Don’t Sweat the Stats! Why ‘Your People’ WILL Show Themselves (In The End)

Remember 1471?

If you’re under 100, 1471 was (still is?) a service that told you the last number to call your creaky old non-mobile phone.

“Consider 1471 to be brilliant invention”, Bridget Jones scribbled in her famous diary back when the service was introduced, and that was how most other people felt about it, too.  

That was until they started using it.

Bridget Jones’s Diary went on to lament the paranoid mind games 1471 threw up: you might know the last number that called, but you wouldn’t know why they called, leaving you to imagine all manner of lurid scenarios.  

(Especially if you dialled 1471 only to hear “the last caller has withheld their number”.  Oh, the mental agony!)

I always think of 1471 when I see people obsessing over the stats that tell them how many people looked at their website, or read their blog.  Stats like these have the same torturous edge as discovering who called you last, in that they never tell you the whole story.

For example, just knowing that a certain number of people have read your latest blog post can feel agonising, if none of them got in touch with you afterwards.

You can start to imagine writing into an abyss; that the fragments of your soul you chose to share with the world are being swept aside like empty pistachio shells.  

Or worse, that there’s a sizeable handful of snarling readers who hate you and all you stand for, but they won’t make themselves known because it’s much more satisfying to leave you guessing.

So you stop updating your blog.

But that’s a mistake.

It’s a mistake because just like in the real world, people need time to get to know and trust you online.  That means you have to keep on regularly and reliably turning up, armed with plump cushions and plates of tasty nibbles.  

I know from first-hand experience that it can take months – even years – for some people to get in touch after their first online encounter with you.  

But when they do, it will feel much warmer and more satisfying than when someone contacts you with only a vague idea about who you are, or what you do.  

It’ll feel like you’re already talking to a friend.

So don’t obsess over cold, hard stats, because when you write regularly about things you think and feel and care about, the right people will not only find you, they’ll also want to talk to you.

They’ll just do it in their own time, that’s all.

(Pssst!  I’m running a two-hour, online Revive Your Blog! workshop on Thursday 27th November.  

As well as meeting your particular blog-jective, I’m hoping you’ll also have fun.

Find out more here).

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