Does a Blog Post Sell Books?

Or: So I seem to be putting off writing the next book.

by Thea Atkinson

You know from my last post that I enjoy playing with numbers. I have a spreadsheet and graphs and formulas and everything. It wasn’t too long ago that I plugged in one single purchase for each of my books over the .com and .co.uk platforms of Amazons just to see what it would look like– and came up with an astonishing realization.

I could earn $1800 in a month.

Wow.

The thing with spreadsheets is you can have fun with them. You can plug in numbers, you can fudge numbers, and you can budget, plan, and what-if till your eyes bleed…the reality is always very different.

So After last week’s post I started thinking: has my blog helped or hindered me. By helped I mean: gain me an audience. By hinder I mean: keeping me from writing. (Any one who blogs knows the time, effort, and energy that goes into writing and finding readers for it. Phew. Talk about time consuming.)

Thank heaven I enjoy it.

So I started looking over my spreadsheet and I started comparing it to my blog traffic on certain days to see if there was a trend. John Locke certainly felt there was a connection. I read his book, and I tried out his technique to see if he was joshing me out of my $4.99. (it was an interesting read. You might consider looking him up. something about how I sold a million ebooks or somesuch.)

July 16, 2011

I wrote a post that I connected to an ebook of mine that didn’t sell (I wanted to track the effect) in a way I thought was authentic. Secret Language of Crows had sold a total of 4 books in the 30 days before this particular post, and it had sold an average of 4 books per month for the 3 months before.

The next two weeks, over the .com and .co.uk and Smashwords platforms, I sold 11 copies of that book. Huzzah. It looked like ole John had something. I started to believe in the power of blogging to reach an audience. Could finding a Thea reader really be as easy as this?

I decided to pick 5 days when my blog hits were high for whatever reason: more hits should mean more chance of selling, right?

 Sept 25, 2011

202 hits.

Incidentally, the post I had put up one day before was this one about secrets: AND incidentally, on the 25th, an article came out from a book reviewer (Jodi Delong) who had reviewed the Secret Language of Crows for The Chronicle Herald. The review brought me 15 hits directly that I could attribute to the Chronicle Herald link, but I imagine it was actually more. Over the next 14 days, I sold 37 copies of Secret Language of Crows. (Thanks once again, Jodi!) The 14 days before that? TWO.

Who were the target audience for that post? Well, folks like me. Folks that read. Folks that care about characters. Folks who just like to get some insight on the human condition.

OK. So things were really, really looking awesome for the blogging thang.

 May 26, 2012

192 hits

Near the end of lobster season in my region and the big thing on everyone’s mind this year was price, greed, and striking. My lil post got the second highest posts of my blogging history with What do you know about Lobster Fishing? The post itself wasn’t attributed to any of my ebooks in particular, it was just there because I felt I wanted to say something about the topic. Ah. So. Did I sell anything?

10 books that day. The day before? 5. The day after? 5. The average for the week before? 5. The average for the week after? 5.

Target audience? Regular ole folks like me.

Hmmm.

So let’s look at random.

 March 10, 2012

I post Coming Clean: Small Publishing Stats from a modest Seller

Overall, this post has had 370 hits. I can’t tell how many on the day I posted it, as I can’t find it in WordPress, but I can tell you how many sales I had that day: 11

  • The day before? 16
  • The day after? 19

This post made it to the Ipad’s Zite magazine. Wow. That should have netted me some readers, one would think.

 March 31, 2012

I post I love your book and other nasty emails.

This one gets a total of 209 hits overall.

  • Sales on that day: 12
  • The day before: 17
  • The day after: 11

 Last One: August 6, 2011

I post Runaways and Fiction. Attached it to a book (Secret Language of Crows again)

This post gets 178 hits overall

  • Sales on that day: 8 (no SLOC sales for 5 more days and then 2 in one day)
  • The day before: 10
  • The day after: 9

Target Audience: Folks like me.

So what does all this mean? Really?

I wish I knew. But it does seem to me that I get the most interest when I write for the same audience as my books. It seems that a multi-layered blog post with some advertisement works best. It seems that blogging is far, far better for audience reach than simply doing nothing because no one out there knows who the heck Thea Atkinson is anyway. (‘cept me Mom. She’s the bees knees, truly. Love Ya Mom).

And it seems that I have far too much invested in procrastinating when I should be working on the next book in the Elemental Magic series (The first one is Water Witch in case you weren’t sure). I also learned that I should continue blogging for the reason I continue blogging: because I like it–not to increase sales.

Because really, I can’t think of a single book I’ve bought because of a blog post I’ve read. Can you?

BTW: do you think this post was for writers or readers? grin.

-30-

Don’t forget the Haystack giveaway. You can win a $50 Amazon Card.

If you liked this post, please do share.

Thea is the author of several novels that she considers left of mainstream. You can find her on Smashwords, BN, Kobo, Sony, Apple

Anomaly by Thea Atkinson

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Does a Blog Post Sell Books?”

  1. I almost never leave a response, however i did some searching and wound
    up here Does a Blog Post Sell Books? | Thea Atkinson.

    And I do have 2 questions for you if you tend not to mind.
    Is it just me or does it appear like a few of these comments come across
    as if they are coming from brain dead folks? :-P And, if you are posting at additional online sites, I’d like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post. Could you make a list of the complete urls of all your communal pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?

    1. LOL. ayup. I just can’t say with any definity that blogging sells books. Now, blogging to brand, maybe that makes more sense. Thanks for stopping by and making me smile.

  2. I am still working on my first novel among other things and your blog as really helped me make sense of all the conflicting advice I have gotten. I enjoy writing my blog, but do fear that the schedule is going work against me. Thank you, so much for being here and doing what you do. Guess, it is time to go back to work on my own writing…

    1. I’m so glad to hear my little musings help somewhere along the way. It’s a confusing path, and the messages are conflicting at times. At least for me. A gal hears about success in big ways and failures in big ways, but not so much the middle of the roaders.

  3. I hear (in my head) your actual voice, Thea when I read anything that you write and it is such an authentic voice that it is a treat. One thing I must mention is that quite often I will get an email that you have posted a new blog but if I am really busy I won’t open it but will save it for another day. I suspect others do the same. I know that that messes up your stats but what can I say? I too love playing with figures. In fact, that alone is enough reason for me to want to get Bird Shadows out there – just to create some kind of data to mull over.
    Too bad Viv didn’t give her blog address. I would love to check it out. Could you give it to me?

    1. I can’t wait for Bird Shadows, Jennie. It’s really a complex and insightful tale. I recommend viv’s blog as she has such a handle on what it is to be authentic in her writings. You’ll love it.

      and TY for the compliment. It means a lot.

  4. Thanks for sharing, Thea. These are interesting stats. My book is so new (and I only have one) that I don’t have this kind of data. I remember reading that book review by Jodi; I think this was when I looked you up.

  5. Glad I came over, Thea. I needed to read this because I do have a book I plan to start doing something about real soon. The idea of a targetted audience is one I subscribe to.

  6. I see my blog posts as a gift to the world. I am toying with the thoughts of collecting them by theme and putting them into an ebook as with 675 posts, it’s too unwieldy for people to find the articles easily now. A project for when I work out how to do a Table of Contents….!

  7. I do wonder about it; I wish I knew how many folks bought my books because of the kind of blog I write. I don’t often blog about writing, but mostly about philosophy, depression, spirituality and whatnot. I think that the people who read my blog are also people who read and enjoy my books, but I don’t know.
    I think I blog because I want to say something. if it also sells books, fabulous.
    I wish I knew better answers.
    xx

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