Sunday, February 25, 2007
I think this blog is dying
I am beginning to feel this blog is in its death throes. The number of people visiting are very small. So I realize I must be doing something wrong, so I found these tips which maybe will help me and maybe you as well. I haven't decided to abandon it yet but I am a bit disheartened.
Helpful and encouraging tips from a blogging expert.
For Beginner Bloggers: When you're first getting started you're not going to have very many people visiting you. First off make sure you pretty up your page a little, get a picture of you or something else up, write at least one blog entry and fill out your profile a little. My advice is to then spend your time commenting on other people's blogs. The little quick comment things are alright but nothing compares with a well thought out comment on someone's blog. Everyone here wants to bring attention to what they write or else they wouldn't put it up. Usually, a well thought out blog comment will be returned with a well thought out blog comment and that's how new friendships are born. The best way to figure out whose blog to check out is to look at the comments they leave on other people's blogs, people who leave thoughtful comments on other people's blogs will generally do the same on yours.
Another thing that is good to have early on is a couple good friends you can relate to. It can be frustrating at first when you're pouring your heart out on your page and no one seems to be paying attention. I know that if a couple of people had not left thoughtful comments on my blog I probably would have given it up. Find a cheerleader or two it'll keep you going while you're getting started.
It's also helpful to find a few bloggers that are popular and have a diverse base of friends. You can spot bloggers like this because they have a unique voice and generally get at least 20 comments per blog. But, don't go to them screaming "hey look at me I'm new and want some friends". Leave some interesting comments and read what other people comment to them about you can usually find some people with shared interests.
For Intermediate Bloggers: Once you start getting a few friends and some good feedback the new problem becomes creating content semi-regularly so that people don't lose interest. I did that by ranting on and on about all of the political issues specifically that bug me and why I should have complete control over the world's decision making process generally. This is also where you start playing with all the various features. Here's a quick tutorial on a few of them: Learn how to embed video and how to embed multiple pictures.
How to put music on your site.
1. Get yourself a Geocities account (don't worry, it's free).
2. Find your favorite .mp3 and make sure it is under 5 MB
3. Rename your .mp3 so that all letters are in the file name are lower case.
4. Go to your Geocities account and click manage - then open file manager.
5. Click upload files and upload your .mp3.
6. Open the file manager again after the .mp3 is uploaded and click view next to the file.
7. Copy and paste the link into your site voila you have music.
For Advanced Bloggers: To get to this stage you have to hit that inevitable wall and still come back to it. I think that everyone that has taken up this hobby has hit that wall at some point. All of a sudden everything doesn't seem new and interesting anymore and you don't feel as motivated to participate anymore. You've got too many friends to keep in touch with on a regular basis. You run out of things to write about. You go on hiatus and leave it all alone for a while.
People bug you and ask why you aren't visiting them anymore - is it something they did. I got sick of all the arguments over politics and felt type-casted as someone just trying to get people riled up into arguing. In general it's just not fun anymore and there might even be some weird drama that you just don't need. I think this is the point when people either give it up or settle into new patterns. It is too time consuming to keep blogging the way you started, there are only so many hours in a day.
I think it is at this point that you have to realize that you aren't obligated to do anything. You don't have to write a blog everyday if you don't want to. You don't have to visit everyone all the time if you don't want to. Once you realize that I think it becomes fun again.
A few tips for when you get to this stage: Stop going to everyone's blog and do your own thing. Don't concern yourself with anyone else just write what you want to write. When I hit that wall I started exploring creative writing exclusively for a while before I started bringing politics and everything else back. There are going to be a few people that you want to keep in touch with - so keep in touch with them and don't worry about anyone else. Your page views and comments will take a hit during this transitional time, just accept that. Some people get offended when you don't visit them regularly. Don't let it bother you. I lose from 3-5 people off of my friends list every week from this, you get used to it.
If you write from the heart and write about things important to you (whatever that may be) you'll find new friends that are just as interesting. Once the needy people that need a visit every couple days to be happy are shaved off of your friends list a lot of the pressure is off. It's still nice to visit everyone once a month or so - at least thats what I do. I take a lazy weekend day and go through my friends list checking up on everyone. It's a nice gesture that let's people know you aren't completely ignoring them.
Because your focused more on the content you put out than on other people your writing will improve and your page will become that much more interesting. At a certain point word of mouth about you will spread on its own and you won't have to go out looking for interesting people anymore they'll just sort of come to you. Once you get past that transitory hump its a lot of fun again. It's a wonderful hobby that has encouraged me to experiment with the written word in ways I never would have thought I would have. People ask me now if it's a pain or a hassle to keep up with everyone or if I feel obligated to write a blog everyday. I really don't feel that at all. It challenges me to be creative and think on a daily basis which to me is now as part of everyday life as a glass of OJ in the morning.