Monday, 19 May 2014

20. Something you are trying to figure out? (Ways to Improve Our Blog)

*edited blog title

The following is the original post (answer to the blog challenge question) as my thought process started.  The edited title is do to the direction that thought process took....

Can my answer be what to make this blog post about? =D

This question presents a different sort of challenge to me because when I looked over the list I considered that it might be the least interesting topic.

The reality though once I consider the question is that there are a number of things I am trying to figure out, so which to pick?

One thing I I would really like to figure out is how we might make our blog more interactive and build a larger blog audience.  I've mentioned before that having an audience is not the motivation behind our blog but if we didn't wish to have an audience than Carlyn and I would simply chat with one another and leave it at that, so there is a very real desire on both our parts I would think to create a real interest in our blog among other bloggers and even non-bloggers who might simply enjoy reading blogs.

It's not just about numbers though or blog hits.  It's about bringing in readers who are genuinely interested in reading about Carlyn and I (hopefully that's not too narcisitic) and more importantly the topics we choose to discuss. 

So it comes down to the best ways in which to reach out to people who would take an interest in our blog.  I think that this is a question too that a lot of other bloggers think about. Which is part of why I decided to bring it up.  Hopefully thinking about it and sharing ideas can be a mutually beneficial discussion.

Carlyn has a lot of good ideas as she is much more active in the blog community than I am.  I realize that with any kind of relationship building there is a lot of give and take and that holds as true in the blog community as it does outside.  Carlyn is a lot stronger in that respect than I am.  By becoming a member of blog networks and by reaching out and commenting in the blogs we read we help to build communication with bloggers who likely share common interests. 

I'm sure it can be a bit humbling to ask this too, but in encouraging feedback and opinions and hopefully helping me to figure out how to build our audience it would be great to hear from others as to how they go about building their blog audience which I imagine is something of a consideration if you blog.  So... how do you build your blog audiences?  What are the things we do well here, and what are the things we could do better here?

To me one thing I think about is how to stay true to our blog's original mission, which is stated at the top of our blog since it's inception and is important to me still today.  But  I also wish to evolve and perhaps become a bit more focused.  In saying that though, I know that I don't want to become soooo focused in one direction that we pigeon-hole ourselves either.  I love the somewhat eclectic nature of our blog.  There is a freedom to a broad mission.  That said, we fly a bit by the seat of our pants and I am in large part the responsible one for that in not being as proactive with new ideas and developing direction as Carlyn is.  

I've been bitten by the blog bug though and truly do enjoy the blog experience.  It's really something I must credit this blog challenge with thus far.  It's got me thinking a lot more about our blog and the directions in which we can take it. 

So in a blog-o-sphere where people can read anything they choose to and there are a lot of choices, what are the best ways you've found to build your blogs and generate interest?

What are the pluses and minuses of advertising on a blog?  Is it something that you think promotes your blog or turns people off?

Sometimes when I've looked at various blog networks I've been intimated and almost feel as if I'm spitting into the ocean.  What are the best ways in which to attract YOUR audience and pick the needles out of the haystack?

How do other bloggers balance looking for/finding their audience with staying true to themselves and not just becoming numbers or popularity obsessed?

Speaking for myself, I know that I love the audience we do have now and the people who are kind enough to take the time to read our posts and comment on them, often times bringing insights to us that we both value.  I know that a lot of our current audience do have a real interest in our blog and that's what I crave more of.

Saying that though, there is also a kind of intamacy and truly genuine nature to a smaller community of blog readers that I fear growing too much could destroy.  Balance somewhere between where we are and a larger community is what I seek.  I hope to avoid the pitfalls of becoming ego-centric about our blog. 

If more people who have that interest are not out there than that is fine.  If there are other people who do have an interest in our blog and would contribute and help us with our own self discovery, improvement and goals then how do we find them?

Thanks again to our readers and to anyone who might be willing to lend their insights and/or feedback in any/all of our posts.

I guess now that the irony of this blog challenge quesiton is that I originally dissed the question, while ultimately it brings about something that is an important consideration to me. >.<

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