Back at the start of 2013, I set a goal for growing the Preternatural Post. After three years, I felt I had enough content and enough experience that I could take a year to focus more on promoting the Post, as I call it, than just creating it. So I set a goal for myself.
The goal I set was an 10 percent increase in the number of hits on the Preternatural Post over the course of the year. Knowing that I have a tendency to forget about or lose interest in anything with an extended deadline. I broke the number down to daily and monthly goals because I’m not always great with daily goals either. Also the monthly goal was a nice round number 5,000 which somehow makes it both easier and more daunting. (For those of you who like math the daily goal is 187 and the annual goal is 70,000).
Based on statistics from previous years, 10 percent is a reasonable growth rate. And yes, I realize 5,000 x 12 is only 60,000 not 70,000. The 5,000 is my goal for a monthly average because, based on the nature of the content of the Preternatural Post I know that the year starts off slow and builds to an October frenzy which should allow me to achieve my 70K goal. In other words, I’m more worried about making my daily and monthly goals than the annual one. Sounds weird but it’s true.
The main reason I’m more concerned about the daily and monthly goals is that they seem like more of a stretch, especially in January, February, March and, oddly, August. Of those, I was most concerned about February. Not only is it the shortest month of the year, it’s also historically the month the Post attracts the fewest readers.
I had, I thought prepared myself for a low month in February. One of the few months, I hoped, would fall below my 5,000 hit average. And I told myself that was ok since by definition an average is in the middle with some months being lower and some months being higher. I was so convinced February would present dismal numbers, I didn’t even look at them for the last week or so. I just kept doggedly doing what I do.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I did check the numbers and discovered the Preternatural Post had, unbelievably, garnered 5,199 hits! I still can’t quite believe it.
Before I break out the celebratory espresso (I’m a total coffee junkie), I should probably mention why I’m telling you all this. It’s simple. That advice about just showing up being a big part of life and success is true.
Of course, just showing up is only part of the secret of succeeding. The other part is having a plan and working your plan. I’m not entirely sure you can call a goal a plan, but I do know I need to publish at least one article on the Preternatural Post per day, everyday. More is better, if there is news worth sharing but there has to be at least one article published every day. So I do. It’s not always easy. Sometimes I used to wonder if it was worth it. After all, I’m not J.K. Rowling or Anne Rice. I’m not sure anyone, even me would call the Post a real success, though it’s doing better than some other blogs and news sites I know of. Looking back on February 2013, I’m still not convinced I’m succeeding, I am however, convinced that I’m heading in the right direction, which is more than I would have said when I started the Preternatural Post as a wordpress.com blog in 2010 or even when I moved it to a self-hosted wordpress.org blog in 2011.
Will I ever be as successful as Rice or Rowling, or even Mercedes Lackey, Laurell K. Hamilton or Charlaine Harris? I don’t know. I do know that I am going to keep showing up and working my plan. Success, as February 2013 has shown me, will take care of itself.