Do you ever feel like you’ve run out of things to say and maybe you should just be quiet for awhile?
I started blogging in October, 2005, with zero readers. I just wrote, and sometimes I wondered if anybody was reading it. After awhile someone left a comment, so I knew I had at least one reader. Over time, more and more comments were left.
I felt a little funny telling friends and family about my blog, so mostly I didn’t. But every now and then, if the mood struck, I’d tell someone. Some of them checked it out, and a few of them stuck around.
At some point I installed Statcounter, so I could track the number of visitors to the blog over time. I kept writing, and the number of visitors kept inching upwards. Then I set up a feed, so people could subscribe to the blog. I kept writing, and the number of subscribers kept slowly climbing.
It was all very motivating to see those numbers trending upwards.
About a month ago I was averaging a hundred visitors a day, and my subscribers peaked at 50. But then the trend suddenly reversed and the numbers started falling. Now I’m averaging about 65 visitors a day, and I’m down to 43 subscribers.
I know I shouldn’t be so concerned with the numbers, but it’s my nature. I’m into metrics. When I was running, I used a GPS system so I could upload my running stats after each run and see maps and graphs of my progress. I was a little obsessive about monitoring changes in my speed and distance. Now that I just walk, I wear a pedometer everywhere I go so I can try to walk a little further each day. I average about 13,000 steps a day, in case anybody finds this kind of thing remotely interesting.
It’s not so much the actual numbers that matter, but the direction the numbers are going. The fact is that momentum does motivate me, and losing ground does discourage me.
So why are my numbers down? Unfortunately the metrics can’t tell me that.
It could be simply that people aren’t spending as much time reading blogs because it’s nice outside. That makes sense.
On the other hand, what if the drop in numbers is accurately reflecting a drop in the quality of my blog? What if I’m running out of interesting things to blog about? Maybe I should just be quiet for awhile. Unfortunately, when it comes to blogs, silence means you just slip off the radar and lose all your readers. Which is worse: losing readers through silence, or losing readers because you’ve got nothing to say but you insist on saying something anyway so you don’t lose your readers through silence?
Okay, I just re-read this, and I don’t know whether to even post it or not. It’s got kind of a pathetic tone to it, don’t you think? It sounds like I’m trying to get you all to say encouraging things. I’m not, really. (But could you all hit refresh a few times before you go? That would inflate my numbers and cheer me up. Thank you.)
(I’m kidding about that last part!)