I’ve been nominated as one of the www.kidspot.com.au 50 Top Bloggers for 2012. Woot! Cool, huh? There’s a cocktail party and everything. As part of the judging process I had to explain why I started blogging. The answer wasn’t very winning. I started blogging because I didn’t have anything else to do. I was unemployed and needed an anchor in my day. I thought blogging might hone my writing skills and help me connect with people at the same time. I wanted to express the weird way my mind works and make others feel better about the weird way their mind works, even if it’s not in quite the same weird way. But, nine months on, there are endless reasons why I wish I hadn’t started my blog. Let me count a few ways …
1. Instead of lying on the couch every day, eating Lindt chocolates and watching daytime television, I sit in front of the computer writing blogs.
2. When I’m not sitting in front of the computer writing blogs, I’m sitting in front of the computer tweeting. Tweeting appears to be for the birds as far as I can see. The most referrals I’ve had in a 24-hour period from Twitter is 4. Woo-bloody-hoo … [OK, so five minutes after I wrote that, Mamamia founder Mia Freedman - god bless her - suggested people follow me on Twitter and my phone started pinging every millisecond with new followers. It was frickin' insane. And suddenly the most referrals I've had from Twitter in 24 hours was 142. So that little gripe went out the window.]
3. It’s all very well to gloat about getting your highest Twitter referrals after Mia Freedman suggests following you, but there’s this terror most of them didn’t think the blog was worth reading. Sure my “home page” views skyrocketed, but there wasn’t a lot of action going on with individual blog posts. So I kicked myself for not having something more salacious as my main item. Like going to jail or having your heart broken. Not a bloody meat pie recipe.
4. When I’m not tweeting, I’m Facebooking. I don’t want to be one of those commercial Facebookers who just use it to promote themselves. So I spend time “liking” and “commenting” and uploading material that is not blog-related.
5. When I’m not Facebooking, I’m seeking new ways to publicise my blog. This mainly consists of commenting on other people’s blogs and submitting my blogs to blog-promoting sites like www.loveallblogs.com. Gross number of referrals I’ve had to my site in a 24-hour period from blog-promoting sites is 1, maybe 2. Double woo-hoo. Although I did get about six referrals from putting a link to my homemade fish fingers recipe on the fabulous www.woogsworld.com. I felt a bit dirty afterwards.
6. Speaking of Woogsworld, which I do quite often because I’m a fangirl, I’ve recommended it to lots of friends. And it’s a bit gutting to hear they’ve subscribed to Woogsworld, but not my blog. Makes me feel like changing my Housegoeshome write-off from “Is there life after work?” to ”Not as funny as Woogsworld”. Kind of like when I started blogging and joked to Husband that my write-off should be: “Not as pretty, thin or successful as Mia Freedman”.
7. All that blogging, tweeting and Facebooking doesn’t leave much time for anything else. That dream I had of finishing my TV pilot or writing my movie script while the kids were at school? Haven’t written a word for months.
8. My blog almost got me divorced. Husband caught me writing a post entitled “Dirty Weekend”. He felt it was a gross invasion of privacy. He didn’t care that the “dirty” part of the weekend was Campbell Parade, Bondi. Actually, I’m not sure whether that explanation made the situation better or worse. Anyway, he was very cross. He HATES being in the blog. HATES it.
9. During social occasions, people invariably say: “Oooh, don’t tell Alana, she’ll blog about it!” I NEVER blog about what people think I’m going to blog about. Except if it’s an update on wife-swapping in my postcode.
10. When they’re not worrying about telling me things at social occasions, people are finishing my anecdotes and explaining: “Already read that on your blog.”
11. Watching my daily “hits” grow has been exciting and harrowing in equal measures. For months I languished around the 50 mark. All day. That’s around 2 an hour. It really makes you wonder why you’re bothering. You start making excuses, like “There’s not many, but they’re very loyal.” When I finally hit the 100 mark, I was stoked. Then one of my blogs appeared on www.mamamia.com.au and got followed up on The Today Show (my mum called to tell me, I don’t have a TV antenna so I missed it). Suddenly, the daily hits doubled. And it became essential that they stay high. Essential. So I started blogging twice a day whenever I thought numbers were lagging. Now I feel obliged to blog twice every day, because I can’t bear to see what happens if I don’t.
12. Speaking of my numbers, I’ve become obsessed with them. (I think you might have already guessed that.) I carry the ipad with me everywhere so I can check them constantly. I go into a deep funk when they don’t move for an hour. When that happens, I wildly consider blogging three times a day. But even I can see that way madness lies.
13. Sometimes I get this terrible disease called writers block. I can’t think of anything to write. But I have to write SOMETHING. Because I couldn’t possibly go a day without posting a blog. If I did people might stop reading me. Eeek. Over. Kaput. I’d be forced to find a job, or sit on the sofa watching daytime television and eating Lindt chocolates. Or do the housework. God forbid.
14. Blogs don’t make any money. Well, some clever individuals make money by having advertising banners and stuff. But not me. I started my blog on wordpress.com, which doesn’t allow advertising banners. I found this out 24 hours after I paid $17 big bucks to register my domain name with them. That’ll teach me to do my research first. I could’ve done with the 25c a day I’d make out of those advertising banners.
15. The Sprogs are not going to thank me when they get cluey enough to google the blog. They’ll find all the embarrassing stuff I’ve written about them and NEVER SPEAK TO ME AGAIN.