I began blogging back in 2002 using the site Xanga. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world and the community behind it was pretty great. I even paid the $25/yr to get Xanga Premium, and paid for a few friends just to keep them blogging. It was a pretty sad state, in high school and into college and stuck on Xanga.
It wasn’t long into my college career that I decided to make the move to something a little more powerful. MoveableType was the answer to my prayers. For the first time, I was in control of what I wrote, how it was presented and I didn’t even have to pay for it. I had tried LiveJournal (yuck) and Blogger (not bad but kinda boring) but there was something about another company potentially owning my material, or being able to shut me down, that bothered me.
As I began to grow my blog and needed more flexibility, and when TypePad started to want to charge me for features I used to get for free, I began another search for a great blogging platform. That is when I was introduced to WordPress, which had only recently changed from b2.
Moving my site over from MoveableType was supposed to be really easy but I was new to the whole MySQL thing and, well I deleted most of my posts, possibly all of them.
Back when my blog first started, I was afraid of people reading it. Now, my friends and dorm mates all knew the address and read the blog, but anyone outside of that; well that made me quite nervous. My father had recently gotten a new job in a high position with a boss would was very much against homosexuality and if they found my blog, he could lose his job. Or so my brother convinced me.
Heck, my family didn’t know I was gay, I wasn’t really out to them; and that’s even a little iffy these days. But I was terrified that a professor or a family member would find the site and I’d be done with. So I kept the blog as a subdomain of my main site, Soundwise. I haven’t updated Soundwise since, oops.
It wasn’t until I moved to California that I felt comfortable with a blog that had its very own domain, and it even had my name in it. But that was the trick, if someone asked me, “I hear you have a site/blog, what’s the address?”
I would simply respond, “Oh, yes! The address is really simple, it’s just justin dot com.”
They would go, “awesome, I’ll have to check that out”
Clickity clackity, www.justin.com
Booyah, tricked. Now, if I wanted them to make it to my site I’d just say, “Oh yeah! just go to www.itsjustjustin.com“
Now-a-days I don’t worry so much. I am more or less completely out to my family and no longer have skeletons in my closet to worry about. I have made myself public and in many ways that is incredibly freeing.
Not only have I found a way to release stress and tell a story; I’ve found a new way to making friends. In the past two months I have made so many incredible friends through blogging and through one guy in particular, Jester from Jestertunes.com.
Here’s a quick list of bloggers I have recently befriended or have been inspired by their site…
Down With Pants!
I read these blogs regularly and so do a lot of other people it seems. Snackiepoo seems to average 20-50+ comments on each of her blog posts, and that’s really nothing compared to some other bloggers who are getting hundreds of comments.
So what I’m here to find out is, how do they do this? I don’t care about monetizing my blog, that would be awesome but I just like blogging. I love to write and to post my photography out there and my thoughts on whatever comes to mind. But it seems that my hiatus a while back where I stopped posting really hurt me, I’m down to 50-300 hits a day. That’s too big of a range and only a comment or three per post? How disappointing.
I get the most hits on nerd posts. If I write about Apple or something totally nerdy, especially if I complain about something nerdy, hits galore.
Something personal, not terrible.
Photography… people love it but rarely comment (sad face)
Political (nothing, zero, zilch)
John Mayer Kissing Adam Levine CRAZINESS! Tons of hits and comments
So what is the key? What is it that makes people keep coming back and gets them to post comments? I’d love some input, especially from the guys on my blogroll.
To me, blogging is like High School all over again, we are all battling to make it to the top and we don’t mind shitting on anyone in order to get there. Well, I don’t care to be on the top, I just want to maybe make it up the bank of the mountain a bit; and I could use your help!