Happy Blog Birthday to Me

Happy Blog Birthday to Me

ARHtistic License is three years old today!

In the past three years, I’ve published over 1,735 posts. ARHtistic License now has 465 subscribers.

But sometimes I wonder if all my work is worth it.


I subscribe to a hundred blogs, and I check out at least twenty new-to-me blogs a week. Some of the blogs I see are fabulous—and I share their posts on social media and through Flipboard and Creative Juice.

But some of the blogs I see are, frankly, poorly written and unattractively designed—and yet have thousands of subscribers.

I must be doing something wrong.

Help me.


Two measures of a blog’s popularity are views and likes. Views are the traffic your blog gets; likes are the number of people who enjoyed your post enough to click the “like” button.


Here are the top ten posts on ARHtistic License in the past year, based on views:

  1. Serb Fest (267 views)
  2. NaPoWriMo Day 21 (152)
  3. Diva Challenge #334 (100)
  4. #DC345: Christmas Star (97)
  5. #DC346: Phicops and Huggins (93)
  6. #DC350: Rimana Heartstring (74)
  7. #DC362: Somnee (71)
  8. Cozy (71)
  9. Inktober Day 24: A Composite (71)
  10. #DC360 Shattuck vs. Tripoli (69)

I think I know why the first one got a lot of views. My daughter sent a link to a Bosnian friend. I think Daria must have posted it online, where lots of her friends are among the Balkan community (thank you, Daria). I also posted it on the Phoenix International Folk Dancers’ Facebook page, which also generated some views.

The other nine posts were responses to challenges. The NaPoWriMo people featured one of my poems on their website. (Unfortunately, it was not one of my favorite poems. I like this one better if you’re interested.) The rest were zentangle challenges from I Am The Diva. Laura’s devoted fans support each other by checking out one another’s entries.

Writing and coffee

Here are the top eleven posts on ARHtistic License for the past year, based on likes:

  1. NaPoWriMo Day 21 (20 likes)
  2. Strategy (20)
  3. Wordless Wednesday: My Neighbor’s Pomegranates (20)
  4. Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day (19)
  5. Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Tecoma Yellow Bells (18)
  6. My Favorite Photo of 2017 (18)
  7. Christmas Recipe Challenge (18)
  8. 12 Worst Blogging Mistakes (17)
  9. Beach House (17)
  10. Wordless Wednesday/ Flower of the Day: Hibiscus (16)
  11. Ahwatukee Festival of Lights (16)

Isn’t it interesting that there is almost no overlap between the two lists? Again, most of these articles are responses to blogging challenges, especially photo challenges (photographers are very supportive of each other—thank you, shutterbugs).

Two articles that didn’t make the top lists but which I feel are among my best work this year are I’d Rather Be Dancing: Phoenix Folk Dance Festival and Walk in the Art District. Both are photo essays which required many hours to shoot and edit

Isn’t it also interesting how low the number of likes is? The same NaPoWriMo article that had 152 views only had 20 likes. Does that mean that the other 132 people who read it disliked it?



I know the “like” button is peculiar to the WordPress platform (which ARHtistic License utilizes) and fans and users of other platforms might not be tuned into it. Also, to click the WordPress “like” button, you must sign up for Gravatar, which requires a username and an email, and, optionally, your website. This gives you a little identifying avatar (of your own provision, or one will be generated for you) which also makes it possible for others to view the profile you submitted—and can help others find your blog. I know it involves time and some people are uncomfortable releasing their email addresses, but it’s a requirement for adding comments and interacting with the WordPress blogging community. Consider that you do your favorite bloggers a disservice when you don’t let them know how much you enjoy their work. Like me, they might feel as though they wouldn’t be missed if they quit.

My goal in starting my blog was to stimulate a dialogue among people I enjoy—intelligent, artistic, creative people. I haven’t succeeded. If someone leaves a thoughtful comment, I will reply, especially if a question is asked. But I get so few comments on most posts.

What am I doing wrong?


Between now and my next blog birthday, I need to decide how to improve my blog so that it becomes what I want it to be—a place where creatives exchange ideas—or, decide if I want to scale it back or discontinue it altogether.

Here’s how you can help me:

  • If you’re not a subscriber to my blog, please sign up today! (See the third item on my sidebar.)
  • If you enjoy something I’ve posted, please click the “like” button (a great way to give feedback on any blog).
  • If you have something to add about a topic, please leave a comment.
  • If you’re on Facebook, follow the ARHtistic License page.
  • If you’re on Twitter, follow me.
  • If you’re on Instagram, follow me.
  • If you have any ideas about how I can improve ARHtistic License or attract my target audience, please tell me in the comments below.

Thank you. I think about my readers every day, and I’d love to get to know you better.


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.

7 responses »

  1. Andrea, I love your blog. Some days I have more time than others to read, comment, or even like it. But I am a faithful follower and I hope you’ll keep at it. You make a difference. I love the variety of creativity your blog presents. I love that we can all be creative in our own ways and it still counts. Thanks for your perseverance in writing here on the blogosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. WOW! Three years is an amazing commitment and output. I only recently reconnected with it as a subscriber. Like Linda, I don’t respond/comment on everything, but your selections and posts have opened my eyes and thoughts to all avenues of creativity. And, unknown to you, I do share various pieces with family and friends. Having posted a weekly column for years, and having 3 websites, I understand the desire to enlarge your following. I have no tips…and no following of my own. But as writers/creators, that is part of our purpose for writing. Just curious. Would you feel motivated if you only posted once or twice a week? I don’t know how that would impact you or your audience. I’m just not sure you have to choose between two extremes – maintain the level of posting you do – or post nothing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for being open about how you’re feeling about blogging at the moment. I too have similar struggles with should I keep going, is it worth it. You are obviously still touching other people with what you are sharing. Keep going.

    Liked by 1 person

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