Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Sad Blog" Update

So, a funny thing happened. Remember my little meltdown about how nobody is reading this blog? Hard to forget, since it was only two posts ago. Well, the whole episode was instigated by my sitemeter. You know, the thing that tracks visits to the blog. I changed the settings so it would not count visits from my own computer as traffic, and suddenly my traffic dropped from dozens of daily visits to zero. Yes, zero. So when I complained that no one was reading my blog, I meant NO ONE. Guess what? I just got my next weekly report, and it still says that I had zero visits this week. But I know you've been here, because a number of you so nicely suggested that I keep blogging, either in comments here or to me personally. I'm thinking there is a glitch in my technology.

There is some serendipity here, however. This momentary crisis made me think long and hard about what I want--from this blog, from that other blog, from my career, as a writer, as the archivist for this family. And things are way clearer now than they were a week ago.

Clio Confidential began as a way to allow family and friends into our daily lives, and as a love letter to Clio. Over the years, watching mom-bloggers grow famous and quit their jobs and become full-time bloggers and support their families this way, I found myself thinking, "that could have been me." But the truth is, I never wanted to do the things I would have had to do to get to that outcome. I didn't want to be a web-based reality show. I didn't want to have to worry about whether or not to show my kids faces on the blog. I didn't want my friends and family to have to deal with contests and giveaways on my blog, when they were just checking in with me. I didn't want to sully the content here with anything remotely, well, business.

But I do want to be a blogger. I want to have readers. I want to be invited to speak at conferences or write columns for print magazines. I want to make my own hours and get to pick my kids up at the end of the school day. I want the blogging life.

I also want to be a writer. This is not splitting hairs. Bloggers and writers are different. You can be, but are not necessarily, both.

So here's what I hope to be/do. Design blogger. Mom writer. It's funny: sounds so simple now.

What does this mean for this blog? It means that it will remain the same. A way to allow friends and family into our lives. A love letter to Clio and Eleri. A record of one version of all of our past as a family. And...(this is important) incubator for larger stories to pitch to traditional media. That's the Mom Writer part. Every once in a while, I might ask for your input as parents and people about stories that interest you and what you would want to know more about. Or not, we'll see how it goes! And I will try to not be so insecure about things, and know instead that people DO read this blog, for a variety of their own reasons, and that is a wonderful thing.

Meanwhile, I'll be tearing it up over at Love Your Space. That's where I will be trying to build an audience beyond my own circle. In fact, if you know anyone interest in design and decorating, please send them my way. Encourage them to follow the blog. Pass it on. I started the blog because I love talking about decorating and I had exhausted the patience of too many people with my constant talk, especially my poor husband. I needed and outlet. And I love it. I love writing every post. I love pulling inspiration out of magazines. I love planning a week of content. I love that I have a list of 30 posts waiting int he wings, and I am excited to write every single one. Stemming from that passion, I hope that the blog will lead to bigger things. Eventually, the goal for the design blog is 3-fold. One, I am starting to take on clients who would like to redecorate their homes using what they already have, some ingenuity and elbow grease, and a modest budget for vintage and mass-market items; I hope that the blog will introduce my personality and style and connect me with clients. Two, I would like the design blog to yield sponsors and advertising revenue. And three, I would like it to get me noticed as a design writer for other outlets.

I have always known that I was goal-oriented (I need a plan!), and I have to say, it is a HUGE relief to have a direction. I'll keep you posted.

And I just want to say thank you to all of you who DO read my blogs, who support my endeavors, and who say such nice things about what I write. (I fear I might need positive reinforcement a little too badly to embark on a freelance writing/decorating life, but we'll see!) And this time around, a special thank you to my friend Jo who sent me a plan to build my blog and helped me get some clarity around the function of these two spaces. And thanks, too, to my friend Sarah B, who said: "now you're doing what you love, the money will follow." Here's hoping she's right!


The Hewitts said...

No sad blog. Happy blog.

Also, happy "come over and help me decorate my sad house" request.

Tiffany from HOLIDAY said...

I just clicked on your blog b/c I loved the title and it's funny how your post about no readers made me want to read your blog even more! I plan to go back and start from the beginning.

While I think it's really wonderful that there are moms who have made a very successful go at this blogging world, I would not want that for myself. I find that some of them are losing steam now and don't produce great posts anymore b/c perhaps they feel forced now and they've lost their desire? I look back at my posts in the early days, when I would get zero comments, and you know what...I loved blogging back then just as much as I do today, when I actually get some feed back. Made me realize I'm doing it still for the right reasons...for me. A love letter, like you said, to your little one, to yourself reminding you of the things that inspire you.

I say stop if you no longer have the desire but don't do it based on your audience. :) xo

Rebecca said...

Good for you! I love the plan.

Jo F said...

Thanks for the shout out! Love the plan, of course. :)

Leigh and Anthony said...

Hey Heather. I love checking in here and there to see how you, Dave, and the kids are doing. It is a great blog and I'm glad you aren't stopping.