THE TEMPTATIONS - AM I LOSING YOU?
I was all proud of myself during the "hey-day" of the nuclear crisis in Japan as this blog was getting anywhere between 4,000 ~ 6,000 readers a day, on average, for about a month there (my current record is 8,418 readers in one day!). Those numbers, now, have dropped to about 1,500 ~ 1,800 readers a day. I can get over 2,000 ~2,200 if I blog three times a day like I used too, but, as people slowly return to work, along with the rest of Japan, who has time for that?
I guess my numbers are still pretty good for a blog that is barely one-year old, but, after those skyrocketing numbers, it is a bit of a downer.
This reminds me of how it used to be in Japan when I first came here in the early 1980's. There were very few foreigners here. Foreign guys were extremely popular amongst Japanese women. You would see these shockingly beautiful Japanese women hanging onto dorky looking foreign guys everywhere. You didn't think, "Why is that gorgeous goddess hanging out with that stupid-looking guy?" back then because you, too, had your own 4 or 5 awesome babes hanging around your neck!
If you were a foreign guy in Japan in the 1980's, Japan was like dying and going to guy heaven.
Those days are long past. Foreign men are no longer anything special and now you see dorky looking foreigners hanging out with plain looking (albeit nice) Japanese girls. You still see the awesome women, but they are back to reality and are hanging out, for the most part, with rich guys (in Japan that means rich Japanese - funny that!)
Oh, those were the days!... But I digress... This blog is about the waning popularity of English language blogs on Japan. I suppose the English language blogs on Japan that were mainly tech and gadget orientated have not felt any drop in readership, yet I would imagine the earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear accident didn't really jump their readership, but I could be mistaken.
I 'm talking about the drop in readership to blogs about Japan that are culturally, economically or politically focused have all seen recent drops in interest. I'm sure that I am not the only blogger on Japan that is experiencing this drop in readership.
That brings me to the real purpose of this blog post. Actually, I am writing this blog post for bloggers, like me, who have seen their numbers drop, or fail to rise as expected, whether they are in Japan or not or blogging about Japan or not.
Fellow bloggers who do not see quickly great fruits of their works do not despair! Keep up the blogging and keep up the good work!
As for myself, I am inspired by Mike "Mish" Shedlock. Mish has been blogging since 2005 at Global Economic Analysis. He tells me that he now gets about 1.8 million readers per month. That's wonderful but realize that he's been doing it for nearly seven years! So just because your numbers haven't climbed greatly in a year or two of blogging, don't give up!
This is not an overnight success job.
I've been blogging since 2004, but not at my own site. I blogged at Lew Rockwell (LRC) and a few other sites until last year. I still submit to LRC. In 2006, Lew told me that one article I wrote in 2005 was the second most popular post on his blog for that entire year and that I had received over 1.5 million views. That article was entitled America is Bankrupt. You can read it here: http://www.lewrockwell.com/rogers/rogers171.html When I wrote that article, I was bombed with criticism from hundreds of people. No one criticizes me for that anymore.
I didn't write that post to be popular, I wrote it because I wanted to tell people what I thought.
Don't forget, bloggers, to ask yourself, who do we do this labor of love for? It's not for other people. It's for ourselves. It's because this is what we want to say.
You don't need to send out notices to people on Twitter and Facebook that say, "Please read my blog!" or "Please follow my blog!" You only need to keep writing those posts and then letting people know the subject matter. If what you write is good and you have a policy and are focused, then they will come. If you are consistent, they will follow.
Also, don't be ashamed of low readership! Be proud of what you are doing! I think everyone needs to put a visitor counter on their blog or web page if they can. If you don't put a counter on your blog, it seems that you are hiding a possible embarrassment over low readership numbers! Being embarrassed about something like that is not cool! It's like worrying too much about what the neighbors might think. Don't do it.
Like the hilarious remarks by Ian Faith in the classic movie, "Spinal Tap" your attitude shouldn't be that your popularity is low, your attitude should be that your popularity is becoming more "selective." After all, you only want the beautiful, intelligent, cool people reading your blog, right?
"Oh, no, no. I don't think the band's popularity is waning,
I think their appeal is becoming more selective."
- Ian Faith from Spinal Tap
So be proud of your audience and place that counter on your blog!
I am also reminded about my youth and playing in a Punk band. One time we played at a place called Madame Wong's in Los Angeles with Black Flag and Fear. All the bands expected a massive turnout. I thought we'd have at least 300 people there. Nope! I think there were only 8 customers.
My band's set was sh*tty and uninspired because of this. Black Flag's set was awesome! After the show I asked one of the members of Black Flag about it and he told me, "It doesn't matter if you are playing in front of 3 people or 300 people, you go out there and give it 10,000%!" Wow! He's right. Spoken like a true professional.
That was the difference between Black Flag and my band. They played their hearts out every time, like professionals, regardless of the crowd. My band's performance was influenced by outside factors beyond our control.
Bloggers! Do not be influenced by outside factors! Write your hearts out. Give it your all. Remember that blogging is not something you do for three months and then get thousands of readers! Think about getting a few thousand readers a day after two or three years solid effort. That's the way to approach the very rewarding effort of blogging.
Inspire and they will come.