Blog Years - Revisited


I wrote this piece in 2010, but I wanted to dust it off and update it to draw attention to the micro-poll I’m running on my sidebar.  The points raised by this post and questions it asks are still relevant, so I hope you enjoy it…again.

The first official post of my blog was on January 22, 2009.  It was an inauspicious little tale about a neighbor boy and his bike.  My next post didn’t appear until six months later, on July 6th.  After that second post I began updating my blog on a regular basis, at least a couple articles a week.  Because of the long gap at the beginning, a misstep if you will, I consider July 6th to be the real inception date of my blog.  DL trivia fans now know the truth. 

In just over four weeks my blog will be celebrating its birthday.  Three years, 312 posts (now 313), 73384 site hits, 953 Google friend followers, 49 Networked Blogs followers, dozens of blog awards and 8248 comments later.  This simple communication tool has cut a path through the obscurity forest and led me to this charming little village filled with acquaintances, friends, dear-friends, collaborators, critique partners, admired role-models, and wide-eyed beginners, all with “like minds”.  So much has happened while building and settling into my existence here in the blogosphere, that I’m amazed how short of a time it’s actually been. 

And countless numbers of you are having the same experience.  So many in fact, that I started taking a closer look at the age of the blogs I follow.  It turns out that most of them came into being right about the same time as mine.  The average looked to be about three years old…maybe four.  So I created this micro-poll (on my sidebar) in order to help gauge the ages of the blogs that visit.  Thinking about blog longevity makes you wonder…where are the older blogs…the ones that have been around for 5-6-7 years?  Are there any?  Blogging in general is a relatively young activity, so maybe 3-4 years is the norm.  But what about the elders, the ones that blazed this trail for us?  Where did they go?

Does a blog have a life span?  Personally, I think a blog doesn’t age the way we normally expect.  Maybe it’s more akin to dog years?  One blog year equates to seven years in the real world.  Think about how things seem to happen at such a fast pace in this community?  To an individual, the publication process seems so long and drawn out, but when we look out into the entire blogosphere something is always happening to somebody.  Drafts are started, WIP’s edited, critiques returned, revisions endured, queries offered, rejections suffered, THE CALL celebrated, manuscripts sold, cover-art debated, books launched.  With all that going on it’s easy to see how time feels accelerated.  So, how soon does it really take for a blog to reach adulthood, middle-age, the golden years?

Me, I see my blog as just beginning to mature.  I still catch myself making youthful, headstrong, selfish mistakes (aka pulling the plug on my blog last year), but I’m now comfortable with my place in this world and the expectations I’ve created.  I’ve gone from crawling in January 2009…to baby-steps in July…to confident strides today.  At this pace will I be using a walker in a couple more years?

There have been rumblings lately, not many, just a few whispers in dark corners about how blogging maybe dying.  Most of that seems to be fueled by a drop-off in comments left (for everybody except Alex that is).  My own opinion is that although the blogging community as a whole is reaching its prime, there are still many, many years ahead of it.  Agents and Publishers alike still agree that blogging is the best way to build a brand, way ahead of Twitter and Facebook.   

What do you think? How old is your blog (please take a moment to take part in my poll) and where do you fall in the blog aging process?

 

37 comments

  1. I started my blog in January of 2010, a few month before my first book WE HEAR THE DEAD was due to release. Up to that point, I'd kept an author website (using Microsoft Front Page) that had an irregularly used "Update Page" instead of a blog.

    When I started, I mostly wrote about my book and the historical figures behind it. I also wrote about interesting historical tidbits in general ... and I had about 5 followers, mostly family members.

    It wasn't until I moved off history and started writing about writing that I started gaining followers. (Occasionally, I still write about something historical: the 100th anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, the historical origins of Labor Day ... Those posts tend to get few hits and few comments. Makes me sad, it does.)

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  2. 2 years and counting. I didn't think I would make it six months.
    I'm so energized recently by reading all the good news in blogland. I don't know what I would do without it!
    Heather

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  3. I think I've been blogging for three years, but for the first year I was only posting photographer tips and wasn't commenting on other blogs. No pressure. Then when I started to write about other things, people started commenting. I had followers I didn't even know about. Shortly afterwards, I decided to blog like it counted. I'm so glad I did. I've made so many friends because of blogging. :)

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  4. I started in October 2011 and I'm having more fun all the time. Now I feel very relaxed in this community, whereas to start with I was nervous.

    I hope there isn't a natural lifespan to a blog, because to me this feels just like writing now - I'd like to always do it, or at least until it gets replaced by some other format I could get involved with.

    Great post and glad you revived it!

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  5. I began blogging - and totally by accident, I might add - in February of 2010. Well, I guess you might say I started Writers Ally then. I technically didn't do much with it until about April or May, when I figured out I had to surf others' blogs to get hits, make friends, and grow.

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  6. I started my blog in April 2010 but I had been blogging on another site about a year before that. So I guess about three years. I view my blog as a log. A log of what I have done with my writing life since the beginning. I would love to look back in the future and remember what I was doing at a certain time.

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  7. I started in late 2008, but have been actively blogging for three years. It's definitely evolved and changed in that time and I can't wait to see where it goes next. I hope I have this site running for years to come and I hope the same for yours!

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  8. Thanksgiving 2009 was my first blog. I figured if I was making writing a serious committment (adventure), then I should blog. Plus, it made it easier for me to keep track of the blogs I follow (yeah, I don't have a smart phone).

    I can see how blogs have a short life-span. Especially for writers. When they get published, their time decreases and I think blogs are first on the hit list.

    We'll see if that happens to me (yep, thinking positively here!).

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  9. Guess I'm a newbie :) Blogging since Aug 2011 and still stumbling around on my baby legs :) I don't see a drop in comments or anything though, but maybe I just haven't been around long enough.

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  10. Very interesting post. I'm also a newbie... been blogging since November 2011. The blogging community still seems to be going strong though.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  11. I've been blogging for just over three years now, which is strange. I started April 2009, and my early posts were really terrible. LOL. I think not too many blogs last into that longer span of 5,6, or 7 years because we run out of things to say ...

    Also, I couldn't vote on your poll. Maybe because I voted last year? I dunno. Maybe I've been a follower for too long :)

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  12. Heard the rumors of blogs dying but I've refused to participate!
    I've been around since November 2009 and I don't see an end yet. I probably can't maintain this pace forever, but I'm willing to try. I owe this community everything I have to give.

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  13. I started my blog in April 2009, and the first year I had no idea what I was doing. I think I had a total of 19 followers at the end of that year. Now, I have 251 Google friends, 16 networked friends, and I feel like I'm still learning. There are so many wonderful bloggers, so many people encouraging one another . . .so as far as I'm concerned I'm not going anywhwere else yet. It is time consuming, but it's worthwhile.

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  14. I started blogging before my writing was really any good (which I didn't know then) just over 2 years ago. The community of friends I've made has been amazing! My popularity comes in waves, so I sometimes I still feel like a blogging baby. Very rarely do I feel like a pro lol.

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  15. Started my blog in July 2009, but I didn't really blog that much and not many people commented. I think doing the A-Z helped me get some readers which holds me accountable for content. Plus, I'm in the midst of book proposal Hell and I want to build a platform so that publishers will feel confident that I can deliver when the day comes that my book hits the shelves or the e-reader or whatever.

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  16. My 3 year anniversary is on Halloween.

    Congrats to you!

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  17. You made go into the archives to see how long I've been at this. The answer is since 2009, the year I sold my first book. As of this morning, I've posted 489 entries! I think I've gotten better at this, since the early posts are pretty dull. As to aging . . . I'm not sure if blogging is in Act III yet. It's still good to visit blogs that have interesting content, so I'm of the opinion that blogging will remain viable as long as people write what helps or informs or interests others. That's my .02. :-)

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  18. I wrote my first blog post on Dec. 31, 2010, so I'm just at the 1 1/2 year point now. I didn't really get into any kind of rhythm with blogging though until I signed up for last year's A-Z Challenge, that's when blogging became fun for me.

    It's interesting to think of blogs that have been around 6 or 7 years, I don't think I've come across any but I'd love to know of some. I hope you're correct that the blogging world still has many years ahead of it. I love the blogosphere and enjoy it much more than any of the other socia media options.

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  19. I don't think blogging is dying. I just think people are favoring quicker, easier communication methods like facebook and twitter. However, I also think those that stick around and blog (in every sense of the word) will continue to get the most out of it. There's definitely more of a presence and personality- a feeling of really getting to know a person through their blog that you don't get with the quicker media. Just my thoughts. Congrats on your blogoversary!

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  20. Are we all on the same wavelength today or what? Must be something in the air. I think it CAN have a life span, but I think a blog can also evolve--much like you've described. I've been blogging since 2010, and I've seen my blog evolve.

    I suppose it will evolve more when I have books out for readers. We'll see how it goes.

    One thing that's constant: great bloggy friends ready to support and encourage. That's why I'm still here! :o) <3

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  21. Congrats on hitting the milestone! I'm off to do the poll.

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  22. April marked six years that I have been blogging. Guess I've been around a while.

    I believe blogging has seasons, just like bloggers themselves have seasons. I pulled back for a while but didn't give up, and now I'm back at it with renewed energy.

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  23. I start in July 2010 under my real name (Linda Leszczuk) then changed to LD Masterson in August of 2011. I love the community of bloggers but sometimes feel very stressed by the time involved.

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  24. My blog will be 2 at the end of July.

    Recently I've read several bloggers who have decided to stop. Perhaps there's a natural ebb and flow to the blogging community.

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  25. Poll partaken :-)

    I'm still a young whipper snapper, getting just shy of my one year blogiversary.

    Blogging has been one of the better things to happen to my writing world. After leaving my best-ever crit group back in Cali, blogging had turned into a safe haven for my writing mind.

    I don't think blogging is dying. If it is, I hope to enjoy the remaining ride with full gusto and fun!!

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  26. I started December 2011 so I hope it's not dying. I'm just getting started!

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  27. I *wish* I would've started my blog sooner! My first post was end of Oct last year. I love it. This community has been amazzzzzing. I think the support alone is what's keeping me trying. And I love reading your stats, DL! I find stats fascinating! :D

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  28. I started in 2007 with two posts. By 2009, I was getting more serious.

    I had about five blogs for different things. Now, I'm down to two, and I'm not sure if I will keep both, drop one, or try to merge them.

    I'm wondering what sense you have made of the data in your poll. Do bloggers tend to lose interest after a couple of years?

    Congratulations on your blogging.

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  29. It's been since mid 2011 for me, and there have been fits and starts even in that short period.

    It's a bit of a love-hate relationship for me -- I blog because I want the interaction, advice, and community with other writers, and to highlight my own writing journey. But the gotcha is that all the time it takes to blog also takes away from my writing time.

    I already know that the extremes don't work (all blogging and no writing, or all writing and no blogging), but I'm still working to find the perfect sweet spot of proper balance...

    But I'm sticking with it for the foreseeable future. ;^)

    Congrats on the milestone, Don! And I for one am glad you're still here putting out excellence into the blogosphere!

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  30. Always the Good Guy!

    More than anything else, I really NEEDED to read this today. As far as blogging goes, I have been feeling every one of those dog years. Basically kind of old and burnt out. But, after reading this I started to think about why I started and what my blogging has evolved into. (I began in April 2010 while beginning to plan my move to the Caribbean -2 years here yesterday- as a journal of the experience.) Since that time I have closed that journal/blog out and started another one - the current FAE, written three full length novels, numerous short stories and countless silly blog bits.I survived and completed NaNoWriMo and the A to Z Challenge this year. Still not sure what it's all about, but I just realized I've still got some words left to say.

    Thanks!

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  31. DL, congrats on making it last. I feel the same way. With each post we write we grow.
    - Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
    @thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

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  32. I clicked 2 years on the poll, but I'm starting to wonder if it's 3??? I'll have to check :)

    I enjoy blogging and have made so many great friends through it, I'd hate to see it die out :)

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  33. Well, my private family blog I've been doing for almost 4 years. My author blog is about 2 years old I think. I hope it's not dying, I really enjoy it, personally. But yes, I've definitely noticed a drop off in the amount of comments and all of that. Hmmm...

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  34. Good point. My blogging has def dropped off from what it was.. but I still love it and always enjoy it. The truth is I just can't juggle everything and altho the friends I've made thru blogging is priceless to me...blogging itself doesn't ensure anything with publishing a story. So I've had to learn how to divide my time and not feel guilty for not blogging as much. But man I wouldnt trade all you writerly friends for the world! Such an awesome network we have here!!

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  35. Fascinating post, DL! I know that my blog has gone through many makeovers and changes in the last two years. I suffered from some blog fatigue a few months ago and took a 3 week break to do some editing. It was great. I feel energized and happy to blog again, instead of feeling like it was a burden, as it was becoming.

    I'm sure my blog will continue to evolve, as everyone's likely will to a certain degree.

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  36. My current blog started January 2011 and I've published 496 posts. Prior to that, I was on another blog for a few months. I've cut back to three days a week of blogging. I use to run 5-7 days.

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  37. I started my blog in Aug 2011. Congrats on your 3yrs and the wonderful blog you've created. Who says it's dying? ;)

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