Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Blogging: Ups and downs

My blog celebrates its first birthday/anniversary later next month (around the middle of July), and it's been pretty dang successful. I define success in, "Wow, a lot of people are visiting my blog and I didn't expect that."

Truth be told, when I started this li'l blog, I figured I'd be lucky to get a handful of visits a month. Maybe a hundred visits in a year. Something like that. And honestly, traffic wasn't the point. But everyone has an ego, and I did have that hope that others would find my words worthwhile.

My first month, I had a little better than 100 visits. I was pretty ecstatic about that! Ever since then, every month has seen page views growing by leaps and bounds. I'm due for a record month by the end of June, better than 6,000 page views in the month. Most months have set new records (I have only had one month where my total page views were lower than the previous month). That's pretty excellent.

Thank you all. :) Seriously, that's awesome.

I know a lot of my page views have come from people looking for images (my analytics back this up). I also get a LOT of traffic from people who want downloads to the music I write about (analytics also show this to be true). None of that bothers to me. In fact, it's to be expected. 

But a good number of people actually stick around and read my content. That means a lot to me.

I started this blog so I'd have an outlet. Just a place to babble about music and my thoughts on artists, albums, concerts, songs, music in general, music policies ... whatever. If it is music, it is fair game. I've enjoyed having that kind of release, of being able to throw my thoughts out there. My wife and friends hear me babble on and on about music. A lot of the stuff I get excited about in real life is music, or music-related. It gets to be a bit of a chore sometimes, I think. (Sorry folks!) So it's nice to just be able to write a lot here and send it out into the world, to be read (or not) by folks with similar interests.

So how is any of this a downside? Well, oddly enough, the downside comes from the FREEDOM of having such a loose structure. I have so many artists, albums, concerts, songs, etc., to choose from. So many musical loves. So many interests. Trying to focus on any one of them during a post sends me off on tangents in my head. I have so many unfinished blog entries because I would write something and then think, "Hey, that reminds me ... I should write about (insert album / artist / etc.) and how they relate to this!"

It's an awesome problem to have, actually. Music is just THAT VARIED. There's something for everyone in music. There's just so much content! 

But that really can be a downside, too. Sometimes I have so many things I want to express, and I find myself stumbling to find traction on which I want to write about first, how involved I want to get with it, and it can (and has!) cause me to say, "Hey, I'll just wait and let my thoughts simmer and see where it takes me."

This is by no means an exit, nor even an apology. Some of my posting has been fairly erratic, month to month. I just wanted you to understand why. Sometimes it's work. Sometimes it's real life. Sometimes I'm just tired. But sometimes it's that there's so much to say, so much to discuss, so much to think about ... It can become quite a challenge to confront such an intense topic like music. Different opinions, emotions and memories can color an approach, on a daily basis. It's like pegging favorites (as I've written about on this blog before): On any given day, things change.

I want to set some goals for my second year with this blog. I want to have a bit more fun ... Some essays, some fantasy situations, maybe fan fiction ... I don't know. Something other than, "Hey, this is awesome." That doesn't mean I won't do what I've been doing here; I will keep writing about whatever I want to write about. But I want to grow, both as a blogger and as a music fan. I'm not content just doing the same stuff I always do.

Some things won't change. I won't share music download links. Most of my posts will deal with positives rather than negatives. There'll be a lot of Beach Boys / Beatles / classic rock music posts. There'll be YouTube video links. I'll share information on new releases that I think are cool. I think all of that stuff is valid, and I enjoy doing it.

Maybe I'll do fewer posts. Take some time with each post to really make them count. Develop my writing a bit, so it isn't so generalistic. Not worry about quantity ... focus on quality.

I know that's exactly what bloggers are NOT supposed to do if they want to build an audience. But hey, I'm not trying to shake the world to its roots. And I'm sure not making any money here. So I can do whatever I please, right?

In the coming weeks, leading up to the actual first birthday/anniversary of my blog, I'll do some more posts (hopefully a couple more reviews that aren't Beach Boys-related) and share anything newsworthy that catches my interest. And starting in August at some point, I hope to start finding new expressions.

If you have thoughts, suggestions, criticisms or praise, or anything else in general that you'd like to add, please feel free to do so. The point of this blog isn't just for me to blab on and on, I'd enjoy some good discussion. I think music is so important, so vital to the human experience, so spiritual and fun and colorful, that we can only gain from sharing our thoughts with each other.

Thanks for visiting my blog, friends. It's been a great ride so far, and there's still some gas in the tank. The adventure continues!

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