You keep me coming back for more...
Baby you're all that I want
When you're lyin' here in my arms
I'm finding it hard to believe
We're in heaven
-Bryan Adams, "Heaven" (Pulling out another cheesy 80's love song! You know you love it.)
So this week's first lecture was on blogging, how to develop readership, and keep people coming back for more. I must admit that I'm fascinated by the way that some blogs develop huge readership, while others that I think are really fantastic just don't catch on widely.
Dooce.com is a great example. This blog is written by a woman in Utah named Heather Armstrong, and the banner currently reads "Nine years of navel gazing." She's one of the A-listers of the mommy blog world, and I kid you not, her job ... the way she earns a living ... is writing that blog. Her blog gets enough traffic that advertisers PAY her (enough to live on, mind you! And to afford a freakin' nanny!) for ad space on her blog. What the bleep? She talks about how wonderful her kids are, she whines about how hard her life is, and she posts funny pictures of her dogs with strange things on their heads. I don't get it.
I love her blog - don't get me wrong. She's funny, she's personal, she's a good writer who can tell a good story and really make you feel like you're there. But what is it that makes her blog so popular she can live off of it?!
Early on when I was writing this blog, several people told me I should write a book. (I don't think they considered the fact that me becoming a writer would mean they'd have to pay to read said book. Pretty sure no one would pay for my ramblings!) I do love writing, but there's definitely a specific type of writing that keeps people coming back for more in the blogosphere.
Step 1 - write often. I really struggle with that. (Perhaps you noticed?) I come up with things I want to say, but then the moment passes and I've got dishes filling my sink and one wall that still needs sanding and painting and I'm late picking up Jay from daycare and I need to reply to just *one* more email from a student who's having a financial aid crisis and Mr. Potato head pieces are carpeting my living room and suddenly ... POOF! It's 10:30 at night and it's all I can do to crawl into bed. I want to be better about posting, but life just gets in the way. And yet, that life - that crazy chaos of my life - is what you want to read about.
So, thank you. Thank you for coming back for more and continuing to stick with me when I'm posting about grad school instead of telling you what vegetable the Cheeze Doodle is this week (crenshaw melon, if you're curious - no clue what that is.) Thank you for following along on my life's journey. I don't need enough readers to make money at this ... because I have you. You're my people, and having my peeps is what makes this whole life just a little less crazy.