WordPress informed me that I recently marked my 4th anniversary as a blogger. To celebrate this momentous occasion, let me share with you some stats and insights.
First the stats:
- 247 posts and 42,001 views.
- 25,689 visitors from 11 countries, including the United States (4,128), the United Kingdom (664), Canada (372), Australia (260), India (196), and the Philippines (133).
- 137 views on my best day, which was Nov. 9, 2014, when I was blogging and tweeting about the Writer Unboxed Un-Conference.
- Top three posts: Linear vs. Non-linear Narrative (1,262 views), Why Introverts Make Good Writers (868), and The Story Behind the Story: Memoirs of a Geisha (514).
- Referring sites: Google (4,639), Bing (128).
So, what have I learned from four years of blogging? Here are some insights:
- Be prepared to make a long-term commitment. I’ve followed countless blogs that showed great promise, but the blogger either lost interest or ran out of steam. When I started my blog, I vowed it would not become one of those ‘take off like a rocket and burn out quickly’ sites. Blogging is hard work. It requires, at a minimium, 3-5 hours of research and writing per post. It requires perseverance and dedication. Though my output has fallen off during the past year due to family and health issues, I still strive to blog several times per month.
- Select timeless topics. This is the gift that keeps on giving. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received was in a post (forgive me, I cant recall the author) on blogging tips. The advice was this: choose evergreen topics. In other words, write about topics that don’t go stale in a year or two. Any fiction writing topic that begins with “how to” will draw a lot of readers: how to write winning scenes, how to craft compelling characters, etc. I still get hits on posts I wrote three years ago on craft of fiction topics.
- Take advantage of the opportunity to go deeper. I started out with a long list of topics. After I exhausted this list, I thought, Now what? I’d covered everything. I had nothing more to say. So I looked for opportuntiters to take a deeper perspective on fiction wrting. I started to read more about the creative process and to write about it and reflect on it. I wrote about authors and books I loved. This got me into the mindset of writing from the perspective of a reader.
- Fight burnout through inspiration and engagement. Some early adopters in the blogosphere have checked out. That’s too bad, but it is perfectly understandable. Burnout is my biggest challenge. I fight it through engagement and immersion. Engaging with other writers and online communities provides a continual source of ideas and inspiration. Immersing myself in the craft by writing, as well as by reading others’ work, keeps me wanting to learn, grow, and share.
- Take a break. Step away from the blog, but not for too long. Give yourself a one-month vacation. You may come back refereshed and renewed.
Your turn. Veteran bloggers, how do you deal with blog burnout? What strategies have worked for you?