Frankly, it’s easy for a blogger to get discouraged.
In addition to Slow Blogs (which is, ironically, not a slow blog by my own definition as I use this space to highlight other people’s work as opposed to generating my own content), I blog at Teacher Meets World. That’s the blog that I think of as my baby.
As I’ve explained here, I have done battle with that evil, one-eyed Feedburner monster in the middle of the night and sometimes Feedburner wins. Now that Feedburner has been acquired by Google and provides only statistics about my subscribers, I have entered into a new (and oddly similar) love-hate relationship with Google Analytics which tells me little statistical stories about my visitors. Who visits, who referred them, how long they stayed (not long enough) and which pages those folks visited. (This reminds me that I must learn what “reach” and “bounce” mean. No, I am not kidding. If you know, please leave a comment below!)
I’ve also established here that I know (by which I mean that I really KNOW) that these numbers are unimportant in the great slow-blogging scheme of things and yet they continue to haunt me. No, that’s not it. The stats really bug me. That’s right… I feel annoyed. Let me explain… The People Who Know About Blogging say that we should pay attention to our stats so that we will understand what our readers want… and then we should give them more of that kind of content. Here’s my deep analysis of the situation at Teacher Meets World. Whenever I post random photos of our travels in Europe, my stats go up. More Europe photos = more subscribers. The less text, the better, it seems. When I write longer content-driven posts such as Should I stay or should I go, a post about how to decide if its time to move on from your current international teaching post, subscribers drop off. When I post about a lovely day in my life as I did here, people unsubscribe.
Although I am not a researcher by trade, the trend seems pretty clear. If I post pretty photos of Europe without meaningful commentary, subscribers will stay. Long, meaningful posts, however, and posts about my actual life will drive my subscribers away.
Hmmm… what’s a blogging-girl to do?
Dear Slow Blog readers,
Even in the face of overwhelming evidence that The People Who Know About Blogging are right and that I am only as good as my branding machine (which, in my case does not exist because I don’t believe in that malarkey… I am my own brand which is to say I am me, Monna), I continue to believe in the slow blog. I am going to keep it real and sometimes long and sometimes personal because I am my own first reader and I know what I like in a blog. In my blog. I refuse to let The People Who Know About Blogging rain on my lovely parade. I am going to continue to seize the day… to eat the peach… and I don’t need to change my blog host to do it!
I am encouraged by Laurie of Elusive Onions and Rose-Anne of Life, Love and Food who found each other through this blog and who have now become part of each other’s blogging communities. Now, that’s cool! (They also both made an onion tart last week… who can argue with that kind of serendipity? Not I!)
Please keep writing your lovely blogs. Even when the only person who comments is your mom or your best friend or your husband. Loving what you are creating is the most important part of this journey.