I’m feeling a bit lonely (online) and feel like every FB status, tweet, and so on are just going out to the void.

Or that if someone does respond, I end up feeling stupid. That I’m not coming across the way I intended. That the person is shaking their head, sighing, and thinking I’m an idiot. Or a bitch. Or both.

I always struggle if I should “keep going” with social media and blogging, more so lately.

A decade in and I’m still barely on the bloggy totem pole. Oh and yes numbers mean A LOT TO ME and there is nothing wrong with that. So when I get maybe 50-150 visits a day if I plead and beg, it gets a bit old. Some people are MEANT for this bloggy lifestyle, I’m starting to think I’m not.

So I’m just going to leave you with this erotic looking rose. At least I don’t completely suck when it comes to photography.

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Julia
posted on July 15th 2011 at 9:59PM CST

i often feel this way. and as much as others say that numbers don’t mean anything, they do. when i pushed and pushed and tweeted and pushed and visited and commented and pushed and pushed, i would be lucky to get 100-120 visits a day. I had to stop b/c I would spend HOURS just trying to get more traffic to my blog. and while some of it worked, i couldn’t keep it up. so i decided to let some of it go. sometimes i’ll push people towards my blog, and sometimes i just let it happen. i don’t have time to visit hundreds of blogs a day to get more traffic.

and yes, sometimes i feel like quitting. i feel like i’m talking to dead air.

I guess I don’t really have great advice for you, just if you LOVE it, then stick with it. if you’re doing it for any other reason, it gets really old really fast.

xoxo

posted on July 15th 2011 at 10:06PM CST

I feel like I’m doing most everything “right”. I manage to get my friend’s blogs a ton of traffic with a properly done design, SEO, tips and such and they surpass me in a MONTH, on a domain maybe 6 months old.

I’ve been consistent at blogging here at OSN for 9 years and 7 months (had to do the math lol) and still see the traffic of a teeny new blog. I have about a year and a half of posts now in “private” just because of shame at my poor grammar back then heh!

I love blogging in itself. I am quite passionate about it actually! It just wears on me because I am not in any specific “niche” and trust me, people who have a hardcore specific niche have it WAY easier than a “general” type of blog.

Julia
posted on July 15th 2011 at 11:03PM CST

general blogs are hard. I have a “general” blog although i have a small niche with working moms… problem is working moms are BUSY! the one thing a “big blogger” said to me when i was frustrated was to find my niche. and i ran with the working mom thing. it worked well for about 9 months… like i said, when i was really active in the blogosphere. but i just couldn’t keep up.

as an “outsider” of your blog, i had you tagged as a “design” girl, so i would only visit when looking for design stuff. just a thought… maybe that’s how others see you??? i love your design…. LOVE it!!

posted on July 16th 2011 at 1:55AM CST

OHH that does make sense… I know people tend to see me as the one who fixes WordPress lol.

So maybe go BEYOND that niche and do more posts WITHIN that niche?

Kayla
posted on July 15th 2011 at 10:28PM CST

Oh hon. I love your blog! Granted, I don’t visit as often as I should.

I felt the same way when I was working my little heart out on one website blog, and then another. Now, I’m about to embark on a much narrower niche and I’m terrified because this niche really speaks to me.

I also felt this way about commenting and my status posts on social network. It seems people get miffed at me or annoyed with me. Some have even removed my comments altogether! Am I so offensive? =/

Anyway, trust me, your blog is so refreshing. And I hope you keep on keepin’ on because I adore your style. I’ll be more supportive by linking your stuff everywhere on my fb, haha.

posted on July 16th 2011 at 1:58AM CST

Aww thank you so much!! LOL ironically all the comments and tweets I’m getting about this post is giving me inspiration for ANOTHER post!

Joni Rae
posted on July 15th 2011 at 10:45PM CST

I love you. I always read your blogs. I think you are awesome and spiffy and all that good stuff. I just sometimes forget to comment because, well, we text so much and I just read in my phone and then text you. I don’t know why you don’t get super mega hits. Your blog is so pretty!

<3

posted on July 16th 2011 at 2:00AM CST

{{{hugs}}} I know! We either text or call about it instead of commenting lol.

posted on July 15th 2011 at 11:01PM CST

Sarah, this makes me really sad to read. You’re too hard on yourself, maybe even struggling with low self-esttem. You’re a very talented photographer and blog designer. Maybe if you feel like blogging isn’t the right fit for you, you could design blogs full time.

I’m not sure what your goals are as far as “numbers” but you also have to be careful of comparisons. In general, personal blogs just don’t bring in the same kind of numbers review, recipe, mixed bag, tech, etc blogs do.

I hope you don’t go anywhere. Even if I don’t always comment, I do read and love to see your photos.

posted on July 16th 2011 at 2:02AM CST

Oh I freely admit I have the worst self-esteem. Especially after everything that happened recently with my mother and sister. It wrecked my perception of myself.

Numbers wise, I agree, niche blogs tend to get higher numbers / visitors because they fulfill a specific need.

Jenn @ Monkey Butt Junction
posted on July 15th 2011 at 11:03PM CST

I admit, I’m a bad blog reader. I think I’ve read every one of your posts since I discovered your blog but I rarely comment even when I have something I could add. And that’s silly of me because as a blogger I know how important feedback, response, some kind of reaction can be.

I’ve been feeling very much the same way, particularly with Twitter. I feel like I’m tweeting to the void most of the time.

posted on July 16th 2011 at 2:16AM CST

I admit, I am also a crappy commenter. I always feel like I don’t have anything SUPER AWESOME to contribute.

Jenn
posted on July 15th 2011 at 11:33PM CST

Stupid blogging question, but do feed reader subscriptions count as visits? Or do they show up anywhere in your stats? I’ve been subscribed to your blog for several months now. :)

With that said, a tiny bit of critique — while your photos are beautiful, it’s the written word that really draws people in and keeps them there! I love your written posts (though I certainly admire your photo posts).

*hugs* Hang in there Sarah. You’re an awesome person. Please don’t disappear on us!

posted on July 16th 2011 at 2:19AM CST

No, feed subscribers do not count as visits. I use Mint (http://haveamint.com) for stats and there are Peppers (plugins) to pull information from my feedburner.

Ahh written posts. The bane of my bloggy existence! I think I have a hard time with it just because of the backlash and insanity I get from my family.

Kate
posted on July 16th 2011 at 12:05AM CST

Oh, Sarah, I can relate. Not so much to the numbers thing or even to the blogging, because I was never into blogging much at all, but the feeling stupid when people respond to FB posts/comments/whatever, if they do ever respond? Definitely. I’m a reserved person offline, but sometimes I feel even more so online. I’m always afraid someone will take a comment wrong so generally I don’t say much at all.

I just wanted to let you know that you’re one of the few blogs I do read, and I should probably comment more since I read every post and usually have something I want to say. It really goes to the whole nervousness about feeling stupid thing – I’m going to turn fifteen in a month, so I’m probably quite a big younger than most of your readers, and it makes me feel self-conscious and like I don’t have much to contribute. I love both your photos and your written posts… so selfishly, I hope you continue blogging for many more years. I think you’re really great, and I hope you keep it up. Anyways, that’s my two cents.

posted on July 16th 2011 at 2:28AM CST

OH totally. Especially when I see what a few of my online buddies go through when it comes to trolls, it freaks me out!

Overall I’m not a fan of confrontation, online or off.

Aww thank you. If it helps, most of the comments I leave on other blogs are “AWESOME” “OHHH FABULOUS” so trust me, there isn’t anything you can say that would be seen as stupid lol.

HA funny enough, my olddddd first blog was started at 15. It was on Angelfire (I don’t think that exists anymore).

posted on July 16th 2011 at 1:18AM CST

I love reading your blog and looking at your pictures. I also really like connecting with you on Facebook (and now on Google+). I’m certainly a big fat no one in terms of my blog (and as I barely post there, I’m really okay with that), but it feels good to be able to have blogging friends that I know will read my comments and reply to my messages, you know? I feel like that might come off wrong… I don’t really know how to put it so it doesn’t, but I’m leaving it. I hope you won’t disappear. I like your stuff and I would miss your presence.

posted on July 16th 2011 at 2:54AM CST

That didn’t come off wrong at all!

posted on July 16th 2011 at 2:26AM CST

I would like to tell you this:

The posts that you share of yourself have given me a feeling of connection.

The blogging help you give freely has inspired me to constantly learn more and tweak in bits and pieces as I have time, always with an eventual goal in mind.

You photographs have evoked emotion in me.

I could care less about numbers and popularity. They have little to do with validity. It is quality of content that I look for before I’m willing to follow it.

posted on July 16th 2011 at 9:02PM CST

Thank you! I wonder sometimes, did I reveal enough? Too much? Am I helping someone? Do I even make sense?

To some degree, I just want to be useful.

Nina Amelia
posted on July 16th 2011 at 6:58AM CST

Better not disappear! <3
We are some that appreciate you being here, you know ;)

posted on July 16th 2011 at 9:03PM CST

Aww thank you!!!!

TheFeministBreeder
posted on July 16th 2011 at 10:40AM CST

When I see traffic pouring into my site, it scares me – and you know why. What I’ve found is that what generates traffic is controversy (of any variety), but it’s really not the traffic you want to have. It’s SOOOO not worth it. When I post things that are benign and only important to me? Nobody gives a crap about it, and I’m totally okay with that. People only want to read “Statements.” I’ve tried really hard lately to balance out the statements I feel I MUST make, and the general life blogging I still want to do for my own sanity. But the numbers don’t lie. General life blogging is rarely of interest to anyone else. And seriously? That’s really okay by me. I can only handle so many stalkers, troll,s and parody blogs dedicated to what a shithead I supposedly am.

posted on July 16th 2011 at 9:05PM CST

Your traffic scares me heh. Your awesomness makes people jealous lol.

Do you think you would have started a blog or any of it, if you knew that you’d be dealing with so much drama?

TheFeministBreeder
posted on July 16th 2011 at 10:45PM CST

No, I can’t say that I would have. I never realized how much bullshit popular bloggers put up with. And for what? It’s not like I’m raking in the money. I’m making just enough to pay a bill or two each month. I keep it going because I can’t not write, and I’ve made a lot of professional contacts through the networking opportunities that blogging provides for me, but TFB won’t go on forever. There’s an end to it, I’m just not sure when it is.

posted on July 17th 2011 at 1:52AM CST

Do you remember when you realized your blog was a “popular” or “bigger” blog? Or what post made it go from an “everyday” blog to what it is now?

TheFeministBreeder
posted on July 18th 2011 at 5:39PM CST

I don’t even think of myself as “popular” but everyone else thinks I am. To me, blogs like Dooce and HerBadMother are popular – not mine. But there are pages upon pages of hate sites about me now, and I suppose you have to be somewhat popular to attract that kind of ridiculous attention. Otherwise, why would they bother?

The Slacker Mom
posted on July 16th 2011 at 11:07AM CST

Gah! I totally hear you. I kind of lost it on a friend a fellow blogger when she was complaining about her blog…which gets 10,000 hits a day! I told her she should go back to her old blog because people would kill for a gig like hers, then I blogged about it. Then I felt bad about blogging about it. I totally have little fish in big pond syndrome and it drives me crazy when people start a blog and immediately get traffic. I hate begging. I like to read and comment on blogs. I like the community of Social Media. I just hate playing the game, you know? But, because of all of that, I did go out and get myself a gig with the local paper, so maybe that will bring some more traffic. Who knows. The last Mom blogger they had was totally shellacked in the comments simply because she was a mom. I need to build a thick skin anyways.

posted on July 16th 2011 at 9:14PM CST

OHHH I love that fish analogy!

What will you be doing at your local paper?

The Slacker Mom
posted on July 17th 2011 at 9:34AM CST

I’ll be one of the community bloggers in the Your Voices section of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. It’s scary (the comments are not moderated and often MEAN) but exciting because: Hey there, EXPOSURE! I just got my contract int he mail so I should be ready to post sometime next week :)

posted on July 17th 2011 at 12:30PM CST

OHHH why aren’t the comments moderated at all?

The Slacker Mom
posted on July 17th 2011 at 1:54PM CST

They changed it a few years ago, I haven’t seen any reasons listed (other than moderating takes so much time for something as large as a newspaper). There are a few categories that aren’t open for comments at all. I have a feeling a lot of the negative comments will be from people who just comment to stir the pot anyway.

I have no idea what to start with- I want to write about finding the perfect neighborhood place and then seeing the sign on the door that says I have to keep my stroller outside. Unattended. On a busy street with lots of foot traffic. I’ve never seen such a thing but apparently the “stroller wars” are nothing new. Maybe I’ll save that one for a bit later…

posted on July 16th 2011 at 11:53AM CST

I just found your blog (you invited me to Google+ by way of Lisa W — thank you! I really love it!

I just started blogging last year, and when I became obsessed with the numbers, I had to remind myself to STOP. The # of people who come to this blog doesn’t matter. It’s about making relationships better with the people who DO come, don’t you think?

While I am the first to admit that heavy traffic days make me happy, I also know that it’s more important to establish relationships with the 20% of people who are your #1 fans…the 80/20 rule, kinda.

I’ll be a reader – I’m digging the look & all of your photos! :)

posted on July 16th 2011 at 9:15PM CST

I do agree that the relationships matter. I’d rather have a comment or interaction like yours rather than “omg totally!” all the time or “you SUCK” all the time lol.

posted on July 16th 2011 at 12:26PM CST

I can totally relate to how you feel. Granted I have only been blogging for a year. I haven’t found a niche yet and like a few commentators said, you don’t get as much traffic on more personal posts.

I think if you continue to blog, it should be for YOU. Not to get big numbers.

P.S. I am horrible about leaving comments too sometimes.

posted on July 16th 2011 at 9:19PM CST

It’s funny though, if I blog the SUPER personal posts, the one’s about my family, the abuse, all of that, I get a lot of feedback, it’s generally the posts that I actually WORK at, that I feel get ignored heh.

posted on July 16th 2011 at 9:41PM CST

I think overall people relate more to drama.

posted on July 17th 2011 at 2:00AM CST

LOL probably!

posted on July 16th 2011 at 8:55PM CST

I am trying to keep up with people, but it’s harder in the summer. We’ve been traveling so much and when we’re home, we’re outside. Maybe others are doing the same.

Chin up. I love seeing you in my reader/etc!

posted on July 16th 2011 at 9:20PM CST

Oh yes, the “bloggy cycle” of less active in Spring and Summer, and hardcore active in Autumn and Winter lol.

Erica
posted on July 16th 2011 at 10:26PM CST

I have been following your blog for almost a year now and I’ve never commented, but I feel like I should now. I really love your photography. I am an aspiring photog myself so I love to see your picture posts and ooh and aah over them! Also- I am completely baffled and in awe of your web design skills!! I have looked through your portfolio and LOVE your stuff! I actually spoke with you a bit about designing my blog, which I still want you to do someday when I’m not so freaking poor and won’t feel bad spending money on my blog. Anyway, just wanted to say keep up the good work! I enjoy your posts and pictures even though I never comment :)

posted on July 17th 2011 at 2:14AM CST

Thank you so much!!!

LOL I have the worst time spending money on myself, it’s a bit easier if I buy stuff for the house or to share (like Kindle books) but anything for JUST me? I can’t handle it lol. Too much guilt!

posted on July 18th 2011 at 7:23AM CST

I think people are right about the niche thing, but I would hate for you to focus only on one thing, like design, and give up the opportunity to express your emotions. I love your blog. I’ve read nearly every post for the last… what… 6 years? Since you had the BoS on here, anyways, lol.

I’m happy if I get 10 views a day on my blog… and that usually means ZERO comments anyways. Most of my traffic has come from other OSN visitors who are checking out your links page, or clicking on my name from your comments, haha!

I try not to get too caught up in the numbers because it’s more about expression for me. That’s what caused me to give up blogging 3 or 4 times before finally realizing I just wanted to write, and having 1 comment every 2 months shouldn’t dissuade me.

Anyways, the only thing I can think of is a Blog schedule, and I know they’re hard to stick to. But if you did do a certain type of post on a certain day you would soon notice what people are interested in just by the numbers on those particular days.

posted on July 18th 2011 at 10:13AM CST

OHHH the Pagan@OSN days… those were some good times… and MuseLog too!

I did try to do a blog schedule last year, and failed LOL. HOWEVER with Danny going back into school, I will have more free time (since all my free time goes towards redoing his chores lol). So I’ll be able to write more… especially recipes LOL!

posted on July 18th 2011 at 10:03AM CST

The problem with focusing on the numbers, and I speak from experience here, is that you get to the point where no amount is enough. You could double, triple your daily uniques and suddenly that’s not good enough.. you’ve got to bring in more.

At my peak I could expect circa 5000 uniques a day. Did it make a difference to how I blogged? How often? Respect? Friendship? None of these things. If anything it just adds ridiculous pressure to “perform”, and I am not a bloody circus animal.

I have been reading your blog on and off for a loooong long time (I have no idea how long, it’s that long) so, you know, you must be doing something right :)

posted on July 18th 2011 at 10:14AM CST

We are of the old world LOL.

I do wonder about that, if there is any specific number I’d be happy about and you’re right, I’d still be reaching for bigger / better stats.

I just like to quantify what I’m doing. Validation.

posted on July 18th 2011 at 4:27PM CST

That rose photo is absolutely stunning!!! As I think you are too.
I also struggle with thoughts going back and forth on continuing in this world of social “fun”. I stress at times that I should definitely be posting more, doing more, saying more, tweeting more, etc. etc. etc. to get MORE readers, commenters, etc.

And then I look at all the pressure I’m adding to myself and my life…and that’s not what I was signing up for…I was signing up for FUN! So, then I let myself post only 2-3 times a week unless I feel like posting more. And some days I don’t even go near my computer – because I’m out living.

I guess I’m agreeing with the first comment above…blog if you love doing it just because you love it. I’ll definitely be here reading, commenting and loving your words and photos!

posted on July 19th 2011 at 8:31PM CST

Thank you so much! It’s funny how prevalent blogs are now, a decade ago people thought it was CRAZY to have an “online journal” much less anything about SEO, giveaways, etc.

Sage
posted on July 19th 2011 at 12:03PM CST

You know I adore you. As soon as I found your blog, I linked to you from my front page. I do get a ton of traffic for a new blog, but I talk about taboo subjects. You should see some of the freaky search terms folks have used and wound up finding me. LOL

I haven’t read through all of your comments. I’m having some health issues and I’m very tired. But I wanted to share with you the idea that it could be about prospective.

Your goal from my viewpoint is to help other women bloggers with ideas and tech advice and you also share some of your personal issues (along the lines like me). You also share some of the most amazing photography I’ve seen in a long time. If these are your goals, then you are already meeting them. You have helped countless of women both with your blogging and personal advice. You have gifted our eyes with your captures of life’s beauty.

You aren’t looking to become the next big review blogger. You aren’t looking to make a ton of money here. You are doing this to share of yourself and I think you have done an amazing job of not only reaching those goals, but surpassing them as well.

Would you see higher numbers if you split the site in half… personal focus and then blogging advice… maybe. But would you want to? Only you can answer that.

{{{HUGS}}}

posted on July 19th 2011 at 8:35PM CST

Thank you so much! LOL aside from the design / code aspect, I don’t make money from having OSN itself (no ads / no sponsors).

I wouldn’t want to make individual blogs, tried that in the past and failed lol.

I used to have a LOT of projects here which in hindsight is sort of funny to me because I had WAY less free time back then (single mom, working full-time, abusive living situation).

I think in some ways, it’s that whole niche issue and these days the “mommy blogger” set up that I can’t seem to grasp.

Sage
posted on July 24th 2011 at 7:52PM CST

So, would you consider breaking up the blog… do one totally devoted to the design/code aspect for both monetary and helpful matters and then using one for the personal stuff and photography?

Is that too much to ask of yourself right now? What would be the pros and the cons of trying it?

posted on July 26th 2011 at 10:23AM CST

I do think that would be too much for me, I can’t imagine going crazy over TWO sets of stats and promotion lol!

I’ve actually done that in the past, if I remember correctly it was “Design @ OSN” and it just didn’t get the traffic like the main blog did, back in the day I actually did a LOT of projects all over the place but now just try to focus on the blog itself.

posted on October 21st 2011 at 6:34AM CST

Sadness is part of every single human. But it never stays longer, unless you insist on being sad and the feeling of sadness. It fluctuates. Some people show, some don’t.

But I’m insighted with the rose you left us. Its radiance provokes beauty even in b/w. Great picture.

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