Friday, February 27, 2009

5,000 hits = anti-climax...

At some point in the past month, unnoticed and unheralded, this blog reached its 5000th hit. Ya’ll, I’m not impressed.

I’m such a schizo when it comes to blogging – and not just when it comes to consistently updating. Indeed, I’ve always felt like this blog has some sort of borderline personality disorder. It’s random and unfocused and flaky (what does say about me, I wonder). Calling it a pop-culture blog is very generous, because I actually just blog about what I like with no regard for the stuff I don’t. But I do love the idea of people reading my words. I’m only human. And I really like looking at my stats to see where the hits are coming from (apparently, I have a strong following in Poland *shrugs*). So, I’m kind of half-way interested in exploring ways to increase my traffic.

All of the literature I’ve read about blogging points out that the most successful blogs establish a niche, or at least have a theme of sorts. Mine, on the contrary, follows a fanciful path, in tandem with the strange ebbs and flows of my interests and thoughts. The other thing good blogs do, apparently, is keep it short. Look at Perez Hilton, for example. He draws some graffiti on a picture and writes something bitchy, whereas I state a thesis and expound for pages and pages and pages, like you care. And finally, the popular blogs have original content filled with new information. I prefer to comment on things that are already out there.

*thinks about it* The results of my brooding are after the jump…

I’ve thought about it. Regarding the characteristics of successful blogs: I’m never going to be satisfied posting pithy opinions. I’m a thinking person and I believe opinions are useless if they aren’t backed up. So we can scratch that off. I can, however, try to be more original. Maybe I can try to write a few more editorial posts about what’s happening in the world… or something. What I can certainly do, I guess, is be more topical.

My most popular posts are definitely about TV, especially Reality TV. I’ve gone through so many weird phases with those posts, though. I started out writing full recaps, but that got to be too much. And why would anyone write recaps when there’s Television without Pity? So then I started doing reactions – off the cuff commentary, short and sweet, sometimes focusing on the clothes or whatever, and that’s all fun but I couldn’t help feeling that it was just like all the other garbage littering the interwebs. I’ve even tried recapping by formula, like Rich at FourFour and his ANTM recaps, or the fine young lady at Kroki Refur and her Supernatural recaps. But the idea of all that screen-capping and gif-making makes me tired. I would have to find some sort of unique spin on doing recaps that wouldn’t bore me or make me ill.

If this blog was to reflect my patterns of pop-culture consumption in any accurate way, it would be about music. Pop music is my first and true love. And I suppose I could do better about posting videos and news about my fav artists. But I’ll never be Arjanwrites or Stereogum. Why would people settle for me?

I’ve toyed with the idea of writing reviews for movies and books, but I don’t read enough or see enough movies to keep an active blog. And honestly, most of the time I don’t have very strong opinions about them, which would be boring for you.

No one wants to hear about work, so that’s out of the question. And I’m poor, so I don’t really do anything exciting or go anywhere exotic. Booooooring.

And then there’s the menzzz. It’s fun to post pictures of gorgeous guys, but I fancy myself a little more sophisticated. I don’t want to have an eye-candy blog; that’s just too easy.

I guess the real question is what I want the purpose of this blog to be. I think some bloggers are doing it for the money. Hits can generate some serious cash-flow, if one advertises correctly and the content is good. Making a buck, though, takes a lot of work. Basically, it’s a full-time job. I’m not sure I’ll ever be interested in blogging full-time – it seems pretty risky and I like having a day job. Another purpose could be keeping up with friends and possibly making new ones. I’m very grateful to the people who have found this blog and comment regularly, because it makes the experience rewarding and fun. But when a blog becomes too personal, it can become exclusive, which is not the direction for which I’m aiming. And really, if I wanted it to be super-personal, I’d write in a journal.

I suppose there’s always the possibility that I’m on the right track, as long as I start posting more regularly. Should I try to focus the blog more, or is it fine the way it is? Thoughts? Concerns? Funny stories?


ashley said...

I love reading your blog, even when it's about work or a TV show I don't watch... your commentary on life in general (or that which is Reeva's life) is always hilarious!! Keep on keepin' on. Just do your thing. Don't worry about what other blogs do, or what "they" say makes a successful blogger. We all read for a reason, and those reasons may differ... but we're still here. :)

Mary said...

I have to agree with Ashley, Reeva. Your commentary is hilarious and no matter what topic you take on (work, life, pop culture), it's your personality that gives it a mark of distinction.

While there are lots of bloggers out there who say you *must* focus your blog, and that may work for them, I believe that a strong personality can be the driving force that makes for a successful blog. Look at Neil Gaiman's blog. He's all over the place and people practically drool to read what he has to say about his dog and his bees.

My blog is completely driven by my interests, which are also all over the place. One reader has told me that this is what she likes about my blog - the variety of topics.

Write as the spirit moves you and the audience will find you.

(P.S. Yes! I would like to hear about your work!)

Erin G said...

I hate to be predictable...

but I don't give a *** about what makes other bloggers "better" than you. (And I totally deserve brownie points for that reference, but the way.)

I think you're funny, no matter what you're writing about. I think your only key to more readership would be to update more regularly (even if it's short).

We love you. Work, Reeve Revisited, Boyz, Music, and all.

Ryan D. said...

Thanks for the feedback and the love, guys! And I'm thinking ya'll are right: same stuff just more of it. I'm going to totally try.

@Ashley - maybe they way I do things is different enough to actually be unique, so I won't worry about being like the other bloggers out there :-)

@Mary - I'll try to work my job in more often. Some crazy stuff does go down (funny stories)

@Erin - here are your brownie points. Much deserved.

Mary said...

Hubby said that he doesn't understand why Perez Hilton is as popular as he is because you are sooooooooo much better!

Ryan D. said...

OMG Best compliment ever! :-)