De-blogging a Publishing Industry Blog

I originally signed up with Blogger for the same reason I get started with most things - it was free and easy. In the year I've been blogging about self-publishing, I've noticed that the archived posts drew far less traffic than similar length articles on related topics that I've posted in plain old HTML. As I look around at the blogs of very successful bloggers, including Matt Cutts of Google (which owns Blogger) I've noticed that many of them use Wordpress blogging software. Maybe that has to do with the relatively heavy code Blogger produces, the peak period outages, or fairly clunky interface. I can deal with usability issues, but I worry that the Blogger generated pages are costing me visitors.

Yesterday, I began manually de-blogging some of my posts from last year, including my original post about publishing online with Blogger! I suppose it might have been more efficient to view the previously published posts online and cut and paste them into new files, but I took the path less traveled by - Notepad. I edited the raw code in Notepad, moving the content to a simple table format, and line editing to get rid of the oddball formatting. The de-blogged posts came out less than half the size in bytes than the Blogger generated originals, so there certainly was quite a bit of overhead. Time will tell if that overhead was hurting the pages’ ranking.

Traffic aside, I do have some other concerns about relying on blogging for book promotion. For one thing, blogs are really designed to attract repeat visitors in a blogosphere of related sites. The problem with repeat visitors is that they are unlikely to buy your book (if you only have one) over and over again. You might get a big kick-off if your blog is very popular and you publish a book, but for steady book promotion over time, you want organic search engine traffic. Another issue I have with blogs is the increasing use of RSS feeds. If I wanted the pressure of writing a new post every day for fear of losing my "readership" I'd be a salaried journalist. I'm also not crazy about some of the places blog feeds end up. In addition, it's very tempting for an author with a blog to start shooting off in all directions, and the resulting readership may not have any interest in the books. Lastly, I have a theory that the overly specific nature of archived post file names actually hurts in the search engines.

I'm somewhat guilty of going off the reservation myself as I find myself writing more and more about the publishing industry and less about self publishing and print-on-demand. This blog is actually the successor to my old "Cornered Writers" page which had more to do with the ups and downs of being a trade author than about self publishing. I suppose it's also possible that I'm just running out of things to say again, happens every few months. On the bright side, I have a bad memory so I can come back in a few months and repeat all the same stuff thinking that it's new. In any case, I'm not sure how far I'll go with this de-blogging effort because it's a ton of work and my mouse arm is getting sore.

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