Every day my inbox is packed with articles about the latest and greatest in SEO, social marketing trends, seminars announcements, new book promotions and tons of information about web communications, marketing and development. In just over a year’s time I have gone from knowing next to nothing about any of this stuff to knowing plenty.
I define “plenty” as enough to start a blog, figure out how to tag posts to draw traffic, know how to analyze metrics and see who’s reading and where they clicked in from, add wikis, and track back to other, much more prominent blogs in an attempt to get my voice heard. What I write about is incidental; the point of my blogging is to not only polish my writing skills but to put the tools I read about on a daily basis to use.
The results of what some would see as an exercise in futility have been very encouraging to me. When I started tracking traffic to my blog in August, 2007, I had 14 visits a month. Over time, as I not only started posting more frequently but started tagging posts, my readership slowly began to climb; in just 8 months I went from having 14 visits a month to, as of today, 309. These numbers may be miniscule for “real” bloggers or companies, but I think they’re not to shabby in this context—e.g. me, a nobody, writing about nothing in particular.
It’s one thing to have your mom and your sister reading—they don’t really count—but when you start drawing the attention of anonymous people all over the world it’s sort of gratifying. I’ve had visitors from Canada, Korea, England, Italy, to name just a few.
But more impressive—to me, at least—is the fact that I have drawn the attention of two very prominent public figures in the marketing and writing worlds. Maybe I’m easily impressed—ok, I am—but I think any way you look at it it’s pretty gratifying to have a best-selling author and prominent public speaker comment that a post on your blog is excellent and to liken you to himself a few years ago, or to have renowned writer, career advisor and public speaker email you telling you she read your blog and that she thinks it’s excellent.
At any rate, all I can say is that, if nothing else, blogging gives you a definite sense optimism and confidence—two things that certainly come in handy in the real world, not just the blogosphere.