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. 🙂 )

This entry was posted in all about me, Blogging, tip tuesday. Bookmark the permalink.

49 Responses to Dude.

  1. Ginger says:

    By the way, I have no clue how I found your blog. Maybe it was through the scandal. I still remember that clearly and the heated post I put on my own blog about it, since I wasn’t allowed “in” either.

    Anyhow, I started blogging because my mentor with Christian Writer’s Guild suggested it as a good writing exercise. I’m still blogging nearly every day as an outlet and exercise method, but finding it hard to get my guild lessons in on time.

    You, DYM, rock.

    How’s Vincent Van Go, by the way? Still getting primo parking spots?

  2. jennster says:

    i write because it’s fun.. but i write because PEOPLE ARE LISTENING. i wrote about it here a little- but i guess that is more about expectations when you blog, etc
    but really.. i write the things i do, because it’s fun. and it IS fun to get comments- to know people are reading and can relate. it’s about interaction. there is a certain sense of validation in that and i won’t feel bad about wanting it. 🙂

  3. Naddin J says:

    I blog because I’ve always been a journal-writer and – this sounds so narcissistic but I’m sure I’m not alone – I like what I write. I like writing in general. I’ll spend HOURS on a post (much to hubby’s chagrin). It’s just fun.

    There was a time when I first started that I noticed other people getting more comments than I was getting, and this made me pouty. Finally I had to decide that I wasn’t going to pander to the crowds (I love the word “pander”) – I was just going to write and enjoy myself. So that’s what I’ve been doing since and if I don’t get a bunch of comments on something I worked hard on, I don’t let it bug me.

    I agree with Carrie. You can’t whine for comments without sounding, well, whiny.

  4. Naddin J says:

    P.S. I didn’t think you were whining for comments, by the way. I think it’s a topic that needed to be explored. 🙂

  5. carrie says:

    I’m glad to know you’re a major lurker, too… I’ve heard people say it’s rude to not comment, but I simply don’t have time to comment on all the posts I read every day, nor can I think of witty things to say. As a blogger, I love getting comments, but I figure the few readers I have are in the same position of me and just can’t or don’t want to comment all the time.

    I blog because it keeps us in touch with our family and friends. I blog to vent. I blog because I love reading other blogs. Other bloggers are a big source of encouragement to me as a mom, something I get very little of in real life. I blog to process thoughts and feelings. There are so many thoughts and feelings I want to process via blogging but don’t want to on my current blog because too many people I know in real life read it.

    ANd another reason I don’t comment is because I have a child that needs me… Which is why i must end this one prematurely. 🙂

  6. Chilihead2 says:

    OK, first: I’m on vacation and I haven’t had a chance to read blogs let along comment on them.

    Second: I found you via Shannon, I think. I’m pretty sure. But I feel certain I would have found you eventually regardless because, Hello? YOU ARE HILARIOUS AND INTERESTING.

    Third: I started blogging because I wanted to write more. I selfishly wanted an audience that would not know me and would maybe like me because of my writing and not some pre-conceived notion based on knowing me. And then I went to KC and blew it. 😉

    Fourth: I had a similar thing happen to me with the comments/posts last week. I mentioned that many of my readers came through Shannon’s site. I didn’t say it so people would reassure me they read me for me or to get my traffic up. I was just being flip. And then I totally got bombarded with traffic and warm fuzzies. Of course, it helped that Jules was playing a bit of a joke on me too. Anyway…

    I’m still on vacation and I just wrote you a book. There. Stand proud.

  7. Michelle says:

    Huh. I’ve been thinking about my motives for blogging lately. I think I do it for the connection mostly. I started blogging because I started reading blogs, and I started reading blogs because I was wandering around the Internet looking for Christians with interesting things to say.

    I still read and blog because I like finding people of varying backgrounds and viewpoints with whom I can relate in some way. I like reading things by people who think differently than me. I like all of this exchanging of ideas that goes on in the blogosphere.

    That’s why I haven’t quit. Even when I feel completely boring, I want to keep reading, and I want to contribute what I can since I’m getting so much out of it.

  8. It is funny, I just posted about how and why I blog earlier today. And honestly my addiction to blogging started with reading your blog! It has unlocked a part of me that has not been around in a long long time. I used to write faithfully in a diary, I used to write poetry, and yes I wrote short stories, and I did write a novel once in a spiral bound notebook when I was in high school. Lord knows where I put that notebook, but someday I will dig it out of storage and rewrite and edit it and maybe it will get published. But for now I will hone my writing skills by blogging.

  9. ABC Momma says:

    I blog because I love the incredulous look on people’s faces when I tell them I’m a blogger. Like “I knew you were a geek, but I didn’t know you were THAT much of a geek.” I also blog to connect with other moms and women all over the world, it is very fulfilling.

  10. I love your posts and it’s time I quit taking advantage of you and let you know. I feel MUCH better for having said that now and not being a reader leech. (By the way of random, I loved your folks’ comments on yesterday’s post. Want to pass that on for me?)

    One reason I seldom comment on your post is because “ditto” would look stupid day after day. You get a lot of quality comments who say it all. But from now on, whenever you see ‘ditto’, know the neighbor was here and enjoyed your post.

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Kathryn. I came to a point several months ago where I made myself step back, limit blogging’s role in my life, and rethink my blogging purpose. When I was finally able to put it in perspective for myself I remembered that I blog to clear my own head out, share ideas, and to receive interaction with other blogs/bloggers. Nothing more. When those things cease to meet a need for me I feel very at peace to walk away and remember this as a fun thing I did for awhile.

    Coming to this conclusion for myself (I’m not implying that you or anyone else should feel or do what I’ve done) was a very freeing thing for me. Blogging became fun again, my posts reflect more of who I am, comments- while fun and affirming- don’t make or break my day, and I generally enjoy it pressure free again.

    Again, I’m not implying that you or anyone else should go through this process with your own blogs, it’s just my experience.

    I don’t hear you as whining, either, by the way. You’re allowed to blog about whatever you darn well please any day of the week.

  12. Rhythm-less says:

    I write so people will comment.

    My life is empty without comments.

    I started as a journal type thing for the long-distance grandmas and to remember to laugh with my kids. Then I started reading all these thought provoking blogs written by other women like me and I got depressed because I’m so simple.

    Now I just blog for comments.

  13. I blog as an on-line journal. I don’t “blog for the fame”, wink wink. And it’s certainly a good thing I didn’t start blogging for the bucks. Because, um…they’re not rolling in. Also, I just like writing, and it’s an outlet.

  14. Melissa says:

    I only JUST started blogging, partly because I wanted to write, and partly because I want to connect more with some of the super-fabulous mom bloggers out there.

    I have SOOO many readers, you’d be amazed. There’s my husband, and my sister, and my mother, and like three girlfriends… Wow, am I ever popular. And lurky. I read lots, and never comment (whoops!). Come to think of it, there might be a correlation there…

  15. Kage says:

    ok what’s up with linking to carrie’s and having that cheesecake staring at me…man now I HAVE to have that.

  16. appleseed says:

    I started blogging so the grandparents could be up to date on their first grand-kid since I live so far away!
    I stopped expecting comment since none of my family seems to understand how to leave them…
    The only down side to my blog is that when I call anyone that has read the blog, I have nothing new to tell them…

  17. carrie says:

    Hey, Kage, I was just getting ready to post the recipe… so now I guess you’ll have to eat it! 🙂

  18. Heather O. says:

    The comments thing is very hit and miss. IMO, I just wrote some of the best stuff I’ve ever written about an experience that I had with an amazing person. Very few comments, really. But apparantly people really like to talk about boobs and Starbucks, so, whatever. I just try to gauge it by traffic, and hope that people are listening!

    And I blog because I like to write, and I basically think it’s fun.

    I found you through Dandelion Mamma.

  19. Heather O. says:

    FYI, I lurk here far more than I leave comments. So now I’m leaving two to make up for it. 🙂

  20. Great post. I started blogging due to the fact that I really missed writing because my job didn’t afford me that outlet anymore.

    When I first started blogging, I wrote about my new baby and only shared my blog with friends and family. Then one day I realized that I wanted to the freedom to write about things that maybe I didn’t want my friends and family to read. Not that I would be talking about them badly or anything, but I didn’t want to offend anyone if I threw in a bad word here or there or talked about intimate details that I would be embarrased to share with them (but didn’t mind sharing with strangers–ironic, but true). So I started a new blog and hence the title of it–Mommy off the Record.

    It’s given me the creative outlet that I need and opened me up to a wonderful community of mother writers that I really didn’t know existed until about 5 or 6 months ago.

    Anyhow, I’m sure that’s WAY more than you wanted to know.

    I really like your blog and your writing. Good luck with persuing a professional writing career. I have a feeling you’ll have no trouble at all.

  21. theresa says:

    Hi, I lurk around here too. I recently started blogging because it is so hard for me to fit in in the outside world. I had my children when I was 20 and they are in their 20’s now. Women my age have younger children. Anyway, I love the comments, the friendships and it is so much fun. Especially when my long distanced boyfriend complains that he finds out more about me by reading my blog than when we talk on the phone.
    Thanks for all the tips too.

  22. beth says:

    Well, because I saw I was late I went and commented on the previous post before reading this one. Probably should have read this first because you just said what I was trying to get across in the last part of my comment.

    I started blogging because I found that I was thinking about so much that was new for me once I became a mom. I wanted to get it all out of my system. I also wanted to write about my son and had been having trouble journaling on a regular basis. The possibility of finding other moms through blogging was what I used as a motivating factor to get me to journal more on being a new mom. I started blogging for myself mainly, but, like you, I find that I am often thinking about expanding my readers and getting comments and the like. I wish I didn’t, but really we wouldn’t be blogging in a public forum if we weren’t hoping someone would read it.

  23. surcie says:

    DUde! I just saw what you wrote below. THANKS! It means a whole lot.

  24. Meagan says:

    I have been lurking on your site ever since I discovered a reference to it in Baby Talk magazine. I typically don’t comment because I don’t have anything particularly helpful to say…but I visit every day if for nothing else than the laughs…and I ALWAYS laugh.


  25. allysha says:

    Okay, okay. I delurk to say I check out your blog every morning. I have a routine, it goes like this: yahoo! email account, 9 Chickweed Lane, DYM, the Deseret Morning News, and then the weather page. I laugh out loud and if Ben is around, then I share it with him, whether he is in hearing distance or not.
    I was introduced to your blog through Ben, your former doc classmate, because you emailed him during the scandal about something and mentioned your site.
    I think about starting a blog myself, but I haven’t been able to come up with cool secret code names for my children to protect their pedestrian identities. So in the meantime, I read your stuff, check out other people’s stuff linked to your site from time to time and think about things I would write about if I did.
    I still think it’s a pity we live on opposite ends of the country and if I find a $1000 bill in the gutter I will buy plane tickets and come to visit you.

  26. Cmommy says:

    You caught me…I’ve been feeling low about numbers (and, hey, under 10 is low, compared to you :-).

    All week, I’ve been telling myself, “You started this to BE HERE, to document the stuff that gets lost in the dailiness of life, to let the children KNOW your heart, to strengthen your writing muscles. The new friends, the great blogs, are an incredible bonus!” I think I will lose ‘the thread’ of my integrity if I allow myself to get caught up in the blogging game. But, gee, it’s hard.

    Hugs, C

  27. Tracy M says:

    I blog because I can’t find enough quarters in my couch to pay a therapist. I blog because three kids under five and oil painting don’t mix. I blog because I want to retain some semblance of a voaculary and mind beyond “sippy cup” and “goldfish”. I am Dandelion Mama.

    By the Way, shameless plug here: Heather O’s “Rick” posts were some of the best writing she’s done; I think they were so good they stand alone, and I felt paltry just telling her thank you. I think that’s why people commented so little- what to add? Check them out at Mormon Mommy Wars if you wanna…

  28. Tracy M says:

    See, I’m slipping already!
    Vocabulary. Vocabulary…

  29. HolyMama! says:


    i LOVE your blog, and lurk often. it was one of the ones i initially set apart in my mind as a Total ROckstar of Blogs blog. I had DYM envy big time. It factored into my getting the t shirt and everything. i was horrified when i thought you were being treated unfairly a few months back, and was extra commenty then, so you’d infer i was SO on your side. because, dude. i am.

    i started blogging to build an audience, as i confessed openly from the start. i wanted to be able to approach a publisher one day and say, “Hi. Wanna buy my manuscript, i already have a TON of readers!” My ulterior motive has never been a secret. And typepad comments aren’t working right now, so my ego took a hit before i figured it out. ha. i’m so lame.

    the first part of this read like a love letter. sorry. i fully acknowledge it was unsolicited, i jsut thought the time had come to tell you of my affection. so there! blog on, you rockstar dym!

  30. bon says:

    I blog because some day I want to write children’s books and in order to learn how to write…? You have to write.
    I blog because I want a record of my children’s childhoods beyond “here is the lock of hair from their first haircut…”
    I blog because I can only get it together enough to actually do any of this if I think people are waiting to read it NOW.
    I blog because bloggers are the funniest, most empathetic, insightful people I’ve never met.
    I blog because the mixed media of the Inter-webules is so exciting.
    I blog and you helped me to get started… Thanks for that!

    I have had to come to terms with stats… they are there and occasionally it’s fun and sometimes discouraging to see who is what and where. I toyed very seriously with turning off comments and when I defined for myself why I would NOT turn them off, I started to enjoy the process so much more.

  31. Bek says:

    I first started a blog to keep my son’s birth family updated on what he was doing, then I did it to keep MY family updated on what we are doing….then I stared writing about things like adoption and my work in Africa and it has become 1/2 updates for family and 1/2 outlet and journal. I seem to find myself in front of the computer more then a classic written journal….. not sure why…

    Good luck with the upacking. I just found 4 boxes that I never unpacked and we have been here a year. Do I really need that stuff? :-_)

  32. Huffs says:

    I started blogging after having some dear friends move across the world. It was an easy way to all keep up with what was going in each others’ lives. Then I noticed how much more I remember about the kiddos now that I have it in archive form. It’ll make all the back-scrapping I need to do a little easier…I really have no other motives for blogging than this. I lurk a lot and comment when I have time or feel like I have something important to contribute. And I didn’t feel like you were so much fishing for comments–sometimes it’s just fun to get feedback. And sometimes, if you ask a question–it’s easier for a reader to know how to direct a comment. It’s why I’ve commented twice in one day on a blog I’ve been lurking for months…

  33. Anonymous says:

    You get a lot of comments, so what exactly are you insecure about?

  34. Jessica says:

    I blog for my own sanity. It is a creative outlet for me. Just to try to use my brain a bit more and have a little more adult fun than what I do normally all day with an 18 month old.

  35. It’s funny how after I got a Site Meter and a few comments that my motivation quietly shifted from a writing exercise to TRAFFIC I NEED TRAFFIC AND COMMENTS LOVE ME INTERNET!

    There are days when I think I should just stop doing this. This post put into words a lot of what I’m feeling lately about blogging.

  36. BoringTales says:

    I blog, therefore I am. No, really. I used to be a journal’er myself. Every night. When I met my dear husband I quit for some reason.

    I find blogging a way to get some great feedback on some private issues without having to spill your guts to someone who actually knows you. Works for me. I’d rather rag about my husband to people who don’t know him that to my family or his family…lol…

  37. Amy A. says:

    I started blogging because an author was giving out free books if you posted a review on your blog. Never one to pass up something free, I started one.

    Now I put up pictures, or regular stuff, like why I like my favorite lip gloss, but don’t really spill my guts too often. Too scary. I LOVE reading the spilled guts of others, though.

    I could give up my blog, but I don’t think I’d give up reading them. It’s a unique way to connect with people you would otherwise never know.

  38. melnel says:

    I started blogging so my mother would stop calling me everyday and wasting my daytime minutes. 🙂

    I started blogging to practice writing for an audience, whether or not there was a big or responsive one.

    Now I blog because I like the looks of “you have a blog? you geek!” when it comes up in conversation with other single guys. A blog is the best BDT (boyfriend defense tool) there is!

    Now I blog because it brought me back in touch with some of my siblings.

    Now I blog because I’ve unexpectedly made friends with other bloggers–real people who are real funny in a real natural way. And I’m hoping it rubs off on me just a bit.

    But if not…at least my cell phone bill is reasonable again– I’m down to an enjoyable once a week sunday phone call from mom.

  39. Jeana says:

    Okay, how do I find Heather O’s best stuff she’s ever written? I followed her link and there’s no blog there. I saw Mormon Mommy Wars somewhere? Link, anyone?

  40. Tracy M says:

    I don’t know how to create a link, but the site is http://www.mommywars.blogspot.com
    look for the four posts titled “Taking Care of Rick”.

    In the interest of full-disclosure, I’m a perma-blogger on Mommy Wars!

  41. Hey Anonymous-
    If you’re going to be a troll, at least have the balls to leave your name. C’mon, now. Be a grown up.

  42. emlouisa says:

    I write because I feel like it is a creative outlet for me. It makes me think about more than just what is going on day to day, it makes me delve into the deep secrets of my life. Okay, not really. But, kinda.

    It is hard not to get hung up on comments. I am totally guilty of this.

    I am of the opinion lately that a lot of people are on VayCay and are therefore not blogging. Wait until we are all cooped up inside and the comments will start rolling in.

    Love ya, DYM. Move to Idaho already.

  43. She-Ra says:

    Funny you should blog this subject. I have caught myself thinking, just this week, that I would love to have readers and commenters. But then I have to remind myself of why I started a blog in the first place – as a record of the day to day things that will soon be forgotten but which I’d rather remember some how. I can revisit my old posts in a year and say, Oh yeah! That was funny. I forgot all about that. What happened though when I started blogging was that I discovered all the great bloggers out there, some of whom I can totally relate to. So I guess what I am searching for when I’m wishing for comments is blog-friendship. Other people who can relate to me and maybe we could become cyber-friends, even just casually.

  44. krista says:

    Oh my god. Daring Young Mom. We are totally on the same page. Take a stroll over to my site today to see a VERY similar post.


  45. Mel says:

    My motives for blogging have shifted a little bit, but not much over the past years. I started to share my life with a few friends. (Someone suggested it and I thought it sounded like fun.)

    I’m still sharing my life with people, but a whole lot more people, as it turns out now. Plus, I have the whole ClubMom blogging thing happening, so now I’m working hard on simply producing good content every day and driving traffic to my paid site.

    My other blog is still just for sharing my life and the daily practice of writing.

  46. Jodi Jean says:

    i love how most comments were “i blog for comments” haha, i blog to write, and vent, and pretend like i have an interesting life.

    if i blogged for comments i would have stopped a long time ago. i have posted like 20+ post and probably only have 7 comments TOTAL.

    i can’t even get my hubby to *read* my blog, let alone comment. so for all of you who wish you had more comments, it could be worse.

    p.s. DYM i read your blog everyday, LOVE LOVE LOVE you. you are an inspiration to all of us, and i *really* appreciated your comment on my blog.

  47. Oh I’ll tell you why I haven’t commented lately and that is because I am lazy, well busy out here and by the time I get to read my blog friends I have tons of post I would like to comment on but I’m too tired! I started out longing for comments on my blog but now I just write for mostly me but I do love comments!

  48. Mama T. says:

    I found your blog through Chris and love it. I started blogging because I’ve been reading so many of them and thought that maybe I could attempt to blog and be decent at it.

    I get comments from 1 co-worker/friend and that’s about it. So, is she the only one reading? Dunno. But probably. Right now I don’t have a lot of time to devote it and I have to admit that the last couple of entries kinda suck. I’m aspiring to be better. And interesting. Soon. Oh and keep adding more links, customize the header, more, more, more.

    So, how do I get more hits?

  49. Stephanie says:

    This is a fantastic topic. I have been thinking a lot lately about why I blog and what I love about it. For me, it is a way to escape into a world all my own. My husband has worked from home for four years and I have two young children. I rarely have an alone moment and I felt like my creativity had gone out the window. I felt my growth had been stunted and that I was loosing who I was. Then I discovered blogging.

    I learned there is the FANTASTIC world of women who are feeling the same things I am. They are having the same thoughts too, only they had the ability to write them down and make me laugh.

    I may not be the most creative person out there, nor am I witty or silly (well, sometimes) but I am discovering who I am again. I am re-learning what is important to me. I am taking the things that are usually held up inside me because there are more pressing things that demand my time…diapers to change and spills to mop up and noses to wipe.

    I never thought about comments when I originally started blogging. I didn’t know the validation that it would bring to pull up my I.E. window and have two more comments. The satisfaction that someone out there cares enough to read what I am writing is HUGE!

    Thanks for making me think this morning!

Comments are closed.