Good God. I’ve become the blogger I didn’t want to become… again. I suppose it’s a natural thing, like going back to what you know, but I didn’t expect it to take hold this fast. I am literally a slave to my post views, as if I’m expecting to explode overnight. I’m like one of those people who constantly watches their stock portfolio, instead of concentrating on the overall picture.
I’m also constantly thinking of new things to write. I make mistakes because I’m trying to get content together. The true Catch-22 of blogging is that if you don’t pay attention to your hits, you will wind up in obscurity. That’s because every time you post, you give the Google bots a chance to find you. Other people come in and leave their contact information. You visit their web site and leave your URL. More hits.
If things go right, you’ll end up like Dooce. Dooce has been my hero since she first started blogging. The blog starts with writing about struggles with her Mormonism, her job, and her life in general. The blog started to explode nationally to the point where she was able to support a family just by posting, taking great pictures, and talking about herself.
Man that seems rude, talking about yourself.
Until you realize that you can’t write about anything else, because writing something else would never satisfy the need to communicate with your soul. It’s the need to express the things going on in your life so that your friends and readers can come along and say, “Oh my God! I felt exactly like that when…” The trick is to write well, and to open yourself up to both criticism and praise. If you don’t, then you’ll get down when the trolls attack you and your hits are exclusively created by bots and not readers.
Writing well is about taking an experience and making it universal. With some things, I just can’t do that because the situation is so weird that you can’t equate it to anything else. But with almost everything else, you end the post with an invitation to action, even if that action is as small as a smile of remembrance.
Because smiles of remembrance lead to sharing, building more than a web site. Building an online space where people can come to commiserate, laugh (often in spite of themselves), and leave comments that will interact with me, but more importantly, allow my readers to interact with each other.
If your blog can’t run independently of you, you’re not doing it right. Because these are the same people that will read you over and over again, not because you’re that great a writer, but your web site is where all their friends are.
At first, I thought Facebook was the way to go. I have a built-in audience of over 600 people there. However, with Facebook, you really don’t have the design control that you do with a real blog. At this point, it is more crucial than ever to create hits, because unless I’m missing my mark, most people get their “friend news” on Facebook and rarely venture out into other areas of the web.
That’s why Dooce is so special. She was before Facebook, and she grew this web site into such a juggernaut that she’s been a Jeopardy! question.
I can only hope that I can create that kind of safe space on my own web site, where we can get together and start talking. We’ll share and share and get through life together. Thank you for making me part of your life.
I need the hits. :P~