I started this website early in 2009, but I only posted 7 times that year.
I posted 129 posts in 2010.
This is my 82nd post this year.
That's 218 posts in all.
My blog has experienced some moderate success. I have had some posts that did well. I had one post that went viral (the "Biggest Mistakes Writers Make When Querying Agents" post). But I'd say the biggest thing I have learned about blogging is this:
Not everyone is a "blogger."
Let me explain...
When I first started posting regularly, I came across a blog written by YA author Kiersten White. At the time, she had signed a book deal for her first novel, but the book had not yet been published; she had a couple hundred followers on her blog.
A few days ago, I came across a mountainous display of her books in Barnes & Noble, and I realized I had not visited her site in a while. I checked on it that afternoon, and I found that she now has 2200 followers on her blog.
Of course, part of that is the success of her first two books.
But another part of that (a much larger part of that) is that her blog is downright fun. It is fun to visit. It is fun to look at. It is fun to read.
Another author who comes to mind is Tawna Fenske (who also has a publishing deal, but whose first novel has not yet been released). She started blogging in 2010, shortly after I started blogging regularly. There was a time when I had about 50 followers on this page and she had about 12 on hers. I now have 334. She now has 777.
A lot of reasons, but the main reasons are these: her blog is fun to visit, it is fun to look at, and it is fun to read!
I'll be the first to admit: My blog would not typically be described as "fun."
And that's okay!
Kiersten and Tawna each love writing...but you can also tell that they each love blogging. The joy they derive from blogging shines through their posts. The frequency with which they blog (the fewest posts in a year from Kiersten, over the last 4 years, was 260, and in Tawna's first full year of blogging, she posted 241 posts) conveys that they not only realize blogging is important...they also enjoy it. Because of this, their posts are always fun. And because of their respective, natural styles of writing - and because of the types of books each of them writes - their posts are always funny.
In short, Kiersten and Tawna are both "bloggers," in the truest sense.
I'm not like that.
And that's okay!
I don't blog because I love to blog. I don't blog because my writing is especially funny. I blog because I am thrilled when I am able to help fellow writers. I am thrilled when I write something that illuminates a revelation for others, and for me as well. But to be quite honest...that's all quite boring to scores of readers.
Most people don't stop by a blog because they want heavy content or thoughts or insights. Most stop by because they want a smile, or a bite-sized piece of entertainment.
I struggled with this, for a while. I wanted my blog to build readers at a rapid rate. I wanted people to share my posts with others - for each new post to bring new readers to the site. I wanted my blog to be like "theirs."
But it's not like "theirs" - those people who build their blogs at a rapid rate because of the way in which they effortlessly mix humor with their thoughts or insights or stories or what-have-you.
Because I'm not like them.
And truly, that's okay.
In fact, that's great...
As a blogger, you must find your purpose. You must find your voice. And once you find these, you must stick to them.
Readers should know what they will get when they come to your blog. And if "what they will get" is not something that appeals to a huge audience, who cares! The audience that your purpose and voice appeal to will find you. And the gains these readers will get from your posts will outstrip anything you could give to a broader range of readers who want something you are not equipped to provide.
What have I learned about blogging?
In summary: Each of us is different. Each of us has a natural purpose and voice as a blogger. Each of us must find our natural purpose and voice, and when we stick to these, we will be far more effective than we could be in any other manner.
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