Nobody is reading your blog – at least, not as many people as you think should be reading by now. Does that mean you should just give up, or try starting another blog?
That sort of depends. But if you’re here for advice, this is what I will say: there are plenty of reasons why continuing to blog, even if it seems like nobody is watching, is the most valuable choice. Whether you agree with my stance or not, here are my reasons why giving up too soon can actually really hurt you, both as a blogger and as a human being.
1. People stick to consistency
In some cases, if you have a solid strategy in place, you will have some blog followers/readers before you start posting regularly. But in many cases, you won’t. You can’t wait to post until more people “show up.” As we discussed yesterday, many people show up – and stick around – when there is consistent content. Blogs that don’t publish on a consistent schedule do not tend to perform as well. This blog has pretty much tripled in readership since its relaunch last March. That probably would not have happened if I didn’t establish a consistent schedule. People learn to expect content to be there. If it isn’t, they’ll stop checking back. If your content is good, and it’s consistent, your blog will grow. Slowly, maybe – but number of readers doesn’t really matter as much as the fact that there are readers at all, even if only a few.
2.You have a lot to learn
And what better way to learn than to keep writing? Honestly, you learn as you go. You cannot learn to write better content by reading other people’s blogs alone. Writing is a hands-on learning experience. Sometimes I write certain post types as a mini test to see how people react to them. Experimentation, even if it means failure, is how writers learn. You are much better off not worrying so much about who is reading, or how many people are reading, and focusing more on what you are writing. As your audience grows, you will have the opportunity to learn more about their needs. But without an audience, you can’t worry about that. Figure out the kinds of content you want to write, what works, what doesn’t work. You can only do this by writing (consistently – see point #1).
3. Sometimes, growth is internal
The more you write, the more comfortable with writing you become. This ties back into the idea that you can’t figure out the content you enjoy writing about if you don’t experiment. Maybe your blog isn’t growing, in terms of number of readers. Blogging isn’t always about that, and really shouldn’t be. Sometimes blogging is about you – not in a selfish way, but in a personal growth kind of way. Is there something you need to write about? Then write about it. If you are growing internally, well, that’s still important, isn’t it? If keeping a blog helps you keep things balanced, or it’s how you keep in touch with certain people, or it just makes you feel better about yourself – all completely valuable reasons to blog – then isn’t that enough of a reason to keep doing it? As important as an audience is, when you have one, it all does start with you, and why you want to do this. Don’t prevent yourself from growing just because 100 people aren’t along for the journey.
4. You can’t please everyone
If you haven’t read yesterday’s post yet, I recommend you do that now. The thing about having an audience is that not everyone is always going to agree with you, or converse with you, or like or share every single thing you post on your blog. Sometimes it can be difficult to balance what you want to write about with what people “want” you to write about (more on that in an upcoming post). But overall, it’s your blog – if you want to write about something, technically, nobody can stop you. Just because not every single person who reads it thinks it’s awesome doesn’t mean it’s of any less value. And if nobody reads it, it’s not because it’s bad. Blog posts are often hit or miss. It’s often unpredictable whether a post is going to get hits or not, especially in the beginning when you generally have no idea what you’re doing. That’s OK. All you can do is your best – write that post anyway. Write two. Write 12.
5. A blog you are passionate about is a blog that matters
Just because your audience isn’t what you wish it were doesn’t mean your blog is meaningless. Hopefully you started it in the first place because you wanted to write about something you are passionate about. In that case, why should it matter whether people read it or not? If it is important to you, don’t just give up. Everybody has a hard time standing out due to the ridiculous amount of blogs on the internet. The only reason you should ever stop blogging is because you aren’t passionate enough about it to continue, or to overcome the obstacles preventing you from continuing.
Is nobody reading your blog? You’re not alone. But you don’t have to let that disappointment stop you from doing what you want to do. Blogging, for many, is a hobby. It can take someone years to figure out how to make money off of it, if that’s even something they want to do. It’s not always about how many are reading. Focus on the content first. People will show up the longer you work, and the better your content gets.
Don’t give up before you know how many people you might actually be able to reach. This takes time. Years, usually. Patience. You don’t like being patient, but honestly, it’s time to get over that. Growth is slow, especially at first. Keep going.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.