Sunday Salon 53: Why Do We Blog Survey (Redux)

Posted 4 December, 2011 by Trish in Blogging Thoughts, Reading Nook / 22 Comments


Happy Sunday everyone! Can you believe that after today there will only be three more Sundays this year? Can’t believe it.

So remember how I told you I was going to try to keep a calendar of blog posts? Sunday Salon topics always seem to escape me, so I made a note to revisit a We Do We Blog Survey that I posted in 2009. When the whole William Morrow letter incident blew up on Twitter, I thought–huh–I couldn’t have timed this reposting any better.

I’d love if you joined me as I’m always curious about other people’s blogging–and this certainly isn’t limited to book bloggers (hey you guys…).  Maybe if a handful of you do your own posting then I’ll add a Mister Linky.

Why Do We Blog Survey

1. How long have you been blogging?
I started blogging on June 5th, 2007. Four and a half years ago.

2. Why did you start blogging?
After I finished up my grad degree in literature, Scott and I moved to a teeny tiny town. I felt so isolated and missed my grad school friends badly. I joined some Yahoo book groups and through those found book blogs. I loved the idea of joining a community of people worldwide who loved books as much as I did.

3. What have you found to be the benefits of blogging?
It was interesting to read my original thoughts on some of these questions and see how my answers have changed over the years. One of the biggest benefits of blogging has been connecting with other people who share some of the same interests that I do. This goes beyond bloggers who I’ve never met in person–I’ve also been able to connect with some of my cousins who also keep blogs. Connecting with other bloggers and sharing idea–I love it!

As I’ve begun to share more of myself via blogging, one of the benefits that I’ve experienced is using blogging as a vehicle for exploring some of my inner thoughts. I see blogging sometimes as a way to make and track goals, think more critically about this and that, and of course keep a record of my new journey of motherhood with Elle. If I hadn’t begun to blog about Elle’s monthly updates, a lot of those memories would be lost by now. Blogging has become so much to me and I would love to expand that, but…time…

4. How many times a week do you post an entry?
I try to post 2-3 times a week. This week I ended up with 5 posts! Some weeks I can’t manage any posts. I would like to post more consistently, but time is a big factor with this–if I’m blogging it means that I’m giving up something else. A lot of time that other thing is reading!

5. How many different blogs do you read on a regular basis?
I haven’t looked at the number of subscriptions in my Google Reader lately, but I’m guessing it’s around 100–which includes my family and friends who blog, quilting blogs, crafting blogs, and photography blogs. Some weeks I can read a lot of what is in my Google Reader, some weeks nothing at all. Of course the quilting, crafting, and photography blogs are ones that I’m more likely to skim.

6. Do you comment on other people’s blogs?
Yes, I do try to comment on other people’s blogs. I rarely comment on the quilting, crafting, and photography blogs because I’m more of a lurker there, but I do comment on family/friends and book bloggers’ posts.

7. Do you keep track of how many visitors you have?
Yes. I usually use Sitemeter. I’m signed up for Google Analytics and used to use it quite a bit, but I actually tried to find it this week and have no idea how to even find GA! I like seeing how many visitors I have, but I also keep in mind that statistics can be deceiving and are not always accurate. I try not to obsess about visitors or followers. I typically only receive 50-100 visitors a day–peanuts compared to most book bloggers, I think, but I have a very active audience and I feel blessed.

8. Do you ever regret a post you wrote?
I don’t think I’ve written a post that I regret but there have been times when I don’t think I did a good job of explaining myself in a post and it was misconstrued. And sometimes I wish that I had written things a little differently, but I’ve never deleted a post I’ve written. And then there are things that I was scared to post about and there are still some things that I would like to post about but am reluctant to.

9. Do you think your audience has a true sense of who you are based on your blog?
Yes. Not sure there’s anything else to add here. What you see is what you get.  Though I sometimes I’m afraid that my tone will be misunderstood. I like to tease and and jest and certainly hope my tongue in cheek tone doesn’t come across as negative. I think by now most older visitors know this about me, though!

10. Do you blog under your real name?

11. Are there topics that you would never blog about?
I try to stay away from controversy. And even though I’m a personal blogger, believe it or not I don’t blog about everything!

12. What is the theme/topic of your blog?
At this point I’d say Life in General. I like to keep variety in my topics and seem to focus on my personal interests–books, quilting, cooking/baking, this and that, the babe, life, sometimes travel. Kind of hodgepodge, but I like it that way. My favorite blogs are those that have a little bit of everything, including bits of personal. When I click onto a new blog that is nothing but book reviews, I’m sad to say that I click away quickly. I think it’s natural for things to change and evolve and my blogging certainly has.

13. Do you have more than one blog?
My first response is no–just the one, but this past week I set up a private blog to share pictures of Elle. However, I consider that blog an extension of this one. I used to maintain a book blog and a personal blog and these days I’d prefer to keep everything under one blog.

Original Why Do We Blog Survey Post via State of Denmark
My Original Thoughts on Why Do We Blog from May 2009

EDIT: Some folks decided to play along with the survey. If you do a post with the survey, leave the link in the comments and I’ll add.
**Jillian from A Room of One’s Own
**Unfinished Person from Unfinished
**Kailana from The Written World

On the Blog:

Looking Back to Last Week (five posts must be a record!!)
**You told me how you choose your next book
**Public Privacy Part 2 (see note below)
**Wordless Wednesday: Autumn Blooms
**Virtual Advent with a Christmas Quilt and pondering traditions
**Scott and I roadtested a recipe for Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli. Yum!

I set up a private site to post pictures of Elle worry-free. If you are interested in access to the site, I just need your email address. I’ll do my best to post links here since private blogs don’t show up on feed readers. There’s also a link in the sidebar. Only new post this week is Welcome and Go to Sleep! I do not foresee any major changes and will still post pictures here. Just not the update pictures.

Looking Forward to Next Week
Ya…my calendar is pretty much blank. Blarg! I wanted to post about my favorite Christmas CDs, but just depends on if I can get the post finished or not (I started drafting it last year!). If I finish my quilted Christmas Stockings then I’ll post those pictures. Thinking about maybe some mini-reviews of audiobooks I’ve finished lately. Anything you’re interested in hearing about from me? Would love ideas!! (lame, I know).

What’s on the agenda for you today? I’m hoping to snuggle up with Affinity for at least a few minutes today–cold and rainy seems like the perfect weather for Sarah Waters, huh?

22 Responses to “Sunday Salon 53: Why Do We Blog Survey (Redux)”

  1. While I am sticking with several former books blogs that have gone on to become personal blogs, I rarely follow book blogs that have more than 25% personal posts. A book blog that is all books related posts would be right up my alley.

    I also read many political blogs with the same caveat about personal posts.

    I can’t really say why I blog, I just enjoy the challenge of writing reviews. I find them fun to do and will keep doing them until they’re not fun anymore, I guess.

  2. I don’t blog for publishers, that’s for sure. They have their own marketing teams, let them market their books. They don’t pay me for that. Plus I don’t want half or even three-quarters of the crap they’re selling anyway :). I’d rather catch up on what I missed years ago. I’ll do your survey later. As for C.B’s comments, personally I think all books all the times (review after review after review of books I don’t give a care about) isn’t necessarily what I want to read. I’d like to get to know the person behind the mask or curtain, so to speak — at least a little bit anyway.

  3. Thanks for the link about the William Morrow stuff – I don’t spend much time on Twitter, so I missed the blow out (but I did get the letter from them, which didn’t upset me because I thought – okay, don’t send me unsolicited books…that works for me…and if I don’t review your book within the time frame, so what? I have enough “free” books in my house right now to read for the next two years…no one pays me, I do the best I can, and if you want to slice me off your list, okay.)

    Re: why I blog – it has always been for two reasons: I love to write and I love to share my thoughts on books (although, as you know, my blog veers off into other stuff more and more these days). I have never regretted a post because if it is even somewhat controversial, I usually sit on it for several days before hitting publish. I think it is good to let emotions settle before posting anything.

    I love your blog, Trish – it is one of about 150 that I follow. Some I skim, others I always read. I also subscribe to writing, food and quilting blogs.

  4. Thanks for the link to the WM article… guess I must not have been on twitter that day. I read mostly older books, so rarely accept books from publishers. Plus I’ve only participated in 2 book tours in 3+ years of blogging.

    I blog to connect with other readers. Discovered a few book blogs 4 or 5 years ago and finally started one of my own just so I could ‘talk’ with them. My reviews aren’t particularly literary or insightful, just personal reactions or random thoughts. I don’t especially love writing either, but I do love reading and talking about books. If a blogger I’ve become friends with changes focus, I still keep reading… wouldn’t give up a friend because they develop new interests!

    I’ll probably do this survey and use it to set some 2012 goals for myself. Would love to be added to your new blog:

  5. I may have to do this question thing as I’m re-thinking my whole blog experience lately too. I guess it’s good to re access it all now and then, right?

    I’m keeping my eye on you for an announcement about a blogger/quilter sort of something sometime down the road! Seriously, let’s do something!

  6. It’s funny how many of us started blogging for the same reason. Just like you, I turned to blogging after feeling the loss of my literary community from college. No real readers among my real life friends. :)

  7. Hi Trish! I love the idea of following up on a previous post. I have a few of mine I’m doing the same to, to see how I change and grow.

    I thought since I read the 2009 version of this post, I’d also read today’s – ha!

    In case you’re collecting linky’s on this, I responded to the survey here.

    Cheers to you! You seem a lot calmer and more content as a blogger, two years later. Not that you didn’t seem content before, but there’s a difference. Motherhood?

    Happy holidays!

  8. I read that Morrow link. Well it’s nothing I need to worry about. I’m not that hard core, however I do think they handled the situation in quite a crappy way, alienating many people.

    I will answer these questions as a post. I come to your blog because of the person you are. As you said in question 9. As much as we don’t want to get too personal, we have to be slightly personal to connect with each other.
    I have nothing major planned this week, in real life. Enjoy your week :)

  9. I blog because I want to record down my thoughts in the books I read and I think blogging is great since I don’t write on journals and moreover it’s a great place to ‘meet’ other book bloggers as well. And I’m glad to know you, Trish! :)

  10. I’ve been posting for about 2 years now and I’ve just started posting a few things that are more personal. I like getting to know other book bloggers that way, but I suppose it is a deterrant if the book blogger posts mainly personal things.

  11. I like the idea of this survey. I might just do it on my blog. Heaven knows I should post more. I have fifty or so books I could post about, but I just don’t feel like writing about them, so I don’t. :)

    I just joined twitter last week to see the controversy erupt and to see the tail end of the friday reads one. So weird. I’ve never received a book from a publisher and I still find plenty of books to read, so I guess I don’t really get the big fuss. I’ve debated dropping the blog completely, but I think I would miss that extra interaction with other readers. I don’t know. I go back and forth everyday on whether it’s worth it.

    Like you, I started blogging because I have no one around me with which I can talk books. Lately my mom and sister have been reading more, but they don’t read as much literary fiction and that’s what I find myself reading more often and wanting to discuss. Sorry for rambling!

  12. I’ve been blogging almost two years. I started blogging because I missed writing. After I finished my MA in Lit, I just wanted no more of it. Plus, I had never heard of book blogs. Luckily, the people in my life all love to read, but it’s not quite the same as having a community dedicated to talking about books.

    I really enjoy reviewing. It’s challenging but fun. I post usually about 4-5 times a week, but one of those posts is my Fridays at Home feature where I talk about home decor or crafty stuff because that’s something else I’m really into.

    Don’t ask how many blogs I read/comment on.

    I keep track of visitors but don’t worry to much over it.

    I think my voice comes out quite a lot in my posts but not too sure. It’s hard to gauge.


  13. So Many Words!

    I can’t remember all those questions, and you know most of this about me anyway. In a perfect world I’d blog 4-5 times a week. I skim more on bookish blogs, because I’m just not interested in most of the books being read right now, so I skim the book parts and read the personal bits. I have fallen into a habit of commenting on my friends and not branching out,and I should try to branch out.

    I really wish I could focus enough for meatier posts, but when I do no one comments anyway, so it is discouraging. I actually wrote a book review yesterday, got two comments. so.

  14. I like your survey, and I’ll be answering it in a post of my own so I don’t hijack your comments ;-). I think it’s a good thing to revisit “why do we blog?” every now and then, because sometimes the answers change when you’ve been at it for a while (5 years next March for me!).

    Re: the Morrow e-mail, my original response was similar to Wendy’s, as I really prefer not to get unsolicited books. And since I think I would usually have trouble meeting their review timelines, I probably won’t be soliciting many from them either. I didn’t actually have too many issues with the content of that letter, but I thought the tone and approach were off-base.

  15. I started blogging to keep track of my reading but it certainly evolved into much more. I still love blogging but I sure have a hard time keeping up to commenting these days for some reason.

    I’d love to have access to the blog for Elle if I can. It would be under: darreads (at) gmail (dot) com

  16. Ypur survey was interesting and made me think about my own blogging. I missed the whole controversery so thanks for the link. I’ll have to sign up for pics of Elle.

  17. I struggle when it comes to commenting and reading blog posts because it can be so time consuming. I love to visit my favorite blogs but fall behind the majority of the time. It was fun to read the reasons why you blog…and I hope that you are enjoying Affinity. Rainy weather IS the perfect weather to read that book in my opinion :)