Stats and Visibility

9 months ago | Qorvus (Member)

A few months back a couple of people put up some stats of their serials. I thought I'd do the same from the perspective of someone who has a smaller readership, as well as tying that into the visibility provided by this site.

I started my site, Tales from a Thousand Worlds, at the end of April 2015 as a place to share my short fiction in a serialised form. Given most of my short fiction is in the 8-10K range, it could be broken up into smaller parts which I felt would work well. Getting readership was hard, even with trying to advertise it in various places and readership stayed small.

Eventually with no traction being gained, I tried something new. Firstly I started a proper serial (Echo of the Ages) which, while hosted on the same site, is kept separate. Secondly I listed on here. Tales from a Thousand Worlds was listed at the end of May and Echo of the Ages was mid July.

The results were fairly instant.

Pre WFG

Apr '15: 2 readers, 2 views
May '15: 26 readers, 33 views
June '15: 18 readers, 25 views
July '15: 23 readers, 50 views
Aug '15: 48 readers, 177 views
Sept '15: 45 readers, 81 views
Oct '15: 14 readers, 15 views
Nov '15: 69 readers, 85 views
Dec: '15: 36 readers, 41 views
Jan '16: 50 readers, 87 views
Feb '16: 74 readers, 125 views
Mar '16: 47 readers, 76 views
Apr '16: 24 readers, 38 views

Post WFG

May '16: 56 readers, 219 views
June '16: 82 readers, 238 views
July '16: 106 readers, 380 views
Aug '16: 151 readers, 552 views
Sept '16: 159 readers, 719 views

The biggest spike came right after the two reviews I got, with 150 views in a single day, followed by 100 a few days later. The view rate kept up averaging 10 readers and 20-40 views a day while the reviews remained visible on the front page of TWG. However since they have been pushed off by newer ones, readership has slipped. It is still averaging more than it was pre-TWG, but no longer at the heights it was. If I was to guess, those hits are from readers I picked up during the high visibility stage and have stuck with the stories.

So it would seem that this site is effective at gaining readership and that visibility is very important, especially reviews. Getting new ones on a fairly regular basis to keep you visible is very much a key to success to those starting out, at least until such time as word of mouth begins to kick in.

Author of a collection of SF/F short webfiction - http://talesfromathousandworlds.com/
Echo of the Ages - Epic Fantasy Serial

Read responses...

Page: 12

Responses

  1. Dary (Member)

    Posted 9 months ago

    I remember somebody sending me a comment a few months back telling me they normally only read serials they find on WFG if they have good reviews (so I was an exception, since I haven't had any reviews XD). I wonder how that translates to WFG usage at large?

  2. Team Contract (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    Hey Qorvus,

    Are those your views in total for all your posts? And those readers, are they 'visitors'?

    I use wordpress.org and have a hard time figuring out if a visitor is a true reader or just a bot or something. I don't have too many comments or followers so I can never tell. How do you guys tell if a visitor is an actual reader or not? Is there a way?

  3. SovereignofAshes (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    @Team Contract,

    I don't know if you're on the Wordpress.org (client) side of it or the Wordpress.com (hosting) side of it.
    If you're on the .org (client) side, I can't really help with this.
    I'm on the .com (hosting) side and if that's where you're at, yeah the info on the loose analytics is pretty vague.

    What I do to try and ascertain some level of veracity with the visitors is to check referral links, what posts they saw and what countries they are from.

    I don't have any bots going near my site, don't know how to use any, and really am not savvy with that kind of tech. I can't say about that. I have heard from other writers who use the .org (client) side that you can get add-ons or plug-ins like akismet to filter out certain IP addresses that you think might be bots/spam/malicious users/whatever.

    I usually treat at least one user from a country as one visitor. One referral link as one visitor.

    It's hard to know exactly if a 'visitor' is a 'reader' because all the analytic data states is what they clicked on. Usually if at least one person clicks through multiple chapters, it feels like a reader. But I'm going at this from very low traffic, where I can count the number of daily visitors I have under about a dozen. If you're a high traffic fiction, I must bow out to those far wiser.

    I have stuff on here too! The Vorrgistadt Saga.
  4. nippoten (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    Well, that's pretty encouraging.

  5. Qorvus (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    @team contract, From what I understand, a view is when a page is opened - whether it is read or not is another matter. Unfortunately it doesn't track length of time so you can't tell if the page has been read or not. As @sovereignofashes said the only indication you get that they may have read it is if they continue on to the next chapters.

    Bots, at least of the spammy type, don't seem to get caught up in readers. There used to be days when I'd get zero reads or views and yet still get spam bot messages and likes. That struck me as odd at first. What I think is happening is that they are doing it through wordpress reader - a message pops up to say I have a new post and they seem to like it there or post a message without reading. And given I have it set to truncated messages, I know they aren't reading the post.

    Author of a collection of SF/F short webfiction - http://talesfromathousandworlds.com/
    Echo of the Ages - Epic Fantasy Serial
  6. ChrysKelly (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    I post my stats on my site at the end (start?) of every month, and my numbers agree with Qorvus's. Even without a review, I've doubled the number of site visitors since I went live on here.

  7. Lee Carlon (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    If you can get google analytics that makes it a bit easier to make sense of.

    On months when my fiction has been reviewed on WFG the number of visitors and page views is significantly higher than on months when there are no reviews on the front page of WFG. WFG is my top referrer and the bounce rate (people who look at one page then leave) is much lower (a good thing) with WFG than with traffic coming in from other sites. I've toyed with google adwords (admittedly I have no real clue about how to craft a good ad), but the bounce rate for traffic coming from the ads is 95% so not really worth it.

  8. Dary (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    I think there's something aside from being on the front page. It helps, obviously, but my bounce rates tend towards the opposite. I'd guess that WFG attracts some demographics over others, but it's hard to prove without a stats from a variety of sites.

  9. ChrysKelly (Member)

    Posted 8 months ago

    My bounce rate is 50%. I mostly ignore that.

    A bounce is when someone comes on a site, reads a page, and leaves (for anyone who doesn't know). Anyone up to date with my fiction clicking on a link on twitter is probably going to read my newest post and leave - they've already read the others, so why hang around?

  10. Qorvus (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago

    Just an update on stats for October, and it does match what I expected - once reviews have dropped out of sight then views go down as well.

    October was 87 readers, 293 views, which is about the same as when I first joined the site.

    Author of a collection of SF/F short webfiction - http://talesfromathousandworlds.com/
    Echo of the Ages - Epic Fantasy Serial
  11. ChrysKelly (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago

    Actually, my reviews only increased my readership marginally. I mean, it was so low there was almost no real effect.

    On the other hand, I got 5 votes on TWF, which put me number 11 on the superhero list, and I got my most views in one day ever.

    Dunno if they'll come back though.

  12. Blaise Corvin (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago

    For figuring out how many people are reading your story, I use jetpack site stats for metrics.

    I personally don't pay much attention to visits per day. My bread and butter is how many people are clicking my links, what links, when, and how many have visited my chapters.

    All that said, I've mellowed a lot when it comes to metrics. There are a lot of variables and since I post in different places, it's hard to glean anything useful from some of my broader data sets.

    I've kind of resigned myself to just not caring anymore.

    Visit my site, http://www.blaise-corvin.com. I have punch and pie.
    I also have two stories: Delvers LLC and The Crimson Artifice. :)
  13. Chrysalis (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago

    @Chrys you might have the same problem I had before arc 5 / 6 - a slow beginning with multiple seemingly disjointed story threads and POV hops. Most readers are impatient. :( Arc 6, where the story becomes much more focused and action packed (and the antagonists finally made a show of force), doubled my stats over the course of one week.

    I'll be posting your review tomorrow.

    Anathema, a web serial about the effect superpowers would have on our world. http://anathemaserial.wordpress.com/
  14. Team Contract (Member)

    Posted 7 months ago

    @Blaise Dude, you don't need to care anymore. You're on amazon and kicking A$$! The only stats you need to worry about now are sales :D

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