I woke up this morning to a pretty cool surprise. I had reached 40,000 followers on this blog, which is kind of a big deal, at least to me.
When I first started blogging a year and a few months ago I couldn’t possibly imagine that so many people would like my writing. To be frank, I didn’t even know what I wanted to write about, or if I had anything to say. I knew that I wanted to become a self-published writer, and I knew that I wouldn’t give up. I made myself this promise: that I would be relentless in this pursuit, no matter what. And I’d just keep blogging and writing.
A lot of indie writers ask themselves if blogging can help their careers. Today I’m going to answer this question.
Yes. In my opinion, blogging can only help you reach people you wouldn’t have otherwise. The way I see it, a blog acts like a sort of mothership: it’s the central hub of all your social media profiles, it’s a place for your readers (and a lot of potential readers) to gather and get to know you.
It adds a personal touch to an otherwise pretty insensitive marketplace. Selling books is more than letting people know you’ve got something for sale, it’s more than just uploading your files on KDP and Smashwords. You need to convince people that they need to read that book.
So blogging helps in this pursuit, but it’s in now way required. If you simply hate blogging, if you just don’t feel like writing posts or simply sharing stuff on the web, that’s fine, I guess. You can still reach an audience via different mediums. After all, you can be very successful at this without relying on social media at all.
But for those of you who just started out, for those of you who are still considering if it’s worth it or not, I have this to say: blogging is not that easy as some people make it seem. And it’s not all about gaining followers.
I get asked this question a lot: how do I gain more followers?
It kind of makes it all feel like a race, a competition. I imagine a blogger screaming at his laptop: “more, more… I want more. Give me more.”
If you’re lucky, you’ll get more, but you should keep in mind that probably the biggest tragedy of this century is the fact that people tend to become numbers very quickly. And we’ve stopped caring about numbers a long time ago. Statistics always offer a cold perspective. It’s how we’re programmed, I suppose.
Maybe you’ll accuse me that this is easy for me to say, but I’ll say it anyway: have fun. Enjoy the early moments of starting out a blog while it lasts. Even if no one seems to read you, write great stuff. Try your very best. It’s the only way there is.
So the question every “aspiring” blogger should ask himself is this: how do I write a great blog post?
How do I create content that matters to people?
Writing about what matters to you is a great place to start. Writing about what you love or hate or are afraid of. Something you’re passionate about, something you’d want to tell the whole world about.
Whenever you feel angry because you don’t have enough followers as you’d want you should take a deep breath, relax, and tell yourself this: people, not numbers.