Wednesday 13 January 2016

Retweet Trains: The Final Analysis

(To read part one of this 2-part series, CLICK HERE.)

So, I've spent some time now trying out the basic methods suggested by @MisterSalesman (M_LeMont) a ReTweet-Train Master, on Twitter. Right off, the one thing I can truly say is that he delivers on all of his promises, and that's a rare thing, these days.

I cut and pasted my Twitter Stats for you to see, below...

This system definitely sends traffic to my blog, from which I hope people check out my books, from which I hope to get a sale or two.

The first two weeks I was working this system, I spent at least two hours a day, but at this point, I can easily generate a 100 extra blog visits just by sitting down and ReTweeting people on Twitter for 15 minutes. As of these stats, I spend about 30 minutes a day actively seeking out followers, following them and ReTweeting the first post on their feed (adding my blog's url to each). Then, I use a program called CrowdFire to cull those who do not return my favours within 48 hours. And that's it. Because of this, my blog now averages 300 visits per day, up from 40-50/day, a mere month ago.

One day I looked up to discover that I had 1574 hits in the course of a few minutes!

Upon ferreting into the stats, however, I saw that they had all come from Isreal. Not exactly my target audience. The stats show that they landed on my blog page, but there is no evidence of any clicking through, or perusing. The number is high, but those clicks might as well have never happened. Did create a moment of excitement, though.

What I don't yet know, because my publisher iUniverse is criminally slow in posting the stats, is whether any of these blog visits translate into book sales. If not, then what's the point?

I will also say that if you are really working at this, it is surprisingly distracting. While I only give Twitter my undivided attention for a few minutes each day, it's always on my mind and I feel the need to check in, several times a day, to try to keep up with the Follows and ReTweets. Meanwhile, my writing has definitely suffered.

My Twitter page, as of Jan 12, 2016
Started in December with about 500 followers, I think.

The other thing I hate is that I am now, officially, a spammer. I hate spam. Yet, I now spread spam. And, if I'm going to spread spam, why am I not spreading the most popular spam: Namely porn? It would be more fun for me, but I just can't bring myself to do that. I'm sure it's a mistake not to, if you're going to utilize this marketing idea. As well, I'm very sure that spamming one million, will generate about three clicks... no different, in the final analysis, than what I was getting before the spam campaign.

So, though this actually works, it stresses me out by taking a chunk of my time which puts pressure on my writing. As well, I have no idea what it really achieves that can not be accomplished by amassing a body of valuable work. A friend and fellow writer has been whispering in my ear, throughout this experiment, that I should just get back to focusing on producing books, and the wisdom of his words becomes more apparent by the day.

My plan, at this point, is to maintain the 300 hits/day until my second book is ready for final release, in a couple of weeks. I want to see if the increased volume of hits has any effect on first-release book sales. It won't. After that, I will hang up my Twitter hat and get back to writing.

Meanwhile, in a platform, far, far away... something I've noticed is that posting tidbits and articles to the FaceBook and other large, relevant Communities on Google+ also has a marked effect on blog visits, and this effect, while smaller (say, 40-50 instant visits) lasts much longer. For some reason, people on Google+ keep stumbling upon my posts months later, even though a million others have posted since. I haven't yet figured this one out.

Once I have my book sales data, I will update this post.

(Final, final update is a separate post: CLICK HERE to read it.)


Wan'na skew the results of my RT experiment?
Do it now! Buy my time travel, action/adventure novel?

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