B=C…One Blogger’s Seven Year Itch


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If you’re one of the 10,000 subscribers to this blog, and you thought I was gone for good, I wouldn’t blame you. Of course, that number–– TEN THOUSAND–– a number I worked so hard for and I coveted when I saw on other blogs; a number I thought was the grand prize for my hard work; a number I strived for, that 10,000 is a very deceptive figure. It’s another mosquito in my Seven Year Itch as a blogger.

But let me go back a bit; let me explain. B is for Blogger/blogging. When I started blogging on WordPress seven years ago this June, I was as naive and clueless as they come. I didn’t know how to add photos, quotes, colorful wording, links, or anything other than… my words. While I’ve gone back and gussied up those first posts, they were originally a black and white page. I visited other blogs and saw clever visuals and things that engaged readers, but I had no idea how to do any of it.

I started with WordPress tutorials. They are invaluable; use them. Then I followed the #1 blog advice: I read other blogs and left comments. I interacted with other bloggers, who in turn were willing to share advice. Admittedly, I took those folks for granted in the beginning. I was grateful, but I didn’t get it. I was passionate and motivated. I got past the inevitable initial hurdles of blogging, and started to find my own groove.

And it paid off. About six weeks into my WordPress blogging journey one of my posts was Freshly Pressed (now called Discover)for the first of what would eventually be three times. When it happened I blindsided. In fact, I missed it all together until a friends asked me why my blog was suddenly “blowing up.” Honestly, I was gobsmacked. When I wrote the post The Grass Is Always Greener On Someone Else’s Head, I figured it had a clever title and the subject might appeal to a few other readers. It received 287 comments and took off like wildfire. If you click the link, I urge you to read the comments. While the post itself is okay, I found the comments from readers to be the most dynamic element. (Mostly) Women had a lot to say about their hair, beauty, and self-identity. As a new blogger who had had only a few comments on posts up until then, it was a total game changer.

However, the reality is I didn’t start blogging to be a blogger. In fact, even the term blogger was nebulous. I began blogging as a means to an end. Blogging was a route to  getting a book published. I was working on a novel, and everything I read said I needed a “platform.” I needed to build a social media presence, so that when I tried to get published I could show I had clout as a writer. It was all a foreign idea at the time.

I used a name that had been in my head for a while and signed up with WordPress. I started putting out posts, and Tales From the Motherland was born. A new blogger was born. My initial posts were met with deafening silence. No one was reading them. No. One. No one hit like or left comments. I wrote; I posted; I checked daily, and nada. I sucked up my ego and wrote on, with no obvious rewards or accolades. And that is key. Blogging, I’ve come to believe, is about putting yourself out there. It’s about being authentic and finding your groove. It’s not about the numbers, or the rewards. Don’t get me wrong; all three Freshly Pressed (one, two, three), and the Discover, each of them was and still is a huge honor. Each brought in lots of new readers, and was a nice pat on the back for the writing I was so committed to. I’m overdue for another coveted disc, but I’ve learned: the rewards are not what it’s about.

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B is for Blogging, and the C is Community or Connection. As I enter my eighth year, and struggle with my ability to keep up a pace I once found easy, the most important thing I’ve learned about blogging is that B=C. It’s all about the community you build and the connections you make. It’s not about the numbers. Over these seven years I’ve been fortunate to have connected with some truly outstanding people. Some have been there each time I post. Others pop in and out. A few have become friends. We’ve met in person, or we’ve messaged, or we’ve just supported each other in this saturated world of blogging. Today there are 500 new sites on WordPress each month and approximately 87 million new posts monthly! Some days it feels like hitting publish is like whispering during Beyonce at Coachella, and expecting anyone to hear. But your community is everything. They hear the whisper.

 

I’ve been struggling for a year now. No awards. No more blogging on Huffington Post, where my ego was stroked weekly. No more hitting send after easily pounding out words and thoughts. The 10,000 subscribers are entirely nebulous. The reality is  there are about 20 people who consistently stop by. There are 20 people who leave comments, root for me, encourage me, or just have the kindness to say hi. But it only took one blogger, one person in my community, who sent a message recently saying she missed me. She reminded me that I blog to connect. I blog to build community. The platform, the awards, the goals I once set mean nothing compared to the voices who says you matter, I miss you. I would rather have 20 steady members of community, who are authentic and real, than 10,000 digits who never hear me whisper. B=C. Start there and the rest will come.

Are you new to blogging? Do you have wisdom to share? Leave a comment!

Stop here and watch the WordPress Live Activity map. It’s way cool!

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GIPYKAPOW! Have you stopped by Tales From the Motherland Facebook page to spread some fairy dust? I’m grateful for each Like. Follow me on Twitter, LeBron James does (for real)! Most importantly, if you like a post I’ve written, hit Like and leave a comment. Honest, constructive feedback is always appreciated. Click Follow; you’ll get each new post delivered by email,  no spam.

©2011-2018  All content and images on this site are copyrighted to Dawn Quyle Landau and Tales From the Motherland, unless specifically noted otherwise. If you want to share my work, I’m grateful, but please give proper credit and Link back to my work; plagiarism sucks!

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
Aside | This entry was posted in Awards, Awareness, Blogging, Connections, Dawn Quyle Landau, Freshly Pressed, Friendship, Honest observations on many things, Life, Musings, My world, Relationships, Tales From the Motherland, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

33 Responses to B=C…One Blogger’s Seven Year Itch

  1. Cathy Ulrich says:

    I always love getting a notification about a post from you, dear Dawn. And thanks for all of the stats about WordPress! Hope to see you here more often. And I’ve been thinking about starting up again. Maybe posting more photos.
    Hugs,
    Cathy

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cathy, you are definitely one of the people who I miss and who keep me going. Thanks sweet friend for that and so much more! Coming to CO in June, for A’s graduation (yes, already!) and hope to get some time together. I’ll send you details.
      And yes, yes, yes! More photos, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s missed them! xox

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We all have our blog ups and downs. I posted 3 days in a row one week, then none for a month. I write them in my head but sometimes they never get to the computer. Keep at it, dear friend.
    And another anthology may be in the works. hugs. (and I have so few readers, no awards). Just keep at it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have been a lame blogger and a lame reader lately, Lisa. I have missed so many, as I’ve been digging out of this illness and getting back into life. Slow and steady, but hard to find the discipline and passion again. Like you, I write in my head ALL the time. I start drafts (112 now), but don’t finish them… but I’m trying. Friends like you really keep me going. Thank you so much! xox

      Liked by 1 person

  3. noahezra says:

    It is good for my soul to read what you write. You feel like part of my authentic family as opposed to my genetic one. Thanks for being a constant. Love you. Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    Life is busy; blogging is only one part of it, so no need to feel guilty or bad if you’re not posting regularly or visiting other sites. At least that’s the attitude I’ve tried to adopt for my own. We’re always happy to see something from you when you have it. You’ve done tremendously well with your blog. I hope all is well. So glad you had a chance to go visit family. Spending time with the people we love is what counts at the end of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Carrie, you are such a big part of my community and I’m so grateful for all the support and fun comments we’ve shared. I don’t feel guilty, but I get frustrated that I can’t follow through on some things (like my blog and novel) that mean so much to me. I miss the consistency of posting regularly and reading other’s work. You’re right, it’s just a piece, but it’s a big piece for my creative self… my inner world misses that. I’m grateful for the reminder that my community is still out there, and it means more than most of you know. Thanks! xo

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I can relate! I’m stuck in a horrible blogging place–zero ideas and no motivation. I’ve been blogging almost 8 years. I’ve found that when I was posting regularly (at least once a week) I was in that magical groove. Words were just pouring out of me.

    Now it’s a struggle to even think of a title for a post, much less write anything! I’m down to posting about once every 2 months. Sigh.

    And I used to get so much enjoyment out of writing and connecting with readers. I do miss it. In any case, keep shouting into that WordPress abyss when the mood strikes, Dawn. Some of us are listening!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much Darla! The community I talk about here is what really does matter. It’s what makes the abyss less daunting. I always look forward to your posts, even if it takes me a while to get there. And your community is still amazing! I’m always blown away by the sheer numbers… your creative piece about how your blog is practically dead, showed that there’s a big group of people cheering you on.
      Motivation is another thing. I really believe that when it stops being fun, when you just don’t have or care about the words, it can be done. I’ve known several bloggers who closed up shop, and I’m guessing are fine with that. My frustration stems from the fact that I have lots of ideas, and write a post almost daily in my head… or in my draft folder. It’s life that has yanked on my chain. I just need to break thru’ and move forward. Ugh… none of it’s easy. Thanks for listening, and thanks for being there; it means a lot, D!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Hydra says:

    I just wrote a response to your blog post this morning but was denied access ☹️

    I’m happy to “see” you again and hope you’re feeling and stay well!

    Robin☺️

    >

    Like

  7. Ah going into your 8th year. That’s amazing Dawn! As someone who is pushing towards earning a good income from my blog, I can definitely relate to the stats-watching etc but there’s no doubt that being yourself is the first step. Here’s to much more blogging from you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Community is what it’s all about, isn’t it? I look at the number of followers I have and (shh, don’t tell anyone!😉) I think at least a third of them only signed up because they are wanting to sell a service to me. 😆

    Like you Dawn, I never had any concept of what blogging was about or how to go about it until after I started. It has turned out to be something more exciting and rewarding than I could ever have imagined. But it does work best if we are consistent and get out and about on other people’s blogs, two things I’ve so far failed to manage.

    It seems to me that blogging is a part of social media that is free from nastiness and negativity, at least here on WP.

    I’m sorry you are struggling with your health Dawn. I know how much that sucks. 😢. I hope you have some good doctors helping you through your recovery! Take your time easing back into it. As others have said, we will be here whenever you are able to post.

    Like

    • Thanks Kate, I’m doing much better, but yes health stuff does suck. I so agree that the blogging community is one of the last bastions of social media that is relatively negativity free. There aren’t a lot of mean people here, and I really appreciate that! I’m also grateful that WP does a very good job of filtering out the spam, so we don’t have to! Thanks for stopping by; it’s always a pleasant surprise to see you in the comments, Kate!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The link to the WP stats map is fantastic! 😄❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You’ve had some incredible hurdles to deal with and you’re still here. That speaks volumes. Yes – blogging is about the community for me as well. I started blogging as a place to connect and to help process my life. I don’t even know when I discovered stats existed. It feels like life in the past year or two is squeezing a lot of people I know, me included. So glad you posted!

    I actually mustered up every ounce of energy I had this morning and got some tulip photos after all. Many of them weren’t my usual caliber, but I’m hoping to cull a few beauties for a post in the next week or two.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Happy to read you whenever you are happy to write. xo

    Like

  12. get tapping those keys, woman. Always look for you in my “feedly” — I keep a separate reader for my all time favorites, and you my friend, are in it. Glad to see you are checking in with us. 7 years is a long time to be blogging.. everyone needs a break. It is the ebb and flow of life.
    Be well! — Audra

    Like

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