I think I forgot why I started blogging in the first place. Did you?

 

Warning: This post does not have subheads, bullets, or lists. Just good old fashioned prose will fill your RSS feed today, so if you don’t have the time to read full paragraphs, I suggest you save this for later (or cheat the system and mark it as read, if you’d like). While I hope you stick around, I won’t be offended if you leave. We’re a fast-paced culture, and I don’t know about you, but I need a breather. Join me, if you can.

Last night, I had the fantastic opportunity to hang out at the Capital City Brewing Company with some of the brightest bloggers from Gen Y. As many of you know, I am part of the growing BrazenCareerist blogging community – a group blog written by Gen Y professionals – and the guys behind BC, Ryan Healy and Ryan Paugh, hosted a meet up for those in the D.C. area. Besides being a great time, the event also rekindled my passion for writing… which was the whole reason I started blogging back in November.

While sipping a beer and mingling with my new friends, Ryan H. made a joke about how all he seems to blog these days are “5 ways to do this” or “7 ways to do that.” I laughed, and nodded in agreement – my post from yesterday was exactly that.

“But, that’s all people seem to read,” Ryan said.

It’s true. According to my WordPress stats, my most popular posts are my “how to” guides. If a post doesn’t have subheads or lists, I can almost guarantee my readership will be below normal. I stood there thinking about that, when I realized something: I’m not getting paid to blog I’m doing this for me to help hone my writing skills, to do something I love doing, and to interact with others who might have similar interests.

But the blogging community can be harsh. When I graduated from college and made the move to D.C. to start my first job, I stopped blogging with any sort of regularity. It was a very stressful time for me and blogging was one of the last things on my mind. I knew I was losing readers and fewer people were linking to me or stopping by for a chat in my comments sections. It came to a point where I dreaded looking at my site stats almost as much as my depleting bank account. Both result in unnecessary bouts of high blood pressure.

Slowly, I started blogging again but nothing changed. Visits to my site stayed static, even on days I posted I’d only see a slight jump. Defeated, I’d hang my head over my battered keyboard. Not even a year old, and my blog had already lost its momentum.

I would ask questions on twitter and no one would @reply me. I wrote what I thought were interested or helpful posts, and even asked questions at the end, with little to no response from my once engaging and insightful readers. I started feeling… invisible.

Talk about depressing.

I thought I had blown my chance and that my blog was fading from the tiny radar it was on a couple of months ago. Then, as I talked to the talented bloggers from BC last night, I realized how whiny and narcissistic I was being. I don’t mind if 500 readers turns into 200, and 200 turns into 10 – those are still 10 people I’m connecting to through my writing, something that would be much more difficult to accomplish without social media and blogging. Just look at all the great people I met last night, people I would never know if it hadn’t been for PR Interactive and BC.

14 thoughts on “I think I forgot why I started blogging in the first place. Did you?

  1. There are many reasons to blog of course, and several of them don’t require huge numbers of subscribers, although it’s always nice to feel popular interest in your writing.

    If you’re writing to show that you are marketable as an author, or promoting yourself as to the media then you want big numbers to show that you’re popular.

    If you’re blogging so that you can have ads on your blog and generate revenue, then you want to be popular.

    But if you’re just blogging to practice writing, as you mentioned, or gain a little name recognition or search engine results, then it doesn’t matter so much that every post isn’t bringing in thousands of readers. Or even hundreds for that matter. After all, if the only return you’re getting is the joy of writing, you might as well make the experience as joyful as possible and write about something you enjoy. . .

  2. Hi Meg,
    the first post I read on your blog was the last you posted before leaving florida for DC. As for me, it was a great news you keeping on writing. I like your blog because it still is a presonnal one.
    I do blog since june, I am a fresh blogger. But I am a real fan of the internet. I think it is fascinating to share one’s passion on the Internet, and through blogging. It ‘s all about passion…

  3. I’m glad you’re not giving up Meg. Your reasons for blogging, I think, have to be about connections. The one right connection — hmmm — like meeting the BC folks is more important than “thousands” of readers. Think more about your meaningful relationships, not just in terms of overall readers.

    Here’s an interesting note about the first part of your blog. I wrote a totally popular culture article that you commented on about 5 overrated/underrated songs. My readership doubled to about 12,000 that week. The Dylan fans of the world appreciated my “Tangled Up in Blue” thoughts, I guess.

    So, do I continue on with more of these kinds of posts, more or less ignoring the reason I started the blog in the first place, start another pop culture blog (who has time for that), or just keep playing my hunches and see what happens?

    My point is that you shouldn’t overthink it. You’re a great writer. Stick to that and let the rest fall into place. Oh yeah, as it has in the very short time you’ve been blogging.

    Your pal,
    Bob

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  5. Hey Meg,

    I think blogging is one of those things where if you let yourself get caught up in the day-to-day statistics of how many people are reading, how many hits you get, etc., you can really lose site of why you started to blog to begin with.

    I’ve never commented on your blog before, but have been following it for a few months, and personally, I have to say seeing the success you and your blog enjoy are very inspiring.

    Your post about “Building ‘Brand You'” (even though it is a list) has terrific information and really helped open my eyes as to the things I should be doing as I strive to get more involved in social media.

    I’m glad you’ve decided to keep blogging – I know it has a much larger impact on people than you might think. So thanks for all of the great information and I can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

    Best,
    Dominic Garcia

  6. Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all the support, tips, and insight. Though the blogging world can be harsh at times, it is definitely a strong community that I’ve enjoyed being a part of the past few months. I’m not giving up because I do love writing, and more importantly, I value the connections I’ve made with other bloggers through this site.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

    Take care,
    Meg

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  10. I remember!

    1) In 2001, everyone who could fog a mirror was getting into PR. I wanted to differentiate myself.

    2) Using blogger.com was an AWESOME way to update philgomes.com *and* get around my then-employer’s firewall. *8-)

  11. For what it’s worth I enjoyed paragraph after paragrahp of your post. Can’t say that about many others. I’ll have to check out BC sounds like a great group to be hooked up with. I sometimes forget why I started blogging too and have to have a reality check here and there. After my work changed blog host sites I became very frustrated since it made it more difficult for readers to navigate and opine. I’m just now starting to accept my circumstance and throw myself behind the blog yet again!

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