The Blog At A Crossroads
I started this blog reluctantly eight months ago after much urging from family, friends and former readers of my newspaper column.
My reluctance wasn’t that I was tired of writing. I’ve always loved to write. But the idea of producing five blogs a week — and I felt that’s what it needed to be if I wanted it done right — was intimidating to someone who wrote four or five columns a week for the majority of my 42 years as a newspaperman.
It can be a grind, but I decided to give it my best shot and to work through the 2010 college football season, and I’m happy I did. It has been fun and rewarding, especially when there was a story such as yesterday’s Carl Crawford signing that begged for commentary.
Considering I had nowhere to publicize the blog, I’ve been encouraged that the number of views has grown steadily across the months.
I certainly have a loyal core of readers who clearly check in on the blog on a daily basis, many of them commenting regularly. I mean, at times I think my friend Terry Crow contributes more strong opinions than I do. And he’s just one of many.
But as you might suspect, there is substantial work involved not only to write the blog but to read and keep up with the sports news enough to make the final product topical and interesting for readers. And for someone who is supposed to be “retired,” it can be an arduous task at times. Like, oh, at 11 p.m., when I have yet to produce, or even have a good idea, for the next day’s blog.
I’ve had friends ask, “So how much money are you making off this?” When I tell them none, many are incredulous.
And I have to be honest, that’s one reason I’m reconsidering my position on this. If there were some sort of revenue stream involved, it would provide much more incentive to continue putting in the hours. But as much as the blog is growing, there aren’t enough readers yet to generate substantial ad revenue. The other possibility is asking readers for a subscription fee, but considering the current state of the economy, I’m not sure how many of you would be willing to pay for something that’s been free up to now. And I’m not particularly anxious to ask, especially under these difficult circumstances.
So I’m basically at a point where I have three options. I can continue writing five blogs a week and hope that the readership keeps rising and a subscription thing evolves. I can trim it down to two or three blogs a week and see how that goes. Or I can thank all of you who have been so loyal and enthusiastic about the blog and simply wrap it up and concentrate on writing something easier, like (yikes!) the novel I keep putting off.
For the moment, my plan is to take some time, maybe a week, maybe less, to think about it. There will be no blog during that short span. If any of you feel the urge to write and offer your feelings and opinions on the subject in the interim, I’d welcome that in the comment section. But it’s not really necessary.
This has to be my decision and mine, alone, although I’m sure some long talks with my wife, Marsha, might also enter into it.
Rest assured, whatever I decide, I have enjoyed these past eight months immeasurably, writing and commenting on things I know many of you are passionate about. The relationship we’ve shared is special.
Either way, I promise you will be the first to know what the future holds for the blog. Just as soon as I figure it out.
— STEVE BISHEFF