Wow. This was over 10 years ago. I still haven’t found a following. I’m not good at that and my blog isn’t good enough to draw in readers based solely on content. I don’t think I’ve reached the goal of redeveloping my writing skills. I still stand by the final answer of writing what you know and what interests you. Also, I still think you shouldn’t stress about writing every day even though I do. I should take my own advice on stressing about readers.
I was tagged in the latest blog meme going around by baldgeekinmd. So, here goes:
How/why did you get into blogging:
Many moons ago a friend of mine started posting his book reviews and other musings on LiveJournal. I was interested in what he had to say, so I started reading and then set up an account so I could comment. I decided since I had an account I should start posting. Most of my posts there were rants about my personal life and family issues in general. After a while, I got tired of having a whiny online journal and stopped posting. My next blog I did for work and the 23 Things training and only posted what I had to for homework. It was a very boring blog and I stopped it as soon as I could. I started writing here because I still feel like I occasionally have something to say and want to have somewhere to say it. I also used to be a decent writer and have ignored writing for so long, that I seem to have lost the skill. I’m hoping writing here will help me redevelop my writing skills.
How Did I Gain an Audience?
I haven’t. I have my blog set up with FriendFeed and Twitter to announce a new post and I registered at BlogCatalog. Until recently my most read post was read 14 times. I recently posted thoughts on an issue in the religious community and it has been read 50 times. That and my TV reviews seem to be what people are interested in on my blog. Most of my hits on those came from tags. So, based on my experience, I would say tagging your blog posts will increase your readership quite a bit. It also helps to be writing about a topic of interest to the people reading blogs.
What advice would you give to new bloggers who want to make a name for themselves in the biblioblogosphere?
Being a new blogger myself, I’m not sure I can answer this one. I would say write what you know and within your interest areas. Don’t be afraid to go days without blogging if you have nothing to say. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get a wide readership right away.
I think anyone who will read this and blogs will have already been tagged, so I tag no one.
When looking at TimeHop today I saw I had written a post about pet peeves during a writing challenge. I thought “Maybe I should revisit those and talk about how it has changed.” Turns out it hasn’t changed. I listed three: lateness, bad drivers and people who say they don’t have time to read. All still accurate. I’m sure there are more as well, but I had nothing new to say about any of the pet peeves.
There is now in the forecast for today. Not enough to close anything, but enough snow talk to bring snow days to mind. I had some thoughts about the difference between a planned day off and an unplanned snow day. Guess what? I’ve written about snow days and how special they feel. I think I’ve written about it a few times.
I’m in a stretch of time where I have nothing of note on my schedule. I will go to a Ravens playoff game Saturday night. I guess that is noteworthy. Otherwise, I have no trips planned. I have no days off planned outside of the random winter holidays and eventually my birthday leave day. I will likely spend those sitting at home watching TV. This stretch of nothing of note will continue to summer when we have our trip home to Kentucky. I don’t anticipate anything happening that will inspire a post.
I need to take the time tomorrow to plan out some writing ideas or just give up on expecting a new post from me every day. The planning part needs to start with a decision on what I want to write about. This was easier back before I had written so much.
After I published my last post(My Christmas Vacation) I received a notification from WordPress that I had reached 1000 posts on this blog. At one point not too long ago I realized I was close and thought that I should come up with something special for the 1000th post. I then completely forgot and had a boring recap of my Christmas trip for my milestone post.
I have no idea what I would have done differently if I had remembered that it was a milestone post. I have no idea what I plan to do now that I am starting my second thousand posts. All I know is that I want to get back to posting on a regular basis. I know I want to get back to more of my “Tater Takes” on news and pop culture. I know I want to spend less time writing about how much I dislike my real job and how desperately I wish I could retire early. I know I want to be better about not just reading but interacting with the other blogs I read. I know I want to figure out how to extend my reach and get more people reading what I write. I know I want to work on trying to write something more than a standard blog post. I don’t know what that would be, but I have a lot of time alone these days and I feel like I could use it for more than watching TV. Maybe I discover this is all I can do, but at least then I would know.
So, thanks for being here for my first 1000 posts. I hope you stay with me on my journey to discover where my next 1000 will take me.
If you would like to support my journey to the next 1000 you can click here.
Setting: The North Pole, Santa’s Compound
It is going to be hard to infiltrate Santa’s bunker. His intelligence department is one of the best in the world. They see you when you’re sleeping. They know when you’re awake. Trying to take down Santa could be a big mistake. Luckily, the Happy Holiday Alliance had a man on the inside. A disgruntled elf has promised to provide inside information in exchange for asylum in the states and admittance to dental school. We thought we could turn a member of the Reindeer Force, but he was promoted to lead reindeer and guide, so that is no longer an option.
Another issue – their secret weapon – the Christmas Cheer. We’re not really sure what it is, but it seems to give them extra power. We’ve also hear that is spreads when people sing loud for all to hear. We have distributed noise canceling headphones to the troops to combat the issue. Our corporate sponsor Starbucks is lending a hand by distributing non-specific holiday cups and wishing people happy holidays as we’ve heard that saying Merry Christmas and putting non-religious, but Christmas specific symbols on the cup also increases the Christmas Cheer quotient.
With all of these precautions in place, we are ready to take the compound and finally win the war on Christmas. Hopefully, tomorrow I will check in during a victory dinner of grilled reindeer and Santa will be defeated.
I didn’t get any official notification from WordPress that it is today, but my Facebook memories told me that last year was 10 years on WordPress. My math is good enough to theorize that today would now be 11 years. 11 years of babbling about nothing. Before that I babbled a lot on LiveJournal, but under the name Demoncatch. I’ve been boring people online for years. Yay me.
As I enter the next year of blogging, I think maybe I should consider again the point of the blog.
Do I continue what I do which is post whatever pops in my head whenever I have time to do it even though it is not exactly a successful formula?
Do I veer more towards pop culture and media and do more TV/movie/book/music reviews, recaps, etc with a little more general pop culture thoughts thrown in?
Do I go back to posting more thoughts on current events, but take more time on crafting an essay and not just vomiting my thoughts out for 10 minutes and posting?
Do I just stop thinking about it and do whatever makes me happy because no matter what only about 20 people are going to read it anyway?
You would think after 11 years I would have more of a sense of what I want to do here.
I will begin this by saying that I am a nobody when it comes to blogging. I have no following. I feel like it is a success if I average 20 views a day. That is peanuts when it comes to blogging and I don’t see it ever changing. So, what I’m saying is that I’m the last person you should ever go to for blogging advice. Good news! I’m here to tell you to stop looking for blogging advice. I’ve been there. I’ve read posts about being a successful blogger. I’ve written a post about how to fail at blogging. Guess what? I’m still lucky to get 20 views a day. I don’t think there is a formula for being a success if you want to maintain your individuality. I’ve seen so many different takes on how to be successful:
Don’t write too much. People will get tired of you and your posts will not be quality posts – Everyone was tired of me before I started blogging and my posts have never been quality posts.
Write every day or people will forget about you – I could write every day or stop writing and still be invisible.
Find a niche. Only write about one thing – I am not an expert on anything. I write whatever pops in my weird little brain. A niche would be forced and artificial.
Post pictures, post videos, promote your old posts! Self-host! Learn how to maximize your random acronyms I can’t remember! That sounds exhausting.
In theory, I would love to have hundreds of views a day or more. In theory, I would love to be so popular that I could make money doing this. In real life, making money or even getting more views than I do is not something that will ever happen for me. I don’t have the skills nor the energy to get there.
I guess if there is a point to this post it is to relax, write what makes you happy and if you have the time do what you need to do to increase your numbers.
I know it’s not the beginning of a new year or anything, but as I thought about posting this morning and had nothing pop in my head, I decided I should probably reconsider how I do this. So, the following are some things I will try to do to make the blog better(it can’t get any worse)
- Stop pressuring myself to post – It’s better to post nothing than to force a post. I would like to have something to say every day, but that might not be realistic. If I’ve got nothing I will move along and go about my day postless.
- Jot down ideas – As I think of things throughout the day I will try to write them down or record something on my phone. I tend to have my better ideas at inopportune times.
- Plan my weekly posts all week – Write down my thoughts on movies, books and TV all week so I’m ready for my week in review posts. Write down good things as they happen for my What’s Good posts. They should be easier.
- Use my alone time – I have two hours alone every night. Seems that would be a better time to write than the short amount of time I have in the morning before work. It might make the posts better if I take my time.
- Be better at interacting with others online – I read a lot of blogs, but rarely comment. I should be better about interacting with other bloggers.
- Be more willing to write about every day life – I sometimes start to write a more mundane post about y daily life and decide it’s too boring. I should let the readers decide that. Write it if I want.to write it.
- Stop over thinking – posts like this will show you that I over think things. Just write when I feel like writing.
I don’t know if I will follow through in any of these, but I will try.
Today should have been the day I was able to write a decent post. I work 1-9. I had all morning. I was not in the right head space to write this morning. I got out of the house and got coffee and read my book for a while, but it didn’t help. So, instead, here are the five posts that have been viewed the most over the past 365 days.
My Philly Adventure
Photos from my trip to Philadelphia for the Public Library Association Conference. Likely the most viewed because I shared it in the conference’s Facebook group. There is a video in there of me at the ax throwing fundraiser.
My Life As a Jailbrarian: Library Fight Club
A series I guess I have discontinued since I haven’t written one in a while in which I talked about my life working in a jail library. This one is about the fights in the library.
Please Read Before You Comment
In which I complain about people commenting on posts without reading the post first.
Photo Challenge: Cheeky
One of my posts in response to a now dead photo challenge.
A Short Rant
In which I complain about people complaining about books because they have words they don’t like in them.
Laptop is open. Glimpses of ideas pop in and out of my head. I write a title. I write a sentence. I delete the sentence, think for a minute, and delete the title. I can’t seem to get past a general idea and form a coherent post. Some ideas are just not great ideas. Here are some of my rejected ideas from this morning:
A post about the rain – using the word moist a lot because I know people don’t like it.
A post about how I enjoyed being in the city for a conference and wish I was in the city every day for work.
A “what I’ve done over the last few days post” – it would have been very boring.
A post about some current events, about which I have no expertise and when I thought about them had no idea where to go with the post.
Something funny – I’m nowhere near the proper head space to write funny right now.
A post about my good sports streak(Braves still in 1st, Ravens blow out win, Kentucky beats Florida for the first time in 32 years)
A post about what I didn’t post about – Here it is in all its terrible “glory”
Maybe tomorrow I will wake up and be ready to write something real….probably not.