Not ready to run with the big dogs.

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I’m not ready to run with the big dogs in the blogging world yet–nowhere near.   This puppy still requires a lot from me just to stay alive from day to day.  If this blog tried to run with the big dogs now, it would probably get trampled and run home whimpering. Could be I’d even have to dress a few wounds caused by Pup’s overeagerness to join the grownups and alpha dogs.

I assumed my blog had reached a point where I could take a break from it for a few days and Google would do my job for me while I did other things.   After all, there are some popular posts on this blog that continue to get a lot of hits months and even a year or more (!) after they were first posted.     I thought these self-generating popular posts would keep my viewcount up without me having to maintain it in any way. I also thought because my Alexa rankings are fairly good (top 450,000 global; top 80,000 US)  and my view count per day ranges between 1,500 and 2,500 (it can go higher on good days, or when a post goes viral), meant I could be lazy for a few days or a week and just sit and do nothing at all and wait for the hits to come.   (I know, I know, Alexa is sort of lame and not the best measure of a blog’s metrics, but I don’t want to pay for Google analytics).

Wrong!   After ONE DAY of not posting, my stats are WAY down.   It was disheartening to open my blog today and find NO likes, NO new followers, NO comments, and an abysmal view count.   I felt like I did the second week of blogging, when I would open my blog and find…nothing.  All that hard work I put slaving over a post for hours to make it perfect in every way, only to wind up having an audience of one–myself.   Granted, these days some people are reading.  I have regular followers who always check for new posts.  So things aren’t as bad as when I was a newbie.   But it’s still disappointing when the only people visiting your posts are your regulars who always visit anyway.

This can only mean that Lucky Otter’s Haven isn’t quite ready to “work” on its own yet without my help.   It’s not The Huffington Post or Amazon or even Cracked.com, and even those sites require regular maintenance and new articles every day.   LOH still needs regular maintenance and lots of TLC from me, and it needs a stream of new posts every day (or at least one or two).    Out of those new posts, a few catch on and a very few even go viral or remain popular over time.  Not all of them do. In fact most of them don’t.

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My other blog, Down The Rabbit Hole (I jokingly refer to it as my “second child”), has very low visibility and has not grown much (if at all) since I started it 11 months ago.  But that’s because DTRH was never intended to be for anyone but myself and any friends who are actually interested in reading about my therapy sessions and learning what goes on inside all those nested boxes stacked inside my mind like a Russian doll or Chinese puzzle.   I have never tried to monetize Rabbit Hole and probably never will.  It wouldn’t qualify for monetization anyway–not enough traffic.    Rabbit Hole has a much more limited audience and I have no desire to make it “popular” because to do so would ruin the far more intimate, personal, introspective feel of that blog, which some readers actually prefer over this one with all its widgets, ads, filler, jokes, pictures, and fluff posts.  So, when I log into DTRH and find I got only 20 views that day and no new Likes or comments,  I don’t worry about it.  I don’t go out of my way to promote that blog either, being that the posts in it are so personal I really don’t like to share too many of them on social media.  It’s really nothing more than a personal journal that I happened to  have made public to anyone who wants to read the minutiae of my therapy sessions and my own healing progress.

Lucky Otter’s Haven is different from The Rabbit Hole–it’s a “I’m-a-victim-of-narcissistic-abuse-and-I-have-mental-problems-and-PTSD-resulting-from-that-abuse” kind of blog but it’s also a general purpose blog, with a little something for everyone.   Like music, all kinds? Check.  Like art and photography?  Check.  Like politics and social issues and want to hear my unasked for opinion on those? Check.  Like movie and book reviews? Check.  Like posts describing all my mundane daily activities, like what I ate for breakfast and how long the line at the DMV was? Check.  Like inspirational memes?  Check.  True confessions?  Check.  A little religion?  You’ll find that here too.  Want to look at photos of my pets? Check.  Care to look at my dilapidated and mismatched furniture and my less than Architectural Digest (or even less than HGTV) quality interior decor in my tragically outdated 1908 half of a farm house which is in dire need of major repairs?  Check.  Have a penchant to read snarky little essays about everyday things?  Check that too.  Curious to see videos of my son’s dance routines? Check.  Itching for a little controversy? Yes, you’ll find that here too.  Haven’t had your daily dose of schadenfreude?  This blog is full of rants and whines and even a little shameless self pity that should fit the bill.   Want to learn how to be a better blogger and while you’re at it, find out how to recognize and handle online trolls, bullies, psychopaths, and narcissists?  Got you covered.

After my narcissism posts, my blogging and writing articles are my second most popular kinds of posts.   I don’t think of LOH  as a “blogging advice blog,” but I suppose for some, it could serve that purpose if they wanted it to.   It’s a versatile blog and I think that’s a good thing.  No one has complained about that yet.

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LOH didn’t become “general purpose” to get popular; I made it that way because lots of things interest me and there’s always some interesting and random thing going on, if you just are paying attention.   I also am opinionated and have opinions about many things, and this is my platform for spewing those opinions to the world.  I also get burned out sometimes on writing about narcissism and need a break to focus on things that are less dark and deadly-serious.

But I digress.  Those of you who follow this blog know I write about lots of things and from one day to the next, you won’t really know what to expect.   I think that’s a good thing and I think it keeps my regulars around.  But I realized after today that I can’t afford to get lazy and just let this blog float on its own, because chances are good it sink like a leaden rowboat to the bottom of Internet ocean, where algae, seaweed, barnacles, and general rot will take up residence on its rusting carcass.   It’s not famous like the ill fated Titanic (or as big), so no one’s likely in 100 years or so, to dredge it up from its sedimentary place of rest at the bottom of the Cyber-sea to explore its hidden treasures.

It’s only fate would be Just Another Dead Blog.

RIP

So maintaining activity on this blog is still something I have to keep working at.  I can’t take extended “vacations” unless I’m willing to watch my blog capsize and sink into the Underworld of the Dead Blogs.

Moral:  If you’re not a Big Dog yet, you can’t afford to be a lazy blogger.

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About luckyotter

Recovering from BPD and C-PTSD due to narcissistic abuse from childhood. Married to a sociopath for 20 years. Proud INFJ, Enneagram type 4w5. Animal lover, music lover, cat mom, unapologetic geek, fan of the absurd, progressive Catholic, mom to 2, mental illness stigma activist, anti-Trumper. #RESISTANCE
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29 Responses to Not ready to run with the big dogs.

  1. nowve666 says:

    OMG, Lucky! 1,500 to 2,500 visits a day? Shit! I thought I was doing well with a count of 96 one day. That was my best day. Sure puts things into perspective for me. If you’re a small dog, I must be a kitten.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. katiesdream2004 says:

    I’m glad you posted this topic. I’m struggling too but I think you are more committed to blogging than I am. I’m not consistent in my blogging partially because of my confusion about what I want to do with my life. I sit to write and think “you should be looking for a job” if I look for work I think “I should be writing. If I consider the writing as a hobby I’m not really very committed to it. If I look at it as a job it starts to lose the spontaneity. I also wrestle with the idea of “success” as a blogger meaning large numbers.

    Additionally, some days I struggle with the migraines that are the aftermath of a brain tumor surgery and just don’t feel physically capable of writing. I was praying about my blogs, I have two as well, I’ve been wondering if I should just combine them to simplify my life and save energy. I’m still unsure It helped to think of my audience of one being God and that the words I write are a tithe of my time and thought. The results then of readers are His responsibility. Like you I’m probably not ready to run with the big dogs either and so, those one or 2 people that find comfort perhaps that is enough.

    I think as a scapegoat there is also this pressure to prove myself successful as if anything less than being a new Oprah is failure. I think a affirmation of “I am enough, just as I am, what i do is enough, just as it is” might be helpful.

    Liked by 3 people

    • luckyotter says:

      I think your blog is very focused. and you are also a much better writer than me. Your articles are very deep, thought provoking and sometimes triggering, but always in a good way. They help me heal. Reading your posts is like a therapy session.

      Blogging is my hobby, but I hope to make a career out of it. But I know what you mean about once something becomes a “job,” it loses its spontaneity and fun.
      You are enough just as you are. Oprah is Oprah, you is you. Don’t sell yourself short. You have helped a great many people, and I think in a better way than Oprah has too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lynettedavis says:

      I like this affirmation. I’m going to write it down and put it on my refrigerator. I don’t have to be a new Oprah to be successful. Sometimes, just making an impact on someone else’s life is enough…

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Jim says:

    Personally, I’d really like to see you succeed because why the heck should you not succeed just because your mother decided to pick you to project her garbage onto? As a fellow scapegoat, it makes me mad. We sell ourselves short our whole life if we’re not careful.
    I hope this doesn’t come across as crass, but blogs don’t write themselves, and people only click on ads if they want to.
    I know a little about Internet Marketing, I’ll just tell you what I know about that in case it helps. From what I can see, I’m pretty sure LOH has a ton of potential.
    All you need to do to make it sustainable and successful as a business is get the strategy right, leverage what you already have, and optimize what you do in the future properly. Think backwards from clicks on ads or other monetization events (like does Richard Grannon have an affiliate program for his courses?)
    I would say you should set up an Amazon affiliate account, you can advertise certain books to go along with certain articles. Did you know you get 7 or 8% of everything a person buys from Amazon for 24 hours after they click your affiliate link? So at Christmas that can be a lot.
    Anyway, a site’s domain authority (DA) determines how highly and how quickly content, especially new content, will rank on google; a domain’s authority goes from from 0-100. So if Wikipedia wrote an article with the title “covert narcissistic mother” it would rank #1 on google the next day for that keyword (search term), because Wikipedia.com has DA of 100. LOH.com has DA of 23, which is actually quite high. Spartanlifecoach.com has DA of 13; narcissismschild.com has DA of 11, daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com has DA of 28 (I think that’s the most authoritative blog on its subject). So 23 is pretty good.
    You can check the DA of any site, along with how many links to their page, facebook shares by installing the MozBar Chrome extension and setting up a free Moz account.
    So anyway, if you want to generate traffic, you have to start with keyword research. Set up a free Google Adwords account (you have to give them your cc# but you don’t have to buy any ads at all), then you can use their keyword planner tool. It will show you how many searches per month are done for any keyword you plug in, and it will suggest related keywords, etc.
    Think of some keywords that you can write about, and find out how many people are searching for that keyword phrase (2,000 or more searches / month is worthwhile to put your effort into). Now plug that keyword (keyword phrase) into google, and check out the competition. If you’re pretty sure you can outdo them, then write a long, helpful post on that subject, like 3 – 5k words, properly using the keyword (search term) in the post title, h2 tags, and image alt tags. These posts will be your “cornerstone content” for your blog, which will bring traffic daily from google. https://yoast.com/cornerstone-content-rank/
    With all your old posts, those have a lot of potential power for you; you can leverage them by going thru them, and whenever the keyword for your new cornerstone pieces appear, make that word a link to your cornerstone posts. You can also edit old posts to insert the keyword / links. This “internal SEO” will boost the rankings of your cornerstone posts a ton. Google counts those links from your own blog to your own cornerstone post as evidence the post is important.
    And you should probably switch over to WordPress.org, all it costs is like $10 at most / month for a decent host, and buy a premium theme and it will convert your traffic way way better. https://woorkup.com/deals/siteground-coupon/
    Migrating the site over is not that hard; I’ve done it before. With a real WP site, you can have effective email optin and pop-ups (somewhat annoying but effective) to get way more people to opt-in for emails. All the money is in that email list.
    Plus a new WP.org site with a premium theme will look better, and your ad conversion rate will go up. I think a redesign would go a long way for you, not to be critical of your site, I love it but I think there is some unrealized potential in the way space is used. Then you’ll need email marketing service (mailchimp, etc or https://www.mailerlite.com/ ) to set up an auto-responder. This way, you don’t have to keep producing new content for your subscribers to get emails with links to your blog, you can set it up ahead of time to send a string of 40 favorite old posts and cornerstone content to new subscribers over the course of a year after they subscribe. So people automatically keep getting these emails & linking back to your site and surfing around your site.
    I would highly recommend Chris Lee’s advice, a guy I know has started making real money with his blog by Chris’ paid course and methodically implementing his advice: http://www.rankxl.com/ His strategy is quite easy to understand and is focused on making money using only ads. Take his free email course & read his blog. Start a campaign on your blog to raise $300 to take his full course.
    Maybe later, you can use https://www.authorityhacker.com/ these guys are quite slick and quite advanced, they cover affiliate marketing and doing your own products. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      Thanks for all this information, Jim. No, me being a life “loser” just fulfills exactly what my N parents trained me to be. I can show my mother she’s wrong about me! I intend to succeed in something before I die.
      Thanks for looking up my Domain Authority (DA)–never heard of that. 23? Wow!

      Targeted ads are a good idea (btw, for the Wordads I run now–WP’s advertising program–I make money per impression, the ads do not need to be clicked on). I make about $50 a month right now from ad revenue. I know it could be higher if I go self hosted, and maybe at some point I will, but I know it will require a lot of time I don’t have, and frankly, the idea of it scares me. It doesn’t sound exactly easy (I’m remembering OM’s posts about it when he was going self hosted and his blog actually got less popular and still has not equalled what it was when he was on WordPress.com).
      That doesn’t mean I won’t do it, but I’m not ready. But what I might do first is write a book–probably some sort of compilation of posts from this blog, but I’m not sure yet.
      The only problem with using WP.com’s Wordads program is that I cannot choose the ads.

      I thought about changing the theme (even while remaining on WP.com) but tbh I’m afraid I might lose everything or it might get “lost” in migration. What are the chances of that happening? I’ve heard horror stories!

      I’ll check the links you posted here. Thanks for sharing this information.

      Like

      • Jim says:

        Hey you’re welcome. A book sounds good, I think this is a good resource for that: http://www.smartpassiveincome.com/ebooks-the-smart-way/
        Per impression, huh? That sounds good, all you gotta do is drive the traffic.
        I wonder, did you see a bump when you started ad-retargeting? I noticed there was a point where ads on your site started to seem they know my prior behavior.
        Wow $50 a month is not bad. I bet you could 3x that just by a redesign and different ad placements. I also think you have the critical mass, and the market is there, to make the blog successful financially.
        I’m virtually certain there is zero chance any content could be lost by switching themes. That’s not a migration, it’s just putting a new skin on the content, very superficial.
        At worst, you’d have to reinstall your widgets in the sidebar and make some tweaks regarding appearance (but that’s the fun part). You can try out as many themes as you want by previewing your site with them, for your eyes only, in WP.com before pulling the trigger: https://en.support.wordpress.com/themes/
        I’ve done a WP.com to self-hosted migration, and the export / import process was simple. A couple clicks & everything miraculously appeared perfectly on the new site: images, posts, categories, tags, etc. It’s all wordpress to wordpress & it’s been done a million times; they’ve got it down. It’s really not that hard.
        But I wouldn’t do a theme switch & then go self-hosted in a short period of time though; people might lose the feel for your brand with 2 redesigns in a short period.
        As far as the possibility of your blog getting less traffic after going self-hosted…
        Because you already have your own domain name, all your google rankings, links from other blogs, & your social shares would still be out there and link back, totally uninterrupted. All your URLs (link addresses) for your posts would remain the same. Your domain authority would remain the same. Google wouldn’t know a thing (or care about it anyways).
        The only POTENTIAL problem would be your WP followers not continuing to get their updates for new posts; but there’s a solution for that. WP.com followers are still notified for new posts on your self-hosted site by using the “Jetpack” plugin, which is created by WordPress and works perfectly: https://jetpack.com/support/subscription-migration-tool/
        So I honestly can’t see how going self-hosted could hurt your traffic at all, unless people can’t recognize the same YOU in the new blog, or it somehow stinks, which of course it wouldn’t. 🙂
        I used to think marketing and sales was sleazy (for self-promoting, even narcissistic types) and I was somehow above it. Plus, I just didn’t want to bother with it. I suppose sales & marketing does tend to attract a lot of self-promoters, but I found out it is essential.
        I started a business that I really believed in, and I put a lot of my heart, soul, time, energy and money into, but I neglected the marketing / sales / revenue aspect. Consequently it was unsustainable and ultimately frustrating for me, and it didn’t help a fraction of the people it could have. I learned a lot, but it was heartbreaking and consumed a lot of my life. I would much rather it had succeeded.
        Currently I’m of the opinion you have to be really-really smart about the marketing / revenue part as early as possible, in the smartest way possible, and focus a lot of time and energy on that aspect- otherwise your business won’t give you a return on your work. Rather, it will ultimately drain you and be unsustainable. You simply have to be intentional & strategic about how exactly you’re going to make money change hands, and put the necessary time and effort into making sure that happens.
        Once you put a certain amount of effort into a business hoping it will succeed, only to be disappointed repeatedly, you lose your passion for it and there’s no going back; it’s too painful. Kind of like a one way relationship with a narc! 😉 So you have to be intentional, strategic & execute properly to make sure YOU get value back from the business, too.
        Anyway, I don’t mean to push all this on you if it’s not for you- the reason I’m belaboring it is that I believe in your blog, I can that see people like me get of lot of value from it, I can see it has the foundation to succeed, and I would hate to see you make the same mistakes I did. After 5 years of blood, sweat and tears, my business is essentially defunct while I’m 5 years older and still stuck in my job, at least until my next inspiration.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Chris White says:

    I think you’re doing very well indeed. I also like the way you support your followers in the comments section. Blogging is all about dedication, stamina, self-disipline and a generous helping of love. You seem to have these. Keep it up. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the information. It’ll make me work harder. I love your blog, by the way!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. rubycommenting says:

    This was more good reading from you. As a very new blogger, this was valuable for me to read. Yes the first week was better than the second lol. But I also wrote more that first week just to make the blog meatier. I think we need to remember that blogging isn’t just for the audience but also for ourselves. I also think of blogging as maybe an older persons hobby because we’ve lived enough to finally have something to say. I’m a little frustrated, I won’t say I’m not. Are we allowed to have more than 1 blog on WordPress? Or do you have to make your second blog on another blogging website? Btw, I finally found a way I can like your posts, from the reader view. But here on your blog I’m still not able to like individual comments. Some blogs I can, some I can’t, so I don’t know why this is but I googled WordPress support and others have had the same problem. I will figure it out eventually I’m sure:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • luckyotter says:

      Ruby, I a glad you found a way to Like my posts. WP is a bit wanky, I’ve had issues too.
      Yes, you can have a second website (which is attached to your first) and it’s free!). I found I needed the second one because there were posts I just wasn’t willing to put on my primary blog (this one).

      Liked by 1 person

  7. nikitalondon says:

    Hey LO i read sometimes directly from tweeter and cant like but I am always reading!!!! Im a loyal follower

    Liked by 1 person

  8. susanbotchie says:

    Dear Lucky, most “big dogs” are headed for the eternal pound. Yuk!

    Like

  9. lynettedavis says:

    I consider your blog as one of the “big dogs,” as you call it based on interaction alone, not to mention your stats, but I understand what you mean: You would like to be able to take a few days off with any interruption in your stats. I just came back from a two-week vacation and my stats fell to the floor.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You do have some long comments on this one. That says something. 😉

    Like

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