There’s the uber exemplar. The blog pinwheels through cyberspace on steroid speed. If online success bore a currency, these bloggers would be the Donald Trumps on the virtual mountaintop. And there are those whose site (or gravatar) is attractive, who’re good at stroking egos or who trumpet outrageous claims. By common definition they’re popular. Do these guys leave the rest of us out in the cold? It can’t mean our blogs are not worth something. Every blog is unique in its DNA, takes its own road and speed, just as every child develops at his own pace. Is comparison among bloggers really possible on the long spectrum of content and purpose? A photographer’s gallery has a look and mission far different from my site, though mine also is a gallery – of words. Given that we’re all out to communicate, can we measure the success of a blog?
I started writing midway into February, but it’s been less than two months since I set up camp on WordPress. I backdated my earlier posts. This morning I found on my Stats report 100 wonderful subscribers and 2,120 aggregate hits. I’m not even active on other social networks (yes, I took the slow lane). Thank you for the support! I put on hold another labor of love, my original blog, to journal the personal journey. Head bowed, at the restaurant. See the menu photo? On the elliptical. At three in the morning. I did not know what a post could look like nor did I know how to tag. I wrote blindly. Up until a month ago, I didn’t have time to look at what other bloggers were doing. There came a tipping point where I discovered a community of readers coming back and pulling up a chair to stay. I haven’t made my way back to my other blog, enjoying the Conversation as I have. I am grateful for the welcome of seasoned bloggers pulling me up on higher ground, the deeply heartwarming comments and encouragement to keep up my work. A good many readers with a worldview diametrically different from mine who subscribed to bending an ear to my perspective. Even a mother who shared that she’s rethinking some decisions after reading my thoughts on motherhood.
I’ve seen a number of people pose the question why we blog. Some bloggers seek to share knowledge and enlighten. Their work offers a personal value of usefulness. Others want to make money, a legitimate wish. Many of us want to tell our story. I inform, perhaps even educate, on my food blog My Holistic Table. Its informational value is substantial. On A Holistic Journey, I express. Question. Sing. So how do you appraise the success of a blog? If you or your site is good-looking, if you’re hummingbird-chatty, good at stroking egos, or trumpet outrageous claims (because we all know notoriety begets celebrities, especially in America), by common definition you’re popular. But I would measure blog performance by art and impact. As much as I can, I want to leave my readers with something they can walk away with for their own journey, on or off their blog. My hope is not only to relay the narrative, as a nine-year-old can about his zoo trip, but also to open up dimensions of living that readers otherwise might miss in a way they can experience. Life expressed in all its colors. I can boast the most beautiful blog with appealing titles – in vain, if no one felt his visit was worth the time. To hear my work bears impact is so very fulfilling. On this note, I’d like to segue into a series on the writing process.
Feedback and support like yours take blogging to its potential. Lone ranging bloggers don’t make it far. It’s a communal enterprise. I could have kept the thoughts on my 30s in my private journal. But here we are at the coffee house. I think this gathering is what makes the stories live. I’ve seen blogs that boast stats more impressive than mine. But you know what? I feel successful.