(Typo fixed in title.)
Let me start this post with saying a lot of love and respect towards Pooja from the blog Lifesfinewhine. The reason why I am sharing this is due to a conversation I’ve had in the comment section of her blog post ‘How to grow your WordPress blog before 2023 ends.’ I really wish to be clear that if you intend to visit her blog, to please be kind and supportive to her. As well as the one I’ve had a conversation with, which is Devang Upadhyaya of the blog Fat Guy Workout. Consider visiting either of their blogs and showing them love.
So, let’s get to the point of this blog post, what’s my measure of succesful blogging? Is it views, likes, comments, followers? I would personally say not any of them.
The reason why I don’t think so is the fact that each of them don’t really say that much. I can go to another poetry blog and say “beautiful poem!” But what have I really said about the poem? Such a comment says nothing about the actual poem, as it is a very non-descriptive response. I don’t say what I like about the poem, which could be many things, depending on the person who reads it. That’s actually the beauty of art, it’s different to each which comes in contact with it.
Likes and followers on the other hand have the same problem each, which is that it takes a press of a button. It’s very similar to the problem of comments, you could easily just press the button and move on, never reading anything. That’s even the overlapping problem of all 4 of them, you don’t need to read for any of them.
When it comes to me, I even do some of these. I visit blogs but don’t end up reading everything. This happens among posts that are just rehashes of things that are spread anywhere. As an example, I can find a list of symptoms that show among my disorders anywhere on the web. If I would wish to know them, I wouldn’t visit a blog, but much rather a reputable source like the American CDC. So, if it is the blog of someone who I like, I scan the post for possible mistakes, and if none are there, I like and move onward. It’s not nice, but it is the truth. The only exception is if someone provides personal experiences, but that is becoming more and more rare among the blogosphere. It’s just plain copy and paste lists of symptoms.
Comments are a more difficult part to me. I skip commenting many times, but not without a reason. For one, I am not of the pleasantries. I am of the belief that if you post something, it is something you believe is good, otherwise you wouldn’t have posted it. My response only could be positive, so what is the point? You should already know your work is good without my confirmation. It’s maybe a bit anti-social, but it is my way of thinking.
That’s also my second point to it, as I am diagnosed with social pragmatic communication disorder. I tend to hide behind a shroud of acceptance, but I am still very embarrased about it. The common explanation of it is “autism without the behavioral issues,” but it is much rather autism without the behavioral issues and the social and communication issues being far worse. I am more on the level of my dad, who has selective mutism, than my brothers who are autistic. But this is not something that many will understand due to the many who choose to fake being autistic.
When I comment, I force myself to overcome severe difficulties. I am scared with every comment I make that it comes to backfire. This is even more the case when it has political connections, like my comments on The Skeptic’s Kaddish blog. I tend to dig myself only deeper and deeper when I come into social difficulties that I can’t handle, like fights. Luckily those are extremely rare for me, but it doesn’t change my deep fear with every comment. I choose to carefully comment, only on blogs of people I truly trust and like. Anyone who truly knows me, knows that if I made even 1 comment on their blog, it’s huge, unlike what most bloggers expect.
Even more so as the consequence of this are not even said yet. The fear, it interacts with one of my other conditions, my myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). It results in what is officially known as post-exertional malaise. My ME/CFS basically lets me collapse both physically and mentally following these kind of activities. My mind locks up and I am useless. I can no longer really think.
In regards to my blogging, it is the reason why I have had breaks in the past. It would not surprise me if I have the same after this blog post, so be prepared for the possibility. You could see it as being locked out of my brain, as this is in ways how it works. So writing poems, it becomes impossible.
This shouldn’t be a problem to blogging, as writing a blog should have just been that, writing and nothing more. But a lot of people have lost this sense long ago. Interactivity should have been important to those who matter to you, especially when they interact with your blog, but this shouldn’t become like work. You shouldn’t be forced just because people expect so. It’s like the 3 bloggers who interact most with my blog, which are I Am Brother Love, C L Couch, and the writer(s) of pk ???? MUNDO, mean the world to me. They truly do. But this doesn’t change when they don’t do so. They don’t matter to me for their interactions. They matter to me for giving me a good mood, the kindness that they show me, and just for who they are, as they show through their own blogs.
People have become so obsessed with interactions that they have lost the essence of why they blog. Numbers don’t matter as much as they think. And it’s not that I am saying that because I lack the number. I could just show this:
The reality of the matter is that people no longer understand that all of this shouldn’t matter. It should be about just 2 things:
- Enjoying the writing process
- Readers liking what you write
That’s it, all of it. A blog could have a single reader daily, no more than that. What does this matter if this makes both the writer and the reader happy? Bloggers have become so obsessed with the numbers that they are pushing the readers away. It’s like many bloggers no longer even understand that 90% of all readers will never press a like button, write a comment, or do any other interaction. They read and that is it.
My most loved blog that I read is actually even one which doesn’t have any like buttons, has comments fully disabled, has no social media attached to it, and is private to a select few. And the content? A daily message of inspiration and hope. Personal and heartwarming. Which to most bloggers would seem like the writer gets nothing in return, but that is not true. As the writer gets in return something that is worth more than all possible reasons that you could blog combined together, she knows that she helped others, like myself.
Which is the whole measure of succes of a blog. It’s about enjoying what you write and having someone who reads it. Nothing more than that. Which also means that I say that almost any blog is succesful. Think of it what you may. But if you have millions of followers, views, likes, comments, and even money coming in, but you dislike writing, could that really be called succesful blogging?
Sorry for me rambling on.