Thursday, December 22, 2011

500th Blog Post This Year: Thoughts and Reflections

Cute Girl Blogging
I just wanted to share a few quick thoughts on my 500th blog post this year (Woo hoo!). It's been quite a journey for me this year, passing through a lot of stories, funny video clips and pictures, short blog posts, and a few well thought out articles. Here are my thoughts on blogging and writing 500 blog posts in a year.

1. It's hard to keep finding new/fresh material: If you're the average blogger and you write a few posts per month, finding new material is easy. You just write a long pieces on some news story that you saw or something funny that happened to your cat, and you're set for another week or two.

However, if you're like me, and you like to post a lot, then it's hard to come up with new material on a regular basis. For this reason, a lot of my posts are funny videos that I've found on Youtube, Break, and other sites. I try to mingle into that some more serious post, and I of course use this as a public forum to occasionally rant about things I find vexing.

2. Traffic is Unpredictable: Despite my over two years of blogging experience now and having written a lot of articles -- some specifically to generate traffic -- it's sometimes really hard to predict which articles will generate a lot of sustained traffic and which ones won't. Sometimes, I will get in the mood to write, hammer out a long piece, post it, and have it get like 10 views or less per month. Other times, I'll post a very short or less well thought out piece -- or even a picture with a small amount of commentary -- and it will get thousands of hits per month. So, I've learned to stop even trying to guess which posts will generate traffic and which won't.

Also, it's hard to keep a constant flow of traffic coming into the site. Sometimes, my traffic will rise inexplicably to 25% or even 50% of what it was the month before. Then, almost as inexplicably, the new traffic just vanishes.

3. Don't blog for money: As I look back on my experiences blogging, I really have to say that even though it's a fun pass time, it's not a good way to make money. You have to find some other reason to sustain you when you blog -- other than money -- because your blog is not very likely to make much money, unless you work very hard and also get very lucky. During my lifetime of blogging, I think that I've made a total of a few hundred dollars. If I work out how many hours I've put into writing the blog, that works out to a few cents per hour, if that. I know that some other bloggers do better, but there are a lot that do much worse as well. If you're serious about trying to get extra income, you're much better off getting a part time job instead.

4. Bloggers that last find something to sustain them: When I first started blogging in 2009, I made it a point to reach out to other bloggers and connect with them through Google connect. All most all of the bloggers that I connected with back then have stopped blogging. I can browse through a whole series of blogs on my Google Reader page that haven't posted anything new in months or years.

I think that the difference between the ones that last and the ones that stop is that the ones that last find something to sustain them, to keep them coming back periodically to add new material. In my case, I treat blogging as hobby, a game to see how many visitors I can get, and a distraction. I am sure that other long term bloggers do something similar.

5. Woo hoo: I am seriously happy that I was able to write 500 posts in a single year. Even though most of my posts are videos with a few sentences of commentary, those posts still count in my book.

If you have any additional thoughts on blogging, feel free to share them below.

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