Write for the reader. Optimize for SEO/Google. Measure audience attention. Track for conversion rates. Perform keyword analysis on Google for topics to write posts on.
Oh so many injunctions!
I personally find nothing wrong with having a concrete goal for one’s blog. To plan, execute, measure result and refine plan is perhaps the most logical approach to any endeavor.
But in obeying the dictates of Google Analytics I wonder if we have lost the ability to think deeply, to write well and understand ourselves, and the environment in which we live in, better.
Remember that not all content written for commerce is bad and likewise not all contemplative content is good. After all they say that Shakespeare wrote for the Globe for money! And there is sufficient crap out there on the internet that is done for pure personal satisfaction.
I just wish that there would be a balance and not allow ourselves to accept implicit standards of success.
A blog can be a podium, for us to scream out our ideas over the bustle of the marketplace. To seek converts, or to hawk our wares.
A blog can also be our private chamber. Or even a hidden Parisian cafe. Where like-minded individuals meet to discuss the inane and obscure.
The point is not every measure of success is on an analytics dashboard.
It is also in how much I, the author, and you the reader, have benefitted from this little exchange of ideas.
If, in thinking through an idea for a post, I emerge a little less radical and more humble than before, then even without publishing the post I shall have gained.
And likewise to you, perhaps this post has added to your understanding. Or even contradicted your viewpoint in a way you had not thought of earlier. And therein the the value add.
Even if your new year resolution is driven by a clear metric of subscriber count or conversion rates, remember you need to enjoy the journey. Blogging need not be a contact sport.
What matters is that we share our ideas and opinions and attention. To just participate in a way that makes the process beneficial to all concerned. And in participating we will have added something of ours to the larger whole of the Internet.
Now, over to you! What do you think? What do you expect from your blogging?