Someone once said “All the world’s a stage”. I know who said it. It’s going to be a salient point later in this post, stick around. When he said that the world was a big place and everyone had limited means of talking to each other. Also he was something of a writer who liked people to perform his stuff on stage. So anywhere in the world would be fine thank you. Now we have a very different world where anything we say or do can be seen by anyone in the world with a computer and the inclination to search for it or find it by accident. They can click on you, and if you have a public thing that you like to show off they can see it. Brilliant.
I have a blog which is slightly stating the obvious as you are currently reading it. It appears everyone else has a blog as well. There are literally millions of people pouring out their heart, their knowledge, their interest or creativity into their own personal web space every minute of every day. Not all at the same time of course, but you know what I mean. These bloggers may be travel fans, scientists, musicians, mathematicians, terrorists, evangelists, wordsmiths or artists. All the others are mothers taking time out from their busy lives bringing up their children and documenting every detail. Whichever of these you are, you want people to read your blog. Otherwise you might as well just write it on a word document and read it to yourself. No, you want people to read it. So you go onto Twitter or Facebook, you post a link to your blog and ask people to please read your work. You check the stats and, put simply, are either pleased or disappointed.
The thing is though, and this is for those who are disappointed, that if few or no-one reads your stuff. Why should they? You are asking people you don’t know to take time out of their own interests to indulge you in yours. Why would they? Stop for a moment and think. Look at Hemingway for example. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. I’m pretty sure I’ve read everything he has written, but the majority of the world’s population haven’t. Why would they read your blog instead? I have a book called ‘Speeches that changed the world”. The greatest oratory the world has ever known. Most people are unfamiliar with the words in any of the speeches in that book.
The world’s greatest writers alive today are writing books that you read once then put on a shelf. Or you don’t read at all because their work is not to your taste. Have you read Catcher in the Rye, Catch-22, To kill a mocking bird? 1984? The old man and the sea? Chances are you were made to read them at school. Would you have read them if you weren’t made to read them? I have a good mate who has an incredible blog full of vital information about the goings on at the highest levels and often has the inside track on things that affect all of us. Most likely the only people reading this that have heard of it are people who also follow him as well as me. His posts get read about 100,000 times. He nearly chucked it all in when he was getting going as he thought what is the point if no-one is reading what he works so hard at. Luckily now they are and that’s great, but his work is important. Chances are yours is just your hobby, interest, side-line or spare time.
Relax. Enjoy writing or creating your blog, writing things is cathartic. It’s good to express yourself. Some people will stumble across it and may even read your post to the end. Most will speed read the first few lines and go somewhere else. Just do the blog because you enjoy doing the blog, don’t get all hung up if no-one reads it as there is no reason why they should. If they do read it, good.
I know how many page reads I have because my stats tell me. I have no idea how many actual people read anything I write or how long they spend reading it. I know my stuff is quite good because in my spare time I get paid to write things down for people, so I must be doing something right. I also know of at least two people who think my blog is one of the best they have read. Luckily for me we share a point of view on things or it might have been the worst they had read. I’m going to reveal some things that will either reassure or depress you about your blog if you have one and also a couple of things that might amuse you. Then I will ask you for a tiny favour at the end. First the amusement.
I can see what people put into Google or another search engine before they arrive at my blog. I can see what they were searching for. Some science delivers them to my place. Here are some things people have put into a search engine.
Beer window; Europe according to Belgians; might and power eye horse; fair lovely future tube girls; biggest big toe in the world; phlegm gay, famous depressing art; take me away I wear my heart on my sleeve; hairy barefeet children; picture of a funny man in a Mexican hat with a wooden leg; My favourite though is ‘I am not a toilet I am an alien’
So there you go. Some weird people in the world, but I guess we knew that already. I hope they enjoy my work. So the reveal. How many people read my efforts to amuse or inform the world?
I have just 29 other blog followers and 18 people who have asked for an email when I write something new. When I post something on Facebook, of my 147 friends and family, about 4 or 5 will click on my link. On twitter possibly 9 or 10 of my 335 followers will pop across from my tweet promoting each post. The most read page on my blog has been read 1583 times, or at least visited, the next most read page is 584 visits. The average readership of each of my posts is less than 100. Not many really, in the big scheme of things. But why should they read it? It’s just me, having a rant about something or summarising an issue I know about. Thinking out loud as it were.
Nearly done. Who said “All the world’s a stage?” Shakespeare did. Most people haven’t read his work either. The majority who have read it were made to, so relax and just enjoy yourself.
The tiny favour, make some little comment, just so I know you got to this bit. Good or bad, feedback always helps.
Finally I’d like to thank my two biggest fans. I’d do this just for you two even if you were the only ones reading it. Maybe sometimes you are and that’s ok.