It’s hard to know how many people actually follow my blog on a consistent basis. Sometimes I use the phrase “those of you who follow me regularly” with the assumption that a fair portion of the more than 250 listed followers actually read the content I used to put out on a fairly regular basis, but the metrics provided by WordPress don’t support that line of thinking. From the information I have available to me, I have to work based on the assumption that my articles reach not more than ten readers per post, with my videos typically only getting to one or two people.
While I could sit here and complain that no one is reading my content, there is a part of me that was raised in the old world before computers were really a thing that refuses to just whine about the inequities of life. My time can be much better spent moving on to things that actually produce something of value. This blog has primarily been an outlet to put my thoughts out into the world in the hopes that like minded readers would agree with and possibly engage in conversation with and share the discussion with others. While I didn’t really expect to make a living on it, I was certainly hoping for a modest amount of growth in my readership. It’s difficult to be disciplined about putting out content when your message never seems to go anywhere.
Despite my apathy toward continuing the pursuit of this medium, it’s hard for me to give up completely because of my understanding of how modern technology is really making it difficult to really know where you stand with things like content production anymore. For example, I am currently writing this article from the Brave browser, which includes many features which automatically hide things from websites about the users and makes it very difficult to track anything. One of the benefits of using this browser is that it typically allows me to avoid intrusive ads on websites like YouTube and allows me to consume content without interruption.
While this is great as a user, I’m not sure how obstructive this behavior is for things like tracking metrics. Is my view count really as low as the metrics tell me it is, or am I getting a lot more views and they’re just not being tracked because of modern browser software like Brave? If I only had ten or twenty followers, I would just assume my content just isn’t good enough and move on to something else. But what if I’m actually getting more traction than I think and I’m just not able to see it? The modern way that the internet works makes it very difficult to know for sure.
The best way to know would be from interaction from my readers, but as someone who rarely participates myself, regardless of the quality of the content, it would be hypocritical of me to get mad at the readers for not engaging with my posts. Most of us consume content, take what we want from it, and then move on to something else. The primary reason I use the Brave browser is so I can be left alone to do my thing without being bothered. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if privacy technology is messing with the metrics, then it makes it very hard to be motivated to keep creating. No matter what anyone says, content creation is never purely for the fun of it. We want validation from others, and hopefully there’s some monetary gain as well.
It’s difficult to know where to go from here. I haven’t touched my blog in weeks, and I haven’t really missed it much. While I do enjoy writing, it’s hard to take the time out of my day to sit down and put my thoughts down to digital paper when the action seems like a complete waste of time. Sure, I’d like to get paid, and what writer doesn’t have that goal in mind, but the reality is that the money comes with growth and reader engagement, and I’m not sure how to make that happen. I suppose if it were easy, everyone would be doing it, right?
Anyway, on the off chance that there is a portion of my audience who does read my content on a regular basis and you’ve been wondering where I’ve been, hopefully this post explains it. The honest truth is apathy brought on by a lack of apparent growth, whether by real world stagnation or some kind of problem with the metrics brought on by modern tracking blockers. Perception is reality, and not knowing that people are consuming your content amounts to the same thing as people actually not consuming it. It would be nice if things are better than they appear, but unless something happens to make that obvious, it doesn’t really matter.
So for now, I’m focusing on trying to find other avenues to grow myself into something that earns a decent living. I realize it takes years to grow a platform into something that can actually support you, but I also expect that there should be some kind of consistent growth over time, and I’m just not seeing it. I can only assume that either my content is bad, I’m not hitting the right marks with the algorithms, or modern technology is making it harder than it used to be to get out there and be noticed. While I can certainly wait years to become truly successful, it’s very hard to not feel a sense of progression when you’re putting effort into something. I don’t need instant gratification, but I do need to feel some kind of movement in a positive direction. Otherwise, the motivation just isn’t there.
Motivation is key.