Brainstorming: Better Blogging

photo by Gene'O

photo by Gene’O

If Just Gene’O were further along, I’d post this there. Since it’s not, I’m posting it here and running my Tuesday Texture at Just Gene’O. I’m thinking about what to do with this blog through the end of the year and I’d love some feedback on the ideas I’m tossing out here.

First, we have to get through the end of the month and still be posting the first week of November. That’s a must-do because I’m planning to wind up the Feminist Fridays, or at least my official role in them for 2014, at the end of that week. November 7 is also the one-year anniversary of this blog. The season finale of Doctor Who is the Saturday after, on Nov . 8, and we must finish the season. It will be the third season of television we’ve blogged, and the first we’ve blogged both here and at Part Time Monster. It’s important that we wind it up in good order. Lots of future-stuff is riding on it.

I’m thinking of doing a near-shutdown sometime after that. I don’t mean going away entirely, but cutting back to a couple of posts per week, re-thinking the design, and revamping the pages a bit. The reason I’m thinking of doing this is because I know how long it took to move my personal blog to Just Gene’O while keeping up the rest of the schedule. Way too long, is how long it took.

Since our traffic receded to pre-summer levels almost the minute we stopped posting three and four times per day here, I’m not concerned with taking a big hit on the page views. I’m especially not concerned about December because December is going to be bad no matter what we do, and we’ll get a bounce in January. So it makes more sense to me to put the time into things like design, reorganization, and stockpiling content in late November and early December than it does to put it into everyday blogging. So, my questions for feedback are:

© Gene'O 2014; original photo by Vicki, 2013.

© Gene’O 2014; photo by Vicki, 2013.

  1. If you were redesigning this blog, what would you do to improve it?
  2. Have you ever walked away from your blog for longer than, say, three full weeks and then returned? If so, how difficult was it to get your traffic back?

I’m also considering posting publicly for a new contributor or two. Doing that has its pitfalls. I’ve hesitated to do it up to this point because I haven’t felt a real need. But I’m thinking that along with the redesign, the blog needs one more regular blogger. Anyone ever had any success with recruiting regular contributors from the blogosphere at-large?

A final thought. This is more a puzzle for me at this point than anything I expect help with, but opinions are more than welcome 🙂  Just looking at what multiple posting every day did for our traffic over the summer, I’m asking myself this question:

Say I have six posts in a given week and that’s all I can do. Do I post them once per day, Monday-Saturday, or do I post two per day on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays?

I don’t know the answer, but I am curious about it. I am also wondering how different the last year of my social media life would have been if I’d branded myself a pirate instead of a sorcerer.

Arrr, Mateys!

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14 thoughts on “Brainstorming: Better Blogging

  1. Pingback: Tuesday Texture: Manhole Cover | Just Gene'O

  2. I’ve had to walk away for months because of health issues. Traffic came back really easily as soon as I started to post here and there again. Of course, I’d be doing better were I able to blog consistently but on the whole, I am pleased that my traffic spontaneously returned.

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  3. I have been really touch-and-go on dbcii.com – and I never have had a ton of traffic. But, A to Z brought me a lot of followers, and I followed that up by starting some features, and having regular posting brought views. I think that a blog can bounce back.

    As to a redesign, WordPress makes a lot of the look-and-feel elements very easy to move and change – your background or header images, your sidebar and widgets, etc. I recently did some of this on Comparative Geeks. Much harder is if you decide on things like new categories (like I have done occasionally) and deciding to ret-con them into your archives. The more of an archives you have, the more work this is – but the more rewarding as well. A couple examples on Comparative Geeks would be:
    http://comparativegeeks.wordpress.com/category/comparative-opinions/
    http://comparativegeeks.wordpress.com/category/nostalgia/

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m gritting my teeth over the category realignment I’ve got coming. I must have close to 1,000 archived posts on my two blogs alone, and the categories at both are a disaster. Always have been, and I’ve just realized how to fix them. One of the reasons I’m slowing it way down in late Nov. and Dec. is to get that fixed.

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  4. I haven’t been away from my blog for that long (mostly cuz I’m addicted) but when I was vlogging on YouTube I did, and my traffic mostly returned once I did. Perhaps some people unsubscribe/unfollow and aren’t interested when you return, but I wouldn’t worry too much about rekindling your audience after a hiatus.

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  5. I’ve been in a funk lately and I’ve been posting sporadically. I think, as in real life, the people that are glad to see you will embrace you. Different bloggers follow for a personal connection they make to you or your content.
    Personal opinion only, I get overwhelmed quicker when a blogger makes more than one post per day. I feel like I can’t bond as much to the posts. I end up choosing to find it in my reader instead of getting a notice through my email. I barely get one read before there is another waiting. The end result is that I start losing a connection to the blogger over time and i quietly unsubscribe. Just my two cents though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s valuable feedback on the posting frequency. Not something I would think about because I don’t really use email to follow blogs. I get all my blogs from feeds and from a bookmarks folder that I keep.

      I’m pretty much done with the frequent posting, at least for a few months. We may do two here occasionally, but not two written ones or two by the same contributor in a day.

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  6. I really like Sourcerer’s current design, but change is often good too. I think the most important thing is that you and the other regular contributors are satisfied with the end result. That’s because if you like it; like-minded followers will too. As far as a semi-haitus, I think that’s a great idea because it can help you keep from burnout and “pressure to produce” accumulation while you’re making the changes you want to make. My opinion on blog views and followers is that it won’t cost you any regular followers, especially when it will be limited to this very busy time of year that views probably naturally slack off during. I think you’ll quickly regain your numbers with no problem. Also, Pirates may be sexy, fun and all that, but sorcery has a mystical allure that is captivating in another way. 🙂 I’m not a blogger, as you know, so I have no experience, but as a reader, I enjoy when writers spread their wings and try new things.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lol, good point about the pirates and sorcery. The design needs to change because i am not happy with it any more. It was the best I could do a year ago, but not the best I can do now. It needs menus at the top of yhe page and needs to be more mobile-friendly.

    I agree about the break. It won’t hurt us long-term.

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