|This post contains a prompt response, a thoughtful personal musing and a 24 Hour Blog Question.|
I was reading a post last night, that Ashley – Mental Health @ Home created and published a few days ago on the 24th “What’s Less Popular on Your Blog… But You Publish Anyway?” It’s an excellent read and thought provoking too. I have had running through my mind for the last week or so the question l pose today and l initially saw Ashley’s question being answered on another blog a couple of days ago and instead of creating my own question that day in blog in a post, decided to think and ponder further on my question and answer Ashley’s question at the same time.
A couple of weeks ago, l had seriously contemplated deleting my blog, walking away and never to bother with blogging again … l find l feel this way a few times a year admittedly … a sort of ‘just press the destruct button’ syndrome or something. I am not entirely sure that it’ll not happen this year … but l struggle at times understanding my point and purpose with regards the question of ‘why do l actually blog in the first place’.
What actually pulled my attention was the opening gambit to Ashley’s question …
As bloggers, some of us write for ourselves, some of us write for our readers, and many of us do some combination of both. But what about when certain kinds of posts are less popular?Ashley – Mental Health @ Home
In that small paragraph to me and my eyes and mind there is not just one question, but two – the obvious question and the not so obvious one which is … do we really write for ourselves if we have a public blog?’ When l was going through my rough patch and pondering about deleting my blog, close friends reminded me that l write for myself first and foremost and yeah, this is only sort of true isn’t it? [This is NOT today’s question by the way]
But do we really ever write for ourselves first and foremost when we are writing in a blog that the eyes of the world view daily? Would we not be writing for ourselves personally more in a private blog not visible to anyone but us and if we were doing that .. why even bother with a blog? Why not just keep a diary, a journal a digital journal … if we are writing for ourselves first and foremost then in order to achieve that we must surely ONLY write for ourselves and not have our musings, thoughts and observations open to the world?
This is something l ask myself daily… ‘why do l actually blog in the first place’. I blog because l have something to say and l wish to share my thoughts with others .. l have stories l wish to tell and if others wish to read them – that’s brilliant. Do l write for myself only then? Nope, l write exclusively for others and when l do write for myself – l either tend to not have the post open to outside viewing or l write it privately on my desktop.
I certainly don’t create prompts for myself, as l have enough things to write about anyway … but in case my content alone is considered boring or my readership seeks out something more, then l create prompts – as this makes people think and their thoughts and reactions, make me think more.
Whilst the ‘whether l write for myself or others’ doesn’t necessarily answer Ashley’s posed question directly, indirectly it does … do you publish content on your blog that is not popular? Well yes and no, l have recently addressed this very topic in the mini-series Blog Changes 2BDUN42021 where l discuss how l feel about content not performing very well or it receives less favour than maybe it should.
For those of us who write both for ourselves and for our audiences, the issue might come up that certain types of content are less popular with your readers. So, what then? Do you keep publishing that kind of content, or do you shelve it?Ashley – Mental Health @ Home
Some of the prompts l have created in the past have received more favourable responses than others have … and l have been surprised at times at how some have performed really well/really badly in consideration to how the audience might feel about some things. Creative writing prompts do very well with personal bloggers in WordPress, game type prompts to do with words/letters and so on not that well at all which surprises me at times as single word or strings of three can elicit a much larger response.
Musical prompts do well and yet sometimes they are the hardest ones to sustain a following to … l find it strange at times that word games do badly, but music games comprising of lyrics do really well in comparison to music prompts which just look for themed responses.
It can be very hit and miss at times what works and what doesn’t. It is also l believe reflective upon outside influences, environmental and political conditions, climatic scenarios and distraction viewing response – aka, when people are looking to be distracted deliberately as opposed to it happening accidentally and also not forgetting cultural or society fads and trending topics all of which can make or break prompts from doing well or dropping quicker than the Hindenburg!
These days l tend to not allow some prompts too long a life or season’ unless they are truly deserving of it and have breath breathed into them with regular frequency by the readers. It can be at times a little upsetting to some readers who follow a prompt devoutly for the blogger to suddenly remove it because of lowered popularity and response which is why l will notify the readership when series are being dropped – and as well as pilot fresh new prompts first to begin with and continue to tweak to improve… but sometimes no matter how much love , care, time and attention you put into creating something – it doesn’t guarantee a long life let alone a runaway success … our world is moving too fast and people’s attention can wane and drain just as suddenly!
For 2021 many of the ‘prompt’ series will run on much shorter seasons of between 4 – 6 episodes only and then they will change or be placed on a backburner for a season or three whilst another series will start a short season. Some prompts like this one 24 Hour Blog Question which is now in Season 5 never really end, they run continuously…
But l think these days especially and l have noticed significant reading changes in the last 12 months alone, our readerships are very exacting and deliberate in their choices on content and prompt. Their interest levels can vanish at times overnight on certain prompts and other forms of content pending their overall mood and generalised personality swings … and what l take from that is to just keep watching how people react – the new policy l now administer to any prompts is quite simple – if it receives less than five responses for a period of three weeks – drop the season.
However, all that aside my question to you today is ….
Is It More Important To You To Be a Good Blogger , Or a Community Player Or … What?
What is more important to you as a blogger – is it to provide the best ‘blog you can to your readership and audience alike?’ Or is it to be a social butterfly and social communicator? Perhaps you are in the blogging sphere playing the ‘game’ itself as in to be an all rounder blogger – a writer, listener, commenter, friend, influencer, author, seller and so on…. so on that note …. what’s more important to you?
Let me know below in the comments.