My attempt to move from Southern California and create a happy and sustainable urban homestead in North Dakota, with some musings on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

10,000 Page Views = Blogger Introspection

So let's tell the story of the beginnings of our humble blog.  I started the Deaf Dogs and Benevolent Gnomes blog way back in 2008 (that seems like such a long time ago), but only really consistently posted for the last two years.  When I first started this blog I realized it would have, at best, limited appeal.  My original intent was to write some funny garden gnomes stories, brag about my awesome gardening projects/accomplishments, post some gluten free recipes, discuss my attempts to make my household more self sufficient, proudly show off my deaf dog pictures, and relay some of their deaf dog antics.

Soon after starting the blog Alycia and I began the process of relocation.  She had finished up her PhD in San Diego and needed to find a job.  After only a couple of months into the process it quickly became apparent that Grand Forks, North Dakota was going to be our destination and the University of North Dakota was going to become Alycia's academic home for a while.  At that point the intent of the blog shifted slightly to include stories of a "California kid comes to North Dakota" nature and focused on ways that I quasi-embarrassed or fully embarrassed myself in certain situations due to not knowing the local culture and customs (see Haircuts and Assault Rifles, Potato Sale, and The Welcome Wagon).
Moving to North Dakota also gave me an incredible assortment of news stories that I had never encountered before: Fireworks Accidents, Prisoner Escapes, Raccoons on School Buses, and Using Pig Spleens to Predict the Weather.  There were just too many unusual and funny stories to pass along to my friends and family back home in 72 degree Southern California.  It's with all these motivations that the blog has matured (is that the right word? No I don't think there's much about me that's matured) evolved into it's current format, both as a platform for deaf dogs, gardening, urban homesteading and self sufficiency ideas, and keeping friends and family back in California appraised of the North Dakota happenings with pictures and funny stories.   
One of the other strong motivations behind the blog was to serve as a platform for writing.  I really love the written word, but lacking the wherewithal, time, initiative, and writing self-esteem to actually try and publish something, the blog serves as an outlet for my urge to write and gives me plenty of regular practice.  But like many writers out there, finding validation can be difficult.  I'm never going to earn critical acclaim, or an award, or be mentioned in the same breath as other really good blogs.  And that's fine. So how do I get the validation that people are reading and appreciating my writing?

Well validation certainly wasn't going to come in the form of remuneration.  My initial dalliance with Google AdSense ended poorly.  It turns out that Google's fancy algorithms weren't equipped to deal with my then loyal cadre of 3 to 4 regular readers who were probably the only ones clicking on any ads.  So after the AdSense folks told me they thought I was engaging in shenanigans (I wasn't) and told me to go away, I started the Amazon Associates program (you can see the various Amazon ads all over my blog) trying to get people to buy items from Amazon through my blog. And while the Amazon program is never going to make me rich, the dollar or two a month it generates somehow makes me feel like I'm a paid writer, sort of.  So how do I get the much sought after validation?  Through counting the number of times (these are page views) that someone (hopefully) deliberately reads my blog

All of this self aggrandizing jabber is a result of recently passing 10,000 total page views over the life of the blog.  Because I'm an accountant by trade (sorry if this is news to some of you and you feel betrayed), I'm an analytical, numbers oriented person.  Numbers speak to me I'm constantly analyzing stuff.  I can't turn it off even though I wish I could.  So to think that stuff I've written has been viewed 10,000 times is pretty awesome.  There are many other bloggers out there for whom 10,000 page views is a good month, even a good week, but I really can't compare myself to those folks, they're in a totally different league.

I'm in disbelief that so many people have read what I've written and I'm thankful for each person who subscribes, reads, or visits Deaf Dogs and Benevolent Gnomes.  Thanks everyone!

Postscript - I wrote this a week and a half ago, before I was honored to be mentioned by Karen at Quarry Garden Stained Glass as a blog she enjoyed reading and passed along the link for Tootsie's Read 'Em All Tuesday.  This is probably the greatest validation of my writing that I could hope for, another blogger I highly admire admitting publicly that they enjoy my writing.  Thanks Karen.

1 comment:

Karen said...

John, I fell victim to a very unfortunate accident (it was a funny accident, sort of, but OH do I hurt!) over the weekend and then due to my silly injuries, I go and miss this post! (And your previous one, too.)

I have enjoyed your blog from the very first time I happened upon it from 'Along Life's Highway'. I'm having such a good time reading your older posts, too. With or without public validation, you, El Gaucho, are indeed a Writer.

Now I must head off to read how exactly Pig Spleens can be used to Predict the Weather.

Keep writing, John, we're reading.