Not that I precisely understand Facebook’s algorithms, but it seems pretty likely to me that Facebook doesn’t like it when you link to the same blog every single day. When I first started blogging, it seems like I actually got a lot more traffic, and a lot more Facebook likes. Now it’s leveled off, so my assumption is that Facebook isn’t showing my updates to as many people, which means fewer people are liking them, which means fewer people are seeing them. A vicious circle.
Lacking a publicity budget and not being overly active on any other forums, it’s hard to see how to increase my reach. Unless my work is so great that everyone who reads it just naturally and organically shares it. OK: generate better work so that people just naturally like and share it.
I *can* get better with practice. But do I?
For most of my life, I was the type of person who either took immediately to a new skill, or gave up immediately on a new skill. It’s fortunate (or, possibly, the cause of this behavior) that I found myself naturally good at enough things that it was not immediately apparent that I was a quitter, or that I wasn’t learning certain important skills. (Seriously, I don’t think I knew my 12 times tables until college.) Not until my 30s did it ever seem imperative to me that subpar skills should be honed, that time should be spent doing things I wasn’t good at. So the Dragon “I can get better with practice” comic still amuses me, and guides me. It can guide you too, if you carry it around with you at all times and refer to it for guidance in times of need.
I stand by this princess.
Getting better still isn’t a guarantee of success, which is another life lesson for me. Take Princess Sealestia of Aquastria. Although she’s a simple drawing, she took me about a month to complete, primarily because I had no idea what I was doing and had to learn the skills as I went. She still cracks me up. She still seems like a great idea to me. She gets more page views than any other design in my RedBubble shop. She gets compliments, too. But no one seems to want to take her home. Why not? She’s adorable. She’s available as a sticker for $2.32. That makes her versatile. She could be a smartphone case, or a notebook cover, or a window decal.
That cat is never going to get tired of that fish.
And finally, being worse isn’t an indicator of failure. It is certain that my writing is objectively better than that of Stephanie Meyers, but it isn’t more successful. I don’t think “Kitty Sees 3 Fishes” is a masterpiece; it’s the oldest drawing in the shop, and it’s actually something I dashed out in a few minutes. In fact, I think I spent more time converting it to a digital format than I did painting it. But it’s one of my most successful designs. How? Why? Should I be doing more in this vein? The idea of the picture still amuses me. But as an older, more accomplished artist, I look at this image and think, “Where are kitty’s feet?”
Anyway, this is a blog post, and these are 3 items in my shop. Do with them as you will. (I hope what you will do is like and share them with your social networks and expose more people to the magic of QWERTYvsDvorak.)