half term hiatus

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Reflections

It’s half term this week so my creative writing has pretty much ground to a standstill. My sons (aged six and four) are off school so our days have been full of play dates (lovely), walks in the park (great) and visits to soft play (ugh). Even my evenings have some how all been swallowed up with baby shenanigans (he’s teething again) and socialising (whoo hoo!) I’m writing this on Thursday night which is the first proper period of time I’ve had to myself since last Friday. I’m crossing my fingers that the baby stays asleep long enough for me to finish the post!

I have managed to squeeze in a bit of blogging here and there this week though. And although I’ve previously been tempted to dismiss time spent blogging as ‘not counting as creative writing time’ I actually think I was wrong to do so. This week I wrote a limerick over the weekend  to post on Monday for my weekly #limerickchallenge and I also wrote a short piece of prose this morning in time to link up with #prose4T. Without my blog to motivate me, I doubt I would have written either of these, and the whole week would have passed by in a haze of jumbled mothering.

But given the blog has been the focus of my (very limited) writing time this week, I have been wondering about another aspect of it – namely the visitor stats – and I’d love to pick people’s brains about this.

Questions

I set this blog up as a place to explore my creative writing, record my experiences and to connect with other people doing the same thing. It’s in no way a money-making vehicle, nor is it designed to draw lots of attention to myself (I have nothing against blogs that do this, I just know I’d have to be doing things very differently if that was my intent).

It’s actually meeting my aims pretty well at the moment but, to be honest, a few more readers would be nice! I suppose what I’m wondering is:

  • Should the number of visitors matter to me? Do they matter to you as a writer/blogger?
  • Do you spend time looking at your site stats and trying to encourage more views?
  • Do you use Twitter and Facebook a lot to draw attention to your blog? (I’m a bit rubbish with Twitter – I pop on and off in a flash, don’t often stop for a chat, and only usually tweet my blog posts once! I don’t use FB at all as Writing Bubble – I only have a personal account.)
  • Have your visitor numbers grown slowly over time or was your blog an instant success?
  • Is success really related to blog hits anyway? Maybe they’re irrelevant!

I always seem to be full of questions! I love hearing your responses though!

I’m linking up with Writing Warriors over at Beautiful Misbehaviour. I really recommend the linky to anyone who’s trying to write creatively and could do with a bit of support.

6 thoughts on “half term hiatus

  1. Stephanie

    Once again you seem to be asking all the questions that I am asking myself right now! My blog has never had great stats but since I started writing more and blogging less they have really fallen. I am questioning everything about my blog, it’s focus, it’s purpose, the priority it has etc. The best things has been connecting with other people and I love the open mic nights, so much fun. I think blogging is a strange beast. Lots of really popular blogs I don’t like – they are just review blogs, I find them dull. But I would be lying if I said I don’t dream of having a hit one day myself. I did spend a bit of time trying to be more popular as a blogger but I’ve never been one of the cool kids – since school I was always in a quiet wee group of close friends and it seems blogging is the same for me! I feel much more focussed now on just being a better writer. Blogging and community are part of that journey but I won’t be fighting for traffic anymore.

    Reply
  2. Maddy Post author

    Thanks Stephanie, this is a really helpful comment. I’ve also never been one of the ‘in crowd’ and have always preferred quality over quantity in terms of friendships so actually, it makes sense that it would be that way in the blogging world too! I can imagine that if I were to try and have a popular blog it would feel really unnatural to me.

    Most of all, the amount of time it would take to write lots of posts and tweet them and get a presence on social media would reduce my writing time down to pretty much zero. I do feel like I can’t have both (writing time and a popular blog) but I would like to! I guess I should just hope for slow organic growth and not concern myself too much with traffic.

    I agree that the best thing is connecting with other people. Writing can be a lonely pursuit and it’s lovely to have other people to talk things over with. And I love reading other people’s work too – it inspires me to try harder!

    Sounds to me like you have your priorities right. I hope you find answers to your questions soon.xx

    Reply
  3. Chrissie Metcalf (Kristina)

    The joys of half term! I’m with you on soft play, btw. We went during the week and my daughter had one of her “magic hand” episodes (partial seizure – she’s epileptic) and my eldest son climbed to the top of the slide then decided the slide wasn’t for him and had an hysterical outburst.

    Anyway, I digress…

    I used to blog on another site and was very into the whole ‘Mummy blogger’ thing so ratings were all important. It freaked me out when I realised I knew twenty or so of the people who were learning all about me, but the rest of the (quite tiny amount) of hits were unknown, so I shut the blog down.

    Now, I don’t really care. It’s nice to have readers, but the blogging part of this journey is more about the writing of the blog, if that makes sense? I have other blogs which I’m trying to be tactical about, but I’m a bit non-caring about the whole she-bang, which doesn’t help.

    The only sharing my writing blog gets is Stephanie. Sometimes I retweet if I remeber to log in. I also have to be a little cautious as my main account has work people on it, and although they know about the writing, there are subtle implications on at least one blog which could dump me in the poop with some people.

    Probably not massively helpful, and I too agree that the connection is the most important thing. If you use Facebook, then we should add you to the group there (hey’re all lovely and supportive!)

    So, um, yeah, keep writing and keep blogging! x

    Reply
  4. Maddy Post author

    Thanks Chrissie, it’s interesting to hear about your blogging experiences. I’m impressed that you have other blogs although it sounds quite demanding to have to have so much to juggle! no wonder you don’t tweet your writing blog much!

    I know that the mummy blogging world is very competitive, and people have to fight for ratings. I had a stab at being part of it a few years ago but it didn’t really suit me (by which I mean, I was crap at getting enough traffic!) This blog is much more about what I want to write, and I am much happier with it it’s just I guess I sometimes wonder if I am just hurling words into a void. I’d never thought that too many unknown readers might be off-putting but now you mention it, I can imagine feeling the way you did!

    As Stephanie, said, blogging is a strange beast and I think I’m still just trying to get my head round it all. Thanks for commenting x

    Reply
  5. Morgan Prince

    Hi there Maddy, first of all I hope you survived half term and you still have hair left!

    I’m just like everyone else who commented (and you) in that I was never one of the cool kids either. I’ve been blogging since 2011. Well 2012 really because I only did one post in 2011. My stats have been a bit erratic but I think that’s because my posts have been. At the start of the year I made a promise to myself to blog more, be more consistent. I blog every week day, link up to various linkys and read and comment on other blogs. My stats have seen a big increase and I’m definitely getting more comments on posts. However this does distract from book/novel writing. It’s only been recently that I’ve started to remember why I started blogging in the first place. It was just to practice my writing, maybe even vent when I was having trouble. These days it is just a place for me to ‘chat’ about myself. I don’t reveal too much about my family, I like to keep my privacy.

    I don’t think stats are a thing you need to be worrying about unless there’s something you’re trying to achieve. If you want more readers and commenters then maybe use link ups and twitter a little more. I use twitter to get my posts out there, it doesn’t bring in many views but it does help. You’ll occasionally find me on there chatting too. I think the only people that stats matter to are popular mummy bloggers who rely on sponsored posts and paid reviews to bring in their readers. Yes, it’s nice to know people are reading your words and it’s great when they comment but it’s not everything.

    I’d just like to thank you for reminding me about #writingwarriors. Stephanie told me about it a while ago and I completely forgot!

    Morgan xx

    Reply
  6. Maddy Post author

    Thanks for this comment Morgan – It’s very helpful to hear your views. I do find linkys help with hits and comments and I try to join a few a week – mostly ones that are relevant to my writing.

    I’m impressed that you managed to post everyday! I can see that doing so and linking up would improve blog traffic but it’s a big time commitment isn’t it? Especially as I like to enter into the spirit of blog hops ‘properly’ and make sure I visit and comment on as many people’s blogs as I can (and it sounds as though you are the same)! And, as you say, time spent doing that it time that you can’t spend on other creative writing.

    I guess it’s about finding a balance which I think is in a different place for all of us writer/blogger/mothers. For me, I’ve now decided that my creative writing is my priority over blogging-for-blogging’s-sake (if you know what I mean!). Blogging that helps support my writing or is part of it (like this sort of post, or posting poetry or prose) is part of that priority. Chasing traffic is not. You’re right – I don’t need to be worrying about stats!

    Sounds like you’re thinking of linking with #writingwarriors? Glad I reminded you! Happy to help and I look forward to reading more about your writing journey. xx

    Reply

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