3 Years of Blogging – Engaging Readers or Entertaining Crickets?

cricketIt’s hard to believe I’ve been blogging for three years.

I wonder how long that is in blogger years?  If it’s the same as dog years, that puts me at 21 again, which I’m definitely on board.

When I attended the Erma Bombeck Humor Writer’s Workshop last year, a single question resonated with me that I could not answer.

“What do you write?”

Seems like a pretty simple question.  Yet, when forced to give an answer, I was speechless and fumbling for words.

“Well…I write about…aaaaa…..yah….aaaaa…”

“Oh yah, I wrote a story about finally being a soccer mom…”

(Insert game show loser music here…)

Three years, 122 stories and over 50,000 words and all I can come up with is “soccer mom”?

At least I’ve been keeping the crickets entertained.

Here are a few blogging lessons I’ve learned over the past three years:

  • Don’t turn your blog into a Jerry Springer Show, use discretion when writing about your friends and family.  Not everyone is comfortable in the spotlight.
  •  Don’t be a “Shock Blogger”.  Although I cuss like a sailor when I’m not behind the keyboard, I found I was uncomfortable channeling my inner-Andrew Dice Clay in print.  However, crude and rude seems to draw thousands of readers and Facebook “Likes”, personally I prefer to channel Bonnie Hunt over Snooki.
  • Don’t turn into a Blogger Beggar.  It seems the art of writing is getting lost in the obsession with building an audience.  My Twitter feed is so full of self-promoting bloggers it’s like walking in the town square and every street performer has a hat for donations while shoving a flyer in your face with details of their next publication.  I can’t make myself say, “For the night crowd” either.  Is everyone playing at the local Holiday Inn?  Don’t get me wrong, it’s hugely gratifying to have people read and be engaged by something you’ve written, however, I don’t feel comfortable begging for the readership.
  • Take the time to read a wide variety of Blogs because you never know what jewel you will uncover.  I have discovered some of the most amazing story tellers and interesting points of view through bloggers that are rarely found in mainstream media.

I may sound like a blog fun muffler to some, to others consider these lessons from a blogger coming of age.

Literally, I’m turning 50.  Maybe I should celebrate by begging AARP for a  “Like”.


26 thoughts on “3 Years of Blogging – Engaging Readers or Entertaining Crickets?

  1. 3 years! Wooo Hooo! Discovering your blog is one of the best ones I made when I started writing mine. I’m pretending I have a glass of bubbly (because it’s 6:37 am and I have get my kids ready for school) and I’m toasting you. Here’s to another 3 and to coming of age:)

  2. Still having problems with leaving comments. GRR! This is what I tried to write:

    Amen, sister! Spoken like the sage soccer mom blogger you are! 😉 But seriously, I really hear you. I always thought if I write engaging content then my blog will grow organically. Unfortunately, it does seem like those who scream loudest/provide shock value garner the biggest crowds, but at the end of the day, I know I’m not mortifying my friends and fam AND I do have to live in this town, ya know? So keep on keeping on. You’re the real deal and will be fab at fitty!!!!

    • Adriana Trigiani was asking people that question during her book signing at Erma and I felt like the biggest ass because “I had nuttin.” Who knows why Jerry Springer has been on the air for 25 years and The Bonnie Hunt Show was cancelled after 2 seasons. Keep your integrity – you are fresh, original and hilarious!

  3. 3 years? Really? Seems like 30+…oh wait… that’s how long I’ve been laughing with you.
    Your “funny” stands the test of time & I’m glad you’ve gone global with the belly laughs. (that is not a reference to a meno-pot).
    Your lessons are excellent guidelines and speak to 2 things: dignity and integrity. While you might sacrifice your pride for a great story….your blog is dignified and your writing has integrity. Both are 100% authentic.
    Thanks for letting me go to school on you!
    I think you and your blog are (as the folks at WP say) “pretty awesome”
    WRITE ON, because you are just getting started…

    • Where would I be without such a great “Smothers Sister” for the past 30 years? I had to resort to writing about my Menopot so I wouldn’t offend anyone. Actually, I think it’s getting revenge on me by getting bigger which means maybe I should cut back on the Meno jokes. Funny Sister is “pretty awesome” too!

  4. Congrats on your anniversary! I’ve only been blogging for 3 months (if even) and these lessons are sooo true!

  5. Congratulations on your blog anniversary, and on the big 5-0! That’s a lot to celebrate this year. Thanks for the great advice, I’ll have to keep that in mind. Oh wait, I think it may be too late for some of it!

    • Those strategies have been very successful for some, and frequency is a key part to messaging. I’m more comfortable with the assist than the point position – can you tell I live in a basketball town?

  6. Your blog posts are always among my favorites. You are one seriously funny lady. And I love you even more for the fact that you don’t overly self-promote or push. Your readers come back because we want to, my friend. No begging necessary. Three more, please!

    • You know, I went back through my posts looking for an older, more profane post I could give you a link to and I couldn’t really find anything that was that foul. I’ve gotten pretty mouthy on FB. I always had in mind that my mother’s 90 year-old friend was reading my blog. She’s fun, but she’s also a classy dame.

  7. Those are all very good – and very true – lessons you’re talking about. I bet that writer’s workshop was awesome!
    I swear a lot as well, but I do find myself trying to keep it rated PG 13 with the occasional R rated slip. Maybe I’m just getting old, but I think a good writer can get his/her point across without swearing like a sailor.
    Glad to have met you!

  8. Great advice. As someone who is relatively new to this, I am open to any suggestions to create more of a following…..minus the begging 🙂 Maybe there are just too many of us but I am glad that I found your little gem of a blog.:)

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