A year and a half ago, I started this blog. I started it, but I still wondered what the point was.
Would anyone read "Pretty Freaky?" It sure didn't seem as if anyone was reading it (not that I knew, at the outset, how to calculate hits).
I remember attending an Edtech (that's educational technology, or teaching with technology) conference and hearing a lecture about how great it would be if more teachers blogged.
"Hey, I'm blogging," I wanted to pipe up. "But how do I get readers?"
Seven or so months later, I "met" a fellow writer online (we sometimes write for the same blog, not the Pretty Freaky blog) and I asked him what the secret was to self-promotion.
He (his name is Nick Belardes, and he wrote a very popular serialized novel, "Small Places," on Twitter! That was cool) seemed to understand it very well. He had plenty of readers/followers and people who commented on his postings.
It's basically a part-time job, he told me. It should be a full-time job. It's a big pain in the neck.
You do it to get readers. You do it to establish your career.
Nick convinced me to start Tweeting, and it took me a while to see the point of that, too, but I did it. Twitter has helped me to get many more blog readers.
While I don't like to Tweet too much about my own blog, I will do it when I have a new post up. Once, maybe twice. I don't want to be ridiculous.
Read the blog or don't; I'm sort of too busy to care. (All that much.)
I do want readers, though, because I want to know that my words are reaching people. I want to know that I've made a difference, however small.
In a perfect world, the point of the blog would be to sell my book(s). Maybe it will come to that. If so, great.
In the meantime, however, sometimes I think it's too much trouble. My own blog makes me feel paranoid, lately, and I know that other people sometimes feel paranoid reading it. Was she talking about me, they wonder?
Was I? Well, I didn't name anyone, and I never will, so how would you know?
And anyway, it's not all about you. The blog is about me. It's about my life; it's about my teaching, my writing, my ideas.
I would never want to embarrass anyone through my blog posts.
I am not averse to embarrassing myself a bit, if the need ever arises, because I find self-deprecation (in small amounts) to be refreshing.
In case you haven't noticed: I have a good sense of humor. My head is screwed on straight.
Still, the other night, I finally Googled myself (which I only ever do every once in a great while).
I was alarmed to see myself pop up all over the place. There was "Pretty Freaky;" there were other essays; there were my AP NING postings.
I made myself sick.
There was even my picture.
"It's Mommy!" one of my daughters yelled. "She's famous!"
I hope not. Not for this, anyway.
So what changed? The last time I Googled myself, I didn't come up for 20 or so pages. I have a rather common name.
But now: there I am. I think that you make it to the top of the list (in Google searches) when there are many searches for you, for your blog.
I can't be sure if I should be happy or scared.
It's a little of both. Or a feeling of resignation.
I asked for this. I established this platform.
Now the pressure is on: keep it up. Make it worthwhile. Serve a purpose.
Time will tell.