When I blog, I don't do it so I can read the post myself. I want you to read it, just like you are doing right now. But I don't just want you to read it. I want you to read my post and enjoy it so much that it spurs you to action.
I want you to do one of these things when you read my blog posts (in order of priority of what I prefer you do):
- Be changed in your mindset on the topic I'm writing on, due to my post.
- Blog about my blog post or my blog in general.
- Comment on the post.
- Share the post on your social networks.
- Come back to my blog (either directly, or by following / subscribing).
- Read another post and repeat steps 1-5.
I'm no different than most other writers. Number 1 is my primary motivation; I want to impact people that read my blog. However, 2-5 are my reader metrics, and without readers impact can't happen.. It's difficult to identify how well you're doing at being impactful unless you see people sharing, stats rising, etc. Metrics are the fruits of our labor.
Bloggers need to think of themselves in the perspective of the story of the tortoise and the hare.
Many new bloggers I see get excited by their first post. They may work really hard on it and get some good feedback, but as it turns out, their next post doesn't work out the same way. And because they were already accustomed to the traffic numbers and feedback from the first post, they don't like to see them slide. They quickly tire. They are the hare.
The blogger that's like a tortoise is a grinder. Some posts do well, some don't. But it doesn't stop the tortoise blogger from blogging again when a post doesn't do well. And as it turns out, all of the metrics tend to rise slowly as the tortoise goes on.
So my message is two-fold
To readers, understand the motivations of the writers whose words you read every day. If you share their posts, praise their writing, or comment on their posts, they are encouraged and energized by your actions. So if you like a post, take one (or more) of the steps I list above so the writer whose post you enjoyed will be encouraged to be more like the tortoise and less like the hare.
And to writers, don't be discouraged if every post is not getting comments or delivering traffic. Those things come with time and as you refine your craft. I'm excited to see so many people blogging, or even putting on blogging challenges like my friends at WooThemes are doing. My encouragement to you is to stick with it. It may take a while, but eventually you will enjoy the fruits of disciplined labor. The tortoise does win, after all.