(Image: John P. Weiss)
Yesterday’s post, complete with cutie-pie pic of Z, got over 70 hits. Thursday’s barely hit 20. My most popular post in this Lenten series got something like 150. So basically, I’m not even half a blip on these here interwebz.
Sometimes, I’ll get discouraged. Afterall, I started blogging in April 2009 at Far Above Rubies, and it’s sad knowing thousands of posts have pretty much collected the online equivalent of dust without having been read by more than 7 or 8 people.
At least, it would be sad if I primarily wrote for others. Thing is, I don’t. You lovely Readers matter of course, and sometimes, I do write for you (I’m especially talking about Kiki, Thomas, Maria, and Xiamora… ya’ll are loyal). But I owe my blogging longevity to my own desire to write. I started journaling around 7, and I wasn’t consistent with it. Weeks or months may pass between entries, but inevitabaly, I’d be back at it. Writing is like my social awkwardness, introversion, or sensory neuropathy: chronic.
John P. Weiss, writing at Medium, covers why- and why not- to get social (online):
I put off joining Facebook for a long time. But once I set up my art site and started blogging, I learned that it’s helpful to post content on social media. It helps drive traffic back to your website.
So, I got a Facebook page and created a public page, too. Every time I did a new painting or blog post, I put it up on Facebook. I loved getting likes and positive comments.
Before long I became more and more immersed in the tactics of online marketing and social media posting. I started to read about the best times to post. I learned about copywriting and online marketing. Website design, email newsletters and the importance of growing your list.
Soon, my vanity for more likes on Facebook spread to my appetite for more followers on my email list. I spent hours tweaking my website and honing my art and creativity niche.
Just like everybody else, I figured if I could grow a huge list then I could sell a bunch of eBooks and courses and live the laptop lifestyle. Like Tim Ferriss and his 4 hour work week.
Along the way, though, I started to notice something. I wasn’t very happy. Yes, my subscriber list grew and I truly value the readers who follow my art and musings. But likes and newsletter subscribers come and go. At best, they might affirm that you’re doing some good work. At worst, they’re just mildly interested folks who visited for a short time.
Beyond the digital narcissism of social media lies the conceit and egotism that fuels our blogging and website dreams. We build our sites and create content for an amorphous audience of adulating fans. Or at least that’s the hope.
Think for a moment about all those “grow your list” vendors out there. There are endless blogging websites and gurus who promise to help grow your audience. Just buy their killer course for $399 and you’ll even get to join their private Facebook group.
It’s not that these folks are evil and I’m sure they have helped a lot of businesses and industrious bloggers get to the next level. But before you dive into any of that stuff, you must come back to my earlier question: What’s the point to all of this?
For a lot of people, the point is twofold. Ego and money.
Dedicate everything to your passion
There was a book that came out many years ago called “Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow.” The message of the book is well intentioned. Namely, that success comes from doing what we’re passionate about. The problem is how we define success.
There are plenty of actors waiting tables in Los Angeles. Waiting for their big break. Auditioning and holding on for that chance to find fame and fortune. They may be passionate about their acting, but there’s no guarantee it will lead to money.
Better to view success more deeply than just financial rewards. Not that money doesn’t matter. All of us want to make money and enjoy the security and comforts that money can bring. But having money doesn’t always translate to feeling successful.
Do read the whole thing in it’s entirety here.