Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Ballooning your Blog Stats with Porn Star Tweet: Take 2


Bear with me here, as this story is going to get quite strange.

It started in June 2011 when I was talking to another blogger who had a similar number of hits on their own site as I had on mine. As detailed here, Skeletor's Armpit and Power is a State of Mind had both drawn in around 13K hits each. The author of SA challenged me to a race, to see who could hit 15K first. I accepted, and we both started to crank up our writing, uploading and promoting.

I dived onto Twitter to promote my site. I found ways of drawing people in, including using trending topics and suggestive tweets to tempt people into clicking links. Page views started to trickle in. On a whim, I came up with a crazy idea. I asked a celebrity to retweet a link to my blog, to see if I could boost my readership.

I can't remember who I first asked as I didn't make a point of recording it, but it was a well-known figure with over a million followers. Suffice to say, they ignored me. I tried a few TV figures. A few writers. A few other popular accounts. No response.

Then I tried a porn star. Yes, I was following a porn star on Twitter. Don't judge. (Well, not yet.) Her name was Kerry Louise. She retweeted me to her 44K followers, and I saw a sudden tiny surge in my page views. I got more hits in 5 minutes than I'd got in the rest of that day, after leaving comments all over the net with backlinks to my blog, and other types of promotion. I was enthralled.

I tried a few other girls in the industry by searching for their names. More often than not, they would retweet me and the stats would trickle in. I got to 15K long before my competitor. I'd won the race, and I was onto something.

I knew that there were entire blogs out there raking in hits because their remit was blogging itself. Blogs like Daily Blog Tips, How to Make My Blog, Kikolani and Denise Wakeman were packed with ideas for the development and sustenance of personal and business blogs. The blog authors had thousands of followers. The idea of getting people to read what you put online was already incredibly popular, and I'd found a method of doing this that nobody else had: getting porn stars to promote you. It was quick, and it was effective.

After talking to a few porn stars, I wrote a handful of blog posts about communications between them and myself. These posts quickly received a splurge of hits through Google searches (the majority of them are still in my “most popular entries” at the time of writing).

People love porn. They might not talk openly about it, but it's a part of people's lives. I'm no different. Aside from that now, I was asking porn stars for social media-related favours. I was making porn public.

After searching around, I found that there were LOADS of porn stars on Twitter, and that they had thousands and thousands of followers. Was anyone discussing this? I thought. Was porn still the elephant in the room?

Perhaps not. I had a quick look on Mashable, one of the world's leading tech blogs, to see whether they had covered the issue of online adult entertainment. I discovered the Porn Star Tweet website, an amalgamation of all of the porn stars on Twitter and a feed of their newest tweets. I had hit a goldmine.

I decided to spend a month hammering the site for retweets. I spent a month smashing through as many of the accounts as I could, asking the same question over and over- “will you retweet my blog?”

Many people did, and my stats surged. It was an interesting month, what with loads of hits, follow backs, and threats of being reported to Twitter for spamming. I looked around on Google to see if anyone else had hit on this concept of getting help from porn stars to promote a personal blog. It seemed not. I was onto something.

To keep a track of the project, I kept a spreadsheet of every account I'd approached. I created fields for their name, whether I'd had any response at all, if I'd asked for a retweet, whether they had retweeted, their follower count to the nearest thousand at the time of writing and a field for notes.

At the end of the month, I wrote up the post. I showed it to everyone who had retweeted me, thanking them for their help. A good number of them retweeted the post, pushing it into my top 10 posts in a matter of minutes.

I showed it to other social media bloggers. Some were interested, some weren't. I got loads of followers on Twitter. I had awkward online conversations. Some people unfollowed me. I received more comments on this post than I had on any other. It took 8 months for the post to climb to the top spot. To this day it is still one of my most popular posts, with over 7K hits overall.

I knew that the project could easily have gone on for over a month, though, as I'd asked only 900 out of the 1500 porn stars listed on the site. So I planned to leave the site alone for a year, to let new people enter the industry and to be added to the site. I had other projects to do. Hence, in October last year, I decide to have another go.

The first thing I noticed was that I was following hundreds of porn stars who had ignored me outright. I started by unfollowing them all. No point involving myself with people who won't involve themselves with me.

I expected I could ask every single person listed on the site within another 2 months. I hinted to this in this post

In actuality it took 5 and a half months. The reason? The site was rarely fully functional. When the site worked properly, the alphabetical list on the right-hand side of the page was available to find accounts. However, frequently the section of the site where the alphabetical list should be was left blank. It would disappear and reappear at random, with no explanation from the site's Twitter feed

Instead, I tried the Porn Stars Stats section, tweeting to the most-followed accounts, the most-tweeted, and the upcoming birthdays.

In the last couple of weeks, the site has been fully operational and I've been able to fire through acount after account, getting swathes of page views. It took so long to do this that by the time I'd finished the names starting with Z, new people had been added on to the site. So I whipped through the list again, throwing in further requests, checking my spreadsheet and referencing when an account was inactive or suspended or not found, so I wouldn't have to check again. If a porn star hadn't tweeted in the last month, I'd note that and not tweet to them. The same goes for if they had protected their tweets (meaning their follower count would be pretty low). The chances of an inactive account replying to me are pretty low, and besides, I want to be involved with people who are actively using Twitter.

Most of the people I tweeted to ignored me. That's an expected factor. Others responded with interest, others with annoyance. Actresses' boyfriends treated me with suspicion. Actresses themselves occasionally lashed out. “Do your own PR, yo!” one porn star instructed me. (I was doing.) But other than that, people either did as I asked or they didn't acknowledge me at all.

I found other small issues along the way. The names people might give themselves over Twitter might differ from the individuals' performer names (which are listed on the Porn Star Tweet page). I eventually made a point of recording both of the names, so I could search for them to check if I'd already approached them. Really, I should have made a field for their @ handle, as this never changes once the Twitter account has been set up. The user can change their Twitter name whenever they want.

So: the big question- who retweeted me? Out of the remaining 807 accounts I checked (many of which were inactive), 135 did. Here are the names, in ascending follower number order, to the nearest thousand. (Accurate to the time of asking for the RT. Account stats may have changed.) The more followers an account has, the more people could see the blog and the more exposure I get. You should follow them.

Jay Rock (26) (Follows back)
John Strange (245)
Shannon Kelly (546)
Maya Divine (557)
Jonni Hennessy (594)
Paul Wilcox (701) (Follows back)
Bella Young (898)
Roggie / Rogizoid (899)
Juan Largo (1K)
Ciara Blue (1K)
Tommy Utah (1K) (Follows back)
Bentley Pierce (1K)
Jasmine Delatori (1K)
Jassie Jade (1K)
Juliana Grandi (1K)
Trinity Morgana (1K) (Follows back)
Trinity Rae (1K) (Favourited)
Wrexxx Kidneys (1K)
Mistress Roxy Jezel (2K)
Ruby Adultstar (2K) (Favourited, follows back)
Cody Sky (2K)
Aurora Monroe (2K)
Chennin Blanc (2K)
Krystal Star (2K)
Master Liam Cockran (2K)
Danny Ocean (3K)
Eric Masterson (3K)
Kassius Kay (3K)
Sage Evans (3K)
Sioux Sinner (3K)
Johnny Slim (4K)
Claire Hart (4K)
Alexandra Silk (4K)
Bella Nicole Black (4K)
Binky Bangs (4K)
Bibi Noel (4K)
Brea Bennett (5K)
Avena Lee / Syonara Black (5K)
Brandi Belle (5K)
Cali Hayes (5K)
Chris Cock (5K)
Jessy Jones (5K)
Jasmine Jade (5K)
Sean Michaels (5K)
Justin Long / Negrodamus (6K) (Follows back)
Alysa Gap (6K)
Max Cortes (6K)
Tristan Berrimore (6K)
Sofia Maya (6K)
Emily Grey (6K)
Delilah Blue (7K)
Angel Rivas (7K)
Nikki Lavay (7K)
Catie Parker (7K)
Lexi Cruz (7K)
Raven Rockette (8K)
Tegan Riley (8K)
Sky Daniels (8K)
Cory Chase (9K)
Brandi Mae (9K)
Sabina Leigh (9K)
Djedi Michael Vegas (9K)
Julia Sands (10K) (Favourited)
Bruce Venture (10K)
Jack Blaque (10K)
Alana Rains / barbiemarleyxxx (11K)
Sara Swirls (12K)
Selma Sins (12K)
Evan Stone (12K)
Vince Vouyer (12K)
Seka (13K)
Nikita Denise (13K)
Anna Morna (13K)
Sadie Santana (13K)
Lilly Evans (13K)
Lia Leah / Vivid Lia 19 (13K)
Magdalene St. Michaels (13K)
Kate Faucett (13K) (Follows back)
Kitty Tyler (13K)
Rita Daniels (13K)
Dakota Skye (15K)
Miss Tiffany Naylor (15K)
Derrick Pierce (17K) (Follows back)
Natalie Moore (17K) (Follows back)
Blue Angel (18K)
Shae Snow (18K) (Follows back)
Jennifer Best (19K)
Randi Wright (21K)
Skylar Green (21K)
Katie Cummings (22K)
Lolly Ink (22K)
Giselle Mari (23K)
Jocelyn Stone (23K)
Mary Jane Johnson (23K)
Summer Brielle Taylor (24K)
Maria Moore (24K)
Holly Hanna (25K)
Paige Delight (25K)
Penny Pax (25K)
Natalie Lust (28K)
Talia Shepard (28K)
Rebecca Love (29K)
Callie Calypso (30K)
Sadie Holmes (30K)
Justine Joli (30K)
Jayden Lee (30K)
Dana Vespoli (30K)
Seymore Butts (30K) (Did anyone see a programme about 10 years ago called Porn: a Family Business about a guy and his brother shooting adult content in San Fernando? This guy was the subject. Fascinating behind-the-scenes TV show.)
Original Tommy Gunn (30K) (follows back)
Sofia Prada (36K)
Alex Chance (36K) (I had asked before but I'd forgotten to include her name in the tweet, and I'd got no response. This time I tweeted with her name. In Dale Carnegie's multi-million-copy-selling book How to Win Friends and Influence People, the author writes: “Remember that a person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” People are more likely to do something for you, Carnegie claims, if you remember their name.)
Kiera Winters (37K)
Mia Rose (38K) (Says, “I have high expectations. Don't let me down.” Oh, I won't.)
Michael Brandon (39K)
Violet Rose (40K) (Favourited)
Megan Foxx (41K)
Tiffany Doll (43K)
Sasha Heart (46K) (Favourited)
Marcy Cartel (47K)
Michelle Thorne (50K)
Kayla Paige (52K)
Laureen Pink (52K)
Jessa Rhodes (52K)
Trisha Uptown (52K)
Holly Halston (56K)
Casey James (56K)
Abigail Mac (56K)
Melrose Foxxx / Just Me... (77K)
Holly West (78K) (Favourited, says “interesting read”)
Katie Cox (82K) (Follows back)
Brooklyn Bailey (84K)
Gemini Love / Geminixxx.com (106K)
Summer Sinn (110K)
Kagney Linn Karter (116K) (her tweet got retweeted 6 times and favourited 5 times! There must be a handful of people out there giving a shit!)
Brooke Haven (178K) (Verified)

And my top retweeter...

Nikki Daniels (184K)


I received 136 porn star retweets.

Stats at time of starting project: 166, 837.

Current stats: 206,813.

The first time I performed this task, I did it for one month. I wrote up the project to show how, in that short space, a project like this can boost your visibility to an audience that you, well, you might not have thought of reaching out to. I wanted to show that your page views can go through the roof by asking for retweets, particularly from porn stars.

This time, I wanted to ask the rest of the people listed on the site. Because I spent so many months on this project, and because particular blog posts were gaining popularity anyway, it wasn't easy to see how many of my stats were a direct result of the retweet project. There were so many peaks and troughs during the retweeting that it isn't obvious what parts are a result of the retweets.



I'd like to say a huge thanks to everyone who retweeted me. I realise it's zany. I realise I'm getting something for nothing. I'm taking you seriously. Whether anyone takes this project (or me) seriously is another issue...