This is an offshoot of the original Liam & Janet blog. That blog has become overrun by Liam's inability to keep his mouth shut when something annoys him. The serious rants there seemed incongruous with the humor columns. The plan for the humor columns continues to be to post a new one every Friday, plus occasional extras when the mood strikes.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Still worth it?

[UPDATE: Apparently I have a lot more regular readers than I was aware of. As a result, rather than scrapping the Humor Blog, I've decided to try to up the ante, by joining several humor blog webrings (if they'll have me). So at this point, my plan is to keep at this until they haul me away, babbling like some sort of deranged freak, to the New Hampshire State Home for Bewildered Humorists. Thanks, everyone! -- Liam]

I'm considering giving up on writing the humor blog.

I can't figure out how to increase my traffic or become popular. I've been at this for 6 months now, and I have maybe five regular readers, and then a whole lot of people who stop by once because they see me listed on BlogExplosion or BlogClicker, drop a quick comment, and leave.

I had really hoped for this blog to become popular. I never had illusions that I could *BE* Dave Barry, but in his hiatus, I thought perhaps I could be a poor man's version. Perhaps an insufficient filling for a huge cavity left by his absence, but a filling that was better than the aching hole. But in truth, I'm getting a lot more response on the political blog, and I never really meant to become a political pundit.

So, I guess my question is this: Can anyone think something I'm not doing that could drive a lot more traffic here, maybe build up my regular, week-on-week readership?

It's not that I don't enjoy WRITING the humor columns, it's just a matter that sometimes it's starting to feel like pressure to write something funny every week, when there is a lot of other pressure in my life right now. (Not looking for sympathy, in the world as it is today, we can all say that). When something strikes me as funny, I'd probably still write an essay about it, even if I no longer had the weekly essay, but somehow it's feeling like a lot of effort for not a whole lot of readers.

This is starting to sound whiny and self centered, and I don't mean it as such, I'm really just looking for someone to either give me some advice on how to get my columns more widely read, or else for someone to honestly tell me that I'm just not that funny, and perhaps a humor column isn't the outlet for me.

Thanks for any input,

Liam.

13 Comments:

Blogger Clublint said...

I've noticed that blogging is a fickle thing.

People can love you one day and hate you the next.

I suggest just writing what you want to write and damn everyone else....

Deb

Monday, July 11, 2005 12:21:00 AM

 
Blogger malfouka said...

Hey! Don't give up dude. The crowd is fickle and merciless. You do what you do very nicely and if BE'ers only care about their measly .00056 credit, then F 'em!

Monday, July 11, 2005 12:23:00 AM

 
Blogger malfouka said...

OMGoddess! I started commenting before I saw Deb's post... freaky man!

Monday, July 11, 2005 12:24:00 AM

 
Blogger Ross said...

There are all kinds of blogs, man. There's blogging for yourself, which is basically all I do. I don't expect much attention, and I don't get it. I don't blog often.

Then there's blogging for an audience, and that seems to be enjoyable for many, though I don't think I'd fit. And if you aren't getting the audience you want, and feel like it's wasted effort, don't feel bad about shutting down the humor blog.

On the other hand, if you want the encouragement I've been lax in providing, here it is. I enjoy your humor posts a lot, really I do. There were quite a few giggles I had to stifle when reading your Orlando/Oracle series from my office. The one about your daughter in the school orchestra was just perfect. Your gentle humor is a treat to read.

So if you enjoy writing 'em, believe me, I'll enjoy reading 'em.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 10:42:00 AM

 
Blogger Ralph said...

Liam,
I couldn't find your humor items when you reminded me to look. Before you had everything indexed from the main blog but now there is no way to get here without making some effort. You may have noticed that people are lazy and that their attention span is short.
In terms of getting more readership, I sure don't have any wisdom to share. Have you read the book, Blog, by Hugh Hewitt? He does have some suggestions. At least offer your rant readers a link to your humor. Maybe you can manage some parallel themes in both blogs to play against.
Just keep in mind that I stopped reading your humor when it stopped being in my face. And I enjoyed the humor as a relief from reading your serious - and long - rants.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 2:40:00 PM

 
Anonymous Sheila Moss said...

"... it's starting to feel like pressure to write something funny every week, when there is a lot of other pressure in my life right now." [Liam]

Don't give up now... You are beginning to sound more like Barry all the time!

Seriously, amatures only write when they feel like it. Pros write whether they feel like it or not. It takes time to build a successful website and a readership. It doesn't fall out of cyberspace - you have to want it enough to work for it.

And hey... I found you. You must be doing something right.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 8:25:00 PM

 
Blogger Liam said...

Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement (both those who commented here and those who e-mailed me directly).

I'm going to try to keep at it. In the end, it's supposed to be enjoyable for me, so what I'm going to do is stop feeling quite so much pressure if I miss a week. If I have things to write, I'll write them. If I miss a week, I miss a week. Inasmuch as I don't have an editor to annoy or a paycheck to miss, there are worse things.

It's nice to know there are those who enjoy my columns!

Liam.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005 9:52:00 PM

 
Anonymous linda said...

Wow, a comment from Sheila Moss!
I'm impressed!

I think maybe the problem is in the blog. I think blogs are a bit limiting in structure. And I don't think they get the advantages of search engines since there are so many of them. I'm sure if we put our thinking caps on, there might be a better of way. You are getting better and better, if that's even possible. And you seem to have less angst over writing on a regular basis. So please, don't give up.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 6:17:00 PM

 
Anonymous linda said...

It's pesky me again.

Is there some local newspaper which you might offer to place a column, say once a week? You could offer it for free so they agree. Afterall, you do this for free. Why not make it work for you? And if you were in a newspaper, even a small one, there might be some additional exposure that could come from it. You've been so gosh darn prolific with your blog, certainly you can easily come up with good column material once a week. That should be a snap for you.

And maybe someone like Sheila might give you some ideas or point you to some advice on becoming syndicated or something. I think it all would be worth the effort, in my humble opinion. Do it, Liam. Don't be shy. I would think in your region an offer of a column would be more than welcome.

I want to see you with a byline, or however it's spelled.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 8:42:00 PM

 
Blogger Liam said...

Linda,

I'm glad you said something. I try to check out the personal links of everyone who posts a comment, but I was busy the other day, and the name "Sheila Moss" didn't click.

I've definitely got some great company, it appears. I've gotten several good lessons from Tony Calabrese, a humorist and part-time professional stand-up comic in California, and now Sheila Moss.

If that's not enough to keep me going, nothing is.

I was inspired to write one this week in answer to a question you've probably never asked: Can individual teeth scream.

I guess my frustration is I really don't know how to take that next step. I've considered several times sending some sample columns in to the local paper, but somehow my stuff which, when I read it on my blog, makes me chuckle, suddenly becomes trite and stupid to me when I consider sending it in to the local news sheet.

I'll keep at the writing, though, and perhaps once my kids summer vacation comes sadly to an end, and I have a bit less ado going on in my house, I'll put a little more thought into trying to break into the print media.

And to Sheila Moss, I'm terribly sorry I didn't make the connection. Thanks for stopping by, it's great to see you here!

Liam.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 9:07:00 PM

 
Blogger Liam said...

Sheila,

For what it's worth, I've added you to my sidebar list of other sites I enjoy.

Liam.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 9:12:00 PM

 
Anonymous linda said...

I'm glad you're still considering going professional. You really should.

Don't worry over what you've written. I suspect you are much too hard on yourself, but that's only a sign of a true artist.

I'm still trying to catch up with reading your stuff. But what I've read is pretty amazing. I loved the one where you considered the literal interpretations of the bible in defense of your argument. My thought, while reading it, was that more people should be reading that. You underestimate yourself, my friend.

Also, don't just mail your writing examples to the newspapers. Go personally and introduce yourself. I've never met you, of course, but I have a hunch you would make quite an impression, and that is just as important. They would be impressed by you demonstrating how serious you are with your offer to contribute to their paper. Use the personal touch. It is one of your strengths.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 10:46:00 PM

 
Anonymous linda said...

....me again.

Oh, and if you do go in person to the newspaper, be sure to arrange ahead of time for an appointment with the top editor. Don't just show up and find the editor isn't there. Make the most of your visit.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 10:49:00 PM

 

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