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Have We Reached Blog Overload?

This guest post is by LA Juice, of www.la-juice.com.

Saturated, overloaded, “all full up.” These are the words and phrases I think of when I look at the blogging world. Especially in the context of gaining new followers when you aren’t teaching, selling, or giving valuable books and prizes away.

In my six months as a “humorist” blogger (someone who doesn’t teach, sell or give anything away), I have seen my initial traffic grow very well, only to absolutely stagnate over the past two months. And my commenters have all but disappeared. At this point the only people commenting are (and I am sure of this) blogger friends who feel bad for me.

You know, other bloggers who know “what’s what” (bloggers running sites where I have commented).

I’d love to tell you I’m not trying everything to grow my readership, but short of paying for advertising, I am doing all the things the bazillion SEO/SEM/marketing blogs tell you to do. Oh wait, I am paying for ads. Sure, they’re just cheapo Facebook PPC ads—but they’re ads nonetheless.

Here is my active blog promotion checklist:

  1. Twitter: active, with all appropriate feeds (bit.ly, comments etc.).
  2. Facebook: active, Networked blogs: active, PPC ads on Facebook, etc.
  3. Post no less than three times a week.
  4. Respond to all comments.
  5. Ask readers questions/trivia/etc.
  6. Write about controversial stuff hoping someone will engage.
  7. Held a couple contests, and gave prizes away.
  8. Regularly comment at between eight and 12 different blogs in the same genre as mine.
  9. Guest blog at three places.
  10. Create topical headlines (SEO/SEM within the confines of WordPress).

I even offered iTunes cards to the first five Facebook followers who got more than five of their friends to “follow this blog.” The silence was deafening. The WB frog would have sung louder at an American Idol audition.

I have first page Google rank for “LA Juice”—in fact, I hold first-page spots three to six, and seven on google for a very common search term, if you ask me, and I have made nice progress moving up the Technorati ranks, so I feel like I’m doing a lot of the right SEO things, too.

Yet, crickets! Pure crickets.

When I am not barraging Twitter with (hopefully) pithy jokes, not responding to people who do comment, not commenting at other sites, not guest blogging, and not offering fabulous prizes to my Facebook followers, I sit and wonder, “What happened to the days of people sending links out: “You have to read this blog, it’s hilarious.”

You know word of mouth? I’d even take hand to hand combat right now!

I fear such days are long gone. I can’t recall the last time anyone sent me an email with a link in it. And Twitter retweets, and #FFs? It’s more like white noise.

No one shares or promotes their favorite websites anymore. Except bloggers, to other bloggers, on Twitter.

In fact, my last (and first) six months of blogging have led me to the conclusion that the only people reading blogs are other bloggers. Is it possible that we bloggers have worn our welcome out? Even before I got into the game? Can it be true that either people no longer read blogs or everyone has become a blogger and so there are no more readers?

These are the questions that keep me awake in the middle of the night.

Of course, its possible I am just not funny, engaging or interesting, however:

  • That never stopped half the bloggers out there with bigger “followerships” and more daily comments than me.
  • People who think they are funny, but aren’t, will draw mean commentors—and I don’t even have any of those!
  • Plus, and most importantly, my mom told me I am the funniest and prettiest girl in the kindergarten class.

So, sure, it’s possible, but—let’s be frank—not likely.

Accordingly, we have to ask: is blogging dead?

It’s a tough suspicion for a new blogger who has no intention of giving up the fight. But it’s a truthiness I am beginning to believe with the sincerity of a guest on The Colbert Report.

That’s why I wrote this post: to find out if you agree and, if not, why not. If you do agree, what do you think we should do about it?

Oh, and if you don’t comment, you’re probably proving me right! …See what I did there?

Aspiring to be the funniest blogstress west of Rodeo, Juice currently writes your wrongs at her website: LA Juice. LA Juice is one escaped Detroiter’s unedited and often inappropriate perspective on all things pop culture, celebrity and LA .

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Comments

  1. Jesse says:

    I have found that a lot of my peers who used to be big on reading blogs on all sorts of topics now only tend to view/save/and interact with blogs who are primarily video based. I agree with you saying everyone is blogging and it’s tough to be original. Just my observation. :)

  2. Julie says:

    I’ve found out from conversations that my friends have at least read some blog posts, even if they aren’t doing it every day. I tried to ask how they read it and they say they just go to the site when they’re bored. I mentioned RSS readers but apparently they’ve never heard of them. They won’t subscribe on Facebook because they won’t friend pages and they don’t do twitter. My family is very similar.

    Honestly, it had me thinking. The majority of people who do comment on my blog are other bloggers. I picked up the whole RSS thing and within months I had the mindset of a blogger. The people who interact with you are probably other bloggers or those who will blog one day. The people who are most likely to benefit from your site are the ones who read it and take it in but don’t have a lot to say back. Is your mission to strike a conversation or to help people? While I think it’s possible to do both, it’s definitely easier to focus on one and let the other happen naturally.

  3. Xanthe Wyse says:

    If people think they will make loads of money off blogging (or any form of internet writing), I think they’re deluded.

    I’d say good riddance to the trivial, egotistical blogs.

    I have a trickle of traffic to my 2 blogs on themes of interest to me, Aspergers and Atheism. I get to meet some like-minded individuals which is nice, and fortunately not too many lunatics.

    • “If people think they will make loads of money off blogging (or any form of internet writing), I think they’re deluded.”

      I agree. It’s a winner take all ecology and 90% of bloggers will never make enough money to leave their full time jobs. The other 10%? Well, have you met Darren Rowse?

  4. Rob says:

    Frankly, it comes down to one simple problem. The pool of blogs is an ever growing competition grounds, and while the pool of readers is as well, the better established and frankly more polished blogs that have been around for years draw a higher percentage of the new users.

    It takes more dedication and more hard work than ever to build a strong readership.

    But on the bright side, people that try to get started a year for now will have it even worse. The right time to work on your blog is always now.

  5. Alex says:

    This post title made me laugh out loud because I thought – ‘Yes, and it’s all ProBloggers fault’

    ;)

  6. terry aley says:

    My experience is that the top blogs are “theatrical” in nature. They have a strong voice and a very specific niche. There are a lot of decent blogs in the world that aren’t getting tons of traffic, and it’s often because they aren’t focused on something specific enough. You have to be able to pull up a person’s blog and know immediately what the topic is. If the angle is just “humor,” that’s way too general. You can break this rule if you’re say a celebrity and everyone already knows you. Because then YOU are the niche. Everyone who already knows you would be reading pretty much anything you write. Since most of us aren’t celebrities, we need to hammer away at a specific topic day after day and have fun at it. If you can’t wait to write about it, it comes through and readers interested in your specific niche will keep coming back. Most established bloggers work day after day for several years before they really break through. Very few people start a blog and a few months later, they’re making enough money from Adsense to quit their jobs.

    • LAjuice says:

      interesting point! So in my case, as mentioned, I could care less about revenue- and there are quite a few people like this. There is a blogger world out there of people writing because they are writers, want to get a book published, want to be a journalist- not concerned with the direct monetization of their site, but they still want to know the people reading them. I have about 200 daily readers, but only 2-10 regular commentors. I just wonder what it takes to get people to comment.

      • Bill says:

        That’s not a bad percentage when you consider I was taught 1-2% of the people will react to your blog/website. So for every 100 visitors, expect 1 to respond whether it’s in comments, subscribers or buying something from your site. Now that was 2-3 years ago. And that’s not a hard formula, just a yard stick to measure by – from 2-3 years ago.

        I learned that it takes months and years to build up visitors and comments, let alone folks who will purchase stuff.

        I say keep going for the long term if that’s what you want for the long term. If you keep on keeping on, most likely you’ll get what you want as long as you keep testing, adjusting, etc.

        How about starting a comment group on google groups where bloggers join and everyone shares blog posts worth commenting on, that way everyone benefits. Just don’t let anyone abuse it, make sure there are blog posts worth commenting on. And of course that’s subject to each individual interpretation but you can lay down the rules, like no commenting on blog posts that are always selling something. Try it for a month, two or forever. Or switch it up and have the group retweet blog posts that they think are worthy, etc.

        Encourage shy commentors to comment using a pen name and no link to a website, etc. Tell them in a blog post how to do that – how to leave a comment and remain anonymous.

        Just some ideas.

  7. Tom Ewer says:

    Hello Mr. or Mrs. L.A. Juice,

    Of course blogging isn’t dead. I am sure you know this, but asked the question in order to provoke debate.

    I checked out your site with my ‘casual web browser’ hat on, and couldn’t figure out what on earth it was about! No link titled ‘About Me’. A lot going on (three columns packed full of ‘stuff’ – yikes). I left after a few seconds.

    I could go on but then I am being presumptuous in thinking you want my opinion! :)

    All the best,

    Tom

    • LAjuice says:

      Thanks Tom for checking the site out, My “About me” page is the page entitle “LA Juice”- which of course isn’t that obvious at all. Your comments are similar to quite a few other commentors here- food for thought! And also confusing becaues for every commentor here telling me what you have, there are a ton of SEO blogs, and competitive bloggers out there telling me this is the way to set up my “humor blog”. Sigh.

      Mostly, though, I feel very bad about people thinking this is a personal cry for help. While I totally love all the insight I am getting from everyone, I feel slightly selfish, if that makes sense.

      What I was hoping to prompt with this blog was (a) have a discussion as to whether others have my issues and if so (b) to discuss where all the non bloggers have gone, and what people do to get them to stay. and comment!

      • Tom Ewer says:

        Well, people certainly do have the same issues as you. What I was trying to get at was that I think you could resolve a lot of those issues with tweaks to your site.

        A case in point is that I’ve just spent a couple of minutes trying to find a way of contacting you via your site (as I figured you may not read this comment), but could find no way to do so!

        I think that there are plenty of non-bloggers around, but by its very nature, a lot of people who read blogs have their own as well.

    • I agree with Tom. I read all your titles and couldn’t find one that would interest me. Maybe it’s as simple as fixing that. But also, you really want to hone in on your niche market. …I couldn’t figure out which “one customer” you were writing for.

      I have a feeling that you’re on the cusp of a personal break-thru… which is SUPER EXCITING.

      Hang in there. Learn. Grow. Develop. Keep asking yourself hard questions. In two years your blog won’t look the same as it looks now. What will you be doing in two years that has made you more successful? Stat doing that today.

    • farhan says:

      i agree

  8. Mahendra says:

    Well this post fetch comments 82+ that proves blogging is not dead so, you can go ahead without any worry!

  9. Enjoyed the post, but especially Sean’s quote” Overnight success at blogging is possible after about 8 years”. Indeed, this is a marathon not a 100-yard race .. and one of the main qualities a good marathon racer has to have is staying power.

    When you “hit the wall”, just keep moving.

    Read Aloud Dad

  10. Kristin says:

    Love your post. I wonder the same thing from time to time. Its just the summer and it goes down during that timeframe. I will say that I stopped using networked blogs on Facebook because sometimes it appears strangely in the feed. I post them myself with a line or two which gets it looked at. I wanted to look at your site but Im getting an error message. I wanted you to know.

  11. alison g. says:

    Great open and honest post! I’m so glad someone is saying what I’m feeling, although I probably haven’t been as diligent as you about making sure I’m doing all the traffic-growing duties. I’ve seen both traffic and comments fall off, for sure. In my blogging niche (Interior Design) there seems to be an ever-widening gap between the Big Blogs who have “made it,” and those of us struggling to get a handful of comments.
    I do think most people who comment are other bloggers who are doing the “polite thing.”
    It has certainly made me wonder if I just quit my blog now, if anyone would notice/care. After three years, not a happy feeling :(

  12. rosemary says:

    Oh I have to disagree with this post but I understand it. It does get crazy with all the different areas you have to put yourself out there to get followers/readers. I just find however if you keep at great content, it will grow. I also have been attending many events as press and have some great giveaways with companies I myself purchase from and I find my blog really starting to grow. I also feel that companies are very willing to do business with a blogger because the posts stay around forever….I have posts that were made a year ago and people are looking for them. I really think blogging has just tipped the surface and I think the possibilities are limitless.

  13. Blogging dead?
    No – the Blogosphere has never been more alive.

    I know – because I started a new blog a couple of days ago and subscribers have been rushing in. The first post had 48 comments and there’s a lively discussion going on.

    OK, I admit it’s my fourth blog, I’m an experienced blogger, and I know what’s important.

    The secret of creating a successful blog doesn’t lie in the list of blog promotion activities that the anonymous author of this post has put together.

    Success begins with a clear blog topic that’s immediately clear to the new reader.

    It begins with top content that is of real benefit to the reader.

    It begins with being a real person with a real name. Because if we want to gain our readers’ trust, they need to know who we are, what our lives are like, and what we look like.

    It begins with having a clear point of difference to other, similar blogs.

    Blog promotion? Yes, that’s also important. But if the points above are not yet clearly established, then you can promote your blog all you like – but ultimately it won’t thrive.

  14. I don’t think we’ve reached blog overload…for good quality, niche blogs that give value to the readers. A lot of the blogs I’ve read and then quickly abandoned are too narcissistic OR are all gravy and no meat (or they are snarky…perhaps we’ve reached snark overload?).

    I’m of a certain age and I remember when newspapers were nice and thick and filled with a lot of niche columnists. Those days are gone. In my mind, a good blog is just like those great columnists I used to read in the paper.

  15. Non-bloggers are lazy to make comments. I have about 50 daily readers in my nine blogs, but I am lucky if I get comments once a week. The comments I received indicate that my blog contents is Ok, but the niche I am blogging is so narrow and specific ( differences between life and US). Of course, I have not tried all the “come ons” you have listed to attract new readers, but I will not quit blogging until I could no longer see my typewriter. Have a Good Day!

  16. Oh, I forget to mentioned I am 77 years old and have bad eyes, I mistyped my website address on my profile. Good Day to All!

  17. Blogging is alive and well and as it grows so too will Darwin’s principle apply. Only the strong will survive.

  18. Joanna says:

    Nope. Blogging is not dead, in fact, I agree with Rosemary, that I don’t think it has even seen its full potential yet. That being said, it is over saturated with people who aren’t offering a thing. Perfect example–Tumblr. I don’t understand it. Its a bunch of people just re-posting other people’s ideas. Well, if you don’t have anything to say yourself, why are you blogging, Tumblr people? (Obviously, there are some very viable Tumblr blogs, I’m generalizing.) I think blogging is creating this new technological form of the old barter system. I offer you information, and you offer me business. In a way blogging is pairing down all the superfluous aspects of business and getting right down to good customer service. Be educated on what your selling, share with your clients, and you will create a client base. Your “niche” would be hard, because I’m not sure why I would spend money there. I’m going to read your blog and maybe chuckle a little to myself before moving on to something else, but what is going to prompt me to spend money? You may be fulfilling the “Blogger Checklist” but if you are hoping for this to provide you with income you have to reach back before the days of blogging and start with a business model. Do you know what your mission statement is? What makes your funny blog more enticing than other funny blogs (why you-what do you have to offer that’s different)? Do you know who your target audience is? Do you know what makes your target audience spend money? Are you then catering your marketing to meet that need? I think you just need to re-examine the purpose of your blog. If you want to make people laugh that’s great. But if you want to make money making people laugh, you have to be more than funny. You have to be a good business woman.

  19. LAjuice says:

    Morning all! I cannot believe this blog prompted almost 70 comments! (about 30 are mine, as I spent most of yesterday individually addressing everyone who commented) I thank you all for all the time and energy! I have learned a great deal, and I hope some of the others having my problems will read all the comments to glean some of the info I have.

    There is a consensus among some of us new bloggers that non-blogger comments are almost impossible to get, as well as a good number of us who can’t even get our friends and families to follow, read, comment on our blogs. As a somewhat timely post script I received an email yesterday from a former co-worker, telling me she reads the blog daily but never feels “intelligent or clever enough to comment”.

    This broke my heart. First- she’s a pretty smart and opinionated girl, and second- for those of you who have visited my blog, you know you don’t need to be intelligent at all to read it or have an opinion about Charlie Sheen or kittens. BUT it raises an interesting point:

    We get bloggers who comment because as a group we are fearless enough to write what we think, for all the world to see, but maybe most non-bloggers are hesitant to put themselves out there. What do you think?

    • HeyTeach101 says:

      I started writing my blog a couple of months ago and decided to focus on content and not stress myself out about marketing and additional social media. I made the choice to use an avatar persona because I wanted to be able to write about my college classroom, so that seemed to make some aspects of promotion a bit more complex. But I digress….
      I think you are absolutely right that many people are hesitant to put their writing out there. I know that I edit and second guess myself when I just post on someone’s Facebook wall! And I am used to having my writing read.
      People have been having their writing red-edited for so long that the potential for “judgment-trauma” is ever-present. And there are fanatical lurking grammarians just waiting to correct, which reinforces many people’s fear. Our writing may sink into the silence of the web, but it may also attract mean-spirited judgment, and all of us have had enough of that in our lives!
      So, yes, I think that fear of public writing is at least a part of why people don’t comment.
      And p.s. writing with humor is a fragile thing – don’t let the “I don’t think you’re funny” posts into your heart.

  20. I’ve wondered about a related aspect which is the huge proliferation of blogs. I belong to a membership group and see new people streaming in all the time. It’s stunning how often people will say that (1) they don’t know what they want to write about or (2) they’re not good writers or (3) both of those things.

    I have to suppress a strong urge to state the obvious, such as “Blogging is not mandatory. You have other options.”

  21. Kathy says:

    Blogs and websites come and go. More people than ever are using the internet. Blogs are so versatile you can create just about any kind of site out of them. …. Yep. The internet is all full up. No more room for blogs with good quality content. Not. LOL

  22. I think you have to move with the times & look at video production. It will get you on more screens & after the hype of the video has settled you can prove your worth with some valuable blog posts.

    It’s just like real business, you have to adapt and look after your subscribers/customers

    All the best,

    David Edwards

  23. No blogging isn’t overloaded but blogging about blogging is.

    My blog posts often get over 100 comments and this one http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/prep-week-53/ sat a record with 711 comments posted.

    • I think 711 comments is astounding — you have a niche (I went and looked), but even the professional bloggers don’t get that many comments most of the time so you are doing something right! I have been blogging for 2-1/2 years and I have a nice amount of traffic. But what blogging forced me to do was learn about social media – because, as I’ve written, I believe a blog is the hub of your social media activity. You can’t look at blogging in isolation from your participation in other social media that can lead to new relationships and new business.

  24. As Dad said -

    There are few overnight successes.

    I have also seen that blogging is seeasonal. Skip big holidays. Hot summers.

    Nobody’s around.

    You are doing everything right. And you are a great writer. Keep plugging along.

    (are you asking a question at the end of each post? Peeople are inclined to answer a question.)i

  25. Absar Ahmad says:

    I think so I am doing not much different from the Ten Points you mentioned…………..Started on 26th of july and up to now I haven’t made any big success……….Hope so comming time will be good for me…..

  26. Josh McNary says:

    Blogging is about providing value to the reader. If a reader can’t immediately get a sense that the blog is valuable, they won’t read. And if they do read, and don’t find the value they suspected might be there, then they won’t come back. You often only have 1 chance to impress the reader, make sure you know who is reading your articles then focus on them.

  27. ACI says:

    Well, Juice, I only read yours because I find you infinitely funny and you give me compliments…hmmm, maybe that’s the key. Free Compliments! But I think a lot of what Terry said is right on. People have a finite amount of time, so they’re going to focus on very specific blogs that have information that has relevance to their lives.

    Me, well I don’t really have a life so to speak. Other than my relationship with that pink bunny with the bass drum. So I have time and energy to read you just cause it’s entertaining. But who cares? If you’re not in it for the money then, you’re getting writing practice, getting feedback from comments and enjoying yourself. That should be enough, yes?

  28. Omar says:

    I think blogging has a lot to do with a specific type of content you provide. Talking from personal experience (and as mentioned in this post) you gain readership and followers when you have a unique and niche blog with regular updates.

    Social media is as important as SEO now.

  29. Renee Austin says:

    This is a very interesting post. I have to admit I wonder the same thing from time to time. When I do see comments on those blogs I try to follow they are often only from other bloggers. Does the typical person have time to follow frequent posts on even just one blog they enjoy? I know that I become very frustrated because I can’t keep up with the daily posts on my most favorite blogs. To me, these are very content-rich posts, too. At most I might have time to click on a ‘like’ button here and there, but following links often takes too much time, and taking more than one step to comment can be cumbersome. I know people who don’t even check their email on a regular basis because they are dealing with children, school, work schedules, etc. How are they going to find time to even speed read blog posts when there often isn’t a moment just to grab a cup of coffee or read a paper? I don’t know any of the answers, but as a novice blogger I do see the challenges of not only building a following, but most importantly, retaining those readers.

  30. Steve Rice says:

    I don’t think blogging is dead, but (as a newer blogger) I agree with many of the comments here…your site needs to be *absolutely* clear what it’s about (within 5-9 seconds). It should be clean design with not much “clutter”, and the niche should be as narrow as possible.

    What has happened with the proliferation of so much information out there, is that there are 10 or 100 or 1000 or more blogs in any given niche. So, to be “different” one has to be absolutely precise on who you are trying to reach, what you are trying to say, and how you are saying it.

    If you hone your voice and your message, then those who resonate with what you have to say and how you want to say it will find you (if you put yourself out there consistently), but it does take a lot of work to be that precise.

    Honestly, I’m still working on it. Every day/week, I remove junk from my site (i’m actually wanting to redesign it) and I’m in the process right now of narrowing my niche even more, and will continue to do so. I started as a “daily inspirational blog”…WAY too broad, but I didn’t realize it.

    Now, I’m working on clarifying my message and my voice to reach the people I really want to reach (and weed out the others). One thing to remember is that it’s okay if people don’t want to read you…if you find (and connect with) the small percentage who are *dying* to read every word you have to say.

    Keep up the good work.

  31. Tom says:

    I can’t figure out what LA Juice is about?

  32. Juice, Awesome Article. As far as you hold your creativity not to die, blogging never die I believe. Thanks – V.Manickam

  33. Joel Pinto says:

    You see? You did find a way to get people to comment… :-D That’s good! I do believe it’s about content and commitment. You produce content you think is going to be appealing, engaging and then you commit to go out and do the jov to finding like-minded people. It takes a while though but if you are convinced your content might be good for people and bring value to their lives or business, then it is always going to be ok.

  34. You people are still at it? Wow, maybe I need to write a controversial post for problogger ..

  35. Bo Kauffmann says:

    You hit a couple of very good points: In my opinion, hobby-bloggers are dwindling in numbers. These are bloggers who write about their daily lives, etc…. A few years ago, these types of blogs were a novel idea, but there are so many now, that, unless youre a celebrity, its tough to follow them all. On the other hand, if you create unique, informative and valuable content, I thin blogging will be around for a long time. Unless google changes its algorithm again to include only video content….
    so long as search engines find your topics, people will read it…. blog on!

  36. Bob says:

    I haven’t written a blog–yet. But to ask if blogging is dead is the same thing as asking if writing is dead. I quit going to bookstores for a little while because when I looked at all the books I always asked myself, “why does the world need one more book?” However, writers don’t need those thoughts. They’re just another form of resistance as Stephen Pressfield would say. Blog or don’t blog, but quit worrying if blogging is dead.

  37. Your thoughts could have come out of my head. That is why i startet commonbloggers. Insted of doing my own blog, I collect the best from the web. So my readers only need to focus on one URL. I startet out 3 months ago, and what I Can see, i have a market for what i am doing. Less is more. No big community or big money behind. Just some different people with good taste.

  38. Janice says:

    I have been blogging for a few months now. None of my family, or friends have said a word to me or have made comments on my blog..this past week i was telling a few people about what has been happening in my life…and they all said…I know……I read your blog!….they. have all been in lurking mode….reading all my posts but never commenting…… I think only people who have a blog know the true value of leaving comments….We NEED FEED BACK!

  39. Justin Dupre says:

    There are many people starting their own blogs today with poor content. This may be the reason why there is a blog overload.

  40. You are funny! And I have wondered the same thing. I subscribe to a few blogs, and some of my peers publish 7 days a week. I don’t read them all 7 days. Who has time? I post 3 times a week, and I noticed my numbers have stayed steady. Posts where I ask my readers to “take action”–like call or email a congress person or boycott a store gets more comments than other posts.

  41. Angie says:

    *shrugs* I don’t think blogging is dead at all. I know quite a few people who are still active and have a lot of activity. My blog is not quite two weeks old, and it’s drawn attention from my fellow activists and progressive bloggers. I’ve been quoted a couple times and had a couple of my posts featured on the front page of a local activist site, which has drawn in quite a bit of traffic. I was a bit shocked yesterday when I noticed that one of my posts was ranked high on Google. I mostly get feedback through email or on my Facebook profile than on the blog itself, though. Whatever works, I suppose. At least I know there are people reading me.

  42. WWDD

    (What would Dory do?)

    Just keep swimming.
    Just keep swimming.
    Just keep swimming.

    M

  43. darkduck says:

    Are you sure you promote your blog enough? I noticed that Twitter and FB are much advertised as promotion tools, but actually useless.
    My blog is about Linux and submitting my posts to thematic aggregation sites (in my case LXer.com and LinuxToday.com) brings me much-much-much more visitors.
    Anyway… good luck in your blogging!

  44. Laurie says:

    I think my blog/magazine has the same problem as yours. You can see mine at http://www.bigpacific.com/sunshinecoastmagazine.

    The problem is way too many story starts on the main page. I can’t decide if my blog is replacing my html site at http://www.bigpacific.com or complementing it, and so my visitors don’t know why they are there either.

    I’m switching mine over to be a single column post on the left area where all the bitty boxes are. Maximum of 3 posts on the page, and a read more break well into each piece.

    Comedy, in particular, does not do well with many different starts on one page. It would be like seeing six comedians on stage at a festival, all telling jokes at once. You never get enough from any one comic to get the joke, so instead just get annoyed at the wall of noise.

    My Experience

    Even though I have been blogging since 1997 (before it was known as blogging) and I’ve made a basic living from it via the advertising I’ve sold around it, I’ve noticed that when I blog to benefit my customers (semi-canned or easily produced ‘reviews’ of their tourism offerings) not much happens. But when I slow down, and do a real piece about the history of the Sunshine Coast, or people I know, there’s more engagement.

    This is a great post and conversation. Thanks for starting it.

  45. You can make plenty of money from blogging, including having that be the goal.

    However, you need to be passionate about the subject in which you are writing. So that you will continue to write when things get tough and you will know about what you are writing. Money is an ends to a mean, the money will be there in the long run. If the passion isn’t, you will have given up long before you make a decent buck anyway. Having a solid plan of action and passion are key ingredients in my opinion. Know your “audience and topic.”

  46. Joseph says:

    I don’t believe that blogging is dead. We have certain expectations of success and when things don’t happen as quickly as we want them to, it’s common to second guess things. Some blogs get lots of comments, whereas others rarely get responses to their posts. You can’t give up. Success takes time and when it comes down to it, patience, faith, hard work and love for what you do will drive you to stick with it and reach your goals.

    My website specializes in health and wellness. Originally my niche was very narrowly focused but it didn’t take very long for me to realize that I could provide more value by covering a number of topics that fall under health and wellness. To help folks get a better understanding of what this means I created a banner that appear at the top of every page stating the purpose of the site, but going further I mention it in my profile and my website’s About Us page.

    I get some article comments but not quite as many as some websites/blogs do. Sometimes I finish the article with a CTA i.e. ask readers what they think, but I’ve come to the conclusion that my readers are more comfortable reading the articles than merely commenting on what they’ve read.

    DrJulieAnn mentioned that newspapers used to be filled with niche columnists, I interpret that to mean that they provided a lot of quality content. When we write posts we have to consider our audience and objectives. Some blogs/websites focus on selling products and services, others entertainment and others (such as mine) on providing information. People come to our sites because they want or need something, it’s our job to help them get what they came for.

    Sometimes we may never get so much as a peep from readers, it happens. I look at it this way: if my articles provide people with information that they can readily apply to their lives and to those of their family and friends, then I’ve done my job. Providing quality keeps them coming back again and again. And that can be more rewarding than a passing comment of “Good job.”, etc.

  47. i hate it when a certain website says that it’s overload/overcapacity. site owners should know how to fix the errors and try to find solutions for it not to happen again.

    - Jack Leak