Monday, October 10, 2011

Blogger culture: followers, readers and Google stats

Another foray into the curious and intricate world of blogging. I've already addressed one aspect of blogging peculiarities here. Today I'll be discussing popularity and on-line presence.
It might sound absurd and hypocritical, being a blogger myself I do have a slight aversion to blogging in general. The main question in relation to blogging is why write one, a public blog I mean?

Is it a need for attention, the desperate desire to seek approval wherever one might find it? Is it a mere entrepreneurial endeavour. An attempt to attain the  elusive and highly coveted position of a professional blogger. Somebody who writes a blog for a living and gets free stuff to advertise.
I can only answer for myself. I write a public blog for several reasons.
Most importantly I write a blog because it's a way for me to connect with like minded people. Slovenes are a peculiar nation and there are times when I find that my hobbies and interests and my general view on life philosophy are completely misunderstood. It's for this reason that I chose to write my blog in English.
As for approval, do I seek it? Well of course I do! To some extent. If I didn't I wouldn't be writing a public blog. And anyone claiming otherwise is being dishonest in my opinion.
We all like to see our posts generating lots of comments or at least hits. Every time I log into my account and see I've gained another follower my heart does a little dance :-) I also check my blogger stats on a regular basis to get a sense of which posts generate the most hits and where my readers come from.
That said, at the bottom of all the stats and the popularity is a basic premise of authenticity. I strive to give an honest and realistic portrait of myself and my life.
Though there is a large aspect of my life I keep off the Internet for reasons of privacy whether mine or my family, the things I ultimately share are genuine. I also try to maintain a balance between the flashy and glamorous and the mundane everyday life aspects.


  1. I actually had a discussion about this with a friend last week. A lot of people seem to blog just to be seen. Others to make their company seen. I, myself, started blogging (last June) because I always found interesting things I wanted to share with people, and Facebook didn't feel like the right place to do that. I also like writing. But just as you, I feel so much joy when I notice I have gained another follower, or get a comment to one of my posts. It shows people actually like what I write about, and READ it. If I knew no one read my blog there wouldn't be much point in writing it! So, I blog because I like it. But the feedback is also very nice when it comes! :)

  2. I blog because I need an outlet to communicate with like-minded people. I purposely keep my blog anonymous because I want to keep it separate from my "real" life. I wanted to write for and communicate with people who wanted to read my blog due to the subject matter, and not just because it's their friend's/family member's blog.

    Very few of my friends and none of my family are interested in the things I blog about, or read about online. I'm actually very thankful for the Internet. It's enabled me to learn so many things and solve problems (practical, mundane things as well as life-changing insights) that I couldn't have solved otherwise.

    As for followers, I purposely left the following button and display off my blog because I don't want to be counting followers (and I know I would!) I also don't sign up as a follower on anyone's blog. I used to have a stat counter on my blog, but I felt like I was spying on my readers when I checked it, so I removed that too. I still get some stats on my Blogger dashboard, though. My beauty/makeup posts get the most hits, probably due to people Googling for product reviews.

  3. My first blog was a Personal Finance blog that I hoped would help establish my expertise as a financial consultant. Personal Finance blogs are extremely competitive, there was pressure to be rank high in that arena, e.g., Google page count and I got tired of trying to maintain and increase ranking. A blog consultant at the time suggested bringing a personal angle into it and that's when I started writing about my own life, featuring me as a kind of sociological experiment. The memoir posts prompted some intense family communications :). All for the better as things turned out.

    Then I ran out of memoir and realized I really didn't know what I was doing with the blog so I hired a blog consultant and she hit the nail on the head, identifying my blog as a retirement journey, a story of what happens when the busy motherhood and career part of your life ends and you have time, finally, to think about who you really are and what comes next.

    That's when I stumbled into the style quest. It started when Tracey of La Belette Rouge visited us last Fall and suggested I was perhaps a bit narrow minded on the subject of style. I respect her opinions very much and began to explore the origins of my attitude toward personal style and in working it out got interested in style as a subject in and of itself.

    That's what the new blog is about. I enjoy the interactions with others interested in the same subject, especially as it relates to the development of the self.

    This is a long answer to your question!

  4. Miss Meadows: Thanks for your honesty! I think your approach to blogging is completely compatible with mine.
    I do love to write, as you said I feel I have something to say and I do require critical feedback. I don't need or want admirers, no yaysayers for me ;-P But there is inherently something exhibitionistic about blogging.

    Ms. M: The stats and followers are a guideline for me. A steady decline would indicate that I'm going the wrong way. That said, I also know that any fashion related post will result in a high traffic, yet I refuse to turn this into a fashion blog with repurposed images from high profile companies and the latest it items off the runways.
    Like Susan, who said she got tired of trying to increase her ranking I dread the idea that I might have to compete for my audience. In that case, I'd rather stop blogging.

  5. Susan: That's another interesting aspect of blogging: the categories are very limiting: fashion blogs, DIY blogs, interior design blogs,... I noticed the truly successful bloggers are really focused and their posts are streamlined to correspond to the blog overall philosophy. It's disappointing to say the least.
    Being a blogger newbie this is still very much a learning experience for me and I'm letting things progress organically. There is no master plan of what I ultimately want to do with my blog and I really don't want to put a label on it just yet. Though the description under the blog title is there, I deliberately set is very wide.
    And also the other issue you addressed, the actual meeting up with people one meets while blogging. This is both exciting and scary. I haven't had the chance to meet any of the people I've met on-line and I frankly don't know how I would proceed.
    I do follow LBD's blog too. She strikes me as an incredibly strong and independent person.

  6. Hey, you started it b i g too. This Monday post! Blogger culture!
    I guess I started blogging, because I had ( still have ) so much stuff bundled inside me. I had ended my therapy, and had the need to share my thoughts and ideas with someone. Having been invisible for so long, it felt good to open the " door " and actually meet someone, even knowing that blogging would mean only virtual meetings.
    I respect honesty, loyalty and enjoy interactive blogs, which have a wide range of topics.

  7. Mette: I like your idea of being visible. I think so many people go on living their lives unnoticed and they have so much to offer, so much insight and wisdom but more than that they have their unique voices.
    Blogging gave me a chance to reaffirm to myself that I have some value after all and my opinion does carry some weight.
    Definitely not a light Monday.

  8. Intricate is certainly the right word for blogging,also in a different way for 'followers'sounds like a herd of sheep!!

    As a 'people person' having worked many years with a variety of people think the written word often tells you more about a person than they would admit to in "real" life.

    So why do I follow blogs? I have always kept a daily diary of personal thoughts/ideas etc and for setting goals..this was for myself away from my career/business a type of blog.

    When I found the blogging world it was like reading others' diaries!!! I enjoy the interaction with the wide variety of people from different countries,background and ages which bring a spark into daily life through shared interests,opinions,discussion and exchange of ideas.Ida

  9. ida: blogosphere can quickly pull a person in. I don't like bloggers who distinct between blog life and "real life", never did know what exactly that meant. I consider blogging a part of my reality and it has definitely changed me.
    And written words can be very revealing, add to that that people who don't write in their mother tongue, like me, leave themselves vulnerable in ways they don't even know

  10. Interesting concepts to think about. It's good to stop every now and then and examine why we do something. Blogging is a strange world, indeed. Even though it's filled with so many words, oftentimes it's not filled with much real reflection.

  11. Ida, start writing your own blog. You have lots to give, and we are waiting..
    Ana, I too feel that by now, I need this blogging more than it needs me. I´m addicted to it ; )
    Even writing in English, I find it quite easy to express myself by writing. And I take this all seriously, believe it or not.
    Hey, you have a new profile picture, Ana: Great!

  12. Vanessa: easy to get sidetracked I suppose. But I still believe that integrity is the basic premise of a healthy blog.

    Mette: nobody who has read your blog could doubt for a second that you take it seriously.
    high time for a new pic I reckoned :-)

  13. Thank you Mette then you will have a long wait (smile) too much happening in my life right now...not sure that I would like to blog!!

    coffeeaddict, you surprise me why you need to seek external validation of your own value is it not more important how you feel about yourself?

    Your new photo shows a happy,confident person.Ida

  14. ida: Seeking self-worth thorough external validation is not something I signed up for. True self-esteem and confidence can only come from within. For reasons I don't discuss on this blog I've lost my way and began to doubt myself because I was surrounded with a lot of negative influences. Feedback I receive from blogging is merely a compass if you wish, showing me I'm moving in the right direction.
    I hope I answered your question :-)

  15. Thank you for explaining. Have also been in 'lost land 'and negative influences just add to low self esteem.

    You have had a successful year,and positive days happy to hear blogging helps. Ida x

  16. ida: your comments are always so uplifting. Thanks so much!
    Big hugs and smiles