Sunday, April 27, 2008

Changes

I'm going to admit something really lame right now. For a while I was feeling pretty down about this whole blogging deal. Every time I had a post that got no comments I would feel a little sad. I would be bummed if I checked my stats and I had a slow day. (I feel stupid even typing that out.) i would think things like "I would like to do this with my blog but I'm not popular enough." and "I would like to do that with my blog but no one would even read it."

How stupid is that? It finally occurred to me that it doesn't matter how many people are reading my blog. If I want to do something new with it then I should. If I want my blog to be something other than what it is then I have to make it that way and it doesn't matter if I have one reader or one million. I'm not blogging for stats, I'm blogging for myself.

So, with that in mind, I'm going to be making some changes around here.

First off, I'm going to start answering comments. It might not matter to anyone but me but it's always bugged me to not answer comments. So often people leave such kind, funny, helpful words and then I just ..... don't say anything back. It's not because the comments don't matter to me, it's because I've never found a good way to answer them. Bloggers "respond" button doesn't work, email doesn't work. So from now on I'll be responding right in the comments. Don't feel like you have to check back over and over waiting for my witty response. Just know that I am responding because your comments do matter to me.

Second, I'm going to be expanding my blog. I know what you're thinking. I thought the same thing myself. "But Jen! Don't you have like, four readers? And isn't one of them your grandma? Do you really need more content for people to not read?"

Ok, valid points. But shut the hell up and listen for a second. If I'm not blogging about what I want to and what I care about then it really doesn't matter how many readers I have. I want to like what I'm writing about. I want it to be interesting and enjoyable to me. So, here's some stuff I'm planning on adding:

  • A cooking section. I'm not a master chef by any means but I do enjoy cooking a great deal. Sometimes I would like to share recipes and I would like for other people to be able to respond with "I tried that recipe and it was really good" or "That recipe made me sick and caused my blood pressure to skyrocket. You should be in jail!"
  • A photography section. This is something I've been holding back on for a while. I'm beyond armature when it comes to pictures so I've been a little shy to share my efforts. But I love taking pictures and I think I'm getting better at it. Maybe it's dorky but I want to share that too.
  • An artsy-fartsy section. I like to make things (even if I'm not very good at it). I would like to talk about the things I make and the things I would like to try to make.I want to open an Etsy store but that's way off in the future. Right now I don't have the space to create things like I would like too. The only space in the house that's open enough is our dining room table and .... we eat there. So I have to wait until we're in a new house and I have crafting/computer room that I so desire.
  • An exercise/getting healthy section. This is largely for my own benefit. I need to get my rear in gear and I think blogging about my attempts will make me more accountable to myself. This will mostly be for my own benefit but anyone who wants to is invited to come along and point and giggle at the fat girl in yoga pants.

So there you have it. A lot of this is a ways off as much of what I want to do requires some site redesign. I need some technical know how. And some time. And maybe a little money. But I really don't have a lot of any of those things right now so I'll have to move slowly.

One final note - A while back I mentioned that I was starting a new blog that was more private. I changed my mind about that. I started it and I didn't like the direction it was going in so I erased it. So if you asked for an invitation to the new blog and you never got it, that's why. I just decided the hurt feelings and upset it could cause if it was discovered just weren't worth it. So that's what happened with that.

17 comments:

Lisa said...

I think it's important to respond to comments because it makes your blog interactive. That makes people want to come back, at least it makes me want to come back.

You may want to think about having a site on your own domain if you want to have all sorts of different sections for health, arts, etc. Or you might just want to start using those topics as things to blog about.

I think it's most important to be yourself, to be true to yourself and to be genuine.

The Laundress~JJ! said...

I'll always be around sister. I love your blog.

Good luck with your expansion project.

Don't feel guilty about answering all comments it gets daunting after a while.

I lost a few readers too with my 'break' and move...Whatever...I enjoy it again.

All that matters.

Jen said...

Lisa - I'm going to check into getting my own domain. Thank you so much for your advice!

JJ - You know I would follow you if you switched 100 more times too!

Sam said...

I just put a Twitter box on my blog so that I can answer comments there and people don't have to click on every post to look for a response. I don't know how well it will work out but I think it is a good option.

I took my stat counter off my blog about a year ago. One of the best things I ever did for my peace of mind - and to get back to the writing for the pleasure of it.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

I can relate. It's so hard not to judge your own writing by hits and comments but when it comes right down to it, that's all meaningless. Write for yourself and it'll always be worthwhile.

PS. I'm reading and I'm not even your grandmother.

Jen said...

Sam- I can't get rid of my site meter. I love seeing the crazy google searches I get. How else would I know people came to my blog by searching for "long hanging boobs"?

Jenny - I lied. My grandma doesn't even read this blog. She's always like "I never remember to check your internet anymore!" But thank you for your support.

Karl said...

I'm with Lisa. Responding to comments breeds reader loyalty. Course, content is also key to getting more people.

I don't sweat the statistics, but I look at them on occasion. I recommend looking at them once a week. Obsessing over them will make you crazy. Use them as a tool, not as a crutch.

And sure, reading other blogs and leaving comments there helps a lot to build your audience. Just another way of reaching out.

Pendullum said...

I'm reading and I am not your grandmother....
But I know what you mean....

Sometimes we feel all alone and kinda tap the screen and think... Geez, no one read that....
And then I just think alas, alas...
But I still write...
Because I found a medium in which I can write... and sometimes it just gives me courage to think that I can tell a story...

Jen said...

Kral - I need to break my stat addiction. Someday. Maybe.

pendullum - "it just gives me courage to think that I can tell a story" That's a lovely way of putting things. Thank you for your kind words.

Beany said...

I like your new ideas. Not that I didn't like the old blog too. Keep writing. That's my sage advice.

Ben said...

Jen, Jen, Jen....respond to this comment.

Jen said...

Beany - Thank you for not losing the address to my internet. Unlike some people in our family.

Ben - Ben, Ben, Ben.

andi said...

Wow, you're ambitious! Lately, I'm trying to just post once a week.

And it's not lame to worry about your stats - if you didn't want people reading, you'd be keeping a personal journal. I do think you have more readers than you realize, though. You rock in my book, girl.

StickyKeys said...

One of the reasons I'm an eljay freak is because of the commenting. Then again, I'm a comment whore.

Good luck on your changes! And I second getting a domain. I got a .org for about $5.99 for the year. And I redirect so it goes straight to my livejournal. If you need a good hosting service let me know and I'll recommend.

Jen said...

andi - You're so sweet. If only you would update more often. Then you would be perfect.

sticky - I'm not sure I'm going to go with hosting anymore. I've been discussing some options with someone and I'm not sure what I'm going to do now. I'll give you a yell though if I need a hosting site. It sounds like you got a pretty good deal.

nell said...

It's your blog and you should do what you want to do with it. I try to blog without guilt and I mostly do, but I still feel a little bad when I disappear for long periods of time. You're awesome, and I'm not just saying that because you're one of my four readers, you really and truly rock!

amyz said...

Hi, I found your blog from good mom / bad mom and I've really enjoy the few posts I've read tonight. I've bookmarked you and plan to return. Already very interested in hearing Joseph's story. Thanks