Yeah, I've got and display the hit counter. I like numbers and stats and graphs and all that. I'm a geeky computer programmer, remember? But my blog isn't about the numbers. It's not about surpassing page view milestones. It's not about attaining follower count milestones either.
But the numbers are important. If the page views don't increase then I'm not reaching anyone. If no one is joining then those who have may no longer be listening. What benefit is there to having someone join my blog if that person never returns?
Nor is my blog about seeing how many comments I can garner on a post. But the comments are important because they mean someone has heard what I said or asked and cared enough to engage in conversation--no matter how brief.
This blog is about people. About community. About relationships.
Was it always so?
I started this blog back in February because that's what we aspiring authors are supposed to do, right? Build a presence. Hone your brand. Market yourself. Establish a base so that when the day of our dreams comes and our novel is available there might just be somebody besides our mom and spouse who cares.
And then there's Twitter. And Facebook. And GoodReads. And Google+. And dozens more. But shortly after joining all these (and other) platforms, I learned something. Something I think is very important.
As happy as I was at seeing a new picture appear in my blog's GFC widget or finding some new soul had chosen to follow me on Twitter, there was something that made me even happier, something that gave me a great deal of satisfaction. It came via comments, emails and messages.
I learned that what was making me happy wasn't an incrementing count, but establishing new connections and new relationships. By the time June was winding down I had met so many amazing people, people that were amazing in so many different ways and for so many different reasons. I can honestly say that even never having seen the majority of these people in person, I could honestly consider them friends.
Thus was born my August is Awesome idea. It was a major success and a lot of people were able to connect that had never before met. You know, that felt good! What's better than introducing people you care about to other people you care about and watching them become friends?
This fact really hit home to me on August 6th when Peggy Eddleman guest posted on my blog. The incredible sentiment and appreciation shown to her by her admiring followers was beyond touching and inspiring. It wasn't the fact that she was soon to be published that spurred that appreciation. It was Peggy herself, her consistent willingness to encourage and help those around her.
I saw this repeated time and again with guest after guest throughout August. So if you made a new friend via my blog during August then I accomplished my goal.
Yes, this blog is about writing, entertaining, encouraging and inspiring. And it's the point from which I hope to one day announce that my book(s) will be released. That much has always been true. But my blog is now about more than posting a short story, giving a status update or teaching a grammar lesson. It's about cultivating an online community of friends and peers.
Will I keep the hit counter and GFC? Sure. I'm still a geeky programmer too.
Has the nature or focus of your blog evolved over time? If so, how or why?