Popularity, Friends and Readers


I’ve never been the type to worry overly much about blog traffic. I’ve always maintained that I write what I write, and I do it for me. If others enjoy it, that’s great. For the most part, I post and try not to worry overly much about it afterwards. I do wonder at times if it’s worth it or if I shouldn’t be doing more to increase readership.

I know I am not alone in terms of lack of readership. There are blogs that I follow written by truly lovely people, and it breaks my heart every time I like something or comment on a witty, beautiful or interesting post and find that I am either the only one to do so or only one of two. I’ve noticed a few blogs written by published authors that also have no likes or comments. Why does that happen?

audiencePerhaps it’s because there are just so many blogs out there to read, or it could be that the blogger isn’t assertive or aggressive in promoting what they do, or it could be that the blogger’s content is too broad or even too specialized, or maybe they just don’t have a huge circle of friends (personal or virtual). Maybe blogging has just been done to death.

I hate the popularity thing. I had more than my share of that crap back in high school, and one of the things that I like about being online is that you are as anonymous as you choose to be. You can share a little or you can share a lot, you can write from the heart or you can make things up. No one, other than folks who know you in real life, know the truth. There are many bloggers who blog under a pseudonym. No one knows the real person behind the blog.

I try to be honest in what I write, but there are times I have to pull punches. I had a discussion online the other day with a friend about cuss words. I use them a lot in real life. Sorry, that’s just me, but I don’t use them very much online. Why? Because I still have elderly relatives who sometimes read what I write. They don’t need to read me dropping the f-bomb repeatedly. I don’t swear in posts for the same reason that I waited until after my mother had passed on to get my first tattoo. I try to save tender feelings where I can.

That doesn’t mean that my feelings aren’t sometimes hurt after I post. I agonize over things I write. I write and revise and write and revise. I don’t think I’ve ever posted off the cuff. I think hard about what I’ve written, and yes, even though I’ve said repeatedly that it does not matter, I look to see whether anyone liked it or not. When they don’t, I feel bad.

I feel bad enough sometimes to wonder why I bother. I get fed up or burned out every so often and walk away from blogging. My posts come in fits and starts sometimes. Maybe that’s why readership isn’t huge. But then again even when I post every day, the results are pretty much the same. I have a core group of friends who have stuck with me, and I love each and every one of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.

I know my blog is sometimes all over the place (too broad). It’s a blog of squirrel photos, book reviews, creative writing, random musings and nonsense, but it’s mine. I’m proud of it. My blog was begun on August 12, 2012 on Blogger as “Reflections from a Middle-Aged Lady”. The first post was a musing on whether or not I should let my hair go completely gray. It wasn’t earth-shaking stuff, but it was a start. I’d been encouraged to write by a friend of mine.

I got my writing start in high school when I’d write silly romantic stories about hockey players starring me and my friends. My friends and I all wrote them. We’d gather at lunchtime and read each other’s offerings. It was a hoot. I was a shy kid, and I was pretty embarrassed when the official class prophecy for Charlotte High School’s graduating class of 1977 stated that I was destined to one day marry one of the Boston Bruins hockey players. We all know that didn’t happen, but my scribblings then were the precursor to my writing today.

I write because I have to. It’s part of who I am. Some days I’m more popular than others. That’s okay, too.

Image courtesy of Pinterest

69 thoughts on “Popularity, Friends and Readers

  1. I found your post very interesting. It is a bit hurtful to write something and then not get much response. I think a lot of it has to do with people simply not knowing we’re here. I blogged for five months before I had a single follower! I had this idea that if I posted something online, people would somehow automatically notice it, but of course everyone is so busy online that nobody did. Gradually, I spent more and more time commenting on other blogs, and then little by little I got more WordPress followers.

    Some other bloggers have had a lot of luck using Facebook to build their blog too, but I’ve never worked out how to do that. I have a mighty total of 14 Facebook followers! Looking on the bright side, I guess that means I have tremendous potential for Facebook growth. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s how I found you, Bun. You’d commented on someone else’s blog and the comment was so funny I had to check your blog out. Your method of finding others is a good one. My Facebook page isn’t wildly successful either. My followers there are friends and family who don’t want to use WordPress. I did do a one day boost on a post on Facebook for $5 and that did get me some extra traffic. So if you want to spend money, you can get more traffic. Thanks for your comment. I’m glad I found you.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well I am surprised! I love your words and I just assumed everyone else saw the same thing I did! Yes I did used the word ‘assume’, ass included. You are witty and honest and touching and . . . I read your words with joyful anticipation. If you want to actively increase your readership I have a guy . . .hee, hee, hee. Check out dreambigdreamoften.co. He writes about ‘how to’.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I thoroughly love this Donna. Nothing pierces my heart and opens my mind like raw transparency. I can relate in so many ways even though im a fairly new blogger. This was beautifully written. Thank you for this. Peace and love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the picture, i too often wonder and sometimes i actually ask? Where your blog is concerned i struggle with the background colour, it makes reading hard. Coloured back grounds often make me leave… even though the content may be superb. I hope you don’t hate me for saying😇 maybe it is just me or my eyes but it is my truthful reason. Good luck sincerely. 😇

    Liked by 1 person

      1. oh Donna,
        reading your post on this colour is so much easier. My posts occasionally get liked and commented on but Chris ( the lovable ape) once told me finish each post with a question… it would be rude of people not to answer. This amongst many he has given me has helped enormously, yet I am not in the same league as most. lovely it is to connect with you. p.s. next visit I will hope for a cup of tea. * big smile*

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Nicely put Donna. It’s reassuring to learn there are others out there suffering from scanty-readership syndrome. I guess I’m like you – I blog (from time to time) because I want to, and I just hope people like it. The other thing is you can never know what those who visit your blog and leave no comment take away from it. Maybe something important in their lives. It would be nice to think so.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I often hear comments (from friends or family) in other ways – face-to-face or by email – so I know I get more “likes” than I can actually see. I think us less assertive bloggers get robbed in a way. Everyone wants that affirmation. Thank you for your comments. I will check out your blog.

      Like

  6. Such a heartfelt post. Like you (and many other writers) i write because I want to and need to, I always have. I have a very new blog that had an on-and-off start once before for reasons out of my control but now has a few followers who also happen to be very nice people. I have learned so much about writing in the modern e-era through their posts and also had some laughs along the way.
    I think all writers want to be heard and cherish comments whether it be about a short post or a full length novel. Some blogs become very popular while others seem to struggle in the Doldrums. But if writing is what you do and what you want to do, just keep going. That’s what I am going to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Wendy. I do think the blog’s focus makes a difference. I want to write about everything. I know of other blogs that are wonderful but so narrow they don’t appeal to everyone. You’re right. I need to keep going. It’s worth it to me whether it’s read or not. Posting makes my day.

      Like

  7. Saw drewdog’s post so came over to say hi.

    I’ve been blogging for nearly ten years, first on blogger now on WP. Back on blogger, my dogblog received a shedload of comments wheras mine received only a few. When I switched to WP the situations reversed (and I lost nearly all of our former followers so had to start from scratch). It’s a very good blogging community but I allocate as much or more time to visiting and commenting as I do to my own blog. I think the trick is to find like-minded souls of whatever type.

    I don’t think it matters that you have varied topics. So do I. But to me, the topics fit my blog, and when the posts cver more than one issue, to me, there is some commonality within that post. So yes, write for yourself, but visit other people and comment. Faint heart and all that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! Thanks for the visit. I’m finding that to be true – visiting others and commenting is what builds your community. There are many great blogs and bloggers out there and too little time to see them all!

      Like

      1. No. There is not too little time. If you want return visits you make the time. Otherwise, don’t expect anything back. Don’t sit back and wait. It won’t happen. Although funnily, when I switched to WP I was surprised how quickly I gained followers and commenters. But, seriously, put some effort into it. Genuine effort.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Donna 🙂 This is a fantastic post. I’ve been wondering some of the same things lately. I’ve been blogging for a little over a year and my blog continues to grow slowly. I have a small but very loyal community who read my posts. I’ve sometimes wondered if it’s all worth it as well. I continue to write and blog because I have to. I love writing and can’t imagine not doing it. So I keep writing and sharing in the hope that it’ll be read and well received. Most times my fingers are crossed when I hit the almighty publish button. I have a poetry blog which means that traffic will probably never be overly high. That is what it is, and I’ve accepted it.

    On a different note, I’m so happy to have discovered your blog thanks to drewdog. Wishing you a beautiful Sunday! 🙂

    Like

    1. Aw, thanks, Brenda. I dabble at poetry, but I’m not very good at it. I’m wondering whether I should set that aside and focus on the other things that appeal to me more like photography, creative writing and sharing my musings/life. I will certainly check out your blog. I’m glad I found you, too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Donna. To be honest, I’m not always sure that I’m any good at writing poetry either. I do love it though. 🙂 I’m looking forward to following your posts. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t have a huge following, but I’m okay with it as it’s allowed me opportunity to really interact with those that stop by. Would having more follows be nice? Sure, in theory, but I would never want to lose the friendships I’ve gained due to a perception of less attention.

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  10. Hopped over from Chris’ blog, Donna, and glad I did! I started my blog in 2012 and was lost for the first 3 years. Then a lovely woman (who later friended me on FB) commented on one of my comments on a blog we both follow, and she subsequently gave advice that led to my getting more followers. The lovely woman is D.G. Kaye (http://dgkayewriter.com/) and the blog we both follow is Smorgasbord (https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/). Chris’, Debby’s, and Sally’s blogs not only have fabulous content, but also have followers who will hop over to your blog when mentioned on theirs. You might already follow these blogs, but thought I’d mention just in case. You have a good many comments here. Hope it brought a smile. You’ve also gained another follower! Pleased to meet you, Donna 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi there Donna 🙂

    I just found your blog through Nikki’s Meet & Greet week end party, and I totally understand your feelings about readings… I too try my best to stay far from stats, (I started focusing on flags… hoping new ones will add in, so I can paint them on my world map!) but sometimes, you’re just soooo proud while hitting the “publish” key, and if no recognition follows, it is a bit sad.

    As for your feeling that your blog is going everywhere and has no directive line… Welcome to the club!! The Cove (my blog) is filled with such different posts, going from this to that, (probably making people think I am bipolar, or crazy or maybe a sweet mixt of both 😉 ) that I started qualifying my blog as a “convenience store” blog! Everybody can get what they need in the middle of the night, but there’s not just a ton of it 😛

    Looking forward to read more of your posts 🙂

    Cyranny from https://cyranny.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m a few days late to the party here, but I remember exactly how I found your blog – the April A to Z Challenge in 2015! I loved that intertwined story you did, with all the characters for each letter of the alphabet. I’ve found I get a lot of long-term readers through that (or at least I have the two years I’ve done it).

    I’m not sure what else I can add to the good advice everyone else has given, but I do have an absurdly popular Facebook page for Choppy – and there is almost zero overlap between it and my blog (or, frankly, the Travels with Choppy Facebook page). It can be frustrating to have that sort of traffic in one place, and have no idea how to translate it to other places. I learned to just go with the flow on that. I blog and write because I enjoy it, and if some of my writing/blogging is less popular than other parts of it, so be it. At the end of the day, none of it is paying the bills, so it’s all just fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right. Fun is the most important part. I loved doing that A to Z challenge. I skipped it in 2016. I was in one of my “off” periods on blogging. I wish I hadn’t skipped it. It was so much fun. I met a lot of wonderful people. I was enchanted with Choppy from the start.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I blogged for 8 months without an audience (Granted, there wasn’t a whole lot to see on my blog back then). I finally used WordPress’ search feature to find blog posts with the word “squirrel” in them, and liked and/or commented on as many of them as I could. Maybe half of those bloggers returned to check out my blog, and about a quarter of those who did stuck around and became my first meager following (I would not be surprised if that isn’t how I found you). Many of those first followers are now gone, but they brought fresh blood to my blog and the comings and goings have kept me from ever feeling like I’m talking to myself. My posts are all over the place as well, so there’s really no harm in that. One-note blogs are actually pretty boring…

    And of course, photos of squirrels never hurt (They actually attract more outside followers to me than any of my other posts!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I found you through a search. I did the same – looked for other bloggers who liked squirrels. I like that you do certain posts on certain days – the music post one day, the cartoon another day, and of course (my favorite) the Saturday Squirrel. I wish I was better organized and could set something like that up. My squirrel blog is sporadic and her following is very small. Maybe I should combine blogs and give “her” a day to post.

      Like

  14. Blogging can be a quiet pass time until we make new friends. My blog hasn’t got huge numbers following, but those that do comment and read regularly. Many I now consider ‘friends’ albeit online buddies from different continents.
    When I read other blogs, (I came to yours via Chris the story reading Ape) I do try to comment if I enjoy the read, as i think it’s good to interact and let the writer know.
    So I did enjoy the read and having read the comments it sounds like you struck a chord with many.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment. The post appears to have touched something in a great many people. There are many great blogs that don’t get the attention they should. That’s a shame.

      Like

  15. This sooo resonates with me. I blog and enjoy it (finally) and reckon my site is eclectic. I hate Facebook, so don’t do myself any favours and I don’t follow the rule 80% reblogging 20% my own blog. Why? because i am still trying to get to grips with who I am and what I want and I literally find myself feeling dizzy in the middle of a spaghetti junction with all the blog traffic; reposting, reblogging on other host sites (I was dragged screaming and kicking into the social media world and am always the last to the party). I’m happy with my site and would love more followers but, it’s ok. This is me, my style and my way. I do have the dilemma of spending a tad too much time on my website, slowing down the editing of my novel. I have to fix that. The ‘popularity’ thing I have always been allergic to and tend to go the other way. Probably not good as a writer who has to rely on self-promotion, but hey ho, shall cross that bridge eventually… Thanks for a great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I never got into reblogging. Is there a “rule” about that? I must’ve missed it. I’ve benefited from others reblogging my posts, but I’m usually not comfortable doing it myself. I’m like you – still discovering myself and I like to post my own material even if it isn’t always widely read. That’s okay. I do feel bad about people who don’t get any likes.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. You are just such a great blogger Donna! I am so glad to have met you here on WordPress truly! As for the cuss words as far as im concerned never say sorry for who you are becuz you are awesome! I totally agree with you as far as the time and place kind of a thing…if you have older folks or young ones reading then of course why make things uncomfortable. you have such a good heart to think of others feelings first and ill tell you with the reblog thing i comment and just tell the person i love the post and ask if they mind if i reblog and they always thank me for showing such interest and say all kinds of lovely things. im finding the more blogs you follow the more bloggers will follow you and yes sometimes its hard for me to get through the reader during the day to catch up with everyone but i wouldnt change it for the world! I have read some really incredible stories here and met some super nice fun people while at it! Now would you mind if i reblogged this cuz truly i think most of us have thought all of these types of things and this just made for a very nice read! XO!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Reblogged this on Sparkle and commented:
    I found this post to be something I really think a lot of us out here, in the beginning, might feel. Donna has really encapsulated exactly what she set out to! if any of you would like to add a helpful tip, suggestion or observation to all that she has touched on I would be happie to hear! its all about connecting people isn’t that why we are all out here in the first place?! Follow, refollow, read, comment and connect! you never know who you might make fast friends with and how great is that?!!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I thanked Maureen for reblogging your post. I enjoyed reading it. You’re right, there are just too many bloggers focused on their own blogs and sometimes forget to connect. I’m lucky to have found a ‘circle of friends’ (and increasing) since I became active 4 months ago although I started my first post last year with no followers. I’ve often mentioned in my posts that the connections I have established here on WP have been and still continue to be overwhelming. I write as someone who recently discovered her introversion and found I share a lot of insights with other bloggers. But primarily, writing is a therapy for my overthinking mind and I think it’s important to say that you write for yourself first, as honest and open (or not) as you can, and people will see that and connect with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I spent most of my life crippled by shyness. Writing has helped me overcome a lot of that. I do still worry at times when I hit publish, reliving that “everyone’s looking at me” feeling that used to paralyze me. I am so glad I am who I am today. It took a long time to reach this point.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel the same with my first few posts but not for long. The warmth and support I got from those who clicked like, connected and commented were what kept me going and made me knew I wasn’t alone in the journey I’m in. Looking forward to the years and knowing where it will take me, too. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Donna, I had to come over after we talked on Maureenrose77’s blog. hehe…It’s a question we all ask ourselves I think, even the ‘popular’ blogs? I’ve started blogging again after a year or so’s break because of illness. And I need a head scratch to get it going again. A lot of the bloggers I started with have gone on to wonderful things in the gap and I’m wondering how to get my mojo back… Something I was considering was moving to Blogger, so I’m curious to know why you went the other way? Cheerios, CC

    Like

    1. The community. That’s the main reason. On Blogger it was like sending posts into a black hole. Maybe I just didn’t know how to network and use it well, but I don’t remember there being a “Reader”. I posted and no one other than people I already knew read it or commented. I don’t remember following others either. It may have changed since then, but I almost quit blogging before I found WordPress.

      Liked by 1 person

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