After reading some of your comments, I asked myself out loud, “Did I ask everyone to come out and tell me how much they like me? Did I sound like I was whining and trying to figure out a way to get more comments?”

Dan says “Yes.”

Apparently this — “It didn’t exactly work that way for me. I’m currently having a hard time getting more weekly hits than Chris’s old blog archives,” sounds very whiny. Reading it over this morning I’d have to agree. What I meant as I was blogging late last night was that my mind is boggled by Chris’s ability to keep readers on an old blog that she hasn’t posted to for weeks. She is a force to be reckoned with.

Um, sorry about that. I usually pick Tip Tuesdays based on things I think we can all relate to or would like advice about. I have gotten several emails from newer bloggers asking me for tips on how to increase traffic to their blogs. I’ve also read several entries from great bloggers who are threatening to quit due to lulls in traffic.

I was hoping we could brainstorm and all learn from each other. Truth be told, I’m continually in shock at how many people read and comment here on a regular basis. I get more feedback from smart funny women than I ever imaged when I started blogging 11 months ago.

Carrie mentioned that it is a good idea “to NOT DEMAND COMMENTS. If you blog to get comments but don’t get any, something’s wrong with what you’re writing. It’s not comment-able.” She’s right. I often read great posts that ARE comment-able but I’m just too lazy to comment or don’t have anything useful to say. I am a major lurker and I think that’s fine.

I’m sorry if I annoyed you guys by asking for comments today. I really thought that having people tell how they got here would be sort of fun and instructive. You are more than welcome to read any time and not worry about commenting. I can take it.

Angela left a comment about bacon, which of course caught my attention immediately. She is a major blogging guru of mine so I’ll repeat here what she said:

“I honestly believe the blog thing is SO hit and miss. When I write about bacon and brown sugar, I get a ton of hits and comments. When I write about my life? Not so much. It’s a strange world out there. (I’m still coming to grips with the fact that people love bacon more than they love me. I smell good too, damnit!)

Then again, I don’t think the traffic and comments are as important as the actual exercise. I’ve made this analogy many times before, but I think it bears repeating: It’s a crime for children to participate in poetry contests. The important thing is that poetry is being written. And some of it is completely amazing. The gold medals and certificates don’t mean a thing, and if a lack of recognition makes one child stop creating, well, it’s a travesty.”

That really struck a chord with me. The exercise really is what’s important, getting my thoughts out there, having a creative outlet and feeling good about what I’ve written. It makes sense and it’s true but it really is hard for me not to wonder or care about readership.

Part of that stems from the fact that I’m working to transition to a professional writing career. If people aren’t reading or commenting, what chance do I have of successfully finding someone to pay me to write?

The past several months I’ve been working on not taking personal validation from how many people are reading and commenting. It’s similar to a struggle I had early on as a mother, where I found myself defining my self worth by how often others told me how cute or polite Laylee was. They’re both roller coaster rides not worth taking.

So what are your motives for blogging? What got you started? (Please feel no pressure to answer these questions. 🙂 )

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