Blogging: I CAN Have It All

I started this blog as a writer and now am writing you as a blogger. Did you know I care about my numbers? Did you know I think my readership rocks, not just for the depth but for the size? I have readers who have bolted their seat to this blog. Anyone who wouldn’t want that, raise your hand. Anyone who would rather have 500 subscribers over 5000, feel free to leave the room. You’re not for real. In my miniseries on successful blogging, I said almost a year ago,

I discovered my blog would be an art gallery โ€“ at least an attempt at one. Not with paintings or photographs, but words. And so the way I give birth to my posts fits that vision. If I had to choose between searching for the perfect word and befriending 20 new bloggers in a given window of time, there would be no competition. Because my goal isnโ€™t to bust the roof on my stats. My art will always trump the blogging.

The cool thing I’ve discovered is there really is no competition. I can have it all, stay as demanding of myself (and guests) in the art and keep drawing new readers who appreciate the masochism. Hec, I can even laugh. I realized my writing was more stiff last year. I now try to say something more simply where I did more formally before – as a reflection of my ease as a blogger and a way to bridge any distance between me and the reader. I’ve also allowed myself more liberty, not insisting that I hurt my brain in every darn post. I discovered it’s called having fun. With you. Who cares what I did, where I went this week? Many of you let me know you actually do, in this thing known as relationship. A reader graciously praised me for keeping my ego out of this blog. That’s not been hard, as A Holistic Journey has become something bigger than me. (I know that’s supposed to be a subject pronoun.) Yes, I’ve worked my butt off but I can’t take full credit for what it’s become. I almost couldn’t name it as I watched it grow. But my blog was alive, this worldwide community of artists and thinkers who share their history, fears, and dreams. I feel closer to some of you than I do with people in my day-to-day. As I evolve, I’m seeing that quality and quantity in blogging can be friends.

So the 133 views on my About in the last seven days tell me I had a good number of new readers. This view count is our speedometer. Your comments will often come from faithful readers, your likes from them as well as the pop-ins. But it’s the stat on your About that marks those who’re checking out your blog and tells you if you’re walking in place or going somewhere. Sure, people can follow you without reading your intro but that number can help you gauge your growth. Whether folks are just passing through or staying depends on the content of that page and the rest.

I tend not to make promises to myself because life happens. But a goal is not a promise that you’ll make it. It is a hope you launch into the air with the commitment to keep it in trajectory. When a year after I gained 100 followers I found myself with 3000, I shut my eyes and then dared to peek into the sun. I set a hesitant goal of doubling my subscribers by the next June. A pie-in-the-sky aspiration, with these time constraints.

Turns out I’m terrible at dreaming.

What I’d considered a goal much higher than my reach was more than doable. I see the sign for 6000 feet up ahead and climb steadily to touch the milepost in two weeks. I hope this encourages you in your blogging. Remember, I didn’t know which way was up when I set out last year. You’ve shown me enough love; I’d like to hear if anything here is helpful for your own blog. Though I’ve seen people plateau in the higher numbers, I think success feeds success. With some notable exceptions in our midst, it seems to get easier for most of us after the first 1000 followers. But I will never compromise my standards in a chase for numbers. My exacting nature, which might be a liability at times in my personal life, I’ve been able to use as an asset on this blog. The fastidiousness is what I’ve built this blog on. I want to offer content that would compel a visiting editor or publisher to pull up a chair.

And I wouldn’t be here without you who’ve done just that. It makes me happy to see you grow. I want your blogging to be as bright, deep, expansive as you want it to be. I hope you feel the the heartbeat of your blog as I do mine.

111 thoughts on “Blogging: I CAN Have It All

  1. It’s inspiring to read about the flow in your blogging journey. It’s well deserved, as nothing comes for free or granted! 1000 is a number I do not even dream about, but that’s not important. I’ve stopped trying to post regularly as it doesn’t work in my life right now, but again, that’s not important. It’s interesting how we start a blog with a certain idea, and then we see as we go along how it develops, often different than we had thought. And somehow the blog becomes a part of your life. My two gold cents for you today: congrats and thank you!

    • I appreciate the congrats I was trying to shy away from but I’m glad for the glimpse into your journey. I was the same about the 1000 mark! And I might write one of these days about how the regular posting the gurus advise is a silly rule. It is one of the lesser important factors in good blogging. At least I’ve had to throw it out the window with my homeschool commitmt but people will still disagree. And YES, you describe it well: my series have given birth one to another. I’ve just been following the yellow brick road. Like CS Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy (not the other way around).

      Thanks again for staying with me.

      Love,
      Diana

  2. Nice post. They always are, if I stay to the end, and they’re even nicer when I’m sad that the end has arrived. So today I’m a little sad, but that’s a good thing.

  3. Of course, you are an awesome blogger ๐Ÿ˜ But my favourite thing about you is the way you interact with your readers, and the depth with which you do so.

  4. What a great post and your honest. I can see your passion in your words which is inspiring. I love having followers and the interaction and wish for this to continue and grow. I think though sometimes people can become over concerned with it or daunted by other bloggers numbers I’ve been this way before and chastising myself for doing something wrong. But then I tell myself blogging is not about right or wrong it’s about the individual, I’d rather make it real than be perfect so thank you for making me think x

    • “so thank you for making me think”.

      ‘S all I want to do on this blog! Seriously, who doesn’t want to grow his, her readership? There’s no need to compare ourselves – on or off the blog. =) You are most certainly doing nothing wrong. Just keep up the giving, thoughtful YOU and you’ll be fine. Stay happy.

      Love,
      Diana

  5. Your blog has been one of the most beautiful places I’ve discovered on the web, and I’m eternally grateful that I had to start blogging to find it. I’m not a big sucker for stats as I rarely look there, but I do know I was excited when I reached a hundred followers, and eternally grateful for the faithful who drop by regularly ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m learning to put a bit more of myself onto the page. It’s been difficult as I am a private person by nature, but I daresay reading other personal blogs has helped me loosen up somewhat and enjoy the ride.
    I hope I maintain a steady growth without sounding as mechanical as I did when I began.

    Thank you for thanking me Diana ๐Ÿ˜€ and more fruitful blogging years ahead.

    • Aww shoot. You gave me chills, honey. That’s some amazing feedback and of course I’m deeply grateful for your time and loving support. It took a lot for me to start giving you guys the glimpses into my house (those loving exchanges with hubby lol and my personal struggles). For me, only because I always told myself y’all deserved more and better. I thoroughly enjoy reading whatever you offer us. I was going to encourage you to write a book. Think about it. Much easier without the distraction of kids. =)

      Diana

      • You’re too kind, Diana. I love how you engage your readers and how your exuberant spirit pours out of your words. Very Artsy.

        The book again ๐Ÿ˜€ I seem to get a lot of that book writing push of late, and yet I’m not quite sure I know what to write about.
        Help?

  6. Glad you posted that. A lot of us blog on a daily basis and will never achieve what you have, but do it out of the love of creating and writing. I used to blog each and every day but recently gave it up when I could only amass 300 followers in five years of writing humor. So now I only post when I am inspired to write…..and to comfort myself by writing. To me, now, it’s not about the number of followers any longer, but the pleasure of just writing.

  7. Lovely post. A very honest post too. I love reading your blog, D. I read it for your writing. Your poetry and regular blog posts-kinda-articles. You are so right. For many, many bloggers here, blogging isn’t a competition. It’s about sharing our stories, hone our craft, but above all have fun and enjoy what we do here. We’re all our own individual bloggers, bloggers who blog for different reasons and about different topics.

    To be frank with you, I stopped following my reader count after I reached 300 followers – I noticed a lot of my “followers” were blogs trying to sell things, or blogs that no longer exist. However, I DO like regular readers and it’s great to have a regular audience. I learn a lot from them when they comment on my posts, and when I check out their blogs – and because of this I feel I’ve become a much stronger writer over the last year. Thanks, D, for supporting my blog. And thank you for the hard work you put in in your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hey, thanks for the clear, wonderful feedback. If only we can do something about them robot “followers”, right? Noone wants ’em. I’ve been glad to see you able to moderate great interaction on your blog (which, by the way, is the truer index of a blog that is alive than the subscriber no.) You obviously have an attentive audience. I think my fav part of your comment is how much you’ve learned from your supporters and how your craft has improved for the interaction. One of your gifts is your observation skills. They help you pause and learn and learn a whole lot, and you are richer for it.

      I realized I don’t need therapy. lol I have you guys. Pick a topic, any topic. Guilt, suffering, shame, forgiveness, relationships…I just open up those comments and find a treasure of wisdom to get me through the day.

      Glad to be walking together,
      D.

      • I’ve always admired how you write so diversely on your blog. Like how you can write about being a parent, and next you write some marvelous poetry. Then there are your posts on writing and being a blogger that make us look at ourselves and what we all do here individually. And your readers love it. Your writing certainly sings.

        Thanks D, for the nice words. I’ve always wondered how you respond to comments so quick. It’s something I have yet to learn. Yes, glad to have met you here on this blogging journey. You know it.

      • “You know it.” LOL

        So very sweet, Mabel. I am just so glad for the feedback on the blogging posts because yes, that is exactly my aim. Not to talk about MY work so much as to encourage thought over yours.

        As to sustaining the dialogue and not tarrying, here I am so very, very tired. Blogging is indeed work! “Your writing certainly sings.” I carry this treasure of a gift with me into this new Monday.

        Grateful,
        Diana

  8. I’ve always thought your writing was top notch, but what struck me was your passion to engage readers. I remember when I was blogging at Tamina’s Turn, you came over to my blog, and asked my opinion on one of your posts. It was about art (no surprise, right ๐Ÿ™‚ ) You’re the shining extrovert at the party, pulling people in for great conversation. So it’s this ability to engage, or get this party started right– that caught my eye and my interest. Clearly, it’s effective as it shows in your numbers. Congratulations. Your hard work is paying off!

    • I remember. “Calling All Artists…” I may be the extrovert at this party but I’m so not IRL! I told a reader a few months ago I don’t draw crowds in person so I dunno what the hec happened here. Thanks for the kind word and support, EL. You’ve watched this blog grow and evolve from its earliest days.

      Love,
      Diana

  9. Very thought-provoking post! I too love the way you interact with your readers, both in your posts and in your comments. It’s really no wonder that so many people love the space you’ve created here. I’m happy to be one of them!

  10. “… I will never compromise my standards in a chase for numbers.” I believe that’s exactly why your numbers rose so quickly. We bloggers may all be somewhat competitive (God knows I’m a little envious of you right now), but we know quality when we read it. I look forward to every one of your posts.

  11. You have become more relaxed and I I like that very much. Before I was afraid to comment for fear that my wording, etc was not good enough and that my comment/s would be rife with errors.

    Bloggers that have their nose up their a— make me ill and I no longer follow those people. I don’t subscribe to very many folks and I’m not that much in to numbers. I keep tract of views and that is how I gauge if folks find something of worth to view or read.

    • You’re one of the VERY few people out here I believe when they say they’re not into numbers. And I have to say, Yvonne…your earlier fear was more about you than about my propriety ha ha. *tease*

      (You joke around and I jab at you this wk. I think we’re making great progress as friends and with our self. *wink*)

  12. I don’t have enough time available to blog daily so must be selective in who I connect with as it’s important to interact with those who have something to say or who visit a personal blog. You have something worth reading each blog so it is a privilege to be in contact.

  13. How do I love thy blog? ๐Ÿ˜€ Let me count the ways: I like that you write intelligently. You ALWAYS make me think. I like that you write honestly. I like that you will on occasion disable the ‘like’ button or the ‘comment’ section; I sense your seriousness of purpose and your desire for something more from your readers than the simple answer or the quick like. I like your ruminations about motherhood, and how your heart weeps with joy, anticipation, and sometimes fear for your boy. I like your blog even though I often worry about my lack of perfect grammar, most lovable Grammar Nazi. โค I like your thoughts on God, our purpose, our lives.

    Basically, dear Diana, I just like your blog PERIOD. It is a regular stop on my weekly 'blog express' – and I always enjoy pausing for a few minutes at this very nice way station. It revives and encourages the mind of this traveler.

    Well done, my dear. May your follows ever increase.

    • “How do I love thy blog?” LOLOLOL

      Oh man. Where’s the blue ribbon? Where the hec is the blue ribbon I’d asked Hubby to sew for my best readers?! (I’m too busy writing to try and sew.) There you go, another thing to beat myself up about; I still have a long way to go in the organizing. Sorry I can’t find the ribbon but I hope the bear hug will do. Hails from the most ancient of martial arts and confers synergy between writers so that their work will be even stronger for the mutual support.

      This was quite generous of you, Kate, and I am grateful to be able to SEE what you’ve seen of my work – and of me. I know mine is one of many blogs you support and you are ever busy at your creative desk, not to mention the rest of life. I deeply appreciate your valuable time. I disable that like to preempt praise like yours at times but you got me good on this one. I’m adding your input to a special list of comments I’m keeping of special comments that warm me, to share with my boy when he’s older. I hope this post motivated you to keep up your wonderful craft and keep shining.

      Love and respect,
      Diana

  14. Thank you for liking my post! I try not to chase numbers, takes out the fun of it : blogging, music and everything. When I think I have to blog, I don’t. I wait until I feel I really want to.

  15. Good for you, Diana. And I love that you are celebrating, relishing your success and fully owning the fruits of your own labor. 5000 plus and counting is definitely an achievement in addition all that makes your blog such a compelling community. Congrats.

    • This is why I was tempted to turn off the comments. You all are too kind, Diahann. My bigger purpose wasn’t to celebrate my milestones though I certainly and plainly do, but to put out there the progress we all want to make as bloggers and to motivate. You rock.
      Thanks always for the encouragement.

      Diana

  16. Diana… Staying true to yourself is definitely the best way to go. And it is nice that success in then numbers department has accompanied your commitment to the art of blogging. One of the many things that has impressed me about your blog is that you take the time to respond to all the comments. That’s engaging readers and it is called relationship!

    • Thanks for the encouragement and faithful support, my dear Debbie. I don’t see how we can keep it real, and I don’t get bloggers’ not getting back to anyone who took the time over their words. I remain deeply appreciative of you all and more than want to show it. You all also teach me so much…I’ve said I don’t need therapy!

      Love,
      D.

  17. October 26, 2014 at 6:24 pm Copied to the correct post! Ha You can erase the other if you chose!
    Diana this is so PERR FECT after my computer semi crashed and you were the first comment I had on my blog. YOU are the friend that everyone wants. Why she says? You will say it like it is!! I think the fact that we have had experiences that have humbled us SO much it throws us into VERY high integrity and faith. I had no idea my comment about ego even had an impact, yet we are of the same mold.
    Your journey as a writer ( now writing blogger), a friend to bloggers, a mother, a wife, a teacher, a mentor, and now your own paparazzi (ha ha), is simply contagious and inspiring!!! We share a common ground of juggle it โ€œALLโ€ and โ€œYESโ€ it is possible!
    The whole idea that โ€œourโ€ children are way smarter than us, has been a cause for me to reconsider that I could ever even have an โ€œEGOโ€. As my engineer daughter reminds me of her humble ways and how being acknowledged for her accomplishments most often comes at a surprise to her.
    (as an example at graduation from her Chancellor)
    The fact that my near death experience was a gift I wanted to share, (even though happening at 4 years old), I began blogging in April of this year ( March 30th was my first day), into what I believe are God words. Unfolding into some unknown spiritually expansive world . Where there is no โ€œdefinitionโ€ for religion, yet a non denominational presence where โ€œLOVEโ€ becomes the vibration.
    In the past, where I no longer preside, I would have had doubts in writing in this automatic manner, where the words just come. I am the opposite of punctual or grammatically correct, yet you are FREE to edit anything I write. HA HA!
    I have grown as a person spiritually, emotionally, mentally and even physically since I started my blog in April. Time to update my โ€œabout pageโ€ as you so graciously linked my page, and just knowing its all a โ€œGod Thingโ€

    THE BOTTOM LINE IS I JUST LOVE YOU! and I UNDERSTAND YOU MY FRIEND!

    Heart to Heart Robyn

    Reply
    Holistic Wayfarer says:

      • It’s a wonderful thing when we find our groove and what works for us in our blogs and our communities. It’s nice to have the freedom to change with the ebb and flow as life calls us in all its different ways. Hope you have a great week and see you soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Congratulations Diana and I hope you rise to 6,000 sooner than you hope.
    Reading and participating in your blogging journey taught me the value of collaboration. After writing a post with you and Nida, I was impressed to do same on my blog. Till date, I think I’ve done 3 blog post collaborations and I enjoyed the process as well as the finished work. Thank you for showing me it’s doable, and how it’s done.

    I enjoy reading your posts and the thoughtful comments. If only I could be here more often.

    Oh, btw, I made some blogging friends courtesy the joint posts and series you did- Nida, Curt, Diahann, Jean, just to name a few! You connect us with more than your words.

    • Thx for taking the time, Timi. I know you have quite a lot on your own plate – and that you loaded it yourself. LOL There you go, leader for ya! I really appreciate the concrete feedback on some of the things you’ve taken away, though I did see them played out on your blog. =) It pleases me to hear actual names of your new friends, our mutual buddies. I am more than happy to build bridges. We enrich one another’s work and speak into one another’s stories. We can be stronger together than alone.

      Love always,
      Diana

      PS: No, I don’t see myself hitting the next milestone so quickly. Am writing tired enough at the moment, knee-deep in prep for the next series so I’m good with the timing this blog takes! =) Thx for the cheerleading.

  19. Your hard work has certainly paid off here, Diana, not just in building an excellent blog but in other ways that you probably seldom see and experience directly for yourself. Most of us in Bloglandia know very well even as we’re getting involved in it that there are an infinitesimal few who gain anything material from blogging, but we also learn pretty quickly that there are payoffs in community-building that far surpass anything that can be bought. We meet great people who bring their own wisdom and experience to everything that happens, and they’re a mighty generous crew with kindness, support and information.

    What I rarely consider, and I’ll bet you don’t necessarily think of it so often either, is what the extended network gains from crossing paths at your blog. I know from my guest gig here that I’ve reconnected with some people whose comments had previously stirred my interest elsewhere and led me to correspond or follow them home to their blogs, and beyond that, I’ve met a number of your readers and correspondents whose work I had never known before. I forget so quickly that I didn’t know of this or that person’s existence before I first read their comments to you on AHJ, or before they commented on my guest post here and engaged me in conversation. I know that you’ve spurred my thoughts toward putting together one topic or another for a post, and it’s entirely possible that large swaths of my own later posts grew out of those *other* connexions made here.

    The people we meet along the way enrich us, and then they continue their journeys, crossing paths with yet others. What a lovely subset of the global community. Thank you for your pivotal part in it.

    xoxo,
    Kath

    • You leave me without words, I think, Kathryn. Goodness, what does one say to such loving honor but profound thanks — and thanks? I’m glad one thing asserts itself at the moment, for me to point out something that may have escaped yOur notice: how much, just how much you all teach mE. I have said a number of times the last few days that I don’t need therapy. =) I just return to your amazing words of wisdom, light, and perspective on the comments board, a room much bigger than my dreams had seen. It is breathtaking what we each and all can do, one for another. The smallest impact to the biggest.

      Love and respect,
      D.

  20. Diana I congratulate you. It is not an easy thing to keep people entertained. People from all over the globe and from all walks of life. But you have a gift, connecting us all with your words and unique thoughts. Kath.

  21. I don’t understand anyone who states they write a blog but doesn’t care if they get read. I have a blog about mental health issues and living with mental health problems. And you better believe I care if I get read. I currently have 300+ followers. Yes, that is a source of pride. Yes, it makes me feels good to know I’m being read and taken seriously, even if those numbers aren’t very high yet. It makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile with a blog and I refuse to be ashamed of seeking readers and followers.

  22. Well, it appears we’ve veered into completely opposite trajectories as far a blogging goes. Among other things, I’ve thought about that comment you left on my blog about the distinction between writing and blogging, and I’ve made the decision to end my blogging journey. Beginning on March 1st, 2015, jmchristensen.wordpress.com will be no more.

    Of course, I can still read and comment on other blogs, and I might very well continue to stop in every now and then (I mean that, your writing is too damn good to completely ignore). But in the end, I’ve learned that I cannot make definitive promises.

    Thanks for the support, Diana
    Jack

    • Jack, it was an honor to meet you and learn your story. I have indeed sensed the sincerity in your reading and thank you for taking the time to engage. I respect how you’ve defined boundaries for yourself. Feel free to keep me posted on your studies and writing outside the blog.

      And I admit, I love the “too damn good.”

      *Squeeze hand*
      Diana

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