If you are faithful in the small things, you will be faithful in large ones too… – Luke 16:10a
At the beginning of January, after posting daily for three years, I decided to recalibrate this blog. I asked for feedback, readers weighed in, and I eventually settled on three posts per week, “Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.”
Today, with the first quarter of 2018 almost complete, I have taken a look at the statistics. I’d be interested to know what readers have to say, but according to the numbers, the changes have not compromised the reach of my writing.
The raw number of views per month has dropped, yes, but the number of views per post has increased dramatically.
In 2017, when I posted 359 times in 365 days, I averaged 335 views per post. During the first three months of 2018, however, each post has averaged 608 views.
As a general rule, readers seem to like my photography. All else being equal, posts with spectacular images tend to generate more hits. “Photographs from the Mountains,” and “Old Foundations & New Life” are great examples.
This evidence leads me to conclude – happily – that the main attraction here is still the writing. For a writer – who dabbles in photography – this is good news!
Overall, of course, this blog is not about statistics so much as it is about impact. Impact is the effect or the impression left by something after it reaches its mark. Obviously, there is no impression if my writing never reaches its mark, so statistics are a useful measurement in terms of reaching. But the number of hits an article generates says nothing about impact, and that is the measurement that really counts.
This is beautifully illustrated in the “royalty” check I received Monday afternoon from my publisher. Thanks, Upper Room Books, “happy birthday to me!” With five titles currently in print and available on a number of platforms, my 2017 earnings stand as a sad testimony to ineffective marketing across the board.
So there is that pitiful statistic standing behind a dollar sign. Then – in contrast – there are the real stories that come my way in terms of “impact.” I hear from people who tell me their spiritual lives have been transformed because they read one of my books, that their hope in the future has been renewed, and that they are now making progress as intentional disciples.
So I keep plugging away, I keep living faithfully and sharing my stories with you, and I continue to pray – every single time I hit the “publish” button or float an idea for a new book – that these words will land where God intends, that your eyes, your ears, and your spirits will be open, and that the immeasurable truth of “impact” will – once in a while – make its way back to me, even if the story is not available via Google analytics!
In love and, always, because of love – DEREK
You can find Derek’s latest books:
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.