Oh Yeah? My Blog Can(not) Take Your Blog!

Over the last week, I’ve seen several blog posts from people looking back on the previous year as we head into 2011.  Some have reflected in general terms, and many have shared the stats provided by WordPress about the blog’s performance for the year.

I’m certain that this wasn’t the intent of the bloggers, but after reading numerous posts, I wound up feeling defeated.  Why?  Because my number of visits and subscriber counts are WAY lower than the stats revealed by others.  Luckily, I came to my senses rather quickly.  Being introspective comes in handy that way (though it’s not of much benefit in social situations, as I alluded to in a previous post).

After I gave myself a mental shake, I reminded myself of the facts:  I’m not blogging to win a popularity contest, but I can never make too many friends.  Reaching a subscriber count or visit count isn’t even on my radar, even though I’m thrilled when I have a returning visitor, new visitor, or another subscriber.  My goal is simple:  I strive to write entertaining, and sometimes informative, posts that are appropriate for all ages.

This blog is like a mirror of my life.  I’ve never been a part of the popular crowd, I’ve never had so many friends that I’ve forgotten how to be a friend, and I always remember the endless hollowness of feeling totally alone (though I haven’t felt that ache since childhood).  All of this makes me truly grateful every time that someone visits my blog.

If you do a side-by-side comparison of my blog to many others, yeah, I suppose it comes up short.  But I like short.  Short is good.  If I were to be a numbers gal (which I’m not), when I look at my own progress, independent of anyone else, I’m getting taller.  My words are becoming more confident, and a small, but growing, number of people visit my blog regularly; some comment, some subscribe.  I won’t give up any numbers, because that’s a secret best kept between me and my blog 🙂

Just because I’m only a small speck in the blogging world, doesn’t mean that my words are any less meaningful than the “big dogs.”  In fact, it’s possible that my blog could hold its own with a medium-sized dog with a friendly demeanor…socialized to play nice with other (much smaller) dogs.  Grrrr!

Thank you for bearing with me as I worked through this moment of insecurity.  As much as I hate to admit it, sometimes I do succumb to the tug of peer pressure, and the urge to be in the running for the big numbers.  However, I’m pleased to report that I’m back to my normal state of blissful indifference.

What part of blogging are you preoccupied with – Content?  Stats? Comments?  Or are you a go-with-the-flow type?  Please share your thoughts, but not your stats!

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49 thoughts on “Oh Yeah? My Blog Can(not) Take Your Blog!

  1. Re Gypsy January 5, 2011 / 7:08 AM

    I see it as a creative outlet and i think you’d definitely be able to take on a medium size dog!

    • jannatwrites January 5, 2011 / 5:42 PM

      Thanks for the vote of confidence 🙂 I won’t be taking on any “big dogs”, though! And I’m totally okay with that…

      Thanks for stopping by Re Gypsy!

  2. 2blu2btru January 5, 2011 / 7:19 AM

    I’m preoccupied with a couple of things–content and comments! I have notebooks of various sizes stashed everywhere to write down any “cool” ideas I have during the day, any metaphors or quotes that strike my fancy. I hate writing when I have nothing to say, and only want to write when I have something perfectly formed in my head (hence my failed NaNoWriMo attempt and many unfinished pieces/posts!).

    I am a comment hound. I love comments! I always want to know what people think. I don’t mean just “great post” or “you’re an amazing writer” (even though those give me warm fuzzies) but people giving me their perspective/take on something. I don’t like that my replies count as comments on the counter, or that it counts as a comment when I refer to a previous post and link it.

    I don’t keep up with how many subscribers I have. Just because they subscribe doesn’t mean they read. I try not to get caught up in the numbers, but I must admit, I was uber excited by the jump in comments I had that day in December. Visits? Eh. Subscribers? Eh. Regular commenters? FABULOUS!

    • 2blu2btru January 5, 2011 / 7:20 AM

      oops! sorry for the bold…I’m still figuring out how to use HTML codes in comments. *shamed face*

    • jannatwrites January 5, 2011 / 5:46 PM

      I’m with you – I love, love, love comments! I’m not always good at thinking of stuff to post, but I’m starting to write more things down. I read many more posts than I comment on. I figure if I don’t have anything to add, I usually skip it. Or, if I strongly agree with another commenter’s opinion, somethimes I’ll leave a comment to say so.

      Thanks for sharing your preoccupations with me…and don’t worry about the bolding…I haven’t even figured out how to do that in comments yet!

  3. duke1959 January 5, 2011 / 7:29 AM

    I do think people get hungup on numbers sometimes. I write what is on my heart or what inspires me.

    • jannatwrites January 5, 2011 / 5:47 PM

      That’s what I like about reading your blog, too! The numbers just complicate things for me and distract me from what I really should be paying attention to: writing.

  4. nrhatch January 5, 2011 / 7:44 AM

    I am definitely a “go with the flow” type . . .

    I have one goal as a blogger and that is to enjoy the journey. I don’t feel any urgency to “make it” to some distant shore. I am happy just to enjoy this moment, while patiently allowing the future to unfold in its own way, its own time.

    But . . . I am glad that bloggers like Raptitude shared their stats of 1,000,000 (!) views this year because it gave me a chance to smile at the distant horizon and the infinite possibilities it holds.

    Blogging, like inner peace and happiness, is relative.

    The goal is not to be happier or have better “numbers” than someone else. Instead, we need only strive to be the best we can be at this moment in time. 😉

    Cheers!

    • jannatwrites January 5, 2011 / 5:49 PM

      Somehow I just knew you’d be a ‘go with the flow’ type, Nancy 🙂 You’ve got the right idea in enjoying the journey because we don’t even know what the destination is or how long it will take to get where ever it is.

      I’m glad I got over my brief preoccupation with the numbers. Things are much better now!

  5. Bill Greeves January 5, 2011 / 10:33 AM

    I did get the stats thing from WordPress. And while I found it interesting to look back over a whole year of my blog, I didn’t think anybody else would give a rat’s hairy patootie how many people came to my blog.

    My primary reason for setting it up was to amuse and entertain myself. If somebody else enjoys it, or gets some value out of it, that’s just a bonus! Now that I am trying to sell a manuscript, I’ve begun to (at least try) to organize some of the randomness that I squirrel away in there. But other than that, I am still enjoying my own little forum and I’ve really enjoyed branching out and connecting with others on the same path (i.e. YOU). The last thing I care about are stats! Show me something interesting and I’ll be back for more, increasing your stats and your # of comments…not that either us are looking! ; )

    • jannatwrites January 5, 2011 / 5:53 PM

      I agree with you, Bill: personal enjoyment is the best reason to blog. Good for you for not getting disracted by the numbers. (I wish I could’ve been that strong.) I’m ready for it, so maybe next year it won’t phase me a bit 🙂

      Thank you for sharing your take on the stats….and for not getting bored with my blog…yet 🙂

  6. Carol Ann Hoel January 5, 2011 / 10:39 AM

    I started blogging because I was informed that novelists must have one to be published. I am basically shy, so this was a real challenge for me. I made some decisions on what my blog would be about. I decided at the onset that I would be myself and that I would be kind to others as I would like them to be kind to me.

    I like blogging and reading and commenting on the blogs of others. Many of the blogs I subscribe to are new and have few commentators, while others have many. My purpose for blogging has altered somewhat. Of course, I would like high numbers, because that means a larger readership. All I can do is post my thoughts. I will have as many as come, and I will be thankful and appreciate them.

    If my numbers ever reach the sky, I’ll be glad. Will I post my numbers? I don’t know. I’ll have to cross that bridge when (if) I come to it. I did not receive any numbers from WordPress, perhaps because I have been blogging only about half a year. I do not scold those bloggers that post their numbers. I know they worked hard to gain such a readership. Blogging takes time and energy. They deserve applause. We don’t all have the same resources, time, energy, desire, to put into it. My time is limited. But everyone’s time is limited by something. This is what makes time so precious.

    Your rate of growth eventually will take you to the stars! Blessings to you, Janna…

    • jannatwrites January 5, 2011 / 6:00 PM

      I started my blog for that reason also, Carol Ann, but then I just decided to have fun with it because it was, well…more fun!

      I hope my post didn’t come off as criticizing or scolding bloggers that posted their numbers… my intent was to poke fun at myself for getting wrapped up in the stats, like I was in some sort of competition (which I’m not). I normally don’t care/don’t pay attention to that, so I found it odd that the year-end summary got to me. I am happy for those that have built up readership, and I am happy with my small group of friends and fellow bloggers.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment and for sharing your blog philosophy 🙂

      • Tim Weaver January 6, 2011 / 9:07 AM

        I guess I don’t understand why a novelist “must” have a blog to be published. I want to read their books, not what they think about US Foreign Policy or gas prices.

        But I am curmudgeon.

        • jannatwrites January 6, 2011 / 8:55 PM

          I’ve read on some agent blogs that they like an author with a ‘platform’ (i.e., an audience or following that would be interesting in buying their book). Hence, the blog, website or some sort of social media to get their name out there. People can’t buy something they don’t know about…and if the author has built a platform, that’s less advertising that the agent/publisher will have to do (and I’ve heard the ad budget for new writers is next to nothing.)

          Of course, platform is much more important in non-fiction, but I know of at least one author who noted a platform in a sample query letter I read during my research.

      • nrhatch January 6, 2011 / 2:59 PM

        I agree with you, Tim . . . no rules, just write! 😉

  7. Cities of the Mind January 5, 2011 / 12:32 PM

    I, for one, enjoy your blog, and I’m sure if your numbers seem low, it’s only because people haven’t found it yet. I expect you’ll keep right on expanding.

    • jannatwrites January 5, 2011 / 6:02 PM

      Thanks, Cities…I’m glad you enjoy my blog and visit regularly. I enjoy your blog also 🙂 I’m not too worried about expanding. I’ll just keep writing and whatever happens will happen…

  8. chlost January 5, 2011 / 5:13 PM

    When I got that number thing from wordpress, I had much the same reaction that you describe. But I did see a blogger who posted their numbers, and although it was a much higher number than mine, the rest of the information was almost identical to what I received.
    So, even at the hallowed halls of wordpress, my blog is as good as one with MANY more visits.
    I also started to blog just for myself. I have found many friends-truly friends-through my blog. A few good friends beat a bunch of acquaintances any day. That is the way I am in my offline life, as well. I don’t have a huge number of friends, but those that I have are lifelong.
    Besides, you have a great blog!

    • jannatwrites January 5, 2011 / 6:31 PM

      Your blog is just as good as any other (loved your 3-positive-things-a-day posts). Your blog and real-life friends situation sounds a lot like mine. I like the statement, “a few good friends beat a bunch of acquaintances any day.”

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts 🙂

  9. Ollin January 5, 2011 / 8:25 PM

    Don’t let that get to you Janna. Seriously. As someone who has had “relative” success in the blogging world, I know that you really can’t judge yourself by hits, subscribers, etc.

    In that blogging competition I was in the people I was up against {I dont know if you got to see the list, if you didn’t, check them out} but they had 10 times more subscribers, twitter followers, views than I did. They had been around a LOT longer than I was. They were a LOT more experienced blogging wise. If I let “views” and “subscribers” get to me I would have never entered that contest. I just knew I had great content. I believed myself and I went for it.

    Keep creating great content and see what happens. Trust me. It’s gonna be good. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 5, 2011 / 9:02 PM

      You are absolutely right, Ollin. I think that’s why I got so annoyed with myself when I let the numbers get to me. Luckily, it was a brief occurrence!

      You are a huge success in the blogging world (can I have your autograph?) Who knows, maybe with your 75 tips, I can spice this place up a little bit…

      As always, thanks for your support and encouragement. That, my friend is why you are such a success 🙂

      • Ollin January 9, 2011 / 5:57 PM

        Sure you can have my autograph! What, it’ll get you like one cent on Ebay? LOL.

        • jannatwrites January 9, 2011 / 9:03 PM

          Ah, but if I hold on to it, it could be worth thousands 😉

  10. Brown Eyed Mystic January 5, 2011 / 9:02 PM

    I tend to agree with Ollin.

    And that said, I am more of a “content” person, if you ask. Comments are welcomed too, and I won’t hide that inspirational and candid comments make me go “yay”. Comments with depth just as people above have placed, are cherished the most in my blogging den 😉 And I am proud and happy to have readers who do just that. I simply love my readers!

    Subscriptions can be an important part, depending on what you’re trying to achieve from your blog. For me, it’s more about a knit community, about writing and writers and artists of another form. So yes, when someone subscribes, I do feel happy. But it doesn’t stop there. I tend to think a lot before I post something. At that moment, there’s only one word in my mind: “content”.

    I love your blog and your witty sense of humour. Don’t bother about the stats–keep doing what you are and you’ll soon be there. 😉

    -BrownEyed

    • jannatwrites January 5, 2011 / 9:12 PM

      Thanks, BrownEyed!

      Your blog has helpful information for all of us writers, so I’m not surprised that content is your focus, and that you put a lot of thought into your posts – it definitely shows. I agree with you about the community aspect of blogging. I would much rather have a handful of ‘regulars’ than 10 times as many single visits. (I almost wrote “single visitors”, but that didn’t sound right. I don’t have THAT type of blog here 🙂 )

      I was trying to figure out what my niche was (I’ve been reading Ollin’s blogging tips) and I think you’ve given me the answer. Thank you 🙂

  11. Aligaeta January 5, 2011 / 11:53 PM

    Nevermind stats Janna, the coolest thing happened this morning… I read a comment on my post from a reader thanking me for writing the post she needed to read. Your welcome : )

    Then tonight, I received a phone call from my best friend. She called to tell me that she’s been following my blog, (I wouldn’t have known, never a comment) she says she laughs and she cries, she said, to my surprise, that she is learning things about me that she never knew. She said she can’t wait till tomorrow to read my next post. She brought up an essay I let her read twenty years ago, “The story about the vegetables” and said “I love the way you write. I love your stuff.”

    Last week, another friend, Phyllis who I’ve mentioned in some posts emailed me saying “Well, when are you gonna send me another story. I’ve been waiting and waiting and nothing.” That was the first response after I emailed her “Alice: Holding on to Tradition” weeks before. So, I sent her the link to my wp site and still no comments… but she did ask for more : )

    I am happy if what I write helps, entertains, moves someone to laughter and/or tears. I love to write. It would be nice if there was a record of who stopped by.

    I read a post by someone named Rich, my comment was one word, perhaps “lovely” I’m not sure now. But within a few days I wrote a post in response to his being so moved by what I read. His comment back meant a lot to me.

    To sum it up… what I’m getting is quality not quantity.
    Great post Janna and thanks for subscribing : )

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2011 / 8:51 PM

      Aligaeta, the timing on your post really was eerie. I told my best friend about and she said it gave her chills. I’m glad you’re getting support for your writing – and I do agree that quality is preferable to quantity. Thank you 🙂

  12. Maimoona Rahman January 6, 2011 / 1:56 AM

    Hey Jannat.

    My stats are not so good either, but my blog is not that good.

    I really like your blog, your cats, and your sons. WordPress is just lying. It’s jealous you broke records. 😀

    Whatever the stats are, you have touched some people sincerely. I think that’s more important than having infinite passive, impenetrable readers.

    • jannatwrites January 6, 2011 / 8:48 PM

      I like the cover up idea, but sadly, I know it’s not true! We can be in the low-stat club together 🙂

      I have some great people that read and comment regularly, and I wouldn’t want to change that – even for higher numbers. Thank you for being one of them, Maimoona…

  13. Kavita January 7, 2011 / 2:42 AM

    Janna, you have NOTHING to worry about!!
    Besides, like you said, this ain’t no rat race! It’s an outlet (a mode of release) after all…
    So, having said that, kudos to your cool writing, and to your unperturbed loyalty to it!!
    Pen on, my friend!! And your fans (including moi) shall follow!
    Have an AWESOME new year!! 🙂
    xoxoxo

    • jannatwrites January 7, 2011 / 4:37 PM

      Thank you SO much, Kavita – I’m glad you stopped by. Here’s to writing outside the rat race 🙂 I do appreciate the fact that you read my posts…I keep up with your poetry, also. Best to you in this New Year!

  14. suzicate January 8, 2011 / 7:48 AM

    You know what? I deleted mine accidentally…I thought it was spam! Know what else? It’s ok. I used to look at those stats continuously, I mean I was governed by them. And one day, I realized I had stopped blogging for the joy it brought my soul, and had changed to meet my self-imposed expectations that I thought others had on me. Now, ignore (It’s difficult) the stats and concentrate on writing what is on my heart when it’s there. (trying for quality over quantity) and focusing on the realtionships I’ve built along the way. I don’t compare mine to anyones or theres to anyone…it’s all happy and stress-free. You write beautifully…concentrate on that and take the load off…enjoy the ride!

    • jannatwrites January 8, 2011 / 12:30 PM

      I probably should have deleted mine 🙂

      You are very smart, Suzicate – the way you have kept your focus on the content and not allowed the numbers to distract you. I wish I didn’t have my moment of weakness, but I am happy to say that I have recovered. The people that regularly read and comment on my posts have been great support (and entertainment, because I do like seeing where the comments take the post.) Stress-free is the way to go…and I will make a point to always enjoy the journey.

      I do appreciate your kind words and encouragement.

  15. J. P. Cabit January 8, 2011 / 5:58 PM

    I crave what you have here: Comments. I love them. Especially conversations.

    Stats? I like hits, sure. I still can’t beat my — hits back on a day in July. 😦 Anyway, it’s winter, so things have slowed down a little.

    And readers, yes!!! I like getting faithful readers. I’m a “The few – the faithful” kinda guy.

    • jannatwrites January 8, 2011 / 7:55 PM

      We think alike, Seph. I also like the comments and the intermingling of new and regular commenters. A few regular readers are much more special than a truckload of one-time readers. Just keep writing and the readers will come (or so I’m told :).)

  16. Addy January 8, 2011 / 11:17 PM

    I tend to get pre-occupied with content and comments! I just break my head over what to write that is interesting but still mirrors my normal life that am leading! And I like commets and replying to them however small they may be!

    Please do keep continuing Janna, don’t be much bothered about the stats part, bcuz even am sailing in the same boat as you!

    Best Wishes,
    Addy

    • jannatwrites January 9, 2011 / 3:07 PM

      Oh, I’m not planning on giving up. That never even crossed my mind as an option! I also struggle with content. I try to keep it mostly to writing, but life often creeps into the posts (as it does my writing.)

      Don’t give up either, okay Addy? It’s nice to have good company in the small boat 😉

  17. Miss Rosemary January 11, 2011 / 5:12 PM

    I think you’ve got the right idea. My blog isn’t anywhere near what others’ are either (though I would like it to be). And I do always enjoy your posts and what you have to say. I think you’re a great writer and a really good blogger 🙂

  18. Miss Rosemary January 11, 2011 / 5:13 PM

    I think you’ve got the right idea. My blog isn’t anywhere near what others’ are either (though I would like it to be). But so what? We can always work at it and maybe get there one day. But even just one person coming back is a nice feeling.

    And I do always enjoy your posts and what you have to say. I think you’re a great writer and a really good blogger 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 11, 2011 / 7:36 PM

      I hear you, Miss Rosemary – return visitors are the best compliment 🙂 (Thank you, for coming back!)

      I appreciate your compliment about my writing/blogging. It helps keep me going…

  19. dorcas January 14, 2011 / 3:50 AM

    Recently, I took up blogging seriously and ended up being absolutely obsessed about the stats. I still am. But trying to get out of that hook.

    Janna, at the end of the day, its all about the joy it gives. SO glad you’ve figured that out.

    Psst.. you’ve got one new regular reader 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 14, 2011 / 8:37 PM

      The stats are an attractive lure, that’s for sure. We have to be strong to overcome the urge to obsess! I do appreciate you stopping by, and I like the idea that you’ll stop by again 🙂

  20. W January 16, 2011 / 5:02 PM

    Hi,

    I stopped by because your blog was featured on Freshly Pressed and came upon this post. What a nice thought about blogging! It’s true, it’s not all about the numbers, it’s about the content that people care about.

    Having good numbers help the ego though because that’s another reason why we blog: we want to share our thoughts.

    Good post!

    • jannatwrites January 16, 2011 / 11:45 PM

      Thanks for stopping by. I’m glad that you liked this post. My main reason for that post was to put it in perspective and not let the numbers (or lack thereof) get in the way of the enjoyment of the experience.

  21. Keshav Ram Narla January 18, 2011 / 12:59 PM

    My blog views came a long way in the past year. But my RSS readers was always constant at 1 (there the secret was out) . But at the end of the year it’s upto to 2. 100% jump 🙂

    I know it will be slow. I’ll try to be patient and when I read posts like yours I will be even more patient, because I still have a long way to reach your level quality in content (maybe another year?)

    But thanks for being honest. I loved your post.

    • jannatwrites January 18, 2011 / 7:16 PM

      You’ve got one (er, two) up on me. I checked a couple months ago and I didn’t have any RSS readers. I appreciate your compliment about my content, and I smiled as I read it because I’ve wished I could be more inpsirational (like Ollin) or more informative (like BrownEyed.)

      Thank you for commenting, and I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂

  22. cuhome June 6, 2012 / 5:19 PM

    I’ve nominated you for the Inspiring Blogger Award–check my blog post titled the same–hope you will accept this, enjoy it and wallow in the compliment!! 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 6, 2012 / 9:08 PM

      You are very kind, Janet. I appreciate you thinking of me and will definitely check out your post!

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