Saturday, May 8, 2010

Auditing for Blogger’s Fatigue

Journal Entry, May 8, 2010: Weight = 172.4 lbs; Coinage =$6.39 (perhaps the biggest non-paper currency walk in the MoneyWalker’s two year legacy of money walking), 222 pennies (one wheat), 10 nickels, 23 dimes, 3 quarters; Glass bottles retrieved and placed in containers = 4; Ground scores = 10 including a very interesting hard back book written for children between 9 and 12, perfect for two of the MoneyWalker’s grandchildren; Best coinage find = more than 100 pennies at the back door of a detailing car wash. Because he knows of my charity, after removing paper and other debris from his vacuum, he dumps the loose change that settles at the bottom outside his back door.

Feature Entry: Auditing for Blogger’s Fatigue

Google’s researchers report that of all the blogs being written today, May 8, 2010, in three months 95% of the blogs will have become inactive and probably “dead.” For those of us that blog beyond the three month barrier, it is inevitable that we will doubt ourselves and our drive to sustain our blog. Thoughts that lead to doubt and impulses to quit are manifestations of Blogger’s Fatigue.

It is easy to speculate the causes for blogger’s fatigue. The research for this blog indicated that lack of traffic is the number one reason people discontinue their blog. Most can’t deal with the great ugly truth of the blog-a-sphere, for the mass majority of bloggers, conversation is nearly always one-way. How lonely! To avoid blog fatigue, the blogger must have a strong sense of “personal worth.” Of course, lack of time, loss of interest, and personal interruptions such as an illness are other reasons for withdrawing. And for those that blog for revenue, they are often disappointed in their return.

For any of us to sustain a blog we must perceive that our blog is successful. Because what is considered successful is relative. Operationally, a successful blog is one that provides sustained personal meaning to the person that is doing the blogging. For those that might be experiencing blogger fatigue and that are considering the discontinuation of their blog, it might be helpful to reflect on your blog. Such reflection might prove to be a Rx for your blog behavior and provide a helpful antidote for blogger’s fatigue.

In the same way that a medical Rx is based upon one or more examinations, we blogger’s must periodically examine our blog’s effectiveness. Blogging is not a simple process. Bloggers need information from feedback provided by followers to feed our will to continue. Without feedback, blogger fatigue will occur. If one’s blog is not being read, we must examine frequency. Infrequent blogging will turn away even the most interested readers. At least one expert believes that bloggers should have some presence two or three times weekly.

As we continue our audit we must consider style. Does our blog reflect our own personal touch, or does it look and read like many other blogs? Our readers want us to think and write in a way that reflects our courage to act with creativity. Notice that the expression “to think outside the box” was not used for the thought above. Since readers become tired of reading clichéd and overworked colloquialisms, our audit must examine writing style.

Also, a blog audit should inspect the blog’s niche. Is it too narrow? Too far-reaching? Who is our intended audience? If we are not getting the desired traffic, perhaps we need to refocus. However, we cannot know our traffic pattern by only using the comment section of our blog. Many people regularly read the MoneyWalker but never comment on line. Others follow the blog but are not listed as “followers.” Still if we are getting little or no extrinsic feedback, we must examine our niche and intended audience as a possible cause.

The motivation to sustain a blog is not the same as the motivation to begin a blog. At the beginning we want to communicate our message to the entire world. Later motivation is an internal one that is more interested in questions as “Have I done my best work?” “Is the information in this blog helping to make the world a better place?” As we audit our blog, the motivation that drives our efforts must be reexamined for relevancy anchored to the blog’s current reality.

Further, is our blog becoming stale? If so we need to seek new ideas. Our readers like novelty, but they also like familiar things presented in novel ways. When repeating simple truths central to the blog’s purpose, we should present our repeated messages in different ways.

In our audit, are we giving each topic or project the attention it deserves? Do we inform our blog with relevant and accurate research? Google and Wikipedia are easy to use, and their sources are usually accurate. If we are not gaining satisfaction from our entries, it is certain that our readers will not find them time worthy either.

Blogging fatigue will occur if we can’t find blog time. Blogging is a hobby and like all hobbies requires a time investment. As we audit, do we appreciate our hobby enough so as to make adequate time? Some report that to find time and to add freshness of thinking, they take on a partner or multiple partners.

Are we conducting adequate amounts of blog-a-sphere networking and socializing? We can’t gain followers if we are not willing to follow. We can’t expect comments to our blog ideas if we aren’t willing to comment about other’s ideas. Finally, how is the tone of our blog? Except for friends and relatives, our readers are neutral judges. They will favor us when we are brave, humble, courageous, committed and loving.

Blogging fatigue will happen to most of us. Conducting a self conducted audit might be the Rx needed to get us back on a track with even more success. I welcome your comments.


1 comment:

  1. Oh man, you did it again! I was mentally working up a post on this exact idea! Drat.

    Because my subject matter is varied I can usually find something to write about. A few times I have used it to vent, although I do try to stay away from that area and keep it positive. Those who have been reading since I started (2 1/2 yrs) are still with me. A few months ago I quit participating in a forum when I realized that it had taken a negative turn and was affecting my own attitudes. Many of my readers were from that forum.

    One other thing that has affected my blogging is Facebook. My family and friends are all there and it is just so easy to connect there. My daughters all have blogs but their postings have now become rare.

    Blogs also have a useful component for me in sharing my photography. I also have a private blog that is used for proofing sessions.

    But mostly, my silly little blog has just been an outlet for my writing and provides sharing of my past with my kids and grandkids.