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Numbers don't matter. Engagement does.

David Gane
David Gane
2 min read

Over the past twelve months, I have been writing daily. On July 13, I hit my first anniversary. For the next few days, I want to reflect on the year.

The months before I started blogging daily, I was struggling with a bi-weekly newsletter. It required a lot of work, research, and, whether I liked it or not, worrying.

But I wasn't seeing any growth. My numbers were around 50, while others were at 1000+. I didn't know what to do. I considered quitting or pivoting to a different subject.

I know there were many things I could have done better, but I was exhausted or not comfortable with some of the tactics that could help with growth.

Then I started daily blogging and quit caring about the numbers.

I didn't immediately quit, but I did hope no one was reading. I was making many mistakes (I still am) and wanted to learn without anyone watching. I fumbled a lot, missed a lot of posts, but eventually found my rhythm.

I'm still trying things out, testing new ideas, but I don't care if people watch me try things anymore.

My daily blog and monthly newsletter still have low numbers. The monthly newsletter hasn't increased, and I don't think anyone reads the blog (please put a comment if you are).

I still am not too worried.

Sure, I'd love readers, and I'd love to make an impact, but I'm blogging for me. I mentioned this in my last newsletter, but I'm writing to a younger version of me who could've used some of this advice and an older version who sometimes forgets the little lessons I learn today.

I hope that somewhere out there is an audience similar to me who can also use this advice.

So, yes, numbers don't matter...but they sort of, kind of do.

When I was writing my newsletter a week ago, I realized that I gave a shit about those numbers. I no longer track my page views (although sometimes I think I should), and I only get feedback on who opens my newsletter and clicks the links.

So, I'm working in the dark a lot, which sucks, because I'd like to know what is or isn't helping people.

This area is where engagement would help. My blog has two tools that I've always kept turned on: likes/dislikes and comments. They're always at the bottom of my daily posts, whether on the website or in the email (did you know you can get the daily blog emailed to you?).

No one uses those either—but I'd love it if they did.

I know I need to create the conditions to help with engagement, but I always feel weird forcing it—especially after a post that doesn't ask for it.

So that's where things are at. Nothing is tracking my page reads, but there probably should be, and what matters to me more are comments and likes/dislikes.

What are your thoughts? Do you ever feel you should comment on a post? Let me know below.


David Gane Twitter

Co-writer of the Shepherd and Wolfe young adult mysteries, the internationally award-winning series, and teacher of storytelling and screenwriting.


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