An owl's eye view of forests and trees

Three Years On…What Now Strigiforms?

A little over 3 years ago, I started his blogging journey. Time to reassess.

 

I annually consider whether I should continue with this blog, unsurprisingly, at around the time the fees for continuing it come due. The first year, I told myself to wait. I was just getting started after all. The second year, I told myself to wait. I should give things more that two years.

 

Now, in year three, I see zero growth in readership. In fact, I bet that fewer people read it now than when it first came out. Only a small number of people even know about it at all. I get almost no comments to anything I publish, which also clues me in that, even if people read what I write, it does not engage. When friends admit that they don’t really read your blog entries, you should question if you reach anyone at all.

 

To the few of you who have been reading all along, thank you. I truly mean that.

 

I do not blame anyone for the blog’s lack of success. There is a glut of blogs like mine, some with incredibly good writing and thought processes. Let’s face it. I do go on. My blogs are too long. In this day and age, if someone has time for that, they probably need and want to spend it elsewhere. I hear books are nice. And even if I reached a wider audience, my irregular publishing schedule, sometimes with months between entries, does not encourage a reader to stay engaged or check back often. That all circles back squarely to me. I accept it.

 

I get no comments, no subscription be notified of new entries, no shares of my posts on social media. All of that is deserved. I do not doubt the vast majority of the hits I get arise from me just checking what I wrote.

 

So, at this point, I realize I will never generate an audience. The needle has not moved there. In turn that means, this blog will never pay for itself. Since it costs money to maintain, I have to question whether I should continue it after this year, or just archive everything and shut down.

 

A part of me likes having my words out there, but is that really anything more than vanity at this point? Especially considering my main audience is clearly just me.

 

I won’t lie. Accepting this truth hurts. I already mentioned my vanity, a huge factor and failing of mine. I also have put a lot of time into what I have published. Research, writing, editing, fact-checking, sourcing references, finding appropriate images to make the content more engaging. All of it takes so much time. For what? Should I have spent that time elsewhere on more important things rather than wasting it here? Or did this at least serve some therapeutic purpose for me, making it worth it? I don’t know.

 

Given I no longer ask whether this blog will ever become a “thing”, because it won’t, the question becomes how long do I bother to keep it up, i.e., pay for it, and how do I want to fill it, if at all, now that I accept the facts.

 

I can try to fill it with my longer Facebook posts. I can try to do some quick shorter entries as my whim takes me. That way at least I would be generating content. Although, again, that begs the question: Who for? Just myself? Since I have already paid for it this year, I think that answer suffices for now.

 

I can cover some of the less important stuff I wanted to get to. Maybe I can finally get around to publishing some bits on birds or nature like I always had intended to do from time to time. I can write some of my thoughts on how Game of Thrones ended, something I have hesitated to do since I never actually watched the show. I mean that makes it hard to have an informed opinion, right? But given my lack of audience, who cares at this point?

 

I haven’t figured out the answers yet. For the next year, the blog will probably stay up. It may be gone after that. How I fill the intervening time remains to be seen.

 

As for what comes over the next year, watch this space.

 

Or don’t. Whatever. It really does not matter, I guess.

 

Just be well. Be safe. And may the future hold ever better and brighter things for you.

4 Comments

  1. G

    Don’t despair. I’m glad you’re going to keep it up for a year, and I will make a point of reading, because you are right, you DO put a lot of thought into what you write.

    • Ann Anderson

      Well, things will probably shift a lot this next year. Right now, I plan to try to put out a lot more content, in smaller bits, which means a lot more random things and not enough time to research, etc. as I would like. We’ll see if I can stick to the plan. Either way though, thank you. The problem is that I have no readership base, and the prospects for expanding it are pretty dim. Even when I put out what I think are really good pieces, the ones that do get some level of response on Facebook, etc., I still don’t generate much by way of shares, and I don’t generate anything by way of subscriptions and the like. Also, somewhere in here I have to figure out balancing my new approach to the blog and my Torchlight obligations. Sigh.

  2. Ross Anderson

    I have gloried in your work these past three years; I have bragged to strangers and friends alike about your insight and your scholarship. Thank you for your time and application of yourself. I ask that you continue, that I may continue to read. If you decide otherwise, I’ll accept your decision. Reluctantly.

    • Ann Anderson

      Thank you very much, although you have clearly got some biases, which may rose tint your view of my work. Even so, at the end of the day, people don’t read this blog. And that’s the real issue. I can write stuff to myself without paying sums of money every year for the privilege. In the next year will come a weighing of the benefits versus drawbacks of continuing in a public forum. How the scales come out remains to be seen, obviously.

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