Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.


Meta Monday

It’s in my nature to obssess about new things. When I buy a new pair of shoes, jeans or anything, I tend to wear them every day until either they develop holes or the obssession runs its course. Same with music. I must have listened to Jill Scott’s Who is Jill Scott? and Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill at least three times a day when those albums debuted. Naturally, when I first started blogging, I checked the stats all the time, especially after I posted. I’m better about it now, although just recently WordPress updated their app for Androids. Now my phone beeps and buzzes with any new like, comment or follower, in addition to email notifications, thereby making it that much harder to ignore (I need to change a setting somewhere to minimize the noise).

Not that I’m trying to ignore the stats completely. They provide certain information that I’m still learning how to analyze. They show me which subjects appeal to readers more, which days of the week tend to get more views than others, which search terms (some pornographic) lead to my blog. They also let me know from which blogs readers come to my blog, and to which blogs people go from my blog. One of the strange trends lately is the number of followers I get over the weekend, when I hardly ever post, usually from foreign countries. I’ve also noticed that some blogs have less followers but significantly more views, and others have tens of thousands of followers but very few comments. How do we know if people actually read our blogs if people don’t leave comments?

For the record, RidingBitchblog is officially eight months old (first post 10/18/12), has 585 followers, 7,446 views (1,121 of which happened on the day I was Freshly Pressed), and 115 posts including this one. I once compared blogging to building the pyramids in Egypt, one brick at a time. I’d like to amend that statement by saying blogging is a helluva lot more fun than building the pyramids could ever have been. I’m also not quite as shy about it as I used to be, though I still don’t post on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook.

Thank you, as always, for being a part of this amazing experience.

Have you learned anything from your stats?


Building a Pyramid (minus Pharaoh)

First of all, thank you to the people who started following the blog yesterday. Your turkeys are in the mail. As a follow up, I thought I would share a thought about blogging today. I had a moment of hesitation before publishing yesterday’s post. It was a discomfort with basically admitting that I want people to read the blog. Not that a Follower necessarily equals a Reader. As a matter of fact, if I had to choose, I’d rather you read than follow. But you get my point.

Clearly, I overcame my hesitation. And this is why.

The reason we blog is to reach people. Yes, it’s also about expressing ourselves but if we didn’t want to reach people, we would be expressing ourselves in a more private setting, not on the World Wide Web. In my opinion, the blogger who writes “I don’t care if anyone reads my blog” is either lying to him/herself or lying to you. Of course, they care. We all care. To what extent and for what reason, however, differs from blogger to blogger.

A lot of blogs are about giving advice. Some are literary, like a journal, newspaper, or book. Some are commercial, trying to sell a product, promote a business or person. People blog about art, photography, writing, yoga, religion, philosophy, politics, sex, travel, cooking, cartoons, you name it.

Then there are those more intimate blogs where people vent their feelings. I do believe some of these folks don’t care if they have 10 or 10,000 followers. Actually, they would probably be freaked out by 10,000. They’re blogging simply to release deep emotions which they can’t share with friends and family. They might not seek out followers but they probably hope to reach someone, if only to feel like they are not alone.

This blog is a bit of a hybrid. I am a widow who vents, shares and expresses herself quite honestly and intimately here. I find this cathartic and hugely rewarding. I am also a filmmaker and a writer, which means I inherently want to reach people with my art.

Put another way, I like to think of my blog as a very personal pyramid. I’m not sure exactly how big I want this pyramid to be, but I do know I’d like people to be able to see it. Not necessarily from space, but not just if you’re standing in my one-bedroom apartment either. I’m not building if for Pharaoh, but for myself. And I’m not building it alone either. You’re helping me build it. You’re the foundation, really. For if each post is like a brick, then each view, like, follow or comment is like a bit of mortar.

And while it’s true I want people to read the blog, I also don’t advertise it (other than on WordPress). I don’t twitter my posts or post them on Facebook. I’ve only told a few people I know about it. With some, I’ve only said “I have a blog” but haven’t told them the name. It’s more than shyness, I feel it would be inappropriate to solicit my friends and colleagues to read the blog.

Sometimes (like yesterday) I might yell out to the blogosphere, “Hey, I’m building a pyramid over here!” But for the most part, I’m content to simply work on it quietly and build it slowly, like my ancestors did, one brick at a time.