You sometimes feel as though you are writing into a void with a blog. You know people read it, but because you don’t see them, and you don’t often converse with them about it, its easy to feel divorced from the readers. You just don’t have to think about them. (No offense, nice readerly people.)
And then all of the sudden you get a couple of emails from complete strangers that seem to know things about you. And they want you to know about some event, or book, or other blog that you might be interested in. You are flattered; but also a little creeped out. You are reminded that you are not in fact writing in a vacuum. You are reminded that the Internet is a very public place. You think these people are emailing you not because they think you are cool (no, that’s definitely not it) so much as because they want you to blog about their blog, event, book or whatever. You think this is the way marketing and the cool work these days. You are flattered; but also a little creeped out.
The thing is, blogs have reach. You can make a name for yourself, even if its not your real name. I’m talking about all of this in the context of writing and writers. There are people out there who by all counts should not be, but who are making a living as writers, all because of their blogs. People get invited to conferences to talk about their blogs, how they make money from their blogs (which by the way, they do. A lot.), how they have gotten publicity for their writing through their blogs, etc., etc.
All of which is a long introduction into something that I’ve been thinking about for some time, which is, how can I make my blog better? Lets face it, faceless readers, this blog lacks a decent name, a snazzy design, and well, just plain pizzazz. Not to mention the fact that it isn’t exactly a cash cow. Or even a cash chicken. On the other hand, I never wanted to sell out and have my blog be covered in ads. I hate internet ads. But then someone I know mentioned he had learned that certain blogs (I wont mention any names) bring in annual salaries worth of money, and how many hits did I get on mine, maybe I could do the same thing? I hate to admit it, but when you aren’t earning an annual salary, the idea of getting one by doing something you actually enjoy and are doing already is kind of appealing.
So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about these and other blog-related issues. I have been browsing around many other bloggers’ sites for research purposes. It’s strange how small the world of blogs of a certain type (and by this I mean, the blogs of 30-something women and men living in large urban areas, usually New York, Chicago or SF) seems. I find completely new blogs that I’ve never seen before and though there appears to be no connection, they link to all the same blogs I have seen. There are certain blogs that just pop up again and again, no matter where you surf. Mostly these are just good, entertaining blogs. But some, well, I can’t quite figure out why some blogs are so popular. But then I can’t figure out why tapered pants and white shoes are back in style either. Anyway, I am planning to make some changes around here.