found capture at 20130311175001 Sitemap I really appreciate the comments on yesterday's post - BOY are you guys a bunch of smart and classy women!!!! I just loved reading all of your thoughts and experiences about blogging.

I did want to make a few things clear. I love blogging. I am also in a really good place with blogging and seldom feel the frustrations I did when I first started out. I have a pretty good following and get my share of comments - I am not complaining. I also have made some of the most FABULOUS friends!

I would say that the most frustrating thing I experience now with blogging is the guilt I feel about not being able to read and comment on all the blogs I would like to - there is just not enough time in the day. And, it's not just guilt but I also miss visiting sites that I truly would like to keep up with - I miss hearing about what is going on in everyones lives.

And ... I do get a bit frustrated with the whole competitive thing. I am competitive by nature and I have to constantly remind myself that it's not a game. And, if it is a game - I am just not likely smart enough to figure out all the tactics it would take to win. But ... I do try to use all the tactics I have figured out and apply those often to help me achieve more success. And, I definitely rely on my writing. It is what I ultimately hope attracts readers and keeps readers here On The Upside.

It feels like a game, sometimes, though - doesn't it? Especially with the whole comment thing. Not only are you completely aware of the number of comments someone else has on their posts - but you are also constantly aware of your own comments - how many you got yesterday - how many you hope to get tomorrow. It's CRAZINESS! I have honestly considered closing my comments for good - but, then realize that it would cut me off from so many new readers and an easy pathway to their blogs (this is how I find so many new blogs I love to read) and also cause me to possibly lose some of my old readers - I couldn't have that! I don't want to lose readers - I don't think any of us do. What's the point of having a public blog if you aren't interested in attracting readers? I think every one of us that has a publicly viewed blog is interested in drumming up new readers and traffic. I know I am. And, the more success you have at it - the more and more you want it. It's like a drug.

What I want from my blog is for it to be a place where I can write my stories and where I can offer those stories to people who are truly interested in reading them and truly interested in me and my life. I have to admit, I honestly find it very difficult to decipher the difference. It's just not possible to determine why people come to your blog and why some stay and why some leave. You can't even be sure if people are actually reading anything.

This leads me to one other thing that bothers me about blogging and bloggers. It's knowing that there are a certain percentage that care nothing about other bloggers and their blogs. These are those bloggers that are only concerned about building their traffic and popularity - and not at all interested in supporting other bloggers. I was distinctly made aware of this fact when I went to the BlogHer '08 Conference last year in San Francisco. It was very evident that most of the bloggers there (myself included) were primarily interested in finding out ways to improve their blog traffic and recognition - not so much interested in networking (while I thought I was) (and we were all there to meet each other - that was a BLAST!).

So ... this made me realize that that is likely true of lots of bloggers and then therefore, while it is a respiratory relationship - I visit you and you visit me - in a lot of cases it is probably not "real" or "honest", in that you can't know or trust that those (bloggers) that visit your site are there because you are truly a good writer or saying things that they find impressively interesting. The only bloggers that can pretty much guarantee that their traffic is legitimate "readers" is those A-list bloggers that have reached the status of A-list because they have proven that they are either great writers or offer content that is unique or irresistible. The rest of us are simply playing a game of Russian roulette - hoping that those that visit our sites will realize that we are a blog worth reading - regardless of what they get in return.

Would I like to be an A-list blogger? The answer is - YOU BETCHA! I would love to be considered the BEST - who doesn't want that? I don't know if that will ever happen and if it doesn't it will not be the end of the world or the end of my blogging - I love blogging and I love my blog. But, I know I am not alone when I admit that I would love to be one of those bloggers that knew for certain that it was my writing and true friendships that was what was sustaining and building my traffic.

I know so many bloggers that visit me are my friends and are sincere when they take the time to come by my site, read my stories and either leave a comment or not - I KNOW they are. I'm not saying that any of the people I know are these un-attached, self promoting type bloggers. It's the primary thing that keeps me blogging - day after day. Knowing that I have found one of the greatest circles of women in the blogosphere. We support each other and I hope you know that I sincerely care about you and your families and I care about your blogs! I wish I had more time to visit and support you the way I sincerely wish I could!

I don't know what got me off on this blogging tangent this weekend - I guess I just wanted to know how you all feel. I guess I just wanted affirmation that I wasn't alone over here - hoping for the best and feeling like I'm sometimes swimming against the current - striving for honest relationships and striving for success.

Unfortunately, blogging is just like everything in this world - achieving success doesn't always just happen for the good guys. Sometimes, the good guys are left in the dust while the rule-breakers are sitting pretty at the top of the heap. And, if you think there are no rules in blogging - you are fooling yourself. There are plenty of rules and it's one of the things I pride myself on - following them as close to the letter as possible. It might not pay off in the end - but, I will always feel proud that, if it gets even better than it is, I achieved success - the right way.

I know it might seem unlikely and it might even be hard to believe, but ... I wish you and your blog the same amount of success that I wish for mine. There is room at the top for all of us. Well ... those of us that aren't willing to walk on the others to get there! And - I don't want any whiners when we get up there either - I'm sick and tired of hearing all the whining. You want my help - ask for it. You want to succeed - get out there and do the work. You want good things to happen for you - then be good to others.

One day - if and when I get to the top - I hope you are still around because I will not look down on you, I promise. I will, however, offer you a hand and do whatever I can to pull you up there with me. And, if you get there before I do - I hope you will not look down on the rest of us either. There are enough A-list (and plenty of B-list) bloggers doing that already!