October 6, 2008

Happy Blogiversary Women & Hollywood

I missed my own blog anniversary. I thought it was in October but when I looked back I realized that it was on September 19th, smack dab in the middle of my trip to Blog World Expo (more on that later). So I took the opportunity, and looked back at where I started and where the site is now. I am happy to report (and hope you have noticed) that the site, and my writing has come quite far in one year.

I started blogging for a variety of reasons but one of the most important reasons was that as a huge movie fan who spent time and money at the movies, I began to realize as I got older, there were fewer and fewer movies I wanted to see. I figured that others probably felt the same way.

So in another remake of my life (at 40), I decided to join this brave new world as a way to write about my passion and maybe make some money at it.

Boy was I wrong.

From my experience, it's really hard to make money on the web. Granted there are some serious web stars and sites that get tons of traffic and have great followings. Traffic is key and using social media is one of the way to build that traffic. But you need to spend some serious time working the social media world (and it is it's own world), do upkeep on your site and also write the posts.

From my experience, blogging is a more than a full time job except you don't get a paycheck.

But here's what I've gotten (and I wouldn't change this for anything)

I've challenged myself as a writer and thinker. In the early days, I used to get so nervous pushing the publish button that my stomach would be in knots. I kept thinking, what do I have to say that could lend to the debate? A year later, Women & Hollywood has not only been a part of the debate, but it has helped led parts of the debate especially about building a women's film market. I want to thank all the people who read that site and especially the people who take time to comment. I apologize for not interacting more on the comments (I'm going to work on that).

So as we move into year two here's what I'm thinking about:

  1. Refocusing on why I started blogging. I like the writing and while the tech stuff is vitally important to the blogging process they are two different skill sets. While all bloggers write, not all bloggers are good writers. I want to write better and more meaningful posts which of late has been hard to do.
  2. Continue to dig in and learn more about using social media to build traffic. Most of the people I met at Blog World Expo are techies who have embraced blogging, not necessarily the writers who have embraced blogging. People who have become leaders in the blogosphere have such an advanced grasp of how to do affiliate sales, ad sales, build traffic etc. that at times I feel like a complete idiot.
  3. Building community and spreading the word. I am so thrilled with the start we made, but there is a lot of work to be done for women to achieve parity in the entertainment fields. I need to get more diverse voices on the blog and continue to spread the word and challenge the status quo.
  4. Embracing blogism. Figuiring out a way to take a blog and use it to create social change. We need to continue to build the women's film market. This was a good year for women at the box office but we need to make sure there is no backtracking and we need to support films by and about women on opening weekend.
Other things in the works
  • Blog Talk Radio: For year two we're going to add audio interviews with amazing creative women working in the business.
  • Publishing an e-book: Women & Hollywood - The First Year Interviews- I'm going to compile all the interviews done in the first year and make them available for a small fee that will help support the site.
  • Upgrading the site- we need to get more serious and move to another blogging platform that will give more flexibility.
Lastly, I again want to thank everyone who has been a part of this community and has spread the word about the site to their friends and colleagues. I feel we are building a movement and I am excited to see where it goes.