I don’t like to blog about blogging, mainly because I don’t like to read posts about blogging. This is not to knock those who do so; I would just rather hear about diaper explosions, sleepless nights, parenting dilemmas, nights out on the town….you know – life outside of your site. For me, reading blogs about blogging is like listening to a preacher preach about preaching or a singer sing about singing. I’m all, “Really?” And then I move on to something that I find more engaging.

I’m sitting down tonight to write my thoughts on blogging because all signs seem to be pointing that I need to. I have had a number of emails and comments in the last few weeks to do with this thing called Blog and I think I need to get my thoughts about it out there so that I can move on and write about more important things like pre-schooler temper tantrums and seven-year-old’s who think they are seventeen.

The blog-related conversations I have been having seem to fall into two camps: Comments (or lack thereof) and how (or why) to even get started. I had one commenter say that she had thought about starting a blog but didn’t know where to start and asked, “How did you get so many readers, anyway?” Almost five years into this gig, I’ll let you in on my secret: I have no idea. I hope that helps.

Anytime I am asked why I started this site I give an honest answer: I started it as a way for family and friends to see what we’re up to. It’s morphed into more than that, yes, but it is still the core of why I sit down here a few times a week to bang out my thoughts. I am a social creature by nature. Small children and a busy schedule make it almost impossible to catch up with the people in my life and sitting down for a half an hour or so a few times a week to get my thoughts down is an easy way to stay connected. The big stuff is there for people to read and keep up with us. I can then use my other spare moments during the day to catch up on everyone else.

As for the comment thing, I may sound like an old fart but they aren’t what they used to be. Friends who are considered “Big” bloggers have lamented this fact as much as friends who may not have the same traffic numbers. I know that personally, my blog subscribers and readers keep growing, though comments are far less than what they used to be. I once read a statistic that only 2% of readers commented. I think that number has declined to a mere 1%, if not 0.5%. It’s not you; it’s them. Everyone is busy and many people are trying to build their own blog empires and some people might feel like they’re cooler if they don’t comment. Or maybe a billion other reasons.

It’s not like I am immune to “comment anxiety”. Every time (EVERY TIME) I hit publish I feel like a high-fivin’ white girl. I’m standing there, arm in the air, waiting (hoping) for someone to validate me. I’ve gotten better over the years, but GLORY BE was I an insecure mess back when I first started. Now, once I get one sweet soul chiming in, I breathe easy and back away from the “Blow Up The Site” button. All of this to say that you are not alone. Me too. I hear you. We’re soul mates and all of that. Related: It’s the Internet. Let’s not take it too seriously, ‘mmkay?

The people I consider close friends do not buy into the hype. They don’t chime in on the latest Internet drama. They crack me up daily. They write about becoming superheroes. They write about being homeless. They are just awesome. They wonder how they got the life they have. They write about broken relationships and hope for the future. They write about I DON’T KNOW. They do the best Oscar recap EVER. They write about dive bars and about Irishmen. They make the best illustrations on the planet (Including my banner. Yo.) They are as ridiculously crafty as the last girl.  They rock the every day. They make me shout, “TWIN!” They write about life. Including prairie life life in Vancouver and life in New Zealand.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. If you are one of those people who are befuddled/confused by posts about stats and traffic and SEO and blah, blah, blah… please  don’t give up. There is a whole world of people out there who are just like you. They may not know you (Yet) but they are just. like. you. Possibly? Even more awkward. But you didn’t hear it from me.

Whether you are new or old to this thing called Blog, I want you to keep on keeping on. Do it because you want to. Write when you want to write, comment when you want to comment, and get out in the real world and live your life every chance you get. Unless you’re striving to be the next Dooce (Good luck with that) blogging should not be a stress in your life. It should be something that you consider to be good and fine and FUN. The best way to make it as good as it can be is really, truly simple.

Write like nobody’s reading.

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Comments:

  1. Camels & Chocolate March 11, 2010 12:43 am edit

    Amen, sista! Very well thought out and written, per the norm.
    .-= Camels & Chocolate´s last blog ..On the Road Again: Preparing for a Mega Trip =-.

  2. Elizabeth March 11, 2010 1:37 am edit

    Totally good one. I know what you mean, man. Blogging is a funny thing. There will be a little article coming out in our local paper about blogging… and me? Crazy much? Yes. Yes it is.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog ..Get Him! =-.

  3. Hannah March 11, 2010 2:22 am edit

    You’ve done it again. Said everything I feel, and more. When I started blogging (5 years ago) I usually had 1 or 2 commenters. Eventually that increased to 30+ (over a couple of years). Now the comments are back down to the 10-15 mark. But like you, my traffic is increasing. I know I blog less than I used to, and I do feel that Facebook and Twitter have stopped people from commenting. I, personally, don’t comment on every blog post I read — I actually used to DO that! A lot of the great stuff is posted elsewhere online, and I can comment (or just click “like”) on those sites. I’m time-poor, and want to concentrate on writing my own blog posts (which I never seem to get enough time to do), so my commenting on other blogs has slowed somewhat. But my GOOD blogging friends, like you, are understanding of that fact. And besides, I do find myself commenting on 99% of your posts, because I want to! :-)
    I agree, it’s hard to start off and it puts you in a vulnerable position, but you have to start somewhere. The internet friendships I have made over the past 5 years are worth more than anything!
    P.S. Totally stoked I made it into that “linky” paragraph! xx
    .-= Hannah´s last blog ..Warm & Fuzzy =-.

  4. Janssen March 11, 2010 4:48 am edit

    Wait, I’m not going to be able to quit my job and sit home making big money blogging? And my husband won’t be able to quit too and stay home with me?

    Well. . . .time to give up! :)

  5. Kandi March 11, 2010 5:59 am edit

    haha. I don’t always comment because I feel like I don’t have anything to add that someone else hasn’t usually touched upon. I also have a blog but I’m so shy on the internet that I rarely link to it. I’m probably not like a normal blogger… plus I’m not a very good writer. I majored in econ and math for a reason, yo! I just write to write. I don’t even have a theme.

  6. Rebecca March 11, 2010 7:42 am edit

    Now this was funny because it’s true… Blogging about blogging is appropriate when it encompasses wit and wisdom ;)
    Well, I am commenting to say that I do absolutely enjoy reading your blog and from one high fivin’ white girl to another, you rock!
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Balance Is Tiring. =-.

  7. Kellye March 11, 2010 7:57 am edit

    For serious. And really, when did it become one big competition to see who can get the most comments anyway? I mean it’s nice to KNOW for sure people read what you poured out of your heart, but that’s not the real reason why we should be here. Personally, I just want something my boys will have when they grow up that showed them a little of who I was…not just their mother, but who I was as a person including my role as their mother. The desires of my heart. The good. The bad…and even the ugly of it all so that when they go through it too, they won’t feel so alone…because (oh here come the tears…) when I think about them being alone in this world it just tears me up inside.

    Anyway…thanks for putting this out there. Now maybe everyone can just calm down and we can all get back to the heart of the matter.
    .-= Kellye´s last blog ..The beauty of more =-.

  8. C @ Kid Things March 11, 2010 8:10 am edit

    Oh man, do I agree. Except about not liking to read blogs about blogging, because I do actually like that. Sometimes. This is one of them.

    Comments, I love them. I’m also terrified when my post sits there for a couple of hours without one. Even though I do, for the most part, write for myself. High fivin’ white girls, FTW!
    .-= C @ Kid Things´s last blog ..Apply Within =-.

  9. Danica Grunert March 11, 2010 8:21 am edit

    I am often befuddled when my stat counter says 120+ readers and I have three comments. I have about eight regular commenters, and I know of about six people who read regularly who never comment (which is fine.) As for the rest of them, I understand the not-commenting. There are blogs that I read where I don’t comment for various reasons. It’s the curiosity that kills me. WHO are these people who come back day after day? I’d really like to know. I’d really like to meet them, if only once.

    And “Every time (EVERY TIME) I hit publish I feel like a high-fivin’ white girl. I’m standing there, arm in the air, waiting (hoping) for someone to validate me.” – bah ha ha ha ha ha. Yep.
    .-= Danica Grunert´s last blog ..How to Pray =-.

  10. Heather March 11, 2010 8:49 am edit

    I love the photo.

    I love comments too, but since I don’t write very often AND my site makes it very difficult to publish a comment, I really don’t expect them.

  11. Kami's Khlopchyk March 11, 2010 9:03 am edit

    I am so beyond flattered that I was included in your linky McLinkerson paragraph. And with that comment I just showed that I do still sometime find myself falling into the hype. I have been a bit down about the lack of comments lately and find that I am not motivated to write as a result. And one of my close friends reminded me that I wasn’t doing it for the right reasons then. Good friends are awesome like that.

    High five to you my friend for telling it like it is just when I needed to hear it!

    Love you!
    .-= Kami’s Khlopchyk´s last blog ..Negative Nellie Be Gone =-.

  12. Jenn K March 11, 2010 9:14 am edit

    Clap Clap Clap!!! :D

  13. LauraRad March 11, 2010 9:35 am edit

    Beautiful advice: “Write like nobody’s reading.” I’m tucking that into my mind and heart today. I’m still relatively new to the whole blog world, not even at my 1 year mark yet. I am going to keep on keepin’ on, and write for Me.

  14. Rhoni March 11, 2010 9:35 am edit

    Yeah. Needed to read that. Cause I’ve quit writing specifically BECAUSE I knew some of who is reading.
    .-= Rhoni´s last blog ..Menu Planning Monday 03/08/10 =-.

  15. Kristabella March 11, 2010 10:18 am edit

    This was an excellent post, my friend.

    I started because I started reading blogs and was all “I could do this! I love writing!” And so I did. Almost 4 years ago.

    I still get the anxiety about my posts. But thankfully my mom reads and she pretty much comments every day, which makes it all better, just that one comment.

    But the blog world has changed so much in the last few years. People don’t read as much, or comment as much. I think because of Twitter and FB, we don’t NEED the blog to see what people are up to. We hear about them every day through FB and Twitter and we’ve gotten used to being updated in 140 characters or less.

    When I first started, I read and commented everywhere I could. But as the blogsphere expands, it is so much harder for everyone to add more and more blogs into our readers. Because, if you’re like me, you already have so many in there now, it if hard to keep up. There are SO MANY out there now!

    But I firmly agree – write like nobody is reading. If you’re not writing the site for you first and foremost, you’ll be more successful. Or not. But it won’t matter.
    .-= Kristabella´s last blog ..You Can’t Do That On Television =-.

  16. hillary March 11, 2010 10:29 am edit

    Well said, lady :)

    I agree with Kristabella – Facebook and Twitter really have changed blogging. I hope that blogging doesn’t become obsolete because of FB and Twitter because then I would have to do some punching. I love blogging, love bloggers, love the community you can form just by writing yours thoughts on the internet. Keep on keepin’ on, my friend.
    .-= hillary´s last blog ..Your Ex-Girlfriend Had A Boyfriend Who Kissed My Girlfriend =-.

  17. Alayne March 11, 2010 11:31 am edit

    I’m one of those people who reads blogs daily (including yours) and rarely, if ever, comment. I don’t write a blog of my own, and I guess I feel weird leaving a comment on someone’s blog when they have no idea who I am or what I’m about as they can’t read a blog that I’ve written. I promise that I’m as normal as a sane person can be. Anyways, I enjoy reading your blog even though I’ve only commented once before. Keep writing because you’re great!

  18. Kerri Anne March 11, 2010 12:03 pm edit

    Oh my my, oh hell yes. I loved this. Which of course you already knew, but still: I’m with you. I’m here because I WANT to be. Because I love this community, I love my friends, and I love to laugh. I’m really not here for anything else. And for my part, I’d rather have a spoonful of quality comments by awesome commentERs vs. “impressive” numbers any day.
    .-= Kerri Anne´s last blog ..Things I’m Contemplating As I Enter This, My Superhero(ine) Phase =-.

  19. Jen March 11, 2010 12:04 pm edit

    1. you ARE a white girl (although I bet MY legs are whiter)
    2. it’s ME that hit the BLOW UP ANGELLA’S SITE button
    3. elephant-choo

  20. Trenches of Mommyhood March 11, 2010 12:41 pm edit

    Having been doing this for almost 4 years now, I am standing up and applauding you for this! (can you hear me?)

    If blogging causes you guilt (in any way, shape or form) then SOMETHING IS WRONG!

    That is all.
    .-= Trenches of Mommyhood´s last blog ..Driving While Cleansing =-.

  21. Domestic Extraordinaire March 11, 2010 1:11 pm edit

    I read a lot of blogs, probably not as many as I used to but I find myself commenting less. I find myself drawn to blogs that I feel like I am having a conversation or listening to someone talk to me. Your blog is like that. I always click when I see you have a new link up and sometimes I check just to make sure that my reader isn’t broken (because you know I am totally obsessive like that.

    I used to get so upset when people wouldn’t comment, but my anxiety has lessened a bit. Not to say that I don’t get a little crazed when I hit publish but I totally nodded to the whole white girl waiting for her high five quote of yours.

    Thank you for blogging like no one is reading, thanks for being you and well…..you rock.
    .-= Domestic Extraordinaire´s last blog ..Weekly Winners-My baby sister is engaged Edition =-.

  22. Jen March 11, 2010 2:42 pm edit

    Angella, I LOVE your blog and am a fairly regular reader, although I don’t comment every time – sometimes just because I don’t know if I have anything to add. Also, I don’t have my own blog so I feel a little stalker-ish reading? I don’t know. I think that picture is so beautiful! Could spring really be on the way?!

  23. Joanna March 11, 2010 5:38 pm edit

    The main reason I don’t often comment on popular blogs (like yours) is that I fear I’m just adding words to a long list that a blogger (like you) will never have time to read given your own busy life. BUT, I think your writing is heartfelt, and I LOVE the way you talk about your kids–you are unabashedly proud of them and your relationship with them, and I hope to have the same with my (2 under 2) kids when they’re older. I also love when you write about being so emotionally vulnerable to the world because: ditto. And you’re right about it being a blessing and a curse.

  24. Meg March 11, 2010 6:29 pm edit

    With how badly I’ve been about posting lately, I’m pretty sure *no one* is reading me anyways.
    I guess I should remedy that!
    And I’ll try to do a “comment high-five” a bit more often!
    .-= Meg´s last blog ..MIA =-.

  25. metalia March 11, 2010 8:22 pm edit

    HEAR, HEAR. I couldn’t agree with your sentiments more, and while things have definitely changed in this sphere over the past few years, our reasons for writing shouldn’t change because of that. Love this.
    .-= metalia´s last blog ..I’ll Call This "Oscar Pop Quiz," But Really, This is More About My Inability to Turn Down a Dress-Up Excuse. =-.

  26. Maria March 11, 2010 8:35 pm edit

    I feel like a school teacher, I just want to smack a gold star on this post.
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..Somewhere between disturbed and elated. =-.

  27. susan March 11, 2010 9:44 pm edit

    Delurking to say, THANK YOU! I have no delusions of ever drawing the big blog audience. I blog for the grandmas and two aunts, plain and simple. I post kid pics and kid stories and they love it. They come back every day looking for kid updates. That’s great because that’s why I do it, but once in a while I find myself wishing I had the nerve to write as if my mom wasn’t reading and neither was my mother-in-law. Sometimes I want to write something that isn’t happy and cheery and tied up with a pretty bow and a funny kid. You’ve given me the push to go do it. My mom knows I’m not happy all the time and it’s about time I write about it!

  28. M.Bailey March 11, 2010 9:47 pm edit

    Thanks.

  29. Shuchita March 11, 2010 9:49 pm edit

    0.5% of readers leave comments ? hmm, just to mess up the statistics, I’m going to leave a comment.

    Oh and some reasons I’ve subscribed to your blog feed -
    1. You’re funny. But not fake funny. Not the “haha I’m so funny I deserve a book and film deal to laugh at all of you” funny. More like “I have a life. I also blog” funny.

    2. Your kids are cute, you live in a great neighbourhood and your pics remind me of my childhood days when I lived in a huge bungalow with a sprawling garden and caused mayhem with my younger brothers (whilst the elder sister sniffed disapprovingly) – yup, I’m a “large family” product.

    3. The links you put up, open in a new tab/window. I like that because I don’t have to press the back button to return to your blog. Especially, if I moved on to more links from the link you linked to.

    There are a few more reasons but they escape me at the moment. A good excuse to leave more comments. Oh wait, should I split this comment into many mini-comments ?!?
    .-= Shuchita´s last blog .. =-.

  30. Gillian March 11, 2010 9:57 pm edit

    I am very glad you blogged about blogging! I am new to it all and am enjoying it, but it really is a whole new world (and a whole new language, for that matter).
    .-= Gillian´s last blog ..Getting Some Perspective on the Small Stuff =-.

  31. Laurie March 11, 2010 10:00 pm edit

    Excellent advice! Comments and subscribers are all well and good but the thing I love the most about blogging is the chance to just get things out of my brain. It helps me think, or at least connect with that one other person who is feeling the same that day!

  32. bethany actually March 11, 2010 10:16 pm edit

    I happen to know where about half my readers came from…they followed the link to my how-to-make-your-own-vanilla-extract post that YOU Stumbled, and then some of them stuck around and kept reading. But there are a hundred other posts out there about how to make your own vanilla extract, so I have NO idea why that post of mine got so many hits, or why so many people stuck around to read more. It’s such a crapshoot!

    But like you, I started blogging for family and friends, and they’re still my primary audience. If others like reading, that’s fine. If they comment, that’s fine too. But I would rather have five thoughtful, specific, and/or hilarious comments than a hundred generic ones. I guess that sort of follows my philosophy about friends, actually: I’d rather have five really good friends than a hundred acquaintances.

    Anyway. This comment is kind of random because it’s late and I’ve had a long day. :-) Sorry ’bout that. Regardless of my commenting randomness, this is a good post. Thanks for putting it out there!
    .-= bethany actually´s last blog ..bring on the unpackers! =-.

  33. gorillabuns March 11, 2010 11:18 pm edit

    i’m with bethany, i know where most of my readers come from…

    “big lips” and “show daddy your panties.”

    eekk! i didn’t know i was a porno!

  34. rachel joy March 12, 2010 12:39 am edit

    thanks for this. I’m now going on nearly two months since my last post. Not sure what kind of funk I got into. Busy, yes. Other reasons, I’m not so sure. I wonder if it’s because I read so many other blogs that I’ve just become overwhelmed with words. I read things about my friends on their blog and then totally forget about what I read the next time I see them. It’s strange. Personal, and impersonal at the same time. Seeing your post about G’s first loose tooth made me think that I should finally post about my boy’s *almost exact same* experience with his (just of the Kindergarten variety). I looked back to my last ancient post and see it is, indeed, there for all to see. I think I really do need to get back at it. What with my shiny new mac, and all! Thanks for the perspective
    .-= rachel joy´s last blog ..milestones =-.

  35. rachel joy March 12, 2010 12:43 am edit

    and it’s driving me crazy that I left off that last period. (.)
    .-= rachel joy´s last blog ..milestones =-.

  36. Kim Bosch March 12, 2010 11:26 am edit

    THANK YOU for this.
    .-= Kim Bosch´s last blog ..Day 43 – Strength of Character =-.

  37. Lisa March 12, 2010 1:17 pm edit

    AMEN!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..When life gives you potatoes… =-.

  38. ali March 12, 2010 1:57 pm edit

    TWINS! yes!
    .-= ali´s last blog ..It *May* Even Have Training Wheels. =-.

  39. victoria winters March 12, 2010 2:22 pm edit

    Thank you, thank you for this reminder! I was JUST lamenting with a blogger friend about how little traffic and comments I get (especially after moving to my own URL).

    I write and share because I enjoy it.

    The End.

    :)

    V.W.
    .-= victoria winters´s last blog ..Announcement! =-.

  40. Daily Cup of Jo March 12, 2010 6:01 pm edit

    Best part of this post: “get out in the real world and live your life every chance you get.” Because if you don’t? You’ll have nothing to write about and no one will give a damn. Thanks for almost never writing about blogging.

    Happy to comment.
    .-= Daily Cup of Jo´s last blog ..Friday fodder: religion, Jihad Jane and VBACs =-.

  41. Sarah March 13, 2010 6:38 am edit

    Commenting is funny. I always want to comment to let the writer know I’m reading, and because I know how good I feel when someone comments on my blog, and yet…I get performance anxiety– will my comment add anything useful to the conversation? will it appear that I’m commenting just to link back to my own blog? will the comment not live up to the quality writing that I’m commenting on? Us insecure writers are our own worst enemies!

  42. Hilda March 13, 2010 4:07 pm edit

    ahh Dooce, I wouldn’t complain about the kind of cash she gets but I think I would develop a complex getting the kind of nasty comments she gets.

    and thanks for this :) I’ve been feeling very uninspired in the blog world lately

  43. Elle March 14, 2010 9:29 pm edit

    I think I’ve been reading a ton of blogs for about 2.5 years now (I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago though) and only in the last month have I started commenting. And I still don’t comment very much. But, I feel compelled to comment soley to say that you are a great writer and I enjoy reading about the goings on in your family because of the way you write. Thank you!
    .-= Elle´s last blog .."He’s not the type" =-.

  44. Amanda March 15, 2010 5:05 pm edit

    Heh, I love being part of the elite. A commenter ;)

    Great post, love the closer.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Shadow Ghosts =-.

  45. Arina March 18, 2010 1:11 pm edit

    Late to this, but I love it.

  46. Mrs.Mayhem March 22, 2010 8:59 am edit

    Aw, thanks. I needed to read this.

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