I’ve reached one of those funny kind of blogging anniversaries. Give or take an entry or 2, I seemed to have created 500 posts. Added to this, in a couple of weeks I’ll have been blogging for 4 years, so I thought I’d share some of my blogging observations.
1. First up, some statistics:
I average about 10 posts per month
I’ve had around 73,400 visits
I’ve written more posts tagged “Family Man” than any other
I’ve started 2 community blogs, which both fizzled out after promising starts
Pat, from Past Imperfect is my most prolific commenter
2. No one remembers what you’ve written
I’m just one blog in 10, 50, 100 or more read by any given visitor. The chances of anyone remembering what I wrote about 2 years ago, or even last week, for that matter, are very slim.
Each time I mention I play the mandolin or bouzouki for example, even regular readers express surprise, even though they commented on the last post I wrote about it.
And almost every time I write about my CFS, someone will give me well-meaning advice I’ve been given many times before and probably blogged about in depth in earlier posts.
One thing’s for certain – it stops you believing your own publicity – we’re nothing like as important as we think we are.
3. Pity will only get us so far before visitors stop coming back
4. Constantly moaning about the world may get us lots of comments agreeing with us, but it steadily destroys our souls.
5. Bloggers Block becomes more frequent when we stop writing for ourselves, and start trying to appeal to some abstract idea of “the viewers”
6. All of us live in fear that someone is going to find out who we really are, and then we will be laughed at, derided and humiliated. And yet, the more I reveal about myself, the more real I am, the less anyone points the finger and the more respect I seem to gain for being honest, and admitting what everyone else feels but were too fearful to say.
7. If we want comments, we have to give comments, and answer comments
Some people will come and write no matter what, but most operate reciprocally. Comment on their post and they’ll come and comment on ours in return. There's a limit to how long anyone will keep visiting someone who never replies to them.
8. The days of expecting to make any kind of real money by blogging, or expecting to become some kind of blogging superstar are long gone.
Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Twitter and various other social networking sites have all eaten into people’s blogging time.
RSS feeds, Google Reader and even the links on the sidebar that tell us when a blog was last updated, have all impacted on the number of visits to blogs – we only tend to visit when we know a site has been updated. Before we knew in advance we would go along to check, and if it hadn’t been, we might still view the comments or explore one of the links on the sidebar
All this means there very few opportunities to really build a huge following.
Four years ago I was going to conquer the blogosphere with my insights, wit and force of personality. However, from a high of only 100 visits a day a few years ago, I now get an average of 35, and most of that is people looking for Naked Bearded Men, or me looking to see if I’ve had any more visitors.
9. I’ve met some truly wonderful people.
Some of the people I’ve blogged with over the years I’ve come to know away from the blog, via email, chat and in some cases even meeting in the flesh. These people have become very special to me and I love being able to count them as real friends.
10. Only other bloggers will think of blogging for 4 years and reaching 500 blog posts is any kind of achievement.