The Life Expectancy of a Blog Or The Phases of Jane’s Blog And Are You Rid Of Her Yet?

I tried and tried to find some good, hard data out there about the average life expectancy of a blog. I found guesses. I found loosely based fact. I found a lot of dead blogs.  But nothing definitive.

My very un-scientific conclusion is that many more blogs than you can imagine are dead within the first few months. The others kick the bucket at about 2 years.

The rest of us?

We’re hanging by a thread, baby!

I began this blog as an experiment. I had an idea for another blog (which I’m still toying with) but I wanted to see how this all worked. I wanted to get my feet wet, test the waters and then dive in.

I’ve been fully submerged for about a year now and the water is great! I don’t want to get out. The water is just fine.

But many don’t see it that way. 

In my year as a blogger I have deleted about a dozen favorites from my list because they no longer post. Lately, I have been surprised at how many of my favorite stops are: taking a break, re-thinking their blog, posting about their blog dissatisfaction, or taking an unexplained hiatus.

The ebb and flow of a blog. It would make an interesting study. And it got me thinking. How have I been riding this wave?

Phase I

In my first few months I gave myself a goal of posting six posts a week, Monday through Saturday. Some long. Some short. But new material was posted every day but Sunday.

At first this was very do-able. Hardly anyone was reading me. I was having a blast reading all of you. But then, I started to gain a true readership. Reading all of your posts and commenting in turn became difficult. I was able to keep up this pace for about 6 months. Then, something had to give.

Enter Phase II

So I wheedled it down to 5 posts a week. Monday through Friday. That left me the weekends to play catch-up and craft other posts. Phase II was short-lived, lasting about 2 months. I still couldn’t keep up. And I was realizing, the more readers I gained – the more reading I did. The more reading and commenting I did – the less living I was doing.

Blogging was becoming all important. When does the blogging stop and the living begin?

That’s a great question…When would I live, so that I could gather the material necessary to write? What about taking the kids to the pool or baking with my little Chopped Champions? Or my yoga? Or shopping trips with my daughter? Would my kids ever eat a home-cooked meal again? When would I make beds and scrub toilets?  And what about the dog puke, runny noses and sticky kitchen floor? (Wait a second. That’s my life? I might need to re-think this.)

Phase III

I am now in Phase III. I post Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. (I kind of like how that looks on my calendar, too, with a little line down the middle of un-highlighted Wednesdays. But, I’m weird that way.) On Wednesday and the weekends, I play catch up. Or not. I try to read all of you, but that’s impossible, too. I comment when I have something to contribute. I don’t pressure myself to fill up space on your blogs anymore. I’m finding a balance. My balance. And it feels so much better.

Phase IV and Beyond!

I have no plans of stopping. I enjoy this medium much too much. (Just ask my husband!) I love writing. I love crafting posts. I love reading. I love conversation and new ideas.

But most of all, I love all of you! My world is so much brighter, bigger and brilliant because I have met all of you. And for that, I am so very, very thankful!

Thank you, dear readers, for embracing me and enjoying what I write. Thank you for peeking in to see what I have to say. Thank you for your comments here and posts there, showing me new and different ways to see things.

Happy Anniversary to me! And to you, too! May we celebrate many more together!!!

 

Did you bring me a gift? Oh! You did! A blog post to share? Wow! That’s that perfect gift! Thank you so much! Just click below to link up! And thanks, again! You are just too kind!

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46 Comments

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46 responses to “The Life Expectancy of a Blog Or The Phases of Jane’s Blog And Are You Rid Of Her Yet?

  1. Congratulations! Happy anniversary. I think you have found the Zen of blogging and gained a true following which is pretty impressive considering you are only one year old.

    I brought with me to the party a half-eaten cake… day-old magazine… you said it’s ok…. 😉

    http://absenceofalternatives.com/2010/08/i-blog-therefore-i-am.html

  2. Happy anniversary!

    I really like your phases. I’m still in the first paragraph of phase I (though I’m not setting post goals) – or maybe I should say this is my third attempt in getting out of phase I, lol. I should keep the “I comment when I have something to contribute. I don’t pressure myself to fill up space on your blogs anymore.” comment in mind though. Keep it up, I for me at least am inspired!

    http://aworldoflies.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/a-recap-of-2-weeks-of-blogging/

  3. the post is interesting (yes i don’t want to say scary) for a new blogger like me. one post at a time and i’ll let you kow if i live up to my 1st post party. happy anniversary 🙂

  4. angelcel

    I brought a pretty picture – sorry it isn’t more but as you know, I’m on my month of virtual Carmelite silence! 🙂

    Happy Anniversary – here’s to many more!

  5. Happy Anniversary, Jane! I have no blog post to share today, as we are celebrating our 10th Anniversary at the bookstore this weekend with an Open House.

    I’m glad I discovered your blog!

    Wendy

  6. Oh, dear Jane! Happy bl-irthday! You are so good at what you do here, and I am so happy you have no plans of stopping. I like your “blog-downsizing” strategy. On any blog, I’d rather read one nicely crafted and thought out post a week, than an obligatory daily “log-in” without any substance.

  7. Happy Blogiversary! You’re very organized and methodical in your approach to blogging and I admire that. Me? I just wing it. But since I recently passed the 2-year mark I must be in it for the long haul… according to your great research data. Keep on blogging. I enjoy stopping by.

  8. Happy Anniversary, Jane! So glad you stuck it out, so I was able to meet you, and read your lovely blog. My present may come a little late, but it’s the thought, right?

  9. Happy Anniversary. I do have a “present”…for you and it might even be on time. Later today. Thanks for sharing what you do and how you do it.

    Kb

  10. Happy Blog-o-versary!
    I liked reading about your journey as a blogger. I think we all have to find the balance that works best for us, but like you pointed out, living life is the most important thing!

    So glad I could join in 🙂
    http://www.alulai.com/blog/2010/08/why-i-blog/

  11. Happy blogiversary! I did not feel qualified to write any advice about blogging, but I did find someone else with know-how that I can share.
    (http://apageofmyown.com) There were several good posts there like: Need to Put a Little Fresh Air into Your Blog? and How to Increase Traffic On Your Blog
    I also considered discussing something lighter like fake blogs (flogs) … but, that got out of hand … even wikipedia has a lists of blogs that list flogs.
    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_blog).
    Thank you for continuing to share your thoughts, I enjoy stopping by.

  12. Happy Anniversary! I just found you, but I know the feeling. I sometimes wonder myself what the point is. Except that I like writing. And I like the idea that someone is reading.

    Even though my blog started out when I was a “nontraditional” student going back to grad school after a long career in another field…and now I’m not doing that anymore (I still think some of my best writing was during those years) I wouldn’t want to give it up. And in fact after graduation in 08 I asked the few loyal readers I had if I should just stop, given the point of the project was completed…and they all said NOOOO!

    So I’m still out there and finding more and more writers I follow. Like you.

    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Congrats on a full 12 months of blog fever! Perhaps it’s either in you or it’s not, regardless of whether people read and comment or not. I admire those who can post something though-provoking every day. I can’t keep up that pace, either reading them or posting my own! Yours is still one I make a point of visiting and I’m never disappointed. So, happy anniversary and here’s to many more years of fueling your passion to write! (*clink, clink* the wine glasses) 😀

  14. Hi Jane!
    Things are crazy for me here at work today, but I just wanted to stop by and say Happy Blogiversary and Congratulations! Sorry I didn’t link up with anything, but being such a newbie I didn’t feel I had much to contribute. Your post is interesting, and I have noticed the same thing – that many bloggers seem to be either taking a break, questioning their blog’s existence, or just disapeared! I’m glad you’re still here, going strong! Keep up the great work. I always enjoy reading! 🙂

  15. Your creative juices are still flowing. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “She’s done it again!” over something special you’ve written.

  16. What an interesting idea for a post. I like the way you think. It’s frustrating when you need data to back up an idea and it isn’t there, isn’t it?

    I’m coming up on my one year blogiversary soon. And I’ve been going hardcore and posting every single day no matter what for most of it. The last day I missed a post was Monday, October 5, 2009. Yikes!

    I try to get my posts in at 5 minutes after midnight UTC. (The international date line seems to govern the dates shown on my blog.) If I’m on top of my game I’ll have my posts pre-written and auto-scheduled for 00:05. That’s a load off my mind for the rest of the day.

    Sometimes, like right now, I’m lagging. Today’s post still isn’t done! And it becomes a constant state of worry that nags and lingers like a black cloud. The clock is ticking and I’ve only got about 8 hours left.

    Some days my posts are quite lame. I’m not proud of them but they keep the streak going. For that single reason the “post every day” commitment probably hurts more than it helps. Posting every day is good, but when you force it, you end up putting out crap, and who wants that? So I do try hard to make the time to keep it real and avoid the filler post.

    When I vacationed (for the first time in 10 years) I pre-wrote a bunch of posts and scheduled them and it worked perfectly. The streak remained alive even though I was out in the woods and had no internet!

    I have no idea how long my blog will live. I currently see no end in sight. I’m still really enjoying it.

  17. Happy Anniversary! Let’s keep “hanging by a thread” together! I hope today brings lots of inspiration for your next years of posts. =>

    Eat, Blog, Love

  18. Happy-versary!!! I will always look forward to reading you:)….even through my breaks and changes!

  19. I am glad you have no plans for stopping, Jane! I love you! 🙂 You’re blog always makes me happy and smiley and such.

  20. Happy anniversary, Jane! I’m in the thick of things here with the parents Troubadour. Enough said. But bloggy refuge (among other things) is what’s preventing me from getting totally sucked into their alternate reality …

    You’ve gotten me thinking about my own “phases of blogging” — it’s so true how it ebbs and flows! I’d wanted to check in with myself for a while on the purpose my writing serves for me in that space. Didn’t have a formal way to think about it until reading your post. Thank you!

  21. Happy Anniversary. Love these phases. I have gone through some similar phases and it does feel nice to get to a place that feels sustainable.

    My gift/post? I’m a little controversial today. My mind sometimes goes to controversial places, and I’ve decided to keep it real. Here’s the link: http://tendollarthoughts.com/2010/08/13/baby-boom/

  22. Happy Bloggoversary Jane!

    I’ve been doing this for four years and it’s quite the journey. One everyone who knows me has noticed the good effects of. I’m happier, more connected, and I live my life more intentionally than I ever have before. Blogging is a sweet gift, as are sweet bloggers like yourself!

  23. Happy Anniversary!!

    I blog when I have something to say. I don’t set myself a timetable, but I do find that if I go more than 4 days without blogging I get tense and feel the need to write something. I’d hate to lose all my readers just because I’m neglecting my blog. There’s always something to write about, sometimes it will be great and other times just good enough. I try not to beat myself up if a post isn’t all that inspired and think that that maybe the next post will be. 🙂

  24. Happy to be included in your anniversary party…hope you like 🙂
    http://oddlovescompany.com/blog/2010/08/my-odd-family/

  25. Happy anniversary! A year is big. Really big. I love the phases, but mostly that you have found what works for you and you’re sticking around!

  26. How is it that you always say what I’m thinking? But never think of saying! Great observation.

  27. Happy Anniversary Jane! I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. Cheers to you and your words.

  28. Steven Harris

    Happy Blogiversary! Thank you for writing and also for reading. I think I’m back from my own hiatus but have definitely felt like I’m hanging by a thread lately. Moving house will do that to you I guess. Looking forward to many more Jane pearls of wisdom and random notions in the days ahead.

  29. Happy Anniversary! (It’s a bit of a thrill reaching a year, isn’t it?)

    This is an interesting topic – the life expectancy of a blog, and I guess I’m not surprised that many fade after a certain number of months. It’s very time consuming, and of course, we all have “other lives” – things that pay the bills, relationships, kids, households, life “events” – good and bad.

    It’s such a vibrant community, it’s hard for me to imagine not participating any longer (surely my obsessive side is part of my insistence on daily posting though I passed my year of doing so) – there’s something disciplined and open about writing in this fashion. It’s different from other sorts of writing. At least in part, because of the interaction.

    We look forward to your 2nd year – and more!

  30. I would LOVE to see someone do a serious study about this!

    Happy anniversary, Jane. I know I’m still with you, even though I’m in phase III myself now, posting less than I’d like and reading less than I’d like but trying to live as well so that I have things to post about. I love your blog, and I hope you keep it up for a good long while longer :D.

  31. Happy Anniversary to you!! Sorry I didn’t have a post to link up for the occasion…hope you had a great day!

  32. Happy Anniversary, Jane. I’ve been following your blog for a long time- just started my own. I hope to be as blogfamous as you one day.

  33. Happy Anniversary, Jane! I brought utter exhaustion, doubt in my own blog’s long term plans, cherished memories about some of your posts (the girls lost to the judicial system especially), a bit of sassiness, and a lot of hope for our kids, our world, and our blogs!
    May you still be happy with this addiction next year. And the year after. And the one after that…

  34. Happy Anniversary!! How exciting! I began my blog a year ago as well and I cannot believe how many bloggers I began with stopped blogging within 6 months and some just recently stopped. I think it has a lot to do with the kind of goals that are set as well – I think many bloggers go into it thinking they will be the next Dooce and when they realize that it won’t happen, they just stop… I also think many bloggers don’t realize the time committment it takes to maintain a successful blog.

    I blog for my love for writing and the sharing of motherhood experiences I know ALL moms can relate to – so the interaction and real sense of community is what keeps me inspired.

    Great post!!

  35. Hi Jane – just back from what you across the pond call vacation..sorry to have missed the anniversary but keep going – we’re lovin’ it, lovin’ it, lovin’ it!!

  36. Waving!!!!!!!! Me…one of the blogs you probably delelted 🙂

    Funny, we both started ours around the same time and for the same reason.

    Happy anniversary to you!!! Hope you keep on writing. I’ve always enjoyed reading your posts.

  37. Malavika

    Happy anniversary! I am very new to the blogging world (Total newborn). I have not followed your blog for very long, maybe a couple of weeks. but I really like what you have to say.

    I also think that your thoughts and words on the actual act of blogging, the phases, how it worked out for you etc are so helpful for me …a noob.

    Take care Jane,

    Love
    Malavika

  38. Nice to meet you, Jane. Found you via Cammy’s blog!!

    Here’s the simple version of why I blog:
    http://www.snidecommentary.com/2009/12/why-i-blog

  39. Pingback: 500 Bottles of Beer on the Wall. . . Or is that 99? | Big Little Wolf's Daily Plate of Crazy

  40. I’m so glad you don’t plan on stopping. Now that Evan’s in school and I have a laptop, maybe I can finally read every day like I used to.

  41. Finally, Jane, I have a gift for you for your 1st Anniversary (three weeks late – I’m an excellent procrastinator)…since your Linky List is closed, here’s the link:

    http://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/how-to-be-featured-in-the-blog-a-guide-for-family-members/

    Happy Anniversary!

    Wendy

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