Blogging at the Three Year Mark

I was responding to a post by nursekelly on the trials and tribulations of blogging.  It piqued my interest and resulted in a post of its own.  As of this January, I have now been blogging for 3 years (on and off) and I make the following observations:

BloggingThree1

It was very hard to start.  I was fearful of saying something stupid or wrong and of not getting any response.  Over time, I found it easier to post, although finding new topics is still difficult and seems to come in spurts.  Saying stupid things comes naturally to me so I got over that quickly.

I picked a theme to find “my voice.”  Being a curmudgeon-at-large wasn’t that hard. Even though there were and are others with the same idea, my innate warped sense of humor gave me focus.  Can you blog successfully without a focus?  Well, Jerry Seinfeld made millions of dollars with a comedy show “based on nothing,” but most of us need a focus.

Building a set of loyal followers takes time but it only takes a few who have a rather large following and an interest in your blog to increase activity.  Commenting on other peoples’ blogs also helps (but does not guarantee) to increase activity on your own and, quite frankly, I need to do more of it.

I have not encountered “super bloggers” (100,000+ followers) but I have noticed several who get a very large number of likes and comments even though the actual post seem inane or lacking content.  I still don’t know why this happens.  I find more revealing those bloggers who write well or have a creative view, have a sizable audience (100’s or 1000’s, not 100,000), get a sizable number of comments and still have time to reply to most.  These bloggers are dedicated to interaction and exchange of ideas.  Personally, I would prefer to be the latter rather than the former.

I have several fellow bloggers who are writers – no surprise that many bloggers are writers – who unabashedly use their blogs to advertise their books.  Not one (so far) has asked for a contribution and I believe it fair to use a blog for marketing promotion.  If you like the way the blogger writes, then you will be more likely to be interested in their books.

Bloggers come and go.  Some get exhausted; many run out of ideas; some have reached their primary goal (sobriety, end of a bad relationship, fear of writing, etc.). While I still read and follow many that I started with, others have, regrettably, stopped blogging.  The upside is to encourage looking for new ones.

Obscenity and vulgarity – I don’t mind it and I use it occasionally for emphasis but I’m not good at it.  Besides, there are already too many “fuck you” rants posts as it is.

I try to read as many different types of blogs as possible, from the creative, inspirational and poetic to those that others might find offensive, weird or unusual.  I want to stretch my aging brain, not restrict it.  While I have written posts about subjects like elderporn, alien anal probing and sex with animals, I would hope that no one takes me seriously.  (Sorry to disappoint you, Fido.)

So, what’s your blogging view and experience, whether newbie or veteran?  Is it up, down, sideways, ever-changing or static?  I await your reply with bated breath.  (Does bated breath leave a taste in your mouth?)

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29 responses to “Blogging at the Three Year Mark

  1. Just started blogging this year and I do it for myself. If others like it and find it useful or entertaining well then what a bonus. I like to write and what a release. Liked your post. Hope I’m still doing it three years from now. Looking forward to reading more.

  2. This was really interesting to read. I’m just starting to figure out the world of blogs and trying to wrap my brain around what my own blog should be. I have been writing and connecting with other writers on one specific site but am hoping to branch out from there and honestly, finding it intimidating as hell. Thanks for this.

    • I was quite intimidated when I started blogging (and still am, I must admit). One suggestion, if you are trying to determine where to branch out, is to search for and interact with other bloggers whose themes you like, following their blogs for a while to see how they progress from post to post and giving you ideas on how you can expand your blog. Otherwise, to quote Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

  3. I have always wanted to write, but I am an excellent procrastintor. I decided a blog would make me write more often, and as I have a bit of OCD, I would force myself to to it once I set a goal. Don’t ask why that work with just plain writing. Probably because this is in the public eye…anyhoo, I like how you felt when you first started, I still feel most of that! Particularly the saying something stupid, altho, as you said, it is not an uncommon occurrance for me either. I hope to soon find my feet. Oh dear, I forgot to wipe them…….
    https://runnerwithablog.wordpress.com/

    • The common joke is that “hard work pays off later but procrastination pays off now.” Very, very rarely do I find a blogger whose blog takes off like a rocket. It takes dedication, time and constant focus (more than excellent writing) to start and keep a blog.

      By the way, the rug cleaner is in the closet to your left…

  4. This was a good post for me to read currently, as someone having doubts about blogging in general, it was refreshing to get another opinion on the whole thing.

  5. Happy 3rd, C-a-L! Your posts always make me laugh – thanks for being you!

    I’m hitting my 4th year blogging. I didn’t really want to blog at all, but I needed a website where I could interact with the readers of my books and a blog seemed like the most logical format. Little did I know that I’d end up enjoying it! Sometimes cranking out a post each week seems like a lot of work, but the comments make up for it – they’re the best part of my blog!

    I’ve been sorry to lose many of the bloggers I follow, and I’ve often wondered why so many of them seem to get Freshly Pressed, acquire hundred of followers and commenters, and then just vanish. Maybe it gets to be too much work to reply to all of them. Or maybe they get performance anxiety. 😉

    • Thank you for the nice comments and, yes, I too am sad to lose bloggers that I enjoy reading. Thankfully you are still going strong and the enjoyable responses you get no doubt come from being probably, definitely, totally inappropriate.

  6. Hi Curmy…thx for the link- that was a real confidence booster xo

  7. Cheers to your three years!

    Much of my experience is similar to yours, plus my time experience is similar to Lame’s (6 years last August for me). I’ve tried to build through interacting and reciprocating (as opposed to the current model of following as many as possible to build followers) … well, followers may follow, but that doesn’t mean they will read or comment.

    An important thing is to be yourself. I’m not snarky because that’s not who I am … nor am I inspirational or an author of poems, stories, or books. I initially focused was sports and politics … but I evolved and have adjusted to my audience.

    Oh well … thanks for the good points!

    • Thanks for the cheers and comments.
      I beg to differ about you not being inspirational. By being yourself and spending a great deal of effort in putting together your posts, I think you encourage others who might otherwise be intimated by the thought of starting or interacting in such an activity.

      • Thank you. I can accept that, but I guess I was saying that my writing style and topics aren’t met to inspire … Well, generally speaking.

        Let us not forget the Mudge-inspired combo headlines with the midweek Satire Bits (actually the next post).

  8. Your post came to me via Don at Boxcarokie.com. I am an introvert and blogging became a safe way to interact with people four years ago. I started out with a focus on country life (on the outskirts of town) on a small, ten-acre ranch. In time, it grew into a therapeutic way of life, tapping into my farm girl roots, interacting with wildlife and nature. Soon wildlife rehabilitation came into focus and I began writing about what I learned from these wild creatures. Daisy deer (an orphaned fawn) became the star – and her story caused my blog to blossom. I still occasionally post about gardening, and other aspects of my life on this little ranch, but the wildlife is the main focus. The post, “Following the Animal Trail… The Scoop on Poop” from February 2013 still gets hits every single day. Who knew animal scat could be so interesting! And, yes, there is always going to be a little trouble with comments. I try to answer all of them nicely, but it can be overwhelming at times. I’m just as happy if someone hits the “like” button or simply pays a visit. ~ Lori

    • Thank you for finding my blog and responding. You are one more introvert added to those who use blogging as means of interacting with people. I chuckle at your statement “Who knew animal scat could be so interesting?” because I once wrote a post on search terms and the top search term in the list to find my blog was ‘sex with animals.’ It was both amusing and rather disconcerting.

      I’m guessing that other successful blogs start like yours with one focus – country life – that gets refined – wildlife rehabilitation – as time goes on.

  9. First of all, happy third year anniversary, CaL. Your posts are very well crafted, clever, witty and with that vital CaL-ian ingredient, a healthy dose of sour. I’m starting my sixth year writing my site, or I will be once I get a new home computer. The MacBook I had been using for 8 years bought its rainbow yesterday. Having a focus on my site, usually New York City via the minor adventures of a minion of the universe, helps me come up with tales. The interaction is great, but in earlier days the comments went so far afield, it was exhausting keeping up with them. As for reading and commenting on more blogs, that’s always been a challenge for me simply because there are not 30 hours in a day. Often, I fall behind, but it seems that the bloggers I read as regularly as I can are quite forgiving. It always makes me feel a bit bad when bloggers drop out without goodbye, but I think that might be because they weren’t planning to quit.

    • Thanks for the ‘happy anniversary’ and I congratulate you on six years of ‘lame adventures.’ Your ‘minor adventures of a minion of the universe’ are always spiced up with pizzazz. Who else but you would have a water cooler break down by ‘shitting the bed,’ use a Voice-of-God intercom, have a colleague named Godsend and be ‘the Person Who Deals with the Crap No One Else Wants to Handle.’

  10. Reblogged this on Creative Endeavors, The Home of BoxcarOkie.com and commented:
    Here is a read that is worth your time. Check it out, you may be surprised and amused.
    DS

  11. The Internet has a profound tendency to “gooble up people” when they comment, so a great majority of them do not. I may get 400 hits in one day and only one comment. I have a friend who gets many-many per day and she tells me that answering them is a real task. So they are either a blessing or a curse.

    No clear cut procedure for success, same with ideas, work with what works, and throw the rest of it away. When I read your stuff, I always come back with “Jeeze, that was good. I wish I had thought of that.”

    I am going to repost your advice here to my page.

    Thanks,

    Don Smith

    • You hit upon the downside of a successful post, namely the time it takes to respond to a pile of replies. Thanks for the re-post and the kind comments. Your remark about “Jeeze … I wish I had thought of that” reminds me of a story told about Oscar Wilde when he heard a clever saying told to him by a friend.

      Oscar Wilde: “I wish I had said that.”
      Friend: “Oh you will, Oscar, you will.”

  12. I found it easy to start and fairly easy to keep going for the first three years (I blogged weekly during that time). Then I ran out of steam (not ideas, or things I wanted to say, just the ‘oomph’ to put it all into words). I’m not sure if its because I got it out of my system, or because I wasn’t getting as many ‘Likes’ or Comments as before and I figured people were getting tired of reading my stuff). I occasionally have the inclination to post something, and I do, but its sporadic. I love reading your blog – you remind me of my father (who was the granddaddy of all curmudgeons).

    • I understand running out of steam. I run out of both steam and ideas. It’s easy for me to complain but much harder to complain with humor that is not too tactless.
      I will take the comparison to your dad as a great compliment.

  13. To me, blogging comes down to interaction, which, for an introvert is weird to say. But they’re short, focused interactions which is what an introvert likes. Plus, it’s amazing to think we can interact with anyone around the world. And of course, other people’s blogs teach me things, make me laugh (like yours!), and make me think. I just feel bad when I can’t read them all!

  14. Great post!

    I haven’t found a focus yet. I just write whenever it amuses me to do so, and despite the fact that most of my posts are not really very interesting. 🙂

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