Thursday, September 8, 2011
Encouraging Bloggers ~ A Blog Is A Blog No Matter How Small
Welcome to the Encouraging Bloggers series (read the Intro here)! You're welcome here whether you're a new blogger, an "old" blogger, a thinking-about-starting-one blogger, or a reader of blogs!
I had a different topic in mind today, but felt like I should talk about this one first instead. Let's talk about having a small blog. Let me say that ALL blogs are actually small blogs if you think about it. What??? You can always find a blog that's bigger than your blog. Even the blogs that you think are big look at other blogs and think the same thing. It's all relative. I have a small blog, but to the brand new blogger with 2 followers/subscribers - I seem like I have a big blog.
What we tend to forget is that how big or small our blog is does not determine how important we are as bloggers. Yes, blogs with bigger numbers have more opportunities as far as making an income or offering giveaways or even having a platform to use for a cause. But don't be fooled by the numbers. A big blog might have hundreds or thousands of followers and subscribers, but what really matters is how many of those "numbers" translate into relationships. Relationships and connections are more important than rapidly increasing subscriber/follower numbers. In fact, if you experience blog growth that's too fast in too short a time, you won't be able to establish the relationships needed to build trust with your readers. You may end up feeling overwhelmed or like you missed something along the way. I'm not saying that rapid blog growth is a bad thing! What's important is the way that you handle it.
We work hard on our blogs and a good-sized base of readers helps us feel like what we're doing is worth our time. There is nothing wrong with building and growing your blog! But don't let that be the only thing that defines your blog. What makes a blog a blog is YOU! You are the writer. You are writing for an audience. If your audience is 1 or 1000 - it should not affect the way you write. Your audience wants to hear from you. Your audience likes you! And even if there are members of your audience that do not or cannot clap (comments) - they may still need or want to hear from you. If even 1 person is affected by what you write (causing them to think or smile or cry or take action), then isn't it worth it? Do you really need the numbers? How many people read your blog that aren't even signed up as followers or subscribers? I have several and those are just the ones I know about because they've mentioned it in real life. Comparing your blog numbers with other blog numbers might not be as accurate as you think - your audience is bigger than the numbers show!
Comparing ourselves to other bloggers can be a good thing. We find new blogs to read. We link posts and make new relationships. We get new ideas to improve our blogs. Then we start looking at numbers and start thinking that maybe we're doing something wrong. Comparing your blog numbers with that "big" blog's numbers is like comparing apples and oranges. Your blogs might even be the same age and about the same topic - still apples and oranges! Have you compared snowflakes? Each one is unique just as each blog is unique. Don't worry about the numbers - they just represent your audience. No matter how small your audience is or how slowly the members trickle in, they all deserve your best "performance."
The Lord blessed my blog with slow growth - just what I needed! No temptations to do big things that might cause me to neglect my family. No obsessions with always trying to bring numbers up. No feelings of not being able to step away from the blog when needed. Did I accept that from the beginning? Certainly not! I fell into the numbers game and I have compared myself to other bloggers many a time, wondering why I wasn't growing as fast. And in the beginning my goal was growth to a certain point so I could then decide what I really wanted to do with my blog. Once growth was no longer my goal, I was a bit lost and struggled with what to do with my blog (and still struggle as you may have noticed). Numbers don't mean what they used to for me and now my focus is more on rebuilding relationships and connections. I want my blog to feel small - no matter how big the numbers get (don't worry, they're not gonna get that big - LOL)!
Be encouraged my small-blog friends! Small blog or big blog - both have an audience and both are important! When you have the chance to meet somebody that you feel is a "big" blogger - I want you to hold your head up high, shake that person's hand, and say," It's so nice to meet a fellow blogger!"
Do you feel you have a small blog? Do you find yourself comparing your blog to "bigger" blogs? Are you too concerned with growing your numbers? Non-bloggers, do you pay more attention to the subscriber numbers of a blog or the messages in the posts to determine whether or not you will return? Do you read some blogs that you have not subscribed to (or publicly followed)?
I would love to hear your thoughts and any encouraging words for friends with small blogs! If you know of a post with some good insight on the subject, feel free to share the link in the comments. Please share this post with any bloggers that need a little encouragement and feel free to post the button on your blog. I plan to continue posting this series on Thursdays, Lord willing. If you're on Twitter, share some encouragement for bloggers and use the hashtag #encouragingbloggers !
Have a fabulous day friends!!