If you blog you have to learn this: You can please everyone none of the time

This is one of the most painful realizations that bloggers inevitably have. It descends on you like a bat out of hell (as a side note: has anyone ever witnessed such?) when only a few months earlier you were frolicking in the green fields of new blog land. Folks were reading your blog at first. Friends and family were interested. For awhile at least. Their enthusiasm began to wane as you bounced between topics faster than a kid hopped up on Halloween sugar  runs to the next house. From your perspective you were providing fascinating surveys on a myriad of topics (which of course were a natural reflection of your nimble, well traveled, and widely exposed mind).

But your readers grew weary. They never knew what they were going to get and at least half the time they could have cared less about the topic. And now you know it. Your blog view stats have declined. The buzz is gone. Why should you keep writing?

I have learned this lesson as well. But I have been working to narrow my posts to be more consistent. To make my blog an experience people want to have again.  To help direct my efforts I reviewed what my most successful posts were in terms of views and comments:

1. Views worth viewing – these posts are easy to consume and every time I post one consumers know exactly hat they are going to see. Thus they click the link without knowing it will probably consume less than 15 seconds of their time.

2. iPhoneography – these consist of discussions of iPhoneography and related apps such as Hipstamatic: You don’t need the Field Guide app. You need this blogSo you want to be an iPhone Ansel Adams, and The Incredibooth field guide {aka The Booth Guide}. I write these to provide tangible value to the folks reading it.

3. Posts about my blogging experience (i.e. this post and this post). The more you blog and read others blogs you realize how much you don’t know. I consume blogs about blogging at a disturbing pace and, apparently, so do others.

4. Posts that are transparent and honest about my life. These are the hardest ones to hit the “publish” button on. The ones you sweat over. A few such of my posts are Lesson Learned: So I have been a Dad around a year, ergo there are a lot and The watch.

I have learned people are less enthusiastic on my other posts. It hurts a bit but is understandable. After all, I stop reading blogs that don’t focus on things I care about.


5 thoughts on “If you blog you have to learn this: You can please everyone none of the time

  1. Paul, interesting post. I enjoy your iPhoneography & Views Worth Viewing posts, and I notice that I also get more hits when people can view photos in a short time. Actually, I’m sometimes surprised when people read and comment on the longer essays. The art of blogging is certainly is a process, and it goes up and down for me as well. One thing I notice is that the more I visit others’ blogs and leave appropriate comments, the more others follow me back and sometimes sign up. On the other hand, I admit to experiencing deep consternation and jealousy when I discovered a wonderful blog that started one month before mine and has ten times as many views – ouch! But then I ask myself why I am blogging, go back to my original thoughts and my master plan (really, I do have one) and make sure I’m staying on track. Sounds like you are doing some of the same. Well, you can count on me being a fan of yours, for what its worth 🙂

  2. Lynn – You do a great job on your blog of telling a story. I quit reading a lot of blogs that are more than a paragraph long with a few exceptions and yours is one. The interaction you drive on your posts is impressive. I am definitely learning from you.

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