Do Bloggers Want to be Popular?

Monarch-macro-Photo

Let’s look closer…We had a wonderful talk by a “popular” blogger at the Garden Bloggers’ Fling in Toronto. I share much with this blogger.

We both have eclectic blogs; we both write what we feel and don’t take on sponsorship; we both write, illustrate and photograph for enjoyment; we garden in an environmentally conscious manner, we do blogging for fun; and we both don’t claim to be experts in our fields even though working professionally in them for decades.

Male-Monarch-on-Milkweed

She talked on authority and building credibility and why that might not be the way to approach blogging. Sharing information and experience helps others. It is how and why a blog gets searched. Some bloggers are experts, and it is wonderful when they share knowledge and one does not have to pay to obtain it. I like reading posts by credible experts, but I think she meant not gratuitously touting oneself as an expert.

Monarch6-21-15

In a nutshell, it is about what others want to read and what they want to know. Readers get that by search. Do well in search and you might have a popular blog. Write to share in an interesting and accurate way and your blog may soar.

She was asked to be on HGTV and after the pilot, the show never aired. She had concerns of promoting product and idea in which she does not believe. I fully agree.

Monarch-male

The gal I traveled with thought I did not enjoy the talk since I was quiet, yet I did enjoy it very much. It gave bloggers a lot to think about and also gave them validation in blogging.

I was stumped by taking a path not to be popular though. More specifically, not blogging to be popular. I want my blog to be popular, I just don’t need it to be. Heck, it is just a blog and a hobby.

I can’t think of a time I did something and not care if others would like my work or I would be popular in my field though? Even in school no one wanted to be unpopular. Is it different in blogging? I think it is human nature to want approval by others. But the point she was making was not to have that drive the endeavor and I agree.

dewDandelion

We make choices in our garden philosophies that can be unpopular. She mentioned that. I live in a neighborhood of grassed front yards and mine stands out like a sore thumb. Most neighbors think my garden is the reason they battle dandelions. I admit it likely is. I don’t raise them, I just don’t douse them with chemicals. Bees love them in spring and I love bees.

Monarch-Male-2

I did a series of posts on what we can learn from a dandelion, and wouldn’t you know some of that relates to blogging if you read it that way.

Successful and popular are not the same things, just ask a dandelion. There are some pretty successful folks that are very unpopular. You can look at being popular by how many comments you draw and how many friends you make blogging. But that does not always equate to views which might be considered successful.

2-Male-Monarchs

Talking about gardening, conservation, caring for the environment, nature preserves, and insects and bees is not UNPOPULAR by any stretch.  Monarch butterflies are popular.

What is it that makes a blog popular or unpopular? Does being popular in blogging even matter? Thought provoking subject, no? I know I thought about it. Sound off… and get those fingers typing.

Next on GWGT… more woodland gardens, a popular garden type.

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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
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76 Responses to Do Bloggers Want to be Popular?

  1. Beautiful images!

  2. I was at that talk also in Toronto and I learned some important things. Write about what you love, not what you think others will love. Sometimes they are very different, but sometimes they are the same. Stay true to yourself and your popularity is like high school, the ones who really were popular never made it after school closed but the quiet intense ones made out ok and went on to bigger things.

    • I can honestly say most of us write about what interests us or what we love, I know I do. I can post daily I have so much to say or report, and one can’t do that without the enthusiasm and love of the subject. I suppose her and I have quite a bit in common in that regards. Honesty is always important no matter how it is perceived by others, so I guess that is being true to oneself. I think the popular folks did pretty well for themselves though. In our school it was the brightest who were the most popular, so striving to do well was looked as a quality to admire. I felt that way in college too. The most likable folks were also the ones that applied themselves and were mature, not the partyers and slouchers. I guess her version of popular in high school was different than mine. Quiet must have been smart and not so popular.

  3. You nailed it: Successful and popular are not the same things. You don’t need everyone to like you, you just need to find your group, or as they say in marketing nowadays, your tribe. Marvelous photos!

    • I don’t even think it is possible to have everyone like a particular person all the time. I bet there are people that don’t even like the Pope and I would say he is pretty popular. That catch phase of having a tribe makes me laugh. I am guessing it started with Seth Godin (I love his blog BTW) and his amazingly popular blog. It gets repeated on blogs and in the media all the time too. I suppose I look at it as having this loyal group of readers, but readers can be transitory and always in flux. I find that interesting to see new readers.

  4. Well I am behind reading again, but working to catch up…as this popped up, I had to read it of course. This is always an interesting subject. I agree that being popular is not my goal as it was never my goal in work or high school. I want to do the best job I can which is personal success for me, and I write about what I love and am learning…sharing with others, challenging myself and having conversations. Those relationships are the best part of blogging for me.

    • Popularity as a goal would be like putting on airs and not truly being oneself – it seems to me. I never looked at personal success as a goal either because I always worked professionally with teams. It was a shared success. Blogging to me is not that important like other things in life. It is a hobby and I don’t do it for me as many do for themselves, but for those that read here on GWGT. I share and hope others find it interesting or informative. As for conversations, there have been quite a few notable ones on this blog. Questions always generate good conversation. Why work to catch up? Does that not get stressful? I think if a blog is interesting, you check it out. If you find it work “to catch up” that makes blogging toiling. Me, I go with the flow.

  5. I’ve been away from reading blogs as well as from writing my own for over 9 months now. And what you’ve written here touched me. Thank you. But I also have to say, “wow.” That dew-frozen dandelion (if that’s what it is) just blew me away. Nature is beautiful, but so is the eye–and the heart–of the gifted photographer. Thank you for that wonderful moment as well.

  6. Maria F. says:

    Definitely very interesting. What I’m noticing is that even when I get more Likes, it should perhaps be the opposite. When you finally have small conversations with people who have experience, the circle gets smaller and the Likes drop, because the interest is getting narrower. And that can be a good thing, at least I think, because more time is devoted to a theme.

    • I suppose conversations develop when you touch the reader in some way. As for Likes, I have that feature on the blog, but honestly it is like the fake popularity of which I speak. People hit the like button and often never see the post. It is WP’s fault too. They should only allow Likes on posts that were viewed, not those in the scroll reader. Do you mean memes as themes? I find them rather fake popularity too, tit for tat reciprocation. I suppose there are plenty of readers that just don’t take the time to comment, but I do know for a fact there are those that hit 30 likes in a matter of seconds too.

      • Maria F. says:

        You hit the nail on the head. Eventually, it’s very probable that my circle will be smaller because I will just stop giving out Likes and emphasize on experience. Just plain courtesy doesn’t cut it out for me. What I mean is themes that I share in common with others. I also learned not to follow everyone back. And not to Like the “reblogging” from others, because that leads you to more people you have nothing in common with.

  7. David says:

    Nice dandelion photo – very unique.

  8. Indie says:

    Very interesting. I wouldn’t say I need my blog to be popular, as I just write what I want to write about, and I don’t have the time to spend on blogging in order to make it popular. However, I would like my blog to make a little bit of difference, whether that is just making some people think about the environment around them or making it easier for someone to find some gardening information. I would like my blog to be a positive force, and that is what would define a ‘successful’ blog to me. I also have to add that I just love your dandelion pic – gorgeous!

    • Well stated Indie. Making a difference can be worthy. It is nice though when it reaches a wider audience when you have a good informative post. Success is different to many and has many forms.

  9. aussiebirder says:

    Blogging serves several purposes, the most important ones being to share and learn in areas of common interest as you sighted. Another important use for blogging which has arisen in mental and emotional health therapy, is blogging to tell your story, which enables individuals to work through their pain or life struggles as a form of journal which is an important counselling tool. I have noticed many people using their blogs for this reason, and the positive feed back, and people sharing their similar experiences encourages them in their life journey. Of course there are many who are after an easy financial gain from blogging, hoping to attract online shoppers, so as to make a side income. Self published book writers are encouraged to create a blog to assist in marketing their book. So yes Donna, it is interesting to see why people blog.

    • I commend those that journal and use the writing format as therapy. I find it really putting oneself out there though. Courageous to do that, but it opens one up to further pain when the trolls start to comment negatively. It also is tough on regular readers as people change blogging midstream and work through all their problems in a public format since web writing is forever found and things and people in life change. I found I have a hard time relating to those that write about depression and loss. I never have anything to say to posts like that. I think common interests is what drives many readers. We for instance, share our birding and nature passion and I get to see birds that will never travel here. I find that fascinating seeing places I may never visit. I never allowed companies to be permanently available on my blog for a fee. Many have asked. There have been a few products I almost wrote to the companies for them to be on my sidebar because I adore their products, but then readers might think I am selling out for cash. I never wanted that for GWGT, but one day may take an advertiser if it is something I use and love.

  10. My blog is a hobby, too. But it’s nice to know when people get something out of it, learn something, or enjoy it. Being popular was never the goal. I found that session you mention interesting, too. The more I think about it, the more I realize I got out of it. I keep thinking about how difficult it would be to be a sponsored blogger who’s expected to “take off the glasses” or “wear the hair a different way.” It’s nice to be myself. Sometimes myself repels people, sometimes myself attracts friends. I hope it’s mostly the latter, but I don’t want to change me to be popular. (Well, maybe a little bit, sometimes, to try to be a better me.) Thanks for the thought-provoking discussion.

    • Like you, what I am, I am, no changing. That is precisely the problem with sponsors and advertisers. They expect posts to be approved or written certain ways. I was never going to agree to that or their tiny type contracts. Plus many want you to post a certain ad often. No thank you. I was thinking what I actually did get out of the talk. I found I shared quite a bit with her and our blogs were similar in a way too in writing what we darn feel like. I never read her blog before, heard of it, just never read it. I think blog popularity kinda just happens, I don’t know anyone that set out for having it. I would much rather my blog be popular than not so. I enjoy all the new readers and knowing posts reach thousands. I could not post if people were not reading and viewing. I said that maybe 1000 times before, at least as many times as those that say they don’t care if anyone reads their blog.

  11. bittster says:

    Thanks for sharing this, I always find stats and searchability and all those blogging things so interesting… but never find the time to look deeper, so this is great! Plus as always great pictures and entertaining writing at the same time 🙂

  12. I write my blog for my enjoyment and for my readers even though I don’t have huge numbers of subscribers. Also, I wanted to share something meaningful that I’m familiar with (like gardening) in a blog because even though I’m self-taught, I feel that through my experiences and self-education that I am able to offer information on what works and doesn’t work for me, and might help my readers as well. I’m not interested in having paid advertisement on my blog either. And I don’t want to have to commit to a certain writing schedule. I think that one of my first reasons to write a blog was so that my grandchildren could “Google” me and find that their Grandmother was computer literate and could write and publish a blog post! hahaha
    PS- loved the dandelion picture, too!

    • I liked your comment about writing for the grandchildren. 😀 I think bloggers have many reasons for writing a blog, none really exactly the same as another. I started a blog to officially go to a Fling. The direction changed quickly to something I enjoyed.

  13. Emily Scott says:

    I measure my blogging success not in views but in the kind and helpful comments I receive, which means a lot to me. Like you I’m not trying to make money from it, so it doesn’t matter how many times a particular post is seen or how many followers I have. Being “popular” only matters if you want it to.

    • Your blog is very informative and so are those that comment. I think like I said in another reply to a blogger, popularity for a blog just happens. I don’t think it can be guaranteed to go there, maybe just pointed towards with good information, writing and images, but not something to be predicted or expected. I never thought GWGT would turn out as it did. It has been a fun ride, and one that one day will stop cold. I had a numerical goal for stopping, but that came too quickly, then I changed it to years instead. While I will never run out of interests, information, images or stories, all things come to an end eventually.

  14. Superb images Donna. The Blogging world can be a bit of a mystery to me, in that I find myself wondering why some Blogs are so popular while others, like your own , I can fully understand and identify with. As for myself, I just plod along , wishing that more of the few people who visit my Blogs would leave comments, or ‘like’ the posts – simply to let me know they’re there! It sort of validates writing a Blog in the first place …
    A thing that puzzles me too is the fact that a lot of my ‘followers’ Blogs, when I look them up, have absolutely nothing in common with the subject matter of my posts. So that leaves me wondering if they are just using my Blog to publicise their own via their Logo – especially when it turns out they are selling stuff?
    Sorry if I’ve gone off the point of the subject somewhat.
    Anyway – your Blog posts and photography are always a great joy to read and view! Eileen

    • Interesting Eileen. I find the blogging world simple and at times, frustrating. Simple because many of those followers that you speak are only in it for themselves, like an ad to get others to visit them. I wrote a post I never published called Give to Get. It was a pointed view at how blogging really works and why it should work differently. I decided not to offend those type of readers even though they need some smartening up. Being considerate is the basis for good conversation and giving is far better than receiving. Thank you for your kind words Eileen.

      • I agree Donna, so I usually say nothing and simply don’t ‘follow’ them in return. Much as I don’t want to be rude to them, neither do I want to be hypocritical. Happy blogging! Eileen

  15. Loretta says:

    Just gorgeous, love those monarchs – there’s a fine line I think in gaining popularity via blogging vs. blogging because you are passionate about the subject matter, and approach it with an open mind. For me, I’ve met some amazing folks from around the world, I’m glad they’ve hopped on my blogging board. I can share with them what I know about the various subjects I offer on my blog, and in turn I am always open to new and fresh ideas from them. I know of a lot of bloggers who care about their numbers, but when I first started blogging I was just happy putting my thoughts down and reaching out to those blogs that I enjoy. Yours being one of them 🙂

    • I care about viewership because that means I am reaching a wider audience. Every year and month, readership increases. It is not why I blog, but it helps to keep me going. No readers, no blog. I like meeting folks too and have met quite a few in person, some becoming very good friends. It is a perk of blogging. Having good conversation is another perk. Dispensing information and reading new information elsewhere is another perk. I could go on and on for all the benefits there are for having a blog. So many things go into why blogging is successful. What matters is only what matters to each of us. What matters to readers, well that is the million dollar question. I think it is all in what they are searching for and find.

  16. Kevin says:

    Fascinating post — I would have liked to have been in the car ride home. 🙂 When I started my own blog, it had nothing to do with being popular. I was at a time in my life when I felt I needed something more. Maybe work had become stale. Maybe I was losing any sense of creativity. Maybe I just needed a challenge. I was working with high school students, and under a technology grant, I was teaching them and their teachers how to start classroom blogs — but I didn’t have one, although in a previous chapter of my life, I was a journalist. As I was doing some spring garden cleaning, I rested my head on the handle of my rake and decided that if students can do this, so could I. My only goal was to be the writer, editor, and photographer of my own online magazine. If people read it, great. If not, that was okay, too. My blog was for me — and although I greatly appreciate the followers and comments, in the end, the blog gives me a chance to experiment with writing, to write about my interests, to play with words.

    After looking at the length of this comment, it’s probably best that I wasn’t in the car — I would never have stopped talking.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

    • I am sure you would have added quite a bit of lively conversation, Kevin. You are quick, witty and have a wonderful sense of humor. You had a stepping stone motivation moment to start blogging like I did. In my case it was just to go to a Fling. I was at the one in Buffalo and saw all the fun this great group of bloggers was having and I wanted in. So here I am, one of the most prolific bloggers of them all. Being in a related business makes blogging a cinch. I am never without something to write about. I had my Niagara Falls Garden magazine too in the beginning and it was a nice feature to the blog. I had fun creating it, but then decided to hang it up. It still gets a lot of views. Thanks for chiming in, you always add a lot to the conversation.

  17. Sue Vincent says:

    Excellent post… and stunning photographs as always. The dew-drenched dandelion is just fabulous! I would agree with the best idea being to blog simply because you enjoy it. Popularity may be the result, but it shouldn’t be the point… unless you are blogging for a specific purpose, in which case it is closer to promotion. For me, the best things to come from blogging are the freinds I have made, both online and in reality, and the confidence I have gained as a writer… neither of which I expected when I began.

    • I could blog for promotion having a design business, but I keep the professional portion of my life separate. The only money made off the blog has been licensing of photographs, and I don’t even promote them for sale on GWGt. I think keeping all that separate is why GWGT has gotten a following and also since it is an eclectic blog where my interests ebb and flow, so does what is on the blog. It stays fresh and a surprise where one might find me.Friends from blogging has been very positive. Every now and then there will be those friends that slip away due to seeing them infrequently, or they get interested in other things. I had a good friend that gave up blogging and photography. That was what drew us together in the first place.

      • Sue Vincent says:

        I make no money from my blogging either… though I do occasionally mention the books. Like you, what I write depends on the day… and it could be anything from humour to poetry to …well, you name it 🙂 People come and go, but the friends remain, either via the blog or in my personal life and that is, for me, the beauty of this global communication.

  18. Lea says:

    Beautiful images and very thought-provoking.

  19. rogerbrook says:

    One of the rewards is all those folk who make comments and on that score alone you are VERY popular Donna! And your readers leave really meaty and interesting comments.
    You are one of those blogs that combine superb photography and knowledgable and individual opinion.
    Its great from my own point of view to sit down and write just what I think even though my attitude to chemicals will not accord with many of your own readers

    • Thank you much Roger. Readers here do have a lot of interesting comments, some worthy of a post of its own. Having a point of view is always risky when it is a hot button issue. I know that first hand having an architectural/landscape design business. I would never think of strong arming a client that uses a landscape service for maintenance or uses pop-up sprinklers daily. All the estate properties use chemicals and all the properties have large expanses of turf grass. I recognize I would not have these clients if I only designed like I do my own property. The landscape guys would have no clue how to maintain it. I do create meadows and large sweeping perennials beds on these properties, but all the plants are in drifts. The landscape guys can handle that!

  20. My impression is that quite a lot of bloggers definitely want become popular. Personally – not only that they like their blogs to be well-known and visited by “millions”. First it’s the way how they present themselves and secondly you can observe a strange strategy: these very specific bloggers don’t really enjoy the blogging (writing, sharing …) itself, they take it as a way to show up in front of a huge audience (online) and they secondly love a certain competition.
    It’s not about content but about clicks, views, likes. To get them they don’t start to improve their blogs and work more, better, write more regularly, more qualified … etc.. No, they begin to follow nearly everyone, hit the Like-button as often as possible (as you mentioned even without reading the corresponding post itself) and (in case of non-English blogs) sometimes change their blog language to English – which make them appear in the English reader (which means more visitors). As a consequence they easily get a considerable number of likes themselves and often get new followers. They are not interested in them or their blogs, they collect them like people in former times collected stamps.
    Many likes … Does it mean it’s a good, an interesting blog? Does it mean you might expect interesting content? It’s nothing else but show. If more and more blog owner copy such behaviour, no single blog post has to be relevant anymore or has to be read by even a single follower. Views show up anyway, even if you only use the reader. WordPress explained in a blog post that they will take them into account (inone or the other way).
    You might get a popular blog without too much effort and without having success with your own “product* only by doing certain things. By pretending you’re a friend, by giving and expecting likes. Isn’t it frustating? For them, I mean …? And how long this kind of success and popularity will last? Till you stop giving likes?
    When someone tries to convince me of the quality of a blog, it’s certainly not by presenting me statistics. By telling me about likes and follower numbers.
    Sorry for my circumlocutory comment, Donna. Phew ….

    I really enjoy having (long-term) contact to people worldwide who obviously share my hobbies and like to read my articles or have a look at the pics. And I love to get to know their own blogs – if they blog themselves. Exchanging experiences, learning by what they are commenting … etc. That’s great! By the way, Donna, your blog is not only one of the most interesting blogs, it’s also the one with the most individual and interesting comments!
    Sometimes I’m surprised – and glad at the same time – that particularly those postings I personally like most (botanical themes, nature, parks, gardening ..) are searched for on and on and are even added to certain cyclopaedias. But do I have to be a popular blogger? No, no need to become popular – but rather happy instead when the blog is evolving in this way.

    Last but not least: I love your today’s photographs!

    -Michèle-

    • Very well put, Michèle,”They are not interested in them or their blogs, they collect them like people in former times collected stamps.” I see that often, especially photography blogs. It seems like a lot of work if they actually did visit all those blogs they collect as followers. I could never read all of the blogs that follow GWGT, but do read those that comment consistently. I don’t follow many either, and your blog is one I do. I have a hard time reading your blog because it has been too many years since I was taught German. I do read it without help and often get the story wrong. But… I like what you write and I like trying to improve my German.

      You have many good points and I thank you for such a long detailed comment. Thank you.

      • I know how hard it must be to a reader to get the meaning of my long posts written in a completely different language and therefore I can’t thank you enough for visiting and trying to understand! Thank you, Donna!

  21. Helen says:

    Like you I blog as a hobby and have no interest in making money from my blog. I blog to engage with others as well as recording my garden. I have blogged for an organisation where comments weren’t allowed and I found it very frustrating as I had no idea if what I was writing was of any interest to any one, it was like talking to yourself. I enjoy getting comments and try hard to respond to them all beyond saying thank you. It’s lovely to get comments from people who haven’t commented before or someone who has really related to something I have written. I don’t think of my blog in terms of being popular or successful, after all compared to who? How would I judge that especially now that the blotanical stats no longer exist. I honestly think that you should write about what you are interested in as it is always obvious when someone is writing what they think people want to read about, it always lack a passion or enthusiasm.
    I find it interesting that bloggers are still discussing this which seems to have been a perennial question in one form or another ever since I started blogging .

    • I find the blog talk at Flings interesting, but not always very useful. Not many bloggers need “advice” since they have been doing it for a long time, some of them very successfully. You are right though, “compared to who?” There is no comparison because there are many varied ways bloggers blog, and who they consider their audience. I cannot see how anyone could write what they think others want to read unless they are a journalist. I suppose it is important in that profession to get people to read the story and remain dispassionate. Thanks for your take on the “perennial question”. I have to agree with you, it seems the basic question will always remain.

  22. Very interesting post and discussion. Sure, I want my blog to be popular. I’m embarrassed to admit how often i check the stats page. Even so, I am happy with a very modest readership, as long as it keeps growing. I certainly don’t expect to reach a huge audience. I blog because I like writing about my own garden and gardening generally. I try to give people something that is enjoyable and maybe a little useful to read and look at. I’m not willing to do stuff that isn’t fun for me in order to get more readers. I do like the idea of just writing about whatever moves me. For example, couple times I wrote a review of non-gardening books and I may do that again.

    • I am glad you are with me and want your blog to be popular. I think the word is really taken out of context and has this negative vibe to it. It all comes down to “do you want it to be popular or unpopular?” Popular just means others like it, not that you get famous or anything. Thanks for your input Jason.

      • I think people are lying/in denial if they say they are not interested in having a popular blog. Whatever the reason for starting a blog, it’s human nature to feel uplifted as your stats rise. I did like gardeninacity’s comment about how often he checks his stats – few are as honest and this authenticity is so important for blogging. For me, I started my blog, at the prompt of a friend, because I get so much pleasure visiting gardens and I wanted to try and share this through my interest in photography. My enthusiasm just seemed to explode onto the page as I got home from a visit! However, my reasons for blogging have since evolved. I now blog for two key reasons. A) It is the most intense learning I have ever had. I find the process of articulation takes my thinking to a whole new level. And B) I love the friendships I have made and the challenge and additional learning that I gain from interactions with others, both through their and my blogs. Those two things alone will keep me blogging for a very long time, but there is no question of whether it is nice to receive a complementary or thoughtful comment. We all like to feel heard and if we touch someone enough to prompt a comment, it’s a pretty good ‘feel-good’ moment. Long live blogging!

        • I agree with you. I often don’t believe those that say they don’t care if anyone reads their blog because it is for themselves primarily. If that were the case, make it private and use it as a personal journal. Those that talk about their garden as almost a religious experience makes me wonder if they feel that way pulling weeds and lamenting over slug chewed leaves. One thing about gardening, and because I design, I always keep it very real. Your reasons for blogging are very sound. Learning and sharing, two great ways to get the most from blogging.

  23. A.M.B. says:

    “I want my blog to be popular, I just don’t need it to be. Heck, it is just a blog and a hobby.”

    I take a similar approach with my little book blog. I write about the topics I want to write about, not because they’re “click bait” (which they rarely are on my blog!).

    • I never heard the term “click bait”, but that is a good one. You have to admit though, some titles become click bait because they are so witty and cute. Other titles ask questions or answer a question, and that answers a search query. I do that all the time because I get the question asked then it becomes a post idea if I can answer it.

  24. Jennifer says:

    “Popular” seems like a very high school term to me. If the goal is to be “popular”, then a garden blog is probably a silly way to go about it. A seasonal topic with a niche audience? You’d be crazy to start a garden blog with that goal in mind. Better to do a fashion blog that has a side orders of decor, crafty projects and recipes.

    • You are right, a garden blog will never be the cream of the crop in blogging. GWGT has always covered many topics and that is what keeps both my interest and that of readers. I think Gayla said her blog is like that also. I had to smile at, “Better to do a fashion blog that has a side orders of decor, crafty projects and recipes”, because it is so darn true.

      It was nice of Gayla to do the talk and tell her reasons for blogging the way she does, but I think not many could pull off all that she does to produce her blog. She was a graphic designer like I was for a number of years, and being able to do the illustrations is not easily done by all bloggers. Plus she has a designer’s eye which helps her photography and blog layout. Makes a big difference in how professional a blog appears.

  25. The dewdandelion is incredible. What a great picture. My blog is just very personal, and I don’t much care about it being popular. I would like more comments, as I hardly get any at all, because I have met some lovely people through commenting on their blogs. I blog for myself, I guess. I know people blog for different reasons, but I find the more personal ones of greater interest. I love blogs like this one, with fantastically beautiful pictures. Some things I would never get to see without blogs yours. Some of the birds, for instance. Mine is here if anyone is interested: http://strangelypeculiar.com/
    It is very personal, and sometimes I am very angry, and that shows, but it helps keep me sane to put it out there. Thanks so much for sharing you pictures. They brighten my days.

    • Thank you for commenting and talking about your blogging experiences. It does take a while to get a following and have readers comment regularly. I enjoy seeing what readers say and how they tell others about their experiences. I like great photos too and love seeing how others take their images. I will check out your blog.

  26. Patrick says:

    Hey Donna,
    Good healthy conversation you’re having here but quite candidly, you’re not the ideal host for it. Considering you have over 7,000 subscribers with a very prominent subscriber counter, I think that is a slam dunk when it comes to popularity. So you can write whatever you want and be so incredibly popular. My subscriber is around 80 and I realize my content is not so rich in photography but I am one hell of a writer and the poster child for resiliency. It use to be blogosphere etiquette that when you left a comment, that blogger would return the favor but it doesn’t work that way anyway. This was how I was discovered by the likes of Jason at gardeninacity.com who is a regular commenter. My frustration about this is top of mind right now as I’m considering killing my blog. You see, my masthead was created by a professional who used the Thesis Theme that’s geared for pros but those SOBs have turned off the function that displays comments but I can see them on my dashboard. They’ve been so kind to make a patch but it’s only available for a $200 which I may be able to bum off family but that’s not a sure thing. So I’m doing a cost/benefit analysis in my head. I’d miss my loyal regulars of about 20 people and I finally have someone to take quality images for me. I go back and forth as it would relieve some pressure I feel that the numbers (1% of your total) are pathetically low. So sorry to call you on the carpet but this is an open wound, right now.
    Best, Patrick

    • I always return a comment and always thought others should as well. I found out that WP sends some of my regular commenters to Spam and I am sure I missed some readers in Spam. That means their comments never get through unless I hunt them down. Sometimes Spam is overwhelming to go through, so I batch delete them. With all the gardening posts I have been doing in the last few months, it is funny to see you on a post like this one. Glad you came back. I have seen you on Jason’s blog with a comment. Glad you are enjoying his blog. I visit there all the time as he does here.

      Why don’t you go to WP.com and have your blog transferred there. It is free. You won’t have to worry about using a theme they want to charge you for year after year with updates. I never went to WP.org because even though I can do some coding and even make a website from scratch, I don’t want to waste my time on admin stuff. This blog has features I rewrote the code, but not too much where it would be a headache. But if I went to a new theme it would and I would have a lot to fix. Just get a free theme and have them port it over. You can contact WP.com and someone may get back to you on how to do it. I was just at your site and it says Server Not Found. Did you delete it already????

      • Patrick says:

        Hey Donna,
        You scared me about my site but it works on my end. I’m sorry because after rereading my comment, I think I was feeling sorry about myself and my comments to you verged on being disrespectful and I apologize for my manner in expressing it. I always do read your blog but you get so many comments I feel like I’m not adding value in crafting them. I savor my relationship Jason as we regularly comment on each others blog as the post appears. Believe I will continue and this interaction has helped me decide in the affirmative.

        • It works because I fixed your URL in your comment. At first I thought you canned the blog until I looked at the faulty URL. No problem on your comment. I did not take it in a bad way. I thought you were just being your humorous self. Never feel like you can’t leave a comment because there are so many others. I always use the link in comments to get to their blogs and I always go visit. It is quick for me, even if I subscribe, I don’t go that route. Hope to see you commenting.

  27. You have some stunning photos. I just enjoy reading other blogs and seeing the photos, mostly. I enjoy blogging, in particular the challenges as it helps me with my photography. It is not about being popular, but finding blogging friends.

  28. I thought the talk was interesting but I didn’t relate to her angst. I write what I want and have no problems just being myself. It’s validating when people connect to my writing but I definitely write what I’m feeling at the moment. I also refuse any ads or sponsorships. I don’t even like to do product reviews because I don’t like to feel indebted to a company if they’ve sent me something free.

    • Me either. I have far too much fun in blogging to focus on the “negatives” of it, although I do know there are some big bears in that mix. By that I mean some obstacles for bloggers that are just starting out. I also never had the mean trolls she did (except some hating on certain gardens I show which I think stinks since these are usually gardens by regular folks – I did a post on it too) or someone stalking me.

      Of all the bloggers out there, you are one that looks at gardening and blogging from both sides, often seeing the humor in failures, hard work, insect damage, you name it. You have covered quite a few garden ills with a great sense of humor. I don’t mean in your own garden, but gardening in general. 😀 I don’t want any reader thinking you don’t have a fine garden. I am with you on product reviews. I would only do one on a product I use and love, but that is not usually the emails one gets. I often think the marketing folks don’t actually read the blogs to see if they might be posting on the opposite of what they are trying to sell. They must just look only at numbers and demographics.

  29. As always, your photos are wonderful which is one of the reasons I think you are a successful blogger…at least as far as I’m concerned.

  30. I see your point. Popularity is not usually what drives us, but it is always nice when a blogger sees that a particular post gets a lot of reads. It validates your idea or thought in some way, and after all, it is a lot of work to put together a post, and it is gratifying to know someone connects with it or appreciates it! I appreciated yours today!

    • Thank you for visiting and your nice words. Some posts are a lot of work, especially if they have original graphics. I used to do that since I draw and paint easily and quickly, but decided photography was a better blog medium in which to work. I often thought of doing some painted botanicals, but the problem with painting is the art gets stolen and used by others. Photos are bad enough to lose, but hand painted art is too much. As for posts getting many views, it is really hard to guess which ones will. I get surprised at the numbers on certain posts, because to me, I never would think to look up some of the posts others find interesting.

  31. rose says:

    I’m glad I didn’t miss this post, Donna–lots of excellent, thoughtful ideas here. I like the advice given by the speaker to not let the desire for popularity drive your blog. I think the most important thing is to be true to yourself and write about what’s important to you, not what you think might appeal to the readers.

    • Thank you for not missing the post Rose. I had to interpret her remarks or even twist them around a bit to make them coincide with my understanding to make my own conclusions, but she did say be true to oneself and not write what the blogger thinks will appeal to readers, but rather what appeals to the blogger. In my case, I strive to accomplish both without losing my integrity of knowledge or belief. I also turned the popularity discussion around to make popularity not a negative goal. It was presented in a manner that may seem more akin to what popularity meant in high school. Like there are only two groups, when in fact that is not how I see it. I see popularity as a positive and unpopular as a negative – in school anyway. I was hoping she meant being unpopular due to actions, like using pesticides in a garden or growing only native plants. While both extremes are practiced, popular does not come into play as I see it. To me it is choice and too many can be found on both sides of the fence. Right or wrong, “they ain’t a changing.”

  32. Denise says:

    Your blog obviously is very popular. I think it is because of the beautiful photography, useful information, interesting subjects and regular posting. I am glad my blog is not as popular as yours 🙂 I don’t know where you find the time!

    • Thank you Denise. Being in the “gardening field”, posts come to me easily. I am never at a loss for an idea. My camera, the P510 is with me everywhere I go. I take the big camera if I go out with intent on a place or subject. So getting photos is easy too.

  33. Les says:

    Thanks for another great conversation, especially taking place in your comments. I like to tell stories both with words and photos. I also like to share some of the things I see, and I wonder if others just walk right by without ever noticing, so I feel a need to make people stop and take a look. I also like to document my experiences for my own use, journal if you wish. These are the reasons I blog, and I do so commercial free.

    • I too like finding a photo subject others might miss. It gives me inspiration. I never look at my blog as a journal, but in reality it kinda is when I travel. Funny thing is I don’t look back on posts, and I guess that is the point of a journal. I had a reader comment a while back that he/she likes reading their own posts, so now I have a new post called, “I Like Reading My Own Posts”. Not quite sure where I am going with it yet, but it is a post dying to be written.

  34. debsgarden says:

    I agree with Denise above. I love your outstanding photographs and interesting content. While I admire anyone who can blog every day or even several times a week, I know I can not do that, because my garden would soon be covered with weeds!

    • Thanks Deb. I am lucky to have a tiny garden. Sunday I am posting on it and realized I had some plants to cut back – after I took the photos. I am one never to care though. If I fussed all the time on the garden, I would not ever go anywhere, and I LIKE going places more. Blogging has always been quick and easy for me. I am never for a loss on something to blog about. Sometimes my health sets me back, but it still does not mean my ideas are not reeling about.

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