My daughter’s elementary school used to have “Hundreds Day” — a day when there would be a slew of number activities based around 100. The kids would count out 100 m&ms, jump rope a hundred times, sort 100 plastic shapes, and so on. Of course it was always the hundredth day of school.
Here’s what I’ve learned in my first century of posts:
- Well, I can do it! Before starting, I wondered if I would have enough stuff to say to maintain a steady stream of posts. At this relatively mellow rate, the answer appears to be yes. I haven’t even had to resort to posting YouTube videos of stupid cat tricks.
- I also enjoy the style. When I wrote Where Girls Come First, I was surprised how hard it was to break out of the just-the-facts newspaper style that had been drummed into me over the years. Write with tone of voice? with adjectives? With more words than are strictly necessary? That was all a struggle. So part of what I wanted to do with this blog was work on writing informally, with personality and voice. I think I’ve managed to do that pretty well.
- Humility. Considering I did absolutely no promotion or marketing, I was pleased that the blog was getting a steady stream of visitors. Then at a certain point I realized that lots of my visitors were coming to the site for…. an image I had posted of the Chutes & Ladders board game.
Yes, apparently hundreds of people every week feel compelled to look for pictures of Chutes & Ladders. They do a Google Image search for “chutes and ladders,” or sometimes “shoots and ladders.” (Kudos to our educational system.) And up pops yours truly’s blog post in which she compared fiction writing to that old board game. Try it — Google Images and “chutes and ladders”. You’ll see. And my visitor count will go up.
More seriously, I wonder after a hundred posts if there is a way to gain just a few more readers.
Social media experts suggest expanding your audience by hunting for other blogs on related topics, posting comments on those blogs, and being witty/interesting enough that people are then drawn to your blog. I am sure that makes sense for some people, but it seems like an awful lot of work to put in for something that is a spare-time hobby.
I also wonder if this blog is too diffuse to draw readers who don’t know me personally. It’s not laser-focused on a particular hot topic like College Admissions Confidential, Everything Apple, or Foreshadowings of Sarah Palin in the Book of Revelation. Sometimes it’s about Jewish stuff, sometimes it’s about writing, sometimes it’s about who-knows-what. Would that be of interest to folks beyond my circle of friends and friends-of-friends?
Here’s an experiment to celebrate post # 100.
IF you feel like it — and only if — tell one friend about Midlife Bat Mitzvah and send them the link. Maybe we can double the readership for the next hundred posts?
And if not, at least your friend will know where to find a really good picture of the Chutes and Ladders board.