Having followers and readers is great. I won’t lie. When I started my blog, although I loved writing book reviews and enjoyed it immensely, I would often dream about having a decent amount of followers who I could get to know, exchange comments with and build a rapport with. I would grow green with envy at the bloggers who had hundreds, sometimes thousands of followers. Who would receive comment after comment on their latest post and who would constantly be chatting to people all over the blogosphere. I realised that although I loved writing and reading – followers were something I wanted too.
Over my three ish years of blogging, I’m thrilled to the bone that my following has grown and grown. I may not have thousands and thousands and heck I’m definitely not up to the standard of some amazing bloggers I know but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. Although it was hard and took a long bloody time, it was worth it and still I will continue to work hard on my blog and attempt to grow my following even more. Like I’m sure a lot of you are doing right now too.
This got me thinking. I had a blog post up – I can’t remember what post it was, but in terms of stats and interaction, it didn’t do as well as I thought it would and definitely didn’t do as well as some of my other posts. All bloggers will experience this and it’s usually the posts that you think will do well which are the ones that surprise you and don’t but although it was annoying, it got me thinking of the importance of my followers and the need for having them and the interaction I often crave when I publish a new post.
I took to my trusty friend Twitter and posted this question in a poll:
“If you didn’t have followers or readers, would you still blog to the same standard or at all as you do now?”
I left 3 answers, “Yes – I blog for myself”, “Maybe – I’m not sure” and “Probably not”. I received 123 answers to this poll – so a decent amount to be able to gather some reliable results. And the results both surprised – and didn’t surprise me. In a funny ol way.
67% of people said yes, they would still blog because they blog for themselves.
26% said they weren’t sure.
And only 7% said they no – they wouldn’t blog anymore if they didn’t have readers and followers.
The reason these results both surprised and didn’t surprise me was because I know how it feels to blog for yourself – at the beginning when I adored writing my book reviews just because. I understand that blogging is an outlet: emotional or creative for an awful lot of people. It’s something to do in a time of need and can help tremendously in getting all your thoughts and frustrations out on virtual paper.
But I was also surprise by the amount of people that said no. I thought it would be more. Why? Because in this instance, I fall in the very small minority.
I’m not ashamed to say that actually, now I know both sides of the coin, if I lost every single one of my followers in some freak nature disaster tomorrow (which would be totally weird that all my followers just happened to be in the same place at the same time…) I probably wouldn’t blog anymore. I’d say a fond farewell to this chapter and move on.
Why? Because I love my followers (I’m not saying that people who don’t agree with me don’t love their followers – just bare with….) I love writing my blog, I love brainstorming post ideas, trying new things, reviewing books and films and writing discussions about topics I find important. I love writing funny lists that I think people will relate to and in depth posts about personal issues that I hope my readers will be able to take knowledge in knowing they’re not alone if they’re going through the same thing.
And that’s why I wouldn’t blog anymore if I lost you guys – because I write for you and I adore hearing what you have to say. I relish in every single comment I get – and I always take the time to reply personally to everyone. I relish in the fact that my anxiety posts might have helped someone or given someone some well needed advice in a time of need. Or that my list posts might have made someone laugh on a day where they felt like doing anything but laughing. Or that my book review might have encouraged someone to buy the book and read it for themselves.
I thrive on followers and interaction. Call me needy or an attention seeker – whatever but that is when I’m at my best. That is when I work hardest and feel the most motivated and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with blogging for you – and only you and having followers is just a well earned bonus. That’s the thing with blogging, we’re all different with different intentions and aims and goals and that’s what makes it special.