I’ve been noticing lately that, over the course of the last two or three years, the hits on my blog are averaging out evenly. They’re not going down, but they’re not going up either. And for now, I’m completely okay with that.
For me, blogging isn’t all about the stats. There are SO many reasons not to be a stat junkie. Still, lots of fantastic books about how to blog talk about how to build that audience, and keep building it. They make that growth a major priority: always onward, always upward. And to some extent, that advice makes sense.
It makes sense to be striving to reach more people if we are putting out a useful, quality product in our writing, and we should be striving to do that as bloggers.
It makes sense to want the extra exposure that continually increasing our numbers brings to us. It counts as marketing. If we’re blogging to sell something, like most authors are, then we are able to market our work to a larger pool of people.
All of these are good goals, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t want to reach greater numbers each and every month. My point is that sometimes, for some people and in some circumstances, increasing our reach isn’t feasible. Plateauing isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Here’s why.
1. WHEN YOU ARE DOING ALL YOU CAN, YOU’RE DOING ALL YOU CAN. TO REGRET THE IMPOSSIBLE IS WORTHLESS. Whether increasing your reach requires spending money you don’t have, or devoting time that you don’t have due to other pressing obligations such as working two jobs, if you are giving blogging all the attention you can afford to, that needs to be enough for now.
Increasing traffic almost always means researching new outlets in which to promote, then devoting time to promoting there. Time is our most precious commodity, and sometimes, there are more important things.
2. THE BIGGEST PERSONAL BENEFITS OF BLOGGING DON’T REQUIRE INCREASING YOUR AUDIENCE. They don’t require an audience at all. The self reflection, maturation, and personal development that blogging can prompt and support have little to nothing to do with how many people are reading your posts.
3. BY JUST MAINTAINING WHAT AUDIENCE YOU HAVE, YOU ARE SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR FUTURE GROWTH. Now may not be the time to make a push to gain a larger readership, but that time may come. Until then, if you focus on doing what you have been, you won’t let what progress you’ve made deteriorate. Your foundation will still be there for you.
4. IF YOU ALREADY HAVE A READERSHIP, YOU HAVE BUILT UP RELATIONSHIPS WITH THOSE PEOPLE. And those relationships are hopefully worth maintaining, even if you’re not in a position to be fostering a bunch of new internet friendships.
5. EVEN IF MORE EXPOSURE MEANS MORE SALES, IF SALES FOR THE SAKE OF MONEY IS YOUR MAJOR GOAL AS A WRITER, YOU’RE AFTER THE WRONG THING. This is an opinion, of course, but it’s one I hold strongly. I very much think that writing is about exploring what it means to be human. It’s a form of therapy and a form of coping with the ups and downs of life. Literature is something inherent to humanity, and if writing becomes about money–which most of us never make anyway–then something is off there.
I’m curious about other people’s experience with this. Have you ever hit a plateau as a blogger, with the same numbers month after month? Were you able to push past it? If so, how? And how did you feel about the plateau time?