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10 Hits and Misses for 2013


Hits and Misses

Since I started this blog fifty-four months ago, I’ve had over 685,000 visitors, 3300 on my busiest day, visiting the 948 articles I’ve written on

every facet of writing. As with most bloggers, I write what’s on my mind 3-4 times a week. It may be about the craft of writing, trends in the industry, or how my writing business is doing. I have regular features, like Tech Tips for Writers and Writing Tips as well as irregular ones like Book Reviews. It’s a fast changing writing world. I’m just trying to hang on and share the ride.

It always surprises me what readers find to be the most provocative–as intriguing as what holds no interest for anyone but me! The latter is usually a post I put heart and soul into, sure I was sharing VII (Very Important Information), and I get three readers who slog their way through it. Talk about humility.

Here they are–my top 10 and bottom 10 of 2013:

Top Ten Hits

  1. 51 Great Similes to Spark Imagination–up from third last year
  2. 178 Ways to Describe Women’s Clothing–up one from last year. It describes the varieties in women’s clothing is challenging. Based on the comments, readers like it for the same reasons I wrote it–it explains what-the-heck we-all women wear
  3. 35 Weird Traits Your Characters May Have–didn’t even rank last year. I love this one for its uniqueness. These are some great traits to add to your characters to make them stand out
  4. How to Describe a Landscape–didn’t even rank last year. I love nature writers and this list has some great descriptions. I’m glad readers discovered it.
  5. How to Describe Nature–didn’t even make the list in 2012. Again–read this just for the poetic beauty some great fellow writers use to describe the power of nature.
  6. Characteristics That Make Your Character Memorable–memorable characters are unusual, with quirky habits or appearances, or unique approaches to living life. Here are a few for you to ponder.
  7. One-Word Characteristics to Spice Up Your Writing–I am pleased this one’s so popular. It has a few gems
  8. How to Describe Dogs–dropped from 1st place. Oh, you have to visit this post. I love dogs and an awful lot of great writers have clever words to share about man’s best friend
  9. How to Describe an American–if You Aren’t–this was my Freshly Pressed winner. It’s difficult to describe your own countrypeople. This was my effort. Lots of great comments.
  10. Word Count by Genre–bookmark this one so you can refer to it as you write. Good information on writing by the numbers.

Overall, the craft of writing was more popular than the business end of the job.

Top Ten Misses

  1. Forget Summer Reading. The Classics are Timeless–surprised me. I thought this would be more appealing
  2. Writers Tip #37: Don’t be Afraid to Tell the Truth–maybe this is too obvious.
  3. Writers Tip #62: It’s Not What Happens. It’s Your Character’s Reaction That Matters–again, I wonder if this was a ‘duh’ moment. I confess–it wasn’t to me!
  4. Character Actions and POV–They Gotta Be Believable
  5. 21 Tips for Writers
  6. Book Review: 12-21–less book reviews on the Ten Misses than last year, but overall, I don’t think readers come to my blog for my book reviews.
  7. Writer’s Tip #22: When to Use Said as a Tag
  8. Tech Tips for Writers #1: Create a Blog–I often wonder if readers like the Tech Tips. I try to focus on writerly tech, but I wonder if I’m missing the mark…
  9. Writers Tip #98: 18 Tips from William Safire–Safire is brilliant. This should have ranked better!
  10. Writer’s Tip #23: The Use of ‘Lay’

What were your most popular posts on your writer blog? Give me some topic hints for this year!

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for and TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, a freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a monthly contributor to Today’s Author. In her free time, she is  editor of a K-8 technology curriculum and technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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23 thoughts on “10 Hits and Misses for 2013

  1. I’ve loved ALL your posts. I would REALLY appreciate more posts about describing things. Any things. Hair color, mens clothing, the way people sit or walk or jog. Sometimes as I’m in the flow of writing I’ll get tripped up trying to convey the visual image in my mind. When I can’t find the right words to put on paper it really helps to have a list to spur some ideas. You’re amazing!!! Thanks for everything you write to inspire others. You’re my favorite blog!


  2. What are my most popular posts? About half of the people who find my blog through searches use some variation on “wasp totem.” I’ve written four posts on the subject now, and I honestly don’t know that I have anything more to say. But people are still looking for it. If you would like to write on the subject of wasp as an animal totem, I’d reblog it. And it would get you a couple dozen readers every month. 🙂


  3. I think your seemed lack of readership is from not enough posts. That’s all. What you write about is great, well-thought out, of interest to lots of people in our world population of billions. Just go at your own schedule. The only reason to be concerned is if you self-pub and want to promote your book. Then, you and I gotta talk, girlfriend.


  4. Jacqui, I’ve benefited greatly from your experience and your knowledge, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart and the tip of my tongue. You are most generous to your public and have been so kind to me in particular.
    As for what on my blog does well: I think I get maybe 3 readers a day. Can’t even identify the post that might have gotten 4 readers.
    But part of that anemic readership is my inability to write regularly. With this new job and the other personal activity that I’m responsible for, I just can’t keep up with the schedule I set for myself at the outset. I know that’s part of it.
    I also don’t twitter or tweet or facebook and I won’t. Haven’t the time or interest. Still having trouble trying to attach images to my posts. So some of my lack of readership is my technical limitations.
    And if truth be told, it just may be that I’m not writing what interests others to read. Honestly is painful but necessary. You’ve done the same by assessing the posts that have generated readers on your site and those that have met a sleepy public.
    OK, no pity party here, just realization that the world is very different from even ten years ago. I’ll have to change with it or be left counting eggshells.
    Congrats on all your successes.
    Shari *: )


  5. 685,000 visitors? And 54 months? To me, it is a mind boggling figure! On an average, 420 visitors a day. (I calculated that out of curiosity) Kudos on your success 🙂

    If I had asked you to give the top five tips for upcoming bloggers, in order to achieve as much success as you did, what would they be?

    P.S: I read my first book this year 😛 So my current reading challenge count is 1 of 70 😛


    • 1l communicate–be part of a community
      2) provide useful information so people don’t waste their time
      3) make headlines pithy–they draw people in
      4) answer all comments. Everyone benefits from that
      5) answer questions thoughtfully–on your blog and your readers.

      There’s a lot more to it, but this also works on my tech ed blog ( where I get 2000 visitors a day. I’ll be celebrating my 1.6 millionth visitor!


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