Monday, April 12, 2010

If A Blog Posts In The Forest...

I received an email the other day from someone who had some blogging questions and had it been a phone call, I’d have thought she had the wrong number but there it was in my very own inbox.

I felt bad because I had no real answers to give her and when she asked me some technical questions, well… I was even less help. But then she asked what kind of posts she could write in order to get more traffic to her site…. and that’s when it hit her…

Coming to me was a complete waste of time.

Because I felt it was the truth, I told her that what each blogger posts is a very personal thing. Something that only she could decide.

She never wrote me back and I can’t say that I blame her but feeling completely useless does not sit well with me so I wanted to redeem myself in some way and maybe give a hand as I remember so many of these questions when I first started blogging – and mainly because I am still searching for the answers myself.

I'm not big on blog or any other kind of advice-because what the hell do I know- but the conversation reminded me of one of the first posts I'd ever written almost a year ago.

I'm dusting it off the blog shelf and posting it here in hopes that it reaches the right spot.

And who knows, she might even write me back one day (-:

What would you guys have said?


If a Blog Posts In the Forest Does it Still Make an Impact?

Ahem…Testing…Testing…1 2 3, is this thing on?

Since I have become addicted to Blogging, I haven’t given that much thought as to who (if anyone) was reading my blogs or what (if at all) kind of impact my words would actually have in the dense forest of so many wonderful and highly talented bloggers.

Would I even be noticed?

Would anyone read a word of what I’ve written?

Who knows? Not who cares…let’s not get crazy. But who really knows?

I have been so all consumed with the creation of each and every blog post that burns to get out of me that I haven’t looked back much. Once I am finished with one post, I am just itching to get on to the next.

So if I write a blog and nobody reads it and it doesn’t change the world, what’s the point right?


My blog posts admittedly will never change the world but I have to say that they have certainly changed me.

Reading blogs have also been mind altering. I have read many a blog and though I might not have commented on all of them, they definitely did and continue to enlighten, educate, amuse and comfort me in ways that I wouldn't have ever imagined.

Once your words are out there, who knows who they will touch?

You may never know or…. you could be rewarded with some lengthy detailed comments below your posts that acknowledge and validate all of your efforts. That would be the ultimate topping on a true heart-felt blog post.

In either case, if blogging moves you, it is enough. If having a platform for your passionate thoughts and ideas is giving you a secret thrill….believe me, you will move others. Passion gets around.

It’s the real deal.

Well, here’s hoping that all of us Still Waters continue to produce stirring internal and external blog waves!

Surfed or not (-:


Dual Mom on April 12, 2010 at 1:51 PM said...

This is a great post! I think we all have our own reasons for blogging but putting our thoughts out there seems to be a common one.

Susan R. Mills on April 12, 2010 at 1:53 PM said...

So true. I felt the exact same way when I started blogging a year ago.

Simply Suthern on April 12, 2010 at 2:05 PM said...

I started reading blogs and wanted to make some comments but felt if I was going to stalk and comment I should put myself out there as well. It has not been so easy with me as I am not a natural writer as most folks I read seem to be but what I do write I put all of me in it good or bad. I have enjoyed it and have enjoyed the comments I have received. I just wish I didnt wake up in the morning at 4 or 5 thinking about what to write.

Yankee Girl on April 12, 2010 at 2:06 PM said...

When I started blogging I was so intimidated by all of the other blogs out there. After I realized that I was awesome too, I was able to relax and it helped me to be a better blogger and commentor. And getting those thoughts and ideas I have had running around my crazy head out have helped me to be a much more sane person! I think.

Mama-Face on April 12, 2010 at 2:08 PM said...

oh my, I am embarrassed...did I really push send after I wrote that email? jk. But that doesn't mean I haven't thought about it.

I feel BOTH sides of the issue here. (If there really is an "issue"). I was nodding my head in agreement reading your entire post. I could and do analyze blogging all day long.

yes. I hear you.

Liz Mays on April 12, 2010 at 2:12 PM said...

I get asked similar questions and it really is hard to answer. Everyone is different and therefore there's no mold, no one way to do it. We all have to play around with it and eventually we fall into a style that we know is our own.

Thank goodness we're all different, huh?

Shell on April 12, 2010 at 2:20 PM said...

What a great post!

I've had several people ask me for advice recently and at first I thought "why are they asking ME?" and I felt like a fake to be giving advice, but I decided to just say those things that I wish I'd known when I first started.

Macey on April 12, 2010 at 2:48 PM said...

I wouldn't have come up with anything nearly so real or heartfelt a year ago. I was too much into yacking and talking and blabbering TMI. :)
But this is so true!
Nobody asks me crap. Cuz I'm stooopid.

ReformingGeek on April 12, 2010 at 2:59 PM said...

Blogging has opened up a whole new world for me. I love expressing myself in my writing.

If someone wants to drive traffic to their blog, unless they have something new and original and/or people are just drawn to their natural charisma (Yeah I wish that were me), they will need to read and comment on other blogs. Most people will reciprocate.

The best advice is to be yourself and HAVE FUN!

Great post!

Mary on April 12, 2010 at 3:12 PM said...

This is perfect timing as I am brand new to blogging and the whole blogging world. I have many questions but what I've learned from others like you is that I should simply just be me. That was one of the reasons why I chose to start blogging.... I wanted a place to just be me. And passion... it is contagious and we are all drawn naturally to that. I'm looking forward to being a part of the forest!

One Photo on April 12, 2010 at 3:49 PM said...

This is a fabulous post. I only started blogging in February but I so wish I had started three years ago when my daughter was born. You are so right that if you write from the heart then what you say will resonate with others. In doing so I have received help on some topics that previously I felt I was fighting a lonesome battle on, and have also enjoyed sharing the funnier aspects of parenting and so much more besides. Reading other blogs and stories of similar and also very different experiences other Moms have had has also been enlightening.

I started my blog as a way to connect with the outside world and get my brain working. So I think I would also say to the lady who asked you the question that if driving traffic to her blog is her main priority, she will not succeed. She needs to write for herself first and if that brings new friends and followers then consider that a bonus.

Robin on April 12, 2010 at 4:07 PM said...

Oh I really loved this..Melyssa... because I have also had my doubts....but its for me, to do with as I reasons are personal, private and mandatory (that is something Ive been feeling lately)..and I guess we all doubt our reasons why we do it sometimes...I struggle with editing myself..and I dont like struggling with anything..Im working on it though..I really have no need to do that..after all I am a full grown WOMAN..right..!its fine you didn't know the answers...I mean there is a whole world of blogging advice and answers out there...besides, you give a part of yourself every week, that should be enough..!Im going to read this again..Thank You.!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes we don't know why we keep doing it, and then a light turns on and we continue, turning lights on for others too.


Jen on April 12, 2010 at 5:40 PM said...

Isn't it nice when someone asks you how you do it? It doesn't matter that you don't know what you are doing, someone thinks you do, and that's great.

I've been touched on so many levels by so many different kinds of blogs, and I seem to find the ones I need just when I need them. I've been inspired, I've learned many things, I've cried and I've laughed. And most importantly, I've made a great many friends.

Coffeypot on April 12, 2010 at 5:48 PM said...

You told her right. Blogging is personal. If she wants more traffic, I would tell her what everyone told me. She will have to go to other blogs, comment, not lurk, and hope they come to check her out. That is how my site grew. Then it was my writing that drove them away.

Alexandra on April 12, 2010 at 6:18 PM said...

I think it's very personal, where we decide to return or not. Just like our reasons for having a blog. To some, numbers count. To others, it's sharing common interest. To still some, it's just a love of writing.

I love to write. I would be fine if no one ever read it. It is fun to hear someone comment. But I get just as much joy pushing "Publish Post" and seeing something that is mine, I would be fine if I were the only one to see it.

It all matters on what drives you. For me, it's the love of the written word, and to know that I can move emotions in someone.

Jayne Martin on April 12, 2010 at 6:38 PM said...

What a great post. So many of the things I've been thinking about lately.

Passion is the real deal. Excellent point. You are absolutely right on.

And "once your words are out there, who knows who they will touch..." As writers, that's what we want to do. We want to touch people's lives. Any artist does. In doing so, we seek kindred spirits. Or maybe we just want to leave something behind so the world knows we were here.

If you write with the hope of pleasing everyone, you'll end up pleasing no one, least of all yourself.

And people can smell desperation...

"You've gotta dance like nobody's watching..."

I think you have to write like you'll never be read. (But for God's sake, punctuate and use spell-check. Kinda like wearing clean underwear -- just in case.) ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm with wrote that a year ago? As for myself it's my original creative comments like this that drive traffic...away...

Captain Dumbass on April 12, 2010 at 7:45 PM said...

At the end of the day, I think you're just throwing your crazy out there and attracting the like minded.

Maureen@IslandRoar on April 12, 2010 at 7:53 PM said...

Amen! Great post. I wish I'd found you a year ago, but I'm glad I finally did!

Bossy Betty on April 12, 2010 at 7:58 PM said...

I find myself somewhat addicted to other people's blogs! I also love writing my posts. Would I be sad if no one read them? Well, yes, but it's the writing that I love most of all.

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip on April 12, 2010 at 9:05 PM said...

Word. This is a great post and a great response to that question. I think the problem is that blogging can sometimes feel like a popularity contest, when in reality it should just be about writing what matters to us and connecting with anyone who shares a common interest. It is very easy to get wrapped up in worrying about how many people are reading/commenting on your posts. Esp. when there are so many very popular blogs out there with enormous followings. I am impressed that you wrote this when you were new to blogging. You are so SMART!! And such an awesome writer. You are a good model for all of us to aspire to. ANd I mean that from the bottom of my bloggy heart. XOXOXXOX

Claudya Martinez on April 12, 2010 at 9:49 PM said...

You're brilliant. Period.

A Daft Scots Lass on April 13, 2010 at 3:02 AM said...

I don't have a blog to get traffic to my site. I blog for me and my friends and family. Whoever else reads it and finds it amusing, great! I don't count the numbers or make posts to increase traffic or followers.

Tracie on April 13, 2010 at 3:25 AM said...

I don't even have sitemeter or google analytics on my blog. I have no idea how many hits I'm getting. I've finally been able to let some of the pressure go and take a more relaxed approach to blogging. (Actually, I've got one foot out the door.)

People Who Know Me Would Say: on April 13, 2010 at 3:31 AM said...

All to often, new bloggers have one main objective: readership. There are comparatively few super blogs. We can't all be Dooce. So that ship won't sail.

I blog for myself and my family. I have my blog printed into a hardcover book every 3 months so that my children and grandchildren can read it and think, "Man! No wonder I'm so screwed up!"

Unknown on April 13, 2010 at 4:58 AM said...

Excellent post, and totally agree, I have like nine followers and love them madly, but truth is I do not write for them, I write for me.

It is my 'secret life", my creative outlet, my escape, and sometimes my therapy.

Then again --- A couple of weeks ago I was at a business meeting and one of the guys mentioned he loves me blog and quoted some of it back to me, and gotta admit I was excited and flattered. And a big mortified.. holy crap, do I use the word 'douchebag' that much?

Laffylady on April 13, 2010 at 5:39 AM said...

Hi ..I love this post...!!

Moooooog35 on April 13, 2010 at 6:05 AM said...

Another excellent piece of advice to get more traffic is to go to MY site.

It will work for me, at least.

You're welcome.

Ian on April 13, 2010 at 7:05 AM said...

Good post, nice original idea and well thought out.

BugginWord on April 13, 2010 at 8:03 AM said...

I'm glad as hell you're still writing. I'm also glad as hell my hangover is wearing off - though the two aren't exactly related.

life in the mom lane on April 13, 2010 at 8:37 AM said...

I have felt the same way... I don't have a large following but for me it is an outlet... if other people happen to read *shrug* ok... I enjoy reading other peoples blogs (especially the one's I find funny) but I write mine based on what's going on in my life... sometimes i hold back because I know my daughter and some other family members read my blog from time to time... I think I really need a blog they do not know about so I can really cut loose and say exactly what I want.

Unknown on April 13, 2010 at 9:16 AM said...

Well put. If a writer/blogger doesn't feel passionate about what they write, how could anyone be stirred by what they read? A connection has to be established. I'm not talking about DSL or Cable. I'm talking about a T1 line to the heart.

Anonymous said...

I think your advice was great. And I always enjoy your posts!

MommaKiss on April 13, 2010 at 10:50 AM said...

well. my little "I wonder" post the other day is sorta like this, but much less elegant. i have lots and lots of lurkers (you can tell that via any site meter thing) and I'm ok with that. but sometimes I really wonder who's out there. Doesn't stop me from the verbal diarrhea, tho, now does it!

Linda Medrano on April 13, 2010 at 11:23 AM said...

Do you know, I'm almost embarrassed about how much I enjoy this! I love to put my "real self" out there, good and bad! I love the comments! I love the blogs I follow (including this one). I'm not a politics junkie. I'm not a Mommy. But I love reading all of those who are! I've met some of the most fascinating talented people on here and (God help me) I feel like we are really friends!

Joy@TPMG on April 13, 2010 at 12:10 PM said...

When I first started writing I wrote for me and only me and it still amazes me that anyone reads what I write.

The Single Mothers Chronicles on April 13, 2010 at 1:38 PM said...

Those were simple sounding questions - but very difficult to answer. I think you definitely cannot write for readers - you have to write for yourself and what comes out...and for some nutty reason, someone somewhere may or may not connect to it. Blogging annoying, aggravating, time-consuming, not-money-earning, and... fulfilling! Totally logical.

Kelly on April 13, 2010 at 3:12 PM said...

I have very few followers and even fewer comments left on my blog but my blog is for me to express myself, whether anyone reads it or not. It's my own little therapeutic outlet, not a measure of popularity.

Alex@LateEnough on April 13, 2010 at 4:25 PM said...

I have been SHOCKED at how blog posts can help others. I wrote one that a friend passed along to a friend and it made a big difference to her and helped her with her dad. And I only know about it because my friend forwarded on the comments of thanks. And it's happened again and again. Words are so powerful. I am grateful and humbled by the bloggy world.

Shannon K. on April 13, 2010 at 10:40 PM said...

Couldn't agree more about "passion loves passion." I believe if you write about what moves you/what you enjoy, naturally, like-minded people will gravitate to you.

Sheila on April 14, 2010 at 4:45 AM said...

I just remember how hard it was when I first started blogging and I often wondered how others did it - but I never actually asked anyone because I wanted it to be my own.

Great post!!

Aunt Juicebox on April 14, 2010 at 6:18 AM said...

Ahhh, blogging....what can I say? It's more of a social activity for me than anything else. I'm sure I'd get a lot more traffic if I put some effort into it, but I feel that the readers I have who have become my friends - well that's all I'm looking for. I don't really have an agenda and honestly, I don't want to be a famous author or on tv. I don't know what I'd do with any more followers. I can barely keep up with reading as it is! lol

Ally on April 14, 2010 at 7:08 AM said...

I wish I had kept up with my blog when I first created it. I kept freaking out that this one or that one would see it and would delete my blog accounts all over the damn place from Word Press to Live Journal.

Visit me at

Roller Coaster on April 14, 2010 at 10:08 AM said...

What an awesome post! No one has asked me for blogging advice, and I'm like you, I would have no idea what to say. Everyone blogs differently, and everyone reads other blogs for different reasons. When I first started, I wondered if anyone would truly read it. Now that I have a decent following, I still wonder how many people actually read it. I tell myself that it doesn't matter how many people actually read it, it's the enjoyment of writing that got me started in the blogging world. But good comments every now and then certainly inspire me to keep doing it!

Stacey on April 14, 2010 at 12:14 PM said...

Well put. I've been blogging for 2 1/2 years and have had many of the same feelings. Every time I get frustrated, I just remember that I'm really blogging for myself and if I happen to make someone smile, laugh or cry, then that's just a bonus!

Buggys on April 14, 2010 at 1:13 PM said...

I would have reacted the same way...not that anyone is asking, mind you. Actually, someone did ask me how to do something recently and I surprised myself by having the answer! I was able to help her. Wow.
There is no answer to that question, as you said.

drollgirl on April 14, 2010 at 3:53 PM said...

what a super post, and i think all bloggers can relate to it!

a couple of years ago my friend/co-worker told me i should start a blog. and i balked and didn't think ANYONE would ever see it or care about it, and that it would be a colossal waste of time. and i was convinced of this completely, but was so bored at work day in and day out, that i started a blog to pass the time. let's just say that i have no regrets -- it has been kind of incredible, and i am so glad to have blogging in my life. :) and i bet you feel the same! :)

p.s. sorry if this reads all CHEESY. it is sincere.

Fragrant Liar on April 14, 2010 at 4:47 PM said...

Excellent post, and clearly something that's on all of our minds as bloggers. It's tempting to allow ourselves the indulgence of writing for the approval of others, but I prefer to indulge myself and see what comes out of that. It seems more honest and true. And I think Jayne said something about the passion of what we write, with which I most heartily agree. We have to love what we're doing to keep at it, day after day, year after year.

Oy, did I say year after year? Eek!

One Photo on April 14, 2010 at 6:32 PM said...

Hi there - I have an award for you over at my blog

Dear Sydney on April 15, 2010 at 3:51 AM said...

Great post! I'm starting to figure out that if I share what's valuable to me, there might just be someone else who's needing/going through/feeling the same. I can't pretend to be an expert on some "hot topic" that everyone else is writing about just to get traffic.
Thanks for the great thoughts (visiting from SITS)

Salt on April 15, 2010 at 8:32 AM said...

I can 100% relate to this. I'm actually kind of shocked (and ok...pleased too) that anyone would want to read what I have to say. I will never have the most popular blog and that's ok with me. I've met so many cool people and learned so much already that any dream I had for all of this has already been fulfilled.

Plus I have an outlet for my bitching, which my husband thinks is so great.

JennyMac on April 16, 2010 at 4:58 AM said...

I get emails like this too and there is no great way for me to tell people how to make it valuable for themselves. Sharing thoughts is a great part of blogging and so are the connections you make with people which for me was one of the best unexpected by-products of blogging.

Unknown on April 16, 2010 at 6:10 AM said...

This is such a wonderful post. I think we all feel this way sometimes and I am still trying to figure out my place in BlogLand.....

I think I have learned the most from other bloggers, reading other blogs, and reading articles people post on Twitter about blogging.

Kristie on April 16, 2010 at 6:57 AM said...

stopping by from today's FF - :-)

Anonymous said...

i wouldn't have had any answers for her either--i've yet to figure it out myself. my most terrible posts get the most views so, i really don't get it.

a great first-ish post, btw. even if people don't comment--they are reading. and even if they don't, some days, that's okay with me.

Bill Lisleman on May 12, 2010 at 4:44 PM said...

If a Blog Posts In the Forest ...
well if it written by your husband he is still wrong.

I've told people that if a tree falls in the forest and you're a husband then it's your fault.

Lady Hill on May 12, 2010 at 5:25 PM said...

As someone who has 100 posts on my blog, and about 60 followers I often wonder, who's reading this? Why are they reading this? Why aren't MORE people reading?
I was consumed with trying to write what I thought people wanted to read and realized I wasn't having any fun at all.
Since I had that epiphany and I write when I want to about what I want to, it's really helped me in so many ways.

I'm your newest follower here and on twitter.

Veronica on August 16, 2010 at 5:44 AM said...

I think the biggest thing I needed to learn (sometimes still) is that I need to write for me. If someone stumbles upon it and reads then great, but ultimately it needs to be for me. Or it wouldn't be honest and sincere, it would be manufactured and that is something that I don't want to be..

Ash on August 16, 2010 at 6:10 AM said...

After reading all the BlogHer10 posts lately, this was refreshing, and an awesome reminder.

We can't all be Dooce. But who would ;-)

heidi @ wonder woman wannabe on August 16, 2010 at 6:23 AM said...

Well said!


Anonymous said...

I agree. It's a personal thing for me too! I never know who it will help. But it certainly helps me to get my thoughts out!

scargosun on August 16, 2010 at 9:06 AM said...

Gotta remember that. It's hard sometimes when others are making a bajillion dollars on theirs and and quit their other jobs. Sigh

Anonymous said...

I do enjoy blogging and it has become therapy for me, but I do like to know that others are reading and it is helping them too!

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