|Arlee Bird at the Sinks in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee|
Like I do, many of you diligently post content--often good content--to your blogs. And if you're like me, you hope that your post will be visited by a few who will hopefully leave a comment and that your post will generally be well received and perhaps even be helpful to some. If we're lucky our visitors will click on one of our share buttons or pass the link to our post on through social media channels.
If this is not the general intent of your blogging efforts then you are blogging for a different reason than I and I am not addressing of those kinds of bloggers. The bloggers I am addressing in this post are the ones who are looking for what might be considered a certain sense of professional respect in their blogging niche or at least as much recognition as they can garner for their communication efforts for whatever reason they may be communicating.
Think about where you stand on being a blogger. My efforts are acknowledged to some extent in the form of a repayment for my own social media interaction. If my media presence is active then I see an uptick in page views and a good number of comments. If I am not making rounds and leaving comments then I have fewer visitors and typically experience a drop in my comment section. I wouldn't say this has as much to do with respect as it does merely being an aspect of blog science. Presence yields attention.
Most bloggers are probably secure in knowing they are part of a community and respected by the other members of that community. We have a circle of friends whom we can drop in on when we are available and they will stop by to see us when any of them has the time to do it. Some bloggers are on a visiting schedule and we can count on them being there for nearly every post we put up. That's comforting to know, but is it enough?
Since blogging has a potential to reach millions and millions of people throughout the world, it does seem like it might be nice to know that a few thousand are reading my blog on a regular basis. So far this is not happening for me and I would daresay for most of you. Once again I can't say that this is much of a respect issue as much as it is a lack of visibility issue. If I don't have wide ranging respect as a blogger then it's primarily because most of the world doesn't know I'm here and considering the millions of blogs that are out there I can see why my blog is like a grain of sand on the seashore. Getting noticed by many is partly due to a blogger's own marketing ingenuity in promoting their blog and a wide cast social media net that gets posts promoted by others.
Going over the top
Then there's the viral blog post. Making the big time with a blog post is usually a fluke that comes as a result of well-written or unique content that is timely and of interest to many. Virality may be that once-in-a-blogger's lifetime event that provides them a fifteen minutes of fame that amounts to little but bragging rights in the end. Or that one episode in the public eye might be the beginning of something bigger. Anyone who is using a blog as a promotional platform should be covetous of a blogger who gets catapulted off that springboard to recognition or even fame. Or we might even say respect.
You've probably heard about the blog post Thinking the Unthinkable (I Am Adam Lanza's Mom) by Liza Long at The Anarchist Soccer Mom. I'm not sure how many page views that post got but the comment section numbers over 3700. Can you imagine having that kind of response to a blog post? This post was publicized in just about every media outlet you can think of and that made a huge difference in the number of readers who visited Liza's blog, which by the way is a Blogger blog with "blogspot" in the URL.
The comments for the blog posts after that one famous entry have mostly reverted to the 10 or so that she was getting before her viral post on a hot topic of the day. Many of the most recent comments on her most famous post are primarily rather strange attempts at promotion that would essentially amount to spam that is somewhat in reference to the original post. Still, that one blog post brought Liza Long scads of attention.
Did Liza Long gain much respect from her Newtown blogpost? Sure she got a lot of attention--a whole lot of attention. A brief Google search will reveal that Ms. Long has intermittently been in the news throughout this year. I also ran across a few announcements that say she landed a book deal with a respected publisher as a result of her blog post. That's nothing to sneeze at. I know I'd be pretty thrilled to be offered a book deal based on something I wrote on my blog and I think that would command at least some modicum of respect from at least a few people.
How do I compare with viral?
According to my Google stats my typical post on Tossing It Out gets an average of around 250 page views. This is nothing earth-shaking by any means, but I think it shows a certain amount of respect from my regular readers. And I thank every one of you for being here so faithfully. This especially in light of my cutting back on my own visiting rounds and not making my web presence as obvious as it used to be. I try to be a good social networker, but I've got other things to do sometimes as I know most of you do.
Beyond that average per post range of 200-300 page views there are the anomalies. For example my post this past Friday Tossing Out Another Throwaway Post strangely had gotten over 1600 page views when I last looked. My most viewed post is nearly 20,000 for one of my A to Z announcements. That number kind of makes sense for that particular post, but my second most visited post seems somewhat odd. That post is How Important Are Music Programs in the Public Schools? with over 5200 page views. I've gotten comments on that post as recently as just the other day. People are finding that link through Google. Apparently it's a topic that interests a number of people.
Do the page views equal respect? I think I can confidently say that a number of you who are reading this respect me as I likewise respect you. I appreciate you for that respect you give me. I would never want to lose my inner circle of wonderful readers that I now have. But to gain recognition beyond that circle is an exciting prospect. To have one of my blog posts mentioned in national or even international media and draw large numbers of new readers would be an amazing experience. To acquire new readers who actually continue to return to my site might be an indication of respect.
What is real respect in blogging?
Sometimes it can difficult to define what respect really is. In a way I suppose it's not unlike the old argument of blog followers. Some bloggers say they don't care about having a lot of followers, but would those same bloggers reject additional followers so they could stay small? That would be similar to an author telling people not to buy their books. What author in their right mind would say, "I hope my book sells a few copies, but I hope it doesn't make any best seller lists"?
That's the way I look at blogging. I'm doing something that's a public activity so I'd like to see it go public in a big way--at least one post if nothing else. A viral blog post would be okay with me. Keeping new readers who respect me and my work would be even better. A book deal because of something I posted on a blog would be beyond incredible.
Fifteen minutes of blog fame would be pure exhilaration. Respect after that would be the most I could ever ask for from blogging.
Have you ever had a post that went viral? What has been your most visited post? (feel free to leave a link to it!) Would you like to see your blog posts receive thousands of readers? How would you handle a thousand or more comments? Do you feel respected as a blogger?
...And before you go...
Please do leave a comment on today's post. I want as many opinions on this topic as I can find. The success of my research on this topic also depends on a big favor from you: Please click on as many share buttons below as you can in order to reach a wider audience. Please tell others about this post in every way you can think of. I think the information I receive from comments will be very telling. I will share what I learn here in my Friday post when I take the questions in today's post one step further in a direction that might interest some of you even more.
Another reason that I want you to pass the link for this post on to others is that today's post is a lead-in for my mid-month Battle of the Bands post. Since today's post will be the current post for today only and be replaced by another tomorrow, this post will be more easily lost without your help. Please share the link!
Incidentally, my post today is also a hint for the song I will be using in my Battle of the Bands face-off tomorrow. Can you guess the song? Be sure to be here tomorrow to find out the song and to vote on your favorite version.