Thursday, September 23, 2010
A Blog Blossoms
......continued from yesterday.
I was now writing every day. Blogging had begun to feel like a part time job that I wasn't getting paid for. I was taking this job seriously. When I wasn't writing my blog post, applying for jobs, or tending my Craigslist offerings, I was researching the art of blogging to learn what I needed to do to make my blog work best. I did not have any schedule or particular plan. I would just write something related to Halloween and post it sometime during each day.
By my fourth post I signed up as a follower on Stephen T. McCarthy's blog and left him a comment so that he would know that I now had a blog. He in turn became my first follower and left my first blog comments on my post of September 23rd. Comments and a follower! I was thrilled.
On Sepember 28th I received my first unsolicited out-of-the-blue comment from Jennifer Hudson Taylor. It was one of the most helpful comments I have received. She suggested that I develop a blog schedule themed according to each day of the week. I decided I would take her advice after my Halloween posting was finished.
I soon began racking up followers and getting more comments on my blog posts. My blogging enterprise was taking off. However, I checked my AdSense request each day and still no approval. I could not figure out what the problem was and my inquiries to Google went unanswered. I did not understand, but I was starting not to care either. It was becoming more about the writing and the potential that writing held for me. Perhaps ads were not something I wanted on my site.
My research was starting to indicate to me that AdSense did not really yield much income at all, if any. Would I really want advertising on this blog that had become more about the writing than anything else? I was faithfully composing articles that often involved a great deal of research at times and at other times were personal observations and memoirs. The latter were the posts that seemed to elicit comments whereas the more informational posts were typically ignored. I was starting to get a feel for the type of subject matter that was most likely to gain and retain readers.
I was also becoming a part of a blog community that mostly consisted of writers, which was helpful to my writerly pursuits. Having learned about National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that would be occurring in November I decided to sign up and attempt to fulfill a long time dream of writing a novel. The discipline of daily writing and corresponding with other bloggers was taking hold. I was exerting a writing discipline that I had never had before in my life.
On Halloween, October 31, of 2009 I announced my new blog schedule which I would be working on concurrently with writing my novel, A Desert Place. I became regimented with blogging and writing. By the end of November, I had completed the 50,000 words required to "win" the NaNo competition and had successfully posted and commented on a daily basis. In a two month span, I had passed the fifty follower milestone and was getting comments on a regular basis. I set a goal of 100 followers by the New Year.
What happen to AdSense? Who knows. It didn't matter to me now. I was more concerned with blog integrity. Now I had a writer's blog and I felt that ads might convey the wrong impression. I was more concerned about getting readers and having a presence on the internet. The all important platform was now my quest. I needed to establish my name and my reputation.
.......more of the story later, but first.......
Tomorrow I'll be joining Elana Johnson's Writing Compelling Characters Blogfest. If you haven't signed up yet, you still have an opportunity. Most of you probably are well aware of the great potential in increasing the follower count on your blog by joining one of these blogfests. This one should be a doozey since as I write this the sign up count is already at 151 participants.
My contribution to this blogfest will be in line with my One Year Blog Anniversary as I discuss how I have used "compelling characters" in some of my blog posts.
Next Monday I will complete the history of Tossing It Out in a Blog Boggled installment which will describe the techniques I used to gain followers and encourage readership. It's more Blog Science--some strategies you may have already heard and some ideas that may be new to you. I hope we get some information interchange going where we can all learn something about blogging that will help us to blog better.