When a blog entry is published, we can safely assume (with the exception of a locked private blog) that the author expects an appreciative audience . And rightly so, for we, as writers, would spend many hours trying to come up with, and edit to near-perfection, a post worthy of publishing to the world.
I used to spend quite a bit of my time wondering why only 1 out of 100 readers would leave me a comment but realised most of the time I myself am not participating in the conversation on other blogs because there’s really nothing new or interesting to add.
Unless a post is particularly provocative, the reaction generally consists of a few variations of agreement or disagreement. It’s like being in a classroom discussion– after the 11th person has voiced his opinion, there’s nothing much left to say that has not already been said.
Still, it’s great to have comments! My first blog was running for 7 months before I got my first comment – which is still one of the most exciting days in my early blogging history. :) I also look out for the best critics among my commenters as they are the ones who tell you like it is and probably move in between camps (for/against/neutral) according to what you’re posting.
Here’s something good to know: Problogger has about 50,000 subscribers (according to the displayed Feedburner widget). The actual number of readers may well be more than this but these 50,000 readers are the ones considered “engaged” — readers who care enough about the content of the blog to actually subscribe to the feed. A quick browse through some of the posts shows that less than 1% (or 500) of the readers would actually leave a comment. Steve Pavlina also mentioned in his blog that “well below 1% of visitors ever post a comment“. What are the other 99% doing? Probably just nodding quietly to themselves. How do I know? Because I myself did quite a bit of that nodding thing today. :D
While some of us see a comment count as the mark of a successful interactive blog, others preach high subscriber count at the true indicator of a blog’s success. Damien on the other hand has gone on to develop his own quantifiable rating system of measuring the success of his Funny Farm – i.e. CAN™.
With a blog that focuses on money-making, success is usually directly proportional to the number of readers the blog has. For other types of blogs, some people have said that the number of readers play a less important role in defining success.
I personally believe that we need an audience no matter what because we want to feel appreciated for our art, in this case, our writing. I don’t want to paint a beautiful picture and keep it locked in a room where nobody will ever see (even if I do not have the intention of selling it). I want it displayed in a gallery for all to appreciate and admire. I call this my “Excellence in Giving to Others”, or *ahem* ego for short. ;)
My ego loves performing in front of huge appreciative audience. She would like to thank you for choosing to read this entry. She is also fond of comments so please leave one (or two)? :D
Here are a couple of points from the list I want to discuss further:
1. There’s never been a better time to be a working artist. Ever.
2. There’s never been a worse time to be a working artist (if you’re not truly dedicated to your craft).
I can’t agree more with these two points. The speed and ease of reaching to a large, international audience is a double edged sword. If you’re in the creative industry — be it music, art, design, photography, craft, film — there’s no finer time to share your talent with the world. [Read more....]