100 posts. Somehow, despite the snail-like pace at which I write, this will be my 100th little essay, my 100th excuse to share a picture or 10, my 100th effort to pitch content against the wall of the blogosphere to see what sticks. What have I learned after all that rigmarole?
As I look out upon the darkened theater of the internet, I can hear a hush fall over the audience. What secrets will be revealed? All are intent.
Well, maybe it’s not a total hush. Cell phones still buzz and chime away, suggesting texters are still out in force. The OCD tendencies of the Fear of Missing Out syndrome distract from their full attention to my pending pedantry of posting wisdom. Perhaps what hush they have is not of expectation.
And what’s going on in that corner over there? Why, there’s a whole cadre of folks who have turned off their computers, silenced their phones, and opted to have a real life instead of a virtual one. They’re not awaiting my wisdom with bated breath, they’re more likely baiting a hook to go fishing and couldn’t care less about my pronouncements.
Perhaps they’re the wise ones.
In fact, as the slice of internet audience that’s pointing my direction is so small, that “hush” I detected is best explained as a pause between snores. Especially as my posting history does not suggest the probability of juicy gossip about [celebrity of the day], wild conspiracy theories, “fake news”, or 10 ways to [solve some problem you didn’t know you cared about]. All in all, it‘s best there’s not a large audience holding their breath for the big reveal. For this profound piece of wisdom is…
...Damned if I know. Maybe I’m more comfortable writing than I was when I started nearly two years ago. Maybe I have a better notion of what my “voice” is. Am I a better writer? That was a goal, but the reality, which I suspect many of us share, is I never know from one post to the next whether a piece I pitch will be received as a masterpiece of prose (and/or photography) or yet another ho-hum blog from yet another ho-hum blogger. The odds favor the latter option; I’ve read great writing, I’m not there and I doubt I ever will be. The best I hope for is, for that tiny slice that comes by I can offer some level of entertainment to drown out the collective snore of the internet.
As for tips and tricks for building up a base of followers all I can say is, read other bloggers. If they interest you, engage. A comment is worth 10 Likes. A regular, engaged follower is like gold; they provide the inspiration to continue on and are worth 50 followers who just follow you to get you to follow them. If you’re just after numbers it’s superficial – you’re missing the point of the blogging community.
That’s just my opinion. I don’t have a huge following, but there’s a fair number of gold standard level followers in that group; I am grateful and try to return that level of support to them. I can’t engage with everyone that interests me – there’s not enough time in the day. Some that I follow regularly do not respond in kind – I suspect they are tapped out as well, I don’t take it personally. (Well, I try not to anyway.)
How will post 100 do? Probably not great. There are no eye-catching pictures, it’s a departure from my usual photography/travel/adventure motif, and the title is but a wretched attempt at click bait that’ll only suck in the random browsers for … oh, I guess they’ve already left. (If you’re still here, you rock!)
And as for what the next 100 posts will bring? Time will tell. I hope you stick around to find out.