Quite often, I come up with brilliant and witty post ideas when I am far from anything resembling a keyboard. My thumbs are all thumbs, so whipping up something on the phone just isn’t going to happen. I’m so bad that autocorrect often says, “Uhm… wut?” For example, today I discovered that if you thumb an X, a Z, and a G into the word “archive,” auto correct won’t help you. It will just shrug.
Of course, when I get back to my desk and sit down to write, all those glorious ideas have wandered off to greener pastures and probably more skillful thumbs. I stare at the screen. Little voices whispering not-helpful-nonsense start up. Facebook tempts. The couch calls. Suddenly, I am in dire need of a nap. Anything to avoid tapping out words that refuse to play along.
So you can imagine my elation at finding today’s topic thanks to a Facebook conversation. I was talking with a friend who has started a blog to support the business she is going to be running. I mentioned that I enjoyed her latest post and she said, “I think you may be the only one who reads it.”
Now, to be fair to Ophelia, she hasn’t launched her site/business yet. The blog is public, but there hasn’t been much driving anyone to it. When that changes, so will traffic to her posts. Still, though, the conversation got me thinking. I have often wondered if anyone outside of about four friends (one of them being the spouse, so there’s a layer of obligation there) ever sees these words.
Starting a blog is much like starting a business, but without the expectation of pay. You hope you have a product that will interest people. You hope there will be some response. And you hope the word gets out. Everyone knows a story of Blogger Person who struck lightning and is a staggering success. That’s rare. The overwhelming majority of blogs are humble affairs with, if they’re lucky, small to medium audiences.
Does this mean you shouldn’t keep one? Should you be intimidated that all the “good” stories have already been done? Should you worry that no one is reading your entries?
Probably not. I would go so far as to say definitely not. Something drove you to start the blog. Remember what it was. For Ophelia, it is to support her business. For me, it’s to keep the word muscles flexed and one day point back and say, “See? I can write!”.
For both of us, it is important to establish a history. I’m a little hungry writing this, so I’m leaning on food analogies. If you and I are out to dinner (Why haven’t we done that, btw? We should totally have dinner.) and you try a bite of my World’s Most Perfect Burger, you may not remember that bite in a few weeks. But what if you had one all to yourself? Many bites. Lots of bites. Cheesy, bacony delicious bites. You’re going to remember that burger later. When we go out to dinner again, you may even think, “I want to go back to that blog and have another burger!” (I know that doesn’t make sense. Work with me here.)
You want to give your guests more than a bite or two. Make sure that when they’re done with everything you’ve offered, they remember you.
Bottom line? Nothing you do is pointless. So you’re shouting to the wind. Who cares? You’re stretching your voice and testing your range. The day will come when someone shouts back. And then… the conversation begins.