1000 – A One With Three Zeros After It – That’s Really All


When I first started this blog just over a year ago, I would see people that had a THOUSAND followers or more and wonder how the hell that happened. Especially if I questioned the level of interest of their writing (that’s a nice way of me saying that I couldn’t believe that 10 people, let alone 1000 would show up to see a picture of a mug of beer with the caption “Happy Friday everyone!” on a regular basis.

But what do I know? LOL-cats is a thing. A huge fucking thing.

But now I know how the 1000 happens, and let me just say THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART to all you Marketing people who think that somehow by following my blog, I’m going to come and follow yours and buy…. whatever it is you’re selling.

(WHAT ARE these people selling anyway?)

So, for any new bloggers reading this, thinking that I’m big shit for having 1000 followers, and are questioning, as I did for the longest time “What am I doing wrong? What is she doing that I’m not doing?” — my sage advice to you my friend — don’t sweat it. Build friendships on here — build a group of readers that actually enjoy what you write, and interact with you. Consider yourself a success when you have a half dozen people who comment on a regular basis — because those are the people that will make you feel good about your writing.

A Thousand is just a ONE with three ZEROS after it. I’d say that probably 900 of those people in my “Followers” list have never read a word I’ve written. So why should I let let that number rule my life?

So this isn’t a celebratory post. I know people do celebrate, and if it makes you happy, then more power to you. But for me, knowing what that 1000 means to me — how it taunted me and eluded me until I was lucky enough to get Freshly Pressed (but again, this isn’t always the case with some people) and then how my numbers just exploded — it’s an empty prize. I feel more rewarded by the new readers that the recognition of being Freshly Pressed got me. I can think of about a half-dozen new people that I now interact with on a regular basis, some on an almost daily basis (you know who you are) and to YOU ALL I say thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.

But A THOUSAND? A THOUSAND can go fuck itself. It’s just number.

Please no CONGRATULATIONS in the comments. If you want to chat, let’s chat.


78 responses to “1000 – A One With Three Zeros After It – That’s Really All

  1. Congra – oh, wait. 1000 is just a number, but it’s a pretty sweet number. And you are exactly right. The best part isn’t the big number, it’s the core number of relationships that really matter. The people I interact with day-to-day in the comments sections and on Twitter feeds are the ones that I treasure.

    • I admit, I do have a chuckle or two when I see some of the transparently ROBOT names of some of my “followers”. I guess there’s that.
      But you’re right.. it’s the core folks that make me keep writing.

      • I like it when I get supportive comments from VIAGRAPRO$%456. It means the world that he/she would take time out of their full schedule of helping dudes achieve, um, a dose of self-esteem to enhance mine as well. I DO feel enhanced. If the feeling doesn’t go away in four hours, though, I will be calling a medical professional.

  2. It is very gratifying when somebody new enters my blogging life with the I’ll-really-read-you and you’ll-really-read-me connection, Helena. To get there, you both have to share some sort of common interest about words and ideas. And that is the coolest, not the numbers. And yet I would love to be Freshly Pressed to have more of these like-minded folks find me, and vice versa.

    • I think you just touched on an important issue, there, darling — sometimes it’s simply a matter of not connecting when it comes to common interests and such. If someone writes… I dunno…. gay dolphin porn. All gay dolphin porn all the time. And I’m neither gay, nor a dolphin, nor into gay dolphin pornography — I’m not likely to read that person’s work. Nothing personal, I’m just not interested. Finding that niche — finding your READERS — is tough. I know there are people that I can chat with no problem, but don’t like my writing. Tough to hear, but fair enough.

      • Agreed. Never do I expect to be everybody’s cup of tea, Helena. Tastes are tastes, darling, as I expect you would say. Finding your readers is the forever challenge. Fair enough.

  3. Yes, but you haven’t hit the big time until one of your followers is Phoenixville Plumbing and Heating Supply.
    I agree – the follower counts are nice, but I prefer the conversations.

      • Way back when, I got followed by a hotel builder promoting green living by constructing his hotel with hollow walls filled with hay.
        Almost makes me with I’d been followed by gay-dolphin-porn guy.

      • No you don’t. That stuff is filthy. Dolphins are filthy, filthy animals and I’d glad they accidentally get ground up into tuna cans. Kill them all.

        (Oh, shit, I hope Morrissey knows I’m joking. I’ve got tickets, you see)

  4. This was the perfect post for me to see this morning. 1000 IS big shit and I am quite certain that the majority of them are following you because your blog is fabulous. Because it is.

    I just scraped past 20 today and had a moment of feeling pleased followed immediately by, ‘Is that all? I want those zeros.

    • My very best advice is to join in on some writing groups — I really only participate in the one because any more and I’d just explode from being stretched too thin, and then I’d start making horrible mixed metaphors that make no sense. See, it’s happening already!
      But truly — I can’t convince you of this until you get there yourself — but I was at a hard won 200 followers up until February, when I wrote a two part post, both of which got Freshly Pressed (and I’m not going to mince words, it’s a fantastic piece, and I’m very proud of it) That means that in the last 6 weeks, I’ve gotten 800 new followers. So, you figure it out. Is it even possible that these people are all new readers? I WISH! But sadly, no. To be honest, I don’t know if I could handle 800 people trying to chat with me all the time!

  5. ^Charles did it right. I was about to go for how much I miss a good ice-cream parlor. 😀
    By the way Dilettante, you rock. I still remember that ‘Freshly Pressed’ post of yours. ❤

    • I love cheesecake ice cream. New York Cherry Cheesecake ice cream may be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet.
      OH.. and Death By Caffeine. OR For Unlawful Caramel Knowledge!
      (I love ice cream)

      • CHEESECAKE! =O
        C H E E S E C A K E.
        C H E E S E ❤

        I swear if I had a chance to make my own world, that'd be cheese and chocolate and caramel and fudge. 😀

  6. I was just laughing this morning about the six new followers I acquired overnight…Cubancuties4u, (un)usual lifestyle, and so on…people wanting to show me their product page or entice me to check out their girls or hot rods. Not one seemed a genuine person who would be interested in anything I would have to say. Now I love the interaction in comments from real people…there are perhaps 200 real followers who stop in to interact from time to time, so if I am not in their email, I assume I must be in their reader. What amazes me about my reader, is that I follow people with a genuine interest of seeing them in my reader and they never show up? What’s with that? I will see duplicate posts from some bloggers daily, and never see a post from others. I know that they are posting, because I will put them in email and there they are every day, not NOT in my reader. So, to keep up, I have to get 400 emails a day…it’s like a REAL 9-5 job to keep up.

    • It is exhausting trying to keep up sometimes. It’s not that I don’t want to read it is that there’s so much that I want to read I never get around to reading it all. I keep reminding myself that, and knowing that everybody else is in the same boat I am. It makes me really grateful when people do take the time to read, because I know that they had 1 million other choices of things to read and they chose mine. Ha! Didn’t that sound like an airline announcement? “We here at dilettante airlines know that you have many other choices for your travel needs…”

  7. I hear of people with all those followers – and I’ve never strived for any. In fact, I honestly am not sure why anyone follows me. But I also rarely tag any of my posts – those tags seem to be what makes people seek out and the bots then follow. I’m content with a few friends who are real people.

    • I like to toy with the bots and the search terms, though. After all this time, one carefully titled post keeps getting hits day in and day out. No one’s reading it, of course, but it keeps turning up while they grab their dick and double click.

  8. Personally, now that I’ve hit 350, I get the spammers who tell me how much they learned and how inspirational I am from a post about my crappy day. It makes you feel like a super star, no?

      • Yay me! I’m one of the cool kids. 🙂 Mine does too, but I still get to read them when I clear that sucker out once in a blue moon.

      • Or the ones with nonsensical words strung together. I always think “Bing Translate must have really screwed you over, dude.”

      • I use Babelfish, myself. They never twist up. They strike the nail directly on the top. You never have to have anxiety about your massage getting misplaced in relanguagifying

      • Actually, darling, I was joking — Babelfish is just as bad — the problem is, people try to use idioms like “They never screw up” or “Hit the nail on the head” and then wonder why it doesn’t translate correctly.

      • I plead insanity. :p And I do remember studying idioms in French and they translated literally into some funky things so I’m not surprised.

      • I taught English in Venezuela one summer and met a guy who did translations for Columbian soap operas — originally in Spanish, he’d translate and write the script in English, where it was then sent out to be translated into other languages. Can you imagine the disconnect that would happen when something is translated from A to B and then from B to C? I imagine the result is hilarious.

  9. Great post. I agree wholeheartedly with the fact that numbers are just that, numbers. People make it worthwhile and I am happy with all who comment and read. I can’t imagine anyone not reading your stuff. Their loss.

  10. A timely post! I got two whole followers yesterday, and no comments. And while I was delighted with the fact that someone (anyone) had found my blog? If any of my writing had struck them in some way, I wish they would’ve shared how.

    And I would love to comment on almost every thing you’ve written. Except that would make me look deranged, and usually (though not always) that’s not an auspicious beginning for a relationship that doesn’t involve restraining orders. 😉

    And when some drapes and blinds company started following me on Pinterest? Utter. Bewilderment. Why? Just, why?

  11. So, here’s another number with zeros after it – 300, rise of an empire. The boy is questioning who he should root for. I’m afraid he might have an existential crisis over it.
    And I also think Twindaddy wins the internet – and CuteColumbians followed me yesterday, so I almost feel like I’m part of the in-crowd! 🙂
    PS: I’m really happy to be one of your real readers!

  12. I don’t understand following. The majority of these people may or may not follow. I think they actually just click the button or they are spam robots. I’ve gotten legitimate bloggers, and some bloggers I question. If I scroll over their Gravatar and nothing is written or there is something ridiculously fishy about their bio… I won’t consider reading them.

    • You are one of the New-ish people I’m so glad to have met, darling. I always look forward to hearing from you. Oh. Here’s a little treat for you – remember when we were talking porn (readers are going to be so confused) and I’d said how AC Newman’s solo stuff was great, too? Was just listening to this and thought you might like it. http://youtu.be/OysOL_Xn-Ik

  13. I’m honoured that I found and loved you about 2 seconds before you went all FP :p brilliant sentiment in this post! It’s so true, I have a small but magic following that I *love* engaging with – better than a big number with little substance 🙂

  14. You indeed have your priorities in order. I don’t even pay attention to who follows me any more, just who Likes or comments. For me, Twitter is worse. I get so many bots trying to follow my account. And I block their asses 😉 Less is more 🙂

  15. Absolutely correct – I really treasure my regular “likers” and commenters – these are the people who are reading my posts and seem to enjoy them. They’re my real bloggy friends. I also enjoy reading proper replies to my comments on other blogs, getting that “connection”.
    Followers numbers are just numbers.

    • I’m happy that I make connections with people, and am always a little disappointed with myself when it takes me so long to make connections – when people have obviously been reading or following or commenting for some time and they just slip under my radar! I can’t imagine being famous and having people tweet me thousands of times a day. I would go nuts.

  16. Somehow, in the darkness, I MISSED THIS, and I – I don’t apologise because I’m getting it now, but I am kicking myself for not seeing it sooner so I could tell you congratu(kidding)

    “Consider yourself a success when you have a half dozen people who comment on a regular basis — because those are the people that will make you feel good about your writing.”


    I see people chasing after numbers and somewhere in their hearts it *must* make them happy, and I struggle to see why, because in my tiny place of 85ish followers (or perhaps more, but with no real way to find out) I have found TRUE CONNECTIONS. I have people who return multiple times weekly, some even keep up with me most days, and they’re so wonderful, and have, in some cases, become true friends.

    Heck, I even got BlogMarried to one of them *happydance*

    You are wise, and wonderful to share this wisdom.

      • I have no Countess to run around after, my house is filthy, and my therapy is words. I would shrivel away without this laptop and the connections and wonderful people it brings.

        Finding places and persons which resonate deeply and pluck the strings of the WriterHeart is one of the absolute joys of being part of this Blogosphere, and one I wouldn’t be without.

        And if e’er I’m lucky enough to reach out, and find that someone reaches back, my goodness, I will honour that. (if I want to, yaknow 😉 )

      • I do my best, Lizzi. I do my best. You are a joy to me – you are one of the nicest things that has come out of my recent recognition. Your passion for… Passion overwhelms me in the best possible way, and I only wish I had your energy do that you would know that I absolutely 100% reciprocate the respect you show me, and that I love your writing, too. That you met me at a time when I was/am completely wrapped up in self-promotion and exhaustion is a lot of why you probably don’t see me as much as you should. That, and we live in different neighbourhoods.

      • You reciprocate just fine, believe me. I’m still getting over being starry-eyed that you even talk to me (did I mention that in the land of the Crazy Carousel, that can (and has been known to) happen when I fall for someone’s writing before I get to know them…whatevs).

        Wrapped up in self-promotion and exhaustion or not, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading the world through your eyes, hearing your stories and getting to know you a little. It’s a privilege.

        It’s nice that the neighbourhood is smaller online, if nothing else.

  17. This is definitely timely, and good head-shake back to reality for me. I’ve blogged for 3 years now, and not as big of a “following” as I’d like, and I’ve struggled with feeling like I’m not a good or interesting enough writer because of it. Which should challenge me to write better, but mostly it just discourages me. But now you’ve reinforced the fact that I DO have constant readers and friends, and the number is just a number. Plus, one of my “followers” calls himself a Prophet and I’m pretty sure he’s not advertising or proselytizing AT ALL. 😉

    • Thank you for dropping by butterfly. Every week I used to sit down on Sunday morning and try to discover new blogs for the purpose of writing a review (granted sometimes I had stumbled across the blogs earlier in the week and I was just sitting down to write the review on Sunday) and even in going searching for new blogs I had to wade through so much garbage, so much banality, and also so much worth reading that there just wasn’t enough time of the day to read it all. Knowing that, realizing that, it makes me thankful that people read my work at all, because they have so many choices – they could read anything at all, or read nothing at all and just go play Farmville, or watch TV. Instead they choose to read something I wrote. That’s pretty special. Remember that.

  18. Glad I saw this post, it’s very encouraging to hear about other’s discouragement. Er, what I mean is, to know that others have felt as discouraged as I do. Yes, that’s better. I’ve been bloggin for about six months and I’ve posted some things I’m very proud of, but these don’t seem to get any more eyeballs on them than the early stuff where I was just getting my feet wet. It stinks to feel like you’re doing it wrong, Thanks for sharing this.

    • I was in the same boat. When I finally did get people reading, I created a table of contents page listing some of my old posts, and directed new readers back there. Because it seemed ashamed that just because I didn’t have the traffic that I had then that those posts went unread. Now I have just released a book and new readers will have to pick that up in order to jump on the bandwagon as it were. (insert sinister mu ha ha here). I am still discovering that it’s not just any audience you want but like-minded individuals. If you are writing gay dolphin porn (just as a random example) you can’t expect someone who’s not a gay dolphin porn enthusiast to enjoy your writing. Try to reach out to other bloggers that write in a similar style or about support topics as you do. One of my biggest fans discovered me just by reading comments I’ve written on another’s blog. I am not a very social person believe it or not. So I’m not talking about this like it’s just second nature to me. I have had to work really hard to make connections with people and to maintain them, and still find time to write and have a life outside of WordPress. Best of luck to you, I will have to drop by and check out what you’re working on when I have a chance. In the meantime I’m going click your follow button because it’s easiest thing in the world to do. But at least your stories or writing or whatever will show up in my reader and it will remind me to come and read. Thank you for dropping by, darling.

  19. K, no congrats. Thought you might chk this out, as I talk along similar lines on successful blogging and community. New and veteran bloggers had a lot to say:



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s