The problem started about 5 years ago when I discovered a little blog called Mamamia. It was written by a former magazine editor from her living room couch and I found it really interesting, the little snippets that she posted throughout the day.
From there I discovered that there was a whole host of people writing stuff on little websites called blogs and once I started reading them I couldn't stop. I was addicted. I would spend my lunch breaks and my free-time after work reading as many blogs as I could find. I would search them out, clicking from one blog-roll to the next, constantly on the search for my next hit.
|The Babbling Bandit. Just one of my fave blogs|
Some were funny, some were sad, some had awesome spelling and grammar, others not so much. But everyone was writing for themselves and nobody cared if people read or commented, they just wanted to get their thoughts down on the page (screen), record awesome things they found around the internet, practice their writing and use their brain for something other than mothering, or mindless office work.
People didn't care so much about the blogs that others read, or who read theirs, or who the 'big' bloggers were, people just read what they wanted to read and concentrated on tapping away on their keyboards, telling their own stories. Nobody cared if you liked this blog or you didn't like that blog and nobody felt any sense of entitlement that blogging or bloggers owed them something and that people should be tailoring their blogs and their writing to their specific tastes.
|The Illiterate Infant. Another fave|
95% of the worldwide blogosphere is still like this. It's still those ordinary people, tapping away on their keyboards, filling their spaces with the stuff they find interesting. It's only a small minority that seem to have a problem with this and I suppose in the end I shouldn't really worry about that minority.
There are many definitions of what a 'blog' is. The word blog is actually an abbreviation of weblog, and I personally relate most to Bloggers own definition of what a blog is (the bold emphasis is my own)...
A blog is a personal diary. A daily pulpit. A collaborative space. A political soapbox. A breaking-news outlet. A collection of links. Your own private thoughts. Memos to the world.
Your blog is whatever you want it to be. There are millions of them, in all shapes and sizes, and there are no real rules.
In simple terms, a blog is a website, where you write stuff on an ongoing basis. New stuff shows up at the top, so your visitors can read what's new. Then they comment on it or link to it or email you. Or not.
After becoming immersed in the world of blogging I decided to start my own blog. Which I did back in May 2009. You can read my first post here. I saw blogging as a way to practice my writing, to get better at putting my thoughts down in a way that was somewhat coherent. If people read what I wrote and identified with it great! But that wasn't the main aim.
To be perfectly honest with you, I doesn't matter to me if people do or don't like my blog. I write it primarily for me, and now for my daughter as well, to have a bit of a record of our lives that she will be able to easily access. So that she can gain a glimpse in to my mind and the thoughts and feelings I had when she was first born and on my journey of becoming a mother.
|I love Cup of Tea and a Blog|
I also have a journal that I write letters to her in. This is where the most personal stuff is written, stuff that I won't ever publish on here. Not because I don't want to, or because its not fit for sharing with the world or anything like that, but because those words are for her and her alone.
You may wonder why I don't just keep an offline journal if I don't care whether or not people read or like my blog. You may wonder why I bother to participate in link-ups. The answer is this: online its much easier to find previous posts and things I've written about. I also use this space to collect links to things that I have found funny, amusing, entertaining or thought-provoking. Its easier to keep it all together here, searchable with the use of a few key words.
|Kelly's Handmade Tears and Triumphs is a must read|
And I love participating in link-ups because I love to find new blogs. Like the title of this post says, I'm a blog whore. If people want to visit me from a link I've shared on IBOT or FYBF then great! But I participate because its a great way to find new blogs, to read and hear different voices.
I wrote a post the other month that was a little bit ranty. Anyone that knows me in the offline world knows that I love to get my designer Ranty McRanterson pants on from time to time. I enjoy having a rant about stuff, its a great way to blow off a little of the steam that builds in everyday life, where I can say whatever pops in to my mind without having to worry about boring my husband.
That post that I wrote about blog snobs, it was read by quite a few more people than I expected. I really only expected some of the regular IBOT community to have a read, because after all they are the ones that seem to love my ranty pants and I gotta say, I quite like them too! They're comfortable! And elastic-waisted!
|I also love to read about Amy's New Adventures in Dreamworld|
It doesn't bother me what people think of my blog because I understand that its not everyone's cup of tea. People either like it or they don't and that is 100% fine by me. I've been blogging for 4 years now and sometimes lots of people read my blog and other times no-one reads my blog. I've published over 1000 posts and I'd say that probably only half of them have comments. I have no idea about the page views because it just doesn't matter to me. It's not the reason why I post here.
I'm not gonna lie and say it isn't nice when someone takes the time to read and leave me a comment. It's lovely when people do read your words and take the time to respond and let you know they either get it or think you're dead wrong. But if they don't? It's not the end of the world. People obviously had better things to do that day. Like read other blogs or live their lives. Or they just simply didn't like what I wrote. It doesn't diminish what I wrote, or the value of it.
|The Climbing Tree is an ever growing obsession|
There are more important things in life than how many people read or comment on my blog. Unless someone is trying to start a business through their blog, or their blog is for their business, then I think that people need to stop worrying so much about stats and followers and analytics and cliques and all the rest of it, because it doesn't matter.
Write for you. Write to please yourself. Read blogs that make you happy, that you identify with. Life is too short to waste time whinging and worrying about how many people do or don't read your blog and its certainly too short to waste time reading blogs you don't like.
If you write for you, first and foremost, then everything else is just the icing on the cake, and you might be surprised by how good that icing ends up. But don't do it just for the icing. Your writing will suffer if you're doing it just for the icing.
|I love to laugh along with Emily from Have a Laugh on Me|
So tell me, why do you blog? What got you started blogging in the first place? Do you do it to make money, become "well-known"? Do you worry about your stats? Are you in it for the hobby or the community? They say you should "know your niche" and what your blog is "about" if you want to become a successful blogger. But I don't think that's always true. The best bloggers are not always the most popular or most successful. No matter what or why you blog, to me the best bloggers are the ones who write from the heart and stay true to themselves.
P.S. The blogs scattered throughout this post are just a taste of what I think is some of the best writing on the web. There is so much more from where this came from and I have a post brewing to let you know of a few more that I love. I hope none of the bloggers whose headers I've nicked for this post mind. If you do just let me know and I'll remove them.
P.P.S. If you are looking for more readers to your blog please send me an email with a link to it because I would love to check it out. My whoring is not limited to any one type of blog and I'd be seriously happy if you took the time to introduce me to your blog. I promise I'll have a read, and even leave you a comment! Plus, I'm going on maternity leave in a few months and will be spending ridiculous amounts of time with a child attached to my boob, so having plenty of reading material in that time is going to help keep my sanity intact!. kylie(@)kyliepurtell(.)com