Saturday, 19 May 2012

Zurich Writers Workshop and Making Use of Social Media

This weekend I am currently taking part in the Zurich Writers Workshop.  I will probably write a separate post about that later, but the part I found the most relevant to this blog (so far) was the part about the use of social media to promote a book or a blog.  I was extremely impressed just how many stats the workshop instructor Diccon Bewes (author of the Bestseller "Swiss Watching") was able to provide about the traffic on his blog, courtesy of Google Analytics.

He was able to tell us how many readers he had, how many posts per session each viewer was reading (on average), how much time the reader spent on his blog (on average), even down the detailed level of which Canton in Switzerland they were logging in from.

From the basic stats on the blogger dashboard all I currently know is how many page views I get per month, which countries those views originate from and the referring URLs.  I am more interested in knowing how many readers I have than how many page views I have, as it may be that I have just a handful of readers that are reading lots of posts or it may be that I have lots of readers reading single posts.  I would also be interested in knowing which Cantons my Swiss audience comes from.

I have just installed Google Analytics and over the next few weeks I will try and make some use of the statistics it generates.  Diccon for instance noted that most of his traffic comes from either Canton Zurich or Canton Bern and that no traffic at all has come from Canton Uri.  He can use this information to try and tailor his writing to his specific audience.  There is no point in him writing tons and tons of articles about Canton Uri and nothing about Canton Zurich and Canton Bern when most of his audience comes from those cantons.

Diccon also gave us lots of useful tips on driving traffic to a blog via Twitter and Facebook.  He recommended for instance setting up a Facebook page separate to the one you use to communicate with your friends and family, so that you can retain some privacy on your normal facebook page whilst still allowing strangers to join the purpose built facebook page.

There is a competition open to all of us workshop participants to write a blog post about any topic relevant to Switzerland, and the best few will be posted on the popular "Newly Swissed" blog  I think I will write one about the great resources that Zurich makes available to runners such as Finnish tracks, Vita Parcours, numerous drinking fountains and public 400m athletic tracks.  You would be hard pushed to find all of that within easy reach of the city centre in most other world cities.


  1. Thanks for joining the workshop and glad some of the content was helpful! Looking forward to reading you on Newly Swissed as well.

  2. Hi Chantal. Yes it was a very useful workshop for me. Thanks for organising it. I will definitely try to attend future ones if I can. A bit of creativity for my normally scientific logical mind is always welcome.