Hey YOU!

I’ve had a post sitting in my drafts section for about two weeks now and just haven’t managed to finish it. It’s about blog followers and readership, so when I saw today’s WordPress Daily Prompt, I had to laugh and just finish the darn thing.

To what extent is your blog a place for your own self-expression and creativity vs. a site designed to attract readers? How do you balance that? If sticking to certain topics and types of posts meant your readership would triple, would you do it?

When I started writing this post two weeks ago, The Other Courtney’s little ticker had just reached 600 followers.

WHAAAT?

I remember getting my 10th follower and squealing with excitement. 10 whole followers? ME? I understood why my friends and family wanted to follow my blog, it’s fun to keep up with loved ones who you don’t get to see too often, but then the other followers started pouring in. The followers who were complete strangers. Out of my 600 followers, I know about 25 in “real life.” That’s crazy! And it fills my curious mind with a lot of questions.

Who are you? How did you get here? Why are you following me? It’s not that I feel like my writing isn’t good enough to be followed or appreciated by complete strangers, but it still makes me wonder. I don’t stick to one topic to write about, I write about what is on my heart and mind, and what ultimately manages to spew out of my fingers. I write about my family, husband, sleepwalking, work, people I meet, anxiety, working out, eating, allergies, religion, therapy, share recipes, and post photos. I may have the most ADD blog out there- yet you wonderful people choose to read it.

I have often wondered how many of my followers are actual regular readers. There are some people who have followed since the very beginning (February 2011) and have never commented or given any indication as to who they are. Others comment on every post, and I love the way I’ve gotten to know some of my “blog friends.” Some people receive my posts directly in their email inboxes, while others Google search for “The Other Courtney” every single day to find my link and check out my site. Hi, mystery person/people! 🙂

Some of the people who follow this blog are very close friends, others mere acquaintances.  Some of the people actually don’t like me very much, in fact three of them no longer speak to me. Hah! Funny how with social media nowadays you can be completely cut off from people, yet they still know so much about you.

But that is blogging. It is putting my information out there for people to read. It’s a way for me to vent, rant, and speak my mind, and if I make it public then I don’t get to choose who reads it.

Whatever brings you here or how often you read (or don’t read) doesn’t matter. There is no “right way” to follow a blog, contrary to what some Nazi bloggers say. There’s still a lot of questions in my mind about who you people are (clearly I’m not trying to have ANY tact or sugar coat, whoops) so if you feel like it, introduce yourself below! I’d honestly love to hear from some of you. Or don’t. Remain sneaky and private, that’s cool too.

Blogging has been a really fun part of my life and when I started two years ago, I never imagined I would be Freshly Pressed and gain over 500 followers. Crazy! I’m totally humbled by it, and I have grown to love the feeling of connectedness this blog has brought me. 

My primary goal with blogging has never been to attract readers, though. Sometimes I may address the public through my blog, like in my letter to extroverts, but it is still mainly a way for me to express my feelings and emotions. While I truly love having readers, when I write solely for others my writing becomes phony and forced. I worry about perfect punctuation, being politically correct all the time, and if my content is interesting enough. Who freakin cares. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. If it makes you laugh and you can relate, awesome! You are part of what makes writing this blog so fun. I have found that the less I worry about what people will think of my posts and the less I fret about them, the more they are well received and shared. Funny how that works. 

So thank you to those of you who follow this silly little rambling blog of mine. I’m not sure what brings each of you here, but I do appreciate your readership, comments, and love. Even those who post not-so-loving comments and thoughts are appreciated. I am constantly looking for new perspective and inspiration and you give me that. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my feelings and experiences with friends and strangers alike. And while I would keep writing this blog even if I still had a measly 10 followers, it sure does feel good to have a few more than that.

hi

Hey YOU!

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33 thoughts on “Hey YOU!

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  2. Hey, I’m Krista. I discovered you when I noticed that we both often Liked the same posts by Amanda on Celiac and Allergy Adventures as well as The Allergista. I thought to myself, “I should see who this girl is…. clearly we must have similar interests if we are liking the same content”. Then I hovered over your image and it said that your blog was “The Other Courtney”. Which piqued my interest even more. I jumped over to your blog, saw that you have to deal with allergies, anxiety, etc. and I felt like I could relate to you. Then I started reading your posts and I enjoy that you have a good sense of humour/quirkiness. For some reason I go through your posts in spurts because you are on my WordPress reader so there’s only certain times that I sit and review that feed. I mostly go through posts that are on my Feedler App feed because I follow other non-WordPress bloggers (I’m under the assumption that you can only follow WordPress blogs on the WordPress reader feed, but I’m still kinda new to the blogging scene, so let me know if I’m under the wrong assumption). I think I definitely need to add you to my Feedler App feed because I am clearly missing out on your awesome posts. It was about a month recently where I didn’t post anything, and hence me missing a lot of your stuff because I wasn’t logged on to WordPress. Anyway, love your stuff! Looking forward to catching up on what I missed in the past month! 🙂

    • Hey Krista! Thanks so much for your comment, it’s so fun to hear from people on here. Yep, I love Amanda’s and Jen’s blogs!! I don’t write about my allergies too much, but I can definitely commiserate and relate to all of their posts. I really like your blog, too! It’s cool to still be learning things and hearing new perspective on allergies even though I’ve had them my whole life.

      Hmmm I’m not familiar wit the Feedler App, sounds interesting though! I know that a lot of my followers are subscribed via email, so they just get email notifications when I publish a new post. That can get irritating though, and I know I only want to be subscribed to a few blogs via email. We all get so much junk email nowadays, that tons of blog posts from people would just be overwhelming! It is an option though if there are certain blogs on WordPress you want to follow via email.

      Thanks again for your comment and letting me know how you got here, love it! Have a great rest of your weekend!

      • So Feedler is an App that I enter all the blog feeds that I want to get notifications for. I was doing the email subscriptions but I have 3 email accounts on my iPhone (my personal, my work and my blog email) so there was just too much coming in. The notifications in the App are grouped by blog so sometimes (like when I’m in a lineup) I like to look at new posts of bloggers who I know normally write short posts. I have you added to my Feedler App now so I don’t miss out because I really do enjoy your posts! 🙂

        Amanda and Jen (I couldn’t for the life of me think of her name) are two of the first blogs that I usually check out when I open the app and see that they have new posts. I really enjoy their posts. Super informative and interesting! 🙂

        Thanks for letting me know that you like my blog 🙂 I started writing for a few reasons: 1. To share stories/experiences for the purpose of helping those living in my area. 2. as a tool to network with locals and non-locals in the restaurant business. 3. To learn from others. 4. As a means of personal therapy and lastly, 5. To entertain (myself as well as others). So far, it’s been a lot of fun 🙂

  3. After reading this blog post I went scrolling back through your blog to try find the first time I posted. I think it was on Jan 20, 2013…on the blog post about cheat eating lol. I have no idea what led me to you blog, but I’m glad I found it indeed. I love the way you write … I loved reading about the upcoming wedding … and now I get to AWC (After Wedding Courtney). 🙂

    • ahhh cheat eating, what a post to “bring us together” hahaha. I’m glad you’ve stuck around for AWC, so funny! I should ask the hubby which he likes better, BWC or AWC! 🙂 Always love your insight and comments, Katie!

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  5. I think the mist important thing you can do as a blogger is to write for you. I love your posts, and you serve as a constant inspiration (and reminder) that I need to write more often.

    • I completely agree with you, Gil. Sometimes it feels like there is pressure to write for others or alter posts, but remembering to just be MYSELF really helps. I know those are my favorite blogs to read, when people are just real and authentic. Thanks so much, I really enjoy your blog too! But uhhh yeah, write more!!!!!! I need more Gil posts to show up on my reader 😀

  6. I love your blog and look forward to each and every entry. Sometimes you make me laugh and sometimes you make me cry but you always keep me thinking and learning. Thanks for continuing to write for the past 2 years. It has been a great journey that I hope lasts for a very long time!

    • Oh wow, thank you sooo much for your words, Heather! I LOVE that you’ve been around since the very beginning, you are awesome and I really appreciate your support and encouragement. I hope it lasts a long time, too. I love the idea of my kids someday being able to go back through and read this stuff. When I’m gone, a little part of me will remain here. Mainly, I want the tributes I’ve written to friends and family to remain so they know how much they’ve meant to me!

  7. Hi, I’m Kay. I’ve been following you for a while now I think, and although I don’t comment very much I always enjoy when your posts appear on my reader 🙂

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  9. Hi Courtney!
    I follow you because you were one of my first followers! You were nice enough to comment on my blog and give me the confidence to keep it up. I love reading your blog and at 600 followers, you give me inspiration for the future of my blogging!

  10. First off, I totally sympathize with your experiences and your excitement. I’ve just started blogging earlier this month, and I can see my own situation in the one you’ve described. The first time I posted something and several people LIKED it, I was stunned. When people started following me, I was baffled. I had told no one “in real life” about my blog, so all of these followers were people I didn’t know! I had been convinced that my blog would live a very inactive life. I would post, some of my friends who I told about it would read; I would rarely get a comment. I didn’t mind necessarily; my blog was for me, for self-expression, a personal project to put all my writing in one place. But boy was I wrong. I have recently achieved 30 wordpress followers (the rest in my count are from my tumblr followers who are counted in my follower total), and I consider it a blessing! It makes me want to write more. It’s so irrationally encouraging to see a star or plus sign every once in awhile…

    As far as how I found your blog, I typically find blogs in two ways: I either randomly carouse a few tags and I find a post (then the blog) interesting and I follow. Or someone liked a piece of my writing. I consistently visit EVERY blog that likes a post and/or follows me. If I like their blog a lot, I follow back! In your case I can’t remember the exact way it happened! I just know I always read the “about” of a blog before anything else, and I found you a very interesting person!

    I’ve actually been trying to intentionally be more active in reading and especially commenting on the blogs of those I follow; I know how much it means to me, and I want to spread the love! So when I see something I really like, I am starting to become intentional on TELLING them I like it. So obviously when I saw this post I got really excited. “She’s talking about ME! This is a great opportunity to comment!”

    Though I can’t say I read your blog religiously (hey! I’ve only been around a month!) I’ll definitely be looking forward to reading your updates!

    • Isn’t it funny how exciting “likes” and comments are?! When my phone blings with my wordpress alert ringer, I immediately have to check it haha. It definitely encourages me to write more too, having more readers. It also makes it more intimidating haha! After being Freshly Pressed I was a little panicked. All the sudden my blog didn’t feel like my own anymore. Thankfully, I’m over that now. Don’t really care if people “unfollow” me or don’t “like” my posts because it’s just fun to write!

      So have you told more people in “real life” about your blog now, or do you keep it mostly private?

      I’m the same way with reading the “about” page- it definitely draws me in if it’s a good one.

      Thanks so much for reading this post and saying HI! I love it! Looking forward to going through your blog more!

      • I’ve mentioned my blog to a few of my close friends, but I’ve done so in passing. I only give out the actual URL if they ask for it… and few have been interested enough to do so. So there are perhaps… 2 people who I know IRL that follow me, plus those few of my real-life friends who may occasionally read it because they see its updates on my tumblr (and none of them have told me if they actually do read it).

        But the privacy is kind of nice. It gives me a lot of freedom. A lot of my poetry comes from personal experience, and therefore people I describe or my feelings toward situations are often linked to people who could easily find me if I, say, rampantly advertised it on facebook or something. It allows me to post with little worry.

        Plus I have fun seeing how popular it gets without leaning on real-life friends.

  11. It’s funny you mentioned getting so excited about having 10 followers because I just received my email today congratulating me on my 10th follower and I, like you, was so excited! I love your blog, it actually inspires me to keep writing because it really is therapeutic and helps me remember things I would probably forget! Love ya sis!

    • Woohoo!! Congrats on the big 10! It IS exciting, isn’t it? I remember my 100th follower, it was Isaac LOL. I said okay I need this 99 number to be gone, I’m subscribing you to my blog ok?? He already read my posts, just wasn’t officially subscribed. Who was your tenth follower, someone you know or no?

      Thanks for your kind words, and I love your blog too! Who would have ever thought EITHER of us would have blogs haha. Love you!

  12. I love to write and that is my main objective. But the way my blog came together in it’s form now is that I was called bitter by a co-worker, because I tend to get frustrated with my job and just went on a little bit of a rant about how I do so much work and no one else does. That co-worker started calling me Bitter Ben, which I embraced and now this blog is a big part of my identity because people start calling me that IRL. So I embraced it as a way where I can do comedic, sarcastic blogs about things that bother me. But it is so sarcastic that it is hard for anyone to really tell what things really bother me and what is just made up stuff. I love the people that read and comment, because I gotten to know several people that have the same sense of humor as me and it is nice to know that there are others out there like that.

    • Hey Ben,
      I love your story, thanks for sharing! And the name Bitter Ben is pretty awesome. Bitter Courtney just doesn’t sound right, but I feel like it could be one of my nicknames too. I know what you mean about the sarcasm, I just read a someecard the other day that said “my level of sarcasm is to a point where I don’t even know if I’m kidding or not.” I LOVED that bahahaha. So true.

      And I agree, I love it when people just seem to GET me and my humor on the ol blog, it’s a good feeling. Which reminds me, I need to catch up on your blog! 🙂

  13. That is a huge number of followers/readers. I found your blog through another blog that I was regularly following. I can’t remember which one brought me to you but I do enjoy your writing and that you are “just you”.

    • Hi Kathryn, thanks so much for the comment! I am honored to have you as a follower and reader. I also love hearing how people ended up getting here, I think maybe Amanda’s Celiac blog made us find each other? 🙂

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