Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Blog In Crisis

I have been dealing with a lot of questions about this blog here, and I thought it might be time to open up the discussion. In a few weeks, the blog will be a year old. I made a commitment to post five days a week for a least a year to document the final year of my twenties. And (unless something CRAY happens in the next few days), I will have stuck to that promise. When I started, I was happy to have ten readers a day. But, as people started reading, I started to get greedy. And I started to care. Yes, I do pay attention to the stats on this blog, and I have had a great deal of growth each month until this past month (which was February, and there are less days--I know). I feel like I have really hit a plateau. I started reading a lot of articles about what makes blogs successful, and I began contemplating things like post titles, SEO (if you don't know what that is, don't bother knowing because it is boring), the way I utilize social media, how to make Facebook posts go viral, and a whole host of other blog related things. People have said, "Have variety!" And in the same breath, "Have consistency!" That is pretty much how all this advice fell on me, and what I discovered is that there is a lot of useful information out there, but for every person who says, you should have a title (for instance) that is x-way, there is someone who thinks it should be y-way. And, essentially I am left no wiser than I began. Some people said to examine your content and see what's popular. Well, you know what's the most popular post I've ever written? A post about rainboots! What does that tell me? I have no idea. Apparently lots of people like to know about rainboots. That post was created before I learned Photoshop, before I knew how to create graphics that reflected my style, and really, at the very beginning of my journey. No insights to be had there.

I was musing about all this over dinner last night, and I thought that perhaps I could tap the one resource I haven't yet tapped: YOU. I was hesitant to acknowledge that I wanted to grow a readership, and hesitant to admit that I wasn't where I hoped I'd be, but I have always tried to maintain honesty and openness on my blog, and I hope that the readers who come and stay will be the ones who appreciate that honesty.

And, to be honest, I don't even know why I care. I started this blog as a way to keep me, a lapsed writer, writing. If that was the goal then I have been wildly successful. But, I think I care because I have put so much of me into this blog that now it is more to me than just a place to go and write. That is what journals are for, am I right? Writing for an audience is actually what keeps me honest, and what I love about blogging. Because I write with this audience in mind, I now defer to you, audience. Can you give me some insight? What am I doing that you like? What am I doing that you wish you could see more of?

My friend told me today that she would like me to write a post about how to care for clothes. I appreciate that she took the time to give me a suggestion. I will write that post. I am excited to write a post I would not have otherwise been so excited about because I know that it will mean something and answer some questions someone has (not that this is rocket science or an answer to the questions of the universe here--trust me, I have no delusions of grandeur).

Anyway, if you've made it to the end of this long, crisis driven post, I ask you, what makes, or could make, this blog a place you want to come back to everyday? (And now we have a new comment system, so it should be much easier for you to answer--See, I do listen!)

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