Because someone else did it and I don't want them to feel lonely. Either that, or I'm a poser who has to do what the cool kids are doing. Pick your poison.
September 2015: The first month I had a website to call my own. Before then I was hosting the story on a couple fiction forums- Notably Questionable Questing (it mostly caters to -very- adult writing... but it has a great safe-for-work section and the best mods I've ever dealt with ever) and Myth-Weavers (a site for PbP tabletop games, mainly, that I've been a part of for years now).
I'd been writing my first webnovel on those for roughly a month before I got a wordpress.
It was something like Sept 15 when my wordpress went up and I stopped posting the story elsewhere.
2366 total views. 373 visitors (however Wordpress calculates these stats). In half a month.
Oct 2015- 5066 views, 702 visitors. Seems more or less like my numbers stayed even these months, given the first was a half month.
Nov 2015- 15088 views, 1791 visitors. This was where my submission to this site was accepted and I went up on the voting board. That pre-existing user base did miracles for me and put me in the top 20 list before my first week was out, and has been keeping me in or near the top 15 ever since.
Dec 2015- 24003 visitors, 2678 visitors. This was actually my biggest month thus far, for reasons that I'll go into when discussing later months.
Jan 2016- 22664 visitors, 2537 visitors. Things drop here, not much but it is the month in which I closed up my first book. Thing is, and I knew this would happen, I didn't start the next book with the same characters... in fact, I didn't start the next book in the same *state* as the first book.
It cost me a hefty chunk of readers in one fell swoop. As I knew it would (as I've said before, Terry Pratchett caught some flack for doing the exact same thing, and I'm not Pratchett). I did, however, underestimate how much I'd lose.
Feb 2016- 16482 views, 2153 visitors. The first full month of my second novel. I lost a full third of my views from my peak, and a fifth of my viewers. Ouch. Not gonna lie, that was a dark point for me (first world f-ing problems, I know, especially given that even my low numbers are charmed compared to a lot of people who've been at this years longer... but it still stung).
Mar 2016- 17693 views, 2531 visitors. Numbers climbing back up. Felt good. Still feels good. The new story had a chance to gain approval of my remaining readers, and others either joined or came back. I've had a few people come back and apologize for leaving in the first place.
Apr 2016- 20190 views, 2398 visitors. A drop of readers because near the middle of the month I finished by second book, and went on to a third with yet another set of characters and a new setting (The Moon! And Vancouver!). I took another readership hit (as expected), but not nearly the blow that I took from December's peak (also as expected). Much love and support from readers who said "I don't care what you do next, I'll be here because I know it will be amazing".
May 2016- 20511 views, 2296 visitors. Still recovering from the book change, but somehow I got a spike in readers who appear to have binged my entire story. Helps that there's now something to binge, at over a hundred total chapters spread across three books, plus dozens of bonus chapters and setting details.
June 2016- As of right now, 5 days and 2 hours in, I have 3578 views and 518 visitors. I like using the "first week" measure, because those are generally the truly reliable views that come by and look every day, rather than the bingers and browsers who aren't likely to stick around. My numbers for a single week now aren't that much worse than they were for my first full month. Which is an amazing feeling to have.
So... my advice? Get a viewer base from somewhere other than here *first*. Then bring them with you. It's worked for those Royal Road guys, and it worked for me.
And don't change books unless you're ready to take a kick in the teeth for it. Even if you are ready for it, have some damn thick skin, because it stings to lose so many people just because you want to do something other than repeat the same formula for the rest of your career.
My heart goes out to Akira Toriyama... then I realize he's far more wealthy and famous than I'll likely ever have a hope of being. I've never felt both pity and jealousy at the same time before. It's a truly bizarre experience.
Anywho- enough of my ramblings. Now Billy Higgins Peery is no longer alone in posting his stats for all to see.