Resuscitating a Blog — or Two (Actually, Five)

Remember way back when blogging was all the rage?

It seemed like everyone was taking to the various platforms out there to tell tales and offer “expert” advice on subjects ranging from cooking to tennis to freelance writing.

Actually, those were my topics.

Over the years, I’ve started and maintained to some extent five blogs on those particular subjects. I’ve gotten them going, built Facebook pages and Twitter accounts relating to them, and attacked them with great zeal — for a little while at least.

After a bit, my ambition and enthusiasm starts to wane as it’s no simple feat to build up the readership on a blog. You have to comment on similar ones and promote posts through every type of social media forum around — all for a few hundred hits.

Of course, there are more successful ones out there, where people end up with fans in the thousands and even manage to snag book deals. I’ve had my own moments in the past, but I’ve found the momentum to be fleeting.

I’ve been encouraged to give it a go yet again with the blog building, though. In fact, I’m eager now to tackle all of the forgotten ones, from updating the templates first used back in 2007 (one might put those firmly in the cringe-worthy category) to reviving expired personalized URLs, all because of one recent experience.

But before I go forward, let me start with a little history.

Way back in ’07, I had the opportunity to be interviewed for a job with a magazine that covers tennis, my biggest passion. You hear “dream job” thrown around a little loosely sometimes, but this definitely would’ve been that for me. There is no doubt in my mind that I would have retired from there—unless the magazine would have folded. Even then, I probably would have still shown up every day to the office.

Anyway, I didn’t get the job and I was a tad heartbroken. But in one of my proudest moments, I took that anguish, looked at it dead in the eyes and said, “Screw you, anguish: I’m going to do my own thing.” And thus, my first tennis blog was born. I was able to expound to my heart’s content on the game, and eventually, some people started tuning into what I had to say.

But why stop there?

I didn’t launch more blogs right away, but a few managed to trickle out over the years. There was the site where I’d talk to my friends who were pursuing their dreams called Inciter, which is Latin for “aspire”—and perhaps the raddest name I will ever think of for anything. There was also The Life & Times of the Anxious Freelancer, in which I documented the ups and downs of trying to make it as a freelance writer.

The blog But Will Tillie Eat It? dealt with me trying to get my daughter to expand her palate and escape the boxed-mac-and-cheese rut. And The Doubles Alley was created as the sister blog to my first baby, Tennis Talk, Anyone?, with a focus on team play.

And it’s The Doubles Alley that has me excited once again.

A couple of weeks ago, I made one of my random visits to the Twitter page for TDA and noticed my notifications icon was lit up, which was odd seeing as how I hadn’t sent a tweet out in a few weeks. I discovered that I’d been tagged in a tweet by one of the top doubles players in the world, along with other leading professionals. Then, that tweet got retweeted and it went on from there. I felt both humbled and excited at once, eager to build upon that unexpected jolt of momentum.

So there you have it: I’ll be hitting the blogging trail again, like it’s the early aughts. And that’s not to say it won’t be tricky. I’m not freelancing any more, so it’ll be interesting trying to come up with topics for The Life & Times of the Anxious Freelancer. And I’ve been dealt defeat more than once when trying to get my daughter to try new things to eat.

I’m sure the journey will be worth it, though, especially if I happen to get a little more outside recognition, which is all a blogger really wants anyway.

Well, maybe a book deal would be nice…