What Do You Want From Your Blog?

I have been asking myself this question frequently over the past few months, and there was a NaBloPoMo prompt earlier this week asking whether you would prefer more blog readers or more blog comments, so thought I would take some time to reflect publicly.


I started blogging 4 years ago.

The Mom Blog

My first blog was personal. When the triplets were born, friends and family all over the world wanted to know how we were doing. We had moved away from all our friends and family during my pregnancy, so all news had to be delivered by me – and I was swamped and exhausted. When the fog from the initial nine months lifted, I started a blog to provide a glimpse into our world. It was anonymous, but public, with descriptions of little snippets of our lives. My goal was to update it at least once a month with posts that conveyed a sense of both the challenge and the joy of our lives, to serve as an explanation for why nobody was hearing from me directly. The blog plus my mother’s photos (I was too busy to take many) provided the extended family with reassurance that we were surviving.

I stopped writing that blog as my children started experiencing challenges I did not want recorded on the web for all time. It no longer felt fair to them. By then, I had completed my first NaNoWriMo and was stretching out into the writing world, discovering a publication goal.

Flailing

For about a year, I kept coming up with ideas for niche blogs, signing up for free accounts with Blogger and WordPress, and coming to the conclusion that I had neither enough to say on the topic nor enough passion to pursue the topic for long enough to be worth the effort to build and monetize them.

I started and dropped blogs on

  • Eco-Parenting
  • Parenting Triplets
  • Suburban Sustainability
  • Cultivating Enthusiastic Living

This Blog

In 2010, I started this blog as a way to keep myself accountable during NaNoWriMo. I had failed the previous year and I really wanted to succeed again. A blog someone else had written daily during a previous NaNo inspired me to start writing about writing as a way of forcing me to write. I had a few readers, mostly other NaNo participants who cheered me on, and it served its purpose. I ended that November with a complete, 50,000+ word first draft of a middle-grade urban fantasy.

And then, I started the process of revising what is still my current work-in-progress.

Although my commitment to the blog wavered in the following months, and the focus of my writing changed, I continued to find that writing about my writing process forced me to keep writing my novel. and gradually I grew to my regulary Friday post.

In the current publishing world, writers are expected to have a blog, a Twitter presence, a Facebook page, etc. as part of the marketing package they are expected to bring to the table. And, I have explored those social media. On Twitter, I have connected with writers and with advocates for gifted and twice-exceptional children. On Facebook, what used to be a purely personal fora has expanded to include my contacts in the world of gifted and talented advocacy.

This blog has become one of the places that I connect personally with other writers.

I know from watching my Twitter mentions and my blog statistics, there are many people who visit this blog and don’t comment. I do get feedback indicating that the number of commentors on the blog is not an indicator of the number of people who read the blog. And that’s nice.

But, I feel a real connection to the people who come by, comment, and come back and comment again. I love the camaraderie and conversation that can develop across blogs when we read and discuss each other’s blogs. It is great to know that people are reading my work, and I love seeing my subscriber numbers increase, but without an increase in comments and people to chat with, those statistics are not emotionally satisfying.

So, if you like this blog, please comment.

And, please let me know what else you would like me to write about. I’ve written to prompts the last few days. There are still a lot of days left in March. Some extra prompts would be great. Leave them in the comments and see what I do with them.

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About Kate Arms-Roberts

www.katearmsroberts.com

Posted on March 8, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I do love your blog, Kate, as you know, and I don’t always leave comments, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t liked the post.

    I believe the most compelling posts come when the blogger (1) is passionate about what she is writing about and (2) is looking to give back. The latter point could be a piece of advice–say, writing every day is important–or a piece of herself, such as sharing an insecurity or struggle. I think you already write with passion and give in both of those ways, so I would say keep doing what you’re doing!

    • Kate Arms-Roberts

      Thank you for the specific description of what you like in a blog. I certainly couldn’t sustain a blog if I weren’t passionate about it and I feel uncomfortable when I start thinking that what I am writing has been too much about and for me, rather than somehow passing something on to others.

      I find that even with blogs I consistently like, there are only some posts that motivate me to comment. And the more I read blogs on my phone, the less I comment because of the challenges of typing on the tiny keypad.

  2. I’ve blogged for five years now, getting more serious about it every year. And I *still* don’t know what I want from my blog. I keep plugging away, and hope I figure it out sooner rather than later.

  3. I love your blog, Kate! And I’ve been considering blogging – for quite a long time. I just haven’t made a beginning yet. But it may be soon – you are inspiring me!!

    Greetings from a fellow InterPlayer and writer,
    Susan

    • Kate Arms-Roberts

      I would love to read what you have to say.

      My adventure in blogging has had some similarities with performance InterPlay: trying something, trying something else, finding a groove and staying in it a little longer than was comfortable for me so the audience feels the repetition, noticing patterns to go back to, paying attention to the players with me and responding to them. Instead of movement, stillness, story, and voice, a blog uses video, still pictures, story, and sometimes even stillness when one doesn’t write for a while.

      Have fun with it if you cross that speed-bump.

      Kate

  4. Your blogging journey sounds similar to mine. I must have several blogs just floating out there on various platforms, all called “Manic Meanderings.” I only use my Blogger version and right now, “Manic Meanderings” are what I want from my blog. It’s just everything. It’s my knitting and crocheting, it’s my writing, it’s my day to day stuff, and if I ever have any “professional announcements” to make, I’ll make them there…and on Facebook and Twitter–though I really don’t tweet very often. I guess I use Twitter more to catch up on people and events.

    More readers, or more comments? What about more followers? Sometimes, I’ll follow someone, and never read their blog again (or rarely).This is more the case with “Blogger” blogs, where I can’t get their blogs posted to my email. Sure, I can do the rss feed thing, but then I have to open up something other than my email. If I follow a WordPress blog, I tend to read it, because it’s in my email inbox. This sounds like a great case for me to dump my Blogger for WordPress, but there are functionality things that I like better in Blogger. It just feels more comfy right now. Or maybe I’m just a blogspace hoarder who can’t give it up? 😉

    If followers always meant more readers, then that is what I would prefer over more more comments –though feedback is nice too!

    • Kate Arms-Roberts

      I know I follow a lot of blogs and hardly ever visit my rss reader to read the ones I don’t have sent to my email, so followers doesn’t strike me as a meaningful statistic. And, I rarely follow Blogger blogs because my Blogger account is the one my old triplet blog is attached to and I don’t necessarily want to be directing people to that blog.
      One of the things I like about comments is that I tell that people are actually reading my blog.
      I get a real thrill when a comment indicates that somebody has read my blog and is thinking about things because I wrote about them.

  5. I love your blog because hearing about your creative process touches and changes me creatively. I actually like it better when you write about yourself.

    I noticed this in a very distinct way after having read several posts in a row that were about your personal process, which I found marvelously inspiring. (Some of it is still resonating within me, even if I don’t remember the exact words you wrote.) Then you posted one that was about somebody else’s process. It was all good stuff, but I found myself less engaged with it.

    I’m kind of doubting you could write too much for and about yourself without giving back. I think that’s possibly where you’re giving the most. At least, for me it is. :~)

    • Kate Arms-Roberts

      Milli,
      Thank you for your feedback. I have been touched by the fact that you have been letting me know how my work has inspired you. It is hard to express how powerful it is to know that what I am doing is making a difference for somebody.
      I need to revisit my approach to the blog now that this March Madness of Blogging is coming to an end. I am so much a work in progress myself, that I am curious to see where I end up going. But, I am sure I will be writing about the decision-making process, whatever the outcome.

  1. Pingback: Blogging for Self-Discovery « Kate Arms-Roberts

  2. Pingback: Kate Arms-Roberts » Blogging for Self-Discovery

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