Archive for May, 2011
A couple of years ago, a writer friend started a blog. Her sharp, concise, informative posts received a lot of comments – or so it seemed – 38-40 on average. Much to my surprise, after about four months, she stopped. What happened? She told me, “I’m writing a book, but when I was blogging, I spent so much time reading and commenting on other people’s blogs, that I didn’t have time for my own writing. And that’s more important to me.”
In a recent blog post, “Kick your blog up a notch, Come to Blog World,”Gutsy Writer included the following statistics:
Over 12 million American adults currently maintain a blog.
* Over 120 thousand blogs are created every day.
* There are over 1.4 million new blog posts every day.
* Blog readers average 23 hours online each week.
That’s a lot of blogs, a lot of readers, a lot of posts, and a lot of hours spent writing, reading and leaving comments. No wonder 50% of all blogs go dead within 6 months (like my friend’s).
Many bloggers, including myself, start off thinking blogging will be easy or like writing a journal – and for some it is. Most of us expect that good writing, interesting topics, important keywords and social media such as Facebook and Twitter will appeal to readers and it’s only a matter of time before we find a wider audience. Instead, we discover we’re writing for friends and family and after a while, even they lose interest.
My blog was originally intended to support my soon-to-be-published book, “Don’t Hang Up!” and is attached to my website. When my publication plans – and my economy and personal life fell apart – I decided to carry on with it. I joined a LinkedIn blogging discussion forum, a fascinating experience that led me to such an interesting variety of blogs that I subscribed to as many as I could. The blogging world had me hooked.
Some newbie bloggers, like me, in search of a wider audience, find ourselves caught up in the blogging world. To our surprise, it is fascinating and enthralling to the point where trying to find ways into it becomes the focal point of our lives.
At first, it was like taking an intensive course in blogging, learning about blogging from the pros, about content, traffic, message, communication, etc. Only after six months of this have I realized that I still have a lot more to learn, which will require much more involvement before I can even aspire to improve my disappointing Google stats.
And frankly, it’s becoming boring, often repetitive – though I have discovered some pearls of wisdom and outstanding bloggers and posts that I file under Advice or Best Blogs Ever, as well as some delightful and informative personal blogs.
However, in this time, I have not written a word – not a single word – of my book. I haven’t even made corrections or done any editing.
So I face an important decision.
What is my goal in life? To be a book author or a really good blogger with a big following?
What is my job profile? It says book author/freelance writer/Hispanic research writer/analyst. Nowhere does it say Blogger.
Have I gone off track or just wandered into another world?
Or has my focus changed?
If I want to be a great Blogger, I should have something to sell – a product, a service, an idea. So far, I have nothing.
My life’s dream, ever since I was 12 and wrote my first full-length book (240 typewritten pages, double spaced) has been to become a published author.
It appears that I’m ambushing my dream in the rather elusive quest of becoming that one in a million bloggers to get a reasonable following.
What am I to do?
Stay out at sea, sailing around in the blogosphere like a lost ship?
Or go back to my own writing, get my books in shape, and try to find an agent/publisher or to self-publish.
Sounds like a no-brainer.
This would not mean that I’d stop blogging completely. Just slow down, and instead of reading and leaving comments on 20-30 blogs a week, I’ll pull back to about 10.
So what do you think?
I’d love to hear from you so as to erase any doubts as to which road to take.
Photo credits: Veronica Valades
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