The first blog post I ever published was a rhyming couplet that I accidentally said to my cat. It got a handful of views and likes and visits (I don’t actually even know what the difference in a view and a visit is, so un-blog-experienced am I).
I accidentally rhyme when speaking to my cat all the time. Here’s another example:
My little Beppie
Has such soft fur
She’s so pretty
Look at her!
The point is, it was the equivalent of dipping one toe into the water.
The second blog post (about some parents of sports-playing kids) got another handful of likes and such. So I figured, hey, that’s the way it is when you publish a blog post. The second one was not a throwaway; I worked on it. It also got a few likes.
The third blog post (meant to be a lighthearted portrayal of the absurdities of modern-day job seeking) represented even more work. And to my surprise, that one got no likes or what-have-yous.
I have to admit I was disappointed. What was the difference between the first-and-second and the third? Was the first sentence off-putting? Was it too long? Did it start off with a whiny tone?
A few months ago I attempted to write online on a website that, I quickly discovered, monetized Likes. If you liked other people’s writing, you got a badge or tokens or something that could be used to “purchase” something of “value” on the website. As soon as I discovered that, I turned and fled. I don’t want to give or get insincere likes. In fact, I couldn’t help but be suspicious of the likes I received for blog posts #1 and #2 here, on WordPress. Were these actual indications of like, or an invitation to mutual back-scratching?
Furthermore, I have to ask myself what exactly am I after? The blog isn’t a diary (for me, at least). My diary entries are markedly different from the blog content I’ve created so far, both in subject matter and in tone. And while snippets of it might be suitable for blogdom, most of it isn’t, because it’s far too boring. The blog for me is an attempt to write for public consumption.
I can see that many blogs have thematic unity, while mine doesn’t. I am not providing tips for decluttering closets (for which you should be thankful) or whipping up easy and healthy weekday meals (for which you should be even more thankful). I want to write about whatever I’m thinking about. However, I guess that’s not necessarily the best way to get “readers.”
Writing for no audience is a time-honored tradition, and what I actually expected. I’m guessing that the newness of the blog may have caused it to temporarily appear in some feed to make it visible, as an initial boost. The likes and views prompted me to have unrealistic expectations.
I have to chide myself because a Like represents the smallest possible unit of non-negativity. It doesn’t deserve a lot of weight, one reason being it could mean something as uncomplimentary as “I was here” or “I feel sorry for you.” So I’m trying to adjust my expectations (although, I would be grateful if someone would tell me how to adjust the line spacing!).