Since beginning blogging, I've taken an interest in this whole new world of the blogosphere that didn't exist for me before. It's such a new world, and feels so strange to know that this hidden world had been going on and I knew only snippets about it. There has been a lot to learn; technically, aesthetically, new jargon, time budgeting, blogiquette, so much.
From what I've read about blogs, a main division arises when the talk goes to people's reasons for blogging. From there, it seems to become an issue of purpose. There is the side of those who blog for love of the written word, and there is the side of those who blog with an interest in numbers, counts, audience, exposure. Some with earnest hopes of making money.
At last count, there were 15 million active blogs worldwide. This number still does nothing to deter the daily addition of new blogs entering this realm of blogging. With this number, it is estimated that there are 10 faithful readers for every active blog. Faithful being defined as readers returning daily to your blog. Surveys have estimated that obtaining this level of LOYAL readership may take at least 9 months to develop.
On the opposite end of this incredible 15 million number of worldwide blogs, there is the fact that if a blogger is going to quit blogging, it'll occur at the 3 month mark.
At 3 months, those that quit blogging and close up shop, have decided that having a blog is beginning to feel like a chore, that there is no longer a passion to have their voice out there, and it has begun to make them feel trapped--even dreading post time. I'm at the 2 month mark, and I still look forward to posting time.
The genesis of a blog can come in 2 forms: those that began blogging first, and then those that began to blog after following, and being loyal, to a specific blog. What seems to have caught the ones who began to blog first- by surprise- is that they then became blog readers. Many are simply astounded by the amount of time that they now spend reading other blogs, when they initially set out to be the author of a blog, only, and not a reader.
What I've learned about blogging on my own, are the reasons that I have become one of someone's "faithful ten."
The Faithful Ten that return on a daily basis to a blog.
I know my reason for returning to a blog, and that is quality of content. If I see that the author has written something that I feel they have sincerely developed and thought of, then I return. I return because I feel that they have a respect for the reader. Whether it is one paragraph long or an entire page with text, it can be humorous, poignant, or a sweet memory, even just a carefully chosen picture. But if I can feel that it's been put out there with me in mind, and for me, because they know I'll be back for the next post, then I return.
I return, with no expectation of a comment back, or a visit back. Their words and the experience there enrich me, and that is enough for me to be a "Loyal Ten" at their place.
I began blogging as a way to see my printed words in front of me. Something I could keep, and go back to. There is also the thrill, for me, of pushing "Publish Post" and seeing my story right there, in front of me. That is something I haven't grown tired of yet.
I began to blog because I have always wanted to write, and notebooks just weren't enough anymore. What has absolutely become the icing on a delicious cake for me, which was a place to write publicly, is the fantastic, interesting, generous, talented people I've met because of blogging. That, that right there, I never saw coming. Talk about sweet. The connections.
With that feeling, of blogging for the pure love of writing, I figure you'd have a guaranteed audience size of one: the one you write for, yourself. Anything beyond that? A gift.
This guest post was originally written last April, after I had been blogging for only 2 months, for Not To Brag, a very, very lovely blogger. I hope you click over and check her out. She was so kind to accept my guest post at her place, when I was such a newbie-it was exciting for me. Thanks, MEP!