This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

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.


  1. This is very compelling reading Lee, I will have to wait for the conclusion. You have opened my eyes on a few things about blogging,

    Have a good day,

  2. You certainly figured out blogging faster than I did!

  3. So we don't know what happened to AdSense. Is it maybe true that they give adds only if you have a certain number of visitors? I know that your readers have to click on adds in order for you to get some money. I have a few friends who have adds on their sites and they say they earn a certain amount of money from it. I've still haven't taken that step because I can't seem to find the time, but sooner or later it will happen on HOLLYWOOD SPY as well.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your novel. You're like Alex, you don't like talking much about what you write :)

  4. Hi Lee .. interesting read .. thanks & I look forward to the next instalment .. enjoy the characterization at the blogfest .. Hilary

  5. I'm looking forward to Monday's reading.

  6. Yvonne -- I hope someone gets something constructive out of this.

    Alex -- I'm still figuring things our.

    Dezmond -- Actually very little has happened with my novel since December. I need to stop my blogging activity so much and start focussing on my potentially income producing writing-- then you'll start hearing about it more.
    AdSense? I've seen sites with no followers and few blog posts with no comments with lots of Google Ads. I can't figure out how it works and I haven't explored the other advertising options.

    Hilary -- Ah yes, another blogfest, more time devoted to blogging.

    Karen -- And the bottom line is that building a following involves a lot of time and effort.

  7. Liza -- See you then! And hopefully tomorrow for my blogfest entry.

  8. Wow! Very interesting info here today. Have given me some things to think about and consider. Thanks!

  9. It seems to me Lee that you've gotten much more out of your blog (a strong and committed following and the discipline of daily writing) than AdSense could have ever provided. Congratulations!

  10. Hrrm, aligned with how I'm feeling right now. Thanks for this!

    Breakfast Every Hour

  11. r-LEE-b ~
    Hey, I like the fact that you linked today's installment to my blog bit on which you first commented, rather than just linking it to my current front page. Also, because I liked that particular blog bit I posted - "#1 Rule Of Selfhood". It's a rule most people still don't live by (including some persons in my own family).

    And I didn't remember that I was your first "Follower". It's good to be the ki--'s good to be number one!

    I have never seriously considered adding the AdSense because I'm afraid of which products would be advertised on my blogs. I don't think the blogger has any say-so, and what if some product I am morally opposed to gets pasted on my blog? Or what if I mention, say, diarrhea in a humorous blog bit (as I did once) and so I wind up with anti-diarrheal caplets advertised on my blog?

    Nah, not for me. I prefer to maintain ad-free and award-free blogs.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    Proud 2 B r-LEE-b's #1 Fall O'Er

  12. Great read....
    It's always interested to hear how other approach blogging.

  13. Arlee, Thanks for stopping by and letting me know about your blogging success and for mentioning me!

    One thing I'd like to mention for the pre-published folks is this -- I was on a blogging roll, until I became contracted with deadlines and had to begin promoting my book beyond the Web with physical book signings and speaking engagements. I still work a full-time job outside the home, so my advice is to build your online platform as much as you can BEFORE that first contract.

    I just had to leave a critique group that I couldn't keep up with anymore and I'm in the process of setting up beta test readers as a result. I now have endorsement requests from other published authors.

    I have to keep juggling and re-prioritizing things as I travel on this journey.


  14. It's so interesting to see how others have evolved and grown and changed. You've been doing something right-you have over 400 followers! Wow, impressive.

    I look forward to reading the rest of the history.

  15. Gregg-- If I've inspired anyone or helped them learn something new then I've accomplished something.

    Paula -- You're right. AdSense was my reason for coming to Blogger, but once here I discovered a higher purpose.

    Alex -- Thanks for stopping by.

    StMc -- That post was a favorite of mine because it expressed my sentiments so well. You are right about AdSense. It picks up key words and puts up ads according to what your words are. That's why I always put the word "Halloween" in all my initial posts.

    Andrew -- reading tips from others has been the way I've learned the most about blogging.

    Jennifer -- I understand exactly what you are saying. My blogging takes up a lot of time, but I look forward to the day when I am too busy to be doing very much blogging.

    Words Crafter -- I guess I've learned something about blogging.

  16. Very interesting, Lee! Thanks for sharing your experience. Looking forward to Monday's post.


  17. Doris -- Glad you're along for the ride.

  18. Hi Arlee,
    I am finding your Blogging history very interesting but I must admit that I am a bit jealous. I would love to have more time to Blog. It must take a lot of your time. Which is why I find it so GOOD!!!!!
    Love Di ♥

  19. Diana -- Yes it has been taking far too much of my time. Not so much the posting but the visiting and commenting part. Soon I will be posting less days which means I can spread out my time more. And I plan to take a break from the blogfests, which add followers, but at a tremendous cost of time.

  20. I've been enjoying this brief series on yuor history of blogging. Looking forward to Monday (and tomorrow's post too of course)


Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.