I have now been blogging for eight years. I have posted every week, without exception, usually (but not always) on Fridays.
There have been a lot of ups and downs. When Facebook was at its heyday, I got a lot of traffic from there. Then Facebook changed its algorithms, making it harder to drive interest to a website.
I adjusted, and my traffic moved up again.
Three years ago, a marketing genius at Moon Books suggested my platform needed a single completely integrated website, not a separate blog and main site. It took over six months, since it was a major overhaul, but I did it. Traffic dropped substantially.
But over time, visitors increased again.
This year, mid-September, visits to my blog decreased 75% and stayed there, and I’m trying to figure out what happened. I assumed initially that my recent subjects weren’t as interesting to other people, or that my photos weren’t so good as in the past, or that my posts were too short or too long or not as good. But it’s more than that.
So I’m rethinking this again.
One of the hardest things about blogging, that I’ve found, is that you have to keep promoting your blog. Even many core visitors won’t return automatically, but see on social media that you’ve posted again or are otherwise reminded of your presence. Competition for online attention is fierce and becoming more fierce.
The second hardest thing about blogging is that it doesn’t necessarily drive book sales. People who read a lot of books don’t spend huge amounts of time online. I get the most traffic (here and on Twitter) when I blog about something that has political resonance, and I limit the amount of political writing I do. I’m just not interested in becoming a political blogger. I have that in common with Henry David Thoreau, who only really wanted to write about nature and birds, but got a huge amount of attention (than and now) for a little tract called Civil Disobedience. He didn’t even invent the concept; he only described and defined it well.
So I’m examining why there was a precipitous dropoff that seems to be ongoing. Moon Books stopped promoting my blogposts on Twitter about that time, so that might be the culprit. I could have been getting traffic through a link on another site, and somebody removed the link, maybe when redesigning their site or maybe because I wrote something they disagreed with. A lot of people have voluntarily moved off Twitter in the past year for their censorship policies directed toward feminists, so maybe the answer is to disengage from Twitter in favor of another hangout, just as moving from Facebook to Twitter years ago redirected my audience. I think blogs in general may be less popular than they used to be. There are more online magazines, and they are well promoted, savvy to continually evolving user tastes.
I may also have to consider whether blogging might be a poor use of my time, time better spent writing books and articles for online magazines and anthologies. I may need to choose whether to direct my energies into becoming a better self promoter (not my strong suit) or a better writer. The best self promoters, in my observation, are emotionally insecure people who strive constantly to get people to like them and stroke their egos and give them positive reinforcement. They work at it everyday, from an early age. They love social media and curry favor by pandering whatever opinion is popular. Obviously I can’t change my personality, nor do I want to.
So I’m at a turning point. I may adjust and throw myself into getting my “hits” up again, or I may take a step back and ask myself “Why?” One thing I will continue to do is keep the website. With ever increasing censorship of feminists, for dumber and dumber reasons, I can’t afford to invest too much in social media presence.
I think in 2020 there’s going to be a splintering of social media traffic, moving away from giants like Twitter and Facebook into smaller fee-paid social media groups. The media companies did it to themselves, by profiting from fake news and buying into cancel culture. The Internet as a whole may be at a turning point, not just me.
I am fascinated by Roman mythology before the Greco-Roman period, partly because I find it so abstruse. Etruscan mythology, already influenced by the Greek, seems more accessible, despite the concerted destruction of the culture perpetrated by early Christians.
Roman deities tend to be abstract energies rather than developed personalities. Even when they take physical form, that form is often perceived as inanimate or at least non-biological. The goddess Cardea, she of the front door hinge to the family dwelling, is a good example. Together with the god Forculus (door) and Liminus (threshold), Cardea forms the energy around the entrance to the abode.
Cardea allows movement through a boundary, so she seems like a goddess to reflect upon for the New Year. We think of boundaries as forces to keep things out (evil spirits, troublesome people), but a functional boundary also allows energies to enter. Cardea filters out undesirable energies as the desirable energies pass the threshold.
Actually a perfectly fine day. It’s Friday! (Frigg’s Day) The planet for Friday is Venus, the planet of love and friendship. And 13 is a number associated with some lunar calendars.
But if you still want to be spooked, there’s this. I was walking along a dirt road earlier this week and saw this widow-maker. Don’t know if the photo conveys how huge it is. I took this as a divinatory sign to slow down and pay attention.
There is a 3-legged deer in the village that has attained almost mythical status. People who spot the deer limping around at night are alarmed, only to be reassured that, “Yeah, she’s missing part of a front leg, but she gets along okay. Been that way for a while.”
The other night I glanced up and saw the 3-legged deer peering in the window at me. Wildlife, mostly deer, do this, and I feel sometimes like my house is a zoo cage and I’m on display for the wildlife.
I learned last night that our gimpy deer is not a doe, but a buck. He has a small rack going. I don’t see many bucks around, because they are hunted and they don’t have antlers much of the year. The 3-legged buck stood awhile at the window and then limped away.
Yes, the Bald Eagle is the US national bird, but I’ll bet you secretly like the Wild Turkey best.
Though once endangered, the Wild Turkey has made a comeback and is found in most US states (and in northern Mexico). In New England, she has become a bit of a nuisance, flocking onto roadways and chasing suburban children.
Turkeys are social animals, the females at least, and sisters sometimes raise their next brood together. They can be aggressive, which makes sense, since their chicks are grounded. Adult turkeys can fly and swim, though they usually choose to run and walk.
They are quite fast runners. Once a turkey challenged me to a race. I was riding my bicycle on a paved country road, and a turkey began trotting next to me. Just for fun, I sped up, and the turkey continued running alongside of me. Finally I broke loose and pedaled as fast as I could, and the turkey and I were in tied in a fiercely competitive race. Eventually we left farmland and passed into a copse of trees, and the turkey had to fly up into the branches.
The word for turkey in Munsee Delaware is puleew, and the turkey is the totem animal for one of the major clans. Delaware women would wear cloaks of turkey feathers during important ceremonies.
The turkey has been the downfall of many a vegetarian. Many have told me that they stayed away from animal flesh completely for a year or more until one day, when they were really hungry, there was turkey….
This post is about the underworld journey of the Mesopotamian goddess Ninlil.