Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Downward Turn

Maybe it’s just because it’s summer, but there has been a noticeable drop in activity around here in the past few months. Regular readers will notice that I have not written anything new on this blog for nearly a month, and I have noticed that the number of regular readers has been dropping steadily and dramatically over the past five or so months. I don’t know if the drop in readership is due to folks being out and about in the warm weather months, or if no one is all that interested in the subject matter anymore.

I began this blog in March 2012, with the intention of writing for the website, which is owned by the man responsible for the guitar oriented site Unfortunately, for whatever reason, that didn’t happen. So instead, I just continued to post the articles on my blog, many of which attracted some good numbers of hits.

I enjoyed the process of writing and entertaining my readers, and the fact that there was no money involved was not a concern. It was encouraging that the hits were gradually increasing, with the peak coming when I wrote ‘Sweet Baby James’, in February 2013. Within a few days, more than 1500 people had read the piece, and it appeared that I might be on the verge of attracting a large number of regular readers (which is, of course, the objective of all bloggers).

However, the fact is that most people that write seriously, do it with the intention of making a living at it, or at least supplementing their income. I’m sorry if that rubs some people the wrong way. I’m sure there will be a few that will read this and say, ‘you do it because you love it, not because of the money.’

Well, sorry, ladies and gentlemen, but the hard fact is that we do things like write blogs because we love it and because we might make some money at it. The ‘love of it’ only goes so far in this life, especially for an activity such as blogging. At some point, we have to realize that our time is valuable, and growing short for some of us. We must re-evaluate what we do, how much time we spend on it, and determine whether or not such an activity benefits ourselves and our families.

Which leads me to report that I have been working on paying gigs lately. I put my novel ‘The Avery Appointment’ on Amazon’s Kindle Store in early July, and I spent a good deal of time proofreading the manuscript prior to publishing. I am nearing completion of a non-fiction book that will be called ‘Between the Fuzzy Parts’ (and will soon be published on Amazon) as well as planning a follow-up to the ‘Avery’ book. Those projects have taken up most of my time, leaving no time for the blog.

Writing blogs has proven to not be a money making venture, while writing novels and other books could very well be. I have written many blog pieces for both ‘The Backbeat’ and my sports/restaurant review blog ‘Season Tickets’ over the past two years (Season Tickets went live in July 2011). While I appreciate those that have read and commented on my blogs over that time, it’s a little tiresome to spend so much time writing for free.

Yes, I love to write, but yes, I would love to make money from my writing. Writing for a living is difficult, but if accomplished, would be a dream job. As I write this, I am just days away from my 59th birthday, so adding to my retirement fund (and the possibility of early retirement) is at the forefront.

I don’t want to sound unappreciative of those that have read my blogs over the past few years. I’m sure you understand that I welcome the support from my readers, however, that doesn’t pay the bills, or feed the family, nor does it get me anywhere closer to a comfortable retirement. I am equally certain that my readers understand the idea that if you can do what you love and get paid for it, then you have the best of both worlds.

What that means is that I may occasionally update my blogs with new content, but those updates will likely be few, far between, and less detailed. I will, of course, continue to plug my books and those written by my wife Tiffany (her first novel, ‘Kerrie’s Grace: A New Beginning’, stands at this writing at #8 on Amazon’s top sellers in the Religious and Liturgical category). I’m sorry if that offends my regular readers, but as it stands now, the number of regular readers has settled at about 30 per week.

Anyone that writes a blog is looking to reach more readers. I wasn’t looking to make money on it at first, but to be honest, as a long time writer, the hope was that this blog would lead to bigger and better gigs. Yes, some things you do for the love of it, but when those things begin to take the majority of your time, then you have to re-evaluate. Essentially, it’s a business decision – any business that costs more than it makes is bound for extinction, plus the fact that I no longer have the time or energy to work for free.

Why is he bothering to write and publish this explanation? Simply because when I have followed blogs in the past that just disappeared, it left me wondering what had happened. Why did those people suddenly abandon their readers? Why did they not let us know why they stopped writing and publishing?

Thank-you to all that have read and enjoyed my blog pieces, and I hope that you will consider reading Tiffany’s and/or my books.

© 2013 LTM

No comments:

Post a Comment