I’ve been at this blog business for several years now, and I’ve experienced a tremendous gamut of emotions, styles of blogging, and levels of engagement with the blogosphere. I’ve gotten really techie and ‘inside baseball’, doing tons of blogging about blogging and the like. I’ve gotten really ‘link-baity’, with top ten lists about various topics and commentary on better known online personalities and news sources. I’ve spend eight hours a day on the blog for periods of time. I’ve also dialed it down to 1-2 hours a month from time to time.
As it stands, I’m at the top of some lists and have fallen off of other lists. It’s easy to get fixated on this kind of ranking, and I’ve definitely been that way in the past. These days, however, I really don’t care. Lots of people come to this site. They like it. I like doing it. It’s a vibrant community. It’s (I hope!) a fun place to spend a few minutes during a busy day. It’s got some good info. It’s got some silly stuff.
And that exactly the way I like it!
Playing with the focus
One thing I’ve found is that, for me at least, there’s the wider community of arts/music/education/whatever bloggers and readers, and then there’s the audience that is loyal to this blog, not to the larger arts community in general. The latter contingent continues to grow with each passing month, while the popularity of this blog outside of the bass community waxes and wanes depending on what’s being covered.
It’s funny–I haven’t done much in the way of gig stories or “inside baseball” arts community postings the past six months. It’s been mostly bass-centric. The traffic, however, has been huge–higher than ever!
A lot of the “inside baseball” statistics (who’s linking to this blog, who’s talking about this blog) are things that I can have some influence over. If I write a lot about other bloggers and the wider arts community, those numbers of links (and resultant visitors) go up. If I narrow it down to bass, those numbers go down. Regardless of whether I do tons of that or none of that, there is a loyal and ever growing contingent of visitors.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Life’s too short to spend it checking blog stats. I do this blog because I like writing, I like the community engagement, and it’s fun for me. I’m not doing it for money, to build a full-time business from it, or any other ulterior motive. Does it make money? Yup, though that was never my intent. Would I keep doing it if I suddenly didn’t make a dime from it? Yup.
On quitting blogging
My blog compadre Patty from oboeinsight has expressed some fatigue with her blogging in the past. Boy, can I relate! That’s how I was in the fall of 2008–I was student teaching, and I had about 30 seconds of free time per week, so I basically didn’t blog (except for a few sessions of furious posting every few weeks). As I write this post (February of 2009) I have more free time. Will I get ultra-busy again? Probably. How will that affect the blog? We’ll have to see.
If I were to quit blogging (and I have no plans to do so), I would just remove the “Jason Heath” from the blog masthead and turn it over to someone who wanted to carry on the site.
Ultimately, however, I don’t want to quit blogging. I enjoy it (particularly at the more relaxed pace at which I do it now), and I find that the podcast in
particular continues to motivate me to keep up the internet stuff that I do.
Therefore, even though I write substantially less than I did in 2006 or 2007, I feel like I’m actually doing something of greater value-producing a podcast filled with useful information and great performances–and not just carping about the music business. Not that I don’t enjoy a little crab session from time to time as well…