Let me be the “self-important blogger” to answer all of HankRules2011’s questions on Why Bother? All of them. Everything. And I pre-apologize, and will try not to do this again.
I hope Scott doesn’t sue me, or tries to have it both ways, that I’m attempting to answer his questions the best I can… There’s some humor in my responses, so it doesn’t get too boring. Understand that I’m trying to help. I fixed the few grammatical errors that I found, so…please don’t sue me.
1. You know, I’m becoming pretty discouraged, blogging here on WordPress.
That’s your feeling, your disposition. Please understand that blogging is more about reflecting life, not the other way around. Life is short, so don’t take blogging too seriously.
2. I used to blog on Xanga all the time, for years.
Interesting. Now I know of only three people on WordPress that have used Xanga. (Readers here, feel free to speak up so I can know better.) According to Wikipedia, Xanga is no longer free—“Xanga 2.0,” $48/year subscription cost.
3. In fact, it is where I met my wife many years ago.
You lucky dog. Seriously, I envy you a little. You should know now, that people are more vulnerable than ever on the internet, in general.
4. And there was a real sense of community there. You looked forward to getting on Xanga to see what everyone was up to that day, what had been going on. That doesn’t happen on WordPress. At all.
I think this says more about the blogs you are following. There are different types of communities, and some, well, they die. Blog death is a part of life. Every now and then, move on with life.
5. It’s a totally different format.
Absolutely. And part of that’s because of the elevated sense of decorum here. WordPress bloggers are more respectful. (Sometimes too respectful.) It’s good that you’re speaking up.
6. And so I’ve adapted my blogging practices in an effort to change. But I’m afraid it’s been for no good cause.
Change is good; attitude and personal opinion is, however, sideways.
7. As of right now, I have 406 followers here on WordPress. Not the most, by far, but still, a decent number.
My blog hit 320. Other than knowing that there is a readership, the number is almost meaningless, to tell you the truth. For any tally, the number of reasons why it came out the way it did is always higher. (Don’t over-think it.)
8. And [do] you know how many hits my posts get? 20 or 30. How many likes? Three or four.
That sounds about right. 🙂 I don’t get much either. I do, however, exercise a little Like-for-Like, and try to figure out why the return came out the way it did, but more importantly, I think about what else I can write for the sake of improving skills. Don’t waste your precious time staring at numbers. Activity, which is always changing, even dynamically, is more important than Likes.
9. My excellent blog post I wrote on our new floors complete with pictures got one [Like] the other day. WTF??? What … is wrong with you people???
What is wrong with us? Sorry. What is wrong with us??? (Just had to get in the right no. of question marks. 🙂 ) Not everyone has an interest in flooring! There, I said it. There are bloggers that cover homemaking, and I’m sure there are even carpentry blogs. Somewhere. Photography interests alone can go a long way, too. You have to find other bloggers! If you don’t search people out, you are relying on nothing but routine (which includes your reader), and worse, random hits and search engine indexing, which both can take a while. Tag appropriately. (Aim for 10-15 tags if the post is important to you.)
10. Two years ago, when I had half the followers, I was getting 10 or 11 likes, so what am I doing differently now to get no likes?
Not everyone likes Likes anymore. Spam Likes are a part of that number too… Plus, not everyone thinks of the feature the same way. Some use it: to return a favor; with a benefit of the doubt; proof that they’ve read the post, finding it new/useful/interesting. (I’m all the above.) And again, Like Spamming. Likes aren’t very reliable.
11. And comments? My wife has commented on about a quarter of my 472 posts. Another blogger has commented on 50 posts. The next highest is 13. In four years. In four years of writing blogs, the third best I can do is 13 comments? WTF?
Sigh. Attitude may gain sympathy, but not answers. Feedback is important, sure. But, as OM said, it’s a two-way street. You have to make room for feedback. I don’t mean to be rude, but it doesn’t just fall into your lap. If you didn’t grow that room when you got comments, someone else did…
And there’s also another little saying I…say: a little kindness each day goes a long way.
12. I happen upon all of these blogs by all of these teenybopper girlies who are self published and self important “authors” dispensing writing advice with hundreds of comments and I just shake my head in amazement. Now, I’ll admit, I’m not a very good commenter on other people’s blogs, so I’m willing to cut some people some slack, but I almost never get comments.
I think you just answered your own question.
13. So my question is, what the hell are you people doing? Why are you even following me if you’re not remotely interested in reading my posts, or liking them, or commenting about them? Why not do me a big favor and stop following me?
Hey, man, calm down. It’s a known fact that many people forget about the blogs they’ve followed. They’re not reading, so why should it matter to you? The total number is not all that important. (And by the way, it’s commenting on the posts. About implies that you’re including comments made in other places, including IRL.)
14. In fact, after reading this post, I expect to see about half of you flee and I expect to lose followers in droves, or then again, maybe not.
Expectations, good or bad, don’t help in blogging. Again, don’t take blogging too seriously. Pour your heart and soul into the writing process as you would for your own self-improvement, and take your lumps. That’s advice I give to myself, and advice I act on.
15. Since most of you don’t even see what I write, perhaps you won’t even see this post. I don’t know. And I’m not sure I care.
You got the free attention this time, buddy!
16. However, just because I’m somewhat curious, I’m going to post a little poll and I challenge you to answer it just to give me some feedback so I know what’s going on. If you do, a big thanks to you. I don’t know what else to include.
(Please view his post for the list of options and answer there, not here.)
#7: Other. You didn’t give the option for “haven’t read, because I’ve never seen your blog before.”
17. As I’ve thought about it, I’ve come to realize that I write about a lot of things. It seems to me that something would appeal to most everyone. … Surely there’s something [among hankrules2011’s topics] to interest most people, right? I guess not. Not if you go by my stats. Well, here’s to no one reading this post.
You can thank OM again for the exposure.
However, to be frank, I’m not feeling entirely comfortable about returning if this whole “no one’s reading” has gotten to the admin.’s head.
Oh, and, Scott: please don’t sue me.