Going to the Problogger Training Event was a last minute decision.
Barely having time to figure out flights and accomodation, I had even less clue about the speakers.
And while yesterday, I wrote about how the small stuff matters, it was a softly spoken, unassuming guy called Chris Guillebeau who I found to be the most inspiring. He broke the bold and brash stereotypical mould of a world famous blogger.
What captivated me most about Chris was his philosophy to blogging. It was refreshing to hear someone who was not only sincere about the importance of a blogging community but gave us the reasons why.
“Forget about the technicalities…”
For the past couple of months now, my blog traffic has taken a back seat in priority. I might check it once a week or every 10 days where before, I used to scrutinize and analyze my stats on a daily basis.
I don’t even know what my most popular posts are these days.
Just when I thought that perhaps I should be a little more proactive and less blase, Chris mentioned to the audience that he’s lucky to check his blog’s stats once a month.
Instead, he said something along the lines of, “Blog traffic is not my goal; I focus on the subscribers and my readers”
This was revolutionary to me. But really, it makes complete sense. And of course, now I am caring even less about specifc numbers of page views and unique visitors.
If we’re blogging to build our own community, why are we wasting our time being concerned on getting the tactics right ?
Instead, why not spend that energy thinking and creating content that’s applicable and is going to resonate with our readers?
“Active engagement leads to loyal, returning readers”
Obviously, this is a no-brainer. Again, Chris was emphasising the importance to get to know readers rather than sit with our own perception as to who they might be. Replying comments are important but personal emails are powerful.
Yet, on the flipside…
“Comments aren’t everything”
Someone from the audience asked Chris how he kept up in replying to all his readers as he was constantly travelling.
Switch off the comments section.
Because depending on the tone and point of the post, comments aren’t everything. Unless the post is asking a specific question, comments – dare I say – aren’t necessary. That may sound harsh and contradictary to what we’re trying to achieve in reaching out to readers, but have a think about it. Haven’t there been posts you’ve written when you weren’t actually seeking opinion or feedback, but just wanted to get a point across? And switching off the comments section wouldn’t have been the end of the world?
So, there you go. Some radical points but all made perfect sense to me.
Maybe it’s time to forget about the conventional rules of blogging. Instead, I’m choosing to hold close to Chris’ wise words:
“Be mindful of what you’re trying to create for your readers rather than think of numbers and traffic”
Linking up with Jess for IBOT