where the writers are
How Can We Build Readership/Viewers on Red Room?

I tell my writer friends that Red Room is a supportive environment (and I have lots of examples from my own life and work), and that the site lets me go into depth in ways that I can't do on Facebook or Twitter.   I would not have signed on for those if I hadn't first had a good experience with Red Room.

 How can we encourage more people to look at the authors' websites?  

I'd be interested also in attracting more viewers to the video on my public profile page, the  book trailer for "Packing Light," that became a small work of art in its own right.

Have any of you put videos on YouTube?  I understand the downside, that one loses artistic control.  But a good piece of flimmaking deserves viewers.   I'd be grateful to know your views.  Thanks in advance for your wisdom! 

14 Comment count
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Hi, Marilyn--

I have two videos on YouTube. I tucked the links in as many (many!) places as possible, but hits have not translated into book sales.

Hope you're doing better than I am...

Cheryl Snell

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Hi Cheryl, the book business has suffered in this economy.

It has been rough on publishers. Your book deserves a wide readership. I'm going to look at your videos now--

Rock on! Marilyn

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Hi, Marilyn. I am

Hi, Marilyn. I am reasonably happy with the internal readership and interaction (i.e., that between and among people registered on the site). But I would welcome more people from the outside joining in on our conversations and some site stats (individual, like the stats we get about the number of hits each of us gets to our portion of the Redroom) about how many people who start on this site actually end up buying our books.

I am a marketer by training and work experience, so, after almost three decades of doing it, I've attained a certain level of mastery. But I'm lacking the data I need to really understand what is going on on my part of the site. For example, in addition to clicks from here to Amazon or other bookselling sites, I'd like to know who is reading my part of the site (e.g., what countries, cities, IP addresses), how much time they are spending on it and when (time of day and day of week), how that changes in the period after I post a fresh blog or comment on others' blogs, etc. That is really the only way I can determine what works and what doesn't. But I'm assuming Ivory and her team look at that on the back end and do what they can to stimulate activity on the site and sales of our work.

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This is a smart response!

Have you asked these questions of our fearless leaders (Ivory, Huntington)?  

Are you on other social networking sites?  Facebook used to let us where people were writing from; no more.  

What I can see from the numbers on Red Room, is that by changing my blog regularly, and by addressing topics of interest that are broader than just poetry, I can greatly improve my numbers.   I do change my photos regularly, but only certain photos seem to boost the numbers.  These are photos that include others besides just me.  The "events" clicks seem to go in cycles, and when I'm in town here in Knoxville, lots more clicks.  So my viewers there are probably locals, probably students. 

My best guess-- 

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I haven't, Marilyn, but I

I haven't, Marilyn, but I think our posts are always read by someone(s) behind the scenes, and I'm pretty sure Ivory's team is always trying to make sense of the numbers.

Online media are part of what's called direct marketing, and in direct marketing there is always a lot of data and analysis.  From the marketer's standpoint, it can be very satisfying because you can almost directly link a given act with a given result (or non-result).  This is not the case with, say, TV advertising, where it's nearly impossible to figure out if a given ad resulted in a given sale.

I used to co-own and run a Web site dedicated to the goings on in the Middle East, so I have a decent idea what data and site statistics are available to Ivory and her team.  Also, data are available at Alexa (you can click on the tabs on the navy rectangle and pull up various graphs), but these are aggregate data, so not very helpful to us as individual bloggers.

I'm not on other social networking sites, but that is largely for personal safety reasons due to the subject matter about which I write. 

I've noticed the same as you. . .if I blog solely about dishonor killings, my comment numbers go down, but I still get some looky-loos.  However, if I blog about a subject with wider appeal, both comments and hits go up.  Beyond that, I can't really make sense of the data available to me.  Have no idea who's reading but not commenting.  They seem to like my photo galleries, though.  And it seems more of them show up when I'm sleeping than when I'm online, so I think they are from a far different time zone.  Either that, or Dr. Jitu and Farzana in India just can't stay away from my part of the site.  :-D

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Sounds like you're making sense of the limited data

Your experience stands you in good stead. 

You're probably right about the time zone differences.

Your images are working better than mine, sounds like!

I was recently in Auvillar, France, a town of 900 souls.  When I walked into the savonnerie, I introduced myself.  The owner said (in French of course), "I know who you are.  I read your blog."

One never knows! (good thing I wasn't complaining about the high price of her soap...) 



Also interesting would be a questions of gender. 

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It would be difficult to get

It would be difficult to get gender data, other than that for registered users.  But, yes, it would be nice to know that, too.  All demographic data, in fact.

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Its interesting how many of us think about this stuff

At this point I am trying to cobble together my three sites:
this one
and my fb fan page for Big Sid's Vincati

Its tricky but I am convinced that I need all three of them to do what I want to do right now.

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We have to be ambitious for our own work--

And no one else can do it for us.   

Good to know about your sites--

 Rock on! 

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Clandestine blog surfing

I believe that the 'comment' feature is a very inadequate indicator of our online reader/viewership or fan-base (if any). Reading blogs requires time, commenting requires even more time - time I could spend on writing.

I admit that I am a blog grazer. I scan for my own hierarchy of keywords. That is what pulls me in. Sadly, many posts meander away from the topic raised and I abort reading and click away.

Sometimes, both the subject and the development thereof are informative and compelling. Then I continue scrolling through the comments and have quite a few things to say myself. But, do I log in and fill out the form to leave my two cents worth? Generally not.

Instead I check out some author pages and follow the outbound link trails and pretty soon I am cyber-miles away from the original post.

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Valuable information

Thank you for telling us about your blog-reading habits, Ana. It's really interesting and helpful to us at Red Room.

Also, I agree that bloggers can't judge how much their posts are read by the number of comments their posts get. Most people are "lurkers" on most websites—they read, often every post, but don't comment.

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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You're so right! Here's a shocking example--

When I was in Auvillar, small town of 900 people, I introduced myself to one of the local shopkeepers.   She responded, (in French), "I know who you are.  I read your blog on Red Room."

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That's the kind of news that makes my day, Marilyn! Thanks.

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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Thanks, Ana, for taking the time--

I appreciate your stopping to reflect on your reading habits here.

Best wishes to you in your work, and thanks for reminding us to keep the focus in an entry.