As a blogger, you’re convinced of blogging’s value. You have lots of ideas, and you like to write. What could go wrong? You can get consumed by the desire for your blog to be (very) popular. How often do you check your blog’s stats?
One of the biggest mistake entrepreneurs and businesspeople make regarding their blog is to view success in terms of statistics. They think:
- “If 1000 people viewed my blog post, that equals success.”
- “If 100 people downloaded my podcast, I’ve made it.”
- “If I have 50 comments on a post or podcast, the world liked it.”
Of course, when one of their social media posts gets little attention, they are failures. When no one comments on their blogs, they feel ignored.
They will check their blog stats hourly, hoping for a rise in the numbers. Their spirits rise and fall according to the statistics.
Yes, I know people who obsessively follow their stats. I’m not one of them.
That’s Following the Glitter
Like anyone, I have more to learn about social media, but I’ve learned a few things that may be worth more than all the books on how to succeed on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms.
To Check Your Blog’s Stats Wastes Your Time and Energy
If you clocked how much time you spend when you check your blog’s stats for your latest post, you’d realize the time you’ve taken that could be spent writing the next one. Or completing billable time. Or marketing your business to get clients.
If you acknowledge how depressed and discouraged you feel when your statistics are low, you’d recognize that you’ve robbed yourself of the enthusiasm and fire you need to write an article or post.
When you follow the glitter, you don’t get the benefit of the gold.
The most important element of gold is mastery, which means doing something repeatedly until you’re good at it. It means accepting that your first blog posts, podcasts, and articles may not be very good. They may even be less than not very good.
We’re familiar with the statement that if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Consider this: If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.
It’s worth doing badly because that’s how we learn, from our mistakes. We learn from the blog posts that are awkwardly written and wander all over the place. We learn how to do a better job of writing them.
Practice may not make perfect, but it makes improvement. It makes for increased confidence. It builds commitment.
Here’s More Gold
What you want from your engagement with social media is quality, not quantity. The comments that say, “Nice article” or “Great job” have much less meaning than those that thoughtfully consider what you’ve written and in which the author offers some of her own ideas on the subject. You’ll get more attention when you offer these comments on LinkedIn, for example, and you want others to make these kinds of comments on your LinkedIn posts.
That commenter will remember you. She is more likely to follow you. If your interests intersect, she may reach out to you about a project she thinks you might find interesting, or you may decide to make direct contact.
She’s not a fan. She’s a potential colleague.
Social media makes the most sense as a business strategy when you focus on making meaningful contacts. The more you practice your writing, the more carefully you read and respond to thoughtful comments, the closer you bring yourself to forming a network of associates and meaningful relationships.
A blogger since 2009, Pat Iyer has written thousands of blogs. She could not tell you which are her best performing blogs. Too many numbers.