How My Least Liked Blog Post Became My Most Popular
A few revelations:
- A blog post doesn’t need to have heaps of (or any) comments to be successful.
- Your most read, shared and publically applauded content is probably not the best thing you’ve ever written.
- Comments, likes and shares are sort of lying to you.
As much as I hate to admit it, getting my posts, photos or statuses liked does give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. It shouldn’t, but it totally does.
Because who doesn’t want instant validation?
It’s shallow and superficial and all the other bad words, but that’s what we’re dealing with. And if you’re the same: it’s okay.
What’s not okay? Being defined by likes. Or deciding that your blog/photo/writing/life isn’t important or meaningful because you didn’t get enough. Or any at all.
I wrote a new style of post a little while back, all about how to turn things around when your day has already gone up in flames. I dug it. Writing it made me happy and I hoped that it might inspire someone else to smile too.
The response? Zilch. Not a like, comment, or as far as I could see – public sign of approval anywhere. I’m not used to getting inundated, by any stretch, but I usually get some indication that someone out there is listening.
Instead of thinking back to how happy the post made me, the silence made me question myself. Was it actually good? Should I have posted it at all?
I let the lack of approval from strangers niggle away until I eroded all of my previous positivity. Which is not only stupid – it’s a dangerous mind set to have.
The thing I forgot: First and foremost, I write for myself. Of course I want to share my writing and story with others and to engage with the big wide world, but it’s not my only reason.
Because if you write with the expectation that you’re going to change the world and become instantly popular you’re setting yourself up to fail.
(Read this beautifully written post on why we need to write from a full cup for more on this.)
The funny thing was that when I delved a little deeper (hello Google Analytics), I realised that the day that post went up was my blog’s most popular. All those new faces? Yup, they arrived because a few people shared the link with their friends on Twitter.
It ended up being one of my most read and shared posts ever. All that and not a like in sight.
I’m happy that people were reading that particular post and that some found my blog that way, but I guess the real test is to be happy even when you’re not getting the stats you want.
Because as much as we’d all like to be setting the world on fire – I’m trying to remind myself that there will always be someone out there whose day gets a little better from your writing (honest). Even if some days that’s only you.