‘Blogging with Numbers’
Last time I wrote about feeling overwhelmed and suffering from ‘information overload syndrome’ as a newbie blogger, see here. To my delight some people wrote to me to say that this is EXACTLY how they felt when they started blogging. I am so grateful for their sharing.
So, I applied myself to discovering those that teach/preach and generally offer knowledge on how to blog. And sure I found some real gems and great ideas. For that I am grateful. I also found lots of ‘in your face’ marketing. But that is just reflection of times in which we live. However, I soon realize that certain commonalities can be easily identified. So called ‘universal truths’ about blogging that are repeated endlessly on various sites, only slightly repackaged.
The first one of those ‘universal truths’ I identified was a requirement to ‘build a tribe’. Even the term ‘tribe’ has biblical connotations. It is almost universally preached that it is necessary to blog with one aim foremost in mind; to attract large audience, or to ‘build a tribe’. In other words; to establish large fellowship. Interestingly enough I did not find one resource that qualifies ‘large’ with the actual number. Clearly the idea is to leave each blogger to define what ‘large’ means for them.
So how large do you wish your ‘tribe’ to be?
While it is of course wonderful and heart-warming to know that some people read your postings, how many people will do that is not known. Neither to you nor any of the blogging gurus, regardless of how many of their strategies you subscribe to. Because, just like with any other creative endeavour; after all the ‘wisdom’ has been absorbed, you are left with your words, your verses, your notes, your paint brushes, your clay. And the way you see your world is the only image you will ever be able to leave imprinted with or on those materials. In doing so you will create something (a poem, a novel, a painting, a ceramic vase, a song) that has not existed before. You will add something new to the world.
If that act of creation touches you, moves you to be better self, to feel more togetherness with humankind, you have done a great job. If it touches few other souls; you have done a tremendous job.
So what is with ‘large’ numbers? How ‘large’ is large? Few hundreds, few thousands? I read about ‘tribes’ of almost quarter of million followers! How do you interact meaningfully with quarter of million people? Is it by responding, at best, to their comments and/or observations with a single word, (usually; thanks)? Hiring staff to do that for you? I started to think about it all as ‘blogging with numbers’.
It takes some courage, (and time), to write a comment. I mean meaningful comment after you have actually read the post rather than skimmed through it. Every time I found a comment, I feel deeply grateful to the person who left it. I feel more part of the human family. And I want to know each and every person who leaves a comment about anything I wrote. I want to have time to visit their blog, read their ‘about’ page, some of their posts. And I want to have time to thank them for visiting my little space in a meaningful way. Not with a one word. Basically I want to establish and if possible maintain a meaningful human connection. This is all that matters. Because the only ‘universal truth’ is that we blog so we can interact with each other’s. Everything else is just marketing and cyber dust.
In my next post I will write about some other aspects of the main stream preaching on blogging. As I keep on mentioning; I am a total newbie and those are simply my observations about things I noticed so far. And they are totally open to any views, critiques and suggestions you may have – : )
Until the next time …
- Is blogging addictive? (lanternpost2012.wordpress.com)