Morgan’s 2022 Retrospective (Part 2)

Past Retrospectives: 2022 #1 | 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017

It’s still January, so I’m still reflecting on my goals from last year. Part of my goals includes growing my social media presence.

While this isn’t really writing-related, it is writer-platform related, and I want to be fully transparent. I know I like to see how other people do it, and I like stats and tracking progress, so, probably more for me than you, here are my numbers for 2022. I tried to be both engaged and engaging, while still invested in upping my content creation in all mediums. As always, some weeks were better than others. Honestly? Some MONTHS were better than others.

This post might not be for everyone, but it’s a key part of my annual accountability — this analysis lets me see where my audience is and what to invest more time into. Plus, I like spreadsheets and enjoy the chance to perform a sanity check on whether or not I’m wasting my time on these platforms. Spoiler alert: This year? I’m not sure if it’s worth it.

Blogging and Social Media Stats

Followers

Between all my social media accounts, I added 961 followers!

Not even close to my fastest-growing year, but mostly due to me backing off the push to grow my Twitter, as it started to implode, but that didn’t keep Twitter from still being my largest growth sector, with 436 new followers.

Percentage-wise, I had 38% growth on Twitch and 37% growth for my podcast — both the newest platforms I’m on, so while the increasing numbers weren’t large, they made a huge difference.

I’ve been working on engagement, let’s see if I can keep it up.

Content

This year, between my weekly round-ups (which I did every week, even if late) and the December flood of Author Spotlights), I surpassed the 3-posts a week target, my podcast grew steadily.(My Goodreads stats are books added to my library.) (My FB page stats only go back to 2016.)

I surpassed my goal of posting to Instagram twice a week, with an average of just over 3 times, about on par with last year. Pinterest, Tumblr, and LinkedIn are predominately reshared from the blog and sometimes Instagram.

I did try to spread more memes, not just my own content on the platforms, and dabbled more in reels/stories this year.

Account Break Down

WordPress (4/2015)

Unlike the other platforms, this is one platform I control.

  • Last year narrowly beat out this year by a couple hundred views, but I was neck-and-neck for visitors.
  • Google search results continue to grow as my number one referrer, but that doesn’t mean I should stop linking on my social platforms. Over half of my views came from Facebook links and the WordPress Reader combined.
  • The SEO boosts from file770, Pinterest, and KidLit411 linking me definitely helped.
  • My Author Spotlights — to help promote friends’ works — is sticking around, even if they’re not my most popular posts. I’m working with a few small presses, to help them out, but they are open to anyone who is a good fit for my blog. (If you’d like to participate, please contact me at morgan.s.hazelwood@gmail.com)
Top Lifetime Post

10 Questions To Ask Your Beta Readers, from 2016, is still tops with 3,529 lifetime hits (and was published in an anthology here).

My Top 10 Blog Posts of 2022!

While 8 out of my top 10 overall views this year were from old posts, here are my top 10 published this year.

  1. Problematic Publishing: Red Flags To Watch Out For
  2. My WorldCon 2022 Recap
  3. When Plot Twists Go Bad
  4. Writing The Fight Scene
  5. Publishing as Collaboration
  6. Decolonizing SFF
  7. Author Spotlight: J. Kirsch
  8. Authortube Best Practices
  9. We’re #2 So We Try Harder
  10. Creating New Mythology From Hidden History

Youtube (4/2017)

  • While a slight dip from last year, I got 8,136 views, added 78 followers, and got over 800 watch hours.
  • The livestreams continued to be a significant contributor.

My Top 5 YouTube Videos From 2022

As my content library grows, it’s good to know that my older content is still being watched. But, here are the top 5 posts published this year on writing and the writing industry. (I excluded recorded productivity streams)

  1. Writing the Sex Scene in Non-Erotic Works
  2. My WorldCon 2022 Recap
  3. Fairytales & Folklore in Urban Fantasy
  4. (AWC) Pitching The Trad Publishing Process
  5. Inverting Tropes

Tumblr (6/2016)

  • I’m still simply resharing my blog and Instagram content, but a few people follow me there, and I’m glad they still have access.
  • I lost more followers this year than I’d picked up last year. I credit the platform’s slow death, not me.

Instagram (2015)

  • I continue to attempt to be more intentional in my posts. Making sure to vary the types of images, and using more stories and reels.
  • I stopped joining follow circles to scrounge up followers, and my low follower numbers show that.

Pinterest (2015)

  • I’m sharing my video post weekly, and my blog post but not much else. Plus, the automation broke for several months. I need to remember to share the covers of the books I read and more memes! But, it’s quit showing me stats, so, is it even a social media platform?

Facebook Pages (2015)

  • “Writing About Writing” continues to reshare my alt-text added reshared memes — bringing me MASSIVE readership for those posts.
  • Even non-reshared memes are getting a larger audience, even without that particular account resharing me.
  • A large percentage of my content are my blog auto-posts, though.

Facebook (2013)

  • I share the public side of my life and cute memes. People seem to be engaging more.

GoodReads (1/2016)

I read 157 books this year, hitting an average of 3 books a week, again! I did rate most of them, but didn’t review any. Shame on me. Again.

Twitch – (2020)

  • I upped my game this year, splitting my youtube audience, I’m sure, but I made Twitch Affiliate.
  • Unlike Youtube, Twitch hasn’t kept moving the bar for monetization, so I’m seeing a few pennies. Well, I will after that 21 cents grows to $100.
  • Growth seems to be about on par with my early days on Youtube, I’m unsure which I should really focus on.

Reddit – (1/2017)

  • I remembered it existed for a couple months. And then Cons, Covid, and NaNoWriMo happened.
  • I think I got 3 points of karma? I’m at 157.

Discord – morganHazelwood#1975 –

  • I quit a few Discord servers and joined a few for different writing groups and cons. I’m still moderating one. I struggle to keep up with them.

In Conclusion

I’ve definitely kept up my content creation, sometimes to my own detriment. The return on investment, with more views, has about flatlined on all of my platforms, but I don’t think it’s the quality of my content, so much as having about maximized my personal reach.

There is some thought that my social media reach — converting views into clicks — might translate into my return if I self-published, and I remain unconvinced that I have what it takes. Then again, my writing might speak for itself, and fear is the only thing holding me back. Well, fear and a dream of that traditional publishing external validation.

All things considered, I’m glad reached out to get an ADHD diagnosis and am working with a therapist and a doctor to try and get my executive dysfunction less dysfunctional. I’m not sure if that means more consistent content or better focus on my writing, but all I can do I pick a direction and see where my focus takes me.


Do you find social media a total waste of time?

If not, what’s your favorite platform, and what’s your favorite content type?

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