(Wow… the posting schedule keeps getting interrupted. However, I think that’s the end of it, for now. I didn’t have internet for a few days while I moved into my new apartment. Not that I’m entirely set up, but internet, cloths, and a bed aren’t a poor start.)
Back to the point at hand: Surfing other blogs last week, I read an interesting post written by the ever-so-talented Jeyna Grace, who occasionally comments on my blog (in fact, she might be the only person who ever has). Point of interest: she starts 2014 with 3.3 thousand followers. To me, that’s a massive number, since I’ve only got about 38. Which brings up, really, my thought. Writing for others verses writing for myself.
When I started this blog, I promised that I’d write what I wanted, regardless of who followed me and what others thought. That’s the idealistic way of doing things, I suppose. An artists ideal. Except that in order for any of this to matter, or for me to make some sort of living off the premise, I need people to willingly follow along and read. I need an audience. Does that corrupt the ideal?
Okay, shorter version (I feel like I’m wandering a bit). Should I write about things other than writing, broaden the horizon of this blog, in order to attract more readers? I’ll never run out of things to think or say about writing. Or reading. Or stories. That’s not how my mind works. I also think I lean towards being comfortable without an audience. It’s just that doesn’t lend itself to my ultimate goal.
Part of that is trying to start a dialogue, have people post. I’m not sure I’m very good at that. These posts aren’t exactly engaging in terms of starting a dialogue. Then again, I’ve only been doing this for about 6 months, so maybe that qualifies as the awkward moment at the start of the party where you don’t know any one. Or just really bad conversation starters.
There are plenty of blogs and webinars about how to get attention to your blog and yourself. They all talk about having a purpose and using tags properly, search terms, word counts. Some of them are contradictory, like some suggest lots of tags and others suggest selecting a handful. (I try and list relevant tags). Phrasing is important. Someone can’t find something they aren’t searching for, after all. Then again, how many ways can you write “about blogging” and hope that someone finds this blog out of a million pages in a Google return search? That might seem a little hopeless when it’s phrased in that manner.
And spacing, how to catch the eye, in easy to skim form. So many technical ideas floating all around.
That whole attention grabbing idea ties into writing for others. Spacing and grammar and topics. How many people write long, involved paragraphs like Charlotte Bronte, any more? Now books are filled with concise paragraphs, with long, in depth thoughts seemingly confined to academia and history.
I think, in terms of content for others, that’s where the book reviews tied in. Something concrete others could use as a first encounter with my blog and then dive in. Of course, when the books I read aren’t best sellers or main stream 0r even remotely related to what I’m writing, I don’t think that helps.
In the end, there’s a healthy amount of ego involved in putting my thoughts out on a blog for others to read. It’s a platform that exists for the advancement of myself and my (meager and virtually (see what I did there) non-existent brand). That’ll change, hopefully.
I’m not begging for comments or readers. Just expressing some thoughts on who my intended audience is and if I should cater to some unknown quantity for the short terms profit. No, begging is me saying “OH GOD PLEASE FOLLOW MY BLOG! POST! POST ANYTHING YOU WANT, JUST LET ME KNOW I’M NOT ALONE!” I don’t think I’ve fallen quite that far yet. I’ll let you know in another year.
All I can do is stick to the ideas I’ve committed to, a blog covering my thoughts on writing. That’ll be books and reading and my own ideas. Patience, right? I guess integrity exists, even if no one else sees it for now.