blogging by numbers

I’m very interested in why people blog, so I’m going to bore you (again) with the reasons I do.

In my first blog post (which I’ve since changed to private), I said…

This is not gonna be a great blog. It’s going to be a totally selfish navel gazing experience, I say navel to be polite, a better metaphor is that I have my head right up my own ass.

My secondary reason for making this blog was to create an info dump. I tend to chew through a lot of reading fast, and then to go back to some of it in more detail. By stashing links and my own commentary here, my primary reason for blogging is facilitated too – connecting, networking. On both counts, I consider my blog a success – and a warm and caring one too. People (you) have been unfailingly generous with help and advice and support, and as time draws on, very real friendships too. I’m not a serious blogger, I don’t give a fuck about the numbers. I care about interaction and connections – their quality, absolutely not their quantity. Also, with my unfailing knack for melodrama, I said…

I’ve lost myself along the way and I’d like to find myself again, even if it’s just to say goodbye.


I spend more time on your blogs than I do on my own. You in this instance refers to a list of blogs in my news feed that I check most days; the people whose absence I notice when you don’t post. It also refers to what I think of as genuine bloggers, people who seem to want to talk, rather than to sell. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with selling, just that I don’t like blogs that are just a combination of raw sales pitch in a transparent, sticky cocoon of slick marketing. You know the type; usually they’re just too fucking nice for a start, they glow like sunbeds with superficial charm. They either don’t bother visiting other blogs at all, or if they do, it’s just more of the same shallow charm offensive. Some of them even include a link to their stuff in their comments, which the rest of us know is just silly. I always visit my commenters by clicking their usernames, I’m sure you do too.

I think that for me it boils down to how much a blogger cares about their image and how carefully that image is crafted. No matter how well it’s done, the desperation of the hard sell is always obvious. It gives the rest of us cavities. I’m confused, by the way, by bloggers who seem desperate for a high follower count, what exactly for?

If you’re serious about being a pro blogger, you’ll have read these already. If not, do yourself (and your readers) a favour and hop to it.

Natasha Tracy on being a professional mental health blogger.

Natasha Tracy’s tips for a popular blog.

Keep it real.

Published by


battlescarred, bright, bewildered, bent, blue & bipolar

25 thoughts on “blogging by numbers”

  1. Maybe someday I’ll be comfortable enough to promote my blog on social networks. Right now, it’s a secret, and I like it that way. While my ego would love my numbers to go up, that’s not where my focus is. It’s not where the focus is for most of the people I follow. Those 500 word pat posts just irk me some days. Really? You never want to get down to it and fucking rant? Huh. Guess we’re not as alike as you might think.

    I can’t begrudge people promoting their blogs. I just don’t want MY blog to be their forum, and I think that’s within reason.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I’m amazed I have any followers to be honest. That’s never been my focus. I started blogging because I needed an outlet for my thoughts. My feelings. I started my blog for selfish reasons really.

    I feel like my focus has kinda changed over the past few months, and that’s mostly due to having met some pretty phenomenal people out here in the blogosphere. I had no idea I would connect with such a wonderful community. I honestly thought my words would just be typed onto the page, posted in the etherworld, and never be read by anyone but myself. And I was absolutely OK with that.

    I’m keen to learn more about bipolar, because even though I have been diagnosed with it, we all experience it in our own ways. I want to be able to support the people I have made a connection with, and develop friendships with people like you and the OLE team, Beeps, and Kim (and a couple of others that I’ve connected with outside of WP).

    Going forward, I have few expectations, but I’m amped to advocate, educate, and more importantly, learn. Daar sy. En noe moet ek gaan lê.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I started out as a mental health blogger more as the result of the fall out from my last manic, now I am a book blogger and occasional essayist. I am never afraid to mention that I am still recovering from a breakdown or that I have a mood disorder, but I am not sure that I would ever want to write directly about my experience as a whole. I can’t help but notice that growing up bipolar has effected my ability to regulate what I share about myself with others in person, so I tend to err on the side of sharing less. On line I often write posts or responses and then delete them… I like the ability to express and then edit. Real life doesn’t grant such a grace period.

    I am much more guarded about sexuality and gender, again, not that I avoid talking about it, but I don’t want to be an LGBT blogger either.

    I have a Facebook account with no friends and no desire to acquire any, but I do promote my posts on Twitter. Generally I tweet once, maybe twice per post. Some of my fellow bloggers seem to run their posts every two hours. When it comes to followers I use the block button regularly. If someone follows me and I check their feed to see what kind of things they tweet and find out that they just followed 797 other fabulous people, I’m sorry, I don’t feel very special. Block! I’m such a radical lit geek that I get excited by the most obscure followers. I like Twitter because I am able to keep personal details to myself (I’m not a Twitter narcissist, but my god some people have no boundaries at all!)

    And I’m sure glad you started your blog and we connected, mad and queer as we are. Heck I’ve even had the pleasure of being in the room when you were composing blog posts and witness the act of creation in person. :)

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I started blogging because I didn’t want to feel so alone in the world. I started because I wanted to be able to connect with people, to feel like my words have meaning and people actually care. Everything I write about in my blog is exactly how I’d tell someone about it in real life. I use my real first name, I didn’t want to be entirely anonymous because I wanted people to know me. I thought that no one was going to care but my numbers keep growing, and that makes me feel good, because all the people that like me I’ll probably like too, which has been true. I’ve never felt part of something, but I do here, even without the subscribers the comments and likes make me feel like I matter in the world. I’d love to be someone that’s admired, who wouldn’t, but for me I’m enjoying the community aspect of it more then anything.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I started my blog because I really wanted to journal and I cannot write fast enough to keep up with all the racing thoughts. Followers was never even a consideration. Then when I got them, and started getting feedback, I started to feel like my blog was a form of group therapy for me/us.

    I love reading your blog Blah. And I would definitely miss you if you were gone.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I blog to save sporkkind from extinction. Seriously, if I stabbed every person who had it coming with a spork, how would anyone eat their fast food mashed potatoes with the spork shortage?

    As for stats and numbers…Blrgg. I am happy just having the same seven or eight regulars who interact with me and seem to do so in a genuine way. Quality over quantity.
    Besides, the sheeple can’t appreciate my humor, only a select few of awesome people can and those are the ones that matter to me ;)

    Liked by 4 people

  7. I guess that’s the point isn’t it. Why do we blog? For me, I started this blog because I had to get it out that the shame from what I did to my husband needed to be invalidated. I needed someone to tell me I’m not a bad person and I wanted to show people that my struggles are valid. That’s the point. I wanted to connect; I wanted support.

    And as many people’s relationships I can save is what my goal is now. The damn stigma surrounding this illness is just obscene. That’s why I want the high views. Followers are great but I’m a numbers kind of person so I want to see the data. If those people skim and walk away fine. At least I got the chance to plant a seed. I want everyone to hear even if some of them don’t listen. The people that do are worth it. And that’s why I use social media. I want more ears to hear me.

    Obviously, I stay here for the community. I’ve learned more from my friends here on WP than I ever did in a therapist’s office. Truth. Tribe life has brought me hope and the will to keep going. I guess right now I’m just discouraged. I’m not sure if people are still listening. But I guess I should just keep talking despite that huh?

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Oh baloney. Let’s get real, folks – it’s all about the digits!

    On another note, my legs have been so noticeably, incredibly soft lately, and I’m totally attributing it to my use of LadyLady Skin Care products. They seriously have changed my whole view on life. I used to suffer from dry skin, so intense that I’d wake up in the middle of the night screaming and scratching. Now with LadyLady Skin Care products, I never have to experience trauma like that again, and I am so grateful!

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  9. I love how you put LOL just after one of the most poignant phrases I have ever read. It is also one of the best reasons I have ever heard of to stay alive. I have to somehow memorise it.
    I much prefer your way/reasons for blogging than the number crunching, and I too have often been curious. Who cares about having more followers? I was grateful for a blogger above you shared one point of view, one reason for it. I started off by just wanting a place to write, with the hidden idea that a) someone might read and understand me better than my physical counterparts and b) as a lot of what I say and share I wish someone had said or shared with me, I hope someone might find similar comfort. But mainly it’s about getting thoughts on “paper” and “out there” (which a paper journal couldn’t do) so it’s out of my head. I found some people whom I really care about, and that is why I need to take a step back, feeling too powerless. I have also found immense comfort from a few of these followers themselves, and that I really didn’t expect. I honestly couldn’t care less about any more numbers!

    “I’ve lost myself along the way and I’d like to find myself again, even if it’s just to say goodbye.”

    I love it, I must keep it in mind always. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You were one of the first bipolar bloggers I found, read, and adored, and I do say super sweet stuff, but it’s because I mean it. Plus in a world filled with assholes, why not be nice. I blog because my brain fills with these overly dramatic thoughts, and once I’ve typed them out, I either laugh at how ridiculous I sound or cry because my words are cutting into my very soul (perfect example of dramatic). If I could blog/write exclusively and never take another set of vital signs on a patient I’d do it in a minute and not apologize for wanting to pursue my dream. But in the meantime I’m perfectly content knowing that when I can barely breathe (drama) I have met people who care enough to put an oxygen mask on me (dramatic). So thanks for everything…and PS: I will continue to be too fucking nice to those I actually like (because believe it or not, there are a few bloggers out there who rub me the wrong way no matter how much I try to avoid conflict).

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Good points. It never occurred to me when I started my blog that there were followers or likes or whatever. I wish I was on a blog site that didn’t do that because it just cheapens it all somehow in a way but that also sounds kinda like too much really. But I didn’t even realize that I should follow people or that I should want high numbers etc. It is in hearing other people upset about their numbers when their numbers are way high that made me feel like oh well then i’m a useless loser. ha. but no. I always go on about helping people..which i am serious about.

    i think people are never happy anyway.

    if the numbers are what matters to you then you will never be happy with your numbers. and thats just kinda that.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. So here is the funny thing, I never thought I blogged about mental health. I began with a blog about my life. It’s just who I am. I get so bottled up with feelings and I need a release. I play enough with numbers in my head related to weight, don’t need it on a blog too. I’ve tried journaling like I used to but it’s just not the same. Guess I need my blogging friends and their wonderful compassion.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like to think that I have sidestepped the saccharine fake nice bloggers by ignoring their blogs whilst letting them feel free to comment on mine as much as they like – after all, they’ve got free speech I just don’t have to listen! Sometimes they’re really insipid and keep coming back for weeks or months but they always go away eventually. With my own blog I started out wanting to write a website that married together all my interests into one big site and if that made me money ethically I’d take it (big emphasis on ethically, I got “headhunted” for a major PR firm this week and I told them where to shove it). Today I started a new blog about fitness (whole new WP account) and the first comment on the first post was one of those “great post. Check out my blog at “I didn’t read your post here’s a url .com” xox”
    I decided to let it through anyway though in case they genuinely did read the post and enjoy it.
    Lots of followers is a false economy in monetized blogging unless one is comfortable selling to one’s friends. I’m not, I always wanted my site to be high traffic from Search Engine Optimization and somewhere along the way I got diagnosed with a mental illness then I met all you awesome bipolar bloggers, but I can’t be everything to everyone so I write whatever I feel like at the time and despite recent criticism and loss of regular readers, I won’t overplay my drama for the sympathy comments or write posts with a specific reader response in mind, because that could very quickly get addictive and the world doesn’t owe me anything. Also a lot of people seem to think followers are actual followers rather than equals which pisses me off, especially people who are too good to follow back on Twitter the minute they get 500 followers. We’re all just people. I keep coming back to blogs I like regardless of whether they like/read/follow mine.
    Sorry it’s another long one but this was a thought-provoking topic that no-one ever talks about.


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