Happy WordPress Anniversary (to me)!

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Something from WordPress arrived in my notifications box today!

Borrowed from a website that borrowed from . . .

Borrowed from a website that borrowed from . . .

Excited (in the style of Ralphie, opening his package from the Lil’ Orphan Annie Radio Show), my heart raced. Could it be? Freshly pressed?

The highly coveted Freshly Pressed Award, in my box?

 

imageBut, alas, it was just a little congrats for one year blogging.

 

 

Ditto. . .

Ditto. . .

 

It’s okay, though, WordPress, I do appreciate you remembering our special day. Now that I’m over the initial let-down, I think it was really nice of you. It has been a good year together.

A year ago today, you helped me publish my first blog post. Wading through the countless themes, layouts and options, we put together a pretty good start.

During the year, I learned a few things. I found that there are some excellent people all over the world who participate in WordPress blogging. A few became fast friends, as we enjoyed reading one another’s posts and commenting in supportive dialogue. I have new friends in Scotland, Canada, and across America. I’ve had visitors from nearly every country! All this without annoyance from over 14,000 spammers that Akismet blocked for me.

This is a snapshot of my all-time visits. The list of countries is three times longer than would fit!

This is a snapshot of my all-time visits. The list of countries is three times longer than would fit!

I’ve seen reader interest wane in the face of serious and lengthy posts. I’ve caught a few waves of new likes and follows from brief and light-weight posts. I’ve played with some blog-building strategies suggested by overnight-success bloggers. Oh, and I almost forgot, published 60 posts. Not bad for a full-time professional with a second full-time job (family).

In the beginning, I heard that publishers want new writers who can boast a platform of 10-15,000 followers. “You can build that in a year while you write your book,” one author told me.

It’s been a year. I’ve missed a lot of sleep! I’ve built a platform of a whopping 200-something followers. Few ever comment (come on, people, it’s lonely without conversation!).  I’ve written only about a tenth (if that) of my book. I don’t feel too successful on this one-year anniversary, dear WordPress.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming you. I’m just saying, it isn’t what I thought. Just like in marriage; there is the honeymoon stage, then comes disillusionment. To make a life-long success, couples must get through these phases to real love.

I still hope to finish my book, to live to see it published, and then maybe another after that. Not just for fun, but to make some (albeit small) difference in the world, one that will outlive me.

Whether I’ll need to build a sizable platform or not, I don’t know. What I do know is, I’m not wasting my time here (well, maybe a little!). I’m learning to write better. I’m learning about others, what they see and have to say. I’m learning plenty about what doesn’t work. And, it’s pretty fun.

So, if you want to hang out another year or so, WordPress, I’m game. Do you have an iron, though? I could really use some fresh-pressing; I’m starting to get wrinkled.

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Happy Anniversary!

Joan T. Warren

25 responses »

  1. Wow, one year of blogging! That’s pretty amazing, and quite inspiring. I’ll be starting OT school this fall, and I’ve created a list of “OT Year One” goals I hope to achieve. Writing 100 blog posts is on the list, and seeing that you’ve been here for a year makes me believe I can do it!

    I’m also interested in what you’ve learned about attracting and keeping readers, especially as it relates to the length and content of blog posts. I’m pretty new to the blogging world, and I mostly write about what comes to mind and my recent and daily experiences. However, I am a true academic and I LOVE writing analyses of various articles and other literature. But it’s pretty disappointing when nobody reads the article analysis I took a long time to write. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud of myself for writing it! But I feel you, it would be nice if people could get past the length and just read all the awesome things we have to say!

    Like

    • Hi, thanks for stopping in again! I started reading your blog, and wow, you have so much more experience, knowledge and insight from volunteer work even before starting OT school than I did. Your excitement for the field tells me you’ll take our profession to new heights,too. I would like to read your 100 blogs and the list of goals you’ve set for year one.

      When it comes to engaging readers, I can’t say I have any great advice. I have found, though, that just as in personal relationships it is usually more helpful to listen to others than to talk, it is also true that in blogging it is important to read what others are writing, rather than just to write. Once reading other blogs consumes a significant part of your time online, you start to understand how nice it is to find a writer who is concise, without sacrificing depth or style. With this respect for the demands of time, it is easier to try to reign in some of what we want to say; to give thought to how we might relay a message with creative finesse, and with less. Less is more, here in the blogosphere.

      Keep up the good work!

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  2. Happy anniversary. :-). I dreamed of that kind of platform once but that kind of got in the way of doing what I wanted to do and enjoying what I am doing. I think the best part of blogging is being able to write, improve writing, meet people, not necessarily I that order. :-).

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    • I agree. I like to think I’ve given up the idea, and only enjoy the writing and the people. Occasionally, though, like on my anniversary, it hits me again. I’ve decided that it doesn’t matter, really, I’m writing whether I ever get picked up by an official publisher or not. The people I’m writing for will read it. This I believe.

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  3. Congratulations on your first year!!! I always look forward to reading your blogs and I can’t wait to read your book. I love reading your blogs. Even the deep ones. Your blogs really make me think about how they make me feel and the impact they have on me. Sometimes your blogs challenge me and make me go deep into areas that I really don’t want to explore. In a way your blogs help me to be a better person…and I am grateful for that.

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    • Wow. Wow. Wow, again! You have totally made my day. This sort of feedback will definitely make a writing fiend of me. I put thoughts out there and have absolutely no idea what people think of it, and then, BAM!, there is good news like this. Thank you!

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  4. I feel your sentiments. I have to keep telling myself that what I am doing has greater purpose. I have to believe that. And that maybe it just takes one person. One person to see something in me that could change everything. I have to be ready for it and that is why I keep working on my writing..even though some days it seems easier to quit. In the end though, I do it for me. It is something I must do because I fear it and I don’t want to let that fear win.
    Congrats on your beautiful efforts over the last year. Here’s to the next…bigger and better! :)

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  5. My one year is in a few weeks, but I feel the same way about my so called readers. I have a few more followers than you and I get plenty of interaction on just about all my posts, BUT it all comes from maybe 5-10% of my followers! Maybe even less than that. Some people just click follow and never come back.

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    • Hi John! Thanks for piping up! ;-) I see that; I hope to improve my style in a way that helps people feel comfortable interacting. Interaction is one of the joys of blogging that print-publishing can’t provide. Any tips?

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      • Interact with bloggers on their blogs. Because what’s the first thing you do when someone Likes or comments on your blog you haven’t seen before? You click their name and read maybe their most recent post or more. Others do this too. Some bloggers don’t care about their following and won’t go read yours, but most will.

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        • Thanks. I do this as much as time permits, or until my husband rolls over and growls a bit for the glare of my Ipad keeping him up! Eventually the entire process could overtake all writing time!! It may just have to be okay that things just sort of putt along here, for now. Oh, well.

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    • Thank you Sharon, one of my west-coast (I think it is) WordPress friends! Great to hear from you! I always enjoy your posts; they are thoughtful, inspiring, practical and well-composed.

      Like

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