Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What Constitutes Quality Blog Content? Plus All I Want for NaNo (Everybody Sing!), Movie Trivia Answers, and Ninja News

I’m welcoming J. A. Bennett today to tell you about a couple amazing things that are happening in conjunction with NaNo. I’ve participated in NaNo and visited the site often, (I wrote CassaFire during NaNo 2010), but I had no idea what the organization was doing for the writing community.

All I Want for NaNo

I first heard about NaNo WriMo three years ago shortly after I started blogging. I thought people were nuts for even attempting to write 50k in a month. Yet, I couldn’t pass up the chance to try it out for myself. Since then, I’ve done NaNo (including camp NaNo) 4 times--this November will make 5.
Because of this, I’ve spent a considerable about of time on and they’re doing some amazing stuff for people. I have a 14 yr old cousin who went to LTUE last year because NaNo came to his school, and he decided he really liked writing. If that isn’t awesome, I don’t know what is.
In these past three years I’ve felt awful for not giving back when NaNo has been doing so much for writers everywhere. That’s why I decided to write an anthology with a few awesome friends and donate all the proceeds to NaNoWriMo. Since the stories are about Christmas, we’re doing a bloghop entitled “All I Want for NaNo”.

I wanted to kick things off today on Alex’s blog with the Twelve days of NaNo (make sure you sing along)—

On the Twelveth day of NaNo my critique partner gave to me:
Twelve pens a scratching
Eleven beats a beating
Ten backed up hard drives
Nine pages of notes
Eight sprinters sprinting
Seven new ideas
Six hours of writing
Five thousand words
Four plot bunnies
Three metaphors
Two awesome hooks
And a climax that takes place in a tree

The bloghop and book release are taking place on November 1st. Please join us!
On November 1st post what you want for you NaNo and put a buy link to The Spirit of Christmas Anthology, as well as the blog hop code in your post. Get as creative as you like, pictures--flash fiction--video, think outside the box.
Get all the information and the code HERE at JA’s blog.

Congratulations to the contributing authors and good luck to all NaNo participants!
Now to go find that tree…

Ninja News!

Available Monday, October 22nd!

Just in time for Halloween, here's the cover of the latest installment of E.J. Wesley's Moonsongs series, Dragon's Game! (New Adult - speculative - Novelette)

Add Dragon's Game to your Goodreads shelf. And for a limited time, you can catch up on the entire Moonsongs series for just .99 cents (regularly $2.99). Moonsongs Anthology 1 (books 1, 2, & 3) is on sale October 15th - 20th at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

Available now – Courage by Carrie Butler!

Rena Collins never thought she'd long for the past…

Buy it now at Amazon
Also, you can pick up the first book in the Mark of the Nexus series for free through Friday - Strength

Chicken Soup for the Soul - It's Christmas was just released and includes "The Treasure Hunt" by LD Masterson.

Congratulations to all three authors!

Movie Trivia Answers!

1 - “When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the Earth.” (1978) - Dawn of the Dead
2 - “Be afraid… Be very afraid.” (1986) - The Fly
3 - “Smile, you son of a b____!” (1975) - Jaws
4 - “I will not be threatened by a walking meat loaf!” (1981) – An American Werewolf in London
5 - “Who’s laughing now?” (1987) – Evil Dead II
6 - “Mrs. MacNeil, the problem with your daughter is not her bed, it’s her brain.” (1973) – The Exorcist
What Constitutes Quality Blog Content and What About Hits?

Monday Arlee Bird tossed out a post about being respected as a blogger, most viewed posts, and what makes a post go viral. The comments were just as interesting and went off in several new directions. It sparked some thoughts in me (which can be dangerous) and I thought I’d continue a few idea streams here.

When it comes to page views and viral posts, I’ve blogged long enough that I know what topics are going to generate the most attention. (I know which ones are likely to kick my comment count over two hundred as well.) However, when it comes to page views and hits – I don’t really care! That’s why I don’t have a stat counter. They aren’t accurate anyway. And what does an extra five thousand views really do for me? I don’t get new followers or new people commenting, nor does it do anything for my book sales. Blogging is about community and friends – you guys – not about racking up the page views anyway.

(You want impressive when it comes to blogging? Someone led me to a blog that had 58,000+ followers and each post racked up 5000 comments (the maximum allowed) in one day. And as far as I could tell, it wasn’t someone famous, and the posts weren’t anything out of the ordinary. Heck with page views – that’s just amazing!)

Another aspect discussed was what makes for valuable blog content. Is it information? Controversy? Thoughtful, reaction-inducing posts? I guess it all depends on what you are looking for in a blog and what your goals are with your own.

As you know, I post a variety. My bio on the left states my interests up front, and it’s those things I usually discuss. I feature a variety of things, just so there is something for everyone. (If you come here and can’t find something on which to comment, then I am at a total loss.) It’s rarely anything like this or something that would stir up controversy. This blog is about fun. As it reflects my books and my writing, as I write light space opera, it’s a good fit.

And it’s by no means easy. It takes me two – three hours to put together a post. I put forth the effort because I want to present the best to you guys, my readers. You guys are important – you’re my friends, and that trumps all. And once I get through this month, there will be a little less promo and more cool Ninja stuff here

So there you have it. And I promise never to cop out on a post and slap a kitten photo up just to get hits. (Unless Pat’s cat Cassie poses as a Ninja for Halloween…)

Are you participating in NaNo this year? (Did you sing the song for JA?) Stoked about the new books? Get any of the trivia correct? And are you happy with your blog? What content matters to you? Do you care about page views? What matters most to you when it comes to blogging?


Tonja Drecker said...

Yep, I sung for J.A.! Loud too :)
Nope, no NaNo for me, although I'm totally cheering for all involved.
As to my blog - of course, it would be awesome to have more followers and popularity and views, but honestly, I'm already feeling guilty that I can't keep up with everyone. And I'm scared that bigger might make it too artificial.

Anonymous said...

Loved the 12 Days of NanNo, great to sing along to. I notice more new books showing interest on Blogsphere. It's wonderful to see how motivated and talented many bloggers are.

I will never in a million years reach viral comments, am very satisfied with the few I do have regulary and wish to thank them all.


Mark Koopmans said...

That was a cute song by JA, and I shall add it to the family's Christmas caroling repertoire:)

Blogging content... phew... an issue close to my heart... something I am working to "control."
(I think a regular schedule would be appreciated by readers - but *stuff* happens and I'm thrown off course a lot... must try harder :)

No Nano for me... nope, but I wish all participants a fantastic experience.

(I'd rather run a 26.2 mile marathon in December than write 50k words in November:)

Anonymous said...

Hi me again I too have my own version of The 12 Days of Christmas......unfortunately I wouldn't be allowed to print it.

Anonymous said...

Hi me again I too have my own version of The 12 Days of Christmas......unfortunately I wouldn't be allowed to print it.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

I'm hoping to participate in Nano again this year, but my outline isn't go so well. I NEED MORE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)

I do like your take on quality content and what the blogsphere is all about.

Heather Musk said...

I'm going back and forth with NaNo. I've tried in the past and haven't won yet. I'd love to do it but don't know if I'm disciplined enough for it. But, maybe this could be my year ...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

T, JA will be happy! I doubt you'd become artificial, but you would become busier.

Mark, you need to have your priorities! That run is December 8 or something like that, isn't it?

Yvonne, bummer!

Lynda, I don't have one ready either. Plus I'll be on vacation.

M.J. Fifield said...

Well, I'm hoping to participate in NaNo, but my prep isn't going very well at all, so who knows what will actually happen.

I did sing the song though.

Bonnee Crawford said...

I'm a little curious about the climax that takes place in a tree, but I think that the Spirit of Christmas anthology to donate to NaNoWriMo is a great idea! This will hopefully be the first year I participate.

I value comments over anything. Just because I have a follower, doesn't mean they're reading the posts I publish. And just because I somehow get a sudden influx of pageviews doesn't mean it's not just a bunch of spam-bots... I KNOW it's a bunch of spam-bots, because the last time my pageviews shot up like that I was inundated with dodgy comments that blogger asked me to moderate before publishing. I post what I feel like posting in the hopes of sharing experiences and starting a bit of a discussion with whoever does care to comment. I think as long as it creates some worthwhile discussion, it's good enough for an amateur's blog.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Cool back to NaNo.

No, I don't have the time to follow my stats. I've no desire to be controversial, either, since that would turn off my reader base. I like your blog, Alex, because it's a fun, friendly, supportive escape.

Laura Pauling said...

I've never done Nano - for several reasons. I don't need the motivation and it never seems to fall at a time when I'm just starting a novel. I started one a few weeks ago and wasn't willing to wait. :) But I know other writers love it and count on it.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Alex I agree with you 100%. Blogging really is about community and friends. It's a family-type relationship in many ways isn't it?

Chris Desson said...

Yes, I'm participating in NaNo this year although I am worried about putting my current WIP aside; I'm already falling behind on my goal. I like hearing stories of ways people give back to I donate monetarily, but any way of giving back to them is awesome. My blog varies and grows with me. I'm cool with this because I'm still new to the game.

Rhonda Albom said...

My 13 year old daughter has signed up for NaNo. She wants to be an author, I figure it's a great place for her to be. I am not sure about me. I did sing JA's song, couldn't help it. I never thought of kittens as a cop out to get views, actually I am so sick of seeing cats that I generally ignore those posts. Just curious, do you think all photo posts are a cop out? I now when I do photo posts, they still take a while to think through as I have way fewer words to get across what I want to say. Finally, yes, I blog for friendship and fun.

LuAnn @ BackPorchervations said...

Yes I did sing it. :p I am planning on NaNoWriMo.

Unknown said...

I haven't participated in NaNo yet, I don't know if I could dedicate the time at this moment in my life, but I would like to give it a go in the future.

I will never see myself receiving comments on my blog of the number you receive, but I do appreciate every comment made by my followers and would just like to thank each and everyone of them. It is great that people take the time to visit.

mshatch said...

I agree that content matters most but I do look at page views because I know not everyone comes AND comments.

But we do love comments, don't we?

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I sang the song in my head - does that count? :)

I agree with you about blogging and community. I enjoy writing my blog, and I hope others can tell that from the posts and pics. I also hope people get something from it, whether it's a writing tip, a book recommendation, a boost of motivation or a laugh.

klahanie said...

Hi Alex,

I'd rather be beaten to death with a wet noodle than get involved with that Mork from Ork Challenge. NaNo way, thank you very much. However, I do understand how much it can mean to you and those involved with such a community spirit. All the best, J.A.

And Lee's posting. Well, I took it all on board. I also know that in many cases, total followers has nothing to do with a blog's popularity. I know that you, Alex, dedicate a lot of time and effort being of support and bringing awareness of others. This is most respectful and the respect is reciprocated.

I'm very happy where I am with my blog. Always have been. I don't care about page views or the amount of followers I have. I'm blessed with a lot of interaction, nonetheless. My blog, in its own way, is about interaction, pro-action and hopefully being of help to others and thus, myself.

Must go now and slap up a photo of a cat. Um no!


Sean McLachlan said...

I've never done NaNoWriMo before but I'm considering it this year. I'm just finishing up my WIP and will do a short story before the end of the month, so the decks will be clear, so to speak.

As for blogging, my most-read posts are the weird ones, like the cowboys shooting down the pterodactyl or the picture of the guy who got scalped and lived. My more serious history posts do OK, but don't get nearly as many hits as the oddities.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I agree that blogging is about the community and friendships. So I do focus on comments too. But I also look at page views because some people will read but not comment on the post. Our posts tend to be informative so people might read them and not comment. I know that's especially true of our agent spotlights that can get 500-700 page views. And I usually get several hundred page views for my posts where people don't comment.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Love the 12 Days of NaNo. And Jennie rocks.

"Blogging is about community and friends" Yes.

Lovely post, Alex!

Nigel G Mitchell said...

I did Nano one year and wrote (I think) one of my best works. But because I wrote it so fast, it's going to take a lot of revision, and I hate revision, so I never got around to it. So i was disillusioned to the exercise. Like you, I didn't know how much they give back. I need to contribute.

writing and living by Richard P Hughes said...

My interests are wide and varied and my blog tends to be that way. I just blog about whatever seems blog-worthy at the moment. I feel a kinship to many of my fellow bloggers. I think that's what I like the most about it.

Stina said...

LMAO at the climax in a tree. I write romance. Guess where my thought went there? *snort*

Yay Carrie and her sequel. :D

I didn't know there was a maximum comments allowed. I guess that's because I've never come close to it on my blog.

I used to care about all those things with my old blog. Not so much anymore. I have other things to focus on now. Content, though, will always be important, and it's something I struggle with more now than I used to with the writing blog. :P

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Wish I was participating in NaNo this year. Too much going on, finishing up my MG to get to my agent, short story for an anthology, and the fam. All my best to those hammering out new stories, though.

Blogging? What's most important to me? Hmm... I guess I'd say making an impact to help others. Page views are nice and I'd be lying if I said that followers weren't important to me because they are my oxygen for continuing to blog. But making a difference in someone else's life - even if I never know about it - is what's most important to me.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bonnee, that's why I like comments more as well.

Elizabeth, thanks!

Keith, it sure is. And family matters more.

Christine, just enjoy the ride and the growth.

Rhonda, no I don't. You always talk about each photo, and they are one you've taken. They take time to prepare and I appreciate that.

Carolyn, Amen!

Marcy, yes we do.

Gary, Penny would not be happy with a cat photo! You have a lot of interaction on your blog and you post from the heart. That matters most.

Sean, sometimes you can't predict it, right?

And that's cool for your site, Natalie - it's set up differently. I'm sure a lot of people read about the agents without commenting.

Stina, I'm a guy - my mind went there as well. And I've never come close to the maximum either.

Brian Miller said...

i so agree on the community of bloggers...i pay less attention to hits than i do comments...and those that comment consistently as well...because those are the ones i am loyal to a good comment, acknowledging content...i am not a big fan of just praise without it being attached to substance...

Pat Hatt said...

I saw that blog too with the 5000 comments, it was nuts. No way I could keep up with that many. Pageviews are pretty useless, but I admit I'll like seeing the 1,000,000 when mine hits, just because of the number. Plus I know I get a lot of lurkers who don't comment. I can tell which posts will usually get the post reaction too. But go with whatever I want at my zoo. Like to stir crap up every once in a while as well. Nano I have never done, but wrote 120,000 words in 20 days once, so I know I could do it with ease. And ninja costume huh? Well it won't be that, but there will be something to do with the ninja wannabe coming up soon lol

Jo said...

I didn't know the page view counts etc. were inaccurate. On my own blog it has changed considerably. So I think I will delete it. Thanks Alex. As for blog content, I write what is happening at the time in my life and as I write more or less daily maybe my content isn't as good as it might be. However, I would hate to have as many comments as you do, I could never keep up.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I think getting over twenty comments in a day on my blog is a big deal so 5000 a bit of a long shot. I too am way more interested in my readers and community than stats. Sang the song in my head but hey it got a choir section that sings way better than me. Hi J.A.!! So cool you got a feature today and Nanowrimo has done a lot for authors so this anthology is a wonderful idea. Never won a Nano but still take part because I love the challenge and community. Congrats Carrie, E.J. and LD on your books and accepted stories.

Anonymous said...

I give up NaNo about a week in. lol I'm always gearing up for Christmas by then that I don't have the will to focus.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

12 NaNo wishes were cute. I blog about what I'm comfortable with and I avoid the big controversies. I'd rather not be famous in that way.

Unknown said...

I sang the song and this november I will be doing the NaNo dance. I joined two years ago and that is where Secrets of the ash tree got started. I agree with your comments about blogging and what makes for a good blog. I wish that I had the same amount of time that you do! As it is, I do the best I can with the time I have, and no..stats are not important, but my curiousity leads me to look at them once and awhile anyways.

Julie Dao said...

The best blogs, for me, are the ones with humor and honesty. And those are usually the ones with the highest number of followers and comments!

Suze said...

This made me smile:

(If you come here and can’t find something on which to comment, then I am at a total loss.)

And this made me laugh:

And I promise never to cop out on a post and slap a kitten photo up just to get hits.

I enjoyed reading your thoughts on content, Alex.

Luanne G. Smith said...

Never done NaNo. Never will. I like to take things slow when I write. But I do make a good cheerleader for those who choose to do it.

And I try not to worry much about the blog. I've never been one to chase followers. My favorite thing is writing on a topic that encourages thoughtful discussion or funny responses from my friends. The comment section is my favorite part of blogging. :))

Johanna Garth said...

Going to be singing the Nano song all day long even though I won't do it because I'm in the middle of writing my new book.

As for what makes a good blog, I find the ones that are just snapshots of life always have a lot of traffic, but, like you, I rarely track the traffic.

Jay Noel said...

I will try to do NaNo again this year, but I have a big Optometry Exam I have to cram for and take at the end of the month. So it will be the ultimate challenge.

Read Arlee's post, and it was interesting thinking about a few of my posts that went nuts. One was a post I did minutes after Shawn Hornbeck was found after being abducted several years before. My blog BLEW UP. Over 50,000 hits in one day. said...

I have great respect for everyone who does NaNo, whether they finish or not. I cannot write that many words in 6 months, much less one month. Hardly ever check my stats. It's always interesting when I do.

Be well, Alex.

Laura Clipson said...

I'm loving all of the Christmas stuff in this post - I'm going to have to get myself a copy of that anthology!
I have to agree with you about blogging stats, I don't follow mine at all. I care more about the community than how many comments I get on a post. I don't blog for the pageviews - I blog for me, and anyone who wants to read my posts.
I can't wait for NaNo on the first, although I'm a little behind on my planning!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

SA, well said!

Brian, comments matter more to me.

Pat, should I be afraid?

Jo, the blessing can be the curse.

Sheena-kay, might be your year to win.

Julie, I'll try to be funnier.

Suze, glad I could make you laugh!

Jay, that's a lot!

Laura, you'll be all right.

StratPlayerCJF said...

there are probably a million 'guidelines' a blogger cam follow, but I think what constitutes a "quality" blog content is really too hard to describe. It gets into the whole area of aesthetics, which has a lot of high-brow philosophical concepts, but ultimately boils down to "stuff I like". And that's a vaporous concept in itself -- an individual might love stories about robots, but after reading twenty of them in a row, might cringe at the thought of just one more robot.

But I like your blog. I think it does have "quality". It offers a lot of useful information, given with a fun, not-taking-myself-too-seriously attitude, written by a talented guy. Who plays guitar and writes science-fiction -- who doesn't love that???

Maurice Mitchell said...

5000 comments is amazing. It must have been a very controversial topic. Thanks for putting all that work in Alex. We appreciate it. Have an awesome Wednesday.

Juliana Haygert said...

Congrats, EJ, Carrie and LD Masterson!

I don't worry much about blog hits and pageviews - I don't blog often enough (and I'm not counting cover reveals, book blitz - because those come ready for me to post).

Anonymous said...

I think I'm one of the very few who don't do NaNo. Everyone I know does and talks about it constantly. Before NaNo even starts, I'm ready for it to be over. I tried to plot a story one year to give it a shot and it just didn't happen. It's not something that motivates me to write.

Nicole said...

Whoa, I've been away for a couple weeks and there's. so. much. great. news! Great to see all the excitement around this year's NaNo too.

Arlee Bird said...

Regarding the blog content/views/etc. I agree in part with what you say, but I think you're missing something in the other part about racking up page views in big numbers. In some ways it's similar to the debate about follower numbers. I won't go into the points where I disagree since I have another post or two that will be addressing these aspects of blogging and marketing. Check with me on Friday for my next round of thoughts on this topic.

Tossing It Out

Melissa said...

I don't do NaNo, but I love the song. LOL

Congrats to EJ, Carrie, and LD. Good stuff.

I'm not completely happy with my blog, but I'm working on it. I glance at stats from time to time out of curiosity, but I don't dwell on it.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

I participated in NaNoWriMo twice and "won" each time, but I still haven't finished those books. I don't think NaNoWriMo really works for me, and I'm in the middle of revisions anyway, so I'm not ready for a new project. Best of luck to everyone who's participating, though!

As to blogs, mine started out as a way to keep in touch with friends and now focuses more on writing. It would be nice to include more personal posts, but there's not much to post about these days. (And my best pictures go on Facebook now.) I can't imagine going through 5000 comments on a single post!

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

Yes, Nano! I'm doing it, yessirree... even though just thinking about all that work makes me want to barf! Your anthology is a stellar idea! Best of luck!

ilima said...

The Nano hop is such a great idea. I've already signed up. I love Nano.

What is the site you visited with all those followers and comments? Crazy.

SC Author said...

I'm doing NaNo! I have to get out of this 2-month no-writing slump.

Christine Rains said...

I'll be participating in NaNo this year even though I don't have much time next month. I just can't resist! Even half the word count would be fantastic. I'm pleased with my blog the way it is right now. The most popular posts are odd. Some nonsense stuff and then guest posts. I hope my posts help and entertain.

LD Masterson said...

Thanks so much for the shout out, Alex. And congratulations to E.J. and Carrie.

I love the NaNo song but, as usual, no NaNo for me. I just can't bring myself to give up that much Christmas planning and prep time. (Or maybe I'm just too chicken to try.)

Cherie Reich said...

Loved the NaNo song! And I'm participating again this year.

Carrie-Anne said...

For the last three years, I've started books during November, but not as part of NaNo. It was part of my inspiration for beginning then, but it wasn't at the first of the month, and I didn't measure my progress through their website. 50K is a drop in the bucket for all of those books, so there was no chance I'd be done in only a month. There's no way I'll be done with my current WIP by the end of the month, so I don't foresee starting anything new during November this year.

Misha Gerrick said...

I will be doing NaNo this year, although I have no idea whether that might be a mistake... :-D

As for my blog, I like kicking back with other writers, and helping new writers to find their feet in the writing gig. Seems to work for me.

Tina said...

I'm still contemplating my answers to Arlee's much to think about. I'm a little too focused on stats - it's the insecure writer "I just want people to like me" thing...trying to get over and limit myself to just looking once a month or so...
I'm NOT in it for the stats, I just consider those a bonus, but I like bonuses...I'm in it for the friendships and the conversations that get started with comments. I'm just a bit obsessive about numbers ;-)
Tina @ Life is Good

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Lee, great post. It's got me thinking. I love my blogger friends, I love the community, but I have to admit that it's hard work trying to write a post that appeals to others, let alone me. In fact, it's getting harder. May be age, or burnout, I'm not sure, but I'm really really hoping this feeling, whatever it means passes. Your post was very thoughtful. And so true.

Unknown said...

I'd like to try NaNo one year, but right now my work schedule is too hectic. I have great respect for everyone doing it; it would be such an accomplishment to end the month with 50K words. Congrats to Carrie for her newest release!

Cathrina Constantine said...

I've never tried NaNo. And since I'm so bogged down with my wip and editing, it seems impossible at this time. But I will check it out this November. I'm fairly new to blogging and discovered I could check on my hits. I like when people join my blog. I'm not a great blogger, I tend to keep posts short and sweet. Yeah, a picture here and there to fill the space. I'm learning each day. Congrats to all the people with book releases!

Patsy said...

I'm wimping out on Nano this year - good luck to all who're doing it though. I think it's well worth doing at least once.

I'm more interested in people commenting on my blog and coming back another time than the number of views, as I don't think that figure means much.

H. R. Sinclair said...

Yup,doing NaNo and I just may participate in the bloghop.

Blog content is the most important. If I do "slap" up photo, it's one I've taken and want to share.

Blog views are interesting as well as searches, but comments are the only way to really know if what you said of value to anyone. And I think we all want to know we have some to say that someone else liked.

Author A.O. Peart said...

As always, I'm very excited for my fellow authors with new releases. Congratulations!

Awesome movie quotes - I'm such a quote enthusiast that I can't pass on saving the good ones, so all of these go into my stash :)

Wow, 5000 comments a day? That must be the hell of a blog. Can I please have the link to visit?

Patricia Stoltey said...

Yep, I'm doing NaNo this year. No time to do the blog hop though.

I just read the first of the E.J. Moonsong stories and liked it a lot. E.J.'s writing is really good. Popped over to amazon to buy the discounted anthology so I could read 2 and 3 right away.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Good luck to everyone participating in NaNo! I wish that I had the discipline for it. Great quotes Alex! Congrats to all the authors!


M Pax said...

Best of luck to JA and everyone else doing NaNo. I'll be writing, but not doing NaNo. I prefer writing a slower, more carefully crafted first draft and having less work in the revisioning.

Congrats to EJ, LD, and Carrie, and whoever I missed. Woot on all that work coming to fruition.

Blogs should be an extension of ourselves. I'm not into controversy either. I don't think readers read blogs. I've had no indication that my uber fans read it. They might check my site after I send the newsletter giving an approximate release date, but they don't read the blog. I do what makes me happy.

Sarah Ahiers said...

5000 comments is just crazy. CRAZY!

Anonymous said...

You make some extremely valid points, Alex. Blogging is about community and building relationships - I'm so glad you'll never slap up a kitten photo for page views! Whew! That's a relief! lol Truth be told, I'd rather not post at all than waste my followers time with meaningless posts. Sometimes I can't post - reading and writing solid reviews takes time. Writing informative posts takes time. But then time is of the essence, and we must use it wisely. If that means not posting on any given day, so be it. The point of it all is to build relationships by being part of the community and develop our craft, improving it as much as we possibly can...

In the interest of not writing a nano, I think I'll stop now. Best of the day to you, kind friend :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Chris, appreciate that! And yes, the 'stuff I like' theory I buy.

Maurice, it really wasn't controversial, which was even more odd.

Patricia, but good that you know it doesn't work for you.

Lee, what am I missing? Again, all depends on why one blogs.

Sandra, I can't either!

Ilima, I don't remember!

Christine, your blog is perfect the way it is!

LD, you're welcome.

Carrie-Anne, you blow everyone else out of the water.

Tina, it's the friendships that matter most anyway.

Joylene, you have to appeal to you first.

Patsy, exactly!

Holly, well said!

Angela, if I only remembered what it was, I'd share it!

Mary, and that's the best way to blog.

MJ, and on days I don't have anything of value, I don't post either. You get the full Ninja or nothing!

Robin said...

What matters to me is posting interesting content. I think that comments are a good reflection of who is writing and what people are thinking. I do become disappointed if I write something that has taken a lot of thought and very few people comment. However, that is how it goes. Sometimes I post something that isn't all that deep and gets more comments. I would love to get 20 comments consistently on each post. I don't think that is an unrealistic goal. Not happening now, so it is something for which to strive.

Thank you for all you do with your blog. You must know that you are doing something right. Your followers "tell" you each time they comment. We appreciate you!!!

Andrew Leon said...

The thing for me with blogging, the thing that bothers me, is when I spend a lot of time working on something that's a quality post. Good writing. Good thoughts. Good ideas. Whatever. And it generates low comments. Then I post something that's just sort of fun and throwaway and my comments are double or triple what they normally are. That contradiction gives me those, "Why do I bother?" thoughts.

Unknown said...

Lots of great books out there by our authors. Wishing Jennie and the hop lots of success.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

The ghost of Hemingway and I are not NaNo fans. He wrote why the other day on my blog.

As for quality content, I try to write as if a hurting soul was reading my posts. With that mind-set, I think I don't hurt at least!

Leovi said...

Yes, visitor statistics are unreliable by visits spam inflate but are fictitious, never have occurred!

Crystal Collier said...

Wahoo for E.J. and Carrie! Can't wait to read both. I tried NaNo a few years back, but it definitely wasn't a good fit. If I wasn't a home schooling mom, it might have worked out. Alas, it was TOO MUCH. So, while I love and support everyone else in it, it's good to know your limits.

Charles Gramlich said...

As I say pretty much every year. Someday!

Mark Means said...

Wow, great seeing all those new's really getting me motivated for NaNo (and after!)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go find a tree....

Suzanne Furness said...

No I'm not doing NaNo, I simply wouldn't be able to donate the time to it. Wishing all who are the best of luck with the challenge though.
Agree with the many comments here, blogging is for interaction, support, friendship not about clicks!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Very interesting words on the blogging content thing. As for nano...I've actually never tried it. Your blog has great content, Alex. Appreciate all the work you put into it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

No NaNo for me, but I was singing.

A blog is supposed to be interactive. Anyone who is that focused on page views and hits needs to have a website, not a blog. You always post interesting stuff.

A Beer for the Shower said...

No NaNo here. Not to sound snobby, but we've never had a problem churning out books quickly. A great motivator for some, but not needed for us.

As for your thoughts on Arlee's entry, we couldn't agree with you more. This is also why we don't have a pageview counter. As mentioned on Arlee's blog (and probably the last time it'll be mentioned since we usually don't talk pageviews) we had our Amanda Bynes post reach 180,000+ views. Did it increase our regular readers, or increase our book sales, etc? Not in the slightest. It was just a bunch of people who got a quick laugh and left. We don't really care about that, so going viral only counts if those people stick around. If they don't, then it's just empty calories that really aren't even worth bragging about.

The Angry Lurker said...

Blogging has to be fun for me to continue with it!

PK HREZO said...

LOL... no kitten pics please!

Wow 2-3 hours huh? takes me an hour usually. I'm with you tho--it's about community, and not controversy, altho that's ok too from time to time.

No Nano for me this year. Been there, done that. Got the tee shirt.

Congrats to EJ and Carrie! And I've seen your comments pop up a few times on blog today Alex. lol Thanks!

VikLit said...

Am singing along!

Ella said...

J.A I love what you shared-so fun!

Blogging has to be fun! WE need to know the sun, I mean Captain will brighten our day~ Alex did you see the sun?! I did ;D

Congrats to EJ and Carrie!!

I will be a better blogger when the house returns to normal-I live in hope~

Mel Chesley said...

Now I have that song stuck in my head... lol!
I'm still on the fence about NaNo. I've participated a couple times and did very well, but things are a bit scrambled around here, still.

Tammy Theriault said...

Ah yes! I love posting what is true to me and not to the norm. As I can tell you do to!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robin, thank you. And not unrealistic at all. Just keep aiming for that.

Andrew, as you'll see from the comments, a lot of people just want fun. That's why I rarely post anything deep.

Leovi, spam can change those numbers.

Mark, let me know when you find it.

Thanks, Michael.

Brandon and Bryan, you hit it on the head!! Agree completely. Even if you guys are snobs.

PK, I like your version of controversy though.

Ella, I saw it for a moment!

mooderino said...

I post the same content on my blogger and on my tumblr. Posts occasionally get big responses on both, but a subject that does well on one site rarely does well on the other. Even with interests as narrow as mine, they type of audience you have access to makes a big difference.


Unknown said...

I think what attributes to your success as a blogger is that you, Alex, are authentic and real, and you take the time to comment on everyone's blog. I still have no idea how you do that. :)

Yolanda Renée said...

Are silly Halloween questions considered 'quality' blogging? Don't really care, I do it for fun, I do it for others, and I do it to share.

Good discussion though!

Brinda said...

I'm not doing NaNo. I've had too much stress lately and can't go there. Love all the books you featured, Sang along with JA Garland ( I did try to resist) and can't believe one blog post could get 5000 comments. Whoa.

Stephanie Faris said...

I don't think I'll be participating this year--I'm writing chapter books, which are about 40 pages!!! Writing one of those in a month isn't so difficult. So in November, I'll probably be writing 2-3 books...but they still won't be as long as some of the books you guys are writing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Moody, that's interesting that the response is different.

Thanks, Melanie!

Yolanda, your Halloween posts have been great.

Brinda, I know - whoa!

Stephanie, that's still impressive.

~Sia McKye~ said...

JA--I belong to a very cool writing group and I watched a couple of years while they'd madly participate. Then it was noticed I wasn't, lol! They browbeat, Um, I mean encouraged me to join them. I've done a two or three times. It's a good idea and yes, I get a lot written since I tend to drop kick my inn editor far away. I'm not sure about this year. I have several things I could do just not sure about my time... What a great idea the anthology is! I do donate to NaNo.

Congrats to EJ--love dragons!
Like the story premise and cover of Courage. Yay to LD Masterson on Chicken soup Christmas story release.Pretty cool.

Sia McKye Over Coffee

J E Oneil said...

So I did get those two correct. Not a passing grade, though :)

J.L. Campbell said...

NaNo has been good to me, but I haven't been able to make the 50k words in several years. It's still helpful though when I want to get some work done.

As to content, I like giving people useful information and that's mostly the stuff I've picked up on writing. I've realized that those get the most hits. Good info beats sensationalism any day.

Good luck to those with new releases!

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey, Alex, Hi, J.A.

Very clever twelve days! ALL THE BEST to those doing NaNo... I salute you! Raises arm and salutes proudly...

Congrats to Carrie, EJ, and LD... All fine authors that I am proud to call my friends!

5000 comments a day!!!!!!!!!!!!! It took me over a year to get that many.... WHOA!!!!!

Carrie Butler said...

1. Thank you for the shout-out, my friend! :)

2. I don't care about page views, either. I'd rather have a conversation with a dozen people than have a thousand people pass through.

P.S. Thanks to everyone for the congratulations!

Unknown said...

To me, NaNo is like cooling dinner, but milling the flour, butchering the meat, and picking the veggies first. Why torture yourself? So nope, I don't do NaNo. I write when I want and edit the heck out of it as I go. I also take unscheduled breaks when I'm fed up, and NEVER RUSH TO MEET DEADLINES!! It's a pirate's life for me -- Arr!

A.J. Walker said...

When you said "light space opera" I pictured Gilbert and Sullivan on a UFO, but I guess that would be space light opera!

Catherine Stine said...

Nanowrimo, yeah! I'll be at it in NOV. And, the Excorcist is one of those films that never dies. hehehe

G. B. Miller said...

Personally, I think NaNo is much ado about nothing. If you're gonna write, devoting a month to it is meaningless. If you're already writing, devoting a month to it is meaningless.

As for blogging, early page views used to matter to me. But as the years progressed and spammers hit my blog with more frequency than I care to admit, I would take some of those spam inflated count posts down to clamp down on the page views.

I no longer allow people to comment anonymously, which has eliminated about 98% of my spam page views, and now I basically pay attention to what my subscriber feed is for readership.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sia, glad you finally succumbed to the pressure.

Michael, can you imagine?

Carrie, you're welcome, and I completely agree!

AJ - funny!

True Life and Fiction said...

Wow, great post! I guess I should pay more attention to what I post on my blog. Right now, I have no real direction. I simply use my blog as a kind of virtual stump to stand upon and spout my rants, achievements, and conspiracy theories to friends and strangers.

Unknown said...

I am doing NaNoWriMo for the first time this year! I remember when the authors from "The Spirit of Christmas" were asking people on Facebook to choose their favorite book cover for the anthology (at least, I think it's the same book and authors!). They've got a very cool blog hop idea.

Heather M. Gardner said...

If you're happy and you know it write a blog!

I failed miserably at NaNo. I have no discipline and November is like my busiest month ever for stuff I didn't even know about until I was trying to write.

I did sing the 12 days song! It's cute.

I don't care much about page views but I wish I wrote more blog posts. I wish I was a better commenter on other blogs.

I find your posts funny, charming, informative, giving and thought provoking. It's why I keep coming back.

Now...that tree has to be around here somewhere.


Unknown said...

Hi Cap'n! Comment #112 here. Not bad, Dude. I am not doing NANO, I am now singing that darn song, and enjoyed the post on quality blog content. Thanks for stopping by the nut-tree earlier. My Mid-Life-Crisis has ebbed, and I am getting back in Ninja-form.
Just Jill

Julie Flanders said...

I'm so happy for EJ, Carrie, and LD! So much great news this month.

Love the bloghop, I'm still trying to decide whether to do NaNo this year or not. Didn't know that they did so much behind the scenes but that's awesome.

jaybird said...

I'm not quite ready to commit to NaNo right now, but it is a definite goal of mine for the future!!

I like all kinds of blogs with diverse content. I couldn't really say that I am drawn to some over the others for content; to me it's more about relationships with other bloggers. :)

Mina Burrows said...

Hi Alex. I'm not really into blog stats either. I agree about the community part. The best part of all this are the people. Sometimes my posts are good other times bleh. I do try though. :)

Liesel K. Hill said...

Love the 12 days of NaNo. I'll have to check out the blog hop. I'm totally doing NaNo this year. :D

Susan Kane said...

I don't check out the blog facts, maybe I should to see what posts meant the most to readers.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I don't think I will try NaNo again. I've failed enough times to know it's not my cup of tea.

I only blog for the friendships. When I am away, I miss you guys! (also, for the record...during my hiatus, my books sales went way down...coincidence? maybe, but it was enough to justify continuing what I find to be very enjoyable!)

And um, confining my comments to just a single topic on your blog is what I find difficult!

Kat Sheridan said...

I love NaNo. Love it. And Camp NaNo. I try every year. Some years I win, some I don't even get close, but I love the commaradarie, the cheering among my NaNo buddies, just the whole idea of dedicating myself to writing. And I really love all they do to support the writing community and young writers. I wish there'd been something like that when I was a kid!

I'm not a blogger, so I can't do the 12 days of Nano blog fest, but I'd wish for a better plan before jumping into it! Or maybe an extra day in November! Good luck to all those playing along, and looks like some great book suggestions here as well!

Cate Masters said...

After a few years of NaNo, I skipped a few years when life took a hard left. This year, I'll probably try it again though.
Congrats to the authors with releases! Wishing you many sales.
I don't judge authors by their blogs. I concentrate on writing good stories, though I like to entertain with blog posts.

Samantha May said...

All I want for NaNo is such a cool idea! Someday I'm going to be brave enough to actually attempt NaNo...

Your blog is awesome because despite the fact that you're published and basically blog royalty, you're a pretty chill individual.

I admire you, Mr. Ninja :)

Anonymous said...

Still not sure if I'm doing NaNo this year. Signed up for some webinar classes that should keep me busy. I did sing the the words to the Twelve Days of NaNo. : ) I thought it was cute.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on what constitutes quality blog content. Arlee's post and the comments that followed were quite interesting.

Shah Wharton said...

I don't care about page views but I do want people to stop by and make my efforts worthwhile. Trouble I have is visiting all the blogs I want to visit. There are so many and I can only fit so many in. I think it's more about visiting which gets peeps to visit me. If I don't visit for whatever reason, I don't get many visitors (well, commenters, I don't look at visitors).

I enjoyed the song :)

Congrats to the three authors!

Nope, no Nano for me this year. I've completely twice in a row and will do it next year, but I'm not best placed to do so this year. X

Sherry Ellis said...

I couldn't even imagine writing 50,000 words in a month! I can barely do that in a year. Where do you get the time?

Love the song! Very cute!

Leovi said...

Yes, it is a very inyeresante to practice writing, did not know!

Krista McLaughlin said...

I'm doing NaNo this year and I'm excited about the anthology. It's such a great idea! I am attempting my first YA Sci-Fi for Nano, so cross your fingers for me! :)

Gwen Gardner said...

Love the idea for a NaNo anthology. I'll definitely pick up a copy.

I don't look at my stats page. I know I could do more with my blog, but I don't have time. Just want to keep my foot in the water and try to keep in touch.

David P. King said...

Thanks for the mention, Alex! Now I need to check out Arlee's post. You pretty much nailed my thoughts on good blogging. Now I need to find a way to get back into the swing of things. :)

Doralynn Kennedy said...

Your blog is fun. It's also inspiring, instructive... and family. When I grow up, I want to be a blogger just like you. Well, I'm going to attempt NaNo again this year, but I'm not too sure about the bloghop. I want to do the hop, but at the same time, I get out of breath just thinking about it.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

JL, that works as well!

Rachel, I couldn't vote, but I remember that as well.

Heather, thank you!

Jill, that's good to hear.

Jaybird, that's how I feel.

Elizabeth, doesn't sound like a coincidence to me. And that's better than not knowing what to say at all!

Samantha, thank you! I'm still just a guitar geek with a blog.

Shah, there are only so many hours in the day...

Sherry, if I could do it, I know you could!

Krista, you can do it!

David, you're welcome. And just jump right in.

Thanks, Doralynn!

nutschell said...

No Nano for me either. I'd love to actually but I dont think I can hack it with my crazy schedule this month.
I love how you spend quality time working on all your blog posts, Alex. And it really does show. Still don't know how you manage, but you're my blogging idol for sure.

S. L. Hennessy said...

I keep thinking about doing NaNo. This post is making me seriously consider it.

Frankie Miller said...

Hi Alex
Thanks for allowing me to join your site as a member, and even more thanks for becoming the first person to join mine. This is more than a milestone - it's a miracle.
Your blogs are very interesting and it's good to know that it can take you a few hours to put one together since I find myself struggling quite a lot. However, I'm just starting out, and don't expect many hits. I'm only beginning to cope with the technology! I loved your previous blog about places/buildings with personalities. Thanks again,

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nutschell, thanks!

Fanny, it gets easier, promise!

Nicki Elson said...

Hooray for LD - I was just about to visit her! And Carrie & EJ too. Just downloaded Strength - thanks, Carrie.

Good luck w/ the Nanoing, everyone! I had no idea they did so much either - thanks for informing us, JA.

Hey Al, you featured a lot of initials today!

Unknown said...

Love the NaNo much fun. I did NaNo officially a few years ago and unofficially last year. My idea for this year is brewing and I can't wait. Good luck to everyone participating!

Kelly Polark said...

Congrats to EJ!!!

Man, I should've known the Jaws trivia question!!!

Interesting that you don't have Statcounter! You get more comments than any blog I visit! I do use it out of curiosity, but you are right. Community is more important than visits!

Danette said...

HI Alex, You are definitely a blogging icon! I don't always comment on blogs that get a lot of comments -not that I don't read them but I don't always feel like I will have something new to add so I don't comment. On my favorite blog WEIT, he posts 5 or more times a day- some posts with more content and some with less- but some get lots of comments and there are arguments, back and forths, etc. It's quite a community which I enjoy lurking around (although I don't always having time for the comments). For my blog, I got caught up for a while in trying to entertain or please readers and it just wasn't me. I just have to post what interests or pleases me, I guess so that I feel that if no one reads it- I'm not bored. I posted on Jack the Ripper the other day and had a fun time digging up some of the info- but didn't get any comments and I did look at stats that time. I don't think I got many hits on it. My Insurance posts have generated quite a few I guess (although not terribly many comments on the 2nd and 3rd posts) but again, I guess it has to interest me or I would get pretty down about the fact that I don't get tons of comments. But then I don't have the time to do the kind of commenting that others do either. I am just staying afloat keeping track of my favorite blogs. Like yours! Cheers!

Denise Covey said...

Hi Alex. I'm a big fan of NaNo and will be participating this year for the 5th time. Great fun. Great motivation.
I read Arlee's post and I'm with you on page views. They mean little and just frustrate you if you see you've had 700 page views and only 50 commented.
It's great to see all the books coming out.
Your blog does have something for everyone. I do get a bit frustrated with it as I'm a fan of bloggers with deep discussion on their blogs about writing and publishing etc, but when you're doing what you're doing, trying to appeal to everyone, you can't provide this. I know where to go for such posts. I see yours as a way to catch up on blogging news which is a very valuable service.


Trisha said...

1. I am participating in NaNo - always do, pretty much.

2. I generally don't plan my blog content out to a huge degree, but in recent years I've set myself monthly blogging goals, mostly "I want to post one of these posts each month." Next year I will probably loosen things up even more. I guess we'll see, though. My blog "schedule" also changes relatively frequently as I try to find out what's right for me.

I doubt I'll ever be getting 5k comments on each post, but nor am I aiming for that. I guess I just want to stay connected with this great community.

Chancelet said...

I think this was the first movie trivia that I knew most of the movies - all except Evil Dead. :)

Good luck to all you Nanos!

Michelle Wallace said...

Congrats to EJ, Carrie & LD!
The thought of writing 50 000 words in 30 days terrifies me... I'm a super slow writer...
That NaNo song is such fun!!
I agree that community and connecting with fellow bloggers is more important than visits or stats... to me it is, anyway... but having said that, I think my blog is very basic... maybe even boring sometimes...

Helena said...

Love The Twelve Days of NaNo. I've never participated in it, but I'm in awe of the people who do and even have publishable stories at the end.

Me, I've found I just like visiting your blog and others and having friends stop by mine. Blogging has turned out for me to be a really pleasant way to meet some great people and especially fellow writers online. It's such a supportive community.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for the Dragon's Game shout out, sir! Truly appreciated. :)

Although, I'm afraid I ended up in a "firestorm post"! LOL I read Arlee's blog and had to come over and see what was up. I think a lot of great points being made about blogging, from a lot of perspectives.

For me, it's about being a part of a community and feeling like I've got something to say that might help others. :)

Jennie Bennett said...

Thank you Alex!!!! I can't thank you enough! Sorry I'm so late. My hubby and I went to Houston at the last minute and we just decided we're going to move there. YAY! Only it's 1,500 miles away and we have three kids, lol. But you're so awesome for helping us. You're the best!!

DiscConnected said...


I'm late to the party, playing catch up this week.

This topic (started on Lee's blog) amused me a little, because for many of the commenters, "respect" is an important goal.

The fact that Blogger exists makes blogging primarily a vanity effort, and I think the idea of "respect" as a blogger is a fruitless pursuit.

I would list you and Lee as successes-you both have lots of followers, but followers do not equate to readers.

While I am not privy to your page view stats, you both also have lots of commenters.

I would say that is a measure of success and respect...I am just not so sure that a blogger can expect more. You example of the blog with 5K comments confirms my thinking.

You sound like you enjoy the time you spend on the blog-and I think that should be the whole point!


Anonymous said...

I think I pretty much blog about the same topics. I've been doing so since the beginning of my blog. Reading, writing, and sometimes personal stuff.

I'd love to do NaNo, but I'm always in the middle of a manuscript I don't want to abandon.

Toi Thomas said...

I'm not participating in NaNo, but I did sing along. Too bad my week was so crazy that I'm just now getting to this. What a great post. I totally agree about page views, they don't mean much. If I had 100 comments in a day, I'd be happy, but I think I'm just not there yet. I think it takes time to build that kind of interaction. I currently love my blog the way it is, especially since I just went through the process of transferring most of my content. I think I'm finally getting the hang of this blogging thing.
I need to watch more horror movies, the only two I got was The Fly and the Exorcist, and I never even saw the Exorcist all the way through.

Deniz Bevan said...

I'm going to do NaNo!
I love your anthology idea - I think that's a great way to give back.

I set up two SiteMeter trackers by accident and neither seem to work - they're both showing 0 or 1 visits per week which is obviously (thank goodness!) wrong.

Elizabeth Sara said...

I prefer comments and interactions to pageviews any day.