I was bouncing around the blogosphere earlier this week, and came across something that has been stuck in my brain for a few days now.
I stopped by one of the big book blogs — one of the very well-established ones with a bazillion followers — and was reading a recent piece about staying motivated as a blogger. All good stuff. But one of the bullet points had a passing comment advising bloggers to refrain from laughing when they see other bloggers getting excited over getting 100 page views in a day.
To me, this seemed to imply that 100 page views is nothing to get excited about. Sure, maybe for newbies, but “real” bloggers know that this is small potatoes.
Granted, the post I was reading didn’t actually say this, but it seemed to be the sub-text — at least, that’s how I took it.
And my reaction was — wait, what???
I’ve been blogging for almost two years now, and I freely admit that I’m not a super ambitious blogger working my butt off for better stats. I do check my stats, probably more than I should, but I constantly remind myself that I blog for the sake of expression and to exchange ideas with new friends and far-flung booklovers, not in the pursuit of numbers and followers. Still, it is a boost to my spirits when I see my page view numbers go up in response to a post I worked hard on — and it’s always a fun surprise to see which posts get the most views. It’s not always what I’d have expected!
But I’m happy with 100 page views a day. Granted, more is nice — but it hadn’t occurred to me that what I get excited about might be laughable to others.
Honestly, I know it doesn’t matter much. The question is, am I having fun blogging? Am I writing about topics that inspire me? Am I reading good books? Am I interacting with other readers and bloggers in a way that makes me feel engaged and a part of a bigger whole? And the answer to these questions is yes! Maybe not every single day, but for the most part I feel good about what I’m doing and how far I’ve come since I first started blogging, which was mostly on a whim.
Still, it’s hard to maintain good cheer sometimes. Occasionally, I’ll visit a new (to me) blog and happen to see that they have 1,000 Bloglovin’ followers or some astronomical numbers of total blog followers, and it’s hard not to start feeling dispirited. Because the takeaway for me seems to be: Oh, I thought I was doing pretty well… but maybe not.
It’s just like I’ve always told my kids: Don’t compare yourself to others — compare yourself to yourself, and try to do your own personal best. That’s what victory really looks like.
Nice platitude. It’s hard to internalize, though.
The bottom line for me is that I need to be satisfied with my own efforts and feel like I’m doing what I want to be doing. I don’t have the time or energy to devote massive amounts of either to promotional efforts, spreading the word constantly via social media platforms, or some of the other approaches I’ve seen advocated as keys to getting bigger numbers. I applaud those who can pull this off — I really do! I just know that I have limits, and get too stressed if I take on too much.
What’s the point of this post? I guess I’m both doing a public affirmation, saying I need to be happy with my own successes and not worry about stats and page view counts… and I also wanted to reach out and see how others feel.
Do you focus on numbers? What constitutes success for you and your blog? And how do you keep from feeling down when you realize that your idea of a really great blog day might be someone else’s small potatoes?