Relatively recently, I rediscovered three blogs I use to follow with some frequency. In no particular order, they are:
Alexis' blog is private so this link won't work, but I'm putting it in for posterity. 20 years ago, I actually knew Alexis when she lived in Chicago. We have mutual friends and I enjoy reading about her life as an Ex-Pat and her children. They are a tad older than Natasha and Boris and often I'll read something and think "okay that station is gonna come up soon."
I've never met Lakeview Coffee Joe but he is a Bears fan and our political viewpoints seem to overlap so I'm gonna bet he would be fun to watch a game. I likely found his blog through Alexis but I suspect the interest was because of some posts about home repair or DIY that piqued my interest. It appears he doesn't blog as much these days and I suspect it is for all the usual reasons.
Next, there is a guy named Steve Manes who is an IT guru who bought a fixer-upper brownstone in Brooklyn when prices were reasonable and has completely renovated the place. I use to read him in the late 2000s. He stopped posting for a while and I had my own stuff to deal with so I didn't check in after enough time had passed since his last post (years). It looks like he started up again, but hasn't posted since 2019.
|A picture to break up the text
None of these people really know I exist and Alexis has only commented here once, on a post about Fiancee 1.0 leaving me. And while I wish they visited my blog as much as I visit theirs, I long ago gave up trying to get commenters and an audience here. I use to get my page view fix at ChicagoNow where I would get that many a day, occasionally more when I posted something that went mini-viral.
One of the things I often suspected, and have somewhat confirmed, is that many of the people who had successful blogs -- high traffic and earned money -- were in the right place and the right time and had connections that made it "easier" to achieve that.
I'm not saying that they didn't have talent or desired content. They just got there first and capitalized before the rest of us figured it out. The early big names who were snapped up by legacy media outlets in this manner had an enormous First Mover advantage.
As a point of reference, I get According to the dubious stats on the dashboard, I get about 1-2K visitors a month for some reason. At Chicago now, I'd get that on one day. I'm the same writer. it's just the Tribune Ecosystem was able to reach a larger audience without really doing anything to promote my particular blog.