, I’m trying it.
So here’s how you can help me in my efforts.
IF YOU LIKE A POST, SHARE IT ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE.
This is the single best thing I can think of for you to help. Essentially, it’s the modern version of a friend telling a friend. In turn, they may turn around and tell other friends. Don’t worry about “spamming” anyone – I mean, god, people post all kinds of crap on their facebook pages. And personally? I love it. I love seeing the random flotsam of my newsfeed. This person wants to save shelter animals, this one likes old heavy metal videos, here’s a pic of someone fixing up a car. There’s no sanctity to it. All you’re saying is, “hey, I’m enjoying this… maybe you would too”.
When you post to your page, you’re helping me to get the site in front of people I would otherwise never be able to tell about it. Listen, no matter how tight we are, our friends list is NOT identical. So who knows? Maybe you’d be the one to bring in a valuable contributor. Or at the least, you’d have another friend you knew who was visiting the blog.
You’ll find the facebook symbol at the bottom of any full post (not the front page excerpts). Click it and you’ll be guided through the rest of the way.
SHARE MY POSTS ON “STUMBLE UPON”
Stumble Upon is a web program that offers users an opportunity to randomly view pages related to their interests. Example: What are you looking for? Pets. So you click the button and a random page comes up that whoever posted it posted under the category “Pets”. By adding my post to stumble upon, you’re mathematically increasing the odds that my page will come up during that random computation, and increase the chance that visitors are randomly sent here. I can only do it myself once per page. It definitely works though… every single day people are viewing my pages due to stumble upon. The number of them would increase exponentially if you all would help me out.
The StumbleUpon symbol is located right near the facebook symbol at the bottom of every full post. The first time you use it, you’ll have to “sign up” by creating a username and password and giving an email address. I think, though that this is a process that every internet user is familiar with by now. Once you do that the first time, it’s super easy to hit the stumble button and toss my page into the pool of randomness for new visitors to “Stumble Upon”.
I’ve spoken to a lot of you personally about this, and I’ve heard what you’re saying. You don’t feel you have anything to add. You don’t really have anything to say. You came to read, not write. But I’ll tell you this. No matter what you write. No matter how inconsequential it is, whether it’s “Thanks” or, “Heh, funny” or “What are you an asshole?” No matter what it is you leave for a comment, you’re adding a +1 to the little comment counter by the top of every post “headline”.
I’ve been surfing a lot of blogs. Ever since I started this, I’ve really taken a deep dive into the movie blogosphere in order to see what’s out there. Now, I’m nowhere near the bottom, there must be millions of people out there doing this. But I’ve seen a LOT of blogs, and with that comes seeing some “Ghost Towns”. Now, I’m sure those sites are serving the needs of the people who visit and the people who contribute, but it definitely didn’t make me want to stick around. Here I am, I’m actively looking for new places to visit, I’m looking to read the exact types of things that they’re publishing, yet I left because they didn’t have any kind of community going on. On the other hand, when I would stop by a blog that had a lot of comments, and a really active readership, I would settle in immediately and look around, thinking, hey these guys must have their shit together. Was I right? Was I wrong? I don’t know. But I can tell you first hand that a blog with few comments doesn’t make you want to poke around and stay as much as a blog with lots of comments.
So whenever you leave a comment, especially when the blog is still a toddler, you’re helping others see there are already people on the dance floor here.
After all of that…. The best person you can bring to the site is “future you”. My goal is to update the site with at least one entry everyday. So if a person were to make the blog a normal part of their surfing routine, and checked back in at the same time every day, there would always be at least one post there they hadn’t read yet. Now. Will I accomplish that? Probably not, but I’m gonna try like hell. And I certainly can’t guarantee that all days content will be created equal. But I will be posting frequently, so stop back on a regular basis.
By using the “Sign Me Up” button on the right hand side of the front page, you can get email alerts whenever I post a new entry to the site.
If you’ve made it this far into this post, I want to thank you. It’s not easy listening to a man beg. Believe me, begging’s no fun either. But I believe in what I’m doing here. I have confidence in myself as a writer, and so many people are reaffirming that for me. I’ve seen so many successful blogs out there that I totally know that it’s a possibility for this one.
I’m just going to need a little help.
THANK YOU ALL FOR MAKING THIS LAST MONTH SO MUCH FUN FOR ME!!!