I used to have this professor who was fond of slapping a plastic overhead on the projector exclaiming, “Have a look at this piece of Tom Foolery.”
We would all glance over at eachother and groan. He wasn’t kidding. This was Tom Foolery. It was one of Dr. Wildebeest’s famous equations. Equations he had invented all by himself. Equations that had four or five variables that were a mixture of convoluted calculous and mystical algebra. We would soon be invited to solve one of these foolish equations on a test.
Sometimes you will wonder how you stumbled into this foolish equation of a blog. Oh, you will try to decipher it all, pondering the various variables involved: site design, writing, comments, growth…what it’s all about?
It is said that Albert Eistein had a flash recognition of his theory of relativity – he was riding on a ray of light – and it all fell together for him. This probably won’t happen to you on your blog. Your blog will probably move ahead like an elephant clumping through the Sahara, not like a ray of speeding light.
I’m convinced you can put your site into motion yourself. When I figured it out I wrote up a tutorial to share with others. If the mechanics of design and implementation still elude you, hire someone to put it together for you. But keep in mind you will still have to learn the bare bones of blog care yourself. It’s a lot like cleaning the house and moving the furniture around.
This really is the meat and potatoes of your blog. And for you vegetarians, the tofu and beans. Recognize it may take awhile for you to get your footing, and that is okay. Some very successful bloggers, like Vered, of MomGrind, for example, start out writing about a certain topic and switch. You might get bored writing about one thing and want to diversify. You can often do this by slightly diverging from your original topic. Many business bloggers also write about inspirational topics. Karen Swim, of Words for Hire, does this very successfully.
This is probably one of the hardest things to quantify. Sure, you can measure your blogs growth by setting up a feedburner account and checking on how many people subscribe to your blog. I check on these numbers. But that is only one way to measure where you’re going. Recognize that the art and science of bloggery is a process. It is a journey that you have set yourself on.
If you get clear about your purpose, how you want to inform, enlighten, or entertain, then your statistical program can inform you who is linking to your blog and why. I get really excited when I write a knock down article and I get a links from Trisha, at Ideas for Women , Ian Mackenkie, of Brave New Traveler, and Amy Derby, of Write at Home, for my post about Ethics in Photography. It shows me that I can write stuff about topics that are important to me and people find it interesting.
Many bloggers lose their focus along the way. They get bored with blogging, or part of the blogging equation is not working for them. Boredom is a fact of life. I do not advocate giving something up just because you are bored with it. But if you are encountering great resistance to blogging maybe you should give it up. Only you can answer that question.
One way of looking at it is that the art and science of bloggery is challenging, and that it will help you grow. After all, you do have to sweat over an equation before you solve it. I’m thinking of the elephant analogy here, not the speeding ray of light. But if you are one of these Albert Einstein bloggers who have it all in the bag – more power to ya!
To be continued….
Photocredit: © Ellen Wilson