As I begin my first triannual xatu of 2017, I thought it would be great to xatu about the progress of The Grown-Up Pkmn Trainer as well. It has an average of over 20 unique visitors a day, with over 90 unique views every weekend. The most popular posts are the monthly financial reviews and net worth updates. At the time of posting, there are 32 people following on Facebook, 32 people following on Twitter, 34 people following on Instagram, and 10 people subscribe to the weekly emails. As for the next four months keep an eye on social media for a new audience survey in May and a new section of the website going live during the summer.
Instead of giving a summary of last four months, I thought it might be more fun to share the 5 things that have surprised me about blogging.
1: I enjoy it but it also stresses me out
What does not surprise me is that I really enjoy working on this blog! I am developing a very distinct aesthetic by exploring new ways to use old tools and I am creating art on a regular basis. I enjoy finding my voice for this blog and the development process for most of the posts.
What does surprise me is how much the writing process stresses me out even though I enjoy it. I enjoy writing and editing each post. I enjoy the evolution of each post from the idea, into a hurricane of information that I defog into each post. My weekly life schedule changes like the stats of a moody glalie and disrupts my writing flow. This occasionally limits the amount of time to explore a topic and develop better content. These shortened timelines replace my pleasure with stress.
These last three weeks have been a petal dance of excitement which has left me tired when writing my posts. I want to create great content for my readers. If I enjoy making it, I feel my readers will enjoy reading it. Each of these last three posts has been posted later and later each week so they can meet my standards. I am not changing my Saturday deadlines but I am planning to catch up in May.
2: I have too much I want to say
What does not surprise me is that I have a lot of ideas that I cannot wait to share with you all. Brainstorming new topics has been easy. I schedule the ones I think are very strong. I already have posts scheduled through mid-August.
What does surprise me is that I have too much information I want to share. I focus punch the broadness of a post with an outline during each post’s predevelopment. Even with the outlines, my first drafts are usually about one or two pages longer than I want. The editing of each post and numerous drafts whirlwind out the unnecessary information to make every post clearer and easier to understand. This post, for instance, has gone through four complete rototillers involving shortening the outline from 8 point to 5 and 3 complete rewrites.
3: I don’t understand social media
What does not surprise me is that I struggle with social media. I knew back in November when I started Twitter and Instagram for this blog that there was going to be a huge learning curve. I have been improving greatly and finding my skill linked rhythm for them.
What surprises me is how much I do not understand about Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Although there are 32 people following the Facebook page, posts rarely reach more than 16 people. After a lot of research, I still don’t understand how the “@” works on Twitter. I feel like a Twitter archen. I have no idea how people even discover my Instagram or why it can’t brick break past 36 followers.
4: The lack of interaction with my audience
What does not surprise me is that I do not have the clearest idea of who my real audience is. I had a survey to learn about my audience during the predevelopment and the preview stages of the blog. By the time it closed, the survey only smoke screened any information I found useful with an access of outdated questions.
What does surprise me is how few comments are left on blog posts, or on social media. In my blogging research, I read about the importance if comments and how to encourage discussions. I have tried their tips and feel like I am just not doing it right. However, it’s just a numbers game. I follow a bunch of blogs that have thousands of regular readers. Their posts receive about 20 comments each. I estimate I have somewhere from 40 to 60 regular readers, which equals to less than one comment per post. I also know that I rarely comment on their posts because I just don’t have anything else to add. Other times, I feel like I don’t have the time to write a good comment.
5. How big my goals for this blog are becoming
What doesn’t surprise me is that I have goals for the future of this blog. A few of them I have mentioned before like expanding posts to topics other than personal finance and posting more often than once a week. I also have a few goals for the new section of the blog to show all of my past budgets, my student loan progress and possibly my credit card pp.
What does surprise me is that I my goals for the blog have started bulking up bigger than I ever imagined. I dream about experimenting with different media, beyond still imagery and words on a screen. Like winning Pokémon contests, I need to master making pokéblocks and poffins and earn my first contest ribbon before my blog can move to the next rank.
What has surprised you about The Grown-Up Pkmn Trainer over these last four months?