On the right hand side of my blog posts, WordPress adds a widget telling me how many followers I have.
When I logged on this morning, I noticed that the number had exceeded 2000, for the first time.
Five years of blogging, 2004 followers. Very small by some standards, but many more than I ever expected. Do you remember when you got the first follower? I do. And when you had ten followers, then fifty? How exciting were those early days, when you never expected anyone to read your blog, let alone follow every post. Beginning to feel a part of that community; familiar comments, recognising gravatars and usernames, such great fun. And today that number is now 2004.
But those of us with some experience know that this figure does not translate to 2004 views, 2004 comments, or even 2004 likes. In essence, it is meaningless. Many of these followers have never actually read a post. Some of them follow thousands of blogs, in the hope of being followed in return. Many were genuine, at least at the start, but my blog content failed to keep them interested or engaged, so they drifted away. Good luck to them. I hope they found better things to read and enjoy.
At least one third of them were never intending to follow anyway. They were just advertising a service, promoting a crazy scheme, or expounding their religious beliefs. What is the point of an Australian car-scrappage company following my blog? They are never going to read anything, that’s obvious. They just want to scrap my car. And I can’t even use their service, because they are on the other side of the world. That was my latest ‘follower’, by the way.
So, what am I left with? Maybe two hundred or more very loyal followers, from all parts of the world. Fellow bloggers in most cases, also old friends, Twitter and email followers, all greatly valued and cherished by me. Three hundred views, on an average day, and up to fifty comments, on a very popular post. That’s fine by me, and more than enough.
Real followers, and blogging friends, I once again send you my heartfelt thanks.
Best wishes to you all. Pete.