Is blogging worth the time and effort?

A Mile at a Time has hit its first milestone … Fifty posts in three months. This means I’ve spent at least 150 hours conceiving, drafting, revising and photographing for the blog.

That’s a significant commitment of time and energy. So let’s stop and ask “Has the time invested been worthwhile?”

It’s has. Blogging makes me pause and reflect on what I see and hear. I love that. For the first 70 years of my life I drifted, flitting from idea to idea. I earned my pennies at work, digested a few new ideas every day and moved on. Now I’m asking myself whether what I’m seeing and hearing is interesting enough to learn more? Is it funny, insightful or visually appealing? Do I have any observations that might add a little bit of spice to the conversation. Is there a story worth sharing?

Producing good content is challenging. Even trickier is finding an audience.

An audience-driven blog would look very different than A Mile at a Time. Instead of focusing on what I want to write about, it would have start with understanding the audience. Many hours would be devoted to defining the audience and coming up with the content they want to read. If I was working, the plan would have to be approved by a committee or a supervisor. My personal interests would be irrelevant.

The personal blog is a different animal. It’s content is entirely driven by the writer’s interests and observations. The only person approving it is me!

Today I have 51 followers and maybe another 20 or so lurkers who drop in and look at posts without saying anything. I have a few new friends (Carol and Betty) and some old friends like Lynne, Joanie, Sallyanne and Jeanne who follow along and like to engage with the blog. It’s really a joy. Thank you.

So as a next step in my effort to find an audience I’ve decided to follow WordPress’s advice and ramp up my social media presence a bit. Let’s see if I get a few more views. I’ll focus on Facebook (where I already have a presence). I’ll see what I can do to be attractive to recent or aspirational retirees who want to hit the road and spend their time doing the things that were out of reach when they worked.

And we shall see if a little bit of marketing can widen the reach of a A Mile at a a Time. I’ll let you know what happens.

BTW there is no rush on this project. The journey is more important than the destination. It’s also the journey that makes it fun.

21 comments

  1. In my case blogging is a way to learn new things about nature and photography. At the same time I share my work and try to inspire people to go out and discover more about what nature has to offer.
    I have more than 400 followers and not every one is giving likes to all of my posts, all depends on the subject.
    On the other hand, there is a group of active followers that give comment almost allways. For me no problem to do the same for their blogs. It surely takes up some time but I find it worth doing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Question. I believe your blog shows up un my feed in Dutch. Do u ou know how I can set it so I can get an English translation. I looked around but couldn’t figure it out.

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      • There is a Google Translate function on my blog. Depending if you use PC or Tablet/Phone you will find it for PC on the right (just under the top banner) of for Tablet/Phone scroll completely down and go slowly up to the big “Nature First” logo, you will find the translate option just above this logo.

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      • Found it. Thank you. Also found your tips for photographers. Want to spend some real time on that. Thank you for your wonderful nsture website.

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  2. I think all ask us bloggers ask ourselves that question every so often, “Is it worth it?” I know I have. You are so right – if I were to write my blog for an audience, it would be very different. Like you, I write to express me. Also, you are spot on with “Producing good content is challenging. Even trickier is finding an audience.” Again like you, I have focused more on the writing rather than the marketing. I’d rather forget about the marketing completely, but I do so enjoy comments and knowing others have read what I wrote. So, I know marketing is part of blogging. There are many benefits to blogging as you describe. I also like how it brings an added dimension to our activities – as you have described. Blogging has also brought me other benefits. New friends (like you.) Connection with a grade school friend who found my blog. A stronger connection with my cousin – and some of my neighbors. A connection with my x-sister-in-law which warms my heart. Even connections with my kids who all live away. Though it takes up valuable time, again and again I find it is worth it. Good luck with your marketing efforts. I very much enjoy your blog and appreciate making the connection with you.

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  3. Hi Laura,
    it’s been lovely to come across your blog. I’ve been blogging for ten years now and my kids have grown up in that time and are now 18 and 16 and soon, they’ll have moved out and we’ll be empty nesters. So a blog that started out sharing the ups and downs of parenting youngish children, and it has been evolving with us. It’s now become an incredible record of family life, as well as sharing with other bloggers, finding my voice as a writer and spreading my wings across the globe. I have written from my heart and my philosophical musings and hopefully to help people going through hard times, especially health difficulties. I worked out long ago I’d do better writing about how to lose weight, but I haven’t been too good at that.
    My recommendation for increasing traffic to your blog, is to join a few blog shares. There are two which I participate in regularly: The Weekend Coffee Share at https://natalietheexplorer.home.blog/ and a flash fiction group called Friday Fictioneers at https://rochellewisoff.com/
    Hope that helps!
    Best wishes,
    Rowena

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    • Thank you so much for your note Rowena. I was so excited I read it to my husband. I will definitely look into weekend coffee; see how that works for me. Not much of a fiction writer so I will pass on that.

      I find I am gaining confidence when it comes to blogging. Last year I blogged about my trip out west. I think I had four followers. This year I moved to Word press so I could do it using a more powerful platform. Recently I have gotten some good feedback so I shared on Facebook and my readership on my last post quadrupled!

      My fear of course was that my high school friends would think it dweeby. They haven’t so I think I will push ahead with finding my voice. Thank you again for the referral to The Weekend Coffee.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m glad I could encourage you along, Laura. I felt like I was talking to myself for the first year, and it did get frustrating, but then it started turning the corner. Reading other blog posts and leaving comments, can help attract some followers and ongoing connections as well.
        I am trying to branch out with my writing, and submitted a 500 word story to a competition tonight. I entered a competition last year and had thought I’d done a great job and wasn’t even short listed, which was rather discouraging. However, I don’t usually write short stories so I tried to be kind to myself. That’s something that doesn’t always come easily.
        Hope to see you over at the Weekend Coffee Share.
        Best wishes,
        Rowena

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I so agree that blogging helps us slow down and think about what we see and do. I’ve been blogging since about 2006 (I think I’m on my 4th blog). I also ask myself sometimes if it’s worth the time and effort, but I enjoy it, and as an emerging writer, I need to build an audience and a platform. But mostly, I enjoy it, so I’ll keep doing it.

    I’m glad I found your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Laura – dropping by from the Weekend Coffee Link – growing an audience is REALLY hard work and often it feels a little like you’re selling your soul to try to write something others would find interesting. A lot of bloggers fall by the wayside because they thought they’d be the “next big thing” and found out they were just a tiny drop in the ocean. I’ve come to enjoy being a tiny drop – I like that I write what interests me, and if others enjoy it then that’s a lovely bonus. Blogging is definitely not what it used to be – numbers have fallen away over time, but it’s a great way to put your thoughts down somewhere and occasionally you meet really great people to share the journey with – I hope you’ll be one of those who engage and share in Natalie’s weekend party because that’s a good way to make connections. 🙂

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    • Thank you Leanne. I admit I love the engagement but since I am not trying to sell anything, it doesn’t treally matter.

      I’d heard that podcasting to a large degree has replaced blogging.

      Part of my effort to see if I can find an audience is that it’s an intellectual puzzle. I am using my mind to do something new and difficult. I am not being glib when I say for me it really is the journey. Not sure the destination is really part of the equation.

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