As bloggers, it’s understandable that we would be curious about blog traffic. We spend significant time creating content, and it’s natural to wonder if that content is reaching an audience. Typically, the reasons for starting a blog are to share our ideas, thoughts, experiences, and advice; just to name a few. Additionally. no one ever states that the rationale for their blog’s creation was to generate more blog traffic.
However, somewhere along the way, under the avalanche of social media threads and blog posts referring to views and increasing numbers, we can lose some perspective and fall prey to a thought process preoccupied with views, subscribers, and followers. When our views go up, it understandably feels good. However, when they go down, we may feel down as well.
This post explores 7 potential negatives related to the primacy of numbers and how returning to the initial impetus of our blogs can restore joy to blogging.
1. The Disease of More
For most of us, the desire for more never ends. If we receive 30 views to our blog on a given day, most likely we will work hard for the joyous event when we average 50 views. Once that occurs, we will probably feel a modicum of achievement. However, the satisfaction will likely be replaced with desires for 100 views a day. The goal posts always seem to change; the desired destination always a bit out of reach; temporary contentment replaced by the prolonged and constant yearning for more with the overall trajectory of our lives bending toward dissatisfaction. The more we can retain the perspective that launched our blog, the more likely we can avoid the disease of more.
2. Influenced Content
In the blogging world, judgments are often made based on blog traffic; not only by others but by ourselves. On any given day or within any particular month or year, we determine our sense of success or failure based on views, visitors, and subscribers. Judgment is a poison; a heaviness on the soul that can also corrupt our content; resulting in creations influenced by the numbers game. While it’s certainly possible for blog traffic and a blog’s purpose to be aligned, we should also be wary of possible scenarios where we sacrifice part of our truest natures in an attempt for greater numbers; thus, losing a degree of contact with the initial impetus for our blog.
3. Regurgitating Content
In striving for more numbers, perhaps we will research the types of posts that generate traffic. We will probably learn that “Top lists” and “How To” posts do very well. Consequently, we start doing our own. Perhaps we create unique content, but it’s also just as likely that we will start to regurgitate content from other sources. The plan is to repurpose the content with our unique spin. However, the allure of more is a powerful and influential force, and each successive post leans further toward the unoriginal. At some point, our unique voice succumbs to the allure of what is deemed successful; more.
4. Losing Ourselves
In becoming influenced by the power of numbers, value determinations, and judgments, our content transforms into a partial lie disguised as truth under the veil of traffic supremacy. While it may feel like we are creating content that is authentic, it is often an illusion influenced by the primacy of numbers in our blogging lives. Therefore, in returning to the beginning, we return to a part of ourselves that may have gotten lost.
5. Emotional Wellbeing
In addition, our moods are often determined by the number of blog views, visitors, followers, and subscribers with the extremity of our feelings equal to the degree of our lost perspective. The extent we have ventured away from the beginning spark of our blog to the power of numbers often determines how elevated or deflated we feel. In other words, the more we care about numbers, the more our emotional reality will be determined by the results.
6. Hustling for Numbers
There is no doubt that advertising and marketing are part of the blogging process for most bloggers. However, there is a difference between providing links on social media to our content versus hustling for views, followers, and subscribers. I’m not judging; I’m merely suggesting that how we spend our time is where we place our energy. Spending several hours per day scrambling for views can feel exhausting; exerting energy to maintain and perhaps grow our audience just slightly. If our emotions become linked to blog traffic, now we are hustling for our emotional wellbeing.
In deprioritizing the numbers, we have more time to explore healthier aspects of blogging; such as releasing emotions, thoughts, and ideas in the form of new content, or learning the multifaceted elements to website building and design. Again, where we place our thoughts is where we place our energy.
7. The Comparison Game
However, the numbers alone don’t determine our emotional worlds. We often find ourselves comparing our blog traffic with other blogs, as well as to previous weeks, months, and years of our own blog. We have now entered the precarious world of the comparison game, where our moods will be partially dictated by the results. When we exceed the views of our peers, we might feel good. Through our desire for the positive feelings derived from the comparison, we unwittingly wish unwell unto another. In other words, in order to feel good about ourselves, we are hoping, no matter how slightly, for another to have less success.
However, our emotional worlds can be even more complicated. For example, if we reach a goal of 100 views per day, we will understandable feel positive about the accomplishment. Then somebody excitedly posts on social media that their blog has reached 500 views per day. Suddenly, we feel down. The positive vibes we felt just a moment ago are now diminished; proving their fleeting and precarious nature, built on a foundation of sand; where the emotional groundwork laid at the birth of our blog is sturdier and more reliable.
Most of us probably want to create authentic content that reflects our truest selves, while also disconnecting our emotions from the yin and yang of daily traffic results. In part, we can only do this by maintaining perspective about blog traffic. There are no rules to blogging; no guidelines requiring we care about the numbers; that they are more than yesterday, last week, or last month; or more than someone else’s blog. Our blogs can be anything we want them to be. This is only lost in the cascade of messages tempting to convince us otherwise. But we don’t have to partake. It’s up to us.
You be You
Let us eliminate all the clutter that doesn’t matter; judgment and comparisons, while deprioritizing the role of numbers in our blogging lives; they are the shackles preventing us from experiencing the glorious freedom possible through blogging. It might not bring us consistent numbers, but it will render the incredible lightness of being ourselves.
Haven’t you had those moments when you were in a creative flow, not caring what anyone was thinking and assessing; when you weren’t judging or berating yourself; exploring the spark of an idea that you stumbled upon in a workflow free of judgment; unleashing it on the screen without any thoughts to blog traffic; your mind completely coherent and free from assessment?
This is probably how most of us felt when we initially created our blogs and wrote our first several posts. If we find ourselves getting lost in the world of numbers and blog traffic, we can always reconnect with the initial spark that led to the genesis of our blog. We can regain our balance and put blog traffic back into a healthier perspective.
Normally, I would have ended with that last bit. However, I wish to address the irony of this post; where I’m stating the benefits of caring less about blog traffic while writing my first ever top list post; which is often a good way to drive traffic to a blog.
I wonder if constructing the post into this template has made it less or more successful; from the standpoint of numbers, but also in terms of writing coherency. Does it seem aligned with my other content or forced; an attempt to drive more traffic? Perhaps the answer could be all of the above; consistent with my previous work, drive traffic, while also seeming a bit constrained? Have I sacrificed a small part of myself? Has the content been influenced by the allure of numbers?
I’m not sure, but please leave your thoughts in the comment section below.