This guest post is by LA Juice, of www.la-juice.com.
Saturated, overloaded, “all full up.” These are the words and phrases I think of when I look at the blogging world. Especially in the context of gaining new followers when you aren’t teaching, selling, or giving valuable books and prizes away.
In my six months as a “humorist” blogger (someone who doesn’t teach, sell or give anything away), I have seen my initial traffic grow very well, only to absolutely stagnate over the past two months. And my commenters have all but disappeared. At this point the only people commenting are (and I am sure of this) blogger friends who feel bad for me.
You know, other bloggers who know “what’s what” (bloggers running sites where I have commented).
I’d love to tell you I’m not trying everything to grow my readership, but short of paying for advertising, I am doing all the things the bazillion SEO/SEM/marketing blogs tell you to do. Oh wait, I am paying for ads. Sure, they’re just cheapo Facebook PPC ads—but they’re ads nonetheless.
Here is my active blog promotion checklist:
- Twitter: active, with all appropriate feeds (bit.ly, comments etc.).
- Facebook: active, Networked blogs: active, PPC ads on Facebook, etc.
- Post no less than three times a week.
- Respond to all comments.
- Ask readers questions/trivia/etc.
- Write about controversial stuff hoping someone will engage.
- Held a couple contests, and gave prizes away.
- Regularly comment at between eight and 12 different blogs in the same genre as mine.
- Guest blog at three places.
- Create topical headlines (SEO/SEM within the confines of WordPress).
I even offered iTunes cards to the first five Facebook followers who got more than five of their friends to “follow this blog.” The silence was deafening. The WB frog would have sung louder at an American Idol audition.
I have first page Google rank for “LA Juice”—in fact, I hold first-page spots three to six, and seven on google for a very common search term, if you ask me, and I have made nice progress moving up the Technorati ranks, so I feel like I’m doing a lot of the right SEO things, too.
Yet, crickets! Pure crickets.
When I am not barraging Twitter with (hopefully) pithy jokes, not responding to people who do comment, not commenting at other sites, not guest blogging, and not offering fabulous prizes to my Facebook followers, I sit and wonder, “What happened to the days of people sending links out: “You have to read this blog, it’s hilarious.”
You know word of mouth? I’d even take hand to hand combat right now!
I fear such days are long gone. I can’t recall the last time anyone sent me an email with a link in it. And Twitter retweets, and #FFs? It’s more like white noise.
No one shares or promotes their favorite websites anymore. Except bloggers, to other bloggers, on Twitter.
In fact, my last (and first) six months of blogging have led me to the conclusion that the only people reading blogs are other bloggers. Is it possible that we bloggers have worn our welcome out? Even before I got into the game? Can it be true that either people no longer read blogs or everyone has become a blogger and so there are no more readers?
These are the questions that keep me awake in the middle of the night.
Of course, its possible I am just not funny, engaging or interesting, however:
- That never stopped half the bloggers out there with bigger “followerships” and more daily comments than me.
- People who think they are funny, but aren’t, will draw mean commentors—and I don’t even have any of those!
- Plus, and most importantly, my mom told me I am the funniest and prettiest girl in the kindergarten class.
So, sure, it’s possible, but—let’s be frank—not likely.
Accordingly, we have to ask: is blogging dead?
It’s a tough suspicion for a new blogger who has no intention of giving up the fight. But it’s a truthiness I am beginning to believe with the sincerity of a guest on The Colbert Report.
That’s why I wrote this post: to find out if you agree and, if not, why not. If you do agree, what do you think we should do about it?
Oh, and if you don’t comment, you’re probably proving me right! …See what I did there?
Aspiring to be the funniest blogstress west of Rodeo, Juice currently writes your wrongs at her website: LA Juice. LA Juice is one escaped Detroiter’s unedited and often inappropriate perspective on all things pop culture, celebrity and LA .