Hitting Goals in Blogging: It is Possible, But Not as Fun as You’d Think

(Man, I’ve been blogging a lot lately. I don’t know why. Probably because I’m trying to think about anything else than the quiet downtime I currently have to, well, marinate in the past. Anyhoo….)

A long time ago (2.5 years, which is Forever in Internet Time) I started this blog, and I blogged about writing. I discovered that you can get a decent audience that way, provided you networked via some kind of blogging network, like Ning or something like that, so I blogged some more, despite not having a freaking clue (almost all of these posts are gone. I am so embarrassed by them).

Then I switched to blogging about blogging, which is a meta discourse snake that can really boost your website visits through the rough, especially if you manage to write a couple of nice articles that get caught up in StumbleUpon. One month I think I managed 10,000 unique visits a day. Relatively small potatoes, but bigger than tiny potatoes.

From this kind of base, you really can work yourself up. I made a goal for myself of gaining an average of new 10 feed burner subscriptions every week, a very modest goal indeed.

And then I got bored. Blogging about blogging can get repetitive after a while, and lots of other people did it better than me. This resulted in serious visit falloff as I disconnected myself from all blog networking sites (I just couldn’t keep up with some of them anymore, so it became pointless) and changed the focus of my blog. If you could call it “focus”; marrying my Kindle helped, and getting interested in the science fiction genre and more into the fantasy genre helped a lot.

I lost just about all my subscribers. And almost all my unique visits. It was rebuilding time, but this time I really didn’t have any external support. So I wrote about things that interested me, and made me happy, and this resulted in more articles where I felt the zing of my better articles from my meta-blogging days, even if they would never get Stumbled.

At some point I started blogging about more specific items. At some point Tor.com said “Hi there.” At some point I started blogging about PTSD, which I had sworn I’d never do, because I thought there was nothing that dropped all your numbers like writing about, well, very personal woes and sorrows. But I wasn’t looking for numbers anymore, was I?

I still had my web analytics software installed, of course, and my Feedburner wrapper around my RSS, so what the hell, I left them on out of curiosity.

And, gradually, ever so gradually—definitely more gradually than my meta-blogging days—the numbers came back up. These days I generally think about getting an average of 10 new feed subscribers every two months, and that’s happened somewhat regularly, but not because I’ve done much about it—I just blog about stuff that interests me now.

I do want this to be among my last blog retrospective posts for a while, because they can get boring, especially as I now am bored by meta-blogging.

One day, maybe, I’ll have a real platform with medium potatoes numbers, but it will take years, more than a decade perhaps—not just a few, as some of my former compatriots in the meta-blogging world have managed. And by then blogging may well be dead, so it all won’t matter anyways.

I have no idea what’s bringing on the current spate of entries, but they’ve all been interesting to me at least, which is more than I can say for the first months of S∂. I even have what I consider a bonsai blog now, my Tea Blog, where I barely care about hits, and just want to write it for fun.