I love my blog. It’s kind of my baby. I admit to getting a little thrill from seeing my words in print. But more than that, my blog is my release. It’s my therapy, my way of getting my emotions and thoughts out of my head. I love if people read it. I love if something I write touches someone, makes them think, makes them feel less lonely. And I love it even more if someone comments on my blog. It gives me some validation.
I wouldn’t say my blog is “successful.” I get plenty of hits, most of them random, hitting posts that I happened to keyword well. I’ve looked at all the ways to get more people to my blog, to get more hits, more regular readers, more comments, more publication. I’ve read numerous articles on how to blog successfully, and I know what’s “good” and what’s “bad.”
Doesn’t mean I want to do it on mine, and it especially doesn’t mean I want to annoy people with the things that annoy me.
I know that when linking, it’s best to have a parent link – that is, a link that opens a new window (like this). This is best because it keeps people on your page. If you have a blank link – one that opens in the same window (like this) – the reader has to use the back button to get back to your blog. Obviously, you want to keep people on your page, not drive them away from it. But it annoys me when that happens to me, so I rarely do it. I evaluate each link, the likelihood of a reader clicking on it, of coming back to my blog, and I will do a parent link occasionally. But usually, I don’t.
The best thing to do is have a limited RSS feed. You give the reader a little sample, but force them to view the full page to read the full post. Obviously, it is easier to get comments on a post if the person is on your page, rather than reading on a feed. If they can read the full post on a feed, it takes extra effort to come to the blog and comment, so it has to be something they really want to comment on. I get it. But it annoys me when I can’t see the full post in a feed. I’m actually less likely to come over to the blog. So I don’t limit my feed.
Every “Blog Success” article I read says “Have a niche.” Sewing. Southern People. Dating. Motherhood. Legal matters. Photography. And while at times my blog could be classified as a Dating Blog, it’s really not. It’s my life. It’s what I’m thinking now, today, about this, or that. It’s how I feel, and more importantly, it’s how I think. I admit, I’m scattered. My brain is usually in twenty different places at once. I sit down to meditate, and I’ll have words coming out of my mouth, but I’m thinking about what I saw on TV last night, and I’m wondering how the cat is doing and if his new food is working, and I’m conscious of the fact that the neighbor is doing laundry and there’s a stray cat walking by outside, and will my cat see him?
I saw something the other day that said most blogs fail because all you talk about is yourself. But…that’s kind of the point, right? I mean, yes, there are great blogs out there that are as informative as CNN, Wikipedia, and Youtube put together, with quality, usable information. But the whole point of a blog is an online diary. That’s kinda how it started. This is my life. Deal with it. Of course I want you to read it, and obviously I expect you to enjoy certain posts more than others. But I don’t want to “niche” myself, why would I “niche” my blog? I don’t have a focus in my life, why would I have one on my blog? Which, of course, begs the observation, “Maybe if you had focus on your blog, you would have focus in your life.” Yeah, whatever. Bite me. 😉