This 365 Project Business

Now that Post A Day 2011 has come to an end for fairly obvious reasons, I am really hoping that WordPress is going to continue with the weekly photo challenges. I only joined in when the year was more than half over, and I really enjoyed them.

They introduced me to hitherto unknown bloggers via their entries, and, even more excitingly, to the joys of browsing pix posted with a photography tag, which then made me experiment with putting various words in the search box and seeing if any interesting posts came to light. They did. Fun. My network widened. One of the things I enjoyed with the photography challenges was seeing familiar names week after week. It felt like meeting old friends.

More people began visiting my blog, which was nice, though I am still very small fry in WordPress terms. And you know, I rather like it that way. There seems to be an underlying assumption that all bloggers are waiting to be discovered; Freshly Pressed, which makes me think of a newly ironed shirt; and gathering armies of followers.

The 365 Project appears to have been conceived entirely with this number game in mind. We are advised to get focused. “There are many different types of blogs on WordPress.com, but you’ll notice that many of the most successful blogs, like the ones featured on Freshly Pressed, have a clearly defined theme, and are written for a specific audience. If you’re interested in attracting other readers to your site, it’s a good idea to do the same.”

I’m sure the advice is correct, but I am here to enjoy myself; to have some fun; to let off steam; to think in words about things and people that are important to me; not worry about my readership. I like having a circle of virtual friends who comment, who encourage, who empathise. That is far more important to me than logging on to find that thousands of people have read and liked a post.

Also, the blogs I enjoy most are the ones with a whole variety of things in them – silly pieces; long thoughtful pieces; personal pieces; photos; writing; art – a smorgasbord of posts, like a good magazine. So, yes, I do want to attract other readers, but no, I am not planning my blog in order so to do. Though as the Scroobious Pip remarked earlier today, when writing about her secret to increasing blog traffic, http://thescroobiouspip.com/2012/01/05/the-secret-to-increasing-blog-traffic/#respond
a little dose of cat cuteness never did anyone harm.

28 thoughts on “This 365 Project Business

  1. Hello! I’ve popped in via Lucid Gypsy’s entry for the 100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups that I run over at Julia’s Place. It would be great to have you join us. Have a look here & see some of the silliness they get up to!

    http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2011/12/19/5050-word-challenge-week24/

    http://jfb57.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/100-word-challenge-for-grown-ups-week23/

    I had a go at the weekly photo challenge & would love to continue. I have started a post a day site for 2012. Not sure it will be kept up but ….!

    Hope to see you soon on the 100WCGU!

  2. Well, to my great surprise, I was Freshly Pressed, and to be honest, it was never my goal. Yes, of course, it was fun and an honor. But the truth is I blog for fun and to meet interesting people and to read interesting blogs.

    I see that many bloggers have created their own challenges, so if the photo challenge does not continue, I will start my own photo challenge!

    I agree that it was like meeting old friends every week. from Judy

  3. Is that a little ornament around that Ginga Ninja’s neck?!

    I remember reading the “how you should blog” bit and said, yeah right whatever; I’m going it do it my way! Which I do! >:-D

    • No, it’s just a bell. He lost that collar the Wednesday before Christmas.

      Maybe it would interesting to follow the advice and see what resulted. I could see that if it was a business you were promoting, such strategies make sense.

      • Oh yes–will manage to focus for my business site! But I like the sentiments you’ve expressed about this type of blogging. It feels like having a library to hand and I can go browse the shelves and find all kinds of interesting stuff!

  4. I came into it late as well because my blog hasn’t been running for long but I’d be gutted if it ended. Like you I’ve met some lovely people and the photos have taken me virtual travelling all over the world. Here’s to lots more cat (and dog) cuteness!

  5. What a great read Isobel, this is one of those posts which makes me think “I wish I’d said that”. I have never got myself involved in the photography competitions, time, and a few other excuses, prevents me, laziness is another excuse. But I have to thank you, Isobel, for prompting me to add tags, and also view tags, since I’ve taken your advice, the cyber world has opened up for me, and I have discovered a very talented, and beautiful world out there. And, I thank you for that.

    • Navigating a path through the blogosphere is something we are all learning I suppose. I set out to use my blog as a discipline for writing. I didn’t know much about how people interacted. One of the first people to comment, back in the MyT days, was Araminta. In fact I think she was the very first person to comment. Maybe MyT, for all its faults, was a good place to start as it was fairly small. The sense of intimacy is something i still like.

  6. I never quite found out about the Weekly Photo Challenge. I didn’t know where people were going to get the new challenge so I didn’t take part, although I wanted to! So, if there is another one this year, let me know, will you?!

  7. Isobel I came to WordPress for the photo challenge and would hate to see it go. I haven’t been good about posting for it lately but hope to get back on track. I agree with you on your thoughts in your last three paragraphs, You said it better than I could have, but I have been thinking it. I left Blogger because of that whole public following thing because it began to feel like a highschool clique and also Google Friend Connect began to feel like a big machine pushing me around. I just want to post when I am not busy procrastinating and read the blogs I enjoy and comment. I need to keep reminding myself that I am blogging as a journal for me. Simple.

    Little dose of orange cat cuteness this morning appreciated!

    • I believe the key is how we define success. So, if you believe that success is measured in the number of hits, comments or subscribers, you are going to be constantly trying to increase your readership by targeting what you think they will like. If you believe success is to do with recording your thoughts, photos etc primarily for yourself, the criteria will change.
      I don’t know how Blogger works. MyT had a cliquishness about it too, and there are pages and posts I have visited on WordPress where I feel very much on the outside.
      Fortunately, Northern Narratives has offered to host the photo challenge should WordPress drop it, so we’re safe there. Though if she doesn’t want her page swamped, it might need to be a rolling hosting duty.
      I shall post a picture of his orangeness for you later! Have you visited Scroobious Pip, One Spoiled Cat or Sophie Scott196? They are just three pages with regular pix of ginger boys.

        • Well there is that too!
          It seems to me that if you have so many readers you lose that intimacy, and become like a ‘proper’ publication. I am avoiding doing some work at the minute and so happily replying to comments, because the number of visitors here makes that possible. I would miss the repartie of a smaller commenting community should I§ achieve global domination! 🙂

  8. Not Cat cuteness is always appreciated 😀

    Interestingly, I was reading an article today about researchers making robots look cute to get people to respond to them: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665715/how-do-you-make-a-robot-that-people-will-talk-to-make-it-as-cute-as-wall-e

    I think we’ve spoken before about how our posts are a bit like diaries, therefore they are random, prompted by what’s happening in our lives. Other blogs are much more focussed. I am incapable of focus 😀

    • Somehow I think a living, breathing animal will always have the edge over robots when it comes to the aaaaah factor. His Ninjaness is racing about like a mad thing. I fear for my tulips. Did you see the pix of Pickle and Gesso? V sweet!

      • If it’s a small, sweet furry creature, yes, they do carry an edge. I think the potential for use in market research is going to be exploited.

        Yes, I saw Pickle and Gesso. Another good dose of cat cuteness 😀

  9. Hi Isobel, I have actually started wordpress because I wanted to share things that I enjoy especially with my husband, take photos here and there, etc. I also joined the weekly photo challenge in the middle of the year! I do hope they will continue doing that this year, it’s been fun and it encourages me to blog more especially when other bloggers do take time to comment too! the encouragement from you my friends here in wordpress is awesome 🙂

  10. I didn’t think of the 365 project as a way of getting more readers when I decided to take part in it but it definitely has done that. I decided to do it because I had drifted away from blogging and I needed something to shake me up. That challenge got me thinking again and it worked, as here I am, blogging again!!

    I actually stopped blogging elsewhere because I had too many ‘watchers’. When I came here and I was hardly noticed, I really liked it. It is nice to have a dialogue with people who read your blog but I don’t particularly want people to be reading my stuff just because I wrote it (if you get what I mean). It’s a difficult balance on a blogging website – on the one hand, I want people to read my blog and on the other, I don’t want to become top blogger because that isn’t what it’s about! Well, not for me anyway.

    It’s a little bit disappointing to realise that this site is not so very different from the other one, with it’s cliques and so on. But I still prefer it as the blogs are so diverse – so I’m staying!! 🙂

    • That is interesting too. And you do seem to be remotivated!
      I was really commenting on how it seems taken as a given that most people want as big a following as possible, whereas I believe there are other motivations and criteria for what makes a blog successful.
      One of my favourite blogs http://mostlyfunctional.wordpress.com/is pretty sporadic, and very few people comment there.

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