I just read an article about the 10 Ways Writers Lose Blog Traffic and Alienate Readers. Despite some people who think my blog is merely a little hobby, I take writing very seriously and still have ambitions towards being published, and maintaining this blog is an important part of arriving at that goal. So when someone writes an article that might offer insight on how to continue to attract more readers (something about which, on certain days, I am almost OCD), I usually take the time to read it.
The articles are usually the same old “five points” or “seven tips” or “whatever-number-is-supposed-to-be-the-magic-one-this-week guidelines” repackaged for the umpteenth time. And normally I roll my eyes and wonder why I wasted my time.
Not tonight. Tonight I read something new. Something fresh.
And I realized that I’m doing this completely wrong. I’m not blogging the way the experts say I’m supposed to be blogging. I’m not offering helpful links, or commenting on 200 other blogs, or even writing within my certain niche. I write too generally, too long-windedely, and overall just too non-bloggerly. Without naming my name, the author of the “10 Ways” called my blog out for sucking quite severely according to her standards of success.
I’m not going to get a book deal from this.
I’m not going to be asked to write an article for a national magazine. Heck, I won’t even get asked to write an article for a local magazine.
I’m not going to have the kind of traffic that makes CNN.com look like a new blog on the joys of toe shaving.
I’m not, in other words, going to be “good” by the author’s (and, since the article was published in Writer’s Digest, I assume the writing community’s) measurements. I’m going to labor in obscurity, writing things that are meaningless for a pathetic small few readers who don’t count.
So let me take this opportunity to say “Thank you.”
To people like Kevin Bachman, who reads my posts and offers some of the nicest words of encouragement to me via Facebook.
To Kevin Wray, one of the few bloggers I know who not only links to me but reads my stuff, comments on it, encourages me, and gets the same in response.
To the wonderful people like GG, savesprinkles1234, Deborah the Closet Monster, Diana Krebs, Dan DiBacco, Georgette Sullins, Karl “KJ” Johnson, Dawn Hood, A. E. Loveridge, Jenny Strozer, Chasity, Nora, and countless other people who have not made just the random comment or two, but come alongside me for the long haul, offering me feedback and encouragement.
To my wife, for believing that this hobby has merit for our future.
To my family, for allowing me to write about them – and enjoying what they read.
Let me just say, to all of you who interact with me here on this “failing” little blog, you are appreciated more than you can know. You matter to me, and inspire me to keep going.
So I violate nine of the “10 Ways” – big deal. Better to write down your soul than sell it out for someone else’s definition of success.
But please forgive me for those days when I do push a certain post 100 or so times via Facebook and Twitter; there are days when the old self-esteem needs a little boost.
Thanks. Many, many times over.