I have been asking this question since I started writing. I remember advice from one quite successful blogger saying to pretend that thousands of people read your blog (her FAQ is a great read for any aspiring bloggers). I have taken the opposite approach and always assumed that nobody read my blog. I wasn’t sure of what the difference was until last night.
I was working on some drafts that I have been harboring… procrastinating over, whatever… but I opened up the blog page and saw the dashboard that shows all the stats on the blog. How many different people view your blog each day, how many people hit “like” each day or per blog entry, and if you have any new “followers” each day are some of the stats I see at a glance when I log in.
Well last night, at 11:00pm, I saw something funny and called me wife over to confirm I wasn’t nuts. Now if I was convincing myself that thousands or even dozens of people viewed my blog each day, this would not have been surprising, but considering I am shocked that anyone could or would follow me, this was a surprise and a half (could, as in have the mental capacity to follow rambling thoughts laid out in bizarre structure through my keyboard).
At 11pm last night, on January 11, 2015, there was a bar on the graph for January 12. When I moused over it, it showed that 5 people somewhere East of Kansas City had already read a post on my blog. Who are these people? It isn’t even the twelfth here yet! I have some friends in KC and some more in Toronto, a few in the New Brunswick and the UK, but not many of them know that I blog and way less of them are up at midnight or 2am on a Sunday night.
I went to sleep feeling quite good about myself. Maybe my wife was right? Maybe I could make money off a blog someday? I mean an extra $1000 a month would change our lives in our little home. I have no intention of ever quitting my job to write, that would likely be too much pressure and me and stress don’t get along. Actually I thrive on it. Hope my boss doesn’t read this.
At 2am I woke up, apparently my brain hadn’t stopped thinking of this damn laptop after my body forgot about everything. I decided to polish up the blog I was working on earlier (run a spell-check, and thank God we did that) and hit the “publish” button. If you read the blog you will understand. At any rate, I posted it to the web. No more stressing about it. You know what they say about the web and Vegas, “what happens on the web, stays on the web. there is no deleting, erasing, or undoing”. Once something is out there it is out there until mankind is wiped from the face of the earth… and even then probably.
After publishing that baby at 2:20am last night, I shut the laptop down and closed my eyes. Bing! It is a light little sound but I hear it when I get a new email and thought, what the heck… I just closed my eyes… might as well check it out.
By the time I got logged into my phone and opened my email, two people had already “liked” my blog about pregnancy wiping out common sense. I didn’t even look at who they were, I will shelf that till tomorrow morning I thought. Then a few minutes later… Bing! I had to check. Yes indeed, another person hit that “Like” button. I woke up and checked again on the way to work and within 3 hours of posting that blog, it had 5 likes and got a new person somehow convinced to hit the “Follow” button. This means that they will automatically get an email when I post a new blog (like in a few hours). This has me wondering if I get informed if they “unfollow” me?
This is small potatoes and in no way going to ever help me monetize a blog, but considering I have only ever had two blog posts with 2 “likes”, getting 5 in 3 hours on a Sunday night blog kinda impressed me. I have added more followers in the first two weeks of 2015 than in all of 2014. These stats are kind of addicting. *smile*
I am almost at work and need to cut this short. And yes, I could do this all day, in case you were wondering. With any luck at all, my wife hasn’t seen the last blog and will read this one first and I might make some money. That will help keep her calm from last night’s blog when she realizes that people are actually reading the crap I type. That in turn will help me get lucky this week… which I consider “exercise”. Every hour of exercise counts as a point toward a weight loss contest we are running at work. First prize is a couple hundred dollars.
Granted, the winnings will be in Canadian dollars for you American and UK readers out there… and it’s not like I can get a point for one “exercise” session… or two or five probably (God I hope my wife doesn’t comment on this blog).
Maybe I will just buy that damn membership after all… and apologize for last night’s blog of course.