As blogging’s grown, Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt), the co-founder of WordPress, says “We’ve gotten better at counting and worse at paying attention to what really counts.”
So true. Everything’s about numbers. How many shares? How many hits? How many subscribers? How many visitors?
The antidote, Mullenweg suggests, is to write for only two people.
First, write for yourself, both your present self whose thinking will be clarified by distilling an idea through writing and editing, and your future self who will be able to look back on these words and be reminded of the context in which they were written.
Second, write for a single person who you have in mind as the perfect person to read what you write, almost like a letter, even if they never will, or a person who you’re sure will read it because of a connection you have to them (hi Mom!).
What people forget is that blogging is about a connection –if you are able make a connection with one person, then you have achieved the reason you started the blog to begin with. Everything else is just gravy.
Rebecca Blood counseled me, through her book The Weblog Handbook, to begin by writing to an audience of one – me. No one else was going to be reading my blog. No one had heard of it.
I imagined having a talk radio show sharing what I had read and was learning. I figured the best way to teach myself something was to try and teach it to someone else.
As people came to listen in I envisioned speaking with them, often one person in particular as Mullenweg suggests. Always trying to give as much value as possible.
My audience did grow, as did business development opportunities.
As a blogging lawyer, you ought never forget that greater value in blogging comes to you from presenting your thinking and connecting with people.
The greater value is not numbers. That’s just gravy.