30 March, 2010

What does it take?

What does it take? Think about this. What does it take to get more readers? Get your story or opinions out there? Your work out there? What does it take to get more attention? What does it take to not make you feel like what you do on (or off) the internet is a waste of time? This question has been on my mind for weeks now: How can I expand this blog to more people?

First off, I would like to state that I have a pretty good idea of how to get more readers. I have read How-To blogs and what-not, but what I question is how some of these methods work (if they really do). I've made some observations of some craft/art blogs that I like to read that are more on the popular side. Some of these observations spring up some questions. I'm not going to name any names, and my inquiries and opinions are not intended to offend (if so) those more popular (by that I mean a huge following of readers/fans) blogs, up-and-coming blogs, or any of their methods.

Here are the questions:
1. Is this blog popular because of this crafter/writer's shop/product/art? Is it a good product and the blog adds icing to the cake, or perhaps the product is mediocre and now has a huge demand because of said popular blog?
2. Is it popular because it has designated blog topics to according days like a television sitcom? Just so then readers have something to look forward to read or to look at?
3. Is it the content (text not just photos) that makes the blog popular?
4. Is it the shortness or the frequent posting in one day making the blog popular?
5. Are posts consisting lists of photographs everyday (which basically make it a gallery) make it popular?
6. Is hosting giveaways some form of bribery/a cheap way to get more traffic/make blog more popular?
7. If the post tells a personal story and seems a tad too long to hold a reader's attention going to hurt potential popularity?
8. Is it the look of the layout of the blog that keeps readers?
9. Does posting everyday (or multiple posts in one day) going to ensure popularity? How will every post be read or how will readers keep up?
10. If every post appears to have the same context, how does it keep its readers? Especially when the post feels like you're being pushed ideals, styles, or trends onto yourself? Or does/can it start to feel a little pretentious after a while?

Now I think I can fairly say that not many people will respond to what I'm saying and I do have the chance to rant and rave about my opinions, but the point of this is to promote discussion. Surely this post is going to be "lengthy" and a lot of people are just going to "stay away." Some of my questions are pointed at specific blogs, and some are just in general. I only bring them up because I'm curious if others feel the same as I do. I have to think of my purpose for even having this blog, and you should think of your purpose for your blog (if you have one).

My purpose for this blog is to give me something more constructive to do with my time. I have a lot of time on my hands and when I do choose to spend my time on the computer I don't want to waste it. To be fair, I'm pretty damn sure that a good chunk of my computer time is wasted time. I also have this blog to inspire others and myself. I want it to do nothing but provide a positive and creative tone to expand everyone's outlook on life.

Any published blog that is not set to private mode is going to want readers. A blog can be seen as a diary and some people use it exactly like a diary, though the writer wants or hopes for some kind of response, input, or validation for the day's post unlike a handwritten post in a book that can't talk back.

Some trends or rituals I've observed from some popular blogs (like the designated topics for certain days) kind of rub me the wrong way, especially when I get the feeling it's like a TV commercial or magazine ad. Now I am a big supporter of helping other artists get their name out there, but it just gets to a point where the excitement and mystery of the blog disappears. Don't you think? Some of these trends get taken too far, and when you want your blog to get bigger you might find yourself replicating what others do but according to your taste and style. You're basically a copy, but you're trying your darndest to be different. So then how the hell do you expect to get more readers/followers?

Or what about multiple postings in one day? The only thing that tells me is that the blog writer is (A.) either obsessed with the internet (or themselves) or (B.) they experience multiple bouts of boredom. Also the content of the post or the entire blog can tell you that as well. A blog can be personal and it can give you a sneak peek of a stranger's life, but if it somehow does not benefit the online community (like introducing a new artist/idea/project or making the reader feel good), then what is the point? I wonder what the point of a blog is when I already know what the next post is going to be about. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if the writer is experiencing a case of narcissism/inflating ego -- especially if they use the program formspring.

I know that I can go on and on about what annoying things some blogs do, and I know what you're probably thinking. Why do you bother reading them then? I'll tell you that some of the blogs I do read occasionally have a gem post that provides some benefit to me or an artist, but I read them so then I know what NOT to do.

All I want to promote is good content that engages the readers and hold the attention. I wish for all blogs to post what they want, not what is expected out of them. I think it's a good thing to not be trendy when it comes to the look of your blog or what you want to share with the world. The internet doesn't need hundreds of blogs that post/look the same.

Sure, that might provide some struggle to expand the blog to more people when it's hard to keep a potential reader's attention when they can so easily click away to another site in one second. It'll be exceptionally harder when most of those readers are thinking if your blog is worth the attention by looks alone before they actually read any of your content. It's a sad thing that everyone's attention span shortens dramatically on the internet. Does it make it right to alter the way you want to express yourself just because of that? Absolutely not.

Before I add on to make this post even longer, I just hope that someone reads this all the way through (even if it's just one person) and wonder or think about what I have shared. I want to know if people agree or maybe even disagree. Let me have it. I'm curious to know how everyone feels about blogging and expanding.

<3 J.Loo


  1. first of all: i read it all. second of all: thank you very much for this post! i think about things like this a lot and i think you're spot on in your analysis. internet killed my ability to read anything of lenght, but google reader killed my ability to read at all! i have tons of blogs in my reader but i only skim through and hardly ever read any content, i just look at the pictures. i want to get better at actually reading the blogs i like, and become better at writing/posting more entries of value myself, we'll see hot that'll go but the will is there at least.

  2. I had that same problem too! I followed a lot of blogs that either posted a lot of pictures, videos, or stories and I would skip some of them so I could hurry and finish reading the rest of them. I asked myself, why do I bother following this person if I don't even give them a chance? So I went through my google reader and read/looked at everything. Then I asked myself what was it about this blog that had me follow them in the first place. The last thing I asked myself is that do I have the attention span to give to this person? As sad this is to say it, I had to delete some blogs off my list because of my lack of commitment. But why would I need to do that? It isn't the blog writer's fault, it's the fact that the internet shortens my attention span (and it's not even that short).

    I'm glad that you read it all the way through. Thank you.