Thursday, April 16, 2009

bloggy business

If you are looking for my LOST post, scroll on down.

For everyone else, I have a few burning bloggy issues I would like to discuss today. I would really like your input on this one.

First up, I was wondering how most people do their daily blog reading.

I keep track of everything on my Google homepage. If you don’t have one of those, when you click the link to Subscribe to a blog, a window will pop up asking you if you want to subscribe on your Google homepage or in your Google Reader.

If a blogger doesn’t have a Subscribe link, you can go to your Google homepage and click “Add Stuff.” Then, you simply type in the web address of the blog you want to include in your homepage.

A lot of people like to get their daily blog fix through a reader, such as Google Reader. If you do it this way, does that mean that you don’t ever actually click on the blog itself? And if that is the case, can you view all the photos and read all of the comments?

Does it make you less likely to leave a comment on someone’s blog if you are viewing it in a reader?

Another option is to become a Follower. I had a gadget on my blog for a while to allow people to become my follower. But it was taking a lot of space and I noticed that the people who seemed to be the most consistent readers weren’t signing up to be followers.

If you sign up to be someone’s follower, then their blog is listed both on your Blogger dashboard, and in your Google Reader. I like having the option of getting a quick peek at everyone’s latest entry this way, but it isn’t my primary way of following people.

I was just wondering if others have found it effective to either give people the option of being a follower or of becoming a follower yourself.

Along those lines, did you know that Google Reader will tell you how many subscribers you and other bloggers have? To do this, click on the name of the blog in Google Reader and then click on Show Details in the upper right. This will show you how many subscribers you have.

Ahh. One more thing to obsess about. Now, not only can I waste time compulsively checking my stats, but I also can find out if I have any new subscribers.

One last question. If you are a blogger, why do you do what you do?

It seems that we spend a lot of time not only blogging, but trying to figure out how to get more readers, more subscribers, more followers and more comments. But why?

Do you make money through your blog and if so, how do you do it?

Is it more of a creative outlet for you? Is it a way to express yourself? Or mostly a digital scrapbook of sorts to keep your memories and share them with family and friends. Or do you do it more for the interaction with other people?

I would say my reasons are a mix of all of the above. It gives me a creative outlet, and I love the interaction with people who comment. But I also tend to turn most of my passions into a business, being the little entrepreneur that I've always been. I'm just not sure the best way to do that with blogging. I'm not sure if it's even possible to make more than a little money through advertising, but I would love to hear of anyone else's experience.

These are the mysteries that rattle around in my head, distracting me from important issues in life.

I’m really curious to hear your answers. And if you know of another way to organize your blog roll that I didn’t mention, let me know that, too. I would love to hear.


13 comments:

Maggie said...

Hi Emily,

Funny you should ask about this; I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I started my blog to keep family and friends up-to-date. These little ones grow so fast and all my family is far away so being able to have a way to keep them updated was important to me. My blog has turned into an online scrapbook of sorts also. I love to scrapbook, but have gotten behind, so at least now when I do get back to my books, I have the journaling to go along with the photos.

I basically started out reading a few friends blogs, but then from theirs linked to some other sites. That's where it's gotten a little crazy. I found blogs out there that I really connected with something someone said (yours for example). After checking back on them a few times, I decided to become a follower and I added them to by reading list. I read a few comments on some blogs (depending on how many there are) and sometimes I will check out commenters blogs. Again, if I feel some sort of connection, I add them to my list. I check my reading list, then go to the new link. I like to be able to see photos/comments/text, etc. at the actual blog. I'm afraid this whole blog thing is getting a little addicting. I was just checking once a day, now it's throughout the day!

Back to my blog-I am a writer/photographer and blogging is another creative outlet for me, yet I am trying to figure out how much to share. I don't get a lot of comments, but I think most of my readers are family/friends. I do appreciate the few others who have stopped by to comment. This is where it gets tricky. I was talking to a friend about it the other day. I started this for people I know, yet I kind of like the being able to connect with people I don't know too. Would I share the same stuff if all my readers were strangers per se vs. real life family and friends? Most importantly I want to include photos of my kids because that was the whole point in starting this. Do "other blog readers" want to see so much personal stuff? do I want them too? Am I interesting enough to engage other readers? Is what I think funny funny to anyone else? Do I have time to have a family blog and another blog? Do I have enough energy to try to get a lot of readers for the other blog? Then there is the whole question of anonymity vs. putting it all out there. I've also started adding recipes and some other stuff on my blog, likes links for other sites, prayer requests, etc. Then I worry about offending someone. I don't want to do that. I also wouldn't want to get any not nice comments. So, again I'm stuck, do I write for myself? my family/friends, the blog world?!

Good luck with yours. I think your blog is great; you're quite funny and I think many people can relate to you. Keep on blogging!

I have spent way to much on this and should do be doing other stuff right now too, but thanks for giving me a platform to journal my thoughts; however random they were!

Anonymous said...

Basically your blog page is my "Google" homepage. All of the blogs I read are tracked on your blog, so I can come here to know if 1) you've posted something new, or 2) the other blogs I read have posted something new. Can you tell how many times I personally go to your site? It would be embarrassing if you knew. Maybe that Google page wouldn't be such a bad idea for someone like me.... :-)
Can you make one of those pages without having a blog? I am so clueless.
Michele

Crystal said...

Originally we lived in AZ and the family was still in IL so we used it as a way for them to stay up-to-date with us and see photos as our son grew. Now that we are back in the midwest it is more of an online scrapbook.

I link the blogs I like/read on my own blog page and then open up each one individually, otherwise you don't get the full creative feel of everyone else's pages (just my opinion).

hellolittlepeepers said...

I read all of mine through google reader. I had no idea you could put it on your home page? Not sure how that would work. I use mine as more of a personal whatever. I do enjoy feedback when I get it, but I also realize that it is probably boring for most people to read since it is just the day to day ongoings and not necessarily put in a witty, amusing way. I do like to go back and look at what I said about things two years ago and things like that. Since it is boring and I have like 7 readers, I haven't ventured into trying to make money from it, though I have considered it. Then I wonder if I would feel more pressure to try to be funny and it would be less real. You can read comments when you are on your google home page?

hellolittlepeepers said...

I just checked how many subscribers I had. That was not good for my self esteem.

everydayMOM said...

I love your feedback! I'm not sure why things like this interest me so much.

Michele, I'm so happy that I serve as your bloggy homepage. That works just as well! It's really not that different than if you set up a google homepage, although you can do that even without a blog.

I can't really see how many times you check my blog. My stats give me IP numbers and city of origin and stuff, but I don't really take the time to see how many times one person comes by, etc.

Emily, You can't see comments in Google homepage. I was just wondering if you could in the reader. I could just check myself, but I don't really use it that much. On my Google homepage, I just set it up to give me one headline from each blog I read.

Maggie, If you are worried about privacy, you could always make your blog private or your profile private so not everyone can look at your page. If someone doesn't make it private, I just assume that they want people to take a look!

It is hard though when you want to respect people's privacy, as well as wanting to be cautious about your kids. I struggle with that, too.

Crystal, I agree about looking at the pages directly. That's why I don't like the reader. And I feel like people are missing the whole overall feel if they are using it. I also noticed that sometimes when people use the reader, they don't show up in my stats.

Maggie said...

I did realize I could make stuff more private and I did have my profile hidden for awhile. I am okay keeping it open because I do want people to stop by and feel welcome. I guess if I am boring or if they don't want to see photos of my kids, they don't have to come back. Plus, I still have the option of making it more private again. So many things to think about. I am glad you stopped by!

Heather @ Not a DIY Life said...

Lots of questions!

I do use Google reader, and I admit that I am less likely to comment because of that. But it saves me tons of time waiting for blogs to load, etc. If I read something that I want to comment on and don't have the time right then, I'll leave it unread so I can come back later and actually visit the blog and comment.

You as the blogger can decide how much of your post is seen in the feed reader. I personally do not like partial feeds. To me that says the person only wants my page clicks for revenue. I allow a full feed and hope that what I share is comment-worthy.

I do have BlogHer ads, but don't make much from them. I blog because I need a creative outlet, a place to share thoughts, plus I love the feedback I get when people comment.

I see blogging as my main hobby, like Hubby has his music, others like to read or do crafts. I like to connect with people and read what they have to say. That's why I blog and why I like to read blogs. It's a way to stay connected and have group up conversations while taking care of a little one day after day.

BTW, got my photo meme post up today. Finally.

Maggie said...

Random question-who designed your blog? It is soo cute!

Maggie said...

That's awesome you designed it yourself. I designed my photo blog one, but it took me way too long to figure out the code. Not sure I want to tackle it again. Yours is super-uber cute!

Kacie said...

I follow most blogs (including yours) in bloglines, which is a reader. I like how I can organize things into folders (I arrange them into categories like "theology", "food blogs", "friends"), and then you can save posts to read later if needed. You have three subscribers on bloglines. :)

I began blogging in '05 with a couple of friends, and loved the writing outlet, so began writing more and attracting random readers. Because I was writing such intimate details of my life and most of my good friends had stopped blogging, I restarted recently on this blog. I figured that if I love to write so much, I might as well do it intentionally and see if there is an income stream to come from it. I used to feel guilty about that, but no more - why should we feel guilty about investing in something we love to do? :)

I haven't been on Blogger very long, but so far I've made very little. My reading on problogger.com has made it obvious that it is possible to make money, but I have a feeling that is more from teaching blogs rather than life blogs, if you get my drift.

Angela said...

I love Google reader and I use the folders...I have tons of blogs that I cannot keep up with on a daily basis, but still enjoy them and don't want to forget about them forever, so they go into a folder called to browse from x2x

Then I have a folder for favorite reads---you are in there and a folder for family and a praying for folder... I look at the feeds to determine which ones for that day (because I just cannot read as much as I would love to) I can click on and read and possibly comment. So the most interesting titles/subjects usually win my attention. :-)

Sarah Eliza @ devastateboredom said...

I mostly use google reader and the "follow" function to keep track of people -- my google reader tends to get a little swamped lol, so if a blogger uses twitter sometimes I'll follow them there instead.

Since I do like to comment a lot, I'll generally use my reader just as a jump-off point to get to the sites I frequent... I'll just skim if I'm in a hurry though.

I've heard of people making decent money off of advertising, but by decent money I mean $30, so not exactly quit-your-day-job income... I think Kacie is right too that the more targeted "teaching" blogs do better on that one also. I figure any money from ads is just kind of a fun bonus. :P Crafty bloggers often link to Etsy... that's another way of sort of making money off of your blog...

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