Predicting Readership

If I don’t have anything to write about on my blog, I usually do some browsing and find some incredible links and share those instead. If you’re taking the time to return to my site or subscribe to my feed, I want to ensure I don’t waste your time by half-assing a blog post.

Despite my efforts, some of my posts are stinkers and others get a ton of attention. After blogging for years now, it’s still impossible for me to predict my readership. I suppose it’s a lot like a defensive running back trying to predict the next play. Football teams that win usually have greater consistency and fewer fumbles. They play every down like it’s the last down. Football, they say, is a game of inches.

Winning at blogging is the same. A great offensive line can still get sacked and lose some yardage, but overall, they’ll push onwards and get the first down. I can’t predict which of my posts (football = plays) will get me into the end zone. I do know that greater consistency and less fumbles will get me there, though.

As a result, I don’t worry whether or not this post will be the one, I only know that if I continue to blog often and blog well that I will continue to gain readers (football = yardage). The competition is tough, though.

Currently I’m up against everyone on vacation, everyone’s best posts of 2008 and everyone’s predictions for 2009. The real competition is with me, though. Competition is not finding time to post. Competition is not researching a post well enough to leave you with the kernel of knowledge you came for.

Incredible photo by Brian Cassella, Photojournalist

In 2008, the blog has about a quarter of a million visitors with close to 2,000 subscribers (email + RSS). I’ve not continued the growth on this blog that I had in the past – largely due to my competition. Changes at work didn’t allow me to put the time and effort into the blog that I should have. Of recent, I’ve been turning around those stats and am back on the upswing again.

I’m looking forward to getting a few in the end zone in 2009!

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One comment

  1. 1

    Most blogs are off-the-cuff, personal commentary backed up by ten minutes on the search engines. What’s ironic is not that some are good and some are bad, or even that are some are popular and some are not. It is most curious that we voraciously consume and respect content that is only marginally more rigorous than casual conversation.

    I predict that predicting readership–as well as ganing readers—will become more difficult as blogging continues to grow in popularity. Not until this phenomenon settles down will we be able to hope to understand its true impact.