Diminishing returns…worth continuing?

By Caitlin Kelly

Well, that was depressing!

I finally made time to do an analysis of who visits this site, while WordPress tells me it has 23,193 followers.

I see no evidence of that!

Starting March 2018 — pre-pandemic and mass distraction/anxiety related to COVID — my views have since dropped to double digits per day, from three digits, which isn’t impressive but better than this.

I enjoy blogging but, like you, have no time or energy to waste pumping stuff into silence and invisibility.

I know some readers here — much appreciated!!! — have been reading and commenting since the start, July 1, 2009.

Is this worth continuing?

Are you even making/finding time for other/better/more compelling blogs?

What is this missing or doing so poorly?

35 thoughts on “Diminishing returns…worth continuing?

  1. lesleyc19

    Yes, it is worth continuing. I very much enjoy reading what you have to say. However, your posts arrive in full in my mailbox and I don’t have to visit your site to read it. Why don’t you do as other bloggers do and only post part of the first paragraph? This would mean they’d have to visit your site to read the rest of the post

  2. Perhaps you should consider a different platform. Substack maybe?

    Of course the number of blogs/newsletters have certainly skyrocketed. So there is the sheer amount of competition for time and eyeballs. That could be cutting into your readership.

    1. Thanks…Oh, for sure there is insane competition now between reddit, TikTok, Twitter, etc….and others’ newsletters.

      Substack feels too much like work somehow…But I appreciate the suggestion.

  3. bnackmangmailcom

    I vote for you to continue. Hearing writers share and talk is always useful even if it doesn’t seem so initially. BUT, I’d add only continue if 1) you want to and 2) have the time. I enjoy reading, feeling part of a writer’s circle so while it is cathartic for you it is also worthwhile for readers like me. As a local Sleepy Hollow resident and former news reporter, I hadn’t felt comfortable commenting often. Didn’t want to seem like I was a stalker and if I didn’t have anything BIG to say I didn’t contribute. But I know I’ve seen you in the supermarket, probably elsewhere. My e-box does get so full, so I’d say once a week or twice monthly would be good. All the best, Barbara

  4. Carolyn

    As a person who is not in the industry and is not even sure how I found your blog, I hope you continue. I just enjoy reading what you have to say! But, on that note, I quit my blog in 2014 because I just didn’t have the time or desire to keep up with it…so you do what you feel is best for you!

  5. sthrendyle

    I think your blog is the only one I actually ever actively read, perhaps because I’m ‘reminded’ via e-mail? And I make time to read it, especially since it’s good to hear what other writers are going through. I like the blog’s essay style format, but if someone has a point to make, you can write a Twitter thread, post on FB, comment in Reddit (whatever the hell that is) etc. I agree, I certainly think 23,000 readers sounds impressive… but you see the numbers that travel or foodie YouTubers put up and they’re through the roof. That said, every one of these platforms tells writers that “you need to be HERE.” I loved Malcolm Gladwell’s quote (though I’m sure he’s changed his mind) from many years ago which was “I write for The New Yorker. My readers know where to find me.” As I’ve ‘aged’ (as it were), I find that there are stories that I want to write and am pitching them to websites/magazines that have a light editing touch. They might not pay terribly well, but I figure it will still reach more people than any blog would. There are only so many hours in a life… and, as Margaret Atwood said in a podcast (you need a PODCAST!) last week: “There’s a lot more in your past than there’s going to be in your future.”

  6. I vote for you to continue – if, of course, you enjoy doing it. I like reading about your journalism experiences, travels, etc. Many people use their blogs as a diary or journaling tool – which is fine, I do some of that too. But I can only read so many of those so I choose the ones I follow carefully. I read your blog because it has a different tone and angle. Keep on writing!

  7. Marge

    I also enjoy your blog but do not comment often. I receive it by email. Like someone mentioned, do those of us who read it through our email get counted? Can you set it up so that you are notified when someone reads the email? That would give you an idea of how many followers you have that aren’t actually going to your blog site. I’d hate to see you discontinue sharing your thoughts and adventures with us. I know that, for me, I need to hear what you have to say.

  8. I’ve been blogging since 2014. I have WAY less followers, but I know they follow me because they like what I write. I have more followers on Twitter, but I rarely get as many “Likes” as I have followers. People move, lose their internet, get too much mail to catch everything. Facebook and Twitter have a part in who sees what, I’m not sure about wordpress. I have noticed that depending on what I am looking at on wordpress the number of my followers varies. But you know what? I have fun blogging. I’ve met really nice people. I have learned what I can and cannot post. There are people out there who are specifically looking to cause harm. Not necessarily to you personally, but just because. There really is no privacy on line. And our info travels far and stays on line. People have found me here this year through articles that were written in 2015. If you like doing it, stay. The more nice people on here, the better. If you leave I hope you have something cool to do instead.

    1. Thanks…all fair points!

      For sure, people are much. more distracted by alternate sources of information and entertainment than a few years ago,so, yes, diminished audience to be expected.

  9. Since I found your blog, I’ve always found it to be a wonderful read. It strikes me as honest, well-researched, and very to the point. Your life experiences, as with all of us, have made you who you are, and they are so interesting. As far as continuing, I think you have to consider if it is worth it to you, as far as time, return, and what you are hoping to get from it. The numbers often seem off-kilter to me as well, and I’m not sure what the cause, but I still enjoy the exercise of blogging and interacting. I personally hope for you to continue, but totally understand if it’s not something you want to spend your time and energy on anymore –

  10. Robert Lerose

    Caitlin,
    I always look forward to reading your blog posts. Whether you’re talking about your favorite paint colors or tackling a weightier subject, you always bring your unique perspective, personality and soul to the subject at hand. That said, if these posts don’t bring you the kind of return you want or need or hope for … if they are in fact taking too much out of you in terms of time or energy or visceral material … then consider stopping. Only you can make that decision. These posts bring value to my life, but that’s really immaterial if they don’t bring enough value to yours. You have my support, whatever you decide.
    Robert

  11. Kris Lindquist

    I, too enjoy your blog immensely but probably don’t show up in your stats as I bookmarked your site and pop in several time a week. I suspect a whole lot of us are invisible to you and that’s too bad.

    Regards,
    Kris

  12. OK, first, a question: Who loves ya, baby? (Thanks, Kojak). Now that we have that established, blogging. My blog, the terrible idealist, has TWO followers, so sign up now and beat the crowds. So what? I write when I think I have something to say, whether anyone agrees or not. My blog is for me. It doesn’t have to bring me money or validation, just personal satisfaction. If I don’t feel like writing a post for a month or two, once again, so what? If all two of my followers left during that time I can’t really say if that would make much of a difference. This strategy works well for me and it may be worth a try for you. Either way, please throw us a bone every now and then. Your4 blog is very smart, though not so surprising anymore, due more to treatment than content (That’s a compliment, believe it or not). Be reading you soon.
    Kenny

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