Tips and Tricks After 200 Pages on Wizzley

by JoHarrington

My articles are consistently amongst the most popular on Wizzley. But I'm new to this writing game. This is how I'm doing it.

Eight months in and my Wizzley portfolio feels heavily pregnant with potential. But I've not yet given birth to a livelihood.

It's coming. So many people tell me that it's coming. Just one final push, and the trickling pennies will start turning into pounds.

I can see the interest there. The tiny kicks of more traffic, more clicks. The occasional random buy.

But in the meantime, my articles consume the front page; and my tenth Editor's Choice is in the bag.

My Wizzley Story So Far

What have I learned over the past seven weeks of Wizzley writing? Read on to find out!
The learning curve goes on and with it comes some amazing insights. But what will work in the long term?
The first fifty articles on any site are hard work. Yet that crash course provides insights that soon become second nature.

Reading My Tips & Tricks

Everything that I share with you is true, but they should be placed in context.

I am new to on-line writing.  Veteran authors may pour the sum of their experience and knowledge into our grateful minds. I can take you on a journey.

As I learn my craft, I stop every fifty pages to record what I have found. It's as much a diary, or a way of remembering myself, than it is a tutorial for those who follow. These are my class notes and my revision.

They are the things that I found do work.

If isolation and frustration are the hallmarks of starting out in this writing game; then you don't have to do it alone.  Come walk with me.

Wizzley Writers' Postcard Number One

Fans as a Way of Promoting Your Wizzles

It was the first time that I'd really paid attention to the fan button. It proved to be very illuminating!

I noticed a very curious thing.  Over the course of two or three weeks, I kept having people become my fans on Wizzley.  I'd dutifully return the favor. They would then 'un-fan' me.

Until this moment, I became someone's fan primarily if I liked their work and wanted to keep reading it. Secondly, I'd befriend strangers out of politeness, if they had done the same to me.

The first few times that this fan/unfan thing happened, I dismissed it as my articles not being what they expected. But when it kept on happening, my instinct rang.

I approached the font of all knowledge and wisdom, also known as Sam.  She informed me that there was a bizarre (and utterly false) belief amongst some writers, that such practice is good for Google SEO.

The idea is that you have more fans than you personally are following. The signal is supposed to be sent that you must therefore be a great writer. 

However, she did underscore the fact that this is not only bad practice, but it doesn't work. I should imagine that it also ends up ostracizing you from your writing community.

This whole episode did result in me paying more attention to the followers section of Wizzley. I discovered that there are some friendly (or wise) souls, who become fans of newcomers as a matter of course.

It doesn't take a genius to work out why. Become someone's fan and they are very likely to click onto your profile, at least once.

They might follow back and then they will receive alerts to your articles.  The more fans you have, the more inboxes your Wizzle links are flooding into every day.

Each fan is a potential reader.  Each fan is someone who might forward links to your article to all of their friends and social networking sites.  It's a great and subtle way to get noticed.

Personally though, I haven't changed a thing.  I follow those who sound interesting, or whom I befriend; or I return a follow out of politeness.

Wizzley Writers' Postcard Number Two

Promote Everyone's Wizzles in your Social Networking!

Not only is this good for the community and Wizzley, but it might have an unexpected bonus for yourself.

Anyone who has been following these tips and tricks will know that I'm using Twitterfeed. This was advice given by Humagaia, which has worked out well for me.

I collect my articles together into categories, then use the RSS feeds to post them onto Twitter.

But some categories only have two or three Wizzles penned by me in them.  At first, I was running them, then just letting the feed drop.  That was an error.

Humagaia's second major advice was for us all to raise Wizzley where we can. If people are coming to our website, regardless of which article brought them here, then we all benefit. They might find our writing next.

It occurred to me that I could help my fellow authors by running the feed to the category, not just my contribution to it.  Ten links are lifted before Twitterfeed stops.  Three might be mine, but the other seven are highlighting the work of others on the same site.

That was my altruistic gift to Wizzley as a whole.  But then I noticed something which made it beneficial to me too.

Wizzley includes 'you might also like' links to other articles in that category.  If my own Wizzles are on that list, then that's indirectly promoting them too.  It turned into a win-win situation.

Optimal Number of Articles for Wizzley and Twitterfeed

Six for Wizzley; ten for Twitterfeed. That's the minimum number of Wizzles for each sub-category.

Six Wizzles for Wizzley If you have six then every one of the 'you might also like' links will be your own articles.  This is only true if each article is at 100% page rank.

Ten Wizzles for Twitterfeed The RSS will only gather the ten latest articles in the feed. It will then produce any new ones, but won't go further back. 

Wizzley Writers' Postcard Number Three

Write Often, Write Well

And now I can see why this is such great advice.

When I was first starting out, a veteran writer told me that the number one tip is 'write often, write well'.  If you did nothing else, then that would ensure your eventual success.

What that actually translates to is a lot of hard work.  On-line writing is not the easy route to making a living.  Apparently it can be, much further down the line, when this all turns into passive income. But that is not handed to you on a silver platter.

First comes the endless hours of writing with no obvious reward. You may take pride in your traffic, and in the readers liking and commenting upon your work, but the main objective can only be taken on faith.

As the months have passed at Wizzley, I'm now seeing the benefit in that adage.  Write often, write well, has now resulted in some of my very early articles taking off.

George Stinney Jr Article

Written on December 29th 2011; hits sky-rocketed from June 30th 2012.
Activists are trying to clear the name of the youngest person to be killed in America's electric chair. They have the blessing of his family.

Gay Wedding Gifts Article

Written on March 30th 2012; hits took off from May 29th 2012.
Are you looking for gay wedding gift ideas for two grooms? Check out this selection with presents to match any wallet.

They are just two examples of older articles, which needed to mature before they appeared to be found by readers.

The same story is being repeated throughout my portfolio.  It proves the truth of the earlier conviction of veteran writers that we just have to be patient.  It will come.

In the meantime, the hard work has to go on; and with it a further underlining of that precious tip: write often, write well.

Wizzley Writers' Postcard Number Four

Check Older Articles to Keep Them Current

It takes time for these things to mature. You need to make sure that your Wizzles look pristine at the moment that they're found!

I was at a friend's house and wished to check in on Wizzley.  Not going through my usual bookmark, I merely typed the name of the site into a search engine.

Naturally this gave me a list of links where our site is mentioned, hence I got side-tracked into some reviews.  One boldly claimed that Wizzley is like a hybrid of the best parts of Hubpages and Squidoo.

I knew nothing of either site, but I did know that some of the owners originated in the latter. I went digging.

Apparently, in Squidoo, if you don't maintain your pages with constant up-dates, you lose your page rank. I wondered if a similar ethos had transferred to Wizzley.  I revisited some of my lower ranked and/or older articles; and I'm very glad that I did!

The YouTube video had been removed from this article. I replaced it with another, which gave the same information.
Unilateral hearing affects a significant percentage of the population. How would you welcome a client or guest with this kind of deafness?
The 'search function' Amazon advertizements were showing totally unrelated items on this article. I replaced them with static ones instead.
Enter a world where the true life stories read like the plot of a Hollywood blockbuster. This is the saga of your own family's roots.
Zazzle had removed a t-shirt that I was showing on this page, leaving a blank space behind here. I swopped it for a different one.
Runescape U-turns into aggressive real world trading with Insight Venture Partners' Jeff Horing at the helm.

But they were merely corrections and keeping things up to date.  What about the initial investigation to see if up-dating meant higher page ranks?

Yes, that's as true for Wizzley, as it is Squidoo.  Whether that is best practice or a transferred mechanism, I don't know.

I chose two Wizzles which were completely under-performing.  They both had low page ranks and not a lot of love.  I went in and added new content.  I messed with the formatting and, in the case of one, I changed the sub-category where it could be found.

Then I watched and waited.  Both began to climb up the ranks within a day.  One has carried on doing so, until it rose from 52% to 84% at the time of writing.

There was nothing wrong with either.  No broken links nor out-dated information. They just benefited from a recent edit.

Two Wizzles Where I Experimented with Edited Up-Dates

On January 6th there is a mad frenzy to take down the Christmas decorations. That tradition is more modern than you might think.
Israel calls it security. The rest of the world calls it a land grab and civil rights issue. Comedian Mark Thomas walks the controversial wall.

Wizzley Writers' Postcard Number Five

Frequently Asked Questions

Right now, I'm in the happy position of being at the top of the 'Excellent Authors' page; and my articles, without exception, visit the 'Popular' pages at least once.

This naturally elicits a lot of the same two questions, asked by various Wizzley authors, turning up in my private message inbox.

Why are you always number one or two on the Excellent Authors page?

I have the most Editor's Choice Awards on Wizzley.  That page is solely based on that.  You will receive a rosette after you have achieved three Editor's Choices.  That will place you in the top tier. 

Those at the very top have more than three awards.  By my observation, it appears that they change position based on a) number of awards and b) most recently given awards.

Until last Tuesday, I was number two on that list, because Sam had more recently received an award.  I was given one that night, which moved me to number one. 

This same organization takes place at each level. Those without rosettes are ordered from those with two Editor's Choice Awards, then one, then 100% author rank and so on.

Image: Excellent Authors on Wizzley August 17th 2012
Image: Excellent Authors on Wizzley August 17th 2012

How can I get on the front page of the Excellent Authors page?

Write often, write well.  The Wizzley team are everywhere.  If you write something which they consider to be outstanding, then you will receive an Editor's Choice Award. You're aiming for three of them.

Don't get despondent if it takes a while though.  I've received ten such awards from 200 articles. They are elusive things!  Which is why getting one is such a cause for celebration.

How are your articles consistently taking over the Popular page?

They all hit 100% page rank.  The Popular page only deals in the latest pages to do that.

This is nothing to do with my Author rank, Editor's Choice nor anything else.  Each and every article stands or falls on its own merit.  Mine get there because I work hard to ensure my articles hit 100%.

As for how to raise your page rank, I already wrote about that in my first Tips and Tricks.  The only thing that I'd add is that 'information' articles tend to get more hits, likes, social network shares and comments than 'sales' articles.

Wizzley Writers' Postcard Number Six

Image:  Wizzley Stats After 200 Articles.
Image: Wizzley Stats After 200 Articles.
Jo Harrington

My readership appears stuck between 500-800 a day.  Occasionally it'll spike up to around 900.  A couple of times, it's fallen to around 470.  However, the micro-trends are upward.

Of course, anyone looking at those stats will mostly be staring at the two massive spikes in the middle. Let me introduce you to the culprits.

These Three Articles Caused a Massive Spike in my Hits

PC monitors are expensive items. You do not want to be squirting household cleaning products all over them.
All kinds of things fall in the cracks between your sweat coated keys. So how do you safely clean your PC's keyboard?
The grills on your PC let out the heat, but they also attract dust and dirt. Too much of that and everything will grind to a halt.

Wizzley was having a 'how to' article competition at the time. I wrote those Wizzles in the spirit of that. 

After a reader posted one of them to Reddit, I noted the leap in hits.  I posted another myself.  In order to help me out, a friend added the third.  The response from Reddit was... well, you can see for yourself.

But what about that dip in the middle?  This was when a technical hitch in the grand Wizzley site update put us off-line for most of the day.  This was why I was so horrified by that.  From my point of view, all that hard work had finally paid off, then WHAM!

Wizzley was back up the next day.  The articles on Reddit received some bad karma, but nonetheless, the people came back to read the articles.

Then they went away again and all went back to normal.  I learned a valuable lesson that some traffic is better than others.  You can get the hordes in (and win the competition), but it's unlikely to have a long term effect on anything important.

That Wizzley Traffic in Perspective

Image:  Jo Harrington's Wizzley Traffic August 17th 2012
Image: Jo Harrington's Wizzley Traffic August 17th 2012

I'm no mathematician, but it seems to me that my traffic is starting to plateau out. 

Yet it's maintaining the numbers of readership.  I already sussed this recently, when family problems and ill health kept me from writing for a few days.  The bottom line on my internet traffic did hold.

Wizzley is here to stay.

And if you haven't already done it, please do register for your Wizzley account today!

My Tips and Tricks Articles are also Featured in a Book about Writing for Wizzley

A Writer's Guide to Wizzley

Wizzley is one of the youngest and brightest writing platforms on the internet today. Online livelihoods are made in writing articles there. Jo Harrington is one of its foremost...

View on Amazon

Updated: 04/17/2013, JoHarrington
 
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JoHarrington on 01/31/2013

You're very welcome! Good luck on your Wizzley journey. :)

BrookeVanBeek on 01/31/2013

Love it and thank you from this newbie!

JoHarrington on 10/01/2012

Then its job was done! I'm glad that you found it helpful.

WizzRoy on 10/01/2012

Great article and very informative for a newbie like me. Thanks.

JoHarrington on 09/21/2012

*blush* Thank you very much. :)

BrendaReeves on 09/20/2012

Jo, I don't have to ask why your articles end up on the popular page. Not only are you a great writer, the articles are very interesting.

JoHarrington on 09/08/2012

I'm glad to hear it. :D

Mike_W on 09/08/2012

Thanks Jo, that was nice and inspirational.

JoHarrington on 09/08/2012

You're very welcome; and welcome to Wizzley!

jan111 on 09/08/2012

Many thanks for this article - I found it interesting and easy to read.


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