I’m Not Sure What This Says about My Blogging Skill, or Lack Thereof

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It’s just my second day back of blogging, and already I’ve become obsessed with my stats, again.

I had done a pretty good job of only looking at my stats about once a day since I stopped blogging on March 31, but today I must have checked them at least 20 times.

There was a nice little bump in the number of views today, which I had expected since it was the first time I posted something in a long time. I thought the four-month pause from blogging would have given my followers enough time off to have forgotten how much blather there really is in my posts, and they would make the mistake of clicking on my new post either to see if things had improved (that’s laughable) or just to confirm that things were as bad as ever.

But perhaps the stat that sticks out the most to me, and concerns me the most, is the growth in the number of followers. Over the past four-plus months during which I did not post a single blog, I picked up 159 followers. To put that in perspective, after my first 50 months of blogging every single day, I had 50 followers.

That seems to suggest that I can pick up more followers by not blogging. It seems like people are essentially sending me a message – if you don’t post anything, we will gladly follow you. But once you start posting again, forget about it…

In other words, I am better rewarded for not publishing than I am for publishing a blog post…

So you may wonder why I am writing this post.

It’s a legitimate question for which I have no answer.

But at least the stats give me something to write about, like the good old days.

Plus, I think I will start a new online certificate program:

“How to Get More Followers by Doing Nothing. Literally, Absolutely Nothing”.

That sounds like the kind of course I would sign up for…

170 thoughts on “I’m Not Sure What This Says about My Blogging Skill, or Lack Thereof

  1. Lmao!!!! I just hit my 25th month and only have 50 followers. I think 17 are my family members. I started to wonder if I was beginning to count my stats as my validation to do what I love. I am trying not to look anymore- but I fail daily lol.

    If it makes you feel better- I am glad your back. It’s nice to make a come back- new material and new perspective.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. checking stats can be quite addictive. and 50 followers after two years was way ahead of me, and like you, most of them were family members.
      and thanks for the welcome back!

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  2. Welcome Back, Jim!!! You were missed. I took about a 3-month hiatus late last year … lost some readers, but most were still here when I returned. I didn’t gain any new ones that I know of during my absence, but I’m betting it’s those who see something they like one time, sign up to follow, then never visit again! I have nearly 5,000 followers, but only about 75-100 regular readers, if that. Some drop in only for Jolly Monday or Good People Wednesday, others read nearly every post. But, y’know … I’m happy with what I have. I wouldn’t wish to have to answer 200-300 comments every day, and with the group of readers I have, it’s a more … intimate group. I think of them as family, not just casual readers. Anyway, welcome back, Jim!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. thanks, Jill! It feels good to be back. And like you, I am sure most of my followers don’t read my blog, it’s just a small group that comes back consistently – which makes it much easier to manage! I look forward to getting back to reading your snarky snippets!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My mentor in my early days of blogging has over 100,000 followers and gets hundreds of comments daily. I simply couldn’t do it! I like the close-knit feel of my readership, and I can manage the level of comments (most days, anyway), so I’m happy where I am! Snarky Snippets are alive and well, so whenever you feel up to it, come on over!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. who was your mentor? that would be incredibly hard to keep up with so many comments! is blogging a full-time job for this person?

        and there is a sweet spot there somewhere between having some nice dialogue with fellow bloggers but not being overwhelmed…

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I keep trying to remember the name of his blog, even went back through some of my super-old posts, but no luck. This was back in 2014-2015. He didn’t care for my politics when my blog changed from being book reviews and an occasional personal observation to being a political blog, so we parted ways. But I will always remember some of his advice, such as ALWAYS answer every comment, and keep the length between 800-1200 words, and use between 11-15 meaningful tags/categories. He actually worked full-time, plus had small children, so I don’t know how on earth he kept up, but he did! Sooner or later his name & the name of his blog will pop back into my memory and I’ll let you know. ‘Twould be interesting to check it out, see if he’s even still blogging.

        Yep, my blog is very important to me, but I do have a family and a home and I like to read, so I don’t want to spend 20 hours a day writing/editing/commenting, etc. As it is, I spend probably 8-10 hours a day on it!

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      4. I think blogging, when done right, is a serious commitment. I have always struggled to keep up with responding to comments and reading other people’s blogs. That’s part of the reason I took the break. And after just four days back, I feel like I am behind already…

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I feel the same. I take my blogging seriously, and I figure if people take the time to read and comment, the least I can do is appreciate and respond to their comments. I also try to research thoroughly and get my facts right, making sure I used reliable sources, double check, and triple check my grammar and spelling, though I still make mistakes! I took that hiatus for about 4 months due to heart/health problems, and I’m still not back 100%, but doing somewhat better, and blogging gives me a purpose, a focus, not to mention interaction with lots of people and lots of different ideas! Funny, but it takes very little to put us behind! Skip a day sometimes and let yourself breathe! You’re in it for the long haul, so don’t burn yourself out.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I was also very surprised when my followers steadily increased while I was not Blogging for 34 days and only once a week after that. But views and visits plunged to about 25% of their former level which was expected. So good to see you active again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just read your retirement blog; I hope you enjoyed your time with Tom Brady. But it looks like he may have kicked you out after 34 days. Looks like you have found a schedule that works for you. I am going to be trying to do the same thing.

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  4. I don’t follow my stats closely enough to know if this is true for sure, but there seem to be times most months when I hardly add any followers and then follow that with quite a few in a short time. It’s too bad there’s not a stat for bots. For those of you keeping track at home, the Ripken count is now up to 2.😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My stats are the same; the number of followers ebbs and flows, as do the number of unfollowers. Thanks for the Ripken update; at some point, I’ll figure out a schedule with my return to blogging…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Welcome back Jim, I’m still trying to catch up with writing blogs and reading them let alone checking my stats. My new followers often turn out not to even have a blog let alone be human…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. To think that all you have shared on your blog suddenly disappears and can garnish no attention in your absence is unrealistic. Even if you never posted again, you have left such great writing behind that it moves with its own momentum. That being said, I am still so happy to have you back. I need a little blather in my life!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Sign me up! My stats have really nose dived this year, and I’ve probably posted more frequently than in previous years. I think there’s a lesson in there somewhere 🀣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it hard to imagine that your stats have dropped. You provide such wonderful content and are such a pleasure to chat with through the comments. Maybe once Boris is gone, the stats will start picking up again…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kind of you to say that, Jim, but it’s true! Last year was an exceptional one, but at the current rate I might match 2020, which was a better year than the previous three so I can’t really complain. Even I couldn’t blame Johnson for my stats, much though I’d like to try 🀣

        Liked by 1 person

  8. it would be a great inspirational ted talk! this could apply to other parts of life such as: will I get a larger salary for not working? great business model aside, I knew I was missing something, and like brad, I needed a bit more blather in my life, my own blather grows tiresome at times.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. and perhaps the reverse as well – maybe the key to losing weight is to eat more. there was a Seinfeld episode where George decided to do the opposite of everything he would have normaly done, and it seemed to work great, for a while. it’s nice to know a fellow blatherskite…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It must be your magic Jim. I’m pretty sure a lot of the rest of us wouldn’t garner such success. I personally don’t have a large following and only publish about once a week. My momentum falls two days after I publish. I prefer to a lazier style of blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I had a similar experience five years ago, when I took most of the year off from blogging. To my surprise, my followers kept increasing by fairly respectable numbers. It was a real head scratcher, because my ego refused to believe that a dearth of posts was what made my writing attractive. And to this day I think the real answer is that people were eagerly anticipating the brilliance of my writing, when I returned from my sabbatical. That’s probably the same case with you.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I feel for you with the draw of checking your stats. It’s actually an area where I’ve improved marginally over the past few months–now I only check 50x per day rather than 100x. I get about 150 new followers a month and I think 85% of them are BS accounts made by WP to keep people like me interested in blogging. With that said, I’d guess the more posts you have, the more times your post is recommended at the bottom of someone else’s post causing more page views and follows. My ‘secret side project’ blog that has sat idle for months gets almost no attention at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. that’s impressive growth – 150 new followers a month!

      and you’ve got a secret side project? does it have anything to do with double secret probation?

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  12. I tend to be more concerned with my Flickr stats, which aren’t all that great either. I think probably the more content you have posted, the more likely you are to pop up in searches. I am doing good to publish one post a week, so I probably don’t get very many hits.

    Anyway, so far I have made 2 sales of photographs based on people finding my website and 1 sale based on people finding me on Flickr. So, the average money per post I am making on WordPress is negative I’m sure because I pay for a domain. I use free Flickr, so I have made literally fractions of a penny posting on there.

    So in summary: stats schmats.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. your summary says it all, but it still doesn’t stop me from checking my stats constantly. and congrats for making some money from your photos – quite impressive!

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      1. One was for a Hindu (or something similar) temple somewhere.

        My theory is that it is hard to get really good landscape photos of central Texas. I know this because I have tried to take such photos for several years now. This is just not the prettiest part of the country.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yeah, that was nice. Who knows how many times my photos may have been used without my knowledge. If it was a source of income for me I guess I’d worry about it and do regular reverse image searches or something.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. It’s so nice to see you back on WordPress! If it makes you feel any better I always get more followers when I don’t post even if it’s just for a few days 😐

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jim, I can tell from this piece of blather, that you are right back in the captain’s seat. When I had to put my own writing/blogging on a two-month hiatus when I was away helping my mom, I honestly sort of forgot about Big Sky Buckeye. Fortunately, the wheels are moving again.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. haha welcome back, Jim! Maybe they followed because of your prior material and they were in the wings, waiting with bated breath that you’d come back, and soon as you did they’d be the first to know!! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Lolol oh wow, totally not what I expected. Maybe I should try ending my run too to see if that’s true. Great to have you back, Jim. And here’s to getting right back on the blogging horse!

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  17. I can totally relate to the preoccupation with stats, followers, etc.! I am feeling the same way in regard to my new blogging gig! Unfortunately, there is a need to be seen and β€œliked”, if only to stay relevant (in the standings)! I am finding that the real purpose I started my blog (which was to have the freedom to share things about myself, my life, my experiences and my thoughts about all of the above) has been giving me greater drive to post. I just need a place to β€œdocument” my feelings and hopefully, I will garner some like-minded followers along the way! Continued success with your journey; I look forward to reading more from you!!! 😊

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  18. You always make good points, Jim, and give pause for thought. I think once your followers see a new post after a long break, then whamo-o. After that, the likes keep coming even when you don’t post.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Welcome back! You may have done nothing, but the content you posted before is nothing to sneeze at. I’m not sure how wordpress recommendations work, but it’s very possible that your old posts get recommended to wordpress users who found them interesting and since you already got a lot posted, they thought it would be a good idea to follow you.

    It was not the lack of content, but rather, the content that you have built.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Welcome back to blogging, its been months since you wrote a blog since March was so far away. Also, congratulations on getting new followers every day. Moreover, being obsessed with stats is not a bad thing if you ask me, I too check my stats every time I wrote blogs but not too often, I do it once a week if I remembered to. Lastly, great blog post Jim

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I decided to follow you and add to your stats πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Im relatively new to the blogging world I only began earlier this year I’m still finding my feet. Im enjoying meeting the authentic people here amongst the chaos. It’s nice to meet you Jim.

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