Susanne van Doorn mentioned in the comments of A good week for a writer like me that views of her excellent Mindfunda blog were down because she’d taken a break, and we had a really interesting email chat after that about blogging.
Her reduced hit rate was, it turned out, about the same as Writing in the House of Dreams in a good month, so that got me thinking about how we bloggers measure the success or failure of our blogs. Do the numbers matter?
I guess you can only measure success in relation to why you are blogging, and what you want your blog to achieve.
Here are my blogging goals:
- to express ideas, and have them affirmed or challenged, so that I can progress my thinking.
- to maintain a kind of shop window, where people who enjoy my writing might be tempted to try one of my books
- to find themes I might develop into new writing projects
- to build a community, where people interact with me and with each other in the comments
You’ll notice they’re rather like my writing goals – quite modest in terms of a more mainstream definition of ‘success’, which you would have to measure in visitor numbers and views.
Every time I put a new post up, I get a few new followers, and there’s no doubt that if I blogged more often, that number would rise faster. I often take a break, even though views gradually drop off, and sometimes my blog holidays can run into several months.
But I always come back, because my blog does everything I want it to do. You challenge my thinking or, more often, augment it with your own experiences. Like this blog post, new ideas for writing come from random exchanges with people I meet through blogging (hello, Susanne!)
I’ve got two books in development at the moment that have come directly out of my blog – one about personal writing and one about depression and the writing life, as something I have noticed from the numbers is that my posts about depression and creativity seem to attract the most interest.
I do have a sense of community when I write here. I feel we come into the House of Dreams to share our thoughts and experiences.
I remember years ago someone telling me that when you go to a conference you shouldn’t be trying to get round as many people as possible – you just need to make sure you meet the right one or two.
I don’t need thousands of visitors to this blog. I just need you!
If you’re a blogger, what do you think – does size matter?