One of the very interesting things about blogging, is that strangers will often find your blog. They “like” it or they start following it and your numbers grow. When I started blogging, I wasn’t all that interested in building up a following; I was interested in chronicling my journey in life.At first, it was scary. I was putting myself out there and being honest. I was sharing my hopes, dreams, fears and failures. But, it gave me a voice and that was empowering. Success in blogging leads to more blogging and some risk-taking (I would call my recent posts relating to religion and atheism taking a risk), at least in my own case. Writing about topics that I’m not sure I am comfortable discussing with strangers, really puts things out there!
After my blogging hiatus, it has been very interesting to see the number of people who are reading my blog. People were reading my blog even when I wasn’t writing – I guess if it is out there someone will read it at some point. But, while I post my blog to my Facebook page, I don’t really expect others will spend much time reading. In fact, I never really expect that anyone will read my blog (except for my mom and dad)! My own kids don’t read it (unless it is over my shoulder) and Chris only reads it occasionally.
But people are reading it. Not a ton of people, but a few. And these people aren’t finding my blog through Facebook, so they are strangers. Some of these people are following my blog, which means that they are interested enough to have it appear for them, rather than them having to track it down. Some of the advice WordPress (my publishing platform) gives new bloggers is to check out other blogs, “like” them and post comments. Comments and “likes” encourage others to check out your blog.
Sure enough, this works in my case. I’m very interested in the people who are reading my blog. Every time I get a “like” or a new follower from the blogging community, I go and check out their blog. Sometimes they are commercial sites, but not always. Sometimes they are people who have a following larger than I could every hope to have and they’ve found my blog and it interests them. That is the amazing part for me – someone who has a TON of readers and doesn’t need to spend time reading blogs in order to increase their readership, is spending time reading my blog. It is validating and humbling at the same time.