By Eilene Lyon
At first, the goal was just to set up a blog and see what happened with it. Starting on January 1st, I delved in with some design work and my first, brief post. Well, that was interesting. I spent a bit more time drafting my second post, which was longer and involved detailing a research project.
By then, I was thinking that I should come up with a target for writing regularly and settled on creating five blog pieces a week. Here it is, my 25th post in five weeks. So far, so good!
When taking on this target number of posts, I worried that it might distract me too much from my other writing work. In fact, the opposite has happened. Writing nearly every day, and writing something different every time, has gotten my creative juices flowing. I’m developing a good writing habit.
Working on a book (for months, years…how long has it been?) can start to feel a bit like drudgery. Now it’s a change of pace from my blogging. I’ve also started pitching article ideas (sold my first one in January!) which will help me build my credentials as a professional writer. I had no idea blogging would be such a boost.
How do I come up with five ideas a week? Ideas pop into my head all the time. I diligently jot them down on a note card or scrap of paper. The next time I’m on my computer I create a Word document and type in the idea and maybe a bit of explanation (sometimes I forget just what I meant when I scribbled down “Ground Hog Day” for example). It seems there are always at least seven or eight documents waiting for me to get to work. I’ve only “cheated” just twice: recycling pieces I wrote several years ago for my family newsletter. But they’ve both been among the most-liked/viewed.
I confess, though, that I look at my stats waaay too much. It’s like when you first join Facebook or other social media. You want to see if anyone’s noticed. Or cares. It will wear off…soon…I hope…
Based on those stats, it seems that pieces combining genealogy and travel have been the most popular. The most-viewed post continues to baffle me a bit. It’s the second post I wrote, “Disputing the ‘Facts,’” way back on January 4th. It’s been viewed almost twice as many times as the next nearest contender. It got seven views just yesterday.
Maybe it’s because I wrote about a somewhat obscure historical figure. Are there a bunch of students in Idaho doing a report on Elias D. Pierce, perhaps? This piece does show up on a Google search – like about page 4. Do people really look that far down a Google search?
It’s been great fun, and I won’t bore anyone with another retrospective until next January!
Feature image: Sea lion in the Galapagos doing a little “taking stock”
I’ve 2 posts that are regularly picked up on Google searches – 5 to 6 times a week. One is either no. 1, 2 or 4 on the list when I search!!! Another has just started being read about once or twice a week!
Good luck with your blog and your impressive schedule – I can usually manage posting once every 6-7 days.
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I just started my blog last August and am going for once a week–you are very ambitious! I also wanted to somehow combine my genealogy research with environmentalism, and almost called it Mrs. Green Genes which might have been more catchy. I like that writing publicly forces me to make sure all my evidence is sound, and also makes me think of new avenues to investigate. The posts that get the most views are ones pertaining to Irish research.
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I like that Mrs. Green Genes! Sort of dates us a bit 🙂 It’s interesting to see what people find interesting. Mostly I’m blogging to discipline myself to write every day. I don’t worry too much about my eclectic collection of subjects. My invented blog title is a combination of “myri” meaning many and “copia” meaning abundance. Silly and redundant, but descriptive. Thanks for reading and commenting!