To blog or not to blog
Posted on March 8, 2012
My good friend Richard Tulloch mused in his blog post of today over the tyrannical regime of blog hits. With that blog post, he touched a tender spot in my blogging system. Is blogging about numbers? Is it about the content of your post? Is it something else, something we can’t quite grasp?
This is what I commented on Richard’s blog post:
I remember one good friend – a famous Australian writer, not unknown to yourself, Richard – who told me at the onset of my blogging life, that the best way to start was to never check the stats. Of course, that heartfelt advice never actually landed in my brain and, being the math girl I am, I obsessively checked the stats, leaving me in total despair and completely blocked.
No one on the whole world wide web loved me!
Well, except for that famous Australian writer who was the first to leave me a comment.
Ever since, the numbers steadily increased, not to great height, but acceptable enough not to chuck me back into writer’s block hell every time I posted.
Hardest part of blogging for me? Not the numbers, no, but keeping up the frequency (or finding the right balance between writing, editing, teaching, blogging and living) and finding good topics (yup, seat-of-the-pants articles do score high).
How does blogging work for you? Do you feel you are being heard? Do you find what you want to read? Or is it just an entertaining way of passing time, like skiing or flying or enjoying the sun?
Tagged: blogging, Richard Tulloch, skiing, writer's block, writer's hell
I enjoy both reading blogs and writing my own blog. For me, writing the blog about the subjects I love is a fun way to unleash my creativity and I love the interactions I have with my readers. I also enjoy reading others’ blogs because it’s fascinating to have glimpses of other people’s thoughts and photos.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Eagle-Eyed Editor (what an absolutely fabulous name that is, btw). Reading your response made me realize that writing posts is indeed often a fun way to unleash creativity. Maybe I should stop wondering about what to write and just write.
Intriguing question in this instant/social/flood of media age:) I don’t plan to have my own blog any time soon, but have enjoyed (and hopefully will continue to enjoy) participating in a group blog. I guess that option suits me: at the party, but not the hostess, you know? I do like reading blogs, though, because usually even super well-edited/thought out blog pieces have this immediate, journal quality that is often missing from more traditional magazine pieces. Still, the hard, ironic thing is that there are a gazillion blogs out there, tons of them really worth the read and available in a click, but we are all subject to the unchangeable crunch of time. I guess that’s what will keep me surfing through my options instead of being a super-regular reader, and remaining a guest instead of a hostess.
Peace and thanks for sharing!
That does seem like having the best of both ways, Mima, participating in a group blog. It will certainly lessen the pressure of finding topics and the posting frequency. I have been thinking about a group blog for some time, one that will focus on YA lit for boys, but I haven’t had the time to pursue it. Yet.
Blogging is like writing a difficult scene in a novel – I know I have to do it, I put it off, I try to work on other stuff first, and then, finally, I do it. And then I feel much better for having written. Of course, then the pressure builds and I know I need to post again. Over and over and over. Despite that, once I do finish that blog post and get it up, it’s fun. I love the interaction with my commenters, and I enjoy reciprocating their visits, seeing what they have to say on their own blogs.
That reminds me…I really should blog again…
That is so true, Caryn. It feels like writing a difficult scene in a novel, with the same sense of gratification if you’ve done it. It is also one of the justifications for spending time on blogging: it hones your writing craft; it forces you to say what you want to say in an alluring but concise way. Would that be the solution for the topic and frequency problems? Consider it a novel and just write on, scene after scene?
Hmmm… I’m not a ‘real’ writer…a ‘proper’ writer.. I’m just someone who wants to try and get stuff out of her head and onto virtual paper, and is happy to share it with anyone who wants to read it.
I think it’s fair to say it’s a hobby for me, which is good really, as my best day had 66 hits and that was 2 months ago – other than that it’s the odd 20-25 hits a day with big fat zeros in between (the spikes mainly happen because I’ve posted and been read by ‘followers’ rather than been tripped over via the ‘tags’ function in WordPress 🙂 My number of subscribers is increasing, but I still don’t have many ‘true’ followers from the blogging community, they’re mainly members of my limited group of connections on Twitter (or my even more ‘locked down’ Facebook account) to be honest! I’m not really suprised at the number of ‘followers’ – my content isn’t exactly awe-inspiring, or beautifully constructed, or cleverly written. My grammar is terrible, I mix metaphors, use hyphens far too much and generally mangle my mother tongue. I do hope that practice will improve me though 🙂
Those pesky stats constantly nag at me though. Every morning (and to be honest, periodically throughout the day – especially on a ‘posting’ day) I check out the number of hits, look at any bloggers who’ve clicked ‘Like’ or have commented (bless their little cotton socks!), and dutifully reply to show my appreciation. All because as much as this is a hobby to me, I want to feel that it’s worthwhile – that someone somewhere out there gets something, no matter how small, from it. Over the past few months, I’ve had ‘comment conversations’ with some fellow bloggers along the lines of ‘first and foremost I blog for me, not others – whether I entertain people isn’t the main reason I blog…’ The only problem with that, is that part of me is completely on board with that (they obviously had control of my brain and fingers when I replied!), but I also want to be ‘liked’ or at least to be felt worth reading…and right now, I’d be lying if I thought I was ‘being heard’.
Do I find what I want to read – if I have enough time to scroll through the posts relating to the tags I choose, eventually yes – my blogroll is growing daily.
It’s definitely entertainment for me though – a hobby – a pastime, and I think I like it that way 🙂
Hi Jacquie, thank for stopping by and pitching in. You might not feel a ‘real’ writer, but you are a very real blogger and bloggers write. 🙂
It takes time to build an audience, doesn’t it? Perseverance should be our middle name. Keep on blogging if it makes you happy. That happiness will show in your words and will get noticed.
You can check out this blog, too: http://www.thebookdesigner.com/2012/02/author-blogging-101-linking-for-traffic/