Last night, in a typical Virgo Mars Retrograde’s fashion, I felt compelled to look closely and realistically at my beloved astrological site, that has been a faithful companion of mine for over two years now.
Picking at random 2/3 posts per month and moving backward in time, I have quickly surveyed the whole site since its inception in October 2009. This is not a common thing for me to do who usually avoid looking back at what I wrote and sent out, for fear that self-criticism may stop me from writing all together (Gemini XI House Mercury-Mars and Cancer Sun square Virgo Saturn III House). Because of this attitude a survey was indeed overdue. Now it seems to be the right time to do it, as the transiting Retrograde Mars is in continuous square to my Natal Mars for a while. This post contains the first results of my survey.
The first thing that I realized is my tendency to be inconsistent. Encapsulated within a neat and orderly format (with all that Saturn I’m good at stuff like that) I saw clearly many inconsistencies. I understand better now the quasi-obsessive need I feel to update the Moon’s Sign/Phase and the Sunrise Page on a daily basis, even when, to do so, I have to carve out the time from a busy schedule or steal power from already depleted solar batteries. These updates are the only consistent aspect of my site. Apart from them every month is different, you never know what you get. Some months it seems to be mainly about the Astronomy of Astrology, some others I rave on about all sorts of minute and ephemeral transits, indulging in many technical explanations, or tackle the Moon’s phases in the same way. At other times instead I hardly remember to say:”Hey, folks, it’s Full Moon today!” and go on writing about major themes, Uranus in Aries, Neptune in Pisces etc., or turn all Mundane, discussing politics, climate summits, wars, earthquakes.
These fluctuations are partly due, I’m sure, to my ever changing Cancerian moods, Gemini’s endless stream of ideas, and the Aquarius Moon going onto her ‘out of space’ tangents, but the principal cause is that I really don’t have much of an idea to whom I am writing for.
A very kind and friendly American lady, a retired practitioner of the Art, pointed that out to me last year in a long email that I have been re-reading after my survey. Her letter came in response to a request for advice on how to make my site more commercially successful. Living Moon Astrology is not in fact just a creative endeavor on my part but also a commercial one. Through it I have been trying to gain a larger astrological clientele, comparable to that of astrologers who live in towns and cities. Where I live and work, in the bush and a small village, there are naturally a limited number of local people interested and not that many travelers, not enough to make our bookshop or my astrological practice and workshops realistic business or career propositions. My site, despite attracting a decent number of visitors and few subscribers, is bringing only very few paying costumers. I get many more just from word of mouth around here. The kind American lady advised me to think carefully about the audience I was writing for. She even suggested that I could have perhaps two sites, or a blog and a web site, like many do: one for a less didactic treatment of astrological topics, avoiding most astro-jargon, in order to gain popularity with people who have not studied Astrology or those who are just beginners; and the other to unleash my creative flare and/or indulge in long winded astrological dissertations, writing stuff that could be attractive to more advanced students but extremely boring to everyone else (even to myself re-reading them!).
Few months ago after a local lady complained that she found the site too complicated I attempted to remedy this by providing clear instructions on how to navigate it. The problem, I feel now, is not the navigation but the actual contents.
I wouldn’t have the time or energy required to manage two separate sites. I create and manage the sites of other people as a side job, I run a bookshop (one has to survive), I am the cooking and washer-up partner and I have two dogs friends very keen on long bush walks. I need to find a solution within the limits of one site. Limits, boundaries are the key words here.
Let’s see what work first. The daily updates work because through them I contribute something useful to a number of people who still don’t have access to proper astrological software. The idea of providing a service fits to a T my Virgo Saturn’ s dutifulness. The updates also help with the search engines which prefer writers who post daily or often. Plus they keep me more focused and disciplined.
What seems to work least are those articles about short lived transits, like Lunations etc, because they are too full of astrological technicalities for most readers. The best popular writers of Astrology are those who can describe the effects of a certain planetary placement or transit without ever mentioning a planet, a House or any celestial geometry. How I envy them! Years ago in a yearly astrological diary that I called Dionysus (published only a few copies due to luck of funds) I did devise a way to do just that, giving myself an actual limit, a small physical box on each diary’s page, so that the daily readings could not exceed 7/8 narrow line. There was no room for excessive explanations. If I could do something like that for Living Moon I would have achieved something, perhaps the sort of consistency and readability that a regular visitor would enjoy. Making those readings more attractive will help me personally to feel less guilty or concerned when I decide to post something brimming over with jargon or when I attempt to share my two bobs of astrological wisdom on mundane affairs.
So, dear reader, you can expect some changes happening on Living Moon, as soon as I can get my head around them. It was not necessary to share these thoughts with you, I know, but writing them down has helped me to clarify things inside my own head and, I hope, will work as a pledge to you to do better in the future.
Any contribution to the topics described in this post will be very welcome. Cheers.