Idiot of the Year

It’s a weird thing to be an idiot. It takes some doing, lemme tell you. And, when you catch yourself at it… oy.

So, it takes a special kind of idiot to run around in my world. I know that, for I am that idiot.

So, here’s what I’ve done. Believe me, it’s painful to admit this.

So, I run a sister site called SkippityWhistles.com. It’s a cool site that tells you how to do stuff, like make pour-over coffee, and how to use a wood screw that’s too short.

Alas, I’d been applying the tenets of Gorilla Marketing: do very little but expect a lot. So far, I’ve carried out the do very little part, but the great things I’ve been expecting haven’t materialized.

So, I decided I should get serious and track the site’s progress. I made a spreadsheet that showed the article, the week, and the number of reads. At the top, stupidly, I put the bounce rate. If you’re not a very good marketer, don’t look at that number. It will make you cry.

But, there’s always this ray of hope, you see, that just keeps you going. My ray? Week number 2, with its 63% bounce rate.

A quick word about bounce rates: a low number means your reader lingers on your page. A high number means they go “meh” and click away. You can get Google Analytics for free, and that tells you your bounce rate.

A bounce rate above 80% is very bad. 63%? Not so terrible. Looking over the sheet just last night, I noticed there are several weeks with low bounce rates. And those happened to be the very weeks in which I’d made a post. AHA! My readership goes up, and the bounce rate down, when I make a post!

And then came something really amazing. I have another sister site called The Black Falcon Project. It’s just a lark, a little piece of art. Nobody visits it, and I don’t mind.

But somebody is visiting it. Somebody followed the link to it from Skippity Whistles, and they did it just last week! OMG! Both the link and The Black Falcon Project are drawing attention! They read twelve different posts! O-M-G! I’ve made a breakthrough!!!

So I looked at the pages the mysterious whoever read on the Black Falcon site. So, here’s the amazing thing – I was looking at those very posts with my cell phone just last week!… oh.

Oh yeah. Every time I make a post, be it here, Black Falcon, or my beloved Skippity Whistles, I check it with my cell phone to make sure it posted correctly. And last week, I tested the link between Skippity and Black Falcon, and, frankly, enjoyed the writing so much on Black Falcon I clicked all over the place.

So, throughout the year, those low bounce rates? Oh, yeah, they must have been me on my cell phone. Oops.

Sigh. Idiot.

Not only is the low bounce rate fictitious, but so are the reads on my site. Certainly I read the newest posts, but I often go check on other things, too! My bounce rate is super high because I don’t engage my readers. Period. And the only times they have engaged somebody, it was ME!

Ding dong! Hello, McFly! Idiot.

It’s a word to the wise – if you track your reads, don’t use your cell phone to check your site!

My brother has a shirt that says this: My momma didn’t raise no dummies, and if she did, it’s my brother.

Author: John D Reinhart

Author, technical writer, videographer, actor, and naval historian John D Reinhart is a very busy guy. You can find his novels as Smashwords.com.

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