Today, I am sharing with you my response to a question about why I blog that I received from a non-blogging friend:
“Just curious. How much response do you get to your blogs? You kind of pour yourself out there each day, revealing a little bit more of yourself with each of these. I don’t think I could do that, especially if there’s not a lot of response back. Positive would, obviously, be validation. Negative would have me mulling what was wrong with me and how to fix it. But no response? That would drive me crazy!”
How Much Response Does Your Blog Get?
Funny that you ask. There was a point when the amount of activity on the site did have an impact on my state of mind. When comments and site visits went up, I felt good and when they fell, I questioned why I was bothering.
This was the same thing I felt when I was trying to get my startup off the ground a few years ago. When I pitched my idea and someone reacted favorably, I felt like I was on the right track. And when they didn’t react positively, I started questioning everything I was doing.
After writing on Financial Slacker for 15 months or so, I have realized that this seesaw reaction from me is not good and not productive. So I decided to change how I view my success.
The Success Of My Blog Isn’t Tied To the Response It Gets
When I let my state of mind get dictated by the reactions I was getting, I found it hard to keep writing consistently. I was constantly second-guessing my content.
Now I just write every day. Sometimes the articles are more in-depth with research and numbers to back up my assertions while other times, I just post what’s on my mind.
And I changed my site layout so that those how to, expert advice articles are displayed more prominently at the top. So if you come to the site via a search for something specific, that’s as far as you need to go.
But if you also want to read my daily posts (both long and short), you can start down at the bottom of the front page for the most recent ones and then jump over to the blog page to read everything in reverse chronological order all the way back to the beginning.
Who Reads Your Blog?
As for stats, there are approximately 6K+ subscribers to the site across all platforms – email, feed readers, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc. And while there are a few subscribers who do know me personally, for the most part, I blog anonymously.
I have thought about reaching out to my personal Facebook and LinkedIn connections and telling them about the site but I have been hesitant. Probably because as you say, I pour myself out there everyday. And when it’s not people you know, it’s easier. But in reality, I’m not sure my hesitation is justified. I haven’t spoken to many of those connections in years and may never see them or talk to some of them again anyway.
A large number of Financial Slacker subscribers are also bloggers. And these other bloggers are also the folks that typically generate the majority of the comments. And I have found that there is a correlation between how active I am in the blogging community and how active others are commenting on my site. The more I build my site’s brand recognition, the more activity I see on the site.
How Can I Increase Activity on My Blog?
Now that I have been at this for a while, I have seen that the level of activity on the site comes and goes based on a few factors. And by activity level, I’m not just including the comments but the traffic as well since most visitors to the site do not comment. And actually, since I’ve been sending out the entire article for each post rather than just an excerpt, it’s hard to know exactly how much activity the site is generating.
When I first started, I spent tons of time visiting other blogs and commenting. As a result, the traffic increased starting around April of last year. But there’s a limit to how much time I can spend online. And while I really enjoy reading other blogs, there are times when I’m just too busy to dedicate as much time as I would like.
I can also influence traffic and comments by what I write about. If I talk about blogging, the article tends to get more traffic and comment activity. Which makes sense since the majority of readers are other bloggers.
Whereas, if I write about the economy or a specific investment, I tend to get less activity. Probably because those articles may only be relevant to a specific subset of the subscribers.
I can also get non-blogger traffic to the site by buying ads. So far, I’ve only used Google AdWords and only sparingly. I don’t spend much advertising because other than making me feel better as the numbers start going up, there’s not really any point. Most of the paid traffic doesn’t subscribe to the email list and I don’t have anything to sell them. So they don’t convert into repeat visitors.
Do I Blog For Money?
Actually, as for making money, I don’t see the blog as a significant source of income.
I’ve tried ads, but without tons of traffic, ad revenue only trickles in and I don’t think the payoff is worth it.
I also have affiliate links to a few products but they’re the same products that everyone else uses, so I’m not getting much of anything there either.
I can get paid for sponsored posts but for the most part, I’m pretty selective in what I want to promote. I may just be turning away money for no good reason but again, the money isn’t enough to make it worthwhile anyway.
The best thing for making money would be to sell my own products and services that benefit my readers but I haven’t come up with anything that’s really caught my eye yet.
I Blog For Me
So with all that said, while it would be great to have 10,000 visits per day and hundreds of comments on every post and make hundreds of thousands of dollars from the site, I’m not at that point.
Instead, I write what I want to write. And while I appreciate comments and they still do give me a big boost of encouragement, I do my best to moderate that enthusiasm and I don’t let myself worry too much about whether people are reading or commenting on what I write.
I bet that’s way more of a response than you were looking for. But as you can probaby tell, I enjoy writing as it helps me organize my thoughts and better understand my motivations.
I appreciate your support and by the way, if you happen to have any ideas for products or services that would help other readers, please let me know.
All the best.
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Allan Jensen says
This resonates with me. I am doing a bit of blogging as well, specifically on commercial mortgage topics. Like you, I am pumped when there are many views on a post, and frustrated when there are fewer. This does, as you mentioned, affect how I subsequently feel about sitting in front of the laptop and banging out a new post, day after day. I think the notion of writing each day, but mixing it up, is a terrific approach. Some days the words are just flowing, and its easy to bang out a longer piece. Other days, much less so, and that’s perhaps when it makes sense to have a more general ‘state of mind’ piece. Thanks for sharing your observations!
Allan JensenView Comment
Financial Slacker says
The other benefit of writing often is how much content you create. And just because a post was initially short and written without much in-depth analysis, doesn’t mean you can’t go back, take the idea, and expand into something more extensive.
I used to have a bunch of those short posts sitting in my drafts folder. Now, I’ll go ahead and just publish them.View Comment
Great conclusion, sames as for me.
The biggest I got out of blogging so far is setting un local meetups to meet likeminded people.View Comment