I'm not usually one to pat myself on the back, but I think I've done well. My main strategy was to introduce a regular schedule (i.e. update every Sunday) and with one exception I have kept to that schedule (I only missed one update, and that was because I was out of the country without access to the internet.) Indeed, as I suspected, this regular schedule has not only forced me to consistently churn out worthwhile material, but it has also caused me to increase the frequency of posting. Time is sparse these days, but I have grown into posting 2 or 3 times a week. This pales in comparison to the more prolific bloggers, but it's not bad considering my time constraints. One other thing I sought to accomplish was to start creating more original high-quality content, as opposed to just linking to it. Again, as I suspected, this is a rather slow process. Most of what I post are still links or summaries, but I have made the occasional foray into original writing. Expect this slow progress to continue.
Anyway, I thought it might be nice to share some of my observations about the way I blog and some things I grapple with, since I often wonder what process other bloggers go through (feel free to share):
- Writing: It often takes me a very long time to write a post, which is part of the reason I don't post every day. When reading other blogs, I get the impression that people are able to do this a lot quicker than I. Is this true? How does everyone decide what to write about? Where do you find your subjects or links?
- Post Titles: Conceiving of a clever title for a post is one of my major pet peeves and often results in lame titles (i.e. this post's title), a resigned reliance on simple pragmatic post titles (i.e. Horror), and/or chain-smoking monkey gags (i.e. Mr. Teeny).
- Post lifetimes: This is another old pet peeve, one that I figure annoys a lot of people. Every once in a while I'll have a series of posts which I think are very high quality and am really proud of. But then some time passes and they get pushed off the front page into the obscurity of the archives. Even more frustrating is that I don't even know if anyone saw it! (see below for more about visitors) Does anyone read the archives? Fortunately, since I have certain interests that keep coming up here, I get to link back to them myself, but I doubt many people go perusing the archives and one can hardly blame them. It's just the natural way of the blog.
- Visitors: One of the more infuriating things about running a weblog is not knowing if or who is reading your posts. Referrer logs only tell you so much, and Sitemeter sometimes misses important information. One of my goals was (natch) to gain a modest set of new readers, and it is difficult to tell. I will occasionally get links from kind bloggers; I've even made it into a few blogrolls... but even with all of that it is difficult to tell who is reading. 95% of my refers still come from google/yahoo, and about 80% of those are for pages other than the blog. A lot of popular bloggers have given advice on how to get noticed and how to get people to link to you, but I'll be honest: Sending an email to a blogger begging to be linked makes me feel dirty and I feel like I'm really intruding. I guess that's why the call it "link whoring". I prefer to be noticed in referrer logs or comments sections. I've achieved modest success with that, and I'm truly grateful for the attention thrown my way by certain bloggers, so I'll continue along that vein. In any case, if you are a new regular reader, show yourself! Why not post a comment and let me know what you like or dislike about this here blog.
- Feedback: Along the same lines as not knowing if people are visiting is not knowing what people like or dislike about the blog. Feel free to leave a comment below or send an email with comments, suggestions, corrections, flames, whatever tickles your fancy...
Update 11.7.03 - Jeeze, this sounds a lot more whiney than I wanted it too. I'm not unhappy or anything...