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February 25, 2007

Why do we Blog?

I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about their motivation for blogging.

blogging

A while back Wendy blogged about what she hopes to do with her blogs. Actually, it’s a series of posts that tell the whole story but she leads off with a good question.

Is it just me, or does anyone else have certain insecurities when it comes to what you write on your blog? For example, do you sometimes worry that what you write is going to cause those who read to make certain sweeping generalizations about you?

Recently, Drew Goodmanson blogged about blog-stat addiction. How our sense of worth (and right-standing) was determined by these numbers. I’m not certain but I think he was talking about me. If he wasn’t, he might as well have been. I’m constantly checking my stats. Looking to see how many visitors I get, what pages they loaded, where they came from, etc.

And more recently, RadioactiveJam and I had an email conversation about who your audience is and how you measure success. It was sparked by my recent post about Redneck Bowling. I was unsure if he liked my post or was teasing me. He liked it but that led to other questions.

I noticed the post-midnight publish time and wondered if maybe it was less…
rewritten than other posts.

But they’re all good. You have postal variety – some tell a story,
some relate an incident, share a web find – and there’s no single
“best” way for all. Whether deliberate or semi-accidental you seem to
understand and practice this; I’d say it works well.

As for the writing for self vs. audience – funny you should mention
it. I was contemplating this the other day. No conclusions, just
contemplation. Looking forward to what lies ahead–

I’ve been “contemplating” the self vs audience thing and I think you’re right about how you need a variety of writing style to 1) tell the story best and 2) keep the blog fresh. Two websites come to mind regarding “successful” blogs in regards to audience. MicheleAgnew.com and mustgethobby.blogspot.com. Michele is the master of discussion/comment posting. She simply writes posts that encourage visitor interaction/feedback. Mist1 tells stories in a series of tangent comments that is the perfect length for readership. She takes a simple story like buying Valentine’s Chocolate the day after into a little epic much in the way Steven King does (without the horror) Expanding on the most mundane parts to give it a full, richness that “getting to the point” can’t do.

What discourages me is how many visitors I get for things I don’t want visitors for. Haunted Car Commercial, Grand Canyon Skywalk and Should Women Preach are not what my site is about. Yet I want the traffic so I pander to those visitors and obsessively track and optimize my site for better visitor numbers.

I don’t know. I think back to why I started blogging and realise how “sold-out” I’ve become. Which is probably why I have so few “quality” visitors.

Personal satisfaction and a sense of overall “rightness” about our weblogs – ultimately that’s what matters. And by rightness I just mean right for you, right for me. It’s like, say I had 30+ commenters on every post, sharing links for their favorite porno bits. For me that’d be not so right (duh!)…

Mostly I have no idea what works and why, or how to
make things expand or grow. Of course since I don’t really have any
clear goals… yeah. That, too

This last part may be the key to it all. Do you have clear goals regarding your blog (or site)? If you write to make money via Google ads, then you write to get visitors who leave by clicking on the ads. If you write to express yourself online because you’re too shy (or repressed) in person, then you you may not care if you have any visitors or prefer it that way. if you write to make friends, then you measure success by visitor logs and comments.

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4 comments

  • At 1:05 pm on February 25, 2007, Kristi commented:

    This is interesting. I find myself posting for myself but then I’m so excited when someone post a comment that I can’t stand it! Do I want people to stop by? Of course! Will I be sad if no one does? That’s a big 10-4!! I may think I write for myself but I don’t!

  • At 1:36 pm on February 26, 2007, Mist 1 commented:

    I blog because I have a lot of really important stuff to say and no one will accept my phone calls anymore. Also, I have oodles of time on my hands. I have to say that I don’t blog for the audience. I comment for the audience. My blog is what it’s like to talk to me. I will tell you a story that will leave you either 1.) confused, 2.) repulsed, or 3.) laughing. I will not let you get a word in until I am done. Then you’ll make a comment and I’ll respond. Then, we part ways.

  • At 12:49 pm on February 28, 2007, Wendy commented:

    If you write to express yourself online because you’re too shy (or repressed) in person, then you you may not care if you have any visitors or prefer it that way. if you write to make friends, then you measure success by visitor logs and comments.

    I think my reason for blogging is a mixture of both of these possibilities. I am someone who is shy in real life, and yet like Kristi, I am also excited when someone posts. The only comments that I am not too thrill about are those spam ones, or by anyone who reacts with a rude and mean spirited knee jerk attack. But such responses have been very far and few between.

  • At 4:52 pm on March 8, 2007, Heather commented:

    I blog simply because I can…and I actualily have the same tshirt on my blog because i wanted to order it but will just go to the local tshirt shop and have it made for 1/2 the cost lol

    Thanks for stopping by my blog btw

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