Nobody Gives a Damn How Many Followers You’ve Got

Apparently it’s easy to get zillions of subscribers to your blog – Just follow a few simple steps, work hard, and write good stuff.

I know this, because there are a ton of pro-blogging sites which are eager to dispense the wisdom of their own success whilst making you feel inferior for having less than 20,000 subscribers.

Unfortunately for many of us, the promise of multiple thousands of subscribers is unrealistic no matter how hard we try – sometimes because we work in less popular niches, sometimes because we just don’t have the available time, and sometimes because we just don’t have that magic mix of talent and luck.

Ultimately this leads to frequent disappointment among bloggers.

But the bitter truth is that blogging is not a hobby or a profession for those without perseverance.

Why we obsess over stats

The only reason so many of us obsess over our statistics is because page views and subscriber numbers are the most obvious ways to measure our success. But are they really?

A business that only measures itself by its profits is unlikely to be successful in the long term. Profits are obviously important, but profit is only one measurement of success, and crucially, it is an outcome not a determiner. Outcomes are the things that ultimately we are judged by, but they don’t tell you anything about the underlying factors which will make future success possible, and which are making current success difficult.

For example, a firm which is making roaring profits today is a poor investment if their products are so bad that few of their customers return tomorrow.

A blog might have 10,000 views today from social media, but that’s hardly a success if visitors don’t find any reason to return the next day.

How can we measure ourselves

Success is self-defined. It’s also important to know why you’re blogging in the first place.

If you blog for money, then obviously revenue is the most important outcome for you. But if you blog only for pleasure then perhaps your level of reader engagement (which can be determined largely by comments) is more important to you?

If your blog is part of a longer term plan, then perhaps generating kudos within the blogging community is your best measure of success?

Next, consider (or don’t consider) the things which you can’t influence directly – such as page views. There is nothing you can do to directly influence these, so to a large extent you shouldn’t waste time worrying about them. However, don’t ignore them completely.

Stats provide you with useful information as to why your blog is not performing as expected. For example, if you have few new visitors each month (often the case after the first few months) then perhaps you are getting poor search engine placement, or you are lacking in inbound links?

If a quick check on Google shows that you are lacking in links, then perhaps it is time to re-focus on community interaction again?

Your time and energy should go into the things you can influence. And the thing you can influence the most is the quality of your articles.


In reality, most bloggers (myself included) will continue to obsess over stats.

However, rephrasing what success means to you can often give you the motivation to create great content even when you don’t have as many followers as you’d like.

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48 thoughts on “Nobody Gives a Damn How Many Followers You’ve Got

  1. Great post! I have to admit I did feel bad for not having many views on my (hobby) blog, but then I started noticing the few people who follow are sometimes kind enough to engage in the comments, and that’s something you can’t put a price on!

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I measure in terms of comments. Although, I will say that several effusive compliments in a row will cause me great anxiety and keep me from writing for a day or so. Insults just make me focus harder…

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Great post! My motivation is that I think Jesus, mental illness and the combination of both of them are misunderstood by much of the world. At least, that is my perception. Your post reminded me of my reasons and priorities for writing: not for money, fame, etc. but that one person may be helped by my painful experience. Thank you for your post, I am going to re-read it now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi James,

      I think it’s easier to write for just one person, whether real or imagined. Your ideal reader. The person your words could most influence and help. That way, you don’t get caught up in the numbers game and all that.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. I take numbers of ‘followers’ with a pinch of salt. Despite a published number on my blog in excess of 3,000, I reckon I have around 250 ‘serious’ followers. That’s about all I can cope with anyway, as I reply to comments, and engage with over 100 other blogs regularly. If 20,000 people really followed my blog actively, I would have to employ staff to cope!
    Thanks for following, which is appreciated.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You engage with over 100 blogs regularly??? Have you discovered the secret to creating a 40-hour day? I have all I can do to keep up with 20 or so (very prolific) fellow bloggers!

      How do you keep up!? 😱

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They don’t all post every day, Ellie. On an average day, I probably comment on around 25 posts on blogs I follow, and answer up to 60 comments on my own posts. I am retired, so split my blogging time. I am generally online from 9 am- midday, then from 5 pm-9 pm most evenings. (Not constantly of course)
        The regular community I engage with numbers around 40, sometimes less, as most bloggers (unlike me) don’t post daily.
        Best wishes, Pete.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. I accidentally saw that I had stats on my blog a few weeks ago. I didn’t know they existed. Why? Because that’s not why I blog. I blog to share my life about living with Multiple Sclerosis so that others who have it or have been newly diagnosed will have the answers to — what now? What happens to me? Stats? I always say Multiple Sclerosis does not define me. I define what Multiple Sclerosis is in my life. Stats do not define me either.

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Great post. I love the Insta/Monopoly analogy. I do actually know someone who’s Insta famous and makes a bit of money out of it but she works really, really hard at it and still has to have a full time job so, um, why bother unless you enjoy it. My blogs are for myself and a few people who asked me to start plus maybe half a dozen followers who I interact with regularly. The rest are incidental. I no longer feel any pressure to post for the sake of posting and if I’m silent for months on end then I’m sure no one will miss me. My actual friends know where I am.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Ok, you had me at “hello” …..great post! truly got some insight here, been blogging almost 10 years and it’s been a journey of grammar adjustments!! You are right, blogging is work if you want it to fly then you have to use the necessary tools to broaden it! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great post. As motivation for bloggers, know this: I have terrible stats. My traffic prettty much consists of my facebook friends and the occasional WordPress blogger. Yet, I got a book contract out of my blog. There you go. Just keep writing.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I’ll have to check them out. I get the likes and see the foot traffic but it’s hard to believe that I’m actually reaching people when I can’t interact with them, you know? Thanks

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I am totally with You. I wished that in the past, too.
      Meanwhile, I changed my mind.

      I know, I reach people from their resonance in face:face and ear:ear communication.
      “They” do not like to be read from “everybody”. Or they fear the effort of creation.
      On the other hand, it is OK for “them”, if I “use” them into my posts.
      This part was and still is very hard to understand for me.

      My current point of view is:
      Creators create comments on other’s creations. Consumers consume.

      Feel free to co-create!
      I.e. here:
      https://commodus.org/aoc

      Like

  9. Thank you for this. I have so few followers…that sometimes I feel as if I am talking to myself! This is reassuring as I love blogging from writing to use of design with the software.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, You get multiples of “Likes” compared to the numbers I get on my thought-protocols here:
      http://commodus.org

      For me, its fine – my benefits evolve from blogging, not from getting read.
      Who ever likes to read that stuff and incorporate it into own thoughts, I see it as unintended, collateral benefits of my work already done.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. I entirely agree with your analysis. I currently run 3 blogs, one as a personal pastime, one as a free community service, and one for a paying client. I occasionally check the stats and they are very occasionally helpful, but I never try to bump up the page views artificially. Fortunately my past and current clients have never put pressure on me to do so, whereas when I blogged for a university, the only thing that mattered was hits, sadly. By the way, thanks for liking one of my blogs!

    Like

  11. As far as interacting to build links, do you recommend commenting more on blogs such as this or Facebook groups, etc. for bloggers. I’m really in a rut and trying to get unstuck…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. And then there is ME! hahaha! My ‘specialty?’ it’s so especial! It took me better than ten years before Derek Murphy’s ‘ Distasteful hypocrisy’ phrase rattle my cradle. I couldn’t make up my mind about money. Claiming my intention not to make money with my writing while I was trying to do so?

    Distasteful hypocrisy’! But! That was that independent, self-sufficient human me struggling with submission. Now?

    I am finally enjoying myself. Behold! The Power Of His Love & Wisdom From On High Drenched Upon Us All.

    His Love. His Wisdom? O Mighty One! Never Fails. It Always Avails! I bear witness in my soul of that love. I bear witness in my soul of that wisdom.

    Where is that human in me concerned with all those things? In the trenches, only watching.. Now? Only ONE concern–The Father/Creator’s will for us all to return to Him.

    In returning to Him? All those things shall be added unto us even when those things no matter any longer. Plus, the BIGGIE! Relationships restored!

    Never realized my anger with all those discrepancies. Now? Humor instead of anger is no longer stranger. I am adding a column in the side bar about it. Hope you get to see it to get to know me. Perhaps to get a chuckle. Much love, thia. 🙂

    Like

  13. Reblogged this on Macsbooks and commented:
    I loved this. In a world where my blogging subject matter should be enjoyable, worrying about stats can take all of the joy out of it. I also have personally met some “professional bloggers/Instagram queens and I’m not sure I want what they are selling – at all. I’d rather be good, write well and like what I’m doing than be the most popular blog in town. Oh wait, this always has been my motto. It’s always about quality over quantity/individuality over group-think. It’s just how I roll.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mac,

      because there is no “about” on Your blogsite, I just have to guess about Your name.

      This ‘quality over quantity’-thing was my true north for a long time.

      Then I began to raise my looking at the things and opened up my focus.
      I finally came up with a pattern, I first recognized in organizational structures.
      Then I realized, it is a more general pattern of life.
      I named 5 stages from being impulsed to impulsing.
      http://commodus.org/omg

      It is a fractal pattern of evolution – again and again and never the same.
      Fun fact: quantity is a result of a quality – applied in suitable conditions.

      Why do I comment this on Yours?
      We all need connectivity to some – not all – others. We are social beings.
      From my perspective, most people (me included) fail on their pursuit to greatness.
      Especially at the point where we leave the safe ground of our personal impact sphere.

      We approach the world on base of our personal view to the world.
      If this scales, there is something we have in common with others.
      This is what I call

      REAL GREATNESS STARTS BEYOND #EGOBARRIER

      Feel free to impulse on this:
      https://commodus.org/aoc

      Like

  14. I guess the “aha moment” for me was your statement “success is self-defined. Never really thought of it in that perspective. I think I have a tendency to embrace the paradigm of what I think you want to read instead of what I want to write. Guess I’ll go back to square one and redefine what the hell I’m doing here in the first place. Great piece. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I blog because I know my interests and varied and not particularly common, and it’s not unusual for me to move from one to another during a conversation. Do that a couple of times and you may, as I often do, see the other person’s eyes glaze over. Maybe they’re realising they can’t keep up with a superior intellect. Or maybe they’re just bored. I prefer to assume the former option but I have been wrong about that a few times.

    Blogging is an opportunity to share thoughts and idea with whoever happens by. I’ve never attempted to maintain a consistent theme on my blog – you click on the link and you take your chances.

    Apart from that, it keeps the voices inside my head down to a dull roar.

    Liked by 1 person

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