Anticipating Interest: Writing Great Blog Posts

(HUGE bonus points if you get the connection of that picture to today’s post.) So I’m happy to be able to report that yesterday’s rant against the anti-social network crowd has taken the title of “Most Viewed Post in a Single Day” on my blog. It beat the former record holder (a post I wrote about getting along in politics the day after the Romney/Obama election) by about 50%–so it wasn’t even close.

I’m always pleased when one of my posts strikes a chord with readers. It’s a great feeling when strangers start sharing it and using my words to talk about how they’re feeling. I write the posts to be read, after all. If no one reads them, it takes some of the fun away.

But one thing I’ve learned after doing this for a while is that there’s really no way of knowing which posts of mine will strike that chord, and which will disappear with barely a ripple. Both my record holders–yesterday’s post and the one about politics–were knee-jerk essays that I wrote off the cuff. I talked about something I felt strongly about, but I didn’t think too much about it. I just typed them up and hit post. There are other posts that I’ve spent a lot of time on–really working over and debating–that have fallen flat on their digital faces.

Case in point? Friday, I wrote a post about diversity in literature. It was timed to coincide with the big #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement. I spent a lot of time thinking about the topic, and a fair bit of time editing the post. I was very pleased with it, and I thought it would get a fair bit of views. Instead, it ended up with 27 views for the day. Total.

I don’t know about other people’s statistics, but that’s definitely well below average for me. And part of me wanted to be depressed and sad about it. I had this thing that I spent time on, and nobody saw it or liked it.

But I didn’t let it get me down. Why? Because it was one post out of (let me check) over 1,700. I don’t have time to care about every single one. And I realized then–as I do now–that I don’t have a ton of control over what people think of my writing and do with it once it’s published. I just move on to the next post.

I think that’s a saving grace for me with my books, too. I don’t just write one and then have my agent send it out, with me holding my breath the whole time that an editor will buy it. Nope. I’m already on the next book. The next project. So that when those rejections start coming in, I’ve got some space between my feelings and my writing. It’s not as hard that way.

So in any case, yay that people liked the post. Thanks all for sharing it. Never feel like you need permission to share (not cut and paste, mind you–share) my posts. The more people who read them, the merrier.

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