Monday, June 20, 2011

Semi-Annual Reader Survey - Writer's Tools

Well the results have been tabulated for the semi-annual "Oil-Electric Reader Survey."

The question I was most interested in asked, "How did you find Oil-Electric." I suspected from my site monitor that "Oil-Electric" is pointed to by searching Google Images. That was validated with 15% responding that they found "Oil-Electric" by accessing Google Images.

But the biggest surprise was that "Oil-Electric" was visited because of referrals from other Blogs.

Another interesting extrapolation is that 75% of our readers are over the age of 50. And that may help to explain the almost zero interest in "hybrid" locomotives. What do you think?

Only one individual expressed "more interest in railroading than our flood coverage." But had to admit it was "somewhat" interesting. Daily readership shot up since we began covering the floods on the Mississippi and Missouri.

I attribute that to the fact we reported greater detail and "behind the scenes" material than local media.

And not only did the readership increase, but the length of time spent on the blog dramatically increased, which I extrapolate to mean, people are reading the links as well as the article. Click logo to access survey.

Writer's Tools

I spend 8 to 12 hours per day working on current articles and researching future topics. I follow a process honed over many years as an Instructional Designer. The process begins brainstorming in "Inspiration," a program for instructional designers. Inspiration creates an outline.
  • Outline become Rough Script 1 in Word
  • Refinement creates Rough Script 2
  • Critical evaluation of visuals required to illustrate the article.
  • Send emails to obtain permissions to use photographs.
  • Process all graphic and visuals in PhotoShop Elements.
  • Convert Word doc in Notepad to strip all MS Word funky coding.
  • Enter script into Blogger as dos text file.
  • Reformat in Blogger.
  • Connect all links to external web sites.
  • Download visuals into Blogger.
  • Test publication to insure hyperlinks function correctly and photographs are positioned properly.
I enjoy writing. It exercises my brain and challenges my ability to communicate clearly. And in the end, I hope you enjoy the articles, and perhaps learn something new!

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