Random thoughts on my blogging world

1 Jun

Remember me chatting about blog stats a few weeks ago? I was getting mildly obsessive, feeling like I had to check who was visiting every hour – well I am still there. Now though, it’s not because I am anxious, but more of a happy surprise to keep me smiling. I actually feel like my words are wanted, it was all I could have hoped for.

Now let’s not get carried away. My figures are still modest at best, but I no longer care. I don’t need endless streams of readers, although I do welcome every new visitor with open arms. My subscribers are set at on average one new sign up a week. (Not inc RSS). This is more than enough for me as it allows me chance to get to know my subscriber. Have a cheeky peep at their blog – make some comments – check out their twitter feed…it’s even better if it is someone I am already subscribed to.

On that note, when I started blogging, their were several writers whom I religiously followed. I would comment endlessly, and basically beg for their attention. I wanted to be their friend. I saw them as people I would aspire to be like. Basically I wanted their following and their success.

I don’t want that now.

I want my own.

Those bloggers whose attention I craved I realise now aren’t my people. Not because they didn’t respond to me, the amount of followers they have it must be difficult to keep track, but because as time went on, I realised that in the real world, I wouldn’t like them very much. They are too career hungry, stamping on people as they go just to make their way to the top. I believe there are other ways to be successful. I realise that just as people put a face on to go to work, so do people to blog. The problem with that mask – every now and again it slips.

I haven’t ever had any ‘hate’ mail. Maybe that is because I haven’t thousand of readers. However, although I know you cannot possibly please everyone, (and I know I have taken a dislike to people because they are too nice), I would sit back and consider how I am portraying myself on my blog for that person to feel the need to email me. I would go through so many emotions it may just create the perfect piece of written work. Why? Because that is who I am.

Bloggers whose posts I enjoy I comment on, and chat to, and I do feel that we have some sort of relationship. This is cemented by not only joint blog interaction, but twitter also – sometimes even Facebook. Crossing over onto Facebook is questionable. This is not because I don’t welcome these people fully into my world, but because my FB is very dull. I have tamed it down and very rarely put on there what I would choose to, purely because of the groups of people following me. Oh I know you can change settings, but I would rather spend my time writing.

I have noticed of late though that many of my favourite blogs have been very quiet. In actual fact, I subscribe to about thirty blogs, and of those I would say only about eight have been active recently. Last night I started my investigation. One of those is Jessica. S. I typed in her URL, and low and behold, new posts are everywhere. I read through some, but I will seriously have to sit down when I have time and read through fully. The couple of posts I had chance to glance on were pure gems.

Of course I emailed Jessica and let her know that I hadn’t been receiving the updates through my WordPress feed. I have now signed up through RSS and hopefully I shan’t miss anymore. It makes me wonder now what else I am missing. I shall have to sit down and check each blog now – what else have I missed???

Having said that, I will spend thirty minutes each evening flicking through freshly pressed. I hunt for good titles that make me smile. I very rarely go out hunting for places to promote my blog. There isn’t anywhere the same number of bloggers that was about this time last year. Certainly not tagging under writing and books. I don’t know why, but it does seem a shame. How many people are allowing their blogs to disappear into nothingness? Where are the new bloggers to replace them? I know WordPress isn’t the only place to blog, and I do sign up elsewhere, but it is by far my favourite.

Either way, I think from my blogs point of view, watching my stats slowly rise, this quietness of blogs (even those that do still post seem to do so erratically) I am obviously benefitting. I just hope you don’t all run away when something better comes along.

How has your blog journey been? Have you been drawn into a blog only to unsubscribe when it left your stomach feeling a little uneasy? Or am I being naive? Do you need a face for blogging – or is that face just what we call our writers voice?

20 Responses to “Random thoughts on my blogging world”

  1. submeg June 20, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Ah yes, the stats. I’ve gotten to the point where I have a steady flow of visitors every day, but I’m trying to get more people to subscribe. I guess what I find hard is because I cover so many different topics, to create a string of posts that people will want to read and continue to log back in for. Maybe only having one topic would be easier, but I have too many interests!

  2. Catie Eliza June 5, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    Love your honesty.. very refreshing… I’m still quite new to blogging, and at first was just looking for a space to vent and a canvas off which to bounce my thoughts, the anonymity of it all was so tempting, but soon you start to care what people think… So I’m just trying to keep things in perspective… trying to stay honest and not make any facade… it’s so relaxing to be real. :] xx

    • Ellie June 6, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

      My favourite thing about blogging is being 100% real.

      Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  3. alexlaybourne June 3, 2011 at 5:45 am #

    Hi Ellie,
    Those opening paragraphs sound like my life… to the letter. I am obsessed with stats, as if owing who visited per hour rather than per day will change who I am. I too have noticed an increase in traffic and visitors, which really makes me feel wated. That my words are being read and at least a few people appreciate it.

    When it comes you comment about commenting on other blogs and asking for their attention and Godforbid approval, Iwas exactly the same. I view it as like a jealous sibling, craving attention no matter what.

    Great post and I can’t wait to read more.

    • Ellie June 3, 2011 at 10:09 pm #

      It’s a great feeling watching those figures rise. I have been at this a year now and am beginning to feel like it is beginning to pay off.

      Jealous sibling is spot on – i’m gonna nick that!

      Thanks for signing up!

  4. Ellie June 2, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    Charlotte – I fully laughed out loud at that comment. I’m sure it wasn’t supposed to be funny but it was so spot on!

  5. Jessica June 2, 2011 at 3:57 am #

    My stats have gone loopty loop since I switched over from the .com to the .org. I have to let it go, or I’m going to go bananas. LOL

    Your blog is always so helpful, yet so personable. I feel like mine sort of fits into the first half of your post. Then again, the reason I don’t talk on a more personal level is because I’m too sensitive to people’s judgements of me. They can’t attack ME, if they never get to see me. If they want to connect further, we can do that outside the blog. 😦 See? I’m a total chicken.

    Sometimes I’m envious of the people who have a blog just to share thoughts, and not to have a portfolio. If I say too much, clients will call me and start squalling about whether I was referring to them or someone else. So, now I’m too gunshy to say much beyond, “Here’s a little tid-bit of information for you.”

    Then again, who knows what I’m rambling about. A certain person who knows me way too well finally called me out on being burned out. 😛

    I talked to my dad about some of it, and he thinks I need to start giving more the home responsiblities over to my hubby. Plus, as much as I love ranch work, maybe it would be best to leave that to him (except for my horses). As far as my business (my only source of dough), I’ve cut back to 6 hours a day! Can you believe that? Me! Miss 12 hour days… I slashed them in half!! We’ll see how long I manage to stay on this course.

    Ellie, would you move to Kansas and keep me sane?

    • Ellie June 2, 2011 at 11:06 pm #

      I think you are far too harsh on yourself. The posts you write actually vary in style depending on the subject area. You would be quite surprised by how personable you really are – for the ones that need it.

      i wasn’t saying that people needed to give away more about their personal self, just not create a facade to hide behind. You know who I mean, the ones with the thick make up, manicured nails, immacualte hair, designer suits, yet you know they go home each night and sit alone and miserable beacuse at every stage in their life they have manipulated and lied their way to the top. (OK not all of them but you get my meaning) Think Romy and Michelles high school reunion – the popular girls that married the jocks and was never anything after that. Fake laughing and swishing your hair can only get you so far.

      And if you haven’t seen Romy and Michelle, then now you have cut down to six hours a day, you blimming well should. More than anything I now cannot refer to post its without thinking ‘they invented them!’ In actaul fact, with your newly found free time, I may just start reccomemnding a naff film a day – i have hundreds in my collection ha!

      The same collection I would bring with me to Kansas, Dorothy, except i dont think they would let me in..though a holiday…

      • Jessica June 3, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

        I HAVE seen Romy and Michelle! 🙂 I thought I was the only one who loved that movie. LOL

  6. Candice L Davis June 1, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    I’ve been blogging about food for years, but only recently started blogging about fiction, writing, publishing and the like.

    I don’t have much patience for the “succeed at any cost” type of personality. Writing isn’t like a basketball game. You don’t have to lose for me to win.

    And I agree with Charlotte- give me people over brands any time.

    • Ellie June 1, 2011 at 10:24 pm #

      I have to say in defence to those strutting their stuff, I think we all get tempted at some point to push our way forward to the front of the crowd…it’s knowing where to stop and say, tis OK, i will stand in line, my turn will come.

      As you say, we don’t need to compete. What is most surprising is that as writers, as with most things, we can learn so much from one another. Where does that get lost? Or for some, was the understanding never there?

  7. Ariana June 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    That’s my girl!!! I don’t care about the stats anymore (of course you know I am lying here) but just like you when I wrote about my stats and then about my first anniversary of blogging I realize stats are not as important as I want them to be. I have a group of bloggers who read my ramblings and it makes me happy….. so keep on writing if it makes you happy!

    • Ellie June 1, 2011 at 10:18 pm #

      Thats the point we always seem to lose. I’m a sucker for reading proBlogger looking for ways to improve…i didn’t sign up for that!

      I love the little blogging community we all create for ourselves, they just make the blogging that much more joyful.

  8. bobcb518 June 1, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Most of the blogs that I am subscribed to post at least a few times weekly. I’ve unsubbed to a few because they their posts became strange.
    Like you, I go through Freshly Pressed every morning.Some days I find nothing of interest, and other days I find quite a few blog posts that interest me.
    I don’t have a lot of subscribers but I get a lot of hits from google searches.

    • Ellie June 1, 2011 at 10:16 pm #

      I can see why you get a lot of google traffic! Wow what a diverse subject area you cover – and well done too! Many blogs come across as interesting, but very few make me laugh out loud. I love your post about your hawaiian shirts, and as for the number 6 – I use my right hand!

      Thank you for taking the time to pop by and comment. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

  9. Charlotte June 1, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    You always manage to come up with interesting topics, every time. That might be why your readership is growing!

    I hadn’t really noticed any decreasing blogging activity in general, though there have been some blogs I’ve liked that have died over the last few months. Some of those were deactivated because of the author’s lack of confidence, which is a real shame. Putting yourself out there is nerve-wracking but my personal experience is that it’s rewarding enough to be worth sticking at it.

    When I first started blogging I ended up being directed, over and over, to the same sites. Inevitably there are some Kings and Queens of the Blogging Playground and you’re right – people constantly court them and fawn over them, hoping for a mention that will get them instant popularity. I stopped following all of those blogs, because the people who write them came across to me as self-important, self-righteous and self-absorbed. The blogs I come back to are the ones that are much more down-to-earth, honest and personal. Less Expert Posturing and more straightforward discussion. I’m interested in people, not brands.

    Thumbs up anyway.

    • Ellie June 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

      Thanks Charlotte.

      I think it is a shame that self-confidence can destroy something that could be so right. I think we all go through those worries, but perservering is always worthwhile.

      Weirdly enough I very rarely share my blog on Facebook, and even when I do, I have a huge list of people that I block from seeing the link. So what if you type my name into Google and find my blog…i’m not going to actively advertise it to ‘some’ people. The fear of ridicule is too great. What if they think my opinions etc are worthless…

      I’m glad you understood what i meant when talking about those ‘blogs’. i was beginning to wonder if it was just me that could see through the facade. I also wonder if we both stumbled across the same bloggers, I would imgaine that is highly likely!

      • Charlotte June 2, 2011 at 10:46 am #

        I imagine we are talking about some of the same ones. How about if I say that one of the most repulsive things about their brand of advice is as follows: Do some nice stuff for people, share the love, promote others, and they’ll like you even more/promote you in return? How’s that for a piece of revolting self-interest thinly disguised as kindness and team spirit? It’s depressing that so many people listen to it.

  10. Nicole Basaraba June 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    I hear ya on all accounts. I used to blog at “An Author’s log” but I have abandonded it because managing two blogs was too crazy. One is enough and so I am in the process of merging the topics of the two blogs. I remember your encouraging comments on my Author’s Log.

    I’m also subscribed to a number of blogs and like you said there are only a percentage who keep active. I think its important to have a blogging voice and theme/topic that keeps people coming back because then they know what to expect when they see your post in thier inbox.

    • Ellie June 1, 2011 at 10:07 pm #

      Hey Nicole,

      Yes I have often popped by an Author’s Log, a blog I very much enjoyed. I have now subscribed to your current blog and look forward to reading your new posts.

      I find it intriguing that at some point you decided to try and do two different blogs. Is it because you felt your topics were that different? I am becoming to think that yes, topic brings in your audience, but that same audience enjoys variation once they get to know you. I guess i’m saying it is all about balance? Does that make sense?

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