Today’s post is a bit of a grab-bag. I spent most of the day Sunday finalizing grades for the first quarter, which ended Friday. Now we’re in the brief eye of the storm: all the tests are graded, comments written, and grades keyed; I quietly await the blustering winds of angry parents and more student papers.
The blog is nearing its 300th day of posts. Regular readers will notice I’ve shifted away from politics slightly, expanding my horizons to astronomy, literature, music, festivals, and the like. Writing about politics and the culture wars constantly will wear on you—staring into the abyss and all that.
So, I thought I’d ease into Monday with some reflections on the blog as we approach 300 consecutive days of posting.
First of all, I’ve come to cherish time spent working on these little pieces. Yes, there are days when it’s stressful just because my schedule is so tight, but it’s rewarding, and it helps focus my mind. I much prefer writing in the morning, but I will (and have) stayed up late to write posts so I don’t have to worry about it the next day—sometimes out of necessity.
I’ve also found that, the more I write, the easier it becomes. Because I’m forcing myself to post daily, I’m constantly noticing little things to write about. Sometimes these are rants—I like to boo progressive-ish television commercials, so that spirit translates into some of my posts—but often their extended meditations on or reflections about something I’ve observed and experienced (the definition of “blogging,” I suppose).
Blogging is not without its challenges. One sinister purpose of this site is to try to earn a little extra cash by writing. My long-term goals are to get picked up by a more established outlet (although I’ll always write here) or to get syndicated, and to compile some of my best writing into an eBook. I’ve planned on releasing a few eBooks for years now, but haven’t had the concentrated time to put any together. Writing book-length material, even if it’s just compiling and editing previously-released essays, is an endeavor that requires a great deal of unstructured time to focus and work.
But monetization has proved very difficult. I’ve been pushing my Subscribe Star page for a few months now, but have had little luck attracting subscribers. There’s probably not much pressure to subscribe when six of seven days a week the material is free. Of course, I’m thankful the subscribers I have, but $3 a month won’t even buy a Big Mac.
Traffic remains frustratingly low, although I’ll have some surprisingly good days. I average around 6-10 visitors to the site on a typical day. I’m exploring ways to improve traffic to the site (which would make other forms of monetization, like Amazon’s affiliate program, more attractive and viable), but that, too, requires time I usually don’t have. Just getting the blog post done every day is usually all the time I have to spare.
Because of the sometimes incendiary and politically-incorrect nature of the topics I write about, I sometimes worry the blog is all risk and no reward. I don’t always write about comfortable topics (although I’m doing that more because it’s less contentious and more enjoyable).
Well, there’s rarely a reward for being truthful. Despite the frustrating lack of progress in some areas, I’ll continue to enjoy maintaining the blog, though I am considering retooling the website once I hit 365 days (one year) of consecutive posts. We’ll see.
More updates to come. Thank you for your continued support.