When I first started this blog I spent most of my spare time studying SEO. Within a month I was #1 for “best blogs” and “funny blogs” on Google. Then, back in March Google released the Panda update and wiped me off their charts. I think for “funny blogs” I’m currently #44. So, if you found me that way, you need to have better things to do then scroll to page five of Google. Take up knitting or some shit.
Being on top of Google was when I started obsessing about traffic. Even though my blog was only a few months old I was receiving an insane amount of visitors. If I slipped to #2 that day my traffic would go down by a third. Since I had no control over what Google was doing I would feel good if I had a certain amount of traffic – then I would feel awful if I had a day with low numbers.
Once I got booted off Google’s first page, I took to Twitter. Having just surpassed 25k followers, I can tell you that I’m pretty happy with that number. I’d like it to be 250k, but that’s because my ego tells me that more equals better. It actually does equal more opportunity, but I’m grateful for the readers I have today. Seriously – if you tweet me, I almost always tweet back. I so dig you guys.
After all the ups and downs I now rarely look at my traffic or Twitter count. Both are far beyond my control. I just have to keep my head down and write. That’s what I do best.
However – even though I preach to “ignore pageviews, SEO, Twitter followers, Facebook likes,” I have a secret shame. Yes, I largely ignore all of the above.
BUT I LIVE AND DIE BY THE NUMBER OF COMMENTS I RECEIVE.
Yesterday, for example, I thought I wrote a great post. Only two people commented. Now, it’s Labor Day. People ain’t reading my blog. They’re too busy bitching about having to spend time in the backyard with in-laws and well-done burgers. Also, maybe that content didn’t resonate as well with my readers (but how could it have not? I wrote it!). Or maybe people are just sick of reading my stuff every day and needed a break.
Who knows? Who cares?
The challenge with blog comments is that you can’t ignore them unless you never visit your own site. They’re right there, front and center. Plus, I like to respond to comments when I can. If there are few (like yesterday), I’m mildly devastated.
I’m going to be speaking at AimingLow’s Non-Con this October and plan to do a few minutes on “ignore number of comments” to bloggers. But I’m a big fraud, because I can’t ignore them.
I haven’t yet been able to view the number and not have an emotional reaction.
Yes, I see that hundreds of people read the post. But only three commented! I’m a failure!
Look, I’m human and insecure. I need approval. I’m a blogger for chrissakes. I’m working on not associating comments with self-esteem. But I’m not there yet.
Many other bloggers struggle with this, too. There’s a joke – “How do you get a blogger to stop writing? Stop commenting.” Okay, it’s not a good joke and I just made it up. But it’s true enough.
So here’s what I’m going to ask you to do – continue to comment/not comment as usual. I need to learn that comments are beyond my control. Like my glue addiction.
Now, if you feel that you need to tell me how sexy insecurity, vulnerability, humor and honesty is – I will absolutely encourage that behavior. I’m the whole package, ladies.