What I’ve Learned about Blogging from a Year of ARHtistic License

What I’ve Learned about Blogging from a Year of ARHtistic License

Celebrate with me–ARHtistic License launched one year ago today.

First (in case you missed any of these), I’d like to share the most popular ARHtistic License posts of the year, according to number of likes:

10. Poetic Collage

9. Wordless Wednesday: Bus Stop writing

8. Beautiful Writing

7. Distracted by the Flowers

6. Collision of Science and Art

5. Wordless Wednesday: Rock On

4. Writing 101 Days 3, 4, and 5

3. Hint of Spring

2. Writing 101 Days 1 and 2

  1. Pulsating Pink

Scrolling through my entire blog to see how many readers clicked the “like” button for each post (you’d think WordPress would have an easier process for that), I discovered some surprising trends. For example, only two of the top ten posts are articles. The rest are either poems or photographs (although I’m using this revelation to justify splurging on a new camera).

Featured Image -- 1165It’s discouraging to realize that the pieces I spend the most time researching and writing don’t garner as much appreciation as a few poems written in an afternoon or a photo snapped on a morning walk. Why couldn’t I get 20 likes for How to Hold a Writer’s Retreat or for Soliciting (and Offering) Feedback?

One of my goals for ARHtistic License is to be a forum for creative ideas. I want readers to be part of the dialog, adding their thoughts and experiences by commenting on each post. It hasn’t happened to the degree I anticipated. Does anyone have a suggestion for promoting more reader involvement?

I recently read a discouraging statistic: 40% of all new blogs are abandoned within the first four months. I get that. None of the posts I wrote during the first six months of ARHtistic License earned as many as ten “likes.” How did I keep going with so little affirmation? I have no idea.

I’m also surprised that one of my favorite features of ARHtistic License–the Video of the Week–is also the least popular. A YouTube aficionado, I’m eager to share the gems I find.

So, I’m going to challenge you to do something. Please scroll down the right side of the blog to where it says, “Are you looking for a particular TOPIC?” From the drop down menu that says, “Select Category,” choose “Video of the Week.” Then pick one of the videos to watch. Hit “older posts” if you need to. There are almost 50 to choose from. Tell me if whatever you watch isn’t absolutely delightful.

woman-865111_1280To entice you to partake, instead of just numbering the Video of the Week posts,  I am now also giving them a title, so that if you get the email notifications you’ll be tempted to click on the link. (You do know how to sign up for email notifications, right? If not, tell me in the comments below, and I’ll walk you through it.)

I’m also scheduling guest posts from my favorite bloggers on Thursdays, so you’ll have an additional reason to visit on video day.

Did you know that I post literally every day? Sundays I give you a passage of scripture, chosen especially for creative people. Mondays I post a quote having something to do with the arts or the creative process. Tuesdays and Saturdays I provide an article about something artistic. Wordless Wednesday posts are one or more photographs with little or no commentary. Fridays I put up a meme or a joke.

Thank you to all of you who stop by every day. I know who you are. (I have my ways of finding out.)typewriter

Finally, here’s what I’ve learned about blogging from my experience this year:

  • Lots of resources exist to help you improve your blog. My favorite is WordPress’ Blogging University (and although much of the information is WordPress-specific, you don’t have to use the WordPress platform to benefit from it). It offers free online classes on blogging, writing, photography, and poetry.
  • If you run out of ideas for posts, you can find hundreds of  writing prompts online or in books. I’ve used some from WordPress Daily Post,  Pinterest (search writing prompts), Writer’s Digest, and The Journal.
  • Take advantage of writing events and challenges. Wordless Wednesday is one–hundreds of bloggers post photographs without commentary mid-week. Cee’s Photography hosts lots of photography challenges in addition to the Share Your World challenge I often participate in. I find out about challenges from reading other people’s blogs, but you can also check out WordPress’ Event Page.
  • Join blogging communities on Facebook and Google+, like Blogging Boost or Writers, Authors, and Bloggers.
  • If you follow the four suggestions above, you can significantly increase your readership. How do I know this? Because eight of my top ten posts are responses to a Blogging University assignment, a Daily Post prompt, or a blogging challenge. When you take on one of those, you have the option of linking back to a group or a website. Other people who have taken the same prompt or challenge or class like to see what other bloggers have done with it, and they may visit your blog.
  • Turnaround is fair play. If you participate in a class, prompt, or challenge, then for every post you submit, read and like and/or comment on at least two other bloggers’ posts. Just as authors ought to read lots of books, bloggers should read lots of blogs. Honestly, there are so many blogs that are worth your time. I follow more than a hundred (although there are few that I read daily–I’ve listed those on my sidebar under Blogs I Recommend). If you find something good, acknowledge it. Grab yourself some blogging karma.blogging-15968_1280

One more favor. Do this as a birthday gift for ARHtistic License: consider following ARHtistic License on Facebook. I share many more articles, videos, and photographs there. And if you like artsy stuff, follow me on Pinterest, too.

About Andrea R Huelsenbeck

Andrea R Huelsenbeck is a wife, a mother of five and a former elementary general music teacher. A freelance writer in the 1990s, her nonfiction articles and book reviews appeared in Raising Arizona Kids, Christian Library Journal, and other publications. She is currently working on a young adult mystical fantasy novel and a mystery.

3 responses »

  1. Congrats on 1 year! Today is my 1 year as well. I definitely fell into that slump of abandoning the blog. I started my blog at the same time I was moving and starting a new job [BAD idea lolol]. Best of luck in year 2!


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