March 18, 2015

SOL 18: What I've Learned About Blogging

I checked my blog statistics for the past couple weeks and saw that my readership has actually DECLINED (pretty dramatically, actually) since I started this Slice of Life Challenge.

So... um... maybe I'm not a very good writer after all. Maybe I should stick to sharing teaching tips and book reviews?

Welp, I've made a commitment, so you're stuck with my slices for a bit longer, people.

Sorry... I guess!

If it's any consolation, my blog was never really popular to start. Not long ago, I hosted a giveaway for a FREE UNIT, and not one person entered. I couldn't even give away my product! And it's a darn good product, if I say so myself!

I've also hosted linky parties where only one or two people will participate.

I'm like the kid at lunch no one wants to sit with! Bahahaha! I promise I'm laughing at myself about this because I don't feel this way IRL at all. Apparently, I'm much more appealing in person that online.

And speaking of linky parties, I'm participating in exactly ZERO this month because they don't count as slices, so I'm not drawing in new readers through any of those. Truth be told, I'm kinda okay with this part, though, because I think the linky parties can get a little out of control. There are SOOOO many, and I sometimes feel they take away from the authenticity of writing... but that's just my two cents.

As my student recently said (to a peer), "You're always trying to give us your two cents. Don't none of us want your money!"

The truth is, blogging is a lot of work. You have to commit to writing regularly, which means you're always looking for new topics. And I've learned that it definitely helps to have a focus, which I think (somewhat) explains part of the recent decline since my SOL posts have little to do with my teaching life.

Like anything else in life, the relationships really matter in the blogging world. You have to build relationships with your readers because people want to connect with you as a writer. They want to feel like they're on the journey with you, and this is why I like to reply to comments via email. The few people who have commented through this challenge have all been no-reply commenters, so I can't email them a response. That part makes me sad because I can tell I really like some of these people but don't have a good way to keep the conversation flowing! Because nothing is better than watching an online friendship blossom into a real life friendship. I've honestly met some of my favorite people through this little blog.

Blogging, for me, has brought out all of my insecurities. I feel like I'm back in middle school, not quite sure how to style my curly hair and terrified that my peers will spot the giant zit on the end of my nose. But it's also pushed me to put myself out there in ways I never thought I could. I guess this is why I can never really walk away for good. I take breaks from time to time, which is probably natural when you've been blogging for YEARS like me, but I always seem to come back to it.

14 comments:

  1. I feel your insecurity here! This blogging thing is scary, especially when you can check your stats and see data about how many people are actually reading what you've written! Keep going, though--we all have important things to say and people who want to read them. Thanks for being brave enough to share your thoughts on here--it really helps to know other people feel the same way I do at this point in the challenge!

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  2. Yes, blogging is definitely out of my comfort zone. I try to pretend that I don't care when nobody reads what I write, but I guess I probably do. I found it funny that the post that got the most response by far was the one about office supplies. That put everything into perspective for me. :)

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  3. Yes, blogging is definitely out of my comfort zone. I try to pretend that I don't care when nobody reads what I write, but I guess I probably do. I found it funny that the post that got the most response by far was the one about office supplies. That put everything into perspective for me. :)

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  4. Blogging does bring out our insecurities. I agree.
    That STAT button is to easy to push.
    I've tried to train myself not to look, but it is hard!

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  5. Is the giveaway you are referring to The Outsiders unit? I'm sure I entered it unless I did it wrong! There are people out here reading your blog and facebook posts so don't give up!!

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  6. This blogging business is scary! I agree! I tried for a while to get into the educational/teaching blog arena. It really didn't take. But this place feels like home. The slicing community is way more welcoming and I've had some of my best professional development from this community. I'm glad you are sticking to it!

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  7. I say if you enjoy it, keep at it! For me blogging is new, and I don't mind how many people look (or in my case, don't look, haha!) at what I'm writing. I guess I feel like I don't have anything worthwhile to say just yet anyways. But I'd like to keep at it so I'll have some practice in case I do have something worth saying later on!
    If you stick to writing what you're passionate and knowledgeable about, the readers will come ;)

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  8. I know how you feel about blogging bringing out your insecurities. I've tried blogging for years but I've never really put it out there and promoted it. I'm finally doing it and while things are going OK, I'm so insecure when I feel like people aren't reading it or don't want to... I need to get over it.

    But keep writing! Don't give up.

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  9. Wow! Look at all these comments! You've definitely hit a nerve with this post. I think you're pretty brave doing these Slice Of Life entries because you're really baring it all. I also think it's good to come out of your comfort zone because then we can understand how our students feel when we ask them to write about their lives,...Plus, they're really in middle school, and who would wish that on anyone? Cheers.

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  10. I definitely know what you're talking about insecurity-wise...but then I always love reading everyone's posts each night (when I have time...thank you baby Jesus that I finally have time to myself right now!) Anyways, I'm glad you're blogging and sticking with it, and I'm also so thankful for the amazing friendships that blogging has brought into my life as well!

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  11. I've totally enjoyed your slices. I check for posts everyday! And... I still don't know how to style my curly hair!!! (potential post????)

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  12. I can concur with you on many levels...love how you connected your online insecurities with middle school. I admit I hit a hump midway through the SOL blogging recently...but I kept my promise to myself and in the end that is what matters. I think I get more by the physical act of writing and being present on here than anything else. So keep writing!!

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  13. I have really enjoyed your Slice of Life posts! They're some of the few I make sure to read on a daily basis! I think I feel a connection to you because I grew up near Chicago. Plus, I love your classroom stories, as well as those about your niece! Keep those SOL posts coming..I love them!

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  14. My favorite paragraph was the reflections on relationships mattering in blogging. I think about my favorite blogs that I have followed over the years and the relationship aspect is key. Thanks for highlighting this and prompting me to think about it in relation to my own experiences.

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