Where am I going with this blog? Well firstly let me give you a history lesson in my blogging journey so far and then I will pick up the question that has just been posed.
I am entering my sixth year blogging yet I have nothing to show for my efforts. During the last five years, I have set up numerous personal blogs firstly on Blogger then the rest on WordPress. In-between those sites came a number of my niche sites writing about football. Add several social media accounts to go with those sites as well as email addresses not to mention a couple of different self hosting sites and you get a very mixed up picture. Why nothing to show for it, I hear you ask?
Well the problem with me appears to be the first sign of coming up against a brick wall and I chuck in the towel. If any of you have blogged for longer than five minutes you will have encountered the same issues as I.
Lack of views and follows on the blog. Whilst you really should not get hung up on the statistics (unless you want to earn money on a blog), WordPress`s dashboard kindly opens on the stats page so you cannot get away from seeing how few people have clicked on your site. You cannot help but feel that within a short space of time, those views should start increasing. Despite me telling myself that it is a marathon and not a sprint, I cannot help but get dismayed after six months my views have stagnated in the tens and not hit the hundreds per post. Yet I know that blogging is not an instant success and can take years and lots of hard work to get anywhere but that nagging doubt still surfaces soon enough.
Lack of interaction on social media. I have set up Facebook pages previously which have mainly been followed by my friends and family, which is nice of them however, my expectation was for those people to read every post I wrote, liked and commented on how good my posts were! When speaking to my friends in person, they would always comment on how much they liked my posts, yet that was never really reflected in notifications on social media. In the world of algorithms, you need people to click on the links and share because especially where Facebook is concerned, the post is usually only shown to around 25% of your followers. This is not good for small bloggers who need as much exposure as possible, but sadly these social media giants want you to pay for that privilege and reducing your exposure for not stumping up the cash is one way to get you to stump up cash.
One thing I enjoy is linking in with fellow bloggers and following their blogs. Sitting down with a coffee and reading other blogs in a morning is enjoyable, however finding blogs that I can relate to can be difficult. I have made the error of following niche’s that I have no interest in whatsoever like women writing about lifestyle, make up and young babies. It is difficult to find men like me who write about bits and pieces of their lives and not about getting the perfect body, beard care or daddy day care. Whilst many of those bloggers were very helpful, sharing and promoting my work, sadly we never had anything in common and my WordPress reader or social media newsfeeds were full of information I had no interest in. Thus making me want to walk away rather than tweak things.
I know the only person to blame is myself. I know all the pitfalls, errors I’ve made which makes you think I would be better at all of this by now, but sadly not.
I have great ideas yet I lack the time or motivation sometimes to execute those ideas. Realistically, if you wish to write good quality posts at regular intervals and have a strong social media presence, it takes patience and a hell of a lot of time, which I do not have. Many times I have thought if I was retired for instance, then my days would be spent on my blog and growing it. Yet when juggling full time work, a family, other hobbies and chores sadly the blog gets bumped down the pecking order and bang go any ideas of progress.
So back to the original question Where am I going with this blog?
Well, I would like it to go far with lots of quality posts, engagement and a good social media presence too. By that I mean that regular viewers, engaging on the site and on social media therefore creating a nice little online environment for me to enjoy with others. I am not after retiring and earning a living from the blog but some degree of regular interaction would be nice.
You only get out what you put in! This is where I accept I need to shrug off any defeatist attitude and knuckle down for the next year or two and stick things out. Not to rip things up only to start again a fresh six months later and losing all those original followers. I am often envious of those people who have the same site from years ago and are still writing away. Just think, after five years how much content I would have had on my site and what great relationships I may have grown?
So this time I have set up a blog twitter account and I am considering paying for a professional domain name and go self hosted. I am searching for like minded blogs to follow and thinking of good content to write. Rather than getting ahead of myself, the plan should be to do little and often and grow slowly. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Wish me luck.
If you think I would like your blog, send me a link to your site and I will take a look. You never know, it could be the start of a wonderful (online) relationship!