audience, blog stats, comments, connection, readers, who is reading, why do we write, write to connect
Who reads these posts?
The number of hits and the number of comments don’t add up to a clear understanding of who my audience is for this blog. They do not, for example, tell me whether the majority of people reading love or hate me, believe or disbelieve what I say, or even if they are entertained in any way.
Do I need to know these things, really? Probably not. Unless, you know, I’m trying to be a writer with any kind of visibility whatsoever…
My writing bestie Teneice asked me last week: “If no one was reading or commenting, would you still blog?” I said yes, but that it would be a constant reminder that no one is listening or engaging or caring, and that would depress me. Not because I think I’m so great or talented knowledgeable, but that this blog is my attempt to connect with others about the things that are most important to me: writing, mother, and trying (to be a better person, to get through a day, whatever).
Why do we write? To communicate. To share. To connect. To document. To witness.
Why do we blog? Same. I think? Yeah.
Why do we want to do those things? Because they make us feel human and loved and understood and not alone.
Who do we write for? Who do you write for? Don’t say “myself.” Don’t we all do that?
I got three times my average number of hits on a post about surviving abuse. I have written directly, overtly, about abuse maaaaaaybe twice on this blog, and hinted at it perhaps a handful of other times. I don’t know what to feel about that record day of hits on a post about hits. I don’t know who was reading, besides the people who commented and showed support (thank you, again). And chances are, no matter who is reading or how they feel about me, it won’t change what I decide to write about.
I’d like to think I’m a little tougher than that.
I’m not whining about my damn blog stats or fishing for comments, either, I swear. I’m actually encouraged by increased traffic and comments. I really am just considering audience.
Bloggers and writers, how do you, or how much do you, think about who you are writing for? If we want to connect, who do we want to connect with, and what do you do to reach the “right” readers?
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I think it goes back to what we talked about before, V, regarding the value of the raw, about “showing your work,” being willing to gestate in public, so to speak. I’m allowing myself to post the occasional undercooked piece for that reason. And I will say that the posts that people seem to like and comment on the most are my first considerations when I look back on the blog and think, ok, what could I or do I want to expand into a a longer essay? What deserves more thought? The magical algorithm for getting people to comment and engage? No bloody effing clue. I just do me and see what happens. 🙂
I still can’t figure out the blog thing myself. The stuff I post is usually the germ of an essay, so it’s genuinely trying to figure something out — so why do I post it on the Internet? I guess I assume it might be of value to others. Lots of people ‘like’ it on whatever platform I share the link, but no one ever really says anything about it. Private message, now & then. I guess, really, it’s no different than anything else I’d write & share publicly — like a poem in a journal — but having access to the stats makes it feel like it should be different? Or having a comment box below it? If an editor gave me a choice to have my pub liked / commented on, I’m pretty sure I’d run screaming 🙂
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