Monday, March 8, 2010

Be Careful What You Wish For; You Might Get It

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.

2 comments:

  1. We read your blog at the office every day, or we check it every day in case there's something new. It's always worthwhile!!

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  2. Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it.

    ReplyDelete