Advice On Blogging And Thanks To All – 2,200 + Follows

Just because somebody follows you doesn't mean they read you or like you.
Just because somebody follows you doesn’t mean they read you or like you.

As of the first of November , The Jittery Goat received its 2,200 plus “Follows.” What does that mean?

One might think that means there are 2,200 followers. One might think if I posted something at least 2,200 “Follows” would click to my blog and at least see what’s going on.

“Follows” are sort of a wink and a nod thing; you follow me and I’ll follow you and together we (all of us) can sit back and brag about how many “follows we have.” Yet there are genuine “follows,” but few in comparison with the reported number.

If you blog to gain some sort of a following I don’t know what to tell you; it is likely not going to happen. Very simply you must love to write and if one person reads what you have written than that is one more person that enjoyed your writing than if you never wrote at all.

The “Follow” and “Like” button WordPress offers are nice, in fact they’re great. Yet, they are a bit disingenuous. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate them. I love every last one of them, but they are in no way indicative of the number of people who actually read a blog.

I think a “like” on your blog just means that person has visited and left their DNA behind. There’s no proof they read or committed a crime, it just means they’ve been there. Again, many who do hit the “like” button genuinely like what you have written.

This year I’m averaging a little more than 150 visits a day. That’s over double last year and ten times the year before.

I suppose to be a successful blogger (100,000 visit’s a month) a video of me mooning the President would have to be posted. (Erase that from your mind – it‘s not pretty.)

Nevertheless, I’d like to pass on some things I’ve learned about blogging and gaining more viewers or readers.

1. You must write reasonably well.

2. You should have something interesting, amusing, informative, entertaining, or humorous to say.

3. You must write often. If you are a writer you should write everyday anyway.

4. You must go to other sites and post links back to your blog.

Rather than leave a long comment about a subject on a news article that interest you, take time to write something on your blog and link from the news article in the comment section back to your blog. Why take up their space? Linking gives you a chance to articulate your thoughts more fully. Some readers may accuse you of pimping or something like that. They should go write their own blog.

5. Become a part of forum that encourages you to write. This will draw viewers to your blog. As an example, in January of 2013 The Goat had 2868 views. On February 1, 2013 I started to participate in the Daily Prompt sponsored by Worpress. That month there were 3,022 views. It has not been below 4,000 a month since March 2013. In May 2013 one of my Daily Prompts was featured as a part of Freshly Pressed. That month there were 7,310 views and that carried over to 5,888 views for the next month.

All the other things that are supposed to attract traffic seems like a lot of work to me. I’ve read about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and I think that’s just made up thing to give geeks a place to be geekier.

There’s this thing about having plenty of links. Some geek said the search engines somehow notices that and gives a higher rating on searches. I have a theory; if you do all that work you might get 1 more visit out of a 1,000. That’s not even a hair on a flea’s butt.

Let’s be realistic, our lives are not all that important that we should be blabbing about every unusual event in our mundane lives so we should not be disappointed if no one finds us interesting.

Lastly, it’s stupid to pay for traffic. It’s like handing out free samples of stuff nobody likes anyway.

This is not written to discourage anyone. It’s just a sober message.

When I write something on my blog all I think of about ten people and myself. That’s all I’m write for.

Final thought; eventually you will find an audience, maybe not as big as you like – just write good stuff.

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45 Comments

  1. I agree with you – write well and people will read. I write on things that I enjoy and am always happy when a few people leave comments – that tells me they have really read the article.
    SEO does work – if you have a business blog. But for my own blog I do not worry about it. Using this technique hinders creativity and the flow of your writing.
    Anyway, congrats on your numbers 🙂

  2. I agree, but for one thing.
    Many bloggers etc. would not approve a comment with only a link. You could narrow down your comment and post the link to the blog you wrote anyway, adding that you wrote more about it on your blog. But a comment with only a link is spammy and not a nice thing to do, so many people would not follow it anyway.

  3. Well said, and useful. I don’t think I show up in your metrics – I’ve commented maybe twice – but your blog is one of only a small handful that I receive via email, and read daily. I’m wondering – if I receive and read in email, but don’t click or comment, does a page view get credited to your blog? Intuitively, I think not, which doesn’t seem fair. It takes one level of “interest” to follow and get a blog in one’s reader, but to say “Yeah, this blog. Is so cool I’ll let it into my email account”?? That reflects interest on a higher level, imo. I don’t think the metrics give us visibility of this sort of infoc, do they? Anyway, very good post.

    1. When you start talking about metrics I’m lost. I’m really not certain what shows up as visit from where and so on. I use the stats as just an approximation. If I really wanted to know I’d probably update and use Google’s analytics.
      Thanks for following. I’ve had and exhausting week away from my writing and need so time to settle in..

  4. I also wonder about the folks who read within the pane of the WordPress reader feature. Are those counted? It’s really hard not to get caught up in the numbers, but I’m taking your advice and trying to write decent content and publish often (daily now with the NaBloPoMo challenge at BlogHer. Thanks for the advice. 🙂
    BB

  5. Good sane article. 🙂

    I almost always read your blogs (via email to my inbox), and enjoy them – thank you very much. I quite often ‘like’ or comment too, not so much to provoke a response though, more to just acknowledge that the writing has had an impact on me.

    Now, following point 4 above, I tried to do a ping back (instead of writing this comment here) – but maybe you have them switched off? So, as that didn’t seem to work, here’s a link to what I wrote about this on my blog. 🙂
    http://greenlegs7.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=534&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2

    1. I believe the ping backs are on. Others pinged back. Thanks for reading commenting and linking. Sometimes I thing those who are really into the technical side of blogging talk over the heads of just plain writers. They mean well and I’m sure they really know what they’re talking about, but much of what they seem to give advise about works more for the commercial world.

  6. Pointed this way by Hedwigia (above commenter). So glad.
    I`ve been `liked` before the liker even had time to read my post. So like very frequently means `glanced at`.

      1. How about a blog on a flea’s butt? You see, I often find your writing is inspiring, especially when things seem so…’stupid,’ maybe: “Been down so long, it feels like up.” Glad you’re back.

  7. Good post and good advice. It’s always great when people read a blog and like it or comment, but you should really do it for yourself, everything else is a bonus. This was a bonus 🙂

  8. I used to care a lot about stats, but after the initial rush, that has kind of waned. Now I get more of a kick out of the comments people leave and the friendships I’ve made. Blogging is really fun, that’s what matters.

  9. Easy to read, sound, helpful advice and all makes perfect sense, obviously from someone who knows what they are talking about! Found you from Hedwigia’s link on her blog, so it works!! Many thanks for this 🙂

  10. Clearly writing a post and linking back works! 🙂 I got here through Hewigia @ Slow and Steady (am I allowed to link to her?) http://greenlegs7.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/sound-advice-on-blogging/

    I like the idea of only thinking of writing (well!) for only the handful of people, rather than think you’re writing for a large audience you have to try to please. 🙂 Takes the pressure off, doesn’t it!?

    That and a few other nuggets I will incorporate for sure. Thanks!

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