My nature causes me to review all my actions. This can be formally, as I do at work, or very informally, as when I review my actions of the day just before going to sleep. When I do these reviews, I try to be honest about my successes and failures. What did I do wrong? How could I have done it better?  Consider this post somewhere between formal and informal.

When I first thought about writing a blog, I did not have any clear goals. I did not know what I would be writing about. I thought I considered the cost issue from all aspects and somewhere in the back of my mind was the possibility of making money from my blog. I did do some research into how much it would cost me to register my Domain name and how much it would cost for webhosting. I really should have done much more research.

It never occurred to me that I could have hosted my blog for free. Both WordPress and Google offer free blog hosting with minimal advertising. If you want to do it without advertising, they both have competitive rates. You can also go the Facebook route. I’ve seen a number of Facebook pages that would make excellent blogs. The other advantage to these options is exposure. All of these organizations have a strong interest in making you succeed and linking you with readers.

I had never considered who would read my blog. The Internet is huge, I thought  I would have at least a hundred people a day reading my blog. Really poor planning on my part. People have to know who you are to find you. Google’s search engine is good and there are things you can do to improve your chances of coming up on within the first 20 or so pages of a Google search but I’m still learning that. For example, Cajun was one of my most popular blogs.  For this post I actually did a search on Google. No mention within the first 20 pages. I also tried Cajun, Australian Shepherd and found her video on page three. Looks like I need to do a better job creating titles.

I also never considered the idea of success. On a normal day, I see about five people look at my blog. I know most of them but every once in a while it’s someone new. My Aunt actually sponsored a contest to get people looking at my blog. This was a big success, certainly for this blog. In one day I had 98 visitors. Just what I wanted, except I wasn’t ready. Now suddenly  I had to keep these people interested. I had to worry about writing something that would bring them back. Once the numbers dropped back to normal I realized that I had to do a better job of keeping people interested. There’s a lot of excellent writers out there blogging.

That brings me to writing style. I feel my writing has improved since I’ve started writing this blog but text is not the only part of a blog and I’m not a good enough writer, yet, to rely solely on text. Pictures and videos are very beneficial in expressing a concept and holding someone’s interest. I picked my current blog format to force me to have at least one picture per blog.  Of course, you have to have pictures to use them in a blog. At last count I have 4990 pictures on my computer.  Most of these were taken by my wife or me. I could probably illustrate a hundred posts on our dogs and horses. After that my choice of subjects becomes very sparse. I need a lot more pictures with more varied subjects.

One more issue that I never thought about, comments. Comments are the best means of feedback to a blog writer. That’s how the writer knows what you like and what you dislike. It provides ideas to the writer for future articles. Most importantly it provides the writer with incentive to continue writing. I have to admit, I’ve never left a comment on a blog in my life. This is definitely something I intend to change.

Lots of mistakes, lots of opportunities to improve. Prior to writing this I was looking at changing the layout of my blog. After writing this, I can see that changing the layout appeals to me because I know how to do it. What I really need to do is pay more attention to my titles and add more content in the way of pictures.

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