Blogging Goals: Why Blog If Not for Traffic?

Blogging Goals: Why Blog If Not for Traffic?

Goals: They're good to have. When it comes to blogging, they can be both a blessing and a curse, though.

halfway up the mountain

Credit Image: Adam Kubalica on Flickr

My personal blog, Surrender, Dorothy, caused me some pain around year three when I was really trying to make a go of getting CRAZY MAD TRAFFIC to support my parenting anthology, SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK, which contained posts-turned-essays from twenty-five bloggers who you probably still read (and if you don't, may I recommend them?). Authors these days are commanded to grow a social media following by the time their books come out, but back 2007-2008 it was often the other way around.

Time went on, and that mad traffic never materialized. I was sad about it for a while, but I'd also started writing a young adult novel, THE OBVIOUS GAME, which I worked on for three years. In those three years, my posting on Surrender, Dorothy faltered. I messed with the sidebars and added more bookish categories. I hacked my custom CSS to make new author-ish pages. I updated my About Me page so it now reads more like a writerly resume. And over time, I realized my personal blog wasn't just a personal blog, it was also an author website, which is good, because now publishers want you to have one of those, too. Bingo! I'm so on-trend. So my goal for my blog was less about traffic and more about being updated with what I was doing, writing-wise.

Then I spent about a year and a half after that working on my novel-in-progress, and in that time, the posting on Surrender, Dorothy got worse as I started to write more and more on BlogHer and forgetting to link it from Surrender, Dorothy. (BAD BLOGGER) Then one day, a Goodreads widget borked my statcounter, and it looked like there was No. Traffic. At. All. So after I pulled myself off the floor, I pondered what my goals are now for Surrender, Dorothy, and this is what I decided:

I decided I would keep writing ... even if nobody read it. I don't write here as much as I did before I started working for BlogHer and writing novels, but this is where I come when I have that thought while staring off into space at the school pick-up line. Surrender, Dorothy is the junk drawer of my mind. It has a copy of my resume, sure, and links to my books and some posts I liked highlighted in a list that needs a massive update (although that wouldn't matter if no one was reading, see how we create this unnecessary busyness for ourselves?), but it also has a series of pictures I thought were funny when my daughter was four and some missives about politics and current events that didn't end up changing any policies but made me feel better in the moment. I like going through junk drawers, and I like having this blog.

Someday life will slow down enough for me to poke through my own archives and look at all my junk, and here it will all be. And won't that be amazing?

Have your blog goals changed since you started? Write a post about it and add it to our Magic Mr. Linky or comment below.

Rita Arens is the author of the young adult novel The Obvious Game & the deputy editor of BlogHer.com. Find more at www.ritaarens.com.

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