Monday, April 19, 2010

Guaranteed: Ten Faithful Readers

Hi readers, MEP here. I'll be back to blogging regularly one of these days. Things are going well in our new family of five, but I'm still not ready to be crafting witty, thoughtful, or well-written posts. Keep checking NTB though because I have a great line-up of guest posters to pick up my slack.

Today's guest poster is The Empress, a blogger whose honesty and sense of humor are always refreshing. She's a busy mother of and homeschooler to three boys. The Empress blogs at Good Day, Regular People and has one of the best blog tag lines out there: "Because You Can't Use Your Friends As Therapists Forever." Uh oh. You can't?! I love the guest post for today and hope it inspires some good discussion in the comments about why people blog and/or read blogs.

Without further ado . . . The Empress speaks:

Since beginning blogging just shy of 2 months ago, I've taken an interest in this whole new world of the blogosphere. There has been a lot to learn; techically, aesthetically, new jargon, time budgeting, blogiquette.

From what I've read about blogs, a main division begins to become evident when the talk goes to people's reasons for blogging. From there, it seems to become an issue of purpose. There is the side of those who blog for love of the written word, and then the reported ones who blog with an interest in numbers, counts, audience, exposure.

At last count, there were 15 million active blogs worldwide. This number still does nothing to deter the daily addition of new blogs entering this realm. With this number, it is estimated that there are 10 faithful readers for every active blog, faithful being defined as returning daily to your blog. Surveys have estimated that obtaining this level of loyal readership may take at least 9 months to develop.

On the other hand of this incredible 15 million number, is the fact that if a blogger is going to quit blogging, it'll occur at the 3 month mark. 3 months. At 3 months, those that quit have decided that it feels like a chore, there no longer is a passion to have their voice out there, and it has begun to make them feel trapped.

The genesis of a blog can come in 2 forms: those that began blogging first, and then those that began to blog after following, and being loyal, to a specific blog. What seems to have caught the ones who began to blog first by surprise, is that they then became blog readers. Many are simply astounded by the amount of time that they now spend reading other blogs, when they initially set out to be the author, not so much the reader.

What I've learned about blogging on my own, are the reasons that I have become one of someone's "faithful ten." I know my reason for returning to a blog, and that is quality of content. If I see that the author has written something that I feel they have sincerely developed and thought of, then I return, because I feel that they have a respect for the reader. Whether it is one paragraph long, or fills their entire page with text, it can be humorous, poignant, or a memory, or just a picture. But I can feel if it's been put out there with me, for me, because they know I'll be back for the next post.

I began blogging as a way to see my printed words in front of me. Something I could keep, and go back to. And there is the thrill of pushing "Publish Post" and seeing your story right there. That is something I haven't grown tired of yet. I began to blog because I wanted to write, and notebooks just weren't cutting it anymore. What has absolutely become the icing on a delicious cake for me is the fantastic, interesting, talented people I've met because of blogging. That, that right there, I never saw coming. Talk about sweet.

With that feeling, of blogging for the pure love of writing, I figure you'd have a guaranteed audience size of one: the one you write for, yourself.

I hope you enjoyed today's post. Please leave a comment and let me and The Empress know why you blog and/or why you read blogs. Then, visit Good Day, Regular People and check out other great posts about little red shovels and marine squirrels.

And, if you're one of my ten faithful readers, THANK YOU!

25 comments:

Stacia said...

The blogworld time suck is amazing, isn't it? It's just another trying-to-find-balance challenge of motherhood. But for 10 faithful readers and 10 other blogs I can laugh, cry, and commiserate with, I'll take it! =>

CaraBee said...

At two and a half years now, I guess I've officially made it past the quitter's hump. I do find myself waxing and waning though in my interest and commitment. It is an amazing community. Without it, I never would have met the fabulous Ms. Mep!

LAP said...

Initially I began reading blogs for entertainment. I started with my sister MEP's blog whose honest and witty delivery continue to humor me. In reading not only hers but other blogs as well, I continue to be impressed with the gift some writers have for taking one insight, observation, or experience and describing it so effectively that they can connect with the reader in a simple blog post.

My occasional posts on NTB are a challenge to myself. My SAT scores would imply that my math and english skills are exactly even, but as an accountant you can imagine which side of my brain gets more nurturing. So, once in a while, I like to see what I can churn out...

dusty earth mother said...

I feel so blessed! I am one of your faithful readers, Empress, and Mep's too. Huzzah to both of you (but Mep, slightly more because she just popped a baby--I know you understand, Empress)

Anonymous said...

This is a great introduction to new blogs for me to read. I enjoyed your post and and your blog. m

mep said...

I never get tired of pressing "Publish Post" and having my words out in the world. Would I love it if hundreds of people read my words every day? I guess so, but a faithful ten is good enough as well.

When I started blogging, I only read a few blogs and rarely left comments. Once I started my own, I realized how much comments are treasured. And, of course, once you start exchanging comments, friendships are born. To quote you, dear Empress, "Talk about sweet."

The Empress said...

Thanks for the chance to be over here, MEP. You are one of the perks of starting a blog. I never would've met you otherwise....that is so cool.

My name is PJ. said...

How doth ye fare, fair Empress? Looks to me like you doth fare well, wherever you land!

Nice job here. I find that '3 month' period of time for quitting pretty interesting because about once every 3 months, I'll have a day where I think (as Stacey so aptly put it), "The blog world time suck is amazing. I should give it up."

Merri Ann said...

I'm relatively new to the blog world but I'm over the 3 month hump. Only now my world is being rearranged by my husbands job relocation and blogging is feeling a little like a chore ... I don't want to lose my readers but I'm being challenged to find something interesting to write about other than the move ... that and the fact that my husband has decided to tell family and friends about my blog (as a way for them to stay up to date on our move) and I'm feeling like I need to watch all my words now.

Great post !!!

Robin said...

Wow ..nicely said and very true...and you have more than 10 happy readers...!!Good Job Empress..!

Miss Welcome said...

I think I'm slow to follow because I'd rather have a few that I really read than lots that I barely glance at. But then people often follow you because you followed them first. And it is so scary how easily you can just get sucked into it all. My kids are not going to know how to have a proper family time if I don't figure out blog moderation. Blogeration.

E... said...

I started my blog as a way to keep some of the moments of new motherhood recorded somewhere, but have grown to love the community aspect of reading and commenting between other blogs. My primary goals are still to stay in contact with a few good friends, to keep writing (because I'm happier when I do), and to give my children the gift of memories from their childhood. I have always promised myself I wouldn't let blogging become one more thing I "should" do -- enough guilt everywhere else, but I do admit I feel some nagging in my mind if I stay away too long.

onlyoublog said...

Great post and well done, Empress (and I'm happy to find another blog to check out!) I am relatively new to blogging and you've answered so many of the questions I had swirling around in my head. I began blogging because I had always wanted to write, but it's a bit frustrating to have to wait for an Editor out there to give you his/her stamp of approval. I thought a blog would be a good way to keep my momentum going and improve my writing. I didn't realize that simply visiting blogs and commenting would lead me to new friendships, an increased audience at my own blog which in turn gave me more momentum to write. I agree that the only downside is the time suck, but even when I was writing for publication or for myself (and not for my blog), I had the same sense of spaciness and preoccupation, so I think it's just being a writer and is not entirely unique to being a blogger.

onlyoublog said...

Great post and well done, Empress (and I'm happy to find another blog to check out!) I am relatively new to blogging and you've answered so many of the questions I had swirling around in my head. I began blogging because I had always wanted to write, but it's a bit frustrating to have to wait for an Editor out there to give you his/her stamp of approval. I thought a blog would be a good way to keep my momentum going and improve my writing. I didn't realize that simply visiting blogs and commenting would lead me to new friendships, an increased audience at my own blog which in turn gave me more momentum to write. I agree that the only downside is the time suck, but even when I was writing for publication or for myself (and not for my blog), I had the same sense of spaciness and preoccupation, so I think it's just being a writer and is not entirely unique to being a blogger.

Aging Mommy said...

We started blogging around the same time, two months ago and for similar reasons - yes, I was in need of therapy too :-) and I wanted to do something for me, that was not all about being a Mom, even though I blog about my life as a Mom my blog is for me. I am so glad I started blogging as it has introduced me to so many nice Moms, such as you Empress, whose blogs like you I return to again and again because I love reading what they write. The challenge of setting up a blog, writing posts and figuring out this world of blogging has given my brain a much needed workout too and I feel good about my achievements and happier about life in general. Great post as always

TesoriTrovati said...

I am a faithful follower of the Empress. We found each other magically and stay connected because as she said, there is a thoughtfulness and a wonder that is evident in her writing. I appreciate my followers as well and work to cultivate a community where we can share and challenge each other. I want to have a broad reach, not just limited to my peers but wider. And I am accomplishing that. Thanks for sharing The Empress with your readers today. Enjoy the day! Erin

Little Girl Big Glasses said...

Thank you, Empress! I also love clicking "publish post."

Suburban Correspondent said...

I, too, never anticipated the fun of interacting with and getting to know the people who read my blog. That's the best part of blogging! An audience of one would not be worth it.

parenting ad absurdum said...

Great topic. I do love the instant gratification of instant publication - and I love the motivation to write - and I love the community. Lucky me, through the newspaper I blog for, I have no access to stats or subscribers - so I have nothing to obsess, which is good for my normally obsessive nature...

Bossy Betty said...

Great post. You say things so well. I love supporting bloggers who I feel put out quality work and you do that. honey!

Arizona Mamma said...

I am continuosly floored by your writing style. You are so right on! I never in my wildest dreams I would take to reading so many blogs...what's more, I never imagined I would "meet" people to whom I feel so connected.

I sincerely hope that my blog is in the category you described. Not every post is inspiring...but I do try my best to be interesting at the very least.

The Empress said...

Thank you to everyone who came over to MEP's to visit!

I think you're all fabulous!!!

You made it so much fun, and I sincerely thank you. This is the unexpected sweetness that has come into my life from blogging. To think if it weren't for blogging, I wouldn't know a single person up above, and now you're all so important to me. Very very cool.

And, MEP, you were the most gracious hostess. Thank you!

cake said...

i never read blogs until i started blogging, and even now, there are only a handful that i visit regularly. i am amazed, too, at how connected i feel to people i have never met. i'd love to have more readers, but i treasure the few loyal ones i do have, and i guess i am not willing to do the kind of work required to bring in more! the written and visual record of the last 4 years, is also so rewarding!

Megan said...

Oh. So. True.

I can't stop reading them! Reading blogs lifts my spirits. Helps me realize I'm not the only one with my Crazyville problems and above all...ABOVE ALL...they make me laugh my hiney off!

Which I need on a daily basis. Cause I'm a mommy. A SAHM mommy...and I don't get OUT near enough!

Megan

http://reddirtandcrazy.blogspot.com/

Nap Warden said...

I'm one of your ten...I'm a slacker sometimes...but I'm here!

 
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