Category Archives: Blogging Progress Reports

Blogging Progress Report May 01 2019

For Blogging Progress Report May 01 2019, I’ll show you the difference in ranking between two different Amazon Author Pages. One is an author profile that is continually worked. The other is an author page that hasn’t seen any new activity for quite a long time.

Kim Staflund Blogging Progress Report May 01 2019

Kim Staflund Blogging Progress Report May 01 2019

First, take a look at my non-fiction Kim Staflund ranking above. You’ll notice that my “Business & Money” Kindle ranking sat at a stagnant 60,000 ranking for a long time until I started publishing regularly in 2017. Now? It goes up and down. But the level it falls to is less and less each month. It’s only a matter of time before I break the top 100 list in that category. I just have to keep publishing to it, every four to six weeks, to get there.

Kim S. Progress Report May 01 2019

Kim S. Progress Report May 01 2019

Now look at my fiction Kim S. ranking just above. This is what happens when you have very little activity and don’t publish books or RSS feeds from your blog to your Author Central Page very often. Your ranking just continues to fall bit by bit every month. I believe that recent spike in June was due to me adding a new title to my Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) admin page that month. But I haven’t actually published the book yet. I plan to finish writing it and publish it this autumn. (I’m much more focused on my non-fiction books for now.)

Blogging Progress Report May 01 2019

These two Author Central profiles visually illustrate the whole reason why you want to be publishing regularly—both new books and blog entries. The more activity, the higher your ranking grows each month. Once you have a consistently high author ranking like Timothy Ellis‘s, that’s when you’ll start to sell 3,000+ books per month in your category:

Timothy Ellis ranks (paid store), as at writing time:
1853 in the Amazon Book store.
1023 in the Kindle store.
180 in Science Fiction and Fantasy.
79 in Science Fiction.

Why? Because the higher your ranking, the more visibility your book(s) will have in front of a larger number of Amazon readers. You’ll never quite know which book will be the tipping point for you. That’s what Timothy Ellis and other authors like him all say.

Bonus tip: The authors who release a new novel of a decent size every 4 weeks, never lose their momentum, and these authors make a decent income. It only takes 1 book to get the ball rolling, but you will never know which book it is until it happens. Once it does, a whole heap of things kick in to boost you up, and as long as you keep releasing, you can stay there and make a living from writing. (Timothy Ellis)

So, just keep writing. Just keep publishing. That’s the simple key to success online.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Blogging Progress Report Mar 31 2019

For Blogging Progress Report Mar 31 2019, I’m going to focus on this blog’s stats for the past month. I didn’t post much in March because I was busy setting up my new Mailchimp email campaign. I was busy writing and publishing The Author’s Gold Rush. I’ve also been researching a bit more about WordPress to better understand their reporting capabilities and what each “user role” really means. (And, yes, I also got slightly addicted to Dr. Pimple Popper videos for a while. I’m now a recovering popaholic.)

Blogging Progress Report Mar 31 2019 - PPG Publisher's Blog Traffic

Blogging Progress Report Mar 31 2019 – PPG Publisher’s Blog Traffic

I only published five posts in all of March (before this one). Shame on me. My goal is to publish three per week. Luckily, of the 159 unique visitors who viewed my site, they still average more than three clicks each. So, that’s good for my blog site’s click-through rate. A good click-through rate always helps with SEO.

532 views and 159 visitors to PPG Publisher's Blog in March 2019

532 views and 159 visitors to PPG Publisher’s Blog in March 2019

Blogging Progress Report Mar 31 2019: Subscribers, Team Members, Followers, Email Followers

I’m still trying to get my head around what the difference is between WordPress “subscribers/team members” versus “followers” and “email followers.” My subscriber/team base continues to rapidly grow as shown in the next two visuals.

WordPress stats say I have 15,107 team members

WordPress stats say I have 15,107 “team members”

GoDaddy-managed WordPress stats say I have 15,107 subscribers

GoDaddy-managed WordPress stats say I have 15,107 “subscribers”

That’s an increase of 1,077 new “subscribers/team members” over last month. I have email addresses for all these users, but they don’t actually receive any sort of notification of my new blog posts.

In terms of actual “followers” and “email followers,” I’ve also seen a slight increase this past month as shown in the next two visuals.

Followers of PPG Publisher's Blog: 14 people

Followers of PPG Publisher’s Blog: 14 people

Email followers of PPG Publisher's Blog: 1 person

Email followers of PPG Publisher’s Blog: 1 person

So, I’m up from 13 to 15 official followers this past month. Micro wins, indeed. I’d like to see some macro wins soon, which is why I’ll be much more focused on email marketing in the coming months. I plan to send out a mass invite to all my “team members” to invite them to become email followers. I’ll offer them a free copy of The Author’s Money Tree to join.

What Do All These Different WordPress Roles Mean?

I’m unable to find anything online that tells me what a WordPress “team member” is other than this blog post:

Site Followers

To view your followers, select My Sites → People. You’ll see the following tabs on the next screen:

    • Team: People currently added to your site with a user role, such as Administrators, Editors, and Contributors.
    • Followers: A list of people currently following your site.
    • Email Followers: A list of people who are subscribed to your blog via email only. They may or may not have a WordPress.com account.
    • Invites: A list of outgoing invitations to people for following your site, or invites to add them with a specific user role.

Nowhere on the above WordPress blog page, nor on the accompanying “user role” link, does it reference the “subscriber role” that GoDaddy mentions on its admin page. So, where these users are coming from, I don’t know. Why are there so many new ones each month? I don’t know. GoDaddy is unable to answer that question for me anymore than WordPress is. So, I’m just going to assume I’m an SEO wizard then, and all these people are finding me through my books and the search engines. Until someone tells me differently, that must be the case.

Okay, next month? More blog posts. Better stats. More email subscribers. That’s the goal.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Blogging Progress Report Mar 03 2019

I’m going to show you something a little different in this Blogging Progress Report Mar 03 2019. There is yet another metric you can use to measure how far you’ve progressed each month: your author ranking on Amazon.

Blogging Progress Report Mar 03 2019 | 14,030 Registered Users | 13 Subscribers

Blogging Progress Report Mar 03 2019 | 14,030 Registered Users | 13 Subscribers

I’ll start with a continuation of last month’s metrics for you. My registered users have grown from 12,273 to 14,030 (an increase of 1,757). And my subscribers have grown from 9 to 13 (an increase of 4). Obviously, some email marketing will be required to increase the subscriber rate—which is the metric I truly want to increase as discussed in my last report.

Blogging Progress Report Mar 03 2019: Amazon Author Ranking Overall

Another important metric every author should be watching is your Amazon Author Ranking. In order to get this report, you’ll have to create an Author Central Page for yourself on Amazon. Your author rank will tell you the current placement of all your paperback and ebooks on the site as a whole, and also within each individual category. Here are some examples.

Kim Staflund Ranking for ALL PAPERBACKS AND EBOOKS COMBINED

Kim Staflund Ranking for ALL PAPERBACKS AND EBOOKS COMBINED

Do you see how my ranking fluctuates on a daily basis? Some people will try to tell you that your Amazon point value will immediately spike whenever someone buys one of your books. I disagree. Their ranking system is more complicated than that. I’ve seen no fluctuation whatsoever when someone has bought a book. Then I’ve seen a dramatic rank increase on other days when no one has bought any books whatsoever.

So, I don’t have a magic formula for you on how much traffic you should drive to your books on Amazon at any given time. But I will tell you that your ranking is important. And Timothy Ellis would agree: “It’s not enough to write a good book. It needs to be visible, it needs to be findable, it needs to attract the eye, and suck the reader inside. Visibility comes with rank. … The best strategy is to release a new book, before the 60 day abyss comes along.”

Blogging Progress Report Mar 03 2019: Amazon Author Ranking Paperbacks

Here’s how I rank for paperbacks overall and paperbacks in the “business and money” category. I look better here than I do on the entire site.

Paperback Books Overall Author Ranking

Paperback Books Overall Author Ranking

Paperback Books Business and Money Ranking

Paperback Books Business and Money Ranking

Blogging Progress Report Mar 03 2019: Amazon Author Ranking Ebooks

My best author ranking is in the Kindle ebooks area. This makes sense since most of the books I publish to Amazon are Kindle ebooks.

Kindle Ebooks Overall Ranking

Kindle Ebooks Overall Ranking

Kindle Ebooks Business and Money Ranking

Kindle Ebooks Business and Money Ranking

Once your ranking is consistently in the top 500, that’s when you’ll have enough visibility to really start earning money from your books. Right now, I’m still seeing a few hundred free downloads of my books each month. And, this month, two ebooks were sold.

Micro wins! Onwards and upwards!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019

This Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019 is a little early. I’ve had a few set-backs this month that have made me rethink my 2019 goals. Actually, that’s not such a bad thing. I’m glad this education occurred so early in the year.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019: My Blog Subscribers Aren’t Real Subscribers

Here’s what I’ve learned: WordPress is sneaky in the way it interchanges the words “registered users” (also referred to as team members in WordPress lingo) and “subscribers” (also referred to as followers in WordPress lingo) on its administrative platforms. But it’s important that you never mix up these terms as per CAN-SPAM and CASL laws in North America. Carol Manser wrote a great article about this titled “Registered Users, Subscribers & Logins: What’s the Difference?” Here’s what she has to say about the difference between the two:

If someone Registers on a website, they become Registered Users. Unless the site tells you that you will get some extra privilege for Registering, you will get no extra benefit from Registering.

A common reason why you might want to Register on a website, is Registering on a Forum. You usually have to Register on a Forum before you are allowed to Post questions on the Forum.

If someone Subscribes to a website, they consent to be put onto an Email List in exchange for whatever the website has offered to give them in exchange for their Name and Email Address details. Because of this Consent/Confirmation to receive Emails, Subscribing to a Website is not the same as Registering with a site.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019: My “Subscribers” Are Only “Registered Users”

It is important to understand that when someone “registers” to your WordPress site, all they’re agreeing to is the right to post comments to your blog as shown in this illustration:

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019 WordPress META

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019 WordPress META

Unfortunately, WordPress lists these registered users as “subscribers” on your blog’s admin area dashboard. Two days ago, I took the below screen shot and felt proud. Why? Because I thought I had 12,272 actual subscribers to my blog:

WordPress Registered Users on Dashboard

WordPress Registered Users on Dashboard

But this wording is inaccurate. Of these 12,272 people (plus me, I’m the Administrator) who are registered to be able to comment on my posts, only nine of them are actual subscribers/followers. Only nine people have specifically signed up to receive updates each time I publish a new post:

Actual Subscribers (Followers)

Actual Subscribers (Followers)

The other 12,263 registered users won’t receive an email update when I post something new. So, they’re not all that useful to me when it comes to my 2019 goals. Why? Because they may never visit my blog again. What I need are actual subscribers—email subscribers—who have signed up specifically to receive email updates from me.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019: How to Get Real Blog Subscribers

There are a couple of ways to achieve this. First, upon learning this, I immediately replaced the above-shown “META widget” with the following “SUBSCRIBER widget” in my design template:

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019 WordPress Subscribers

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019 WordPress Subscribers

Now, anyone who signs up through this form is showing real interest in my blog content and books. Each time I post something new, he or she will be made aware of it with a personal email. This will dramatically improve my reader engagement (and, hopefully, my book sales) going forward.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019: Autoresponders Are Even Better

But there is a second, possibly even better, way to collect a growing number of email subscribers who will repeatedly visit both your blog and your books. You will want to use a program called an autoresponder to manage all your email subscribers. MailChimp for WordPress is free for lists up to 2,000 subscribers. After that, depending on the service you use, autoresponders generally cost from $50 per month and up to maintain. It all depends on how many email addresses you are working with.

Through these third parties, such as MailChimp, you can offer additional special discounts or gifts to subscribers on top of the free content already contained on your blog. For example, you can send private newsletters en masse to only these privileged fans regarding online courses or podcasts that constitute some type of added value to them alone. Perhaps, these subscribers will be the only ones to receive discounts on tickets (or back stage passes) to the next book fair you’re speaking at. I think you get the idea. For this to work well, there must be an enticing reason for them to sign up—whatever that reason may be. You choose.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 28 2019: My Revised Goals

Obviously, my goal of reaching 25,000 actual subscribers this year is now a little far-fetched. I’m not starting at 11,1147 followers like I thought I was last month. I’m starting at only nine followers. Ouch! But I plan to reach 5,000 actual subscribers by the end of 2019. I’ll do this by continually driving more traffic to this blog through SEO and my books, as I’ve been doing. My other goals remain the same.

I also plan to increase my free book downloads by 25% this year. By contrast, last year, between the above three ecommerce sites, I saw 4,828 free downloads of my books. In 2019, I want to see an additional 1,207 free books downloaded for a total of 6,035.

Most noteworthy, I plan to increase my paid book downloads by 500% over last year. I saw paid downloads (both ebooks and paperbacks) totalling 83 books from the above three ecommerce sites last year. In 2019, I’m shooting for an additional 417 paid book downloads for a total of 500 this year

Other Changes I Made This Month

I didn’t write as many blog entries as I had planned to this past month because I was busy revamping my old GoDaddy website. I changed it to a WordPress format that matches better with the PPG Publisher’s Blog. Everything is now in place, and it is set up perfectly to help me achieve my goals. I’ll let you know my progress again in the end of February.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.



Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019

I took a break over the holiday season to relax and am I ever glad I did so. As a result, I’m rested and excited to start off the new year with this Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019. I’m looking forward to many more micro wins throughout the year that will bring me to my desired macro wins at the end.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 - 11,1147 Users

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – 11,1147 Users

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – Blog Subscribers

Now, what do I mean when I say “micro wins” versus “macro wins”? I borrowed these two terms from a lady I greatly admire named Lisa Nichols, from her book titled Abundance Now. She talks about the importance of celebrating small successes along the way rather than just focusing on the end goal. As a result, you keep yourself motivated and inspired all along the way. You enjoy the whole journey. Because you’re giving yourself indicators, all along the way, to let yourself know you’re on the right track.

I started January 2018 with a goal of reaching 10,000 subscribers by the end of the year. As you can see, I’ve surpassed that goal. In fact, I still enjoyed mass gains over the holiday season based on all the work I’d done this past year. From the time I posted my last Blogging Progress Report until today, I’ve gained an additional 1,280 subscribers. That’s an average of 37 new subscribers per day. Consequently, this is leading to an increased number of book downloads.

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – Amazon Book Reports

In 2017 and 2018, I published five free books on Amazon, Kobo, and E-Sentral. I used these books, along with this blog, to drive more traffic to my 35+ paid books on these sites. Finally, the strategy is beginning to work.

ALL book downloads for the last 90 days

ALL book downloads for the last 90 days

PAID book downloads only for the last 90 days

PAID book downloads only for the last 90 days

Amazon book downloads last year ALL

Amazon book downloads last year ALL

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – Kobo Book Reports

Kobo reporting is not as detailed as Amazon reporting is. But this is a valuable publishing platform that helps me reach additional readers I’m not reaching through Amazon. Here are my results on this platform so far.

ALL sales to date summary

ALL sales to date summary

KOBO ALL sales to date by country

Sales to date by country

KOBO ALL sales to date by book

KOBO ALL sales to date by book

Blogging Progress Report Jan 01 2019 – E-Sentral Book Reports

E-Sentral reporting is sparse. For that reason, I have to email them to get updates on my book downloads. This is all I’ve been able to get from them so far:

Book id Title No of downloads
183238 An Independent Author’s Checklist: FREE Help for Indie Authors 19
183547 Diary of an Indie Blogger: My Roadmap to Success 12
203127 Your Ebook is an Asset … if You Own the Copyright 38
201602 Why Traditional Bookstores Won’t Carry Your Book on Their Shelves … and Why That’s Okay 20
185091 How to Price an Ebook: A FREE Guide for Independent Authors 28

Blogging and Book Download Goals for 2019

In 2019, my goal is to increase this blog to 25,000 subscribers. I want to more than double my subscriber base by December 31, 2019. That will be my main macro win: 25,000 subscribers. Of course, I’ll update you on the micro wins—the monthly blogging progress reports—along the way.

I also plan to increase my free book downloads by 25% this year. By contrast, last year, between the above three ecommerce sites, I saw 4,828 free downloads of my books. In 2019, I want to see an additional 1,207 free books downloaded for a total of 6,035.

Most noteworthy, I plan to increase my paid book downloads by 500% over last year. I saw paid downloads (both ebooks and paperbacks) totalling 83 books from the above three ecommerce sites last year. In 2019, I’m shooting for an additional 417 paid book downloads for a total of 500 this year.

More Learning in 2019

I learned a lot this past year on how to reach more people more effectively all over the world. My plan is to continue with the blogging pace of at least three new posts per week along with at least one new book published every six weeks. This is how I’ll achieve these goals. I’m looking forward to sharing the journey with you!

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2019 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.

Blogging Progress Report Nov 27 2018

Blogging Progress Report Nov 27 2018

Blogging Progress Report Nov 27 2018

In July 2018, I wrote that I had watched the PPG Publisher’s Blog increase from a mere 1,000 registered users in early 2017 to over 5,000 a short year later. I accomplished this by doing all the things I recommend in this book. This blog had remained at a stagnant 1,000 subscribers for many years, actually. It never grew until I purposefully set out to grow it using all those techniques. This is my Blogging Progress Report Nov 27 2018 to show you this blog’s subscriber growth rate to date. I’m now at 9,867 users as of writing time—and growing even faster every day! Why? Because, since my last report, I’ve learned even more tricks that I’ll be sharing with you in upcoming blog posts and books.

Blogging Progress Report Nov 27 2018

Why does this blog’s progress matter to my success as an author? There are three main reasons:

  1. It helps to increase my exposure on ecommerce sites such as Amazon which translates into even more book downloads.

    Historical Amazon book dowloadsHistorical Amazon book dowloads

    Historical Amazon book downloads

  2. It increases the Google Adsense revenue this blog generates for me due to the increase in traffic.

    Google Adsense Report

    Google Adsense Report

  3. It improves the chances of my mobile-friendly blog posts becoming featured snippets in Google searches, which can bring me even more traffic and registered users.

    Mobile first indexing and feature snippets

    Mobile first indexing and feature snippets

One of my book sales mentors, Joanna Penn, graciously shared her exact timeline to success in this blog post. She has inspired me to do the same for you. The best way to help you sell more books is to show you, step by step, how it’s done. So, this Blogging Progress Report Nov 27 2018 will be the first of many. I look forward to sharing even more success strategies with you in the coming year.

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As a user of this website, you are authorized only to view, copy, print, and distribute the documents on this website so long as: one (1) the document is used for informational purposes only; and two (2) any copy of the document (or portion thereof) includes the following copyright notice: Copyright © 2018 Polished Publishing Group (PPG). All rights reserved.