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Where I blog about blogging

by John on January 12th, 2012

When I started this blog, I wasn’t really sure what direction I would take. I mean, I knew that I’d write about boobs living healthily, because the commitment that I made to myself about “being healthier” was a serious one.

But, outside of that, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do.

Well, I wanted an avenue where I could “be myself,” and let people come & go, as they please. The aspect of blogging that I really, really enjoy is putting myself out there, and then interacting with those readers who felt some connection with what I had written. At the same time, I enjoy reading what others put out there, and letting the original author know just how their piece affected me.

The past few months have shown some new things for my blog, however. I’ve had posts that thousands of visitors have visited. I’ve had giveaway offers. The number of people who visit, and interact, regularly has grown.

I’m truly enjoying this, but it’s lead me to stop to think. I never expected to be a “big blogger,” and, quite frankly, I don’t think I ever want to be a “big blogger.”1

When I stop by a blog post, and I see that hundreds of people have already commented . . . well, I’m quite hesitant to comment, myself, even if the post spoke to me. I try to put time into each & every comment that I leave . . . I don’t want to just say “I liked this” (though, sometimes, there isn’t much more to say than that), but rather I want to tell a story of something similar that might have happened to me, or something this post reminded me of, or just post a lame dick joke. My hope is to, possibly, foster follow-up conversation, as it’s commonly those conversations that the best blog fodder comes from2.

But then I think about some of my more-commented-upon blog posts, how I’ve read each & every comment (even if it took me several days to get to them), and visited the blogs of new commenters, just to see what they might have been writing.

All of this is my very long-winded way of saying that I really appreciate each of “you regulars” and I really like writing this blog.

But, there are a few posts that have been on my mind lately. The first is my Mugswap 2011 partner at Letters for Lucas, where she wonders aloud about why she loses followers when she writes about loss.

While I’m in the “comments are currency” blogging camp, well, there is a little bit of an ego boost every time you see that someone new has decided to subscribe to the words you’re writing. And, at the same time, there’s a little bit of disappointment when you see that someone no longer wishes to receive your words, automatically.

The thing is, well, to Tonya and anyone else who I read regularly, I your readers want to read what you want to write. Take a lesson from Shell and pour your heart out in your blog posts. We all want to get to know one-another a little bit better, and, well, if I were reading what I thought you thought I wanted to read3 . . . well, it just wouldn’t feel right to me.

Next, Kris lamented that she didn’t have ten posts lined up at her new blog. I was a bit flabbergasted when I read that, though . . . see, I’ve re-launched my blog four times, I think. Each time, I have grand plans for a posting schedule, but I’m never thinking beyond “the next post.” Am I going about this wrong? I mean, if you ever talk to The Midget Man of Steel, he has months of posts lined up & ready to go. I truly, truly envy that . . . I mean, typically, I think of a post topic on the way to work, organize it as I’m driving, and then write it as I take my laptop to the bathroom in small windows, throughout the day.

Ok, so this was a whole lot of words to say “I’m thankful that you’re my readers, even if I have no clue what the hell I’m doing.”

1 Despite my physical size, which is probably 2 1/2 times the size of the average blogger, I am not a “big blogger.”
2 When I’m really, really busy, I can’t find any time to blog . . . but, well, I type really fast and I can usually organize my thoughts fairly well. Writing a new post doesn’t take me all that long to do . . . however, coming up with the topic for a post sometimes is really difficult.
3 Wasn’t this a Friend’s episode?

From → Blogging

  1. I really, really enjoy your blog. It seems so much more personal because there is no constant theme. Some days it’s boobs, others about running and exercise or your family.

    I’m glad I found it. And you.

    I never know what the hell I’m going to post either. Which explains the big gaps, but that’s how life is, sometimes. Big gaps of nothing.

    • Thanks, Jessica!

      With the “big gaps of nothing,” I find the same . . . life has lots of those . . . every now & then, I feel the need to push through those, to post something, but if it’s not something that I find informative or humorous or entertaining or helpful (in short, if it’s not some of my best writing), I just don’t bother.

  2. Thanks for the link ๐Ÿ™‚ The hardcores say you should have 10 posts written before you launch and it seems like good sense but I’ve never worked that way. Write by the seat of my pants, that’s how I roll.

    As for why you might lose followers when you post about hard topics, not everyone can handle that, it maybe hits too close to home.

    • Writing by the seat of my pants might as well be my motto.

      I, honestly, have grand plans for “writing ahead,” but I’m nowhere near patient enough to pull off something like that.

  3. I to like your blog because it’s more personal. I don’t like the blogs where it’s always the same thing. Or they do all those reviews and then maybe one little personal post. I like how you never know where your mind is going to go. I say keep up the awesomeness.

  4. First off, I also write a lot about boobs on my site lately. What does this mean?

    Second, I love your comments and appreciate their hilarity and thoughtfulness!

    Third, keep on…keep on truckin’. What movie is that from?

    • I’d say, if you’re writing about boobs a lot, you probably need to write more . . . get it all out of your system. Turn your blog into The Flying Chalupa, and the Mini-Chimi, and Boobs!

      Or something like that.

      Keep on Truckin’? I know it from The Dead, and I know it from a godawuful 70’s musical about people’s professions, and, I think, by Frank the Tank to his soon-to-be-ex in Old School

  5. Are we supposed to know what the hell we’re doing? Uh-oh.

    Everytime I hear the term “big blogger” I think someone is accusing someone else of needing to go on a diet.

    I read every single comment that I get on my posts. I try to reply to all of them, though sometimes I just return the visit… and sometimes I get days behind on this, but I still try!

    • Well, if knowing what we’re doing is a prerequisite, I think I’m destined to fail blogging 101.

      And, I’m pretty sure that I’m “the biggest blogger” out there.

  6. Comments are an enigma!

    I post almost daily, have pretty consistent traffic and this post has more comments on it than most of mine. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m planning a redesign in the future and am looking for a way to integrate commenting so it is more inviting to readers. I’d love to hear any ideas on how to increase blog comments.

    • I will say that commenting is what makes blogging “work” for me.

      If you need any help with the redesign, by all means, ask away. I’ll complete the redesign here . . . some day . . .

  7. I have to tell you, sometimes I actually HATE having that many posts written because it puts you into a writing lull that’s very difficult to get out of. Then, inspiriation strikes and I’ll pump out 10 at a time.

    When I started my blog, I wrote EVERY DAY. It not only became exhausting, but I found that my storytelling didn’t lend itself to an everyday read. It became too exhausting for my readers. Thus, came the pictures and the staggered schedule.

    I’m out til May right now. No shit. But only because I’ve been inspired lately and keep pushing things out.

    It is what it is. You write well. People will stick.

    Thanks for the link, sexy man! If I swung that way I’d be totally all up in your leg hairs.

    No idea what that means.

    • You know, I wasn’t fishing for compliments, but thank you.

      And you are far more patient than I am . . . because if I pumped out 10 posts in a day . . . my readers would get 10 posts that day. I fall way too in love with my writing that I can ever hold back on what I’ve posted.

  8. Big blog, huh. I certaintly don’t have that. I have like 3 commenters. But then again, I do write whatever I feel like I hafta to get out of me.

    Well not really.

    I write 25% of what I think of to write. It’s just to take the edge off so I don’t explode. Everyone writes for whatever reason they write. Do whatcha wanna do.

    • Yeah, I write what I need to – just to release the steam . . . sometimes, I get more out than is absolutely necessary, and it’s wonderful, but it never takes long for the pressure to build back up.

  9. We have SO much in common, John. The feelings you express here are similar to my own, which is part of why I love seeing your posts in my inbox. (as I read them on my iPhone in the bathroom at work.)

    I too don’t want to become so “big” in blogging that I don’t respond to comments or have time to read other blogs. I do want my blog to grow, but not at the expense of my super awesome readers.

    10 posts ready to publish? Like in advance? That’s wild. Cool idea, but wild. I’ll never be able to do that. EVER. I am a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kinda girl. My process is a lot like yours, except I dictate to myself using the recorder on iPhone. Weird, but it’s the only way for me to get my crazy thoughts down. Keep up the great writing and I’ll keep reading.

    • Yeah, the “huge readership” and “relaxed and regular interaction with the superawesome readers” is a delicate balance.

      I actually type faster than I can speak . . . I really wonder what dictating a post on my iPhone would yield.

  10. This is it in a nutshell: “I wanted an avenue where I could โ€œbe myself,โ€ and let people come & go, as they please”

    Perfectly put, John.

    My blog is my space and if I can’t share my inner most thoughts then I don’t want any followers at all. For me it’s about being open and honest and connecting with others that are either going through something similar or that can teach me something.

    I don’t need 9000 followers or comments, just a handful does me right.

    Thanks for the shout out, glad to be of inspiration (for lack of a better word). ๐Ÿ™‚

    • As long as the people who come by seem to know me & seem interested in my posts, I’m as happy as a pig in mud.

      Thank you, Tonya, for your post.

  11. I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to write for tomorrow.

    So, I get it.

    Here’s to pantsing, writing from the heart, and boobs.

    Wait, what?

    • I actually know what I’m going to write about tomorrow. This is terribly exciting for me.

      I really hope I find the time to write what I’ve been hoping to write all week….

      And, yes, always, to boobs.

  12. The only reason I don’t like your blog is that it gets stuck in my head…all damn day. Instead of country music winging about my life it’s you writing about it. (With the exception of me falling through decks and being a dude.) So than you for getting stuck in my head every time you blog.

    • In the very, very near future, I’ll be writing about strippers. And tater tots. And I just wrote a guest post about blow jobs & baseball.

      And, as I said before, I like being stuck in your head :-p

  13. Blogging is such a strange thing. I started at the encouragement of a friend, but found that I use it mostly as an online journal with a bit of this and that thrown in that does interest people, like occasional race reports and stuff about Disney (hey I live 25 miles away)….I dont expect my blog to be that popular, but I admit, I do get totally excited by well thought out comments and meeting new “regulars” in the blogosphere….who knew!

    • I should really post more about Hershey, because I’m so very close.

      And, yeah, there’s an absolute thrill with meeting a new “regular.”

  14. I do think that the pour your heart out type posts are the best. I write them on occasion but not always. They take a lot out of me. But I do always read all of the comments I get, respond to them as well as visit back so that I can see what the other person has to say. I was sad when I saw that Tonya losses followers when she writes about her parents.

    • Yeah, that Tonya loses followers when she writes about loss made me sad . . . but, you’re right, those “pour your heart out” posts are the ones that keep me lurking around the blogosphere.

  15. So glad this wasn’t a blogging “how-to” or I might have had to click away. Not because I know everything, but unless the blog is specific to social media stuff I get so sick of blogging tips. Probably, because like you, I haven’t really followed them. This is the only week ever that I have had my posts planned out beyond a day and it felt awesome. Though I know next week I will go back to the “fuck it” method. I love your comments John and I know I don’t always comment back, but it’s just a balancing act. Keep doing what you’re doing and we will continue to come. That wasn’t dirty.

    • I have a plan to start a Techie-Tuesday post, where I’ll talk about some of the more technical aspects to blogging, like writing your own HTML & stuff . . . but for tips about blogging, yeah . . . the only thing I got is “pray you get pinterested, because that makes for boatloads of hits.”

  16. You write very frankly about things other people probably wouldn’t, like falling off a deck, and have a way of taking things that aren’t funny, like falling off a deck, and finding humor in it or (maybe this is a better way of saying it) turning something scary like that or something maybe not intrinsically interesting (like running…”left foot, right foot, left foot…etc.) into a good yarn by remembering so many details. You’re just a good storyteller. Keep it up!

    • Yeah, I’m a big into “paint awkward with humor” and let it fly . . . for the most part, it works.

  17. I like, and appreciate, you right back. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. I’ve always thought of you as a ‘big’ but very grounded blogger who is extremely personable. Go with it. You deserve it. Your posts are from the heart, always.

  19. Let me tell you what…I just write crap and if people comment…SWEET.

    I have no idea how many blog followers or subscribers I have. I have no idea how many people read each day. I have given up on montenizing (other than my Blogher ads which have been up for a couple months now and I have seen nothing).

    I just write a blog.

    Because that was my original plan.

    I’m going back to my roots, yo.

    Also? I dig your writing, so there’s that.

    • Yay for digging of writing!

      I keep on thinking about trying to monetize something here . . . but I really think I can do better in services, so, you know, once I find the spare 6-8 hours a day that it might take, I’ll offer low-priced blogging solutions or something.

      And, yeah, I just write . . . and get very happy when people comment.

  20. I’m glad to have found your blog. (Through Shell, by the way – don’t we love her?)

    And the footnotes on this? Brilliance. Who’d a thunk footnotes in a blog post would be so appropriate!

    • Yes, we love Shell ๐Ÿ™‚

      With the footnotes . . . I have to admit that I stole the idea from Dave Barry . . . in his History of the United States, he used clever footnotes . . . and I’ve just kind of run with it.

  21. I feel the same way about commenting on the big blogs. I skim and read them quickly while my favorites that I choose to comment on because it’s like talking to a friend can sometimes pile up. I don’t like to skim and not comment. So forgive me when last week’s post is just getting commented on.

    You are a wonderful writer. I’m so glad to read all your new stuff!

    • I’m glad to have you reading – as I like reading yours!

      But, I’m the same way, where things get piled up . . . I make note of my favorites, that I didn’t get to on the day they posted, that look interesting . . . and I hate skimming a blog post.

      In a perfect world, I’d spend hours, every day, between my blog & those whose blogs I love to read.

  22. This is pretty much exactly why I’ve never initiated “analytics” at my blog (I don’t even know if that’s the right way to put it).

    I am ignorant about how many pages views I get or the amount of time someone stays on a post or which pieces bring more traffic than another.

    I knew I’d become obsessed. Or get my heart broken. Or both.

    I don’t want to know which posts are more popular or loved because I love them all and I don’t want to be driven toward a specific direction simply to please others (which I would do because I’m a pleaser).

    Of course I want to make my readers happy; gain their subscriptions; maintain their support. But ultimately, I have to be happy with the product myself.

    Otherwise, what’s the point?

    P.S. This is easy for me to say, because I haven’t monetized my place. I’m not beholden to traffic which I know is a major issue for people trying to bring in revenue. It must be tremendously stressful. Or perhaps rewarding. I don’t know.

    • Yeah, if I’m not happy with my writing, I don’t want to publish it . . . whether or not it would get readers.

      I remember, not too long ago, when @mommywantsvodka wrote about “you don’t owe the internet anything.” She was talking about the fact that you have to be you, you’re not writing for your readers, and you can’t fret when your readers don’t like something, or think you need to post more, or need to write specific posts.

      While the post was a slam dunk, I couldn’t help but think “well, I do owe the Internet my best writing . . . ”

      And, yeah, I’d stress, constantly, if my blog were a source of income . . . even if it were just to buy a postage stamp every month.

  23. Blogging about blogging is so existential ๐Ÿ˜‰ I try to have a nice line-up of posts, or at least post ideas, but I’m floundering right now. I shall post about that, Wednesday. And having that idea makes me feel better somehow.

    • I need to get Skyping more often, because I get the best ideas for posts when I’m chatting with you ladies.

      And, yeah, once I figure out what I want to write, my blog becomes a huge adventure, rather than something that “needs attention.”

  24. When I think of you, I think of one of the two most selfless commenters I’ve met:

    I won’t mention the other one: but you are always there, you truly read the post, and you encourage.

    You are a very special person.

    Anyone whose life involves you: virtual or real, is richer for it.

    Thank you, for the kindness and TIME your comments show.

    I wish I had more time: I don’t know how people do it.

    But I wish I somehow had more time to comment on the blogs I enjoy.

    I enjoy your writing: and because of your comments, I feel a loyalty to you. Even with that, it’s hard to make the visits.

    I think I have adult ADD. But won’t be making an assessment appointment anytime soon, really don’t want the confirmation.:)


    • While I think I might know the other commenter, I won’t mention names here. I will say, though, that I like being “one of the two best” because of a silly sports anecdote I once heard. I don’t remember the source, but, to paraphrase, the athlete said “I’ll never believe I’m the best at anything – I’m always the second best . . . there’s someone out there that will make me want to do everything better.”

      I’m always hoping to be a better blogger & better blog-reader . . . so even if you said “you are the most selfless commenter I ever met,” well, I’d go right back & think “nope, I’m the second best” so that I never stopped trying to be better.

      And I truly wish I had more time to read. And comment. And write. And drink coffee.

  25. You know I relate. A lot. Blogs, like their writers, grow, change, have ups, have downs. And, like people, sometimes you LOVE your own blog, and sometims you don’t know what to do with it. The best part, always, though is the people who hang out, read, comment and allow to go through the growing pains (or the hiatus pains) and whathaveyou.

    • Sometimes, you need a good hiatus to make you remember how much you enjoy blogging . . . and, what I’ve found is, when you’re putting out good content, well, people won’t ever mind a hiatus or two.

  26. I’m thankful you’re out there too, you’re one of my ultra favorites. And, yeah, I’m always weirded out when I discover the post I’m reading was secretly written a while before – I’m always scrambling to finish mine before I hit post!

    • I’m, usually, so excited to finish a post that I don’t bother reading it for accuracy before I hit publish. So, I click the button, and Twitter picks it up, and Facebook picks it up . . . and I’m working behind the scenes, adding & removing commas, changing tense, fixing awkward wording, praying that not too many people see it, in it’s “unclean” state.

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