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.
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
- Parenting Triplets
- Suburban Sustainability
- Cultivating Enthusiastic Living
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.