This article, by James Chartrand, originally appeared on the Men With Pens site on 3/27/09.
How many people read your blog? 1,000? 500? 300? Maybe even just 100 readers or less. Those numbers might discourage you.
Just 100 readers. That’s nothing, you think. You look at the big blogs you admire, and with a low heart, you notice their reader stats so proudly displayed. They have thousands of daily readers showing up. They have the readership you dream of, the stats that make you envious.
Maybe those numbers make you feel small. You might wonder if you’re writing every day or two for nothing. You may feel like you’re wasting your time.
I’d like to turn that line of thinking on its head and give it a good ass-kicking. It’s time to put stats into perspective.
The Biggest Show in Town
Imagine you have tickets to a fantastic show – your favorite artist, too. It’s going to be huge – an extravaganza! The biggest thing to hit the region!
Have you ever been to a big rock star performance? I have. It’s crowded. It’s noisy and there’s no place to sit. You can’t see the stage well. So you stand uncomfortably and watch the big screens that show clips and bits of the most exciting parts of the show.
There are lights shining in your eyes. People around you are talking, and you can’t hear well over the background noise. Someone jostles you. It smells funny. It’s long. Your legs are tired. Maybe the weather isn’t the best, either – of course the show is outdoors.
Who could fit that many people in an auditorium?
When you leave at the end of the show, you’re glad to be out in the fresh air. It’s good to stretch your legs. Your ears are ringing from all the noise. You had a good time, sure! It was the biggest show in town – amazing!
Really? I don’t think so.
Biggest Isn’t Always Best
Now imagine a different show. It’s smaller – in your home town. In fact, the performer about to take the stage is you.
So you walk out on stage. The lighting is basic. There aren’t any big screens. There aren’t many seats in the auditorium, either. Your show isn’t at rockstar levels, and you wonder if anyone is going to show up.
You take a deep breath, and the curtains open.
Look out at the auditorium. It’s small, but the seats are full. Expectant faces look back at you. Everyone is seated comfortably and they’re waiting for your performance. The sound is good, there’s not much noise, and when you begin your show, you manage to reach every single person in that audience.
Up close and personal, too. Now that’s a show I like to attend.