So this here is my metapost, a blog post that will be explaining all there is to know about The Disgruntled Grumpig and its behind-the-scenes goings on!
First off I’d like to just express how much I’ve loved building this blog up. It has been a whole bunch of fun writing about my adventures in the Pokemon Universe, describing my favourites and telling you all about my personal history with each generation of games. Slowly but surely I’ve built up a small fanbase surrounding the blog, each day bringing a welcome trickle of views into my Google Analytics account!
The other day I made it to 760 views! Now obviously this number is actually not very high, compared to various other blogs and YouTube videos and whatnot, it pales. But this is my first time doing something like this so I thought it was something worthy of an eyebrow raise!
Learning about blogs and the internet in general in my Networked Media Production class at university, I thought I would try relate some of the things I’ve learnt with my blog and it’s constant flow of views.
The first thing we learned that is helpful to this particular blog is networking. Dr Sam Hinton presented a lecture all about Social Media, and in it he described all the perks and downfalls of networking, all the things it can accomplish and the things it can’t. Straight away I knew I could use this to better ‘A Disgruntled Grumpig’. He told us to immerse ourselves in various societies relevant to your interests, to engage and really be apart of them. This will establish yourself as someone who knows what they are doing and someone worth listening to. The internet is a place full of these societies and networks, so very quickly I had jumped head first into numerous Pokemon websites and communities. I was interacting with everyone left right and centre, telling them about my plans for the blog, as well as taking a big interest in their Poke passions. Obviously taking an interest in anything Pokemon isn’t very hard at all, so that was definitely a plus! Posting on sites like Reddit, Serebii, Tumblr and Bulbapedia (the most extensive Pokemon wiki styled site on the internet) really helped to get those first couple of views to trickle in. My first post on Serebii received 1,080 views, and the second received 623 views. These helped get my blogging name out there and start conversations with the Pokemon lovers hanging out on the internet.
Networking in this manner resulted in something that I am very proud of. Through talking to users on the Pokemon forum community Serebii.Net Forums, I eventually started to build friendships with the regular posters. As time went on, a few of these people started to show a lot of interest in my blog, and I showed a lot of interest in their blogs. What resulted from this networking was a collaboration between myself and a Serebii user and blogger called Celebi-Rose, a young girl all the way from Liverpool, UK. We had a few conversations about the collaboration and ended up interviewing each other for our respective blogs. Straight away I noticed more views coming in from England, as her audience trusted her judgement and decided to give my blog a try.
The second lesson I learnt was that of HTML. The ability to code in my own pages and content is invaluable. This idea of constantly expanding on the blog draws in new readers and keeps the older readers coming back. Through the stat-tracking application I installed using HTML I can check how many people visit the blog each day, as well as how long they stay on the site, what city they live in (slightly creepy, but cool nonetheless), and how many of them return for another read. 32% of my views come from new readers, while a whopping 68% come from returning visitors. This shows me I must be doing something right if people come back to read more!
The ability to create new pages allowed me to build my ‘About’ page. By telling people within my networks about this new page where I talk about why I am writing this blog, what I want to get out of it, and a few other quirky pieces of trivia, I was able to generate new readers.
The final thing that has helped me to gain readers and views is tagging. When I say tagging I don’t mean HTML tags (the keyword imprisoned by a < and a > or />), I mean the simple act of tagging a word or phrase when posting in Tumblr. By writing the word ‘Pokemon’ in the tags box, it thrusts that post associated with Pokemon out into the Tumblrverse and out into the internet, so that anyone who is searching for cool Pokemon things can easily stumble upon your blog. This means that you can gain followers from outside of your immediate friend group, network and home town. It stops your blog from being a private, secluded island, and turns it into an international airport, with people from all over the world entering and leaving all the time. It’s an invaluable tool to some who wishes to put their work out there.
During the few months that I have been working on this blog I have encountered my fair share of problems. The first major problem I was having was with the code for the theme of the blog. I was trying to edit the look and colour of the theme, and somehow I ended up totally inverting the colour orientation. The layout also became very jumbled. The second major problem I had was when I was installing my Reddit widget. I envisaged a glorious sidebar filled with Pokemon goodness, instead I was left with a box of text that covered the top half of my screen. It wouldn’t go away!
To combat the problems I had I took to the web. I used the following websites and communities to figure out what I was doing wrong, to ask questions and to further my knowledge:
Using a combination of these websites here and there, I was able to defeat every problem that came my way. I now have a reddit sidebar that looks very snazzy, and a theme that doesn’t burn your eyes out!
Looking at my Google Analytics page I can see some interesting patterns. As you can see, the blog started out in fine form, racking up views left right and centre! This continued through February, March and April. Unfortunately, as the semester progressed, my work load for all my other units grew. This resulted in less time to get involved with the Pokemon community and fewer posts (however, the required number of posts was 14, but I dedicated myself to posting almost 30. I’m proud of that!). Regrettably, the views started to lessen.
An interesting anomaly occurred on March the 6th. I logged onto Analytics that night and nearly fell out of my seat when I saw that the blog had received 100 views in one day. This was in contrast to 20 views and 30 views each day, so it was a big surprise. Through using the Analytics ‘Track Sources’ function, I was able to see where all these views were coming from. The majority of them were the result of my networking over at serebii.net Forums, though a few came from Google searches and Tumblr searches.
To wrap up this Metapost, I would like to point out a few things that I am happy with. The first being that, through a lot of hours of talking to and discussing with Pokemon fans, I started to become recognised in the community, and various, more successful blogs have been reblogging my content. The second thing that I am very happy about is the amount of enjoyment I have taken from the creation of The Disgruntled Grumpig. It has been very rewarding writing about my adventures and my nerdy passion. I will definitely be updating this blog long after this course has ended!
My three chosen posts!