40K

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.

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81 thoughts on “40K

  1. As someone who is currently where you were a year ago, all I can say is…wow. I can only dream of having the same level of followers you have just achieved!
    I completely agree with what you’re saying here though. There’s not much point having 100 or 10, 000 followers if no one reads your stuff. That’s why I appreciate my loyal band of flowers so much, I always reply to their comments and often we have great discussions :) They often give me great ideas for new posts, too, so win/win.
    Fantastic post, very inspiring I must say. Thankyou.

  2. Good for you; you are talented, young, hardworking and smart about the business. i am suitably impressed, I am on the opposite side of the fence. I have been blogging for just as long with only 1,400 followers between two blogs! In my defense I am still a computer dummy who raised nine kids and the last thing I typed on 30 years ago was a MANUEL typewriter :)

  3. Congratulations on your amazing achievement and I couldn’t have said it better myself. Of course we all want numbers because that means we are reaching a wider audience, however it’s about who we reach and not how many we reach and as long as we are continuing to grow and being true to ourselves, then I reckon that’s all we can ask for.

  4. I really like how you explained it! I don’t think I will ever get 40K readers but I do love sharing and writing, If I ever get that sort of numbers I think I will faint. I write because I love to share and am sure that there has to be other people who might wonder about things. Thank you so much for being you! Dianna

  5. I feel it is actually more enjoyable if you gather followers slowly.

    I am very happy that I was Freshly Pressed; however, the sudden jump in Followers &c.that came immediately after meant I was spending more time looking through notifications than anything else. I did not actually have time to fully enjoy the experience of having WordPress add external validation to my post.

    Of course part of the reason it had an impact was that I was already not just looking for an increment in the Follower count. If I had not wanted to look at each of the sites of bloggers who followed me to see what they were saying, I could have taken the increase in a simple number with little disruption.

  6. Congratulations. Yes, it is only a number – but it’s a good one!
    And you are right about “people, not numbers” – I have hardly any followers, but I know some of them quite well I think, and they know me – we would never have met otherwise.

    • I look at it that way too. I love the people I have met so far and which I would not have been exposed to otherwise. We have a world of interesting people out there and I find it expanding in so many ways to see through their eyes and words.

      Joining in congrats to Cristian for a wonderful following as well as wonderful and revealing articles.

  7. WAY!!! TO!!! GO!!! You’re an inspiration to me – not just because of the nice big 40K number, but because of what you write, the advice you have for fellow folks who want to write, and for your faithfulness to us. Thank you.

  8. I’d like you to know that not only you’re a very good yet you inspire a lot of us! Congratulations! and thanks for you’re great words! ;)

  9. I was on your blog earlier today, when it was at exactly 40,000. I clicked “follow” so I’m sorry, I’m probably the number 40,001 that ruined the moment! I just started my current blog a few days ago and today I got to 10 followers. I felt pretty special. I’ve appreciated your posts so far while exploring your site, and while I feel like I have such a long, long way to go in building my new blog it has confirmed to me the need to be patient, to give myself the time and space to write about what I’m passionate about, and to focus on quality over quantity. If I write things worth reading, the readers will come along to join the conversation… I hope! (Otherwise I’m just talking to myself). Anyways, congrats and thanks!

  10. Congratulations! I do agree with you. I write my blog to share my feelings and thoughts about children’s books. As an lifelong educator, parent, and grandparent, I feel that I have some expertise to share. If others want to hear my thoughts, they are free to listen. Perhaps they will not agree, but that is fine with me also.

  11. Congratulations. I am almost at 2,600 so 40K seems way off. My blog is about 30 months old, but by last November I had only a handful of follows. I started reaching out to other bloggers and the follows started to pile up.

  12. You deserve it because your posts are worth reading. And i think the reason for that is that you would write even IF no one were to read it. That is what makes a good blogger, someone who simply writes great stuff because that is who they are. Thankfully, there are now 40K of us who are allowed to ‘hear’ your mind. Congrats.

  13. This is really encouraging me :) I’ve just started to blog properly, and I was feeling slightly appalled at the thought of trying to get followers, but now I feel fine.
    You’re right, though. It’s always the people over the numbers.

  14. I’m happy to have even one follower – it means someone other than me is reading my stuff. Makes me smile inside and out! Great post!

  15. This is great! I only started blogging a couple days ago, purely out of a desire to share some of my thoughts/art/writing with the interwebz and a lot of what you say in your blog is very helpful – you also write really well! “People not numbers” is a good point – it is a bit discouraging at the beginning to feel that only a few people are seeing what you write though.

  16. Congrats!! From what I’ve read so far, you deserve the followers. And what you say elsewhere about not waiting until the muse whispers in your ear is true. I have to remind myself of that every morning. Well, as soon as I’ve had that all-important cup of coffee. (I should change the name of my own blog to Truly Overcaffeinated.)

  17. Very well said! Thanks for the great advice for us who just started blogging. You are right, we can get lost to numbers easily if people start noticing your page. Same thing happened to the postings I made in Flickr before. When there’s no viewers or comments, I got upset and always thought maybe there’s something wrong with my photos. The lesson in this article applies to each blogger esp. to us the newbies. I’ll keep that phrase in mind from now on, “people, not numbers”.

  18. Congratulations, that is amazing! And thanks for the encouragement. Blogging and gaining readership sometimes feels like a part time job, but it is so worth it in the relationships we build with people we wouldn’t have otherwise met.

  19. Love this post Christian and I love your writing! Thanks so much for your words of blogging encouragement and for following mine. Every little thing we say, do, or think ripples out into the world, and I see you have created a great wave of energy. Congratulations! Looking forward to reading more…

  20. Congratulations. We try not to get hung up on stats (“No one read today’s post…well, a few people did, but not as many as we’d hoped…did it suck?”), but can’t help getting excited when they suddenly jump or hit a new milestone. Enjoy it! And keep on blogging. : )

  21. Congrats! I have over 20 followers after over a year and some months, maybe 2 years by this point. Granted I didn’t post about anything of interest until recently but I finally found what I enjoy and what I want to share with the world. Hearing about other people achieving their goals and dreams is amazing and I hope that I can achieve just as many one day!

  22. Impressive. I have a net work of 525 subscribers but did it without Facebook, twitter or any of the others,wordpress only. Hopefully I will have my first 100 cartoon book ready in 10 weeks and will use those platforms.

  23. Thank you, Cristian, for an inspiring post. This helps motivate me to try harder just to write. I want to give up so easily. Thank you also for following my blog. By the way, you were born the same year as my son. :)

  24. “People, not numbers.” I like that, it’s a good thing to remember. You’re not catering to WP stat bars, you’re speaking to living, breathing people. This is why I ended up taking a wee break, to remember that I write because I want to write, not because I want some numbers to go up.

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