I'm interrupting our regularly scheduled gore and mystery for a little bit of reflection on why I'm writing about all this gore and mystery. However, to make up for this, take the title as a blatantly obvious hint of what is to come soon.
I didn't ever really do an introduction post, I just hopped right in to dead bodies in water. I tackled why I'm doing this in my about page, but I wanted to talk about why I'm writing about this spooky stuff before I get into some info on who is reading this spooky stuff. And, like most people who have studied abroad... I'm going to bring up the fact that I studied abroad. There's no avoiding it. It's part of the story.
I've always loved true crime and mysteries. Strange legends that link back to real stories. But I didn't join the true crime podcast crowd until I studied abroad. I didn't start listening to podcasts until I wanted something to pass the time on long bus rides. And based on a recommendation from a blog I followed, I started listening to Thinking Sideways, pouring through unsolved mysteries I had heard of and brand new ones (to me, anyways), alike. Sometimes they were a little spooky, but they fit the foggy Irish countryside I was traveling through. From there, I just kept finding new podcasts from either ones the hosts mentioned on the episodes or from creeping on friends on Facebook asking for podcast recommendations.
I eventually found My Favorite Murder from the Cracked Podcast, and then overheard my friend signing the theme song to it. That was the first hint that there could be a real community around true crime. And there's a really fabulous Buzzfeed article about how today's true crime popularity is creating this amazing support network for women.
Mystery? Check. Gore? Check. Feminist support community? Surprise check.
So, when I had to create a blog for this class, I knew I wanted to become a more active part of this cool community. When I get to my analytics of this page, you'll see a huge spike in numbers for when I shared my blog in the My Favorite Murder Facebook groups. I even found a few people in my class who have been interested in this sort of thing or I've piqued their interest in it, which was wild to read in a lot of the comments.
Maintaining this blog is about more than just writing something for class. It's about me getting to research things I find interesting, and to put myself out there in a community I was more than happy to just sit back and observe. I'm even thinking about keeping this blog up past this class—and maybe putting a podcast with it. That's how much I love getting to share these stories and add my own little bit of commentary to them. Plus, I get to discuss this past just what I put in the post.
This is for a social media class, and I'm finding I'm making meaningful social media connections, and deeper real life connections (my friend and I have grown so much closer this year!).
And now that I've effectively laid out all the mushy stuff, let's talk about more concrete things: the number on this page.
Get ready for: CHARTS! (Screenshots of charts from Squarespace. Shout out to them for providing that fairly easily)
Let's start with the big, bold overview.
They give me information on visits and page views, but what I really wanted to look at was my audience size, since I was really focused on joining a community.
My total audience size is 322.
Which is wild! At first, I couldn't understand how I could have possibly reached that many people. There's definitely not that many in my class. I'd sent to a few friend group messages, but still, not even close. And then I remembered... I shared this blog on two separate My Favorite Murder Facebook pages. One for people in DC specifically, and the general group. You can see them in the big spike in this chart.
Now, it's about where are all these people coming from? I've seemed to have created a bit of my own mystery here.
It's no surprise, most of my traffic looks likes it's coming from Facebook this month... Because of the posts in that group. But the second biggest is directly. That's either me visiting my own blog way too much or people are remembering and coming right here! I'm gonna be optimistic and say it's that.
The rest seem relatively reasonable. The Tumblr for the class, Twitter, where I have this blog linked on my bio and I'll share links to specific posts, a fellow student's blog (I assume from Catherine's blogroll, similar to what I have here), Google (I'm linking more and more each post, which can boost me in Google search results), and then there's the last little sliver.
Ahrefs.com is apparently a site that provides:
Tools to improve your search traffic, research your competitors and monitor your niche
Pretty ironic to find this during an analytics assignment. Maybe I should be checking up on my mystery blog competitors? Probably couldn't hurt when I want this blog to extend into the future. Not sure if I'll do it through them. Unless they want to sponsor the podcast.
The last thing I wanted to look at was the popular content. Again, no surprise, in the last month, the most popular place on my blog was the post on the Villisca Axe Murders that I shared with my fellow murderinos (fans of My Favorite Murder). But it really makes it clear what I need to do to grow the blog, in addition to continuing to improve the writing and organization.
1. I need to share more often in the Facebook groups, and even join more. Thinking Sideways has a group, too, for fans to discuss different theories and articles. I need to go to the community where they are!
2. I need to share more on Twitter. My twitter numbers were way higher than I expected, actually, since I don't regularly post about this blog on there. I need to tag the podcasts that inspire me (and hopefully one day get noticed).
3. I'm considering making separate social media accounts to share this blog on. Maybe start with an Instagram and tease what the next post will be on it. Since you can be signed in to multiple accounts at once, that would probably be the easiest way to start a presence uniquely for this blog. I think it's an aspect of social media that I've neglected with this.