Blogging: What I have learned

Seeing as how this is now my 50th post, I figured it might be a good time to reflect back on my blog and evaluate my huge success as a blogger.  When I started this blog I had no expectations, I have owned the domain name for a very long time.  Through the years it has become many different kinds of websites, most of which were iterations of a long-closed music production company which met limited success.  Since the closure of that business it has taken on a few other forms, most of which are simply personal sites for my amusement.  This is one of those sites.

XKCD is pretty good.
XKCD is pretty good.

Some of the things I have learned which have helped me enjoy writing this blog, despite the fact that it does not get much traffic, are pretty obvious.  Others, not so obvious.  Most of them, I don’t even follow now, from a “lessons learned” standpoint.  However, I am aware of them, and I am slowly adapting my style to utilize the things I have learned to make this blog better.

Write often, keep a consistent schedule. This, I am really bad at.  I used to be better with it but as of recent, I have had trouble motivating to write.  Since this blog is mostly for me, and clearly not for ad revenue, if I don’t feel like writing, I don’t.  That being said, when I do write more often, I see an interesting increase in traffic.  Hmm.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a lot of traffic. Much in line with the above, building up an audience takes time.  Some blogs manage to become overnight sensations but there are usually a lot of other factors that play into that.  If you truly want to be successful and perhaps even make money some day, you need to just write, write, write.  Even when no one is reading.  I go through phases of becoming discouraged by this very phenomenon, but whenever I see a valuable comment on my blog posted by a complete stranger, it feels good.

Quality not quantity – or – less is more. This is not about the number of posts you make.  Clearly you should post like 100 posts per day if you can. (/sarcasm?)  It is more about the length of your actual posts.  I have a tendency to be very long-winded.  I am working on keeping my posts a bit shorter.  It is easier to write short posts, and easier to keep the attention of your readers.  Oh, and, pictures are good.  People like pictures.

Would I read this if it wasn’t my blog? Meaning, is what you write interesting?  I try to keep my blog pretty interesting, and I try not write about what I ate for lunch, why I’m upset with my dog, or other personal nonsense that is best kept in a secret journal.  If you want other people to read your blog, you need to realize, most people don’t care that much about YOU.  If you have an interesting opinion, some valuable knowledge, or something else you feel is worthy of someone elses time, it is worth posting.  If you are going to write about some personal nonsense that only dear ol’ mom would care to read, save the internet some megabytes and don’t post it.

Anyhow, yeah.  50th post!  See you at 100.

3 thoughts on “Blogging: What I have learned

  1. All are valid and good points. People have different definitions for a “successful blog” these days. I’d go on ‘n say most measure a blog’s success by traffic and by rss#. This would be true of the blog’s intention is ultimately to make money off ADs.

    But I think for a personal blog, the success is if the author enjoys it. You’ll have to write for yourself, not for anyone else. In time, as long as your content is interesting or informative, people will come.

    Looking forward to 100th post.

  2. Yes, it took me some time to get past the lack of traffic, now that I can more readily ignore my traffic numbers and resist the urge to drive low quality traffic to the site, I find I enjoy it much more.

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