My problem is that I never liked a popularity contest. I wasn’t popular nor did I care to be. I find it hard to care whether anyone “likes” me. Jimmy Crack Corn. I’m stubborn and figure, either you like me and you get me or you don’t. And this little attitude would be fine if the social media was about just being in touch friends and acquaintances.
But this attitude is not amassing me likes on my Shalavee Facebook page or upping my analytics or getting me more readership. Yet the social media statistics legitimize your on line existence. Surely the social media mavens would cluck their tongues at my flippant attitude. I want to believe that my authentic voice and my honest content should matter more than my SEO.
My fellow blogger / bloggess Sandra at Rainforest Cottage, wrote a post here on The Pursuit of Like. Her priority is the creativity. I suddenly felt humbled. Getting caught up in numbers takes you away from the reason to blog in the first place.
She commented ,“It’s not the pursuit of “likes” that’s a problem but rather the blurring of objectives as a creative who also blogs. The strategies needed to improve your art-making can be at cross purposes with growing your blog audience. If you do end up blurring the two, suddenly your art-making becomes more about recognition by others rather than about your own creative objectives.”
She’s translated this equation in terms of creativity. Because this blogging endeavor really is about inspiring a platform for creativity. The opposite of the divine spirit of creativity is the screaming internal three-year old wanting to be paid attention to. And I get the feeling that is what the society has morphed into online. Like me, friend me, and pay attention to me NOW.
My journey then is to find and feel some sort of entitlement around asking for your support without feeling like a beggar or a bossy three year old. There’s a way. And it stems from what my readers value and get the most from. The puzzle is :
What am I to my readership? vs.
What I think you want me to be? vs.
What I think I should be?
Opinions, if kind, are most welcome.
And I may have to do a survey, Ackk.
You pose some interesting questions like do you create content for yourself or for your audience? I think it can be a mixed bag, and that would depend what you are wanting from your audience. I think there are some bloggers who could care less what anyone thinks and they post what they want regardless. I think you should ask what your expectations are for yourself…there may be some blogs out there with high readership but the writer may not be connecting with her audience as much if the material is for the masses.
P.S. I never get your comments…I wonder if this happens to anyone else. Remember my post about that? About half the time, I don’t receive comments back, so it’s not just you. People have told me they haven’t received comments from me either. Something to consider.
I love my thoughtful girls. I did read your post about the comment problem. Didn’t you get my comment? Haha. Yours and mine are WordPress. And everyone who “flies” on WordPress that I follow, I usually have to subscribe to the comment feed. Which then sens me an e-mail that I have to activate by clicking over to the subscription page. Then I receive every comment afterwards. Which in the case of the Bumbles Files, can be very email box glutty. Because she’s got a lot of people that read and comment on her blog. Ouch. Do I have the subscriptiony thing? Perhaps I’ll go in on my husbands computer and comment and see what happens. I answer everyone’s comment. Because I was advised from a blogging/social media professional, if I was lucky enough to have them stop by, I needed to love the ship out of the ones that showed up for me.
I am so glad to have your support, I hope you know.
OK, first- the pic from my kid’s last bday?! Curious.
Anyway, the point…a few (many) months ago when you sent out a “read my blog you! you friends of mine” e-mail I thought “why does she care?” But then I thought “well…much the same as I may be wondering how to build a market for a commerce site this is wondering how to build a readership.” Which is natural. No person on FB or on a blog or in existence wants to speak to an empty room. As humans we want to be liked, loved, proved to exist…share the proverbial “joys and sorrows…” lest we become invisible hermits chewing on our socks. I tried to think about why I read the blogs that I regularly visit. One is a sufferer of depression like me, but also sarcastic and irreverent about it, like me. The other is a bobo cooking blog- more something I aspire to than am. So my take away then was that your readership will come when people like you, or people who want to be like you (and we’ve had the convo that they do exist) find you. Buuut I didn’t say anything because, as you know, I try not to be “all up in (anyone’s) business.
Until then will you have to wallow in the creative process?! Which I once heard Maurice Sendak liken to a vast black hole that you climb out of every day. Maybe think about what drove you to writein the first place…and dwell in that for a while?
Or else figure out why you say you don’t care, why you say “I’m not concerned with popularity” yet you want to know your google statistics. I’m not naïve enough to believe the two are mutually exclusive, yet you can’t always “have it both ways” when the net is almost as full of bloggers as porn and, at the end of the day, this should be an endeavor that enriches your life. If not, why bother?
I hope that makes sense (I excel at being convoluted) and is received in the loving, attempting to be helpful-ing spirit in which it was sent.
So anyway, I was nervous in the beginning of writing this blog because, yes no one wants to speak to an empty room. If a blogger writes in a forest… But I know people are out there reading although they are quiet. It’s more about aggressively gaining readership numbers. Some online magazines don’t publish for quality but for the quantity of followers you have.
Um…lest we become invisible hermits chewing on our socks. Love! And then there’s the not saying anything line…psssthwwt.
You got me dead to rights with the why do I say I don’t care. I’m taking that right to the therapist. Gotta give her a post natal call here anyway. I really appreciate your input.
Ah, I didn’t know that about on-line mags re quantity. Bugger that.
Well, that’s what I take to my therapist (once I re-enlist): I’m always afraid to say what I think at the risk of offending. But I love ya and admire your honesty so I stuck my neck out…now I’m retracting it 😉 kidding!
I used to be a silent reader then I had something to say for a change. And, in the same hermitage fearfulness vein, when you respond and I know you’ve read my comments I am encouraged to continue saying something. For what that’s worth.
I said ya hop when I read that last part.Been there and experienced that.And now I count about eight women online spread out over the globe as friends.And they love when I have something to say. Because they feel validated too. And we pay KT back and forth. Thanks so much Ms Yell.
Any friend of The Bumble Files is a friend of mine… maybe.
The point of blogging is the experience, and, well, weblogging it. Simple. Have more experiences and tell about them. Talk about old ones, even.
The more colorful you are with it, figuratively speaking (some blogs are too literally colorful), the higher the ratings. Though ratings shouldn’t necessarily be a goal for someone that doesn’t need them; a dozen or so true friends, or hundreds, thousands of people you’ll never know?
But yes, be honest and genuine— that’s a personal necessity for anyone, regardless of any online presence, or whatever anyone tells you.
Thanks Adam, for the very thought full comment. And I do so appreciate the validation. I have no problem with my genuine voice. Or providing content I would deem colorful at times. Perhaps I just want to know people are out there. Perhaps I care about making someone laugh. Or inspiring them. And the rest I drop like a hot potato. As someone said on Amy’s site, you can’t get freshly pressed if you want to. It either happens or it doesn’t.