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.
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.