Tighten UpToday's Tune:
I've been blogging for about a year and a half now, and I've come to some conclusions about it. SURPRISE.
1.) It's enjoyable. A great way to organize your thoughts and maybe even give a little bit of your personal brand of knowledge back to the world.
2.) You can meet some really great, clever, funny, amazing people. There's a blog out there for just about everything you can imagine.
3.) It's exceedingly difficult to keep up a set schedule, but necessary for maintaining a blog that invites readers back. Life gets in the way -- it happens to all of us. Sometimes the blog just has to take a backseat. But there's little doubt that your audience loses interest when you're not regular about updating. Trace your blog in Google Analytics if you know how. The numbers don't lie.
4.) It's a two-way street. Comments and blog friends are a big deal. You can't bank on the fact that you are just SO AWESOME that people will keep coming back if you don't visit their blogs or respond to their comments. Unless you really ARE that awesome. Then you might get away with it, but it's still a little rude to never respond or interact with the people who follow you. I have gotten REALLY, REALLY BAD about this, and I apologize. I need to make the time to get back in with all of you.
5.) We put too much emphasis on follower numbers. I won't lie... it does matter, to an extent. If you have a low number of followers, people judge. You judge yourself. It makes you feel like kind of a loser. At the same time, what do big numbers really mean? What does it matter if you have 1500 followers that came from "follow me" contests or free giveaways? How many of those people actually READ your blog and interact with you? Ultimately, Follower Count is just a number. The people who actually read and care are those who matter.
6.) If blogging starts becoming a chore rather than an enjoyable outlet or fun interaction, maybe it's not the best way to spend our time. If it's taking away from our work, our play, or our writing, it's not worth it. There's no shame in hanging up the blogging hat if it's just not working out.
7.) You can't do everything. Don't feel bad if you can't read every entry, follow every worthy person, or craft an entry for every blogfest. It's okay. Stretching yourself too thin is a fast path toward feeling like the joy is sucked out of blogging.
Aaaaand seven is a totally weird number to end on, but that's what I'm going with.
What have you learned about blogging, compadres?