Today’s assignment: write and publish a “who I am and why I’m here” post.
I began blogging in October 2012 and I am not sure that the reasons I began are the same ones that keep me coming back today. I am more or less the same person, but with a few subtle changes that I hope are evidence of a little bit of growth within me, a small measure of progress.
When I began my blog and wrote my first post I agonized over pushing the ‘publish’ button. What would happen when people read my stuff? I was afraid to post and took a long time to make that click, as if I was afraid that everyone would turn around and see me standing there with my hand up.
I needn’t have worried, hardly anyone even saw it! 🙂 Perhaps it is just a form of attention seeking behaviour, I do feel that I am unfulfilled in my physical life, that I have underachieved in the world of work and never truly found my niche. I have struggled to make a regular commitment to my writing and no doubt this year making that time will be a challenge that I continue to face.
I think what I am really looking for from my blog is the affirmation from others that I have something worthwhile to contribute. I think I need the constant encouragement that I find in the little slices of kindness in the comments and likes from my fellow bloggers. I need that kind of regular feedback to help maintain my motivation and it is that flaw in my character that sees me work on my blog instead of my book project that I fear I may never complete.
There is no teacher out there to mark my work, no percentage score or grade to worry about, and no rejection slip to follow a submission. Yet when I do create what I think is a good post and it is poorly received I don’t have the feedback to understand why it didn’t captivate the reader, or even draw an audience.
A few days ago I had a mini breakthrough when a post I wrote went a bit viral on Twitter and I had 3500 visitors in a single day. Even a well known Journalist and Presenter had been talking and tweeting about it and I was completely blown away by the response. Now that the dust has settled and the stampede has gone I am left to reflect on the episode and try to learn some lessons from it.
It has made me think about the focus of my blog and the content that I provide. How do I recreate that kind of interest on a regular basis? I have learned of the awesome power of the Publicize tool and I would urge anyone who doesn’t currently use it to turn it on.
Bizarrely, despite the many views and hundreds of ‘tweets’, ‘retweets’ and ‘favourites’ I received, only a handful of readers commented at the source – my blog. I realize now that there are readers and there are bloggers and there are some who do both. Although they are all of value, the tiny amount of feedback I received was a shock that I was not prepared for and one that taught me just how important that feedback is to me.
I hope this year I achieve more of that kind of success, but I also want to grow my wordpress readership and increase my followers. I love the interaction with you guys because let’s face it, what do we add to our knowledge and experience if we don’t engage in conversation?
I hope this year to be having lots of conversations both here on my blog and out there around the blogosphere and with a bit of luck, some of them will be with you. 🙂