Your support really matters
It’s hard to believe that the Skeptic’s Kaddish has now been active for almost exactly 1½ years. Also, it may amuse you to know that I never expected this to evolve into a poetry blog. Sure, I thought I might publish the occasional poem, but never did I expect to pen 365 micropoems, compose a 60+ verse (and counting!) renga with a fellow poet from India, or explore countless new-to-me poetic forms and devices through the warmly welcoming d’Verse Poets Pub community.
Heartfeltly, I say to you, “Thank you to all of my WordPress friends and followers. Your encouragement and appreciation continue motivating me to improve my writing every day; I am profoundly grateful for your presence in my life.”
I often bring up the community aspect of blogging on WordPress, which many of you would agree is WordPress’s greatest asset. I was not aware of this of when I created the Skeptic’s Kaddish, but it has become one of the driving forces in my commitment to creative writing.
Having said that, I’ve noticed that some WordPress bloggers feature other writers’ works on their blogs in various ways; some offer weekly writing prompts; and some offer “awards” to express their appreciation for their fellow bloggers. There are many such networking opportunities on WordPress, which provide up-and-coming bloggers with opportunities to develop personal connections and get noticed.
Just recently, I wrote a post about filtering out spam on WordPress and noted that bloggers may opt to allow some other bloggers “to overtly promote their blog posts in their comments… perhaps they’re burgeoning bloggers and you want to give them a helping hand.” And this advice is certainly something that I’ve been holding myself to.
In this spirit, I’d would also like to give back to the community by featuring other poets here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish. However, I plan to do this in a uniquely personal way, which I haven’t seen done by any other bloggers… I won’t get into the details in this post, but do stay tuned for more on this in the near future. (UPDATE: Click HERE for more info)
4,000 followers is really just an excuse for me to write a thank you post and take stock of where we’ve gotten. Actually, I think it’s important to note that one’s readership count is hardly the only metric by which we can measure blogging success… it’s only one of the most obvious ones.
Over time, I have noticed that some blogs receive high numbers of likes and comments on their posts, despite having relatively low subscriber counts. If you were to ask me (and even if you weren’t to ask me), I would say that those human interactions are much more precious than having subscribers.
In fact, many subscribers represent purely commercial websites, simply seeking opportunities to market themselves on people’s personal blogs; and many others are inactive bloggers who went through brief stints on WordPress and then abandoned their blogging projects. It may seem impressive to have a high subscriber count, but blogging isn’t a video game – are we writing our hearts out to rack up points on WordPress?
So, yes, it’s easiest to mark blog growth by one’s readership numbers, but I would earnestly say that I would rather receive meaningful comments and have engaging human interactions at the Skeptic’s Kaddish over watching my subscriber count grow.
A note of encouragement
Also, for those of you concerned with increasing your readership, here’s another truth: your subscriber count is more likely to increase than decrease over time, as you continue to write and network further on WordPress.
Of course, sometimes, people inevitably unsubscribe to our blogs, but, in my experience, this is very much a matter of ‘two steps forward, one step back’. In other words, do not allow yourselves to get discouraged – just keep at your craft. As I see it, those who unsubscribe are not the like-minded, sympathetic readers that we should be looking for anyway.
Oh! And one more thing – the higher your subscriber count, the faster it is likely to grow. In other words, many new bloggers feel frustrated at their low readership numbers, but, eventually, as they keep plugging away at their blogs, they find their subscriber counts increasing more and more quickly, as more and more people come across their work.
This last point is a matter of social buy-in, much like the idea that a potential sexual partner is more attractive if you know that somebody else wants to be with them: it’s an affirmation of that potential partner’s relative value… Naturally, readers tend to assume that blogs with many subscribers are worth following.
A haiku of appreciation
upper waters gray Jerusalem autumnal gratitude aglow