I come online with my coffee and my breakfast shake/ banana, intending to google ways to remove possibly decades-old pine tar from aluminum, or maybe look up a few things to tweak with my work outs (having serious weird fatigue and boredom with shoulder presses and lat pulls). And the Daily Prompt sucked me in again.
As I explained when I answered the last daily prompt, I started this blog because I needed some sort of a creative, intellectual outlet. I also think Matt and I do some pretty interesting things. I know my writing isn’t deeply intellectual; it’s mostly very expository. I’m not really writing about personal feelings or life events as if this were a journal, and I write in a pretty conversational tone. What I’m getting at here is that I’m very obviously writing for Someone. They need to see it or I’m just talking to myself here, and explaining to oneself what one did over the weekend seems not only redundant, but really kind of weird. On top of that, Matt still really wants to get Internet Famous.
I do enjoy just putting some paragraphs out there (creative outlet, remember?). After a big long “What I did over summer vacation”-style post, I feel not unlike I do after a tough workout- like I got something off my chest, slightly drained (in a good way!), and rewarded. Sometimes, I feel that more when I can respond to a Daily Prompt. Who knows how I’ll feel when I can finally do a Photo Challenge. So, this blog is a bit of a personal space in that way, too, to balance the previous paragraph out.
Even though I’ve only been around WordPress for about 4 months now, I’ve noticed trends. When I write about my old 1966 TrailBlazer camper, more people come take a look. Not as many people swing by when I write about failing at ice fishing. But open water fishing is much more popular. Our little wooden john boat and the travails we face there isn’t such a big deal, but that 20-foot ditch boat drew some chuckles (Maybe that was title selection). Any time I add on to my Wild Food series, people really respond well to that. It makes sense- more people read and write about food, vintage campers, and fishing than read or write about ice fishing and little wooden boats. I try to post about my Wild Food as often as possible but I work nights so it’s a little tough. Throughout summer, there will be a lot more posting about the camper and fishing. Those are very seasonal topics. Who knows what will happen whenever I finally post about hunting. I’ll find out after next week when my turkey tags are valid, but I’m much more likely to be successful during deer season in the Fall. Increased readership then could be good or bad- there are some passionate anti-hunters out there.
I know there are things I could do to attract more readers outside of focusing on the most popular topics. I can only say so much about the camper, especially once it’s finally finished. This blog is still very new, so expecting hundreds of pageviews a day would be pretty silly. However, I linked it to my Pinterest, and I started a Twitter account (even if I’m not a great Twitterer). I tag things as WPLongform, and I write for the prompts when the topic is appropriate for this blog. I know that if I linked it to Facebook, and shared the Facebook page with my friends and family, my readership would seriously spike. But I’m still sort of chicken to try that. My high school English teacher might come here and see this. Then she’d see all my use of passive voice, and maybe sentence fragments, dangling participles, run ons, and oh dear. At least I use Oxford commas. I keep saying I’m waiting until I have something good to share, before I get on Facebook with it. I don’t know exactly what I’m waiting for, but I’ll do it eventually.
The question on the prompt, though, was would I do the thing that would triple my readership? My best answer is a shaky, upward intoned Maybe? Like I said, I can only say so much about renovating that camper until it’s finally done. I need to clean the pine tar off her, then scrape and paint the exterior (can I call it a fuselage?). I am only able to cook a couple nights a week, and our fishing and hunting trips are restricted largely to weekends, unless we can sneak out on a weeknight. I know I’m writing for a pretty limited audience, if we just count people on WordPress who already fish, hunt, etc. It’s neat when people who don’t do those things swing by. It’s pretty neat to think I’m maybe making something that is typically seen as a rural white guy’s community (and it’s not very inclusive in person, lemme tell you. Online is different) seem a little more accessible. Someone in the Community Pool months ago told me that I could always reblog things I found interesting. I suppose I could, but then I’d have to come across on-topic stuff. I might try doing that rather than just pinning the things I see. To get more views outside of other WordPressers, that is, get noticed in the hunting/outdoors community (if I ever do get noticed, period), I would probably need to get Internet Famous on WordPress first. I don’t have the time, know-how, or gumption to go to hunting conferences or anything.
I suppose that overall, I’m still figuring out how I want to draw viewers. I already have a specific focus for the blog itself, that part was easy. It’s more publicizing it now, I think. If this prompt helped to solidify one thing, it is that I’m writing for an audience, and I do like checking my stats and seeing a new record number of views, likes, and follows (it’s been a while though).