Blogging Insights NF # 56

Successful blogging is not about one time hits. It’s about building a loyal following over time.

— David Aston

I don’t know who David Aston is, but that’s a pretty solid, reasonable statement.

A lot of people — especially youngsters — start blogging without much sense of commitment. If they don’t see a boom in followers pretty fast, they quit. Since many of them never had a commitment to blogging anyway, it’s no surprise. In defence of all those people who try it for a few weeks or months and then quit, I was a very sporadic blogger when I was still working and went for long periods of not doing it at all. Getting really involved in blogging is a significant engagement of time and talent and if you are young, working, with a family and a social life, it can be more than you are “up for.” Retirement is a great time for bloggers!

Not everyone feels a need for a big following. Many bloggers have a small following and are very comfortable with them. Really, no matter how many people are supposedly your followers, you aren’t going to hear from most of them. They aren’t exactly lurkers. Often they were more active in the past but after a while, drift away and only visit once in a while and only comment rarely.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

I used to comment on everything when I did almost nothing except blog, but times change. We change. We get sick, we get better. Close family needs our attention, maybe all our attention. Our interests change. Sometimes bunches of things change at the same time — and all of these things alter how we relate to blogging. Unless we are running a subscription newsletter, hobby blogging is exactly that: a hobby. Our compulsion to keep doing it ebbs and flows. I suspect this is pretty normal.

I’ve been blogging for more years than any job I worked. My interests have also changed from when I began in 2012. I have to make a daily choice between writing, photography, and drawing. Right now, drawing has been losing the battle. Why? Because drawing takes more time than everything else put together.

Even a relatively simple drawing takes me at least half a day to complete. And after all that effort, I may discover I don’t like it. I realized I could not do everything I want to do at the same time. Because in addition to writing, photography, drawing, processing and editing, there’s also baking, cooking and cleaning — and being with people I care about. There aren’t enough hours.

I’ve been blogging for a long time. I have not wanted to write as much recently. The big wide world has gotten strange and hard. There is little comfort in it. However fervently I believe caring for Earth’s creatures, woods, and waterways — and however much I loathe the people who are trying to take this democracy and turn it ugly, I need to pull away from the politics and the intensity. I need to breathe.

Blogging long-term requires commitment and patience, but life requires commitment and patience too. Balancing the threads in your life can be incredibly complicated especially when you want to do it all and know you can’t.

Categories: #Blogging, #Photography, #Writing, Anecdote

Tags: , , , ,

17 replies

  1. Everything you write here is – for me – another reason of Why I don’t have (nor want) my own blog. I try to stay in contact with the few bloggers I’ve subscribed to and to be a ‘good friend’ by commenting, voicing my views and that’s enough for me. I would miss ppl like you if you stopped writing but even worse would be NOT to be informed if you stopped blogging for any reason. I learned from virtual friends death on Flickr – again, through other photographer’s connections to those shared contacts and me…. sometimes months later, even years, and in some cases, never.


  2. I blog because it gives me the discipline of expectation. Without the blog, my writing would be sporadic, unfocused, and mostly postponed. Your blog and others provide good writing, photography, insight, humor, observation that doesn’t exist anywhere else. I’m grateful for your blog and mine and all the others. We say things. We write.


    • I believe that writing helps keep us mentally alert and a lot more focused. If I was just writing for me, it wouldn’t need to make it sharp or even bother to edit it. Also, after all those years of writing professionally, I don’t think I’d find “writing for myself” particularly satisfying. I don’t need to get paid, but I need to have someone besides me read it. Minimally, I need some feedback.

      I think blogging has made retirement less retired, more thoughtful, more intelligent and current. If I wasn’t blogging, I wouldn’t have a center for my activities. Even when I get stressed trying to get everything done, I know that it is blogging that kept my brain working and hopefully will continue to do that in years to come. ‘

      It may not pay with money, but there’s definitely payback.


  3. You’re so right about the need to juggle and find the right balance, and yes, with changing priorities comes a shift in that balance. When I started my blog just over two years ago we were in the midst of the pandemic, I’d just retired and was looking for something fresh to do. Now blogging is no longer fresh and I have far more options as to how to spend my time, but blogging has become a core part of my life, for now at least. That may change – certainly expanding our opportunities to travel will mean enforced periods of silence. But that may be no bad thing. My regular followers will get a break and the ‘lurkers’ probably won’t even notice!


    • I’ve cut down on how much I post, but I need to write because that’s what I do. The problem is, I also need to take pictures, draw, clean, cook, and occasionally do something fun that has nothing to do with my blog. But blogging makes retirement feel less retired and more focused. I also think writing helps keep your brain working.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You’ve said it so well Marilyn. I still miss a few bloggers who were very regular but disappeared without any explanation.


    • I prefer when people at least say “good bye” so I know they are still alive. The problem is, in my age groups, many of them may NOT be alive. Funny how we slithered from being “baby boomers” into being “aging boomers” with nary a weekend break.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, an explanation would be greatly appreciated.


        • Sometimes, there is no one with access to the blog who can give an explanation. And sometimes, people just close up shop for reasons they don’t care to explain. But yes, an explanation makes it go down easier.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’ve given a friend of mine access to my blog and my daughter for my Facebook account. A friend of mine died a few years ago of cancer and her Facebook account was active for quite some time afterwards. It’s distressing to get notifications of birthdays of a person who’s passed on.


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