The Secret Life of a Boring Blog

A little Freud in my image selection? Well maybe.

I have been thinking a lot lately about the blogging community. Also, I was taking a look at what makes blogs successful and contrasting thoroughly interesting blogs against those pitifully and admittedly boring. I am not offering any advice, mind you, just looking objectively out of curiosity.

Since that infamous discussion on Is Garden Blogging Dead, so much has happened here at GWGT in the world of blogging. Subscriptions increased tenfold and GWGT made the WordPress pinnacle of Freshly Pressed.

Gentiana True Blue

Thinking I might be losing some focus to make the blog appeal to the wide variety of subscribers, I started thinking that all this means nothing if a blog can’t keep core readers coming back. I was wondering if the eclectic nature of GWGT is a good thing or a bad thing affecting the core readership in spite of the fact that readership is increasing quite noticeably. So I went searching for an answer to what makes a blog interesting or boring, or does it even matter if you have a consistent supply of readers? The secret is…

Campanula glomerata Bell Flower

being boring is not a detriment to readership, even though arguably, it should be.

And truly, this is a secret because few are willing to talk openly about it. Bloggers keep plugging away in the sheer bliss of oblivion. Repeating over and over, rehashing the same information. Doing it with authority and conviction, day in and day out. Readers flock like misguided sheep, feeding from the trough of mediocrity. Why the sudden call to arms?

Scabiosa Butterfly Blue

Because quality blogs are falling by the wayside. In the last few months, a couple of very well done blogs called it quits. They were original, creative and beautifully done. I swear, blogging and TV are like the only things in the natural world where there is not survival of the fittest. The ‘weak’ shall inherit the earth…just peruse reality TV if you don’t believe me.

So what may be a factor in the decline of good postings in lieu of posts that scream “I really have nothing new or different to say.” This is not to say boring blogs are not disappearing too, but it seems like over saturation and time play a part.

I always look at other blogs for their approach, what is it that draws readers in. Is it:

  • The absolutely gorgeous photos? The ones you just drool over, so much you want to be there. I know I want to see some wickedly cool visual imagery, or kooky photos to delight me, anything but bore me.
  • Do they write like they care if we return? Is the content compelling? Churning out quick-read dribble each week is not giving anyone reason to comment, let alone return.
  • Does a blog make me want to take action, try what they posted? Reading blog posts that do nothing but tell me what I already know are quite a yawn.
  • Does it offer pithy opinion and commentary? Add the writer’s personality and express the chutzpah to tell it like it is? Especially editorial types that present an option for contradiction and argument.

One blog that I read daily is Pioneer Woman. It is not a garden blog, but I guess you would call it a lifestyle blog, a bit of this and that. It is wildly popular and it has a few of the things I just listed above.

But most of all, it has personality and brand. You would know you are reading her work even if you did not see the blog header. It has eclectic content, yet a thread of her style weaves right through it whether she is out on the range, in her kitchen, or in her photography realm. Contrast this one to the boring one I note below.

Ageratum Artist Blue

Yes, I do the mundane, the rehash and boring on occasion. In fact, these images were hurriedly done for this post, not much thought went into them other than they had to be some shade of purple. I went outside yesterday and shot off a bunch of images. You will see why at the end of the post why I was careless.

Petunia Royal Velvet

My posts,  A Design Request , Creating Curbside Charm, and the series, Process of Design, is searched numerous times daily. Digger Bees and Carpenter Ants gets loads of action too.  These posts are all things I know from my job, and the insect posts, from being a Master Gardener.

The stats on these posts should be telling something significant about what interests people. But boredom is a two-way street. Combining work and pastime leads to boredom. It leads to stale and bland postings, even if others don’t view them as such. It becomes tedious to write such a post and curbs enthusiasm and inspiration. Inspiration leads to joy. So what then?

Veronica Sunny Border Blue

So I looked at other ways people blog and found that some do a daily diary, which has a tendency towards posting-self-indulgence. Nothing wrong with that, but how much different is each day from another?

The inspiration gets lost in the monotony. I used to read one like this, but it did not last long before all the posts started becoming similar, and it showed unquestionably in the writing and the images. Again, this one was not a garden blog, although it had quite a bit of gardening.

There are those ‘help posts’ out there giving numerically listed tips to turn your blog around, to give it the wow factor, usually posted by ‘those’ blogging experts. Experts telling you how to turn your blog into some kind of competitive event. The lists mean nothing if the content is repetitive and boring. Do they mention that?

Nothing can cure a boring blog but a little blog introspection. Even taking a commonly posted subject and giving it a different spin adds interest.

Verbena Large Lilac Blue

Then there are those offering advice and encouragement to new bloggers. Makes you wonder motive when they encourage and routinely promote mediocrity. When in good conscience they should encourage them to post on what they love, instill passion in their work.

I keep reading to “post what you know, write about your life and what happens each day.” If you lived it, do you think others want to know this day in and day out? Not every blogger out there has the life of a celebrity. Not that they are interesting, but the media seems to think we all think so.

When new bloggers start talking to the world and the world does not talk back, well, that leads to disappointment. Disappointment leads to resignation and worse yet, abandonment to being a reader as well. One of my blogging friends went this unfortunate route.

I Googled why blogging is boring and really found my answer. First in the search was The dullest blog in the world.  No doubt, this blog is the most boring bit of nonsense I think anyone could ever write or read. I feel bad even getting anyone here to click the link.

His post Tidying some pencils got 391 comments, and all the entire post said, (no images of said pencils mind you), was “Some pencils were scattered around on my desk. I picked them up one by one. I placed the pencils in the drawer which I use to store pencils.”

One comment said, “Stop the World I want to get off. How fascinating can so uninteresting a topic be to 300 plus people? Help!!”, and that is what I thought too.

This blog was so boring, the guy himself stopped blogging. Probably bored himself to death. Maybe the pencils should have been hard-working and that would have sparked the creativity which was sorely lacking. Pencils languishing in a drawer, you draw the metaphor.

It is like watching the rain fall for hours and days on end. Not much happens but you do it anyway. You might change your view, but it still is the same rain falling.

Another metaphor.

Is our lives so mundane that we take the time to read this kind of dribble?  Can it even be called entertainment? But honestly, this may be the extreme, but there are a lot of blogs out there with little or no personality. Blogs with little to say, and some, with absolutely nothing to say.

Then there are blogs giving tips that profess, “no topic on the internet is boring.” I am paraphrasing the rebuttal to what this guy wrote, “There are millions of topics swimming in the stream of the internet and most are boring to me! You call this a blogging tip?”

The blogger went on to defend that “no topic is boring.” His idea is that sure the subject is boring to some, but certainly not all. Other words, target the audience, no matter how small. The pencil tidying post is proof that boring subjects do indeed exist.

Yet, 391 people had something to say, so what does that tell you, this guy is right, or there are 390 incredibly boring individuals out there thinking a blog like this is worth the time to visit? Certainly a sociology study is in order on this one.

He was looking at the big picture, not the little picture, where insight develops. There is life behind all things if you look close enough, but that is the real point, look closely.  I did agree with some of this blogger’s points, but I do think he missed the boat on turning boring into fabulous. Why settle, and why limit?

Rest in Peace

Let me post on my drought ridden, dried up, newly purchased phlox and it screams boring. Like who cares? Really? Want to pass on condolences for my recently departed phlox?

I know if I never see another Agave again I would not miss it. They are everywhere lately and up here, they only grow in my office. No disrespect to Agave, it is an architecturally fine-looking plant,  but some plants get written about to death. Kinda like the rain, huh? Just a different window.

In a way it was a bit like my pumpkin plant, so common, but I learned something from letting it grow. I learned about squash bees. Maybe not to others knowing this, but I found that new and entertaining. The plant did not interest me, but the bees did.

So boring is about perspective and looking for what you don’t know in what you do. Making the ordinary a little extra ordinary. But does that make interesting reading for others if each element of a post has purpose, making sure to get you to the next sentence to read further? Not sure, but I know I prefer reading fresh and enlightening.

I have noticed even if a post is a compelling read, many readers are in too much of a hurry to get to the next blog post, that they barely read the current one at all. Some skip the text and just view the images. Then they leave their cursory mark and move on. Race to see how many blogs can be lured into reciprocity. Any wonder why quality blogs throw in the towel?

Aster Monch

There are all these tips especially for beginning bloggers about commenting on posts, joining the ‘community’, blogging often and consistently, otherwise, working your little tail off to make sure readers keep coming back. Too much work since most don’t come back.

A blog really can stand on its own if it is written well and illustrated nicely, like Pioneer Woman’s blog that I noted above. I doubt that blogs such as this visit a few hundred blogs that visit their blogs. I did the week I was Freshly Pressed and it was taxing. Not something I can do and work too.

If a quality post is informative, humorous, creative, different, delightful, relevant, fascinating, has loads of personality or takes me where I have never been, then it is not boring. All those well-meaning tips aside, give me anything but boring.

Caryopteris First Choice

The question of blogging dying was never the right question, it is not and will not die. The actual question should be, “Is your blog boring or does it offer up content interesting to readers?

Why do boring blogs live on and blogs of value slip by the wayside? I can venture a guess. It is time investment in what one is writing. But I surmise it is additionally much more than that. Do good bloggers leave because of competition from all the pointless postings and are turned off by the lack of meaningful comments? Is it posts being skimmed and not fully read? I can see how this could be frustrating. When you spend time writing, you hope others want to read it.

One of the blog writers that retired poured herself into her photography and took readers places they would never ever get to see in life. I miss her blog and wonderful photographs immensely. I hate to see the good blogs withdraw. This one left the entire blogging arena, so you lose a good read and a faithful reader.

Berberis Thunbergii Crimson Pygmy

I am saddened that some of the best written garden blogs out there have lost readership and I think I know partially why.  They started when there was less competition. They do not participate in all these superficial ways to generate traffic that new bloggers think is the way to acceptance. They don’t spend time blog hopping to see who will pay them a cursory visit. The good blogs invest time in quality of content yet do not get as good a portion of the readers anymore. Not because they lost favor, but because time more than post quality is a factor for many readers.

The problem is time, or the lack thereof. Readers want something in return for their time, so they go to from where it is guaranteed to come. They want ‘friends’, which seems to translate to reciprocity.

What I find is that these quality blogs of which I am referring do give quite a bit, so readers are getting quality reading for their time. A much better deal I think for the time spent. Why waste time visiting a blog you know puts little effort into caring about you the reader? Go to ones that educate, entertain, enlighten your day, and generally make you feel good.

Put smile on your face. Is that not what blogging should be doing?

Delphinium

I believe one of my favorite blogs is losing readership and a bit on the fence about continuing. Their posts are loaded with places around the world to virtually visit, useful, knowledgeable gardening and photography tips, professional design advice, and all the things garden bloggers SHOULD be reading. But for how long until they rethink the loss of time and free professional advice if readership wanes? What happens to quality?

Well, quality quits.

Have you been wondering why I used all the purple garden images?  I was going to do a post called Popping Out the Purple, since the late summer garden is bursting in all shades purple. Snappy title, but boring subject. I carelessly took photos and realized I really don’t care for a post of this nature. Would I want to read my post? Probably not. That means others would not as well.

Then I started thinking, is this not the umpteenth hundred post on purple plants and who the heck does not know they are freaking purple? I saved you from a post that would have just made you yawn. I hope I gave you a post to make you think instead.

Sedum Pink Bomb, the weather has it coming out lilac this year.

Advertisements

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
This entry was posted in Blogging, garden, Gardening, photos, Thoughts and Observations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

126 Responses to The Secret Life of a Boring Blog

  1. HolleyGarden says:

    I think this is a fabulous post. It is very hard to write something interesting, exciting, inspiring, and useful day after day, without any pay. I have been on the fence myself for a while, but with the cooler weather, my enthusiasm is renewed. I’m glad I read this post. I will try to not be boring! 🙂

    • Your blog is not boring at all Holley. On roses you cite interesting history and many posts you have such delightful humor. I am surprised at how many comments are referencing their own blogs, whether to say they hope they are not boring or to note how they started and why they post what they do. I guess blog introspection is a good thing, but it was not the intent really. I too have vacillated the question of continuing. It has more to do with what I think some of my favorite blogs are experiencing. Not less traffic, but less of those you grew to depend on for the interaction like is occurring in this post.

  2. There are some whose blogs I read that I gloss over the material written, not sure whether I feel like vesting my focus in reading what they have written. I do like the reciprocity of a conversation. One would think that the boring posts would get no traffic and would whither on the proverbial vine. I keep posting things that I think are interesting….not governed by date or day.
    The quality of photography has really soared over the past few years. I think that is in some way thanks to bloggers like you who share their photos, raising the bar AND teaching many of us how to get that camera off auto.
    Often I won’t comment on a blog that has a lot of comments, don’t want to be one of the masses. I do try to comment on my friends’ posts…..whether I have met them or whether they are an electronic pen pal.
    Well, here’s to hoping quality blogs will stand the test of time, and that ours will be worthy of being called quality blogs that others want to read.

    • I think like you Janet, that generally garden bloggers have been getting better over the last few years. Quality has been improving. I am surprised to hear you say you won’t comment on a post that has many comments. You are one of the most thoughtful commenters, always adding to the conversation. I would miss if you did not comment here. Your blog is very high on the list of good blogs. Your post yesterday is an fine example. It was thorough and well illustrated.

      I agree on the reciprocity of conversation, but time constraints always interfere on the ability to keep up. My thoughts on reciprocity were geared more toward the, ‘I support your blog, so you must support mine mentality.’ That seems to be what is encouraging all the pointless posts. It is like a competition with all the memes and awards out there. Many join memes mindlessly, just to get others to visit, not really caring for the posts they visit. This is certainly not all memes, as some are very well done, but I am sure most know of which ones I speak.

      • I also don’t usually comment when I am late to the party. Would be interesting to see links for those quality blogs that have gone quiet on you. I have sometimes tried to encourage ‘fading’ bloggers, but there may be RL issues they do not choose to share?

        Blog stats can confuse issues of quality and quantity, apples and pears. On G+ over one and half thousand people have chosen to circle me. But most of them are dead quiet and I wonder if they circled and left, or if they actually come back to read. I value FAR more the varied circle of regular commenters on my blog.

        • The reason I did not list them is because it just draws attention to failings in some way. Whether from bad attitude, lack of viewers, time constraints or devotion to readers. Plus others make judgement. I did (just to have a point and offer a possible reason) on one of them that I really don’t know the reason at all.

  3. Blogs are a slice of civilization. Some seek acceptance and popularity, some don’t. I’ve been at this blogging thing for a long time (in blog years, that is), and I don’t see myself giving it up any time soon. To be honest, I started as a garden blog, but I realized pretty quickly that gardening is only a small part of who I am. By sharing all the facets of myself, I hope my blog is more interesting. I don’t share garden content as often as I used to … perhaps this is because I tend to hide in the a/c in summer … and the fact that my garden is a mess. True to my transparent style of blogging, I fully intend to share the mess … as soon as I get out there to work on it. My blog is a creative outlet, a way to teach what I know, a means to organize my thoughts, share triumphs and disappointments. The fact that anyone at all reads it is a bonus.

    • sharon says:

      excellent! and true a blog should be about art ,travel,family recipes fun projects…whatever interests you and captures your attention….I do it to share with friends and family if anyone else likes it…like you said its a bonus..It should be about share yourself…..

      • Sharon, I am not sure if your comment is directed to me or to Connie, but it is a fine comment none the less. I do not share my blog with family or clients and have to rely on the good people I actually don’t know personally. My blog has covered much of what you noted, art, travel, recipes and projects, just not much on family. Like you, I am very happy for those that like it.

    • Connie, your blog is always a treat to visit because the reader never knows what to expect. I try that here as well. But that has been a double edge sword too, because I am not sure if it is fully accommodating the core base of readers. I have not seen you here for a long time and you were one reader I thought I lost for good, and that made me very sad.

      I view my blog as a creative outlet too. My job is creativity non stop, but not for me in the way I want. The blog allows me to post absolutely any topic I choose to keep my inspiration flowing and fresh. My job can not accommodate that passion.

      I enjoy all your projects and the updates on Daniel. I know I should comment more to let you know that I read and keep up with your postings, but it goes back to my remarks on reciprocity. I do not want others to visit GWGT just because I am visiting them, I want them to visit my blog because it interests them.

      • I’m here. Quietly reading here and other places. Taking less time to comment. I have a lot of problem with popularity seeking. I’ll comment on you, you comment on me … i’ll link to you, you link to me … etc. I don’t do this in life, and I’m certainly not going to commit to the amount of time online that it would take to do it while blogging.

        I read you, you read me … it doesn’t matter whether you speak up or not. I know you’re there. The downside is that I haven’t taken the time to remind you how much I enjoy visiting you.

  4. Karen says:

    Your post was very interesting and certainly not boring. I am sad that many of my favorite bloggers are disappearing…hopefully you will be around for a long time.

    • Thank you. I hope to be around, but like many others, see all the effort a post takes and think am I hitting my target audience or losing them. I found as much as I like to visit gardens, that writing about them is starting to bore me. I see it reflected in my posts sometimes. I want to discuss what I see in a professional manner, but don’t want readers to think I am getting too architectural. I think that turns off the gardeners, because it is viewed by gardeners as diametrically opposed.

  5. Hmmm… four things:
    1. When you said the words, “pitifully and admittedly boring…,” I thought to myself, Uh oh! Lol!
    2. I love how you talked in this post. Really, I felt as if we were talking!
    3. The success of a blog would depend on the objective of the blogger, I guess. There are bloggers who just want their thoughts out there. Some are out to make their blogs commercial as can be. Some just write to be part of the world. I think it would really depend. Blog readers also have various objectives.
    4. Me? I visit your blog because I love being here. There’s a certain happiness to reading it. Your pictures refresh me. This brightens up my day. As simple as that but it answers an important need of mine.
    =>

    • I was actually going to link to your blog in this post, not for being boring, but for being inspirational. I had in a paragraph talking about all the new readers, ones that I in turn visited. Ones that I liked very much because they are upbeat and made me happy when I read their work. The paragraph was right before, “Go to ones that educate, entertain, enlighten your day, and generally make you feel good. Put smile on your face. Is that not what blogging should be doing?” The post was getting far too long and I cut out quite a bit and this paragraph was one of them. Sorry, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your fresh, happy approach to blogging.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Hi Donna, There is much to think about in your post and I must confess the ground is shaking a little under my feet. I wrote about a bird trapped in the back porch today. It is a rather mundane topic. Gosh, did I bore my readers? People are polite in their comments, and if what you write is true, readership numbers don’t necessarily have anything to do with quality.
    I hear what you say about reciprocity. Returning all the visits is getting more and more time consuming and therefore challenging. What I do like about returning visits is that the conversation is a two-way one, more so than just replying to comments. Over time you do make friends and come to really know people. I like that.
    On a slightly different, but perhaps somewhat related topic, I notice that there are two general styles of blogs. There are the long, picture heavy posts (you and I might fall in this category). This type of blogger posts less frequently. Then there are the bloggers who write brief posts with just a few images. These blogs often post daily. Is one style better/less boring than the other?

    • I have not visited your bird post yet, and will when I get done with commenting, but am pretty sure it is not boring. Your photographs are always outstanding and your writing style engaging. I like to think we are making friends in this world of blogging and many are becoming such. I have emailed some, like yourself, and others met personally. One that quit blogging, I emailed almost daily. I like having the dialog too. Posts like this one are made for that. Not everyone has to agree and that makes it all the more interesting. I do like when readers see my points though, whether they agree or not.

      Yes, this part of blogging takes up lots of time. I try to schedule posts like this when I complete a work project. It gives me a day to relax and have conversations about anything but work. You are right on the two types of blogs. There are four that post daily that I visit, but sometimes the images are really similar to those posted previously. One today was just like that. It fit into my boring theme. It was a beautiful scene, but almost the exact same as the day before and that is tiring.

  7. astridshome says:

    Donna – it was very interesting to read your thoughts and comments about the garden blogging world and blogging in general.
    I started my blog as a website years ago. I wrote the text in Word and my friend added the photos into the text because I didn’t know how. My website was meant to be my online journal to record my garden plans, my ideas, my progress and the names of my plants. If in doing so, I was able to guide others (via my errors and discoveries), I was happy to do that.
    About 2 years ago I switched over to Blogspot.
    In January of this year, I discovered Blotanical, a website of garden blogs. I was warmly welcomed by about 10 garden bloggers. I promptly checked their sites. Some had funny, witty writing. Some had fabulous photography. Some were excellent teaching sites. But what I found was that most were regular SINCERE folks who just wanted to share their love of gardening. It’s that sincerity that drew me back again and again to the blogs that I now read daily.
    How has reading all these other blogs changed mine? I know I am not a good writer nor will I ever be. So I just try to write the way I talk and hope that my readers will accept that because I try to dole out helpful information.
    I know that my photos have improved! I scrutinized what others photographed and how and have tried to emulate some of these fabulous ideas and subjects.
    So what makes a readable blog that people return to versus a boring one? I think it’s sincerity of subject and writer as well as excellent photographs.
    Yours is an example of what an interesting, informative and well-written blog should be.
    Thanks and keep up the great work!

    • Thank you for the compliment, Astrid and also the long comment. Sincerity is very important. I wish I saw it like you do on Blotanical. I find some there as trollers, searching out newcomers like sharks looking for their next big, naive meal. They start out as your absolute best buds, may even fave your blog, then they take it back after you fave them, and you don’t even see them visit your posts anymore. It is pretty time consuming courting all those newbies I guess.

      You will see over time. It is very much a competition and for what? It is not like posts are picked because they are actually good and worth recommending, it is because of reciprocity for the most part. Sincere is not a quality I would pass on lightly in that garden space. Sure, there are many fine blogs and nice people there, but a few really spoil the experience. I used to view all my favorite blogs from Blotanical, now I do it from my own blog. I used to very much enjoy Blotanical too. My blog was always successful there but I grew to not be sure if it was because it was viewed favorably or it was just a place to pick up 5 picks. I found too many not accessing the post, yet doling out picks. Don’t you think they should read the post first? I am sorry to be so down on Blotanical, but the site has gone through so many changes and I am not sure for the better.

  8. Wow, excellently communicated, Donna. I realized a little more than a year ago that my blog was losing some steam–not so much in the area of traffic, which I’m not terribly concerned about, but in the area of passion. I was losing a bit of passion for it all. So I re-evaluated my goals and recommitted to better quality. I hope it has helped. I know I still feel very passionate about garden blogging AND about supporting quality bloggers like you. Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

    • I know just what you mean. I used to draw many of the graphics, crafting the story and really enjoyed creating the artwork. But along the way, that waned. I am happy that you support GWGT. I have been feeling that many long time readers were starting to leave. I always thought I was keeping the quality up there, but realized, some posts were just fillers. Nothing wrong with that, but it is the balance that concerned me. I enjoy your blog and will be a long time reader there.

  9. Joanne Hardison says:

    I’m a reader of blogs–don’t have one of my own–but I love to read LOTS of things.

    I think the best & most entertaining blogs share/reveal glimpses of the WRITER as well as the topic. We read them because we are drawn to the PERSONALITIES behind the topics, we are drawn to their PERSONAL viewpoint or their entertaining personalities. I think of Ruth Reichl, the old NYTimes food writer, who was just THE most entertaining storyteller. I think she could tell me about a fly in the restaurant and I would love it. . .

    Excellent photography, when it illustrates a story, is really quite an exceptional plus, but I often find if it’s not accompanied by a story, I don’t stay tuned in to just see the pictures. it’s really the turn of phrase, the topic captured & conveyed in words, triggering memories of the readers own, when it strikes them as true, that makes for a memorable post. I guess that’s pretty time consuming, to make the effort to make a STORY that connects with the reader, but that connection is the glue that keeps readers like me coming back. . .

    • You really hit the essence of blogging in your comment. I could only hope to accomplish what you noted, but I am not a very good writer. I love making up stories, especially humorous ones, but you are right about the best being able to turn a phrase. I am very oriented to the visual aspect of blogs and love to see well done images. They make me grasp a little higher in my own work. I am slightly dyslexic which means I have to reread much of what I am viewing and also, I make frequent mistakes in my posts. I was so amazed to get Freshly Pressed because I don’t think I ever had a post I did not have to go back and make loads of corrections. It is a requirement to have a grammatically correct and spell checked post to be Freshly Pressed. How I slipped on in, I will not know. How one connects with readers is a tough nut to crack. Consistency is a key, but that eludes me for the most part.

      • I think you’re being too hard on yourself. You would have to be a good writer to get me to read a post about boring blogs. It was a bit on the long side, but it held my interest to the very end. I would say that is no small feat! The message I was getting though was that YOU were bored and that YOU were considering not blogging anymore. You sound a little bit down to me and I can understand why after our conversation last night. Maybe you just need a change of direction, take up a new hobby, learn something new and challenging. I was thinking of all the different kinds of software they have out there these days. What about simulated flying? That would be exciting and fun plus you would be learning something new. If you are afraid to fly, that would be even better. Just some thoughts for you to consider.

        • I am not thinking of stopping to blog, at least not to writing one. The message of boring blogs is in reference to blogging in general. There is too much mediocrity on the web with little meaningful content, people posting just to post. I am not down and only stated a condition I have have since very young. As for hobbies, I am a very involved individual with art and volunteering of all kinds. I am just limited to less active physical activities than previously. Weirdly, you mentioned flying, as I am a bit fearful of flying. This is due to two problems with planes I was aboard.

  10. nicole says:

    HMMMM…I would have to agree with you on many of your points. I started blogging as a creative outlet. It pushed me on to the next project and held me accountable for addressing my creative side which, as a stay at home mom can easily get lost. I stopped blogging for most of this year feeling very indifferent about sharing to much in this virtual world. What I have learned in my time off and time back on is that right now it works for me. I like keeping up with a couple of blogs like yours to learn and see something new….a connection to the design world on a larger scale if you will. I guess you have to find your own balance and definition of what blogging means to you. If it betters your life…Rock on!

    • I cannot imagine the work and responsibility for stay at home moms. I can see why you want a creative outlet, one that is yours alone. Thank you for reading GWGT, I am very honored because I know how you view design and understand your time is limited. I sense your reluctance to posting too much that is personal. Here is a blog that is all personal, all about family, all about making everything they use. It is not a design blog, but a family blog. You might enjoy it to feel a little more at ease on what you share. Checkout how many follow and comment on this blog too. http://www.soulemama.com/

  11. Well, this is certainly another thought provoking post. Sometimes when I look at blogs I think it is a popularity contest and I have no interest in participating. I have to be selective in the blogs I read because unfortunately my life is too busy for me to be reading at the computer all day long. I agree that we are drawn in to blogs because they speak to us. It maybe the personality, subject matter, photographs, conversation. Pioneer Woman is a great one…good content and she really is a personality! Frankly, I don’t know how she does it all! The past months I have gone through phases of my interest in blogging. I am not sure if it is other things getting too busy in my life, loss of what to write/photograph (without repeating what has already been said). Sometimes I think about taking a break to refocus and re-evaluate. I certainly don’t want to be boring or get sympathy comments.

    • We are reading from the same page, Karin. I just remarked on the popularity contest and competition of blogging. I may regret being so honest, but that is how I feel. With work, I am overwhelmed with keeping up with my favorites. I enjoy your blog, because like me, you have been pushing your photography to higher levels. I so much love seeing what you come up with. I too am going through phases. I am reading less ‘garden’ and more posts on learning and lifestyle.

      The problem with the gardening aspect, like you as a MG, there is not much I really don’t know about plants and planting. I find so many posts regurgitating info on plant varieties that anyone can simply look up online, in books or on plant tags. And when they cite their experience with a particular plant, which everyone thinks is such a great help, it will not be my experience in my soil conditions or planting zone. I can go one town over and a plant will not grow in those particular conditions. That is what I learn as a designer, one that has to ensure a plant will prosper. And as a wholesale nursery partner, I am doubly responsible for the well being of what goes into a garden. People should get their best advice at their local independent nurseries, not blogs. They do not stock what does not grow well, and will know how is behaves differently in local areas.

  12. janegerow says:

    Excellent post. I am a new blogger and learning as I go. I do it because I LOVE it. Your post has good suggestions for a new blogger! I too follow the Pioneer Woman. She is my Inspirarion as I live on a farm and homeschool and love to garden. I’m blogging because I love it and I hope I am giving relevant information in a new and interesring way. It’s all been said before. Presentation and freshness I think are key. Thank you for your insights. Food for thought
    Jane

  13. I started my blog in January. I guess my motivations were 1) self-expression, 2) share my garden – and receive feedback and appreciation, and 3) find distraction from a rather stressful job. I had low expectations about getting much of a readership.

    I’ve found putting together the blog to be a very satisfying and absorbing, if not addictive, experience. I was excited once I realized people were actually reading my blog, and felt the impulse to post more frequently so the traffic would not decrease. I suppose that resulted in posts that were not always of the highest quality.

    Perhaps the best way to prevent boring posts is for the blogger to stay focused on what genuinely interests and pleases him or herself. Such writing is far more likely to have that sense of personality that will keep at least some people interested – and shouldn’t that be enough? For those of us who do this simply as a hobby, this would seem to be self-evident. The desire for more recognition, however, is so strong (for me and most other people, I think) that this basic truth is easily lost.

    • Thanks for your honest comment. I think you rolled it all up neatly when you described blogging as absorbing and addictive. When you are addicted to something, you live and breathe it. And with that dedication, comes built in interest. If it interests you that much, your enthusiasm becomes infectious in your work.

      • I hope it is not necessary for me to add that I have never found your blog to be boring – quite the opposite. When I have notification that there is a post on GWGT, I always expect something enjoyable and exciting, particularly in terms of the photography. I don’t think I have ever been disappointed.

  14. Emily Heath says:

    It doesn’t surprise me that ‘The dullest blog in the world’ was written by a British guy – our sense of humour can be very tongue-in-cheek and subtle. At least he was deliberately trying to be boring – there are plenty of boring blogs out there that are intended to be interesting! Having said that, I don’t get bored by the beekeeping blogs I read, because I find joy in other people’s enthusiasm for the bees.

    • So true. I knew that was the point of his blog and I even thought it was maybe connected to a study seeing if it could attract a following. But it still is a waste of time. I like all the bee blogs too! I never find them boring and always learn so much. When Karin commented, I replied that I have changed focus a bit on blogs that I read, and reading bee blogs has been one of the directions in which I turned. And I will never have my own manged bees either, so it has to be good reading to attract a non bee keeper.

  15. Andrea says:

    Hello Donna, you are not only a fountain of photos but of thoughts, certainly not a boring blog! I am a bit hit by some phrases, I maybe one of the boring blogs. But i guess, just like beauty…’it is also in the eye or the mind of the beholder’, i hope so or i might really loose readers and commenters. Sometimes i know my post is really boring, as i post extemporaneously, draftless. And maybe i really don’t know how to write or post a very interesting one. I read a variety of blogs, maybe each one fill-in a need in me for the moment! I read all the comments above and i can relate to many of them too. Maybe, i should not think much whether mine is boring or interesting, just sincerely post my need for the moment and be happy with the relief of having shared something. I am trying to improve my photos as well and hopefully can translate my enthusiasm of sharing what we have here in our hot tropics. I hope you wont get bored so much to think of stopping, as we learn a lot from you and get entertained as well. Cheers!

    • You do quite fine Andrea. You take us many places we will never see firsthand. You are always too self-critical. Your photography has improved immensely and you are always dissing yourself there as well. Relax, your blog is loved by many. I am not getting bored, but more concerned that others might be. Maybe not bored, but overwhelmed with all the blogging that is perceived to be done. I say to them, chill as well. Bloggers and readers will find you if you put out interesting work. Some just try too hard to get readers. And be open to new readers. I found some really great blogs by them finding me. They all don’t have to be predominantly garden blogs either.

  16. Donna, you would have earned my “like” if you had posted nothing but the purple photos with NO title and NO commentary. You have never posted THESE purple photos, and you are genetically incapable of serving up a boring post (either that or you’re too professional). Your commentary on the subject of “boring” was enlightening.

  17. Gardengirl says:

    Hi! I’m a boring blogger. I talk about whatever project I am currently working on whether it is gardening, canning food, quilting, or any number of things. I just enjoy writing and learning how to do something new. My blog is new. I don’t care if I have followers, it’s just fun for me. It is almost like an online journal, a way to document my life and interests for the future. I also love reading about what interests others and me and seeing what they have to say. Your “boring” blog post was very good and I agree with you about the “purple” post. It is hard to find good blogs to read. Yours came up when I had wordpress recommend some to me. Is there a way to search on my own? Keep up the good work. I’ll be back. (Even if it’s boring.)

    • Oh my. You cannot describe a blog so diverse as yours as boring. You have so many interesting things you are doing that would make great posts. I can recommend a number of blogs you would enjoy. I will put my blogroll back on my sidebar just for you. It has many of the garden blogs you might find interesting. Also click http://thepioneerwoman.com/ and http://www.soulemama.com/ . They are not on my sidebar but should be. You will find they have many interests like you mentioned and it will be helpful to you to see the way they blog too. Also, if you really enjoy gardening, click back through my posts. My blog is diverse too, but I visit many premier gardens. You can get many ideas too.

      • Gardengirl says:

        Thanks so much for the response and ideas! I will look at all of them although it may take a little while due to life getting in the way of sitting at my computer all day.

  18. Barbie says:

    Funny – I have to agree with Gardengirl – I still blog about projects I’m busy with and it is so much fun for me. I am always so delighted with your photography and the way you highlight subjects. The blue/purple flowers are so beautiful. Funny – I have a patch that seems to be all blue flowers 🙂

    • I wonder if people are assuming the post was arguing against posting on projects? Not at all. Projects help others learn. I have even done posts like that.

      The daily reference I made had to do with posts like ‘First I got up and brushed my teeth, then I made a nice cereal breakfast, then I took the kids to school, then I came home and vacuumed, then I made a salad for lunch…. That is what one blog that I used to read turned into. Sorry, but that lost my interest when it became day after day. It is a popular blog too, the blogger just dumbed it up.

      I never did a post like this, not to say I would not, but I would make sure to have a more eventful day than that. If I am going to self indulge and make the post all about me, I would try not to bore people with mundane stuff. I have a photo shoot coming up at a wildlife rehab center and I hope to make that about the animals, not me the photographer. But maybe I will shoot my fellow photographers in the action of shooting flying raptors. That might be interesting.

  19. I think it’s important for each blogger to know what his or her own goals are.

    It’s okay to blog just for the fun of it. It’s okay to want lots of readers and to take steps to gain readers (in other arenas that’s called marketing). Your goal can be to educate readers, to make readers laugh or to get them to take some action (some bloggers blog to promote a business or product).

    I subscribe to lots of blogs on different topics: gardening, writing, marketing,etc. I don’t feel obligated to comment on each one; in fact, I rarely comment. Sometimes the topic of a certain post doesn’t interest me and I don’t read it at all. (Donna, I don’t think I’ve ever skipped one of your posts!) I read blogs because I get something out of them, not because I owe the author a favor. That’s my view as a reader.

    I do write, but I’m not a blogger, per se. I publish Buffalo-NiagaraGardening.com, the online gardening magazine for Western New York. I don’t get as many comments on my articles as Donna gets on her posts, and I like to think that’s because it’s a different kind of publication. When I am able to meet my readers face to face, they tell me in very enthusiastic terms how much they like the magazine and that they find it very useful. My advertisers are pleased that I can help connect them to an audience of local gardeners. I’m meeting my goals and I’m pleased with that.

    Sometimes people unsubscribe to my magazine, and at first I would be crushed. Then I realized that my magazine isn’t for everyone. I can’t waste time worrying about three people who unsubscribed; I have to concentrate on finding even more people who will be thrilled with my magazine.

    Donna, maybe you don’t like any blogs where the author talks about personal life, but they can be popular. Starting in the 1960s, Erma Bombeck wrote newspaper columns (which were 20th century versions of a blog) about domestic life in suburbia. They were funny and very popular. (By the way, I think the The World’s Most Boring Blog was hysterical.) If somebody wants to write a whole blog about agave, I won’t subscribe, but there may be folks who are delighted to read each and every post.

    Here’s my take: Decide what you’re trying to accomplish with your blog, then make that happen. Don’t worry about people who think your blog is boring, just concentrate your energies on meeting your goals and pleasing your readers.

    • Nice response Connie. I would encourage readers here to check out her online magazine. It is a wonderful place for common sense and technical tips and wonderful articles about gardening. http://www.buffalo-niagaragardening.com/

      I did not say I am against personal blogs or journals. Some do a wonderful job with them. In the comment before yours, I expressed the reasoning. It is how they approach it and I did just what you said, I unsubscribed. It became, not for me. The two blogs I left links for in the comments for others to go see are lifestyle blogs heavy on family and personal stuff. They are great. Like anything creative, some do it far better than others and they get the reward too.

      But you have to admit when a blog gets as pointless as tweets that post minute by minute, well it is hard to read a post like that. Connie, you are not in the garden blogging arena and are not aware of the good blogs I am referencing. My argument has to do with the fact that good blogs are calling it quits. And these are blogs that are very worthy. There is only so much time to read blogs and if people want to post mundane stuff that is up to them. I just prefer to read things that matter.

      The world’s most boring blog to me was not funny, but the comments it generated was. Maybe that was the whole point. I still think it was a monumental waste of time. Many here are clicking on it too.

  20. TufaGirl says:

    Excellent posting (as usual). I, too, am suffering the pains of not blogging and for many reasons. I started blogging to stay in touch with the husband in another town, now we are together. I started the new blog to show the new place and lifestyle but find that I can’t truly be “me”. (Neighbors may not like what I have to say about them and it has become a weird form of social climbing in my neighborhood.) I had totally fallen off the map while trying to find myself. So, after a bit of missing you all (boring blogs and all), I have pared down the blogs I will follow, I will really participate with these blogs and decided I will just blog about stuff. It started as something for my husband to read and see my photos and that is what I will do again. If someone follows, great. If not, I totally understand.

    • Cindy, (did I spell it right, a y instead of an i?) I am glad you are back. I signed up for your FB page, but never really visit FB. Hence, I don’t get followed there. I had a feeling a few bloggers were on the fence on blogging. So much has change in the last year with blogs and those following them. I think many have hit a slump and I am not sure why. I am blaming memes for part of it because there are so many it is almost crazy. That is a lot of work for casual bloggers.

      Like I said in the post, there are some pretty well known bloggers having second thoughts, partly for loss of people commenting. Some really GREAT posts are getting three or four comments and used to get way more than I get. I would hate to see this one stop posting. I am not naming it because that would not be fair since I am making assumptions on some of this (the commenting, not the questioning.)

      Part of the problem appears to be Blotanical. It has not been working well and is very buggy. And this thing of mentors is a joke (you were their with FW Dirt then) in my book. I only participated at first to see what would happen, and I kinda guessed right, so I opted out and backed away from Blotanical pretty much. I enjoyed it too, then there was all this exposing bloggers cheating and all the other nosy BS that went on. Like what do people have to gain from calling out other bloggers on stuff. None of their business what others do.

  21. Indie says:

    Umm, am I the only one that thought the Dullest Blog in the World guy was actually hilarious? I even sent it to my husband because I knew he would enjoy it, and sure enough he laughed when he read it as well. We must have a different sense of humor… 🙂

    It is sad, though, that good bloggers are quitting due to lack of readership. You are right that being part of the community and taking time to do all this external stuff plays a huge part in readership. But I would assume that if a core group of people liked you, they would still keep coming back? There are certain blogs I always make sure to read because I know I will enjoy them. In the end, why does a person blog? If your goal is to reach a large number of people, that’s one thing. But if you blog because you enjoy it, don’t quit!

    It is also sad that good bloggers are not getting the readership they deserve. I liked the concept of how Blotanical highlighted good blog posts. I wish the site actually worked!

    • Indie, Connie above liked the Dullest Blog too. I guess humor is really a personal thing or I am missing the point. The comments in the posts were funny.

      I always assumed the core of readers to be somewhat loyal, but have noticed a real change in those that are consistent. I know I am guilty too of only visiting those that visit here, but I do select some daily that don’t anymore just to see what they are up to. It is purely a time factor and it all started when I participated in memes. There were like 100 posts to visit connected with the memes (those photo memes and GBBD, most garden memes far less, but still enough to take up time). And what was happening, there was no time to visit the regular core group for me.

      I thought of another couple reasons why there is less traffic from those we know, FB for instance, shows a portion of the post, so that might be one reason. Kinda like if you get the milk, why buy the cow. Then the other is maybe titles are weak and not pulling in readers. Maybe folks want more descriptive titles or those with a little off the wall intrigue.

  22. Carolyn says:

    Donna your post and ensuing comments gives one a lot to reflect on… I’ve read every word and many of them twice. I suppose that alone should shout with enthusiasm: “This is an awesome post.” And it is, but then I always find that to be so when I visit you. Your thoughts are profoundly… thought provoking. And while life doesn’t allow me to come here nearly as often as I’d like, I’m always rewarded and enriched for the visit. (And I must admit, there are times I’m on the fly and with great guilt don’t always leave a comment.)

    A few of my thoughts generated from yours… I think people blog for a variety of reasons and because of that, there is room for a variety of different types of blogs. “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” Each of has a different perspective, what interests me may not interest you. Your definition of boring may be totally different than mine, and I may choose to change my mind at any given moment. Sometimes I just feel like a quick pick-me-up so I visit blogs that will feed the need. Other times I may be in a more soul-searching mood and choose to visit bloggers that will inspire me or teach me something new. I’m delighted there are so many choices in the blogosphere. I do believe that is the really fine element of Blotanical… a place to find wonderful friends

    As for my own blog, I began blogging for my children, to answer all their gardening questions of how and why. (With eight kids, there are a lot of questions.) In the process I discovered there is a whole wide world of like minded people out there who love gardens just as much as I do. People who get excited over a family of Quail moving into my gardens, or an explosion in our Bumblebee population or snow falling on my Tulips . I simply blog about those things that I find fascinating in my gardens… and sometimes people like what I post. I’m sure there are those that leave as fast as they come, my blog stats tell me so. But there are always a few who pull up a chair and sit a spell. And if I’m really lucky, they leave a comment. Thank you, Donna, for writing such a great post. You got us all thinking. You are amazing… and I have missed your sketches.

    • meredehuit says:

      Oh, my! Too many words…please forgive me.

    • I too don’t visit as much as I would like due to work and personal responsibilities. During winter, when work slows, I get the time to look back through posts that I missed on blogs I did not have time to go see often. Like I said to Indie, I am guilty like many only visiting those that visit my site.

      It really is true what you said that “one mans junk is one mans treasure.” My post was purely from my perspective, what I deem boring, not what others are expected to see as such. But if one person sees little value in a post, it makes sense others might as well. The Dullest Blog was used as reference for this point, yet some said they really thought the blog funny. I was surprised to see that.

      I know there are many blogs out there very happy with ‘just touching base’ so to speak. I find posts like that less engaging and probably they are meant as such. I am less like you on what suits my mood though. I like a wide variety of styles and in the same day may visit a cacophony of them. My own blog is like that itself, One day maybe some enlightening science post, another frivolous like my recent posts on garden battles of birds and bees. Another time I might explore artsy stuff like inspiration or photography.

      I think what keeps my interest up is all things I do not know (like the squash bees), whether on my own blog writings or others. Like… I was excited for your quail family. That is something I do not see everyday. I have seen quail at the farm, but it takes on new meaning in your own garden beds. I always like what you post. There is a spirituality in the place that you live and that light shines in your writing and photographs.

      I know I am disillusioned with Blotanical, but am thankful to have found the site. Many friends came from linking there, many listed now on my sidebar. I am glad, even though the post did not talk about Blotanical, that I did mention it. Too much there has become too competitive, with people too concerned on ratings and such. I can think of a number of blogs that should be listed high because they are really good, not because they enlist the most friends. I think yours is one such blog. It always has that happy, feel good touch.

  23. Hmmm, interesting…I must be in the boring category, but I’m ok with it. I blog because I want to, not for my hits or stats. I enjoy all kinds of blogs…in fact I used to read the one you mention a couple of times…but she is super woman and it felt unreal to me. It’s fine, I moved on….

    • Just curious why so many think their blogs are boring? I did not mention any garden blogs in the post as being boring. I am so glad my big work project is done this week. I would not be replying otherwise, and this conversation keeps getting better and better.

      Stacy, most all of us blog because we want to, and fewer that are commercial, blog for the profit and stats. But what if nobody visited? There are blogs out there that plug along without readers. I have seen some where you click back through posts and there is not one single comment. I always comment, because I can imagine how lonely that must feel. And some of the better blogs I referred but not named, they have been getting a pitifully low number of comments on posts that should have comments pouring in. Would you still blog if you got none or had many and now have few? I know comments are not a tell all, because I did read somewhere a long time ago the percentage of comments to the overall number of total viewers, and it was a small percentage. Thank goodness too. But generally, it is telling none the less.

      It works the other way too. I have a pretty large following, yet from recently looking at the subscriptions, not that many are from the garden blogs that we all know well. I do know that group’s numbers are substantially down, at least on my blog. I also know many use Blotanical and others for a reader list. That is a reason why people don’t subscribe. I have been adding blogs to my sidebar (anyone wanting there blog their can ask) in case Blotanical ends, then I might do more subscriptions myself.

      I was sitting here writing the next post thinking how it might be a project others can do themselves. It is not an earth shattering post by any means. I know that some will find it something they might want to do themselves. And I am sure that is the same on all blogs. Every post cannot interest everyone. But it seems, generally speaking, that the blogs themselves are interesting less.

      I am sure Ree is a “super woman” as you say because she is also a TV personality and probably has staff that does quite a bit in her preparations. That may be why too it is such a professional looking blog. I am only guessing, maybe she does do it all. I give her enormous credit because she really made something of herself doing what she loves with those she loves. What an ideal life, even if some of it maybe for show.

      • Oh I love a lively conversation….I just will clarify that I love all kinds of blogs….and I usually know if a blog “speaks” to me fairly quickly. That is what is so terrific about the blog world–there is something for everyone.
        I am a little garden blog, yet only a fraction of the blogs I visit are garden blogs. I tend to shy away from the huge, popular, blogs…
        I’m kinda like that in all aspects of life, when something becomes a rage so to speak, I get tired of it…I like simple, honest blogs and I love a good photograph…I cringe sometimes when i look back at my blog–I surely am going to try to improve my photography. Thank you blog world for that motivation.
        And I don’t care if I have comments, but appreciate each and every one!
        I blog for me–and if a tiny, tiny, handful of people enjoy it–Yeah!
        And I love your blog–and thought every purple picture was so pretty–and even the dead plant–because I appreciate you keeping it real!
        A couple of weeks ago I almost posted a picture of my flat tire–just to be real too!
        Maybe I will on the next one, and for sure there will be–Murphy’s law you know!
        Have a wonderful weekend.
        Stacey

        • By all means throw in that flat tire, so much more intriguing than another purple petunia.
          😀
          I think spontaneity and unexpectedness is a wonderful thing, your tire will surely bring a smile. Thanks for stopping back with more to add too.

  24. A.M.B. says:

    The purple gardening images are beautiful and, as usual, your commentary is thoughtful and thought-provoking. I wonder from time to time about the quality of the blogs in the subject areas I read (mostly book blogs and legal blogs). For these blogs, particularly the legal blogs, it’s very hard for the blogger to produce consistently high quality work because of the time investment (and many legal blogs are really about attracting potential clients, not really about high quality legal discussions). If there isn’t a “pay out,” such as comments or case referrals (for the lawyer bloggers), then the costs of blogging outweigh the benefits. For me, I blog about books because what I read usually lingers with me and writing about it helps me process my thoughts and feelings. If someone responds to those thoughts, that’s great, but it isn’t a necessary part of making me feel like blogging is worthwhile.

    • It is the same in architecture documentation too. I did that type of photography for the firm I worked for when I was an intern. The absolute only thing that matters was accuracy, getting the whole picture and making sure it would tell the whole story if it had to go to an arbitration hearing or court. I was pretty good at sniffing out errors and mistakes by general building contractors to save our firm in case there was a legal issue of fault or liability. I used to make a book of the whole project, so I was on site quite a bit when we project managed work. It was a learning process that I enjoyed as a new architect, plus I got to see these huge buildings grow from the ground up.

      But, I also did the promotional photography on occasions where the pro was not hired for some of the work. Now that had to be print-worthy and attractive for marketing purpose. Most of the time they spent big bucks hiring the professional, but not always.

      I can see why you would not need glitzy images for the legal world. One thing, psychologically speaking, clients think lawyers are expensive enough and from a marketing standpoint, seeing pedestrian imagery would be a better face to put on a firm. Make it look like the firm keeps a tight lid on expenses and looks out for the client in every way.

  25. tool shed says:

    Wow! I love all those blue and violet blooms. They are so lovely. Thanks!

  26. Stacy says:

    Donna, I always love your “meta” posts and the “why do we do what we do?” and “why does this work or not work?” questions. I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging lately and encountering several other bloggers — most of whom started around the same time I did, give or take a few months — who are doing the same. Freshness is the issue we’ve all mentioned and the sense of routine becoming rut. (Time is the other issue.) For example, I find myself struggling more not to fall almost into a caricature of my own style, if that makes sense. “Me in soulful mode” and “me in humorous mode” are easy little grooves to slip into, but they’re grooves. I’m not always sure whether I’m writing sincerely any more or just writing the way I always do because…I always do. Staying fresh seems to call for either 1) an expansion of subject matter or 2) a change of style. The subject matter won’t often change for me because of my health. The garden is really where I spend most of my not-at-work time. Style? Wow, is that hard. Especially when there’s a nice, easy little groove to slip into… And being different just to be different, and not because the topic calls for it, strikes me as more of a mannerism than an authentic, satisfying change in style.

    I’m not fishing for reassurance or anything, just trying to verbalize how interest in one’s own blog can begin to fade. Not necessarily permanently, but even a creative outlet stops being creative if you’re being creative in the same way all the time. Even if you still love your topic and your blog!

    • I certainly have no answers on blogging per se, but I love to know how all things work, even if only in theory. I do know what I see as a reader, even if it is just my personal view and opinion, which in this case, most certainly is. I too have encouraged a few bloggers, but mostly those to join Blotanical. Some went on to do quite well there, and some stopped blogging, sad to say.

      It is good you had these discussions with other bloggers. I think more bloggers should do the same. Many stay in the ‘rut’ mostly because they are supported by the same people for many years, also in a rut. Your friends rarely tell you when something needs a change. Not too polite in my opinion to say, “Hey, your work is getting stale.” There are nicer ways to say it, but being honest is the most useful.

      You have such beautiful photos, and also like one commenter said, you can turn a phrase so eloquently. I rarely make a statement that people would actually remember me for or say I have an identifiable writing style. In the preceding sentence alone, I had to correct five misspellings, so writing is really not my thing.

      Do not change style. I like the way you present your work. Especially don’t change for the sake of being different, just to be different. That never works in any creative field. All creative endeavors need passion, and a change needs a big dose of passion, not one that is forced, but one that evolves.

      I know when I was in advertising a LONG time ago, thinking differently was something I had to do to compete with those better than me. It is the same in architecture too. So from experience, it can’t be forced.

      A few of my ads made the cover of a major trade magazine for advertisers, because they were different, but again, no one told me to do what I did, it just kinda came from within. I know I am WAY off base here, but don’t change anything for the sole sake of change.

      You have the skills to change subject matter without shooting anything different. Just shoot it differently. Zero in, look at odd angles or unique views, curious combinations. Every now and then think only of the art.

  27. I considered throwing in the towel earlier this year. Sometimes I get woefully busy, and simply can’t respond to all those gracious enough to stop by for a visit, and end up feeling terribly guilty about it. I eventually reminded myself, that regardless as to what others think of my (not-much-garden-blogging lately) blog, boring or not, I blog primarily for me. I need to have something to look back on when this property starts to drive me crazy. Something that says ‘hey, but look where you started!’. Some days, when the rodents run amok, my garden makes me want to cry. Some day I’m hoping I can look back at old posts, and laugh at the dead squash plants, missing beans, and devoured tomatoes. I also blog, because I seem to be getting more forgetful these days, and if I put it on the blog, I actually may have a prayer of finding it again!

    All that said, I spent most of the morning culling through my blogroll, and was surprised how many blogs I used to enjoy have ceased to exist, and some were quite excellent, like yours. I almost feel a sense of loss of community as bloggers fall by the wayside, but perhaps that’s silly. Perhaps one day, when inspiration strikes again, they’ll return…

    • Oh my gosh, I had no idea you would have ever thought to throw in the towel. You have the most informative posts (remember I asked if you were a teacher?) and the most cute and unusual animals. What drew me to your blog originally is the bee posts. I learned so much about bees from you, that I started reading other bee keeping posts in the UK. I told Emily, that the writing has to be so interesting to have a follower that does not keep managed bees interested. Same goes for you.

      Your photos of Bob, turkeys, goats and chickens are all such great subjects for your posts. If I had that menagerie here I would never stop photographing them. I know I would be always looking for some new adventure they are getting themselves into.

      I like the idea of looking back through posts. It makes one see how the blog evolved too. But I almost am afraid to look back and see all the people who commented and are not today. It seems like friends lost. I know some would think Hooray for bloggers dropping out just so their is less ‘competition’. That goes back to the Fling discussion a bit. But I feel the opposite, I like the diversity and too often the best ones leave. Because… the best ones usually put in greater effort. Whether it is because they lose steam or readership, too many good ones are on the fence it seems.

  28. Rose says:

    Another provocative post, Donna! In fact, I read it late last night, but had to think about this for awhile before I had time to comment this afternoon. I am guilty of a lot of blogging “errors”: looking at my sidebar today, I realized I haven’t updated it in ages. And I am certainly guilty of writing some boring posts; in fact, I’ve even done a “purple post” in the past:) But again I think there are two types of bloggers: those who are in some type of gardening enterprise and use their blog to network, perhaps getting more clients; and those who use it more for fun or as a type of personal gardening journal. I fall into the latter category–blogging has given me a way to record my garden’s progress over the years in a more descriptive way than if I simply wrote notes down in a journal. It has also given me a chance to “meet” like-minded people, who unlike my family, don’t roll their eyes when I start talking about plants:)

    But what is it that makes a blog interesting? In some cases, it’s the photography–your stunning photographs are what first drew me to your blog. In others, it’s because they’re informative or witty or entertaining in some way. I generally try to return the visit of anyone who leaves a comment on my blog, and sometimes that turns into a long-term blogging relationship. But there are other blogs that I visit on a regular basis even though they leave infrequent comments on mine. Why? Again, it’s because those bloggers are consistently informative and entertaining in some way. Your comment about the writer’s voice coming through is so important, I think. I enjoy getting to know the writer, and if their personality comes through in their posts, I enjoy it so much more than a piece of dry gardening advice.

    Blogging does demand a lot of time, though, and I have found I post much less often than I used to, and sometimes my posts are boring because I’m not feeling very inspired myself. But it is a little disheartening when I’ve written something that I think is especially good, and I receive fewer comments on it than on a bland, mediocre piece. One of my blogging friends was such a witty writer, but she pretty much gave up on it a year ago because of the time demands and because, as she said, she ran out of things to say. I really miss her posts.

    My, I could go on and on here, but this is turning into a blog post itself; that’s a testament to the power of your words, Donna, which are anything but boring!

    • I am guilty of a purple post too, a long while ago. And even then, I don’t think I said anything much too interesting. I really have nothing against posts on color, but I just got this pang of a feeling when I was out in the garden shooting those photos. I thought to myself, that I was not even taking very good images, just quickly snapping them off for a post. I figured something is wrong with that. I certainly am not caring much for my readers.

      To journal a blog is a good thing. I remember when gardeners put together scrapbooks that did the same thing. As designers, we encouraged them to keep records. It was always helpful to us. They would go through magazines and tear out wish list images. Today we have blogs and Pinterest to knock off both in an online scrapbook.

      I know exactly the feeling you mentioned on writing a good post and having little response. It is not always that it is too few responses, but sometimes who are missing. Like your witty friend. I doubt she was at a loss of things to say, maybe she just didn’t want to say them on a blog anymore. Faster to say them then make a post about them.

      Thanks for your long comment. You added quite a bit to the conversation and threw in a few new points on which others can expand. You are right, looking at the comments, just about anyone of them could be a post. Other bloggers should have a take on this subject. The ‘whys and for how long’ are always a good read. It gives some insight about the people behind the blog, and makes the voice much more real, like having a chat on the front porch with a glass of tea with friends.

  29. Interesting conversations. Less is more.

  30. I decided a while back that my blog was ultimately created to satisfy myself and a way to connect with other gardeners. I hope I don’t create boring posts but perhaps I do. I write for me and hope the gardeners I’ve ‘met’ online enjoy my oddball sense of humor and appreciation for small things.

    I’m not interested in being commercially viable or in catering to the middle ground or lowest common denominator. My photography is mediocre on my best days for I am not a photographer but a wordsmith and hobby gardener. In a world saturated with constant media white noise and endless streams of un-news, reading a post about a simple event can be more meaningful and real than the newest up-to-the-second news post.

    As with most things in life, there is no right or wrong way to blog and what may be captivating to some is garbage to others. While readership can be an indicator of a quality blog, it can also be compared to a best sellers list. A popular but poorly written/conceived book is still a mess even if its a popular mess. The trash novel 50 Shades of Gray is a suitable comparison.

    I look for blogs that seem to channel the writer/gardener and like blogs that have personality instead of aiming to please the crowd. However, I find the hubris of pretentiously written/designed blogs comical and absurd. I’m sure they have a niche audience, I’m just not it. I’m attracted to your blog because it’s intelligent and interesting, your photography is superb, and I like your spunk. I don’t find you boring at all. 🙂

    • Phew, after reading through, I was getting nervous where you were going with your train of thought. I thought my blog was headed for “See you later pile.” 😯 Not sure why I thought that, 😳 but really glad to see the happy face at the end! 🙂

      I appreciate your comparison to novels, but suspect it also correlates with your statement, “As with most things in life, there is no right or wrong way to blog and what may be captivating to some is garbage to others.” Like many said, and I feel too, ‘garbage’ is very subjective. I thought I had the dullest blog everyone would think boring because even the blog owner thought so too, but was I wrong. 😳

      My views are based on my preferences and I really do see blogging differently than most. Having had been in advertising, I must see the flashy blogs as something to aspire to, even though my blog is not flashy and looks like most here. But it is the content that really brings one out to the forefront, not the format appearance.

      I sense some not finding Pioneer Woman’s blog as good I I think it is. I feel her blog is a good example of what blogging is. It also has a journal like appeal. It follows her life on the ranch with all her activities in her home and garden tab. It has room decorating and crafts like many here. She has a vegetable garden and flowers. But what is so different is there is just so much. She does not just document, she make everything an interesting story.

      Every activity that to most would be mundane, she make it exciting. That is the essence of what I was trying to get at. That is what is really missing from most blogs that show daily things. No enthusiasm I guess.

      Like any good book, you want to keep coming back for more, you want to have the unexpected, you want to be riveted in your seat. I think this is precisely where books and blogs diverge. Few blogs are going to have that appeal unless the story runs like in a book.

      You mentioned your main point is writing for you and connecting to others. That is probably what most do here also. I know that I do and it is important to me. But it still is something I am doing for others as well. More important to doing what I want, is doing it for others to enjoy. I think that is a reason Pioneer Woman blogs too. You can see it in her writing and you can see it in the comments to her posts. Just how to really make that connect and not lose focus is really a dilemma.

      You know I like your blog too. You have a sense of humor that hits the mark.

      • Thanks! I discovered the cooking portion of Ree’s blog 2 years ago. Her sprite pound cake is my daughters favorite food. 🙂 Another aspect of blogging that should be considered is the time factor. I wonder how she has time to post so much? But I suppose if blogging is considered part of a job, time management isn’t a factor.

        I don’t compare those blogs to the ones created by hobbyists who carve out a bit of time between a career unrelated to the topic of the blog and family life, etc. I have different expectations for blogs based on whether the blog has become a brand or a personal journal. It’s a bit like comparing a house addition designed/built by an architect and contractor to one cobbled together by a plumber in his free time. The amount of respect and interest given to both is the same, but the expectations are quite different. But I do hope neither wants to talk about organizing pencils. I’d be bored to tears. 😉

        • I can relate to your analogy. My husband is a plumber and I am an architect. We always argue on home projects. His profession generally thinks architects are pompous, overpaid fools that have no practical knowledge or understanding of anything mechanical. But ironically, on a building project the architects word and construction documents is stone fast what HAS to be done or followed. So any wonder the trades like to diss the ones running the show. They have no choice after pleading a case but to do what they are told. Then they do their own projects willy nilly thinking they don’t need any advice or guidance. So who is the pompous one?

          The other thing is the house addition cobbled is rarely done to code, so the respect issue is often mute. It rarely is the building character or integrity considered (interest?). On the surface your analogy is very convincing, but look a little deeper and it leaves a lot to be considered. I am not at all saying your analogy is not a good example, but from the perspective of those in the field, it is kinda funny.

          How about teaching styles, teaching kindergarteners or teaching advanced calculus in high school? Apples to oranges. One is going to look much more polished on the surface than the other. The factor – the age, maturity, and metal acuity of the kids, not the ability of knowledge of the teacher.

          But the whole thing comes down to if you want the shiny award winning building or the vernacular hovel. Said this way sounds just so very wrong. Again apples to oranges. Personally I would love my blog to have a brand. I would love to have others looking everyday for a new post. But you know, that is not gong to happen in the gardening world. Garden blogs do not get much respect to blogging as a whole. A few I assume garner this area, but not too many. And not to the extent of three of the other big blogging venues; design, lifestyle, and photography. Again, I am rambling, but you really got me going on a tangent.

          Time is always the factor. But Les mentioned an aspect that many don’t consider. Simply, don’t post when you have nothing to post about. “… blog when I have something to say or some pictures I want to share, but it is getting increasingly hard to find the time.” Good advice.

          Those not concerned with stats and numbers should understand that one easily. The blogging ‘rules’ about consistency and reliably often should not matter to those not caring on how many they reach.

  31. b-a-g says:

    Your post reminded me of the time when I first thought of saving pictures of my garden on the internet in the form of a diary and thought that I was the only one. Gradually it dawned on me that there were others out there, some had been going for quite a while, but mainly it seems to me that garden bloggers come and go in generations. What’s old hat for experienced bloggers is fresh to those starting out. I would just like to thank those who kindly commented even though it was probably the umpteenth post they had read about marigolds or tulips or pink flowers. They (especially you) took the time to make a connection which is what blogging is all about.

    • I did address the saving images in diary format in many of my replies, it is very beneficial to the blog writer. You do your posts often in a humorous way that relieves any boredom from an overly posted subject. I said this in a previous reply about Pioneer Woman’s blog. “She does not just document, she make everything an interesting story. Every activity that to most would be mundane, she make it exciting. That is the essence of what I was trying to get at. ” You have this knack too.

      Thanks for the kind words too.

  32. Les says:

    Sorry I am late to the conversation, but that seems to be how I do things these day. You have once again said (or written) what needed to be said. I have a couple of takes on this topic. When I started blogging, the community of garden bloggers was still relatively small, and when you live in small town everyone knows your business. Now that there are so many people blogging, I think people have formed their own social circles and stick with their “friends”. I also think that the explosion of Facebook has whittled away many blog readers, who rather read pithy comments attached to a quick picture, be done with it, and on to the next. I will continue to blog when I have something to say or some pictures I want to share, but it is getting increasingly hard to find the time. When I do, I try to be very conscious about what I say and what I show, mainly because I know many people are reading, from family, real friends, e-friends, co-workers to total strangers. My blogging even came up in my interviews for my new job, but in a positive way. Even if I had no readers, I would still do it, just for the creative outlet.

    • You were not late. I do say things pretty forthright because the artist in me always surfaces, the side with the emotion and conviction. Self employed, I do not have to worry about how it will effect a job interview, and I keep my blog far away from clients. But being honest is something clients do admire about me. They know they are not going to be taken to the cleaners by me and I will only do what I think is right, no matter if it ends up not making my work profitable to me.

      I also try not to nail any criticism to bloggers that I know and keep things ambiguous. It would be impolite to knock others still blogging. It is always others that seem to bring in specifics, like what happened in Is Garden Blogging Dead?. I just hit a nerve often and others subscribe what I say sometimes to the wrong places, or even the right places but in a wrong manner.

      But like you mentioned, I do feel sometimes that certain issues should be brought out into the open. It makes me sad to see good blogs leaving. And I agree, FB, Pinterest, Google+ and twitter are a good chunk of the reason why. They drain time from formats that have more substance. Social media is made for the friends aspect. Funny thing about it though, it really exposes who your true friends really are. I don’t participate because it comprises far too much of ‘phoney friends’ allure.

  33. I enjoyed your thoughts on blogging so much but the comments really were the best! I agree with many of your commenters that blogging is an individual thing as to why the blogger blogs. If I, as a blogger am bored by something in my life (of which there can be many things) I will surely not post about it. That being said just because something is important to me and I post about it does not mean everyone will find it interesting. That is fine because my blog is a personal journal and a fun one that I use to chronicle mainly garden things but also personal things-things I am passionate about. Blogs by their very nature go through changes and cycles. Just like us as people and I find that a super great thing.

    • The comments generated by posts like this are always entertaining and filled with much honesty. People often keep their true thoughts tucked safely inside, but react when there is a prompt. My post was meant to make people think a bit about what they post and why. It seemed to work as so many gave reasons. In addition to the comments, I hope you liked the replies. It give more perspective than a post can give and also changes my views a bit by what others bring to the table. Do you really think blogs go though cycles of change? I think most keep on a prescribed path and trudge along in a one-way direction. I would love for a post on this. I don’t see the change, I see comfortable niches. My blog was always about change. Nothing is consistent or can be expected really. That is what I was questioning as good or bad.

      • Yes, I definitely think blogs go thru cycles-they evolve and so does the readership. It doesn’t necessarily mean a blog is losing readers just because there aren’t as many comments on it. It can be quite the opposite in fact. But readership and commenters is only one facet of blogging. The blogger herself or himself change and go thru your cycles. You too have changed on your blog. It is just a fact of life that everything changes. It kind of keeps things interesting.

        • Oh I do know that Tina. I have so many followers compared to comments. Many more of them compared to those that actually read the posts too. I often wonder why do they get the email alerts to a post and not read the post? It is not better to just bookmark, then read when you want to. I have not figured out this subscription flood out yet.

          My blog was built on change. I always knew it would have many directions, but I was more asking about those you see change where is is gradual and evolving, not something necessarily preplanned. Any thoughts?

          • Well just speaking about myself my blog has changed so much. For me I began thru a newspaper website and focused more on words than pictures so that I could share local garden tips that Tennessee readers could use. When I left the newspaper and really entered the blogging world I changed. My pictures have gotten better over time thru a lot of trial and error and not only do I share garden tips, sometimes the mundane or boring as you called it, but you would not believe how many people need to know simple things when it comes to gardening! I can tell by Google searches that many find simple posts to be helpful and even get emails off line rather than on the blog. My change has been gradual and not preplanned but a lot of it is in response to my maturity as a blogger and the phases of life I go thru. This is why I always stress blogs are us-and we are all individuals who can’t help but to change. If we did not we would go the way of the dinosaurs. Adaptability is part of change. Adapting not only to the readers of one’s blog but also the changes in oneself. Many of your commenters have specified that they have different purposes for blogging and I would bet 20-1 that all of them have adapted and changed the more they have blogged. Boring posts aside, what may be boring to me might not be to someone else. I once spent 45 minutes talking a PhD thru how to check his Yahoo email account. Can you say boring???? But to him it was the most important thing in the world at the time. Blog posts can be like that, boring to one person but not another. Even arranging pencils can have its attractiveness. The cool thing about blogs is if we find something boring we can surely move on but we must remember someone might find the same boring post funny (like one of your commenters who even sent it to her husband!) Another one of your commenters said anyone who reads our posts is a bonus! Again, it comes down to why we blog? What satisfies us? We are all so different there is something out there for all of us. I think bloggers stop blogging because THEY change, not because of their readership. Bloggers get worn out and tired. They get angry at copyright issues and other little persnickity things that they may perceive happening online. But again, when we blog we can’t take anything personally as it is hard to come across online exactly how we are in person. We all learned this at the Spring Fling. I have read a lot of blogs where the bloggers actually say good bye they are no longer posting. All of the ones I have read have always said something like “life became more important than blogging” or “I started a new job and can’t dedicate the amount of time to my blog that I wish to so I am stopping.” It is sad when our blogging friends disappear but still a part of life and definitely a part of blogging. The way around that is like you said, write interesting things, post nice pictures, be ourselves, be passionate, and know others will come along to replace those good blogging friends we lost. Is this not how it is in real life? I read somewhere once that our friends are replaced every seven years. It doesn’t mean those old friends are not still our friends just that we get new ones-because we and they tend to change. Many of my early blogging friends are actually friends whom I have met and have contact with but they simply don’t blog anymore. I feel so lucky to have met them and made friends with them before they stopped blogging. Smart bloggers who like traffic count go after the new bloggers and Pinterest and all of those things but that has to do with why they blog-so defining a purpose has to be paramount in being a blogger. If traffic and comments are important to a blogger then he or she will keep blogging as long as the count keeps coming. If a blogger blogs for other reasons then they will continue to blog if those reasons are still valid. I don’t think readership has to do with anything about why a blogger stops blogging. I tend to focus on the micro level to the person because if there is one thing blogging has taught me it is that we are all individuals; a very good thing. My two cents as always more like a $20 bill. lol

      • garden blogs. I’ve seen some say – I’ve blogged about my garden for 3 years, I’ve told the story, time to move on.

  34. Great thought-provoking post, as always. When I think about tossing in the blogging towel, I remind myself that my blog keeps me writing; keeps be observing; and helps me pay attention to the world around me. I find that by blogging what is going on in my world, my world seems to be enhanced. I find beauty in places I may have overlooked. Would I like more readership? Yes. Have I created a brand via my blog? Not yet. But maybe some day. – http://mary-goingnative.blogspot.com/

    • It is good to have goals and realizations. I too have noticed even more by looking deeper. My design training has always encouraged finding beauty and meaning, but photography made it come more to the surface and gave me a way to express beauty that I would never do in painting, drawing or even a building. As solitary a craft as painting is for me, photography and architecture are quite the opposite. Photography brings out both the intrigue of the small, and the magnificence of the greater. That translate into blogging for me. Since I design landscapes for a living, I get the opportunity to create this wealth of nature on a more intimate scale. I know I can never compete with nature, but I can learn and emulate.

  35. Well I have taken a long time to respond as I am still unsure how I feel about the post. I may do a post about my thoughts but in a nutshell I think it is all about perspective and your own tastes. That is why there are so many blogs. Different strokes so even if we find them boring or not to our liking we can find others that are…I think our tastes change as we evolve as well so we will change our blogs or the blogs we read and like. It is sad when those we like are gone…it is a grief to some degree…an old friend gone.

    As a teacher my student teacher instructor and mentor always reminded us that “if you are bored, your students are bored”. So it is good to reflect when we tire of our blogs or what we are posting..to try and find a fresh perspective or view or topic…I know my blog is not for everyone…many may not enjoy the posts, the voice I bring to the posts but I expect it is for me first. If I find it is becoming boring to me, I will shake it up…as my 2nd anniversary is net week, I still wish I had the time to update the look of the blog…but I expect I will as I tire of it more and more…

    I love the purple blooms…my garden still has had but one tenth of an inch this month and the only blooms seem to be yellow…I think I will end with saying for me it is important that I write what flows from inside me…regardless what others think, it is part of me that seeks expression and I will give it voice!

    • I can’t disagree because what you wrote has been expressed pretty thoroughly both in the post and the many comments. You sound a bit defensive. I am not sure why I sense that either. I keep reading about your lack of rain. Is that maybe a factor?

      “Well I have taken a long time to respond as I am still unsure how I feel about the post. ” It sounds like you have made up your mind and are afraid to disagree. I have no problem with that and encourage opinions quite different than my own. I hope you got a chance to read the comments and replies. Everyone of them could be the start of an engaging post. One that many could read and reassess their own direction to blogging. Boring is going to be different to everyone. Some people are more easily amused than others. Some, like Tina said, appreciate those little tips that most of us more experienced gardeners take for granted. And some like you noted, would be happy to see purple flowers. Personally, I want and expect a little more of myself for my readers.

      • No need to read into the comment…I wasn’t feeling defensive just not sure how I felt about the word boring…I think we all have our own words for blogs we don’t find entertaining or don’t speak to us in some way…

        Like you I want the best of myself out there for my readers and that best will get better as my skills in many areas evolve…it does for all of us who love to learn…if I don’t regularly give my best for my readers then I would feel I have failed and would stop blogging…

        I think good bloggers always go through this feeling that maybe our blogs are getting boring…the number of responses here shows that. I have read all the comments many times as they are a great way to reflect! Which is why it took so long for me to respond…

        • My apologies. The word boring is a loaded word. That is why the post is getting all the response. I am not sure how I would describe something I am reading that ‘less than thrills me’ or that was a ‘snoozer’ though. Remember those phrases when we were kids? I wonder what the kids say now a days? I said ‘yawn’ in the post. No idea the current lingo.

          I guess you agree that some could make great posts. I would look forward to how others fight boredom in their blogging. I am never for a loss for things to post, but lately, it it more about do I really care about things I used to think were fine to post about.

          The garden walks are a good example. I feel I HAVE to post on them since it really is something prevalent in our area and my blog name. I never thought I would get bored by going to them, but that is setting in big time. Even visiting the major big name gardens across the country. As a designer, I would have quite a bit to say about them, but since it is my job, I run into why do I want to talk about them. I discuss this stuff with clients all day long. I just finished a huge job (two years of work) that required a lot of hand holding and reassurances. Explaining why it is good design and showing examples to justify the cost and time to do the work. Clients freak out when they see a property razed until, sometimes years later, the job is complete. Then they can not say enough good things about their designer or architect. So a blog is a miniscule issue in comparison. But since it has some overlap, gives me a sense of introspection.

          • I had to laugh as I don’t know the current lingo either…kids are always saying they are bored but I don’t even think they know what that means…they just aren’t as stimulated as they would be playing a game that I think is boring…I have been thinking similar things…what I want to post about and does it interest me anymore…it is hard when it is your job. While we love your garden walks, you may need a break and we would understand. Besides your blog name is very interpretive so I would say readers would not expect garden walks as a must!

            Your photography with creative stories are some of my fav posts these days and I loved the design tips that I have bookmarked…my blog anniversary is this week and I was thinking about posting about my thoughts for the future and blogging in general…I may link back here. Pondering how to combat boredom…it is hard for me as I become bored easily and have to constantly fight it and break out of the snooze!

            • Thanks for the encouragement. I think this last job took a toll and burnt me out somewhat. It really is not the blogging as much as it is the work. I have decided that I am not doing anymore architecture or landscape design for the rest of the year. Not one single job! All are wrapped up and I did not commit to any that were thrown my way. Usually, I take on more than I should because you never know if a next one will be waiting, but I need a break and change of scenery. I always used the blog as that relief, and that gets overwhelming at times. Not makings posts, that is fast for me, but all the stuff that encircles blogging. I am going on vacation again to Pennsylvania at the end of the month. I was thinking of stopping for an hour on the way down to say hello.If you might be around, toss me an email.

  36. Karen says:

    Wow, Donna, I’ve been gone awhile due to computer issues and now I walk headfirst into this post. I was just thinking this morning while posting yet another picture and angle of the same old rocks, ‘Why would anyone find this interesting?’ But I did it anyway.

    I definitely fall into the garden diary category. And I love to observe people as they go about their daily, mundane lives. I often wish I could write incognito, because some of the silliest things happen to me in the course of a day, but since many of my readers are local folks, they’d recognize themselves and I’d be in hot water. I find day-to-day life fascinating, and love reading other people’s blogs even if they are only talking about pulling quack grass out of the petunias.

    But then, I’m one of ‘those’ people who found the pencil organizing post hilarious. (And I still find Monty Python to be hilarious, so that explains a lot about me, doesn’t it?)

    I love your blog, Donna. I’m trying my best to raise the level of my writing and photography, and you are a great inspiration.

    • Don’t we all question that sometimes. But you know the beauty of blogging, even though I mentioned about repetitive posting, is that new readers are always popping up and they have not seen your rocks before. Funny you mention photographing the town folk. I did a post like that at Niagara Falls where no one would be recognizable, and also where there is no expectation of privacy. You can’t get in hot water for taking those shots, but some readers of my blog got bent out of shape because I posted people, and told me so. I took the post down. I should not have caved. Now that I have been blogging longer and photographing more freely I would not have removed that post today.

      I am into street photography too. Like you, I see interesting stuff happening all around me. Thank you Karen for your nice words. Next time you comment, please leave your link, so I am others can get to your blog.

  37. Shyrlene says:

    O – M – G … This may be the most provocative post of the year, even of the decade?! It has been forever since I’ve been on line for any length of time, and tonight I opted to log-in and see what’s up in the Blogosphere? Your post title caught my eye right away (from my blogroll), and an hour later I made it to the bottom of the comments!! “Holy mackerel, Andy!”

    There are a million thoughts swirling in my head, but my “nickel’s worth” is: “quality, not quantity” – heartfelt posts that showcase a person’s passion – with words & photos, when the mood moves them – will draw me in every time. Humor is the ‘icing on the cake’ … I love a blogger with verve!

    Donna, once again you’ve tilted the Blogosphere on it’s axis – and it’s been a most excellent & wild ride! (BTW – your photos are ‘stop traffic’ amazing! Whoa…)

    • Thank you so much for your exuberant comment, Shyrlene. Welcome back. You have a concise nickel’s worth in which I wholeheartedly agree. Thank you for the kind words too. I enjoy posts where a great conversation can develop. So glad you could join.

  38. Against the blogging is dead, the boring blogs – the answer is in the response to your posts. I read thru the comments yesterday evening, between reading my G+ and blog posts.
    http://ourfriendben.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/why-bother-to-blog/
    for professional writers like me and Silence, the discipline of daily blogging is invaluable. It’s a wonderful way to start the day, warming us up for the bread-and-butter writing we do for a living

    Pioneer Woman is a professional commercial blogger. Not a role model I can or do aspire to.
    http://ourfriendben.wordpress.com/2011/12/11/crunching-blog-numbers/
    Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. She has successfully leveraged her blog into bestselling books, a Food Network show, and a forthcoming movie based on her life

    She herself admits carefully that she is not alone!
    http://www.forbes.com/2010/03/03/blogger-pioneer-woman-ree-drummond-forbes-woman-time-food_2.html
    For the most part, I’m a one-woman show, but every one-woman show has behind-the-scenes help

    • Bits on Pioneer Woman, but not as much as I was expecting. I did read each article. It is hard to read what your take is Diana. Do you like her blog and the way she capitalized? I admire her to take on this with her family as first priority. It looks like you have followed her for a while.

      • No, actually that is the second time I have bumped into her. Last time the blogger was complaining that Pioneer Woman was too hmmm – I battled to find the link but couldn’t – too difficult to compete with a commercial business, if you are writing a personal blog. It is not my sort of blog in any way, but ‘famous’ and so familiar by name.

        My favourite blog is probably Stacey’s Microcosm in the Q. I tend to keep her post till last, so I can savour and enjoy every word, and linger on the images. Just pure Stacey, all the way thru, and quite unique!

  39. debsgarden says:

    Well! It seems I am ALWAYS on the tail end of things! After I published today’s post, I looked back at it and was seriously concerned that it was repetitive and boring. The same photos, just taken a different year, a different season. Not funny, not thought provoking (unlike this post!), not informative, just another day in the garden. Then I checked your blog and found this; I felt like I was in hot water, for sure!

    I am approaching my third year in the blogosphere and have been wondering if I should continue. My primary reason for blogging was to share my garden, because I live way back on a dead end street and not a lot of people see it. I didn’t know what I was doing, and I did this with fear and trembling. I am not a professional gardener, writer, or photographer and who in the world would care about my garden? I was thrilled when my first commenter was from another country, and then the garden universe opened up before me…

    After a while, the garden does repeat itself, but your post has challenged me to present it in new ways, to set new goals, to bring in new readers and to give a reason for the older ones to hang around. As long as there is a challenge, I won’t hang it up, not yet. So thank you for that!

    • Your property is so large that it would be hard to take images really repetitive. Like today, I saw views I do not remember. Fall is the best time for photos I think. Loved those mushrooms! The light is so warm and inviting, the critters are busily getting prepared for the colder months, the plants go to seed and make wonderful photo ops, the end of summer and Fall are great garden times.

      I am approaching year three also. Maybe that is a hump year. My primary blog goal was to share other people’s gardens in the many garden walks we have here. It would be an endless amount of blog material with over 700 walks just here in our area, then Canada has quite a few as well.

      I found that although I do the garden travel, I ended up posting on my garden so much more. But honestly, it was because I was getting a little lazy to do all the travel. I work from home, so you can see how that became the focus, just open the back door. I found because I have a tiny garden, that it became boring to readers. I could tell by the number of people virtually visiting my garden compared to other people’s gardens that I shared.

      Then I found out, as soon as I seriously tapped my other favorite hobby and focused on the photography of the plants, rather than just mindless documenting them, that a whole new group of readers arrived. So the photos of only the plants became different, but the garden ‘info’ mostly disappeared. Your photos are always wonderful, Deb, making your blog a joy to visit.

      It is hard, story-wise, to have ‘prettier’ photos with a serious or informative storyline I find. I don’t have what it takes to do that like magazines do. There is a real knack to using the right image to support copy. When I was in advertising, I was give the product, I created my headline and then passed it off to the copywriter. That is backwards, but our ad department was small. I think that is how I do my posts, only now I am the one adding the supporting text. They don’t always jive as well as I know they should. Yep, I am off topic again, but your comment led me to why I do what I do in blogging too.

  40. Great blog lovely picture of flower and information too. I am excited ….

  41. “I hope I gave you a post to make you think instead.” you certainly did ! I came across your bog from a link on Garden In A City. Plenty to think on, but ultimately for bloggers it is time, to have the time to write but also the time to think and respond. But I also wonder if gardening isn’t seen as “sexy” it’s not a quick fix or hit, too much work for some people.
    I find I can get sucked into blogging shenanigans – but try hard to avoid them, they are quick fixes to hike numbers, increase the “likes” – all ultimately a bit shallow and empty for me.
    Anyway, I’m going to clcik in the follow tab and see where we go next !

    • There really is too much work involved if your do all the memes and awards. That leads to hurt feelings in some cases when one visits a blog and is not visited back. Seems inconsiderate. I participated in a meme that the meme OWNER never visited after years of joining. I usually prepare a very nice post with a lot of originality too. It is very transparent to me what memes are all about generally speaking. There are some that have a lot of thought to them and are actually interesting to view and read.

      • Interesting point about the memes, They often seem empty and devoid, rather shallow. I’m sure there are good ones out there, maybe I just haven’t come across them and then maybe it helps some bloggers, gives them a structure and an idea to create a post. Tricky stuff !

  42. What a thoughtful and useful post. You definitely brought up a few issues I’ve been pondering in my short time blogging. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how much useful and (hopefully) wittily written information I have to share, it is the posts with pretty photos (even if they are not professional quality or taken with a good camera!) that people seem to prefer. Gardening blogs do seem to be governed by the rules of their own niche. In any event, thanks for sharing your personal exerience here.

    • I think it is cyclical too. There was a period where the pretty images is all that people seemed to prefer, then it seemed to jump to personal gardens. Maybe it is just a tiring of certain topics or images.

  43. Pingback: When Correspondence Doesn’t Pay: The Costs Versus The Benefits of Blogging | The Misfortune Of Knowing

  44. I enjoy every of my posts. This is the main goal of my blogging. Thank you for some interesting thoughts.

  45. Kevin says:

    Donna, just wanted to add my two cents — this post completely resonated with me, and as I read your words, I couldn’t help but think of my own frame of mind of late. Writing fresh posts is something that I struggle with each week — especially the older my blog gets. I worry that I have pigeon-holed myself into a garden corner — but I try very hard to not fall back on filler. But lately I feel as if I’m fighting writer’s block (or should I call it blogger block?). I think one of the keys is to examine why anyone would want to blog in the first place. Just to write? To become a blog star? To find a community? To spout whatever? I know I was never prepared for the work involved in creating a blog (writing, courting readers, etc.) I just knew that I wanted to create a blog that would be my own online magazine where am writer, photographer, and editor. If it takes me somewhere, that’s great. If not, that’s okay, too. I’ve met amazing bloggers (you), and have found so much inspiration. Thanks for making me think and reflect. Be well.

    • I have the same feelings at times. It is not for the lack of material to write, it is the desire to do so in the first place. Even if one can keep it fresh from their standpoint, somewhere, someplace else it was written or pictured. And with gardening, it is magnified. I could write all day on design and creating, but most gardeners only want down in the dirt gardening, with many frowning on design. I think many relish in others mistakes too. Those posts seem rather popular. Mistakes are the antithesis of design and those made do not come to light.

      I have to say, you can take the most mundane subject and spin the most interesting story around it. Very few can do hold a reader’s attention like you do. Your posts are always fun to read.

      I too have felt my blog name limits my choice of topics, but decided I will just go beyond it. Your blog name is a little more ambiguous and can be interpreted to have another meaning. You can be getting dirt on anything.

  46. Pingback: The Reasons I Read Blogs « A Gracious Life

Comments are closed.