Huh, I wonder who my blog audience is with all these posts.
I’m approaching 150 posts written for my Thedude3445 website. Some of those are story updates, but most are blog posts. Random topics covered in my usual rambling style and then given an obligatory SEO-friendly gloss of paint to make sure they show up on Google and Bing and whatever. (On that note, let me say “blog audience” again since that’s the keyword here.)
Why do I write them?
Because I like to ramble, of course. It’s an easy marker of my point of view at a period, and I can talk about really niche subjects I care a lot about, even if nobody else cares. And it’s really obvious that hardly anyone cares. Two years in, and the vast majority of my posts have gotten almost zero attention. Nobody shares them with friends, and nobody binges the archives looking for stuff to read. All the SEO effort I’ve put in hasn’t paid off.
According to my site stats on WordPress, only 25 of the 142 posts have gotten more than 20 views–just 17%! Only 9 of them have reached 50. The majority are below 10. WordPress site stats often don’t count users with ad or tracker blocking tech, but I can’t imagine the posts are secretly successful exclusively with ad blocking readers.
(This [S] Rex Duodecim Angelus article from 2019 still has just ONE view on the stats…
That’s NOT a demotivating factor, though, and I’m NOT complaining, just being frank. If this were one of my fictions, and I was getting the kinds of non-attention I get here, I’d probably drop the story. But this is just fun blog posts, made as a hobby so I can decompress from my actual projects. Some of them get more research and care put into them, especially the 2010s Retrospectives series, but I’m not looking for success. I’m not trying to go anywhere in the world of academia or journalism. I’m planning a miniseries about one of my favorite niche topics relatively soon, and while I’m putting a lot of work into it, it’s definitely not aiming for big success.
Who is My Blog Audience?
But then… Who is my blog audience? Who am I writing for? Well, the answer to that question is kinda weird: I’m writing for future readers.
Audiences in 2019-2021 haven’t latched onto the blog (other than my friends, who are all amazing). But what about ten years from now? Twenty? I fully expect to make a living off my writing in the next five or six years; eventually, that means I’ll have an audience, and surely over the decades people are going to enjoy my work, and these blog posts will surely be another way of looking into my fiction.
(That, or I’ve jinxed myself by saying this all now, so it will never happen.)
The 2010s Retrospectives series is basically a time capsule that tries to encompass the entirety of the past decade through the lens of the early 2020s. I HOPE it will be a valuable resource to the internet users of the future. And my best performing posts have been the ones that don’t reflect, but act as helpful resources for writers, such as the Web Fiction Directory or my Guide to Cute Romance; those will probably be helpful for years to come.
Making SEO optimized posts takes a lot of annoying extra time. But for my blog audience of the future, it’ll hopefully be worth it so that Duck Duck Go or whatever will feature the posts to people searching for stuff like mine.
If I’m wrong, and the posts never catch on whatsoever, that’s no skin off my future self, because I’ll have already written them. And it’s no skin off my present day self, because I’m just doing it for fun. If it happens, it’ll be a nice little bonus.
So, to present-day readers: Thanks for reading my blog. It means a lot to me, you precious few. To my future readers: Oops this post is like a spoiler to everything else I wrote in this period. Hopefully you’ll have temporary memory erasure technology ready by then…