Creativity Magazine

STUPID PUPPY Blogger: Readers’ Opinions Matter

By Legosneggos @LegosnEggos

STUPID PUPPY Blogger: Readers’ Opinions Matter

So I’ve been doing this particular blog here for a little over a year (counting before switching to self-hosted), and, well, to be frank, the comments and subscriptions just aren’t coming in at a high pace.  It used to be, when you started a blog, participation came pretty swiftly, but I think that’s because there were considerably fewer bloggers back in, say, 2007 (when I started my first blog) than now — OK, millions fewer bloggers, but you get my point.

Now, many might at this point throw in the towel, but I’m not one of them.  I’m going to take a moment to prepare a cup of coffee (with my special microwave-steamed milk– see I haven’t shared that post yet) and take another few minutes writing this post to tell you why I’m not.

You see, my aim is not to incite pity in you, sweet reader, but only to offer you a list of the pathetic ways in which I wait for comments.  It’s much like a desperate teenaged girl constantly checking her cell for texts or missed calls though somewhat cooler because, I mean, hey, who runs to the computer 100 times a day to check her blog?

Yeah, I do, but that’s beside the point.

Anyway, I’ve been pondering what I do with my blogging time (generous but not excessive) and my loose reasoning on what keeps me blogging, and here’re the conclusions that I’ve come up with:

  • I’ve started approving the more inventive spam comments.  Hey, some of them actually sound personalized and sincere, so why the hell not?   It makes LegosnEggos feel like a happenin’ place.  Let’s be honest — there’s nothin’ else goin’ on here but the rent.
  • I check my Sitemeter constantly, and I see regular readers returning, so I know you’re out there — and boy, am I ever glad you are.
  • I’m starting to become sad I left because, at least bloggers over there could see me.  Why did I move here to the tundra wasteland of self-hosted?  Maybe I’ll understand what drove me…someday.  I think it was the lure of monetizing my blog with advertising that could possibly make a quarter (yes, that’s 25 cents) in monthly income.  I don’t know what I was thinking… [trailing off in shame]  (I feel like an Idaho farm girl who unloaded all her bags in New York City, and the muggers got my stuff before the taxi even drove off.)
  • I use this blog as a way to avoid mounds of laundry and cleaning the bathroom of my three pubescent sons.  I really do.  They sweat a lot, and their aim, like most males, is terrible.
  • I love playing with HTML and editing my theme, so I do a lot of that while I’m waiting for feedback.  I’ve done it a lot and believe I’m probably proficient enough to make websites.  Seriously, a new WordPress plugin or a widget sends me into orbit like a rocket.
  • I love music, art, photography, indie everything, YouTube, and Pinterest, so there’s just too much out there NOT to write about, so I scourge for information that might be valuable to the 15 subscriptions I’ve got.  (And I do appreciate my 15 subscribers.  Thanks for being “there.”)
  • I get a global high out of seeing all the countries that I amass as viewing my blog.  I think I’ve got  65% of the planet.  It’s my new obsession.  I’m thinking of making a private card deck of all the countries that have visited my blog, making myself a meal indigenous to each new country that visits and then adding its card to the deck.
  • I’ve considered all kinds of controversial things that I could write about, but I’ve found that I’m usually too compassionate (though not apathetic) an individual to say much that would raise someone’s dander enough to comment out of emotionality.  If I did so, I’d be just a shockblogger, and controversy’s just not who I am.
  • I’ve even considered throwing up cute crap like Tumblr users do best (hence the cute puppy top) to elicit “ooooohs” and “ahhhhhs,” and meme-based rage comic stuff (which I love) but I’ll leave that to Tumblr users.

Anyway, the wait for new comments and subscriptions can make one feel — oh, why depersonalize this?  ME — well, weak, kind of like, “Why the hell do I write this stuff if my bounce rate stays at nearly 95%?  Why do I do this to myself, putting my thoughts out there into the nebula that is the blogosphere (do people still use that term?) and getting so little in return?”

The easy answer is that, when even just a single reader makes a comment or subscribes, it makes it all worth it.  Just one reader makes me, a blogger, feel like a bona fide writer who’s offered a point that resonated somewhere, to someone.  And in all the world, there is this one person who read what you wrote and felt it was important to let you know it did so.

(By the way, I love you to the moon and back, Mom, for faithfully commenting.  You’re the best.  It’s OK, you don’t have to hide your identity; I know I’m still special.)

I am in a world of bloggers that are natural-born writers, and I realize there are millions of us.  Sometimes, I suspect that there are more natural-born writers than avid readers, or at least the blogging world suggests such.  Still, natural-born writers must write, whether they are simply mediocre or brazenly brilliant.  We have the calling to write even if there is not much to say.  Many of us are introverts who never say a thing or, like me, suppress an awful lot, and writing’s the steam relief valve.  Many are also gregarious people who won’t pipe down, even non-verbally.  Many are people in jobs or lifestyles that don’t warrant personal opinions, and so we offer our opinions in our blogs, in writing.  Many of us are stay-at-home parents who only can offer grown-up words in our blogs, and have bad words that we can “say” only in our blogs.  Whatever, we are natural-born writers…well, discovered we were when we became literate.

Whatever the reason, I put my thoughts out here.  And I see that they’re read, sometimes for minutes (in that every 20th-viewer kind of way).  I don’t know, though — maybe you’re just poring over just the many colorful images, listening to the music player, or viewing the video that I also offer to turn you into a captive audience.  Whatever — you’re coming here, and I ‘m so happy about that.  So I know my blog isn’t a retch-inducing or particularly nauseating site.

Still, when you see that people read, a few even faithfully (thank you, New Delhi, Paris, and Auckland, by the way!) — and that they’re reading for a while, you can’t help but think, “I know I must have offered something to those readers because they tarried here a bit, but my posts just didn’t evoke any feeling strongly enough to warrant a comment or a subscription request.”

After trying for a while to create a sense of community without commenters, a blogger sees that maybe it’s just not happening, and so a sense of ambivalence ensues toward her blog.  I notice that, when the kids politely ask, “Hey, mom, how’s the blog coming,” I kind of curl my upper lip as if they’ve asked about an old, wobbly dog that we’re waiting for to die so that we can stop cleaning up after it.  I say, “Oh, it’s fine.”

I mean, I love the old dog, but it’s kind of just a chore because it doesn’t do any tricks.  But, then again, maybe it’s just this puppy that hasn’t been smart enough to learn any tricks yet!  So then I try to decipher whether my blog is an old dog or just a stupid, clueless puppy that doesn’t yet know much about blogging to be effective.

I think I’ve got a stupid puppy here in this blog.  But that’s OK, because this blog is written because I love writing.  One can see that, contrary to what I’ve been told to be a successful blogger, LegosnEggos doesn’t stick to just one subject.  I’m a real person with varied interests, and I can’t write a blog about my personal life and views that is ABOUT ONLY ONE THING!  Who of us, as a person, is  about only one thing?  I think that’s for the blogs that want to just be a business and make money.

I started this blog to write about my life, and the timing of starting it was when my world was falling apart.  My dad was near death and  did pass away, my 23-year marriage dissolved, I needed to redefine myself and my career, and my kids were lost and confused.  I was at wit’s end to make it through intact and, in that sense, writing this blog has saved me.

So I blog because I am.  I blog to put my thoughts into words because that is the only way I know to sort them, like straddling a pile of index cards spread all over the floor before me.  My blog posts are  just a series of my life’s index cards.  I’d like to think of my blogging brilliance-vs.-disorganization in terms of  A Beautiful Mind, but it plays out more in intelligence like an off episode of SpongeBob SquarePants.

I know I’m rambling — you can do that when you’re “self-published” (I still laugh at that true but stretched truth) — and I know that the rambling reaches a few of you.  So, if you’re a reader, let me know how to improve this place.  Let me know how to hear feedback.  Let me know what you like and don’t like because, just as I like to get feedback to improve myself, I also like to improve my blog.

If you critique my blog, it’s not critiquing me; it’s just critiquing how I put my thoughts out here.  And especially to those who read LegosnEggos and get a little something out of it — I don’t care how small — how about letting a blogger know maybe what it is you like, even in two words.

Just two words…like, “Liked this,” or “Cool beans” — those would make my day.

And if you like my views, then subscribe.  G’head — subscribe the living hell out of this blog! lol  Follow me, comment me, validate my blog, press confirm!  lol  Say you like a song of the week, say you found a video of the week funny (only if you did), or just say you like my taste…orrrr don’t, I guess. lol  You don’t have to agree; as a matter of fact, especially let me know if you don’t.  We quieter blogs don’t care if you are contrary and opinionated.

Thanks for letting me vent a little about a blogger’s frustrations.  Stupid Puppy thanks you.  As a matter of fact, this post has my first merch item! — How’s this? — Stupid Puppy Blogger t-shirt!  You know you identify if you’re a blogger, too.  Honestly, though, blogging is the most fun I have in any other hobby other than watching my kids in theirs…except maybe the easy projects on Pinterest, when I can find them.

Go on, tell this Stupid Puppy blogger how very well you understand the Plight of the Non-Commenters/Non-Subscribers because you, too, felt this way even though you now have a rampantly successful and widely cherished blog.  Yes, you remember what it used to be like when you were approving spam comments just to see some activity…and listing four ways to subscribe on your front page.  ;)

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