I am starting to wonder if a blog is similar to the tree that falls in the forest. You know, the one that begs the question, “If no one is there, does it make a sound?” Or, in the case of a blog being uploaded to the Internet, “If no one is logged in, is it visible?” Ooo, Ooo, I just thought of a better analogy regarding where I am going with all this. Maybe a blog is like that Kevin Costner movie where he builds this baseball field on some farm way out in nowheresville and the message is: “If you build it, they will come.” So, the question becomes, “If one builds a blog, will readers come?”
Yeah, I think that latter example is the concept I am playing with. But I need to expand on it…take it a little further. So now the question becomes, “If you build a blog, will readers come…and after they come, will they acknowledge having been there?”
I am new to this blogging trend that is churning out editorialists by the gazillions. I am still just a smidgen up from the baseline of the learning curve. After all, this is only my fourth month of blogging. I will admit that I have been a little sneaky with my readers. I have purposely written blogs that cover a wide array of subjects. These have been somewhat experimental in that I am attempting to explore different topics to see which one gets the most response. Once that was determined, I had planned to concentrate my blogging primarily in that area.
Being retired from a marketing-type career, I am always looking to target my efforts to their intended audience. Consistency builds response, or so they say. I’m not sure that anything “they say” fits the Internet. It’s a whole new exploratory cyber world. I often find myself doing something “strategic” and then summing up the results with a shoulder shrug and muttering something like “go figure.”
My blog is a good example of “go figure.” I thought I had determined that writing about writing, since I am a half-baked author, would gather an audience. Some of my early blogs in this area stimulated a “like” or two. So, I decided I’d take it a step further. I would write about writing and make it sort of episodic. I had just begun working on a new book and I got the ide that I would blog about writing it as I went along chapter by chapter.
Hence, the blog would not necessarily track the story, but would deal with the making of the story. Got that? Well, I can’t tell you how pleased I was with that concept. I thought, Wow!, this will be fun and readers will keep coming back wanting to see what happens next. It’d be a bloggin’ soap opera for cryin’ out loud. So Author’s Diaries was conceived and Part 1 attracted eight “likes” right off the bat. Now, you may get tons of “likes” on your blog, but if I get eight, hey, that’s a pot load.
Well, imagine how I felt after Author’s Diaries crashed and burned before I could even switch over to the spare fuel tank. Parts 2 and 3 received only one like each. Where’d the other seven readers go? And then, isn’t it supposed to build even beyond that? I mean, wazzup with all this “going viral” stuff I hear about? I didn’t even get a sniffle. What did I get? I think the appropriate word is bupkis!
I let Part 3 sit on my site for days beyond my normal refresh rate. I kept waiting for more than one like to be posted. By the way, I do appreciate all the likes I did receive and I thank those individuals who left them. Now, I have a pretty thick skin. I’m used to being insulted and dragged through the streets having sour grapes thrown at me. And I don’t even mind it much when I get run over and then the truck backs up and runs me over once more just for grins. Nah, I don’t mind that. But this blog thing is starting to get to me.
I have discussed in this blog some of my deep down, way down personal thoughts about writing, children, body parts, senior citizenry, birds, Christmas lights and even sex. I’ve even confessed my obsession with Taylor Swift for God’s sake. In fact, speaking of Taylor, she won a Grammy for her song titled “Mean.” This is a song that she wrote about someone who was especially nasty to her. I think it was a critic who really diss’d her and said she would never amount to anything. It’s not the criticism she was upset about. It was the meanness in the way it was delivered. So her song talks about her ambition of someday “living in the great big city” and being successful while she says to her critic “…and all you’re ever gonna be is mean. Why you gotta be so mean?” When Taylor accepted her Grammy for this song she expressed how special the award was. She told how good it felt to write a song about someone who really hated you and said nothing but terrible, ugly things about you…and then you win a Grammy for the song! I know just how she feels. I keep telling folks that I will feel the same way when I accept my Pulitzer.
So, the decision has been made. The journey will continue. I will strive to be living in the great big city. That said, I will keep building my blog…and maybe someday they will come.
Marc Kuhn is the author of three books. Recently published is an adult historical novel, THE POPE’S STONE. The other two books are for children: NEVER GOOSE A MOOSE…And a bunch of other things you should never do!; and ABOUT A FARM, lessons for life regardless of where you live.
All three books are available at amazon.com and each has its own .com website under its title.