Yesterday’s post was number 1,000. Which doesn’t mean a whole lot, but there was a moment there when I wasn’t sure that was going to happen.
I started blogging, over on Blogger, in 2003. I stopped my first blog in 2007. I started again, with two blogs, in 2009. I stopped that in 2011 and moved over to WordPress, with one blog, attached to my name. I almost stopped that in 2016, but did a rebranding instead.
If you examine my stats (which I do daily), you see that my best year was 2014, with 22,000 unique hits and 16,000 unique visitors. My worst year was 2017, when I got 562 total views and 362 unique visitors.
Part of that was due to the brand change. I basically gutted my audience. The other part of that was the 46 posts I wrote during that whole year. 46. The lowest of any year. Even in 2011, which represents numbers for December alone, I wrote 68 posts (and got 1,000 views).
Burnout. I got tired of coming up with new ways to repackage more interesting work by other blogs. I got tired of making the same arguments to no discernible effect. I got tired of shouting myself hoarse in a land of megaphones.
The last election helped. Never had I been less interesting in speaking about the political landscape than I had been in 2016. I still follow the same blogs, but I’m way less engaged with the whole thing. 2016 indicated that many of the things I’d believed about politics – chiefly, that I understood it well enough to adequately predict what would happen – were in need of reassessment. So I decided that I needed to put my energy into original work, into my own writing, rather than scrambling about the internet looking for things to snark about.
Result? Blog crash. I had moved away from the old blog, but not committed to the new. I was producing – three novellas in a year is nothing to sneeze at – but not blogging.
I have fixed that.
So far in 2018, I have 355 views and 236 visitors. Which is still way off my peak. But I have 60 posts in. Since last month, I’ve been blogging almost every day. And I’ve felt the momentum start to shift back. And I’m writing about what I care about, so it feels good. I’m on pace to beat last year, possibly by double. And It’ll be all me, not repostings of other people’s work. It will be – finally – my own platform.
So watch this space. It’s not going away.