May 19, 2013 by Kira Lyn Blue
Edit: This post is now subtitled:
You’re Not Your F%$^ing Blog Stats!
I’ve noticed something. Blogging is a microcosm of the emotions I have about writing in general. This is probably a good thing, because having the blog is helping me deal with my insecurities in small bites, a few at a time rather than being inundated all at once if I just went out and attempted to publish my book without the blog.
Writer Insecurity #1: What if no one wants to read my stuff?
It’s only human to be frustrated when you have something to say and no one to listen. You ever have a really good idea and then try to take it to a friend, coworker or spouse and have them just respond as with a “Ok, sure,” and a shrug? It’s demoralizing when your great idea does not generate the same enthusiasm in other people.
Writing is the same thing on another level. One of my biggest fears is spending countless hours writing my book, busting my rump to make it as perfect as possible, paying for editors and cover designers, and then no one buying it. All that work to have no audience would be crushing.
Or so I thought until I started blogging.
I spend quite a bit of time writing my blog posts. I’d say that more than 50% of my posts take at least four hours for me to write, edit, and find images I like to include. It never fails that the more time I spend on a post, the less interest generates from the blogging community. Fewer likes, fewer hits, fewer comments. Don’t leave yet, I’m not whining, I have a point to make.
I know that part of the problem is that my posts are too long. Most blog hoppers, don’t have the patience to read long posts, myself included. It’s rare that I stumble across a post in my reader that’s more than 500 words that I’ll actually stop and read the whole thing. Over 1000? Probably going to skip right past it.
I know this about myself and the attention span of an online audience and does it stop me from writing long posts? No.
In some cases, I know the topics that I’ve put up as long posts I could break into a series of posts. Take my Top 10 Alpha Males, I could have made that into a ten day count-down to my favorite Alpha, turning a 2k post into ten 200 word posts.
But I didn’t. Primarily because I didn’t want my blog to be focused on Alpha Males for almost two full weeks. So, it all went into one long post.
Am I disappointed that a post that took me 12 hours to finish (almost half of which was researching quotes) has generated less than 10 likes? Yep. Am I surprised? Nope.
The point is that I knew I was taking a risk and I decided I didn’t care. I am a writer and I have to write what is important to me and I have to do it in the way that works for me.
That’s not to say that I don’t take my audience into consideration, but I have to be true to myself. What I write will find the audience it’s supposed to find.
The same is true when considering my novel. I know it is highly likely that I will never be an NYT best seller for any number of reasons. My book, once it’s finished, may never sell more than a few copies. I’m not trying to be defeatist, just realistic.
This is the risk of writing a novel. You may never find a wide audience.
And you know what? It doesn’t matter.
How many people set out writing blogs expecting to have 20k followers? Most of us write blogs because we have to. The writer inside us needs a forum and if people happen to like what we write, that’s just a bonus. Yes, we all want to be popular, but that’s not why we write.
I refuse to sit and write either blog posts or a novel constantly trying to decide whether or not anyone is going to like it. I’m not going to write about the hot topic of the day just because it’s the hot topic of the day, only if I really have something to say about it. I refuse to care (too much) about whether anyone will agree with me or even care what I have to say about the topic.
I will write simply what comes from my mind and my heart. If that generates an audience, awesome. If not, at least I wrote. At least I tried. Even if I only have a small audience, I’m okay with that. I prefer quality over quantity.
I love seeing my blog stats, because I’ve noticed a trend. My average number of visitors per day is in the low twenties, but the average number of views per visitor is 4. I take that to mean that my visitors like my blog enough to stick around and read multiple posts. That inspires me. It thrills me to know that I’ve captured anyone’s attention to hang around for multiple clicks, especially with thousands of other blogs out there you could go to.
My blog readership is fairly small, but seemingly loyal and talkative. I get an adrenaline rush every time I see a new comment waiting in my inbox. I love what discourse we have on my blog. I think my Ninja Squirrel Chasers are the most awesome people in the world, and I don’t care if my opinion is biased.
In other words, thank you for stopping by to see what I have to say. I appreciate each and every one of you. You, my readers, keep me encouraged and remind me that being popular isn’t really what’s important to me, it’s being true to myself and knowing that the right audience will appreciate me and my writing whether it’s my blog or my novel.
- Blogging For The Smallest Audience (business2community.com)
- Insecurity (begojohnson.com)
- Be True to Yourself as a Blogger