Numbers matter. In so many areas of our society we watch numbers. We watch our weight, the calories we take in, our profit lines, our budgets, church attendance, our FB friends, twitter followers, and the list goes on. The same mentality applies to blogging. The higher the numbers the more successful we count ourselves. Actually, in the world of publishing, if you want to get a book published by a traditional publisher, your blog numbers matter even more. Most publishers won’t touch you if you are pulling a couple thousand views a day. So for someone that wants to write a book, it’s easy to get hung up on numbers.
At the end of each year I make the same goal, to blog more than I did the previous year. Over the last five years I’ve slowly, but steadily increased the amount that I post. But, this year has been my best yet. In 2014 I posted 36 articles. I wanted to best that this year and so far I have. Since the beginning of the year I’ve posted 49 articles. I’m barely half way through the year and I’ve written 13 more article than I did all last year and I’ve been loving writing this much. But it wasn’t until this past week that I realized it wasn’t the best I have to offer.
I want to be an author. I have at least five book ideas, all of which are in different stages of the writing process. Because I want to be an author, I’ve been researching how to get published and what it takes to build a platform. My original intent in trying to build a platform was to find an audience of peope that care about the message I so deeply believe in. I’ve been really focusing a lot on reading stuff by Jeff Goins, Jon Acuff and Michael Hyatt. They’re all brilliant writers and coaches. One of the things they all talk about, on some level, is the importance of platform building, to which blogging helps in that process. That’s not the only thing, but that’s the thing that was most relevant to where I was at. As I’ve worked on building my blog, I started getting hung up on the numbers. I started to become consumed about my daily views and the number of email followers. Specifically this number:
On the surface it looks like I have 703 people that care about what I have to say and took the time to sign up to receive my blog by email. That number has increased steadily from about 400, over the last 3 months, so I was stoked. However, over the last few weeks I’ve felt like I needed to change the way that I was delivering my content. Specifically I felt like I needed to separate my writing into blogs that provided a more focused message to those I was trying to serve. But I just couldn’t get passed the growing followership. I had become sort of obsessed with seeing that number grow. But, this last week I learned something that I’ve long suspected to be true; that 703 isn’t an accurate reflection of the audience I’m serving. It’s actually formed from combining my Twitter followers, my FB page likes and in the number of actual email subscribers, which are actually only 10 people. I’ve been putting off improving my blog because I got hung up on a number that wasn’t even real. For that I’m sorry. I’m sorry that what may have been better for the people I’m trying to serve took a back seat to my need to up the number.
As important as numbers are, numbers don’t matter if the ones you’re focused on don’t help you serve those you’re called to. I don’t want to make it sound like I don’t appreciate the 10 legitimate email subscribers I have and the dozens of (maybe hundred or so) people that I know read #ApproachGod. I know those people appreciate what I write. I’ve had people message me and tell me that they were hurt by people in the church and how much they appreciate hearing that Christianity isn’t meant to be like that. It’s because of my readers, the last few months have been far more important to me than all of the other years that I’ve been writing at #ApproachGod. But, because they’re such a small part of that 703, in reality I wasn’t serving them as best as I could because I was focused on 600 people that more than likely don’t care about what I write. You that have committed to this walk with me deserve better from me.
It used to be that I wasn’t sure which direction I should go with my writing and because of that I posted it in the place that was the best fit at the time, #ApproachGod. But that isn’t the case anymore. God has given me some clarity on which way I should be going, but I’ve been procrastinating on listening, because of a number. I’m done with that. I so appreciate those whom made the decision to journey this road with me and I want to give them the best of me and make sure that what I give to them meets their needs in the best way. Because of that I need to refocus what I’m writing and where it shows up. I want to be more cognizant of whom I’m writing to and I want the location to be more strategic in what it provides to the reader.
Over the next couple months I’m going to reorganize my blog writing and launch two, maybe three, additional blogs sites. #ApproachGod will stay, but it will eventually look a lot different. #ApproachGod was never meant to look like it currently does. It was started as a means to provide devotional style content. My main content, essentially everything I’m posting on #ApproachGod, will be moved over to BrucePagano.com. The blog I post on Wednesday will talk about that and what the new sites will be focused on. In the mean time, I’m looking forward to the transition and better serving my audience. If you decide to continue journeying with me I can promise you this, I’ll be more concerned about engaging you as a part of my community than I am in growing with numbers that don’t matter.