Wednesday, September 2, 2015
A Blog is not a Career and Other Notes
This is a continuation of the ongoing series of what has been learned from writing this blog in the hope that it may be of value to others who are thinking of, or are actively writing, a blog. Previous posts can be found by clicking on the tag admin.
Some of these comments have been made before. It just means that I still think they are true.
The blog seems to have an audience, or rather audiences, who are interested in some but not all of the various topics I write about.
There is a direct and positive relationship between posts and traffic. There is a direct and positive relationship between the amount of traffic and the effort made on posts, up to a point.
But even trivial posts can be better than no posts at all for generating audience. It seems to be a positive reinforcement phenomenon which is not a surprise.
The metrics generated by www.blogspot.com are sufficient to give direction on what people are reading, and when, and so forth.
The nuisance traffic seems to be less.
The time to write a post does not get less as time goes by. An interesting post still takes time. Yes, on days when I am more focused and know what I want to write I can do so quickly and on days when I am less sure what the topic is or need to switch topics, it can take more time.
The blog is not in and of itself a career.
Like any other long-term project, certain goals and themes get lost and require serious effort to achieve.
In particular, certain themes which are (hopefully) the basis of a book (whatever a book may be these days) need more traction.
Certain themes have made sufficient progress on the blog, but not in real life. In other words, writing much more about a topic would not be as useful as taking other actions to help make those things happen.
The editorial function for the blog (in other words, acting as my own editor) has always been an issue as it is for most blogs. The most obvious way this manifests itself are (a) posts that never see the light of day but which I spend a lot of time on, then choose not to publish and (b) posts that are determined to be too negative and whiny and are, after a few days or weeks, eliminated.
The goal of the editorial is to make the blog more useful, productive and readable in the long run. In the short run, that means eliminating some posts that are honest but digressive.
It is the long term issues of traction on major themes, and the discipline of self-editorial, that seem to be the most important right now.