Monday, June 4, 2012

A year of blogging

As this school year winds down to a close, I wanted to take a long hard look at my blog.  I have been doing this steadily for a year now.  I started writing on July 18 of last year with a goal to post something interesting every day  for teachers and librarians.  After looking at my statistics for the past year, I have some personal reflections. 

I have written 204 posts and pretty much kept to my goal of posting every school day. I must admit following my work schedule made it easier to keep up.  And learning to schedule posts in advance has been a godsend.  My post receiving the most hits was on the topic of Libguides--actually my top three most popular posts all concerned LibGuides!  I think this happened because I tweeted about the posts and the good people at LibGuides retweeted it to all their followers.  My top page has been viewed 82 times.  And my "All About Me" page was viewed 37 times.  I had 482 views last month, which is probably the highest number of views in a month.

So that's the good news.  Now for the not so good news.  Blogging every day is hard!  I sometimes get very discouraged when I see post after post with no hits or comments.  I have to keep telling myself it's not the number of hits, but the quality of writing that counts.  And I'm doing this basically for me and if someone reads my writing, even better.  But there were still some days I get very discouraged and wonder why I bother.

There's good news, bad news.....then the ugly truths....Am I a good blogger?  I don't know.  I know I don't have a lot of readers so in some people's minds, I would not be considered very good.  I know trying to write something daily makes me stay very alert to trends in the library and education world.  I try very hard not to get personal since this is a professional blog, but I've found a few of my personal "rants" received larger number of hits.  So maybe I should be more personal in my writings.  I think forcing myself to write this much has helped to get my writing "fingers" back -- it's much easier to let the words flow now than it was when I started.  However the time I spend on my blog takes away from the novel I'm dreaming of writing.  I mean, there are only so many hours in a day!

So what have I learned from this?  I'm going to keep blogging, although over the summer, I may slow down a bit-I'm going to aim for a couple of days a week rather than every day.  I'll pick back up when school starts for sure, but I'm going to slow down now.  I've joined an online teacher's writing group so some of my time will go there.  I'm going to set a writing schedule and do my best to get my novel at least finished--so I can start on rewrites on it anyway.

I still have concerns that my blog topic is confusing--is it for teachers? for librarians?  I don't see why it can't be for both, but maybe that's part of the problem of lack of readers.  I might need to fine tune my focus a bit.  So that's something to think about this summer as well.

I am going to post this blog link on my end of year report as a part of my professional development over the year.  As I said, I've found myself really watching the trends and watching for interesting information I could share here, so I consider this a portfolio of my professional development over the past year.

So there you have it...the good, the bad and the ugly of blogging.  If you're still reading this far into the page, thank you.  Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 

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