“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.
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.