Initially, when I first began blogging, I was laser-focused on daily page views: this seemed to me to be a pure measure of just how many of my words were read.
Over time, I noticed that I became more interested in the number of “unique visitors” I attracted each day. Each of these represented a person, someone who wanted to read what I have to say. Somehow this became, for me, an all-important metric. Months ago, when I first passed the milestone of a hundred visitors in a day, I remember doing a little jig: even as tiny a number as that is, it represented a triumph, of sorts to me. (At that time, as I recall, another blogger claimed daily traffic of 4x my levels. This dampened my excitement, just a bit.)
As the months have passed, my traffic has grown, but the rate of growth has slowed. In the early days, I fought for clicks, posting comments on other blogs, tweeting furiously, hoping people would learn of me and beat a path to my door. I don’t really know what my expectations or hopes were, but at least briefly, they were grand. More recently, I’ve simply been myself, tweeting intermittently, almost always socially, rarely to hype. Now, I comment on others’ blogs much more reactively: I comment when I have something to say (which is infrequent), rather than simply writing words (“Great post!”) to comment.
Today, I average about 200 visitors. It rarely dips below about 150, and once in a while, it spikes above 300, or as high, on a couple of occasions, when someone new has linked, or Fleshbot has picked an uncharacteristically hot picture to accompany a post they’ve selected, as a thousand. (One little tidbit that I kind of like: there’s been barely an hour in the last three months during which this blog didn’t have at least one visitor.)
But the truth is, my interest has moved on. Now, more than the number of visitors, I find myself focused on the INTENSE visitors, those who come and read everything I’ve written, who read page after page, staying not for five or ten minutes, but for 30, or 60, or 90. Every day or so there’s one or two of those, and they are my new manna.
I want to know those people: my narcissism is outwitted by anyone who finds me that compelling.
And I’m intrigued, as well: as often as there are such new visitors, they rarely, if ever, comment. Commenters seem to be a different bunch. (With one or two exceptions – you know who you are.)
Which is too bad, because if you’re one of those who, stumbling here, found something really compelling? You’re my ideal reader. I want to engage with you, to answer your questions, write on subjects of interest to you, etc.