It started out innocently enough thinking about an upcoming blog post which is written in a text editor on another computer, but not actually recorded anywhere else – which is both surprising given today’s technology, and at the same time, definitely a topic for ANOTHER blog post. That’s right, we could have a total of 3 posts this week this month … but I digress..
Anyways, I was off thinking on the whole readership/subscriber numbers, they’re god-like status in the analytics realm, and I dared to wonder: Well, who the hell cares? The same also applies to comments and somewhat on the our boundaries of the blog theme we’re goin with here, are total blog post numbers/frequency… You know what I mean.
When it comes to blog subscriber numbers, just about every blog owner, can spout off their latest FeedBurner subscriber target number before you can actually finish asking…
“I want 100 subscribers by the end of next month!”
“I want 2000 subscribers by tomorrow!”
“I want 10 subscribers before I die!…”
Rock on belt+onion people, rock on.
If you look close enough, you can usually see a post about subscriber numbers, how they’re not really that important to their blog, they’re greatful for their readership and damnit, aren’t they simply the best readership in the world… Oh yes, we’re all guilty here.
But stop and think about your readership for a second. Offering up my own blog as the sacrificial example, if we look at LOGICal eMOTIONs, we see that the total subscriber number is somewhere between 65 and 70 depending on the day. For last month the number was the same. For the previous month, the number was the same… Actually, this number hasn’t changed in about 12 months. Weird. I know.
My brain then flipped to the opposite of my blog – you know, one of those single, double, and sometimes triple daily article sites. It isn’t that I have anything against them, seriously – just when I think of the opposite of this one, that’s what I come up with.
Large blogs such as those have huge numbers in both the number of comments and the subscriber number departments. They get everyone – the good and the bad – the two sides of ‘quality’. When it comes to small blogs with smaller numbers, it is generally all one or the other with very little happy middle.
So if this is true, for smaller blogs (which are small, or have recently started out), how do you know whether or not your readership is a bunch of dolts, or some of the most influential people in the blogging community? “But I haven’t seen any trackbacks to my articles” – well, is there anything worth linking to? Oh, right but you write for yourself, I forgot… Hey, we all write for an audience, and the true audience is only visible to you when the keys on the keyboard are pressed – otherwise it’s just your imagination.
How do you know that your readership aren’t the influencers just waiting for you to actually let go of whatever it is you’re holding onto, and run your blog?
The same happens in our personal and professional lives, so why not in a digital community controlled and operated by the same people you could meet, say, at the grocery store tomorrow?
Ok, so how does this apply to quantity vs. quality?
Simple, when it comes to Q vs. Q, we generally think that it is either one or the other – black vs. white – insert “opposite” cliche here. You get the idea. The reality is that it is a mix of both when it comes to blogs and there are 4 possible combinations:
- HIGH Quantity and LOW Quality
- HIGH Quantity and HIGH Quality
- LOW Quantity and HIGH Quality
- LOW Quantity and LOW Quality
Wait, you can have LOW + LOW? Sure, last time I checked, 1+1 doesn’t = 0 (oh, and it doesn’t = 2 either..).
Basically, the numbers obsessed set a goal of where they think they should be/would like to be, and then start writing for the influencers (on some level of the brain), ASSUMING that their readership are dolts. “If I just write more, and better, then people will take notice!” – um, sure, whatever you want to go with. Whereas if they just ignored the numbers, assumed that the influential people recognized quality when you didn’t, but also recognized what was keeping you back – all you ever had to do was let go…
I believe that there is a percentage of those who simply increase frequency in blog posts, will have a subtle ‘ah HA!’ moment at which point they realize that the numbers don’t mean anything and their blog takes off (likely most of the blogs you respect the most). There is of course the other percentage that simply writes more without the moment, and just crank out stuff..
“But numbers are important to advertising revenue” – sure, but I’m willing to bet that those who make money from advertising on their blogs gave up caring about the numbers and simply started tracking them…
So what’s the point, right? Well simply, stop using statistics as a shield from that which is holding you back. Also, you get to make up in your head who your readership is, so you might as well assume they’re the audience you want.
Photo by glennmitchell23