You know, some time back I was complaining on one of my blog sites -- when I only had ONE blog site -- about the fact that I wasn't able to get any feedback to know whether or not anyone even sees the darned thing. Later, I griped again on my DeviantART page about the same thing. Today, I guess I've been having second thoughts about some of the things I've done to get my blog seen, because none of them seemed to work.
On the help page of the first blog site I joined there was a neat little article about what to do to get your blog viewed by the general public. I did those things, to the best of my ability, short of paying for a referral service (I'm not that desperate and have better things to do with my money). But nothing worked; at least, I don't think it did. See, on some sites I can't even get a hit counter. On one site, I get some information about how many people have seen my blog, but if I inadvertently go there without signing in first, it counts me as a visitor. That's got to be the BULK of my hit counts, frankly.
I think I do get some visitors, though. And despite the fact that I'm getting them, I'm not sure of who or why they're stopping by (I'm convinced some of them are accidental). No one seems interested in leaving comments of any kind.
All of this leads me to ponder whether or not to even continue posting stuff to my blog, especially my fiction work. I think it's a lot to ask of someone to sit and read nearly 3,000 words (in a couple of cases) of text about something they may or may not find amusing. While it's disappointing, the fact of the matter is that most people, even if they are reading the blog, aren't willing to stop long enough to provide feedback. they're on to the next blog for more information.
Which leads me to a question: Is informational and fact-based blogging the only type of blog that gets consistent readership? I don't think I could run a fact-based blog; my spouse is a researcher extraordinaire, but me? I'd get bored. I can do it when I have to, but then something will give me an idea and I'll start writing a story about it, and the next thing you know, I've posted more fiction and have the same problem as before.
Now, I have a couple of dedicated readers: my spouse and a friend (who is, even as I write, en route to her new home in the Midwest from the west coast). I'd like to take a moment to thank them for both wading through all my ramblings and taking the time to give me feedback. This post does NOT apply to you, I'm sure you know.
But a lot of other blogs I see aren't fact-based, and they still get a lot of referrals and feedback and have very loyal followings. If one of you has happened upon this lonely branch of the blogosphere tributary, how'd you do it? Most of them are authored by extraordinary writers, like Hello, Stranger's blog and others, but there seems to be a trick to it that I can't pin down. (These are, by the way, really enjoyable blogs; I'm not trying to put them down or escalate myself to their level. It's just an observation.)
However, I've recently come to realize that I really write for myself right now. I need to work diligently to improve my writing and to get to a point where I'm happy with it (yeah, right), but until it hits bookstores and I'm the new Stephen King or John Grisham or, God willing, J.K. Rowling, it's only for me. So what do I do?
If I'm writing just for me, I can keep the files on a flash drive and stop taking up server space where someone may put up more useful information, or at the very least, more interesting information. I don't think I'm a bad writer, I just don't know if I have broad appeal. I've tried new styles and new genres, and I've experimented with other forms of art (like drawing and sketching and posting those to either my blog or my dA site), but nothing seems to have the appeal that similar works on similar sites do. I have, apparently, the blog kiss of death. Or maybe it's the Internet kiss of death.
On the other hand, when I'm surfing blogs and reading things online, I don't stop and comment on every single one either. I don't know if those folks that published know I was there or not, or if they care or not, but I don't always let them know. My page views alone are enough to indicate that traffic volume in my neck o' the web is low, but if I can't take that seriously (and sometimes I delude myself into believing I can't), then I have no idea how many visitors have passed my way to have a gander at my spewings and then moved silently on like a virtual ship into the cyber-night.
So ... I will leave my faithful readers with a question: Is it worth it to keep blogging? Should I only update when I have something interesting and factual to report? Should I continue to spout my own flights of fancy, or reserve that for the people that give a crud?
Shout back and let me know.
You hold the future of my blog in your hands. No pressure, though.