Two months to the day.
It’s been two months, today.
I published my first blog post on August 1st 2020: Cheers to fresh starts!
It was a dreary Saturday, almost a month after ‘the break-up‘ and I felt like I needed back a part of my life that I lost when it ended between us. Because not only did I give up him, I also gave up writing on the website where we’d met. A website where I’d been quite successfully publishing my words for the world to see. Hell. I even had >15,000 followers who’d be watching my every word. Although, granted, there may have been other reasons to follow that account. Regardless. I missed the recognition. The outlet. The creativity. IMMENSELY.
So when I started this blog, I had but one goal. Regain just that. Find the way to have the words flow again, to reconnect with the (virtual) world around me and to make my voice be heard. Because (although it does help) screaming into the void alone becomes kind of boring after a while. And to say it’s helped is an understatement. But then.
The thing about writing is (and I’ve repeated this often round these parts):
It’s way more satisfying to do when it’s being read.
(but do feel free to skip to the last paragraph if you’re just casually reading and wanna know the conclusion)
I started out this blog and pulled in friends and family through statuses on Facebook and Whatsapp, I was quickly glad to see that I wasn’t just keeping an online diary for myself. I built up a few dear core followers and was happy to cruise along like that.
Until the first virtual stranger showed up. And then another, and another. Who drew me into their worlds and their blogs in turn. Before I knew it, the ball was a-rolling. I love to be read almost as much as I like to read, and the WordPress reader allows for the easy access to all sorts of blogs. So the number on my ‘follow-button‘ started growing. It’s on a mindboggling 528 as I’m typing. In two months.
(I very arrogantly giggled at this just last week, as I was reading a post by an awesome writer graciously thanking her 100 followers for sticking around for the 4 years she’d been working hard on her blog. Whoops. I suck. Small victories are victories too, and her big number might feel small to me, but it was big for her regardless. I slapped myself for giggling after.)
These days I find myself wondering at that number too. Mostly because I’ve been reading a lot of blogs that mix up personal content with ‘how to get more followers’, ‘how to be a successful blogger’, ‘how to create traffic’ types of helpfulness. And I literally…do…everything…wrong.
I don’t keep a set schedule. I don’t engage in community prompts. I DEFINITELY do not keep my posts under 500 words and I will never look for options to monetize my numbers. I do not give readers an option to provide input on my topics to write and I don’t ask for feedback to improve. Hell. when it comes to everything a blog apparently needs to be successful – I’m doing it hella wrong.
Yet. The numbers don’t lie.
In the 62 days since starting this blog I posted a staggering 63 blog posts (pretty freakydeaky for someone who can generally uphold 0 routine in her life). Insane. I hit 200 followers on september 15th. 500 yesterday. And the likes? Don’t even get me started on those. That’s been a record broken day after day. It’s insane. Most days, these days (it’s ramping up quite quickly) I get about 150 to 200 unique visitors to the blog (and though that might sounds small, it’s immense for me, so don’t be like me and mean-giggle!). I mean. That IS 200 people interested in…well…reading about moi.
It’s a feeling of success, to say the least. And something I find I am very much drawn to. I’m kind of a follower hoarder in that sense (as are a lot of other bloggers, I suppose). Especially operating in a niche that isn’t too commonly ‘huge‘ in blog-land.
I love and appreciate every silly goose who finds it in themselves to press that like, comment and follow button. And with that happening increasingly often, I feel myself getting exponentially happier. WIN-fckin-WIN!
But the thing that I most love about that count (outside of the ‘yay people read’ and ‘yay, they like it!?!?!’)? It is not just a validation of self – but also of blogging in general. OR, that’s what it feels like to me. Because I do find myself in doubt every now and again when people ask me what I do for fun. Softball. Sure, totally acceptable. Netflix binging. Well, duh. Bowling. Ok, bit odd, but manageable.
Somehow ‘blogging‘ is still a bit of a weird answer tho. It gets icky responses as I wrote about in an earlier blogging-blog: Personal Blogging – Dirty Little Secret.
Plus, I hiiiiiighly doubt that if I’d put this on my Tinder profile, and those boys actually show up here – this ‘light‘ reading is going to achieve anything but making them run straight for those damned hills again (instead of into my arms). A bit too naggy on the heartbreak side, I think that’d definitely be held against me by potentials (so I don’t share with them that I blog. Which is weird, given the time I spend doing it).
But I assume (it’s merely assume, though) that once you get to a certain number.
Once you reach a magical threshold.
Once you make it to a group of readers and available audience that merits awe instead of yikes – you’ve made blogging acceptable. And I would love for nothing more than that. Keeping a blog for yourself and 5 readers? Weird. Keep one for an audience of thousands (I dunno what the tipping point it, yet) and you’re cool and successful.
There’s no foolproof recipe for it. It being successfully blogging.
I’m proving that one blog at a time by not doing any of the pro-things other bloggers recommend. Just being me works, too. And that’s nice. Because that means you can just be you, too.
So I’m out for the count, In the good way. Bring on the horde!
PS. Wanna read more about the ins and outs and hows and whys of personal blogging round here? Click on, brave warrior, click on!
* Personal blogging – Risky Business
* Personal blogging – Dirty little secret
* Personal blogging – To be recognisable or to be unique?
* Personal blogging – Out for the count
* Personal blogging – Listless
* Personal blogging – The science of stars
* Personal blogging – The personal touch
* Personal blogging – The Voice
* Personal blogging – Patterns
* Personal blogging – Art of repetition
* Personal blogging – Choices