As some of you know, I used to blog five days a week for Woman's Day Magazine. I held the post of Divorce Blogger there for four and a half years.
Four and a half years, writing about my divorce, and other people's divorces, and the effects of divorce, and ways to cope with your divorce, and helpful tips about divorce. At least, that's how it started out, anyway.
By then end of year four (and a change in ownership and editorial staff), it had morphed into writing about my divorce, and every single celebrity divorce, and what sort of foods you should eat when you divorce, and how to take care of your skin during divorce and 5 things I should have done/am glad I did/wish I'd done during my divorce.
They wanted seriously clickable, catchy headlines. They wanted me trolling Pinterest for ideas. They wanted Listicles (which are articles that read like a list: 5 things I don't miss about being married or ten great reasons to choose a female lawyer - that sort of stuff). My blogs got good traffic, but loading it up with more clickbait would get great traffic, or so they hoped.
Finally, the numbers just weren't justifying them paying me versus farming all that out to a staff writer, and they were making a move away from blogs, so they very graciously thanked me for my time with them and I heaved a big sigh of both terror and relief. Terror because as a single mom, I really needed that money, but writing about divorce five days a week for years takes a serious toll on your personal growth and healthy mindspace, it really does.
Lo and behold, it ended up being a really good thing because it freed up a lot of time for me to write freelance articles and a couple of books and I'm actually making money with all that and feeling much more creative and unrestricted.
But I still have to write for the web. So yeah, I write some "5 Things I _____" or "10 Ways You Can ______" posts and tweak my headlines to grab you as much as I can and throw in pictures and funny moving gifs and my blog posts for Fridays are always funny because funny does best on Fridays.
In a perfect world, I could just sit down and dump my brain out on a keyboard and let it ooze into a blogpost and people would stop in by the thousands to read every word and click on every single one of the very limited amount of ads I put on this page. They'd click on every freelance web article I have running elsewhere and they wouldn't give a crap about the headline or if there was a picture to accompany it.
But this is the internet, folks. It ain't always pretty.
People are accustomed to instant payoff when they make that click. They want short bursts of information or entertainment, and then they want to be on their way, for the most part. Wham, bam, thank you blogger.
So I do some of that. More than I'd like to, actually, but I've also come to grips with the possibility that I like the sound of my own virtual voice more than some people and I try to keep the expansive, blathering posts (like this one) to one or two a week. Or less. I really need to work on less.
Anyway, that's what it's like being a blogger: trading part of your soul in the hopes that someone will stick around and read you. I've had worse jobs.
And with that, I'll press "enter" and get the hell off the keyboard before this morphs into a seventeen paragraph anecdote that I might find engaging, but you may find excruciating. Tune in tomorrow when I post the fun stuff.