When I first started blogging again back in February, I got a total of 171 hits the first month. The next month I got 350, then 1,400, then 6,900 then nearly 10,000. Things were looking good for my blog. Up until last week, I was getting 350-450 hits a day; not particularly impressive in today’s fast-paced digital world, but I was feeling pretty good about the direction things were going. I worked hard. I listened to all of WordPress’ blogging tips and increased my readership through shameless self-promotion (Facebook posts), telling my friends and family about my blog (e-mailing harassing messages on a daily basis), commenting on other interesting/inspiring WordPress blogs and writing daily, even if I really didn’t feel like it or had nothing in particular to say (see my search term posts). But my biggest helper was Google. Google search was faithfully delivering 200-250 hits a day and times were good. Sure, most of those hits pertained to Colombian men or came in the form of pervy-types drawn to my pictures of Blonde in a Thong or Man in a Thong (whatever floats your boat) but I didn’t care. I only cared that at the end of the day Google was delivering.
And then Google abandoned me. I hit rock bottom yesterday: 81 hits TOTAL for the day. That’s like 300 less than I was getting just seven or eight days ago! I’ll admit, the decline of my blog was partially my fault. I stopped writing everyday (in my defense, working a full-time job really drains your creativity). I stopped commenting on other people’s blogs on a consistent basis (You have to Get What You Give, after all) and it’s been FIVE days since I’ve posted a link to my blog on Facebook or sent my friends/family members pushy emails commanding them to read my blog and click around to their heart’s desire. So there are a few things I could do to improve my blog’s bleak situation. But it’s mostly Google’s fault. Just last Wednesday, Google delivered 191 separate search term hits to my blog. Yesterday Google delivered a paltry 37. What’s up with that, Google? Why the sudden and cruel change of heart?
I know that when you blog you’re supposed to blog about things people actually want to read about. I accept that as part of modern life. So yesterday I decided it was time to embrace this philosophy and checked out Google trends. What I discovered was that what people want to read about is (in no particular order): Aaron Hernandez, Miley Cyrus, stock market trends, the Egyptian revolution, Usher’s baby mama, twerking, sinkholes in Florida and Mila Kunis’ 30th birthay. In the end, this exercise in market trends was completely useless because I don’t want to write about any of these things. I want to read about them yes, but other people can write about them in a much more interesting way than I can. What I want to write about is Katherine Hepburn’s fake movie accent, my extremely disappointing paycheck, What one should do when feeling suburban, My creepy new glasses, and International and local mysteries. (<— See that savvy marketing going on right there???)
Now, I understand I will probably never become one of those bloggerista extraordinnairers who gets to abandon her 9-5 job to write all day. I am not a mommy blogger, a DIY blogger, a politics blogger, a happy blogger, a depressed blogger, an inspirational blogger, a pop culture blogger, an urban blogger, a suburban blogger, a marriage blogger, a single-lady-in-the-city blogger, an excercise/wellness blogger, a literary blogger, a city-guide blogger, a vegetarian blogger or food blogger. My blog is disastrously, annoyingly unfocused and largely uninteresting to the majority of the population, except for my Mom (my number one fan and most loyal reader) and my sister (she’s always the first to “like” my blog-related Facebook posts). Sometimes I feel like writing about D.C, sometimes the suburbs, other times cultural themes, wellness, self-improvement, my own stupidity or just daily observations. I know that eventually, if I actually want to garner a decent readership I’m going to have to eventually focus this thing, but it’s so hard when there are so many interesting things in the world to write about! In the meantime I really do hope that Google starts liking me again and begins delivering the hits the way it used to.
So here’s to getting back into the swing of writing on a daily basis, commenting on other blogs and blograssing my Gmail and Facebook community with newfound vigour. And to keeping my fingers crossed that people start searching for all things Colombian-man and thong-related once again.
This blogging world is cut-throat and ever-changing. I guess it’s time to finally change my mindset. I’m the kind of person who always thought you worked hard toward a goal until you got to a point where you achieved semi-permanent stability and success. But that point doesn’t really exist anymore; this isn’t the 1950s; we live in a world now where you constantly have to adapt, change, reorganize, create, innovate and improve just to maintain your tenuous grasp on “success,” because if you don’t, someone else will. It’s a tough world for the lazy. But the good news is that today is a beautiful, no-humidity, crystal-clear sunny day with projected highs in the seventies.