Michael Hyatt, CEO of Nelson Publishers in Nashville, has a terrific web site and blog. In a recent post, “Why I Stopped Reading Your Blog,” he gave six reasons he might unsubscribe to someone’s blog. I sat up on the edge of my chair and leaned in closer as I read, hoping that he didn’t nail me with any of his reasons:
Your titles make me yawn.
Your posts are boring.
Your posts are too infrequent.
Your posts are too long.
Your posts are too unfocused.
You don’t participate in the conversation.
I considered each of his reasons (and read the short explanation he provided for each) and decided that the main issue he might take with my blog posts is that they are often too long. He suggests 500 words/post. Mine are often 1000+ words. Hmmm, I read on…
You don’t participate in the conversation. Okay, I don’t get very many comments, but when I do, I don’t often comment back because the comments aren’t usually that “conversational.” But I’ll pay more attention to this from now on. I promise. (P.S. In Jane Friedman’s Writer’s Digest blog, “There Are No Rules,” where I’m a regular guest blogger now, and at “A Good Blog is Hard to Find,”
where I post about every month and a half, I notice I get many more comments, and I do participate in the conversation. I’m thinking it’s because those blogs have a larger readership. (“There Are No Rules” has over 50,000 monthly readers. I don’t know about “A Good Blog.”)
Hopefully my posts aren’t boring, and they certainly aren’t too infrequent (averaging 3 posts/week), but are they “unfocused”? I had to re-read what Michael meant by this:
“One day you’re blogging on this. The next day you’re blogging on that. What is your blog about? Please remind me, because I am lost in the forest of your eclectic interests. You’re not a renaissance man (or woman). You are undisciplined.”
Okay, I admit that I am intentional in publishing a “forest of my eclectic interests.” And while I know I’m not a renaissance woman, I don’t think I’m undisciplined just because I have more than one interest. In fact, I was getting concerned that I was blogging too much about WRITING and not enough about the other areas of life, and so I did a post-count for 2010, and this is what I discovered:
2010 Blog Post Categories: (percentages are approximate)
Writing: 48 (40%)
Spirituality: 37 (30%)
Other (Personal, Psychological, Art, Misc.): 16 (13%)
Family/Travel: 11 (9%)
My mother/Alzheimers: 8 (7%)
And so, as we plunge into 2011, I ask you, my readers: are you bored with my blog? Are you tired of reading so much about writing? About spirituality? Do you want MORE about my mother in the nursing home and Alzheimers?
I’ve noticed that I tend to get more comments when I write about Mom and about personal, psychological issues, than when I write about art and spirituality. Not sure what that means.
Okay, I’m going to stop here at just over 600 words and pack for a trip to Jackson to visit my mom in the nursing home. But I’m also meeting with a writing partner in Jackson, and we’ll be critiquing each other’s work and talking about our writing, workshops, publishing, etc. Wonder which one of these topics will show up on my blog on Friday? I hope I don't make you yawn.