There’s an elderly woman in middle America who blogs about her gout and what she did that day, which sometimes includes visiting the local Hy-Vee market to buy groceries. Why don’t we call her Mabel? Mabel then proceeds to explain how she cooked supper that evening. All in one run-on sentence with just a few typos.
I don’t recall how I came across her blog out in the vast blogosphere but I forced myself to keep reading. I was fascinated by its mundaneness while being intrigued with her large following. Nearly 1000 readers follow Mabel’s blog. That’s a dream to me. An unrealistic, keep on dreaming kind of dream.
Now don’t get me wrong; what Mabel has to say may not be interesting to me but obviously she is to others. One thousand of them! Seems people actually care to know her favorite color.
It’s purple, by the way. Mabel thinks it’s a happy color and maybe she’s right. Who am I to argue with someone who has 10 times the readership I have? Hey, I’m not here to judge. But you know I’m going to anyway.Here’s the thing: I just don’t get it. Finding readers is no easy task. There are over 180 million bloggers worldwide. So much to read, so little time. Still, people continue to visit Mabel’s blog, I suppose to find out why her car was in the shop last week (alternator troubles) and how she gets her pie crusts so flaky (ice cold butter cubes and don’t over mix).
Hey, I’m no Anne Lamott, but I try to make my blogs entertaining to some degree. Usually I manage to avoid misspelled words, consecutive run-on sentences and extended discussions about my bad cold. But not Mabel.
Mabel spills her guts about all sorts of things one would imagine would be of no interest to anyone except her husband. And probably not even him. But does that affect her readership? Not in the least.
Since I have about 100 readers to Mabel’s 1000, I have to ask myself what I’m doing wrong. I refuse to believe I’m more boring than Mabel. Flat out refuse. After all, when was the last time I mentioned my knitting group? Never mind that I don’t have one. The point is, I’d never mention it. You’re welcome.
Who knows how Mabel got so many followers? It’s a mystery. While I rarely attend Mass, she belongs to a large congregation. So are her fellow parishioners faithfully following her like scripture? Apparently so. Am I underestimating my own ability to entertain readers? Most definitely. Do I suck at marketing? Obviously.
When I started my blog in 2012, I sent it to you, my friends, via email and Facebook. That was the extent of my peddling. My goal wasn’t to accumulate a record number of readers, although I’d never turn anyone away. (I’m smarter than I look.) After all, what writer doesn’t like an audience?
But no, I write because I have stuff to say that I hope entertains you on Sunday mornings over coffee and raisin toast. You’re my chosen few. I’ll take you over Mabel’s congregation any day.Still, she may be on to something. Another hundred readers might be nice. Perhaps I should reconsider my subject matter. What I think is mundane, another might find fascinating. So here’s my question:
Would you rather know what I had for lunch yesterday or what I bought at Home Depot on Thursday? You choose. After all, I write for you. (Okay, I’ll end the suspense: grilled cheese and bolt cutters.)
Oh, and if you’re wondering, my favorite color is green.