Why do you blog? How do you choose what to include, or focus on?

(This is part of a post that is on my personal blog. To see the entire post you can go to http://poetrysansonions.blogspot.com/2012/07/why-do-i-blog-why-do-you.html)

When I startedmy currentblog, there was a lot of”legal “crap” going on in my life, thatlasted over a year, beforea judge finally dismissed the case for lack of evidence. My lawyers didn’t want me to continue posting to my previous blog(s) since they were coming under a lot of scrutiny. However, since I didn’t have anything to hide, they didn’t want me to delete those blogs either.

For a while I didn’t blog at all. I read and commented on other people’s blogs, but didn’t post anything.

It drove me nuts.

I wanted to stop having my only real creative talent, writing, to be bottled up on my hard drive, with no way to share it. The compromise, with my lawyers, was to create a poetry blog that did not focus on specific aspects of my life. So, initially it was about finding a way to be me, but not the me that was being attacked.

As the legal stuff calmed down, and then was dismissed, I considered going back to my original blog. Emotionally I didn’t want to go backwards, and that desire to go forward, but cautiously, is what inspired the “My New Favorite Blogs” series.

The contests came from several conversations with several people, about how sad it is that personal blogs get so much less attention than group blogs. Lots of people know and read larger blogs like BCC, Cake Wrecks, or Wheat and Tares.

As I started looking around even more, I felt even more strongly that while there are blogging communities that are successful, there are very few personal blogs that have large followings. My goal was not to make a blog with a large following, but to have fewer bloggers who have very few or no comments left on their blog(s).

Pintrest seems to have made this even more common. Even personal blogs that have lots of followers are getting more hits from Pinterest, but fewer comments. While comments aren’t everything, they do help personal bloggers keep motivated to move forward when they are frustrated, or lonely.

While my contests don’t have huge prizes, and don’t always have a lot of entries, they all focus on expanding the number of blogs that readers are exposed to, and/or giving incentives to people sharing a little slice of who they have been, are, or want to be.

If nothing else, having that focus has pushed me to spend time finding new blogs and meeting new people. Almost all of my “guest bloggers” are people who have personal blogs that I have connected with. I wouldn’t have found them if I had spent a lot of time lurking before I jumped in and commented, which was what I used to do a lot of. I realized that if comments on MY blog meant a lot to me, that most people probably felt the same way!

Does that make sense?

Why did I choose to have guest bloggers write on my blog, instead of just letting everyone know
I was going to be gone having surgery, and I wouldn’t be blogging until I felt better?

I wanted to have guest bloggers while I am “taking a break” for two reasons. First, I am hoping that I will get some different perspectives,(which certainly is ending up being the case)since a lot of the blogs and bloggers I have found, and connected to, are very diverse. I want to have that diversity evident, because I think that it helps everyone, to hear new voices, that may be outside their immediate comfort zone.

The second reason is that I had time to plan ahead, and I don’t want my blog to go “dark” for a week or more. If I had an unexpected emergency, not having any posts would make sense. Several bloggers I know have left a post that essentially says, this is happening all of the sudden, so I won’t be able to blog for a while. While I won’t be able to blog, I do have the time to set up interesting things for me, and my readers to learn about.

I am not super smart about how blogs work, but recently I figured out how to find out, how many people have me on an RSS feed, who follow me privately, and who have my posts emailed to them when a new post goes up. Since I only have five official followers, I was really surprised that when you include those other forms of “following” the blog, I have almost 90 additional people who have signed up, in some way, to hear what I have to say. With each contest I hope to engage those readresa little more, and maybe they will take the challenge to find and listen to other view points. I also hope that new people will be interested in what I and my guest bloggers have to say! I guess I see guest posts as another way to do that.

If you are interested in seeing how the Guest Posting is going, feel free to check out my blog over the next two weeks. A fwe posts I wrote ahead of time, but most of them are posts with unique perspectives, and while you may know some of the authors, you may be surprised at some of the things they wrote for my blog, since it didn’t realy fit with the theme of their blog! So, stop on by http://poetrysansonions.blogspot.com/, and answer these questions here in the comments section!

Why do you blog?

Do you like finding new blogs, or do you find yourself staying to the same several blogs?

Do you add more bogs to your blog roll, if you have one? How often do you add new blogs?

What do you hope people learn about you when you blog or comment?

I know they are deep questions, but you guys are smart! So, let’s hear it!

Julia – poetrysansonions.blogspot.com



I live in Oregon. I love to hike and backpack! I write poetry, some good, some horrendous. I like to meet new people, and get new perspectives, online and in the real world. A number of my "online friends" have become "real life" friends too. I have no great artistic skills, mostly I love to write whther it is poems, personal essays, non-fiction science or health essays, and reviews. I love to write and send cards, which I make myself, with a little help from my sticker friends. Too often we only get bills, political fliers and junk mail advertising when we open up the mailbox. I want to spread the joy of getting something addressed to you, written by a real person, who is thinking of you when they write it. I do a Sunday review of blogs on my personal website, so if you want to have your personal website reviewed, stop by my website and leave me a comment with your blog's info. poetrysansonions.blogspot.com

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4 Responses

  1. Blogging keeps me sane – I need an outlet to talk about my life. And I remember just how alone I felt when I left the Mormon Church, so I write so that others can know they aren’t alone. I try to keep my blog pretty focused and I don’t want to overwhelm the reader, so I keep my blog-roll pretty short. Although I may add more soon.

    Great job on your first MSP post!

  2. Julia says:


    At one time I had four blogs, all with very specific focuses. At the time it made sense in my mind. I can’t say that I would never do a single subject blog again, but I am kinda of in an eclectic time of my life. I also don’t have a specific audience I am targeting, well other than everyone. Lol

    I really enjoy your blog and can see that having a focus on who you want to reach makes a lot of sense. I really admire how well you reach that audience.

    I asked the questions here do that hopefully we all have a chance to think about how or why we want to do what we do!

    Thanks for your kind words. Hopefully I will figure out the formatting, and be able to make posts that generate some conversation!

    Julia – poetrysansonions.blogspot.com

  3. chanson says:

    My goal was not to make a blog with a large following, but to have fewer bloggers who have very few or no comments left on their blog(s).

    This is one of my main goals in writing my weekly column Sunday in Outer Blogness. With a personal blog, it’s hard to keep up the momentum it takes to build even a medium-sized following. And a lot of people want to join in the conversation on various personal blogs, but it takes a lot of work to keep track of which blogs are very active at any given moment. So I like to highlight a lot of the interesting discussions to make it easier for bloggers to find others who are talking about subjects that interest them.

  4. chanson says:

    On my personal blog, I enjoy writing up topics that I’ve spent time thinking about. Writing a blog post (one that’s concise enough that people don’t just click away) helps me organize my own thoughts and hone my writing skills. And I hope to present some interesting new ideas.

    I’m not nearly as active as I used to be, though. At first, it was such a fantastic new experience to write something up and get feedback from all over the world that I just couldn’t get enough! I tried to be sure to write at least two interesting blog posts per week (and reply right away to all comments) so that people wouldn’t lose interest in following my blog. And I used to read my blog stats religiously.

    But after a few years, it was just too much work and stress to try to keep up that level of momentum. So now I just post when I feel inspired to post something — even if it means that I’m only posting every other month and only a handful of people are reading my blog. If I write something interesting on my personal blog, I can always highlight it on SiOB. 😉

    Plus, I can write stuff to post here at MSP (if it’s at least somewhat Mormon-related). Others who have had this same experience (it’s fun to write occasionally, but maintaining momentum on a personal blog is more work than fun), writing for MSP is a great option to keep in mind!

    As always, people who want to write for us, please email me: chanson dot exmormon at gmail dot com.

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