Cult Blogger

Published February 24, 2013 by Maryanne


My blog … it’s not for everyone

Why do I blog?

I started this blog a year ago as a creative outlet to write about things I like, mostly positive and inspirational because that’s how I am. But I also like to share about my life because writing for an audience, I write better than what I write in my private diaries. So, this blog is a wonderful document of my life.

Also, being a professional writer since 1995, even though I choose the topics I get paid for writing and I just ADORE writing as a profession, I do have a quote about journalism:

“It’s journalism, not creative writing. You’re writing a format. It’s like being in a cover band.”

— Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta

So I blog!

Now, not wanting to go by formats, I mentioned before that I’m not a “tit-for-tat” blogger. I don’t spend time “liking” every blogger that likes me. I find it to be phoney and that’s not my personality.

I am not in this as a popularity contest, or to get a million followers.

I am in this to, as I said earlier, document my life and any friends I make in the meantime is a beautiful bonus.

That said, I have to point out that I stop following blogs if I’m not connecting with a fellow blogger.

For instance, if I make a sincere comment to a fellow blogger and they don’t respond; if I email a fellow blogger and they can’t be bothered answering; if I’m always reading someone’s blog and I never hear from them or if they are just pressing “like” all the time in my blog without commenting.

There are so many great blogs out there and so many great people, I like to spend my time with the BEST. Those with the best personalities, those with the best insights and those that make me laugh and make me think of them during the day.

No, I’m not making blogging like “American Idol” by making “cuts” (as someone once said to me when I made Face Book cuts years ago). It’s just that time is precious and limited. So, let’s be honest. I don’t have time to read hundreds of blogs every day and I’m not going to be phoney and press “like, like, like” if I just skimmed through something and didn’t look at it.

That said, I highly doubt I’ll follow a blog that has several hundred followers already, especially when blogs with fewer readerships are even better!

So many times, early on, I’d read “Freshly Pressed” and be like, “What did I read that for? Well, that was a boring waste of time.” When someone that has maybe 50 followers I’m like, “WOW, this person should be known worldwide — this is fantastic!”

I think my blog is pretty versatile if I do say so myself. It offers music, spirituality, fun, animals and health. But if my blog is kept at cult status because I’m not playingΒ  the game of re-blogging others, liking everything, interviewing other bloggers and giving out awards — SO BE IT!

What the hell — my art was once called “punk art,” so keeping it real, I don’t mind being a cult blogger. In fact, I’m quite enjoying my cult status.

35 comments on “Cult Blogger

  • Hi Maryanne – this post makes me feel good about someday getting back in the saddle of writing my Wildwood blog. I’m just too busy to update it right now, but I do want to get back to it someday, so thanks for your vote of confidence for it! πŸ™‚

    • Aww, thanks so much Andrew! I think it’s because my readership is still fairly low. I cringe to think what would happen if I ever got hundreds of responses. I’d hate to not have time to answer people. Maybe less blogs in order to respond to everyone πŸ™‚

      • Your blogs receive much more response than mine ever have. I have very few comments on my blog, compared to your blog. I can have 600 readers of my blog, with no comments sometimes.

      • I think bloggers just “add” people to get more readers, but they have the ones they really like come to their email boxes and the others are turned off. I have 200 bloggers following but it’s always the same 20 “liking” and about a handful that comment — and a GOOD HANDFUL they are! I love my “regulars” πŸ™‚

        I stopped following a lot that I never hear from anymore. Also I think people may have followed originally, but then they get more popular and have more blogs to read and find ones they feel are more interesting than mine. Or maybe they liked something I wrote about spirituality or writing, but didn’t like the other stuff … who knows … that’s why I say, I like being of cult status — I like being in my own little blog world πŸ™‚

      • Maryanne, I was averaging about 700 visitors a day to my blog, but since the duodenal cancer came into my life I am running about 300 visitors a day. Sporadic posting is the best way to lose readers. I haven’t posted much lately. Had 19,752 readers in February of 2012, but only 6,779 so far in February of 2013.Reality TV seems to get the most readers. Four articles on the Lizard Lick Towing reality show drew a combined 51,000 visitors to the website, out of the over 484,000 visits. None of that matters now, though since the readers are abandoning my blog in droves.

        That is why your blog is so popular because you blog often enough to keep the readers interested in your blog, plus write such interesting articles.

        I try not to follow a blog just because someone is following mine, since their blogs sometimes are about subjects, that I have no interest in. I avoid blogs that are graphics intensive, since to like or comment involves a 4 or 5 minute wait for the page to open.

        Keep up the good work and keep blogging.

      • Wow, Andrew, that’s a huge readership! I’m only averaging around 60 per day and when I post more per day the numbers can jack up to 100. It’s interesting when I look at the stats where the readers are coming from. Most people find my Jukebox page by Googling Patricia Morrison because I wrote a nice tribute to her. She’s more popular than anyone I ever wrote about, except for Helen Gurly Brown. Once in a blue moon I see people coming here from Googling my name and that’s flattering (whether it’s for good or bad reasons, ha-ha!) Also find some of my former friends stalking me by them Googling their own names because they write comments on here and I don’t delete them. It must irk them so much that they once wrote lovely stuff and now feel differently about me. But that’s their problem for being phonies — ha-ha!

      • I think part of the reason for my readership is that I have written about so many subjects in 892 posts, that Google probably takes them to my page. You keep posting often and you will see your numbers jump up.

        You are getting a lot more comments from your 60 readers a day, than I get from over 300 that I have. That tells me you are connecting with your readers and are writing about what they are interested in and what affects them in their daily lives.

        I have found that writing about a celebrity that has just died brings in a lot of readers. Like the day that Barbara Billingsley of Leave it to Beaver died, there was over 7,000 readers.

        You don’t need to change anything. Your numbers will grow month by month, if you continue what you are doing. Know you are more interested in connecting with your readers, than having more readers, but it is encouraging to know a lot of people are reading your blog.

      • Great advice, Andrew — thanks! I just thought of another blog topic I want to do, but I wrote so much today I don’t want to bombard people’s emails πŸ™‚

      • Ha-ha, that is true! I’m not watching the Oscars, I rarely go to movies so it wouldn’t interest me. Will probably enjoy seeing the gowns and hairstyles on Fashion Police sometime next week though.

      • Oscars would be a lot more interesting for frequent movie-goers, but never saw a movie in a theater in the last couple of years. I liked the old days back in 1958, when I saw No Time For Sergeants three times in a row starring Andy Griffith, Nick Adams and Don Knotts. Nowadays they clear out the theater after a showing.

      • Yes, I was chatting on another blog about how everyone is so busy! I always stay for all the credits, but I think they will charge you if you stay for a second showing of a movie. It’s rare there’s a new movie that I think I’ll like. I did see “Frankenweenie” some time ago, it was super!

      • Love the biopic movies like the Ray Charles, Bobby Darin and Hank Williams movies. I realized how little I actually knew about them outside of their music. Was shocked to know that Ray Charles came close to being arrested in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for heroin possession. That could have taken him out of the music scene for years.

        Was looking forward to the Peggy Lee biopic that will probably tell how she left home after being abused and became one of the top singers in the Big Band era. Reese Witherspoon was going to portray her, but Nora Ephron was supposed to be writing the script and she died, so don’t know if she finished it or not.

        Sorry for the thread drift.

      • Yes, the biopics are terrific! The Johnny Cash one with Reese Witherspoon was off the hook fantastic!

        Don’t worry about carrying out the thread, this is a great conversation!

      • I did miss the Johnny Cash biopic and hope to see it someday. We live 28 miles from the closest movie theater, so haven’t seen any movies lately. It is a 20 mile round trip for us to just go to McDonalds.

  • That’s funny. I was thinking about this the other day. It’s all about reciprocity and dialogue for me. If I get dissed once, it may be an oversight. After that, I’m done. My time is valuable. I don’t stay where I am not appreciated. Freshly Pressed rarely has anything worth reading in it imho. Yet people gauge their success writers there? I’ve been blogging since the 90s. I had a considerable following and now I’m rebuilding and freelancing. Quite a different scene. But I have never seen more writers who think they are better than they are. I follow a small number of blogs, yours is one of them because I enjoy your writing style. Many blogs are snore fests! Keep reading my thoughts! I enjoy it. πŸ˜€

    • Great insights Maggie! I agree about reciprocity because it gets boring adding your two cents if no one responds. Sometimes I just press “like” if I’m at a loss for words or if someone else already said what I was going to. But most of the time I like to add something to the conversation and really get to know the blogger. Some blogs I go back and read all their years in one sitting (when I really have some good time to chill, with a glass of wine).

  • I love blogging just because I can get words out there instead of ‘formulating’ them for a novel. I write about really dumb things, but I think that comes from working for so many years in a stifling environment (for the government) where creativity was an absolute no no! I usually write comments on other blogs, but if words or opinions aren’t needed I don’t use them and just push ‘like’ πŸ˜‰

    I too have read FP blogs and thought ‘I want that 10 minutes of my life back’…

    • That’s a very good reason to blog, Dianne, makes total sense. And for me, I’m shy in real life, so if my friends read my blog that’s less talking I have to do about myself and more joking around and listening to others. It takes a lot of stress off my real life personality πŸ˜‰

  • Well, I can sure relate to this! i originally started blogging because I finally had time to give it an honest go and i wanted to work on my writing skills. In the beginning I joined a couple of blogging groups on Linked in hoping to find real people to connect with, receive input and constructive criticism from etc. Well – as you can guess that was a whole lot of “follow me and i’ll follow you” – Definitely NOT my thing so I completely kicked that idea to the curb real soon after I started my blog, a little more than a year ago.

    I enjoy writing. That is why I blog. Period. Unfortunately I don’t always have the time to blog about what’s on my mind (which is what I like about your blog) and I am trying very hard to get a business going which has led me to blog more about projects I do rather than what’s really on my mind. I had a job that required a lot of writing and editing on my part and I totally loved it and missed it so I also thought starting a blog would be a good, safe way to rekindle that love I had for writing.

    I follow many bloggers who never reply to my comments or rarely if ever visit my blog because they either 1) think they are way to good to be “seen” on my blog 2) don’t really have the time or care to check out my blog or 3) they just don’t like my content. Oh well, I follow those blogs because I like them and I try not to take it personal that they don’t have the courtesy to reply to my comments I guess they too are all blogging for themselves and not for the likes and follows. πŸ™‚ and therefore maybe they don’t feel the slightest bit of obligation to even visit my blog.

    I like that my blog is slowly growing. I like my genuine “likers” and followers. I like what I write. I love it when I run into people who tell me how much they liked my post on this or that even though they didn’t comment or “like” – what a nice surprise that is.

    Lately I have been steering clear of commenting or liking because i don’t want to ever come off as ‘I like you – now visit my blog and like me’ and I also grew weary of awards – at first they were flattering and I really took them to heart, then after a while I started getting the feeling it was just a way to get followers or visits to someones blog and I really didn’t want to be a part of that either.

    Anyway, I know what you are saying – keep doing what you do and I sure didn’t mean to ramble on, but this has been something that has been on my mind for a while now. Maybe I should write a post about it too.

    BTW always appreciate your comments and glad to see you are having such success with your blog. I don’t always have time to leave a meaningful comment so I just hit the like button as a way of saying – great job, keep it up – we’re still here reading!


    • Thanks Marie! What a well-thought out response and I agree with all of what you are saying. My “likes” mean the same thing, as the last thing I want to do is write something that doesn’t really add to the conversation, but it is cool when I (or anyone) can come up with something good to write in response to a great blog post.

      Of both of your blogs, I really love the music one! I miss that. I do notice that the “side blogs” don’t get as much exposure as the main ones, that’s why I always reblog my own Jukebox blogs because I think the regular readers would like a lot of the songs — and they do!

      I think your blog was one of the first ones I found on my own without you finding me first, so that’s a true compliment that I genuinely like your music blog. There’s another music blog I follow, the guy never even looks at my blog, but he writes great content, so that’s a rare exception where I’m following and not caring if he follows me. (As well as someone I used to work with who is a very good read — but I don’t comment any more because she has other followers who are jerks and looking to swing/start fights and I have no room for that negativity in my life!)

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