Archive for November 9th, 2012

The Captains Quarters Turns 5 With 5

 

With all of the election hoopla this week I haven’t had a chance to discuss another important event –Captain’s Quarters turned 5 years old on Wednesday!  On November 7th 2007 I made the jump from a MySpace blog to my very own blog over at Blog-City.com and I stayed there until I found my permanent home here at CaptainRaoul.com

Back when I was setting up Captain’s Quarters I thought it would be an easy process

 

 

But I quickly learned that running a blog is more work and less payoff than I was expecting.

 

There were lots of other things I learned along the way, which is the topic for a 5th anniversary #Friday5

 

Top 5 Things Captain’s Quarters Has Taught Me

 

1.  The unofficial rules of blogging are a pretty good guideline

Back in my first entry at the new Captain’s Quarters I pledged not to discuss the act of blogging, my current emotional state, my job, the mundane details of my daily life, or my love life.  And stating this intention from the beginning helped me avoid many of the typical pitfalls experienced by other bloggers.  Besides the rare post like this where I actively write about writing this blog, the only unofficial rule I regularly break is discussing my love life.  But that’s not a problem, since I’m a happily married man.  Instead, I’ve amended that rule to instead avoid discussing other relationships in my life.  Writing my thoughts about other folks in my life has led to some minor problems and a few apologies.

 

 

Lesson learned.

 

2.  Making myself write usually works, except when it doesn’t

Back when I was blogging on MySpace it was only about preparation for my wedding.  While it was a bit constricting, it was always easy to focus on the topic.  Captain’s Quarters gave the freedom to do whatever I wanted, but this vast openness needed constant filling.  Most of the time this wasn’t a problem because there was so much on my mind that I could barely get it out onto the screen.

 

 

But then there came the times when I felt tired or not particularly creative.  Finding the motivation to write is something I’ve learned to deal with slowly.  Most of the time I just need to get off my lazy ass and write about whatever is on my mind.  But sometimes I’m too wiped out or burned out and need a break.  Recognizing the difference has been the key to keeping Captain’s Quarters up and running.

3.  Site visits are totally random

The main point of writing a blog as opposed to a journal is that other people have access to it.  While I write because I want to, I post it online because I want others to read it.  And there seems to be no rhyme or reason to what people want to read.  Some of my favorite things I’ve written have received very little response, and some of my half baked ideas have been immensely popular.  Currently the post that still garners me the most web traffic is this post about Phyllis from The Office and her time as a football cheerleader for the St. Louis Cardinals.  The randomness of web traffic has led to my current approach to writing: throw a bunch of stuff at the wall and see what sticks.

 

4.  Getting out the word is difficult

While I’m an outgoing person with a good opinion of myself, I’ve never been that thrilled with self promotion.  I’m glad when people take the time to check out my blog, but I realize that folks are busy and need a reminder every now and then.  Mostly, I never want to feel like I’m begging people to read it.

 

 

Also adding to the difficulty is the constant flux of the internet.  When I first started Captain’s Quarters I would post a link to MySpace and send one through email.  Wow does that sound dated now.  Just in the past 5 years I’ve gone to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as a way to promote the blog.  In another five years who knows what I’ll be using!

5.  Appreciate the response

The most enjoyable part of running Captain’s Quarters is the response I’ve received from the readers.  While my mom is still by far the most frequent commenter, I’ve heard from lots of different folks over the years.  I’ve even made a few internet friends through my blog, which I absolutely love.

 

 

And getting nominated for an award this past year for Captain’s Quarters was tremendous.  I truly appreciate the response from each and every person that finds their way here.  Without you, Captain’s Quarters wouldn’t be the same.

 

 

Ciao,

The Captain

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