Evolutionary Meme on Blogging
A little more than a year ago I had no intention to blog. I used to hear about blogs and blogging from people I knew but I used to think: How do these people find the time for this? In a few months this changed to: It’s great that these people find the time for this! This soon changed to: I wish I had the time for this. And then: I should make time for this. It sounds like fun.
But I was busy, and therefore decided I would simply type in my published articles. After all I did want them to reach a wider audience and as quite a few were on health I thought they would be helpful for some. And well, it was just the question of typing them in so it wasn’t any big deal I told myself.
That was how my blog was born. On Blogger. I used to type in about 1-2 published articles a day. But to my disappointment even after one month I wasn’t on the search engines! What was the use of a blog then? I didn’t know what was wrong and despite writing to “Support’ there was no reply.
A friend told me I should try WordPress. I imported all my stuff here and never regretted the decision. Because the very reason I wanted to blog (to reach an audience) was fulfilled within a week, maybe less. My blog was on the search engines. And plus there was the WordPress community.
I started to get visitors, a few at first – 10-15 and then more, and more. In a month or so I settled at 40-50 a day. Most readers did not leave comments but that was okay by me.
At that juncture blogging was all about getting familiar with posting, putting up photographs in the posts and making sure that my posts were looking right. I read a lot of ‘how to’ websites on blogging. I read Lorelle’s posts too. I was not focused on traffic or comments at the time, and often neglected to reply to comments. I just didn’t know what to say! It was kind of weird! I am not sure how long this phase lasted but it was quite a long time. The traffic count was steadily (if slowly) rising and I didn’t even look at the stats much, at times not for days. I just wanted to get everything right…I was finding editing and formatting posts a tough task and my pictures weren’t looking right. I was keen to post my own pictures and therefore went ahead and bought a good digital camera. Well, I had always wanted one but the blogging was an incentive.
My posts started changing gradually as I found that a lot of the articles I had written were outdated and could not be posted. I had started writing fresh posts…and before I knew it I was hooked! To writing fresh blog posts, something I had told myself I had no time for. I still have quite a few past articles which need to be typed in here but as of now I am so engrossed with writing fresh posts that I am not doing it. But I intend to…
And I started to enjoy reading comments. There is something quite wonderful about reading an appreciative note from an unknown person. Because by then I was clear why I was blogging, and wrote a post on that too. Writing all that down made me realise why I was enjoying myself so much.
True, I also encountered the dark side of the internet but I handled it. I read about how other bloggers had handled it. And I realised that the more popular a blog became and the more that one wrote on sensitive topics the higher the chances were of attracting abuse. Also many people are simply not familiar with Net Etiquette which in a nutshell means that you should say on the internet only what you would have the guts to say in real life. This also applies to blog posts by the way and well, I don’t rave and rant or abuse in my blog posts and expect the same civility from commentators. The fact that the net allows people to comment anonymously (some bloggers do not allow anonymous comments for this reason as abusers are invariably anonymous or have fake names.) makes abuse a greater possibility. Ofcourse, only a small percentage of those who are anonymous are abusive.
The third phase of blogging came after about 7-8 months when I started to get an increasing amount of visitors…and regular readers. True some readers/commentators disappeared for a while but that was fine with me. People lead busy lives. I was quite clear why I was blogging and making friends was not on the agenda. The fact that I did make internet friendships was just a huge bonus of blogging. In real life too friendship just happens, one doesn’t go out of one’s way to seek it. Maybe things have changed now with social networking sites, but where blogging is concerned I was very clear that social networking was less important than the work I was doing. Readers are all-important and not all of them are bloggers.
The increased traffic was a wonderful feeling and very motivating, but it was also a lot of pressure. I started to work harder at my posts…
And that is where I am today and even though blogging is taking up a lot of time, it’s worth it. Today I am here because you are.
Thank you all.
And by the way if you have been blogging for a year or more and you are reading this, consider yourself tagged. All voluntary ofcourse. 🙂