I try not to get caught up in the competition for getting the most views or comments because it’s actually ridiculous. I am not specifically addressing BlogJob with this; Whether it’s a paying website like BlogJob or a free, unpaid social network like Facebook, I really don’t care if I go “viral” or not. On BlogJob specifically, I want to post articles of quality and some sense of completeness unless it’s my very personal Quotes For Release (which is still created in such a way that there is a clear narrative). I do like getting the initial 50 points and subsequent views from referring visitors from other websites, but I write content that is intended to be useful and/or timely. I should not be feeling disappointed that I don’t have the reach of more prolific bloggers because honestly they are working harder at promoting their blogs and deserve more attention…But I am.
Right now I admit that I’m feeling lost in the crowd of blogs, both on BlogJob and in a sea of blog websites. Part of it is my own doing. I say that I take my freelance writing on BlogJob seriously, which is true, but I could do much better at promoting my work and interacting with my fellow bloggers. One of the keys to being noticed in a positive way is to form a sense of community and encourage others. It’s true that the more you interact and show support, the more you receive. I absolutely need to increase my interactions. And I’m not just saying that so that I can draw attention to my work. My fellow bloggers at least on BlogJob (because I know them more here) deserve support. This is on me.
My frustration is stemming from a BlogJob message board discussion that has been resusitated entitled “What Do You Consider Quality Content?” The general consensus is that quality content falls between 500 to 700 words (more than a blurb but less than a mini-story) and readers can be turned off by longer content. I happen to write longer posts, usually because I’m so interested in the subject that I have a lot to say. In addition, my posts about current events and movie/book reviews have a lot of links that I cite and describe in the post. It is surprising how many words you use describing articles and such! The problem is that I often go over 700 words and readers prefer shorter posts, so I feel like they’re not reading any of my longer work.I don’t know how to negotiate what readers prefer with my writing style.
I was inspired by a post written by “Rusty” about feeling invisible in a sea of bloggers on BlogJob. I’ve felt this way ever since BlogJob opened to new members this year and I wasn’t sure how to express it, but after reading Rusty’s blog post I knew what I wanted to say. The short version is that sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself when I post to a group or write a blog post.
I have not been as active on my BlogJob blogs as I could be and I always say it’s a timing concern. That’s not a lie; Over this semester I have spent more time writing my senior thesis and YA Literature final project essay than blogging. School comes first. That said, towards the end of the semester, about November, I had more and more free time because I was getting to the end of my senior thesis project and already had the skeleton for my YA Literature paper laid out. I could’ve gone back to blogging much sooner. The additional piece of information is that I know we don’t always write about subjects that interest the general reading public and therefore nobody is entitled to views, but like Rusty I was losing hope in being heard.
The overall atmosphere of BlogJob has changed, and I feel confident in stating that it is this reason some of us are dropping off the radar. In the earlier days of BlogJob, you knew the core bloggers and could discuss blogs and the issues of the day with them. With the influx of bloggers, the core group expanded. While the positive aspect of this expansion is that there is a wider base of knowledge on many subjects and you can learn more about marketing and blog promotion, there are less of those general discussions and more about the business end of freelance blogging. Some of us are less useful (which is natural) and fall by the wayside. I won’t change my blogging interests to fit the new atmosphere and I know that is going to hurt me. So be it. I also want to put it out there that sometimes I don’t like talking to myself. I blog rather than journal because I feel like I have something important to express and sometimes I miss being seen.