Once again I’m questioning if blogging is a worthwhile use of my time. Like a bit of technical deja vu, I swear I’ve been here before, haven’t I?
Obviously, the last time I went though this I simply kept plugging away at the blog, but as of late, I’ve been feeling like my stats are dwindling to record lows.
Turns out, they’re not! My May 2019 “visit” numbers were slightly higher than they were in May 2018, which were higher than May 2017. So, why do I feel like this is an utterly pointless endeavor lately?
How do I say this without seeming whiny or needy?
Bloglandia doesn’t seem to like me.
Okay, let me clarify that thought. It seems like a few months ago, each post was gaining a fair number of likes (nothing to make the WordPress algorithm gasp, but enough to make me happy) and comments were flying in at a steady rate.
Basically, blogging felt worthwhile. It was enjoyable getting to “converse” with readers. Now that the conversation has mostly stopped, it doesn’t seem as fun.
Lately, my likes have dropped off and I’m almost startled when I get the rare comment. I don’t think I’ve done anything different. I like and comment on other blogs as much as I ever did, I post regularly, and I do all those things that WordPress recommends. But I’m still feeling no bloggy love.
So what’s the deal?
My first thought was this was due to my “recycling” of content – something which I do feel guilty about (more on that in a sec).
Every other week, my newsletter folks get a lovely (if I do say so myself) email with two or three articles from my writing world or Finn’s adventures, plus promo announcements.
After the newsletter goes out, I use some of that material and copy it over for blog posts, spreading the content out over a couple weeks. This has saved me a ton of work in creating twice as much content for both newsletter and blog, but as I said, I feel guilty about luring people to my mailing list only to feed them nearly the same stuff they could get on my blog.
I also began wondering if WordPress was “dinging” me for this double dipping. So, in my usual fashion, I tested it out.
Last week’s post was written for my newsletter, but I posted it to the blog first (and then used the blog link in the newsletter rather than creating my usual “secret” pages for my newsletter readers). I thought perhaps the post might get more attention, that WordPress might be more likely to show “fresh” content, but turns out, it got just as much attention as my previous recycled posts.
Thinking, So Much Thinking
That little experiment yielded some good-to-know results, but there’s still the guilt factor.
I want my newsletter folks to feel special. I mean they do get discounts and invitations I don’t offer on the blog, but I want them to really feel it’s worth handing over their email addresses and letting me invade their inbox every couple weeks.
And right now I’m not sure I’m giving them that if I’m posting the same (or similar) content on my blog. I am coming up with a couple new features that will only be on the newsletter, and of course, there’s the freebies you can get upon signing up, but is that enough?
I honestly don’t know.
It’s tempting to use my content solely for the newsletter, but then there’s the fear of missing out that I might not be reaching as many people as possible if I don’t also post on the blog since I’m sure a few new readers find me through this blog/website.
However, as mentioned above, I don’t want to double my workload by coming up with twice as much content.
What’s a girl to do?
I’ve thought of posting only a teaser portion of my content, but personally, I think that’s just going to irritate people. I’ve considered merely listing the weekly status of my writing projects, but that seems a bit too blah. I’ve thought of only posting Finn’s adventures, but there are times when he has none (sorry, Finn). Likewise, I’ve thought of only posting my thoughts on the writing life, but with the staggering number of writing blogs, is that enough to keep people interested?
So, I’m asking you. If you’re on my newsletter (or if you were), does it bother you to see similar posts popping up on my blog? If you sign up for newsletters, do you expect exclusive content only, or do you think it’s okay for the sender to recycle the content at a later date? What would YOU like to see more of (or less of) from this blog (assuming anyone sees this – haha)?
And finally, if you’re a blogger yourself who also has a newsletter, do you create fresh content for each? If so, what goes into your newsletter that doesn’t make it into the blog? Or, if you once had a blog and then went solely to newsletters, what sparked the decision?
I know, so many questions, but I really really hope you can find a few seconds to throw a response in the box below!
5 thoughts on “The Blogging Conundrum”
🙂 Did it ever appear to you, that some of the people who were following you in the beginning no longer blog?
Unfortunately, not everyone is in it for the long term.
I have mentioned to my fellow bloggers, that they should ignore stats because it has the potential of making them unhappy (Especially when they come across a low number).
Yes I am fully aware that many of my followers from previous years may have wandered off into the Bloglandia sunset, but many are still blogging. Of course, I don’t expect them to stay interested in what I have to say, but it is curious to me that in just the past couple months my likes and comments have fallen off such a steep cliff while the stats for my “visits” keep ticking upward. It’s certainly a head scratcher. :)) Thanks for dropping by.
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I fit into both of those categories ~ I read your newsletter, and I send out my own, which doesn’t have a huge list, so maybe what I do isn’t relevant!.
I agree that someone who gives me their email address is deserving of different content. The newsletter is more specifically about my art, with a more upfront ‘buy my art work’ push; my blog is wider ranging. That’s really just short-hand for ‘whatever is on my mind at the moment’. I link to blog posts in my newsletter when relevant. Some newsletters do this all the time, and for some reason it works for them. However, I don’t follow their blogs, and rely on the newsletter to point me to articles that might be interesting.
In regards to your dilemma…..I love reading your blog ~ Finn’s adventures, your travels, your garden, as well as about your writing. However, I didn’t read the historical ones because I had read them in the newsletter. So, that confirms your thoughts, for me at least. I think I read blogs that show me the person behind the writing, so I enjoy blogs that have quite diverse subject range. However they need to have a strong voice coming through, which yours does.
So, I would be sorry to not have your blog to read, but I understand the work involved. Maybe shorter blogs that show us small bites of your writing process. Little snippets. and maybe some gardening posts thrown in there too!
I do hope these ramblings are of use to you. They have been to me! And I hope you can resolve your dilemma. My main advice would be to do what you enjoy.
Hmmm…I’d enjoy a beer and a nap..oh, you mean do what I enjoy in my work! :))) I may try doing shorter posts, but I’ll tell you right now, my writing process isn’t that exciting.
Still, you have some good ideas with the snippets. The trouble with the gardening posts is that adding in pictures seems to take me more time than actually writing blog posts, so I’d have to take that into account. Such a conundrum.
So many writing “gurus” say to ditch your blog altogether (except for a rare announcement about a release or promo), but that just doesn’t sit well with me and, since new content is what gets you attention in search engines, doesn’t seem like a good strategy to drive traffic to your website. Sigh. I can see a brainstorming session coming up this weekend.
Thanks for the brain fodder :))
My pleasure….any time I can give you brain fodder (AKA “My head hurts” 👿) just ask. 😇
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