Quality and quantity

Appreciated

One of the secrets to being a successful blogger – which every new and budding blogger is taught repeatedly by the WordPress guys and all the blogging gurus out there – is that success comes through constantly writing posts.

It’s true. The blogging crowd – both those who blog and those who enjoy reading them but don’t write any themselves – are a fickle lot. I guarantee that if I posted every day with a load of tosh and drivel I’d end up with a dozen to two dozen new followers by the endΒ  anyway. Whether or not I’d ever see any sign of those followers again is a different matter, but they would come. I have no idea why.

I also notice that when I get the chance to catch up on the backlog of blog posts for the nearly 100 blogs I follow and go through reading and, where appropriate, commenting that some of these bloggers make appearances on my blog, liking a post or two before fading back into the ether. It’s as if my liking a post suddenly reminds them I exist. Hmph – I’d rather they remember me because they like what I write!

Some blogs I follow list how many thousands of followers they have and how many hundreds of countries they’re read in. Nothing wrong with this at all – and yes, sometimes I see these phenomenal numbers and feeling a pang of jealousy for just a couple of seconds despite having a follower list which is pretty darned good and much better than I ever expected. But I’m also glad I don’t list mine and there are good reasons I don’t which I shall try to explain.

Become friends

Thanks to the internet, this is very easy to do now. No excuses.

I’m often amused to see a blog which boasts something like 3,000 followers but when you look at the number of likes and comments there’s only two or three of each or even less. Every blogger gets a dud post from time to time but these blogs I’m talking about are consistently like this. I wonder what made so many follow them in the first place and why they don’t engage now. I do notice a rather sad correlation between the attractiveness of the (female) blogger and the number of followers with the inverse relationship with the number of those liking and commenting. Of course, sometimes, they can be pretty and followed brilliantly but then I think that’s more to do with the quality of what they write, rather than the ability to attract a lot of sad and lonely men.

Sometimes I look at such blogs and decide not to follow them because of the high numbers. I think: I’m not going to get to know this person. Not really. There’ll be no bond.

Hemingway quote trust1

For me, quality is always much more important than quantity. I deliberately don’t make public how many follow my blog because I don’t want that to matter to anyone – I want those bonds. Everyone who comes gets my personal attention because that’s the way I do things in life too. When you’re with me you are the most important person in the world to me. The rest of the world has gone away. It doesn’t matter how many thousands of friends and followers I have because only you matter.

The result is that I see a core number of bloggers regularly liking and commenting on my blog. These are people I consider genuinely as friends and these are the people I write for. In fact, a good number of my blogging friends have gone on to be real friends either through other platforms or in real life. I’m a true believer that you can find real and genuine friendship with someone you’ve never met. Not advocating the internet as the best way to find a lover mind you! But for friendships, I don’t think you can beat it.

Live for a cause

People do come to my posts for a variety of reasons and from a variety of places so the stats look very different to the likes and comments but I write for those of you who engage with me. I appreciate your support and kindness. I hope, in a sense, that the regular comments and small numbers of likes encourages people similar to me to stay – the ones who like a cosy place to hang out rather than follow the latest guru who has thousands of people clamouring for their attention.

For that reason, I rarely comment on the blogs of those who follow me unless they comment on mine. If you’re a blogger who gets regular comments from me but doesn’t follow me or comment on mine consider yourself special! It means what you write is especially useful or important to me and probably means I admire your writing skills. Otherwise, I reserve my time and effort for those who show that they appreciate having me around as much as I enjoy their company.

I’m like that in life too. I make friends very easily and I’m loyal and caring; but I don’t suffer fools gladly. As soon as you start being shirty with me, irritated or abusive then I just back away and, where necessary, cut you out. I’ll put up with a lot but I ain’t no doormat. I invest my time with those who make it clear they want me to do just that. Those who couldn’t care less can go take a running jump. I have no issue with unfriending someone on Facebook or unfollowing their blog. Life is too short for wasters.

love respect

The quantity of followers doesn’t matter to me thenΒ but the quality does. I know, as a professional writer that quantity should matter and that I should make myself constantly write for my two blogs in order to drive new traffic and prove to publishers that I have an audience – but I really couldn’t care less (and besides I’m too busy actually writing for clients for real to do so).

Instead, when you engage with me here (by liking and commenting) then I will always return the favour. Liking a post alone isn’t enough because sometimes people do that to show they’ve been around but not that they’ve read the post. I never like a post I haven’t read completely but that’s also why I get behind and some of you find one night that I’ve liked and commented on about a dozen posts of yours in one go! I could just fly through them all and press like without reading a word but that, in my mind, would be dishonest. I read them all.

So you won’t ever know how many follow me (other than vague numbers from time to time). For that matter, I don’t really know! On top of the all the bloggers who follow there’s a vast army of non-blogging people who subscribe and some who don’t subscribe, don’t like, don’t comment and yet I know (because I know these people in real life) that they’ve read every word and kept up with every post! It’s very odd to think this happens but I find out so often that I feel like I have my own band of silent stalkers watching my every move – thank heavens they’re all friends!

Instead, you’re assured of a warm and genuine welcome here. You’re welcome to come and go, pass by without any evidence you were ever around. You’re welcome to press the like button and go again because that’s all you have time for or wish to do – your presence and support is appreciated. But if you come here to chat, to discuss, to argue, to engage then you’re doubly appreciated and welcome. Because, for me, blogging isn’t about garnering an audience, about shouting off my thoughts in some vain attempt to make someone hear me (though I do enjoy sharing them), but about engaging with others from all walks of life, from all faiths, from all cultures and viewpoints and giving a safe place where friends feel able to come, be surprised, challenged, moved or even angered – and be able to talk about it openly.

To paraphrase the end of a Kafka story: this blog was intended only for you. You’re welcome here.

Although, having said all that, THIS is also true ;)

Although, having said all that, THIS is also true πŸ˜‰

 

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About D K Powell

British freelance journalist, author, writer, editor, musician, educational consultant. I lived with Wifey, Thing I (daughter) & Thing II (son) in Bangladesh for 5-6 years working for an NGO called LAMB. Wifey led the Hospital Rehab department and I used to teach O levels at the school before going full-time as a freelance writer in 2013. Now we're back in the UK learning how to be British again. When not writing or editing, I'm busy trying to complete a Masters degree in Intercultural relations in Asian Contexts and reading way too many books at once. I also drink tea - lots of it.
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27 Responses to Quality and quantity

  1. Norah says:

    I blog to find a husband!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. usacheri says:

    Ken, I usually read, will hit the like button when I do, but as you know, will seldom comment. I really liked the honesty in this post. I follow a few blogs, but enjoy the truthfulness in yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. doug says:

    ken – i appreciate your quality and am amazed at your quantity. keep up the good work
    doug

    Liked by 1 person

  4. nimi naren says:

    This is such a wonderful post, Ken. You have so beautifully captured and articulated what goes on in a blogger’s mind. Quality over quantity for me any day. I too believe in reading each blog before I press the like button or comment on it. I follow over 300 blogs and plough through them in alphabetic order to cover them every week. I can totally relate to and agree with everything you have said.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. renxkyoko says:

    I don’t look at my stats. The last time I did was months ago, and it was just to confirm something. I don’t blog often, DK Powell, but I try to catch up on reading. oh, goodness, I actually watch a video game the blogger wants her readers to watch, lol.

    And you’re right about some bloggers with thousands and thousands of followers, but I’m the only one on her LIKE feature, and the one and only commenter. Why is that , I wonder.
    Anyways,Cheers, DK Powell !

    Liked by 1 person

    • D K Powell says:

      Thank you! I love your blog posts when you write – you never fail to amuse (and even startle from time to time, as you know!) so I’m glad you loyally visit my playroom here so often. Take care! Ken πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. nickyloolaa says:

    I’m guilty of the read and run I must admit. I love reading your blog when I have a moment to do so (and remember, both at the same time) but I will be honest… this is the first time I’ve actually found the like or comment button. I love writing my blog and I am always so surprised and grateful when you post a link to mine as I don’t think I ever expected people to actually like it… and again, I must confess… I didn’t know how to find out how many followers I had. 5… by the way. Only 2 of whom I know in real life which is the strangest thing to me. To think people like my writing, not just friends that have followed about of some sort of loyalty or solidarity. I’m sorry if I don’t engage with your blog as often as I should, but rest assured, follow it I have, for quite a while now, and I love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D K Powell says:

      Hi Nicky – you’re one of those whose blog I would follow and enjoy even if you never read anything of mine! I think you’re following will increase a great deal as you learn more about tagging and categories and things. Your writing deserves wide recognition – it’s painfully true and very funny!
      As for commenting on mine? I think you have commented many times through Facebook and I still tend to think of you as one of my non-blogging friends as you’re still very new to it. Most of my friends read the blog but don’t necessarily comment – but they tell me what they think to my face!

      Like

  7. There is a whole psychological study waiting to be done on why people follow blogs and then do not bother to revisit them. I think it has something to do with expecting to be followed back. I follow fewer blogs than my total number of followers, but still far too many to read all the posts. I have been know to blog about my stats, but they aren’t the reason I blog.

    As to being missed if I didn’t…

    And the social side of blogging is really important. I have learned about other countries and read blogs by people of a wide range of ages. Many times if a blogger uses a nom de plume I have later found out that my initial assumptions about them were completely wrong.

    Thought provoking post, Ken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • D K Powell says:

      Thanks Sue. Yes I follow much MUCH less blogs than those who follow me but all those who comment or like regularly certainly get followed back because, as you say, that social side of blogging is so important. I’m fortunate that I’ve gained some very real, very true friends from among the bloggers over the years and for that reason alone I would carry on blogging even if no one else followed me!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Amy Reese says:

    Thanks for this post, Ken. I’m nodding my head as I read it. I, like you, believe in quality. I can’t even keep up with people who post everyday. If I did, they would be the only blogs I read! I try to keep up with everyone who comments on my blog. I try to return the favor. Blogging has that reciprocal exchange built in. Like you, I don’t know who follows me anymore. The number of followers you have can be misleading. I appreciate my community, which has changed over time. I’ve seen so many bloggers leave the scene. But, I keep at it, and I hope someone is listening. I also have noted those blogs that have huge followings but few comments or likes. I think there is something to that. I’m not sure the number of followers listed is genuine. All for now! I just do my best. I appreciate your blog and this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • D K Powell says:

      Thanks Amy! You’re one of those I’d follow and read without the reciprocal exchange and I’m very honoured that you do come to these pages of mine at all. I think a LOT of people come to your blog and rightly so but your genuineness and humility shines through – all the more so with your comments. I’m very glad to have you around πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Amy Reese says:

        Oh, you’re so very sweet, Ken! It’s my pleasure to be here at your blog and I’ll be back. Every now and then I feel a little lost out here. I’ve been doing it a while and so many of my blogging friends are gone. So, it’s good to hear these nice comments of yours. I don’t take anything for granted. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Aww Ken.. What a lovely post!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. archecotech says:

    Well my friend, I surely like this post. This is exactly why I like you, you speak with candor and no mincing of words. By the way, I just finished putting together a page on my blog for your blog. Would you do me a favor and take a look at it. I did cause,well………you’re a good guy and you did do a couple of bang up posts on my blog. So hopefully I can return the favor. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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