November 1, 2011

Why Don't People Like My Blog?

I have had a thought. Stand back.

If you do much blog reading, you've probably noticed people making negative remarks about their popularity and the size of their readership. "All three of my readers," "I'm not one of the popular kids," etc. It's sometimes expressed as self-deprecation, or sometimes as sad wonderings about what's wrong with them and why no one likes them, or sometimes as confessions of jealousy.

And you might think it would be just the bloggers who have only a few readers, but it's also bloggers who have dozens but wonder why other bloggers have hundreds, and bloggers who have hundreds but wonder why other bloggers have thousands, and bloggers who have thousands but wonder why other bloggers have hundreds of thousands. It's hard to comment on such posts. What can be said other than, "It's not your fault per se: it's because your blog, for whatever reason, lacks the kind of mass appeal you (and pretty much everyone else) are hoping to have"?

I have thought of a different way to think of this situation. I think the blogger/blogging relationship can be thought of like the actor/acting relationship.

There are actors I love who choose projects I can't stand: even if I love love love a particular actor, I'm not going to watch him in a weekly zombie drama. I can want to be SISTERS with a particular actor, and yet I'm not going to watch her in that stupid movie.

And there are actors I think I can't stand, but I'd like them tremendously if I knew them in person. I don't like their WORK, but I'd like THEM if their work wasn't my only way of knowing them. But their work IS my only way of knowing them.

And there are actors I think I love, but I'd cringe and try to get away from them if I knew them in person. I love their WORK, but if I knew them I'd want to cry from the wringing disappointment of who they really are. But...I DO only know their work, so I love them.

Bloggers and their blogs are a comparable situation. There are bloggers we love, who take blogging jobs we're not interested in reading. There are bloggers we think we love, but if knew them (not just met them: some bloggers, like some actors, can be "on" in short-term meeting situations) we wouldn't love them anymore, because what we love is not them but their BLOGS. There are people we know and love in person, but we can barely stand to skim their blogs. And there are bloggers we think we can't stand, but it's really that we don't want to read their writing and/or what they choose to write about---which is quite a different thing from not liking THE PEOPLE. (Of course we might also dislike the people, if we knew them. What I mean is that the blog alone is not sufficient information for a conclusion.)

I think the feeling has been that if the blog is liked, the person is liked---and that therefore if the blog is not liked, the person is not liked. "Why don't people like my blog?" becomes "Why don't people like me?" Thinking of it in a different way (i.e., that the blog is the person's work/hobby, just as acting can be a person's work/hobby) does not automatically solve the problem: most bloggers, like most actors, would of course still prefer that their work be admired, and by as large an audience as possible. But rejection of the work/blog doesn't have to be interpreted as rejection of the person.

Some hobbies (acting, blogging) require an audience. Some (writing in a journal, running, scrapbooking, stamp-collecting) don't. Some (art, music, dance) can go either way, depending on what the person participating in the hobby wants. The audience can't be forced into existence (or complained into existence, or wanted into existence), so the trick is to find the natural fits. There are some things we like to do, and other people like to watch us do them. Yay! There are some things we like to do, and no audience is required. Yay! There are some things we like to do, and no one wants to watch us but we don't mind and we can happily do them without an audience. Yay!

And then there is the category of things we like to do, but only if we have an audience of a certain size---and our audience is not large enough, and so we're miserable and it makes us feel rejected and unliked. Non-yay. I think those are good hobbies to eliminate, to leave more room to focus on the others. (This is why I no longer model, act, sing for an audience, or try out for football.)

66 comments:

Stimey said...

I agree. There are people who I love in person, but I can't stand their blogs and people whose blogs I adore, but I don't love them when I meet them. Then there's me, who definitely comes across better via the written word than in person. That is a given. :)

Slauditory said...

Well said, madam. I feel like being sad because people aren't reading one's blog is a pointless exercise. I prefer to feel happy about the people who ARE reading my blog! Besides, like you said, not everyone is going to want to read everything a particular blogger is putting out there. It's like how I love the Sookie Stackhouse novels, tried to read one of Charlaine Harris's other novels, and had a sad because it wasn't doing anything for me. (Charlaine Harris is not sad that I feel this way.)

Katherine said...

People don't read my blog for various reasons - but mostly because I rarely write there, and when I do my writing isn't very good. This doesn't make me sad.

I agree with you completely - except the idea that 'I might LOVE your blog, and think I love you in person, but it might turn out that I don't' makes me feel very sad. Because I really think I would love you in person.

Did I make sense? (This would be why nobody reads my blog).

Mrs. Irritation said...

I agree absolutely with this which you articulated so well. Clearly your brain has been overtaxing itself lately.

Kathy said...

Yes! Yes, exactly! Love the comparison between actors/bloggers.

Swistle said...

Katherine- That makes TOTAL SENSE to me. It's one of the (many) reasons meet-ups and conferences scare me!

Beylit said...

I actually had to go back and re read my post from today to see if I was complaining about this very thing (which after a quick re read I do not believe I was...I think) because I completely agree with you. At least I think so, I haven't slept in a few days so things are little fuzzy, but what sense I made of what you were saying I agree with...if that made any sense at all.

I sometimes wonder at my lack of readers, but then I remember that I enjoy what I am writing and really that is all that matters. I am not sad for the few readers I have, I am excited for them instead. It tickles me pink that there are strangers in Germany and Russia, and other such far off places reading my thoughts and stories. That is just cool.

Pickles and Dimes said...

Very well put. I get sad when I see people wondering why no one reads them - it's like they put all their self-worth into how many people leave a comment.

The topic is what keeps me reading, followed closely by the quality of the writing. I don't have kids, but if someone writes about their children in a funny, intelligent way, I'll read them.

Since my blog is just a fun little hobby, I write about whatever makes me happy and if I get a comment, yay! I do wish I had more time to write or comment on other people's blogs, though. There's a distinct quid pro quo thing that seems to exist.

(Although it did make me a little sad recently when my husband told me I needed to update more often because lately my writing hadn't been "up to par." He's not wrong - in fact, I agree 100% with his assessment - but still. TACT, SIR.)

Swistle said...

Beylit- So then _I_ had to go read your post to see if you were complaining, and you're right, you weren't. In fact, you were talking about something ELSE I totally agree with, which is that some of the best blogs are the ones that are a mix of whatever the blogger feels like talking about that day.

Alicia said...

I think you're so right on. I sometimes go back and read old posts of mine and think, "My GAWD, I'm annoying." I seriously don't think I'd want to read my own blog if I weren't me. Not because I'm not FANTASTIC (clearly, I am), but because I tend to write when I'm irritated, mad, sad, etc., things people just don't want to read (over and over). Good thing I really do not care who reads me. Heh.

Jessica said...

It's really such a shame you gave up your modeling career...

Sarah Lena said...

I think you nailed it when you said something along the lines of every blogger has a bigger pond that they aspire to. I've learned that I make far more meaningful connections in interactive forums (Twitter, FB), and so that's where most of my "readers" are. I come across better in, like, 140 characters or less. :)

Brooke said...

I think that in the mom blog world in particular, blog popularity seems to be driven by blog comments, which is unfortunate because there can be a lot of readers but not a lot of commenters, depending on the topic. I also tend to read far more blog posts than I ever comment on (and when it's a mom blog, I almost feel like I HAVE to comment because it's some kind of currency). Quite frankly, I like looking at my blog stats on Google Analytics far more than judging the worthiness of the blog based on comments.

Giselle said...

This is precisely why I never ask who is reading my blog. I think it would bother me if I knew no one was reading it, but I don't WANT it to bother me. I really want my blog for me, right? So I choose to just put my head in the sand and not know if I have 3 readers or 300.

Although sometimes I really want to know. Like if I have a personal issue to talk about...if I knew there were only 3 readers, I would have no problem. But what if someone I KNOW reads it? Problem.

Shalini said...

People who are upset may not have made a good blog friend/friends. Perhaps it's a sense of loneliness as well as ambition. Or maybe not. I think, like anything, it can be hard to be happy with where you are in the moment and with what you have.

Diane said...

I was kicking around a similar thought the other day, sort of in Venn diagram form. In one circle, you've got the people I ADORE on the internet -- just love THEM to pieces -- and in the other circle, you've got the tremendously well-written blogs blogs that I love. I was thinking how fortunate I was that I have SO much overlap between the two. There are some, though, where I love the blog but definitely don't see eye-to-eye (or probably would never get along with) the writer. There are some people who I find LOVELY on Twitter, but their blogs put me to sleep a little bit. And that's okay! I don't expect everyone who likes my blog to like me, and I definitely don't expect everyone who likes me to like my blog.

Basically, you put this very very well, as usual.

Susan said...

Well said. And your timing is perfect with NaBloPoMo starting today. Love the blogging/acting correlation, makes perfect sense.

Katy said...

I agree with everything you've said here, but I also think there are other factors at play with blog popularity. I think that some people are major self-promoters and some are not--for instance, some people have their blog posts go straight to their FB page, but I have a separate page for blog stuff. I also think some topics are more accessible than others. I blog about raising a kid with special needs--the audience is smaller than if I wrote more generically about raising kids in general.

Hilarity in Shoes said...

Lots of good points in this post, and I like the acting comparison.

I know I am guilty of measuring the success of my blog by the number of hits and comments that it gets. But I think there's an interesting corollary discussion here about what constitutes blogging success. How many hits or comments would it take to feel successful? More intriguingly, how many hits do other bloggers whom I judge to be successful get?

But as much as I judge the success of my blog by the number of hits and comments I receive, and get a little giddy when there's a spike, it really is the quality of my readers that makes the difference. I had one post get a huge StumbleUpon spike once, and my site got 100 times more traffic in one day than it ever had before--a crazy amount. But, I don't think I picked up one single regular reader or even a comment from it, so in the end, it didn't really matter to me.

One more point: I think sometimes people are self-deprecating about their "three readers" because it feels braggy and gross to talk about "my readers" as if they are some huge block that could swing an election. It's a way of saying, I'm humble! I swear!

Then again, some people are vaguebooking dumb-dumbs who say they feel ugly so people will tell them they're pretty.

And finally, I'm pretty sure I know who I would like in real life among the (many, many) bloggers I follow, and I'm pretty sure I know who would like me. Related: we should totally be best friends in real life!

Melissa Haworth said...

I personally put blogging in the category of "no audience needed." I should probably just get myself a paper journal but I don't seem to keep that up :) The way I blog, I don't tend to write posts that invite discussion/controversy so don't really expect comments but love 'em if I get 'em.

Oh, and I've often thought that as much as I enjoy blogging I wouldn't read my own blog. Sad but true! Lucky this isn't my profession!

Firegirl said...

I've got nothing...you've said it perfectly. I think you've summed it up brilliantly from both blogger & readers perspective.

I try not to read my stats as it makes me anxious. I am the opposite of "Why don't I have more readers?"

Superjules said...

I also find it irritating when people complain about not getting any/enough comments.

Dr. Maureen said...

What you and Diane said. Also, this is only semi-related, but I sure comment infrequently for someone who loves to get comments. I don't mean I should comment more in order to fish for comments of my own, I mean I should comment more because probably other people like them too.

As for my own audience, I long ago made peace with the fact that no one is going to say, "Hey, here's a bunch of money! We want to turn your blog into a book!" and I just write whatever makes me happy at the time. I don't even long to be more popular, because it might embroil me in internet drama, and I am to fragile for that. Also, I write a lot of crap, because sometimes I just want to write SOMETHING but don't have time to make it any good. (Take this comment, for example, and how it is all over the place.)

allison said...

I think you're right, but I also understand why people sometimes feel dispirited by perceived low readership. It's fine to say you only write for yourself, but if you blog I think it's a tiny bit dishonest to say you don't care if anyone reads (for most of us, anyway). But blogging JUST in the hopes of reaching a huge audience is ridiculous, and self-defeating. As for people not being like their blogs, I've been pretty lucky - there are people whose blogs I love who I'd never want to meet, but the few I have decided to meet have been just as great as their blog personas promised they would be.

L said...

I kind of want to comment more on blogs but I find commenting is getting more challenging just technically. I have some sites that crash my computer, I'm not a disqus fan and other sites just won't let me post, plus iphone commenting is a pain. Instead I write on people's fb walls or twitter that i liked their post. So, loosely related to your post, but another reason why comments are an imperfect measure of blog popularity. And, some of my all time favorite posts are just on topics I'm not too comfortable getting into on the net in a comment section.

clueless but hopeful mama said...

"Non-yay" indeed.

Love this post SO MUCH.

I am so reticent to go to conferences because I can't stand the possibility of not liking people whose blogs I ADORE. (And there's also the fact that I tend to be an uninteresting dweeb in person. And possibly online.) I would get super confused too, seeing their faces moving, when I'm used to staring at their static, three-year old, postage-stamp-sized pictures on my computer screen.

CARRIE said...

I probably shouldn't use that cluster map thingie on my blog which tells me the location of people who read it. I'd like to know who these folks in Perth Australia and Istanbul Turkey are who read my stuff. Because that is just sorta cool.

And even though I sometimes think I'd like more people to read my blog, I never actually connect with people via BlogHer or wherever because then I'd feel like I need to write to please people, as opposed to writing exactly what I want to say.

Laura Diniwilk said...

I was a long time lurker before I started my blog, and if I had known how fun it was to get nice notes back after I commented on someone's blog, or how nice it is to get comments when I share something personal that I can't necessarily share with people I know in real life, I would have started my own blog a long time ago. I love the feeling that this is a little community, and it would make me sad to find out that a blogger I love is a jerk in real life.

I have definitely made the "my three readers" crack before, and for me, it was half "I want people to get to know me and to make some real friendships out of this gig" and half "is this thing on???" since I wasn't sure if anyone was reading.

Jess said...

WHAT DO YOU MEAN NOT EVERYBODY LOVES ME?

I blog because I like it. I blog because it's a way for me to write daily. I blog because I love the community of people. I've met quite a few of my blog "buds", and those friendships have formed to be quite lasting. And I love that.

I don't blog because I care if people like me. Because in real life? I don't really care if people like me. I mean, I'm a reasonably likeable person, but I don't like everyone I meet, so why would I assume that everyone I meet would like me? (WOW there's a lot of 'like' in that sentence)

I don't get the popularity thing. I didn't do it in high school, so the idea of doing it as an adult seems sort of asinine. My readership is consistent. I get comments from the same people, we chat on twitter, we email. I like it like that. The idea of having a huge readership? Honestly terrifies me. I like my group.

(because I'm a total freak who has actual nightmares about becoming famous for something random and losing all privacy and autonomy)

Anyway. POINT BEING. Perfectly said.

Jenny Grace said...

This is so tremendously spot on.

Kelsey said...

I like your blogger/actor comparison.

I find that I am more motivated to blog when I get feedback (mostly via comments). Even though I am mostly blogging to remember things about these days with my children or just work through my own thoughts.

I find myself swinging back and forth between caring how many people read my blog and not caring. I would write it even if no one read, but I enjoy the sense of community I get from comments...

Nik-Nak said...

What I took away from this was: My little 3 reader blog is like a zombie??

Okay, I kid. And as one of those people who defninitely does wish I had more readers it doesn't really make me question my self-worth or anything. I view my blog as kind of a place to get good advice in areas that I suck at so It just makes me sad that I don't have *as much* advice as I could have.

I do know that out of my very few readers I do feel like I have made one very good friend so if I always just have a handful of readers, I'll always be happy because of that one connection I made.
Read on people!

agirlandaboy said...

Right on, sista. Blogging is so damn complicated because it's SUPER hard to believe "I am not my blog" (even if you know rationally that's not the case) when the blog in question is a personal one (i.e., an online journal) rather than a business one. Hard, hard, hard.

agirlandaboy said...

Aaaaaaalso, I've been really trying hard to check in with (read: leave comments for) people I like (in person, on Twitter) even if I'm not a huge fan of their blogging. I look at it the way I look at attending a party I might not be completely jazzed about or going to a friend's kid's horrible band concert; being a good friend means supporting people, whether or not I'm actually interested in what they're doing.

Lisa @ Trapped In North Jersey said...

Agreed! I feel like if lots of people were to read my blog I'd be paralyzed with fright. That said, I get a little pang of "why don't you like me" when people unsubscribe.

Alice said...

i had exactly 1 of my blog posts go "big" - ie larger than the normal 100 or so pageviews - and it was TERRIFYING. i definitely am not cut out for Large Audiences Who Might Argue With Me About Things.

on the other hand, the reason i love love love blogging so much is the online community you can develop. so i am definitely blogging "for" someone, since i want to share my life / thoughts with my internet buds.

on the other other hand, i am under no illusions that the majority of the world cares about what i went as for halloween, so i am also not confused why / mournful that i don't have more readers.

Elsha said...

Since I started my blog as a way to keep in touch with family during my first pregnancy, it doesn't bother/surprise me that I don't have a larger number of readers. In fact, I always get a little excited when I get comments from strangers because I have no idea how they found me. That said, I do like to joke about having 3 readers, because my 2 most faithful commenters are my sisters :)

I do wonder what encourages comments though. My stats tell that my blog averages like 50 hits a day, but most of the time I only get 3 or 4 comments. I want to know what you're thinking, other readers! Not that I have room to talk, I was a total blog lurker for like 2 years before I started being a commenter.

Bethany said...

I personally hover between desire to have an audience/recognition/connection with readers and a writer-purist attitude. I know how to elicit comments (announce a pregnancy, say something controversial about Santa or abortion) and I also know how to write so my blog matches a keyword google search.

However, I keep writing despite lack of comments or page views per day just because its something that I really like to do. I wish that I had more interaction with the ppl who "read me" but I don't usually comment on the blogs I follow, so I get it.

I have commented on yours five times or so, so ... you're a big deal. Maybe we'd be friends IRL, but maybe not.

PS - can you comment if you give your kids' real names? Are they psuedonyms? Curious. I think what one names her kids says a lot about a person, just like the blogger name she selects (and what's up with that? Is it your nickname?)

ALSO, I will confess that I often think a For Real Blogger is one who makes $ off her writing. I know better, but I think its a bit of jealousy coming through that I didn't become a professional writer and thus get to do what I love. I did science instead, and I didn't love it!

bluedaisy said...

A very good analogy. I like knowing that there are readers and of course, I like getting comments. But I will stick with blogging even in the absence of an audience because of all the precious little moments that are documented there, all thanks to blogging.

agirlandaboy said...

I keep coming back to this. So much good stuff you brought up. Thoughts:

1. Most of the "woe is me; no one reads my blog" that I've seen has come from people who have been around for years and years and once upon a time had large audiences and lots of comments but now...not so much. Even if the readership is up, the fact that comments are down (for a variety of reasons, including technical ones) is a big part of the complain, from what I can tell. Big fish in small ponds are seeing what happens when the pond becomes an ocean.

2. I think people take it harder when they're making money, and especially when they're working really hard at it. If you blog when you feel like it and don't care who reads, that's obviously a different experience than someone who slaves away and counts on the attention for part of their income.

3. I think a lot of it just comes down to jealousy and/or the version of jealousy that goes "She doesn't deserve that [and I do]." We've all seen blogs of poor quality with HUGE readerships and gone WHA? But you're so right in that there's something compelling going on, something that's drawing people in and keeping them around, and it's really useless to sit around fuming or moping about someone else's good fortune.

I LOVE THIS POOOOOOOST.

bethany actually said...

And I LOVE AGIRLANDABOY'S LAST COMENNNNNNNT. Hee. Seriously, that last line made me laugh out loud.

This post makes me glad once again that I am sort of oblivious to all this stuff---the politics, the popularity contests, etc.

I agree with you 100% on the actor analogy. I am friends with quite a few people I met through the internet, and I read some blogs that I wouldn't read except that I know and love the people who write them. I know at least one "big" blogger whose blog is beloved by thousands but not by me; her blog persona just doesn't interest me. However, when I met her in real life she turned out to be one of the funniest, warmest people I've ever met. She's completely lovely in real life, but I never would have suspected that from her blog.

My own blog gets triple the traffic it originally did, thanks to a couple of posts that were Stumbled and then Pinterest'd, and I'm grateful for the hits that increase my ad revenue, but the readers I care about are the family and friends I originally started the blog for, and the loyal commenters who form my community. When I focus on writing for them, it's much easier to not care about popularity.

Swistle said...

Bethany- Yes, the kids' names are pseudonyms. I chose them impulsively (because I hadn't thought ahead of time that I would need some) the day I started the blog, which is also how I chose my blog name. It was all kind of accidental, and I wish now that I'd chosen names that were more like their actual names (pseudonyms more like their actual names: Ian, Riley, Clarissa, John, Aaron)---but I'm happy with my own pseudonym, which is the nickname my family calls me, plus a suffix.

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

I long figured out that my blog would never be popular and furthermore, I know why. Sure, I would love to have a bigger audience, but it isn't going to happen. I could let that affect my happiness I normally get from writing on my site. Oh wait, I DID let that affect my happiness over my writing.

Anyway, once I got over myself and my silly pride, I have been far more satisfied with my blog. I am my own Audience of One. I have to write for myself FIRST, otherwise, I am wasting my time. Literally! :-)

Slim said...

Well, first of all, we would all love you if we met you in person. NOT THAT YOU CARE. (But we would!)

I think the presence of Big Bloggers creates a false sense of what's possible -- "I don't need to earn a living at this, like Dooce. I'd just like some readers!"

One thing that has pushed me away from some blogs I used to read, or read more often, is what feels to me like a misguided sense that they should get paid just for being them. Like they read "Do what you love, the money will follow" and decided that they were entitled to money via social media.

Which, again, isn't my reaction to you at all. Which is why I am constantly checking to see if you have a new post up.

PS I love that Henry's real name is Aaron.

LoriD said...

I agree with what you're saying. I read a lot of blogs, but only comment occasionally. Getting lots of comments can be a big motivator to write that next post, so I really admire a blogger who posts regularly, even though they expect no more than 2 or 3 comments.

I haven't posted anything in about 8 months (for no particular reason) and the nicest thing has been receiving the occasional email from my cyber-friends just checking in to see if everything is okay. It's nice to feel like you've connected with even 1 person through your writing.

Shelly said...

I think I'm the opposite of this phenonema - I never wanted a blog. In fact, I started reading and commenting on blogs before I had a blog and people thought I was some weird, internet stalker (I am, but that's supposed to be a secret!), so I started a blog so that people would know that I am a real person with a real life and not some wacko hiding in their bushes. I don't really like to write, even on my blog, and I have never thought my blog was "good". I have always been surprised and grateful that anyone would ever read it.

Josefina said...

I, like one of the other commenters, feel sorry for people who get upset about their readership. I think I feel sorry because, while I don't have that particular insecurity when it comes to blogging, I do tend to have it about regular life, and it feels terrible. I do hope some people who are struggling with those feelings can take this post to heart, because what you say is so true.

Misty said...

I do this. I take dance classes with the idea that I really have no ambition to perform. I don't need people to clap for me. My own approval and sense of enjoyment is the reason I do it.

Blogging...my motivation for it has changed. At first it was to have a meeeellion followers, but that was years ago. Now, I feel like I do it to maintain bloggy relationships with other bloggers. But mostly because it makes me happy AND I like to read my old posts. And I feel like, even if someone didn't comment, someone might have read it and just had nothing to say. And that's ok, too.

jodifur said...

3rd time trying to comment-

I think so much of it is perception. I think we THINK everyone else has a MILLION readers, but in reality, very few people do. Except the BIG names that we all know. In reality, there are just sooo many blogs out there. I read what I like and I assume other people do the same.

StephLove said...

I write a blog that gets very few comments-- there are a total of 2 on the last 5 posts-- and though I rarely complain about it on the blog it drives me crazy.

I know it's not a measure of my self-worth. I know there are people who read it and don't comment. I know even if no one reads it I'm creating a record of my life I enjoy having and I'd like my kids to have when they're older (actually the 10 year old does read it occasionally). But the silence does bother me and I don't think I can decide for it not to, nor do I want to quit. So that's that. You have inspired me to go out and read and comment on some of your commenters' blogs, though, and that's all for the good. It's a good way to brighten someone else's day.

Anonymous said...

How many hits do you get a day?

Anonymous said...

I agree with your post. In fact I read a blogger regualrly that made one of these comments that actually really turned me away. Just because people don't comment doesn't mean they are not interested in what you have to say!

Saly said...

I am guilty if having referred to "all 4 of you" in a couple of posts. I am ok with it, and I am ok with the number of comments, that I get, whether it is 1 or 25.

Here is my line of thought: I subscribe to something like 40 blogs in my reader. I am going to click out of my reader to comment for 1 or 2 reasons:

1. you are one of my blogging bffs (and I feel like I have a couple of those), and my commenting is my way of checking in and saying "Hey, what's up."
2. Something you wrote resonated with me, and I feel compelled to comment.

If I apply the same logic to my own blog, and the comments I get, it matches up. Certain people will always comment, and that is because we are buddies. Others will only comment when I am not writing crap.

I am totally cool with it all around. Great post, as always.

Tess said...

This reminds me of a customer service contest we had at work recently. Employees had to be nominated via a long, written form which was to be completed by their supervisor. And it was like, we KNEW who was going to win, and it was the employees whose supervisors were the best writers. Blogging is kind of like that.

There are a few people who I like in person whose blogs I cannot STAND. Some people's "voices" just don't translate well in writing. I find it doesn't much go the other way, though (there aren't many people I DISLIKE in person whose blogs I LOVE).

Frazzled Mom said...

I rarely update my two personal blogger blogs and I'm sure that is part of the reason I don't have many readers.

This post is timely because I'm now in the beginning stages of creating a more serious blog that is not about me, but rather a topic of interest. I have wanted to do it for a long time, but kept putting it off because I told myself if I didn't routinely update my personal blogs, then I don't have what it takes to become a serious blogger.

I guess I assumed, perhaps misguidedly, if I picked a topic with a strong market, and consistently wrote quality content, the readership would build eventually. I realize there is more to promoting a blog, such as guests posts, commenting on other blogs, which I already do, and including keywords in content. But I want to be confident I have something good before I promote it. At this point, keeping the commitment to write consistently is actually more important to me than getting a lot of readers at first.

One message I got from this post, was that commenting about my readership in my blog is a bad idea. It's a point well taken. I imagine how fatal it would be to complain about being out of work for a long time in a job interview. What would any job seeker hope to gain from that?

fairydogmother said...

I'd been wondering why you no longer model, act, sing for an audience, or try out for football. I didn't want to be so bold as to ask though.

Also, this is my favorite part: I have had a thought. Stand back.

I make flippant comments every now & then about my tiny readership, but it isn't something I ever really think much about and definitely never worry about, because that isn't why I have a blog. I hope it doesn't come across as complaining. I know exactly why I have only a very few readers - I'm barely blogging, for various reasons, and most of the stuff I really want to write about I can't anyway. Which hardly makes for dynamic blog fodder or leaves much in terms of conversation in comments. As far as I'm concerned it's not about how many people read my posts, or getting the attention of anybody in particular. But maybe I'm in the minority in that regard, who knows.

Tracy said...

TO be honest, I struggled with a little blog insecurity for a while. I went from being a blog about recurrent pregnancy loss, to having to wonderful babies. I lost a lot of readers.

My insecurities ran rampant. They only liked my blog to see my struggle? Or they couldn't take the pain of going through similar loss with out miracle babies on the other side.

However, now, my blog is really just for me. I want to have it printed and use it as our family journal. I've gotten over the "why don't people like me". (Well, on my blog anyway. Real life? Still working on that one...)

St said...

You know, it's funny. My readers have always been in the tens and I've been fine with that. I feel like I've actually met people through blogging, you to some extent as well as a few others that I seemed to just instantly connect with, through their blogs or mine. Which strikes me as pretty amazing because blogs aren't really designed for social interacting all that much. Anyway...

A blogger friend had to close her blog for professional reasons so, mostly in jest, I said I would receive this blog community of several hundred on my own blog. So for about two weeks, I blogged the way she had and my traffic went through the roof. I gotta say, those days with hits in the hundreds felt REALLY good. But it just wasn't me and I had lost my voice. So I went back to posting when I feel like it and only about stuff that really interests me or that I want to share. I'm content now with my dozen or so readers. :)

Beth said...

Lovely, lovely names!

oh! - This post was good, too, but mainly I just loved seeing the names.

A big fan of all 3 of your blogs.

Swistle said...

Slim and Beth- Sorry, I must have phrased that misleadingly! I meant that those were a list of names that would have been more appropriate pseudonyms, since they're more similar to the actual names.

Slim said...

Well, what I am supposed to do with those petit point Christmas stockings now?

Oh, wait. I don't do that. Never mind.

Slim said...

PS - Looking back, your phrasing was fine. My reading skills, no. I blame DC Urban Moms & Dads, where sloppy reading enables all sorts of shocked and outraged posts (not by me!)

Sarah said...

This is just my opinion/observation, but I think what drives comments over just simplying viewing has at least something to do with how a reader views her own blog in relationship with their view of the blog she is reading.

I'll try to explain. I have a blog that was really only created to let out of town family see pictures of what my kids are up to in between visits. In fact, the idea that a blog would exist for reasons other than that was completely foreign to me at the time. But now, I read TONS of blogs that I would never comment on because I already feel a little bit like voyeur reading THEIR blog. Because, honestly, I cannot imagine anyone other than someone who knows me enjoying my blog. Despite the fact that I find blogs just like mine very interesting.

So that's either a plausible theory or (more likely the case) the perfect explanation of how totally crazy I actually am!

Anonymous said...

Here's another thought for bloggers. Maybe your audience hasn't been born yet. Perhaps a hundred years from now your (as in the collective) blog will be studied and archived as a moment in time. Who knows? I wish I blogged.

MYSUESTORIES said...

Wait..so you WON'T watch me in a zombie movie? ( Not That I am In A Zombie movie,---YET But maybe some day..... But If I was in a Zombie movie you wouldn't be watching?......)Hmph....... Food---(perhaps Zombie BRAIN FOOD) for thought...

Swistle said...

MYSUESTORIES- Wellllllll...maybe if you made me a cheat sheet of every time I should close my eyes.