Wednesday, January 4, 2012

So What Does It All Mean?



First of all, thanks so much to everyone who reads this blog. Even if you only lurk, or even if you only clicked "follow this blog" once, years ago, and never came back, I appreciate your support.

For me, personally, this journey to publication is something I could not ever have achieved alone. To have friends, people who truly understand, that is what makes it all bearable.

Some of you are new here, so I will give you a little history. I started this blog in March of 2009, almost two years ago. At the time, I'd given up on wanting to be a writer, you know, a real writer. I hadn't written a thing in months, and I was so frustrated by how difficult it seemed to be to break into the publishing industry, I was ready to give up on my passion, and settle for the table scraps of a life the corporate world was willing to give me.

The real reason I was discouraged, though, is that I was trying to do it alone. I did not know a single other person who was a writer. I was not in contact with a single person who was a professional in the publishing industry. Sure, I researched query letters, and I wrote to some agents, but I wasn't going about it right. I didn't connect with anyone.

So long story short, before I go on for way too long about all this, I started a blog, met some amazing people, and now feel more energized about my creative passion than I ever have in my entire life. I've had short stories published, I've met agents, editors, and famous authors, but most importantly, I've begun real friendships with people whose love of writing is the same as mine.

Back when I first started, I remember looking up to bloggers who had a thousand followers like the were some kind of paragons.

I remember first meeting Elana Johnson, and she already had just over a thousand followers at the time. We became friends, and she has probably taught me more about the ancient and honorable art that is the query letter than anyone, except maybe:

Lisa and Laura Roecker have been friends of mine for a long time. They were always so nice, and were one of the first people to lend their fame to my blog, offering their support to someone just starting out. I remember being so excited watching them reach that thousand follower milestone.

I think I met Shannon Messenger before she had a thousand followers, but she's been so famous for so long, it's hard to remember. What with being the queen of the writing/publishing conference circuit, and running WriteOnCon with the ladies listed above (and Casey and Jamie), it's hard to imagine how Shannon found the time to respond to my inane comments, and send me rambling emails (which I loved, hugz, Shan).

Rock Star of the literary world, Nathan Bransford probably had more than 2500 followers when I first started reading his blog, and in fact, his blog was probably the only thing that inspired me to start a blog more than watching that movie, Julie & Julia (yes, I'm a dork, deal with it). In spite of all the people he interacts with and helps, Nathan still always found the time to respond to questions in his forums, and had the best attitude of any publishing professional I knew.

Now ... now that I'm here, wherever here is, I hate to have to tell you: having a thousand followers really doesn't mean a thing. It's just an arbitrary number, and while it's fun to look up there and see it, it means so very little compared to real, human connections, or something tangible, like actually finishing a manuscript.

I'm not saying that if you're inspired to build a popular blog with a big following that you shouldn't go for it, because you should, but I am saying that now that I've reached this milestone I'd hoped for for so long, it puts things in perspective. Things like: writing a novel, finishing the manuscript to the point where it is submittable, earning author representation from a literary agent, and selling a book to an editor, that's what really matters.

At least to me.

What about you guys? Where are you in your journey? Do you care about having a lot of blog followers? Do you read and follow the blogs I mentioned? Because if you don't, you should.

81 comments:

T.D. McFrost said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
T.D. McFrost said...

A bow and a round of applause is in order for your amazing feat of 1000+ followers! ^_^

As for me, I don't care about how many followers I have. It's about venting, ya know? I want a place to write my thoughts and maybe (just maybe) find someone who gets it.

I follow you amazing bloggers because your voice and journey is so irresistible. I love reading about people's lives. It's like my own personal (yet oh so public) tabloid.

Here's to you this New Year Michael, and to writing that novel, finishing the manuscript to the point where it is submittable, earning author representation from a literary agent, and selling the book to an editor. :D

(Um, I deleted the first one cause of this damn computer gobbledygook!)

Jessica Bell said...

Of course I do :o) But I don't comment on them much any more. Though I'm a pretty big lurker. Only because I like to give my undivided attention to those who don't get very much. :)

Laura Pauling said...

Congrats on 1K followers! Yay! It matters to me but not a great deal. If wordpress takes it down in March I won't complain!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I enjoy having a large following, but it isn't as important to me as much as the friendships I've made with the people who've taken the time to comment. Some of my besties come from blogging. I couldn't imagine this journey without them.

I do follow the above blogs, but I don't comment or read them as much as I used to.

Congrats on reaching 1000. :D

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It matters until you hit it! Like that magical drinking age - you hit it and then say 'oh....'
Writing my second book was easier because I did have support. Took me forever to write the first one because it was just me.

Cathy Olliffe-Webster said...

"Back when I first started, I remember looking up to bloggers who had a thousand followers like the were some kind of paragons."

Hey, you're my paragon! Congratulations!

Em-Musing said...

I'm thrilled with each new follower. I'm amazed anyone wants to read my blog. Guess my insecurities are showing, huh? I like following your blog especially, because I hear your heart speak.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I'm still a new blogger, so it does excite me to read a milestone. Like we've met our first at Literary Rambles since I started blogging-2000 followers. But the new friendships are most important. As is the writing. It would be nice to get published and an agent, but I know I can't control these things so I'm trying to focus on what I can control.

Miranda Hardy said...

Numbers are arbitrary. It's the relationships that count, and there are so many wonderful people to meet and learn from. So glad you were able to connect with others who share your dreams.

farawayeyes said...

1000 followers boggles my mind. All you have to do is read my blog to know I really don't care about how many followers I have.(I do care about MY followers.) My ramblings are primarily for me. BUT, then when I see the numbers increase, I admit it, I get a thrill. "Those people really want to come back after reading that post?"

Like I always say you are one of the 'Good Guys". No matter what you're writing about your posts are filled with Honesty and Emotion. Who could resist?

Oh about that 'I'm a dork, deal with it' comment. After all those 'bad boy' pictures,'I don't think so'.

Joshua said...

You are, of course, correct. It's an arbitrary thing, but I like watching the follower number go up. As far as the journey, I'm hoping to have the first draft of my main WIP done by end of month and sent to people for edits. Who knows, maybe by year-end I'll be far enough along to send you my query. Okay, I'm not going to think about that since it just gave me palpitations.

farawayeyes said...

1000 followers boggles my mind. All you have to do is read my blog to know I really don't care about how many followers I have.(I do care about MY followers.) My ramblings are primarily for me. BUT, then when I see the numbers increase, I admit it, I get a thrill. "Those people really want to come back after reading that post?"

Like I always say you are one of the 'Good Guys". No matter what you're writing about your posts are filled with Honesty and Emotion. Who could resist?

Oh about that 'I'm a dork, deal with it' comment. After all those 'bad boy' pictures,'I don't think so'.

Adam Heine said...

I don't care about lots of blog followers, for reasons I went into once, but I don't begrudge you yours by any means. 1,000 followers is a SERIOUS accomplishment, and you deserve your congratulations as a blogger.

Josin L. McQuein said...

Congrats on 1000!!! It may not "mean" anything, but it's still worth something if only as a token.

I don't think enough people appreciate how much impact the internet has had on those of us who stumbled into this whole writing thing blind. Sure, you can grab a copy of a how-to book or a list of agent emails at the library, but it's not nearly the same thing as being able to connect without people you'd never meet otherwise.

1000 isn't just a number, it's a representation of people you've had enough impact on that they want to hear the next thing you have to say and learn the next thing you have to teach. That's what makes this whole crazy thing worth it - you no longer have to wonder if there's anyone out there listening as you scream into the wind.

Pat Hatt said...

To you individually numbers are meaningless, or at least they should be. It is the relationships that truly count. Never thought I'd like this what so ever but lots of fun and interesting people to interact with out there.

BUT numbers do matter for perception. In the world of becoming LEGIT, perception is always the key. You saw their followers and proceeded to read and follow them, classic sign of perception. Without those 1000 or so there, you may have moved on. If not you, many others surely would.

The more you have the more people take you seriously and it ups your credibility. All about perception.

Lurking and working! Haha.

Creepy Query Girl said...

I'm getting close but I think I've been avoiding going the extra mile to get those last 40 followers. I feel like followers and comments are a reflection of how much you put into your blog and your blogging and at the moment Im not on top of my game 100 percent so it's almost like I feel like I don't deserve the big 1000 yet. Is that weird? Or maybe it's the idea that 1000 different people could be reading my words. Preesuuure. LOL.

Ted Cross said...

I only think about followers a little, whenever it occurs to me that I really do care whether people read my blog. But I totally agree that getting published is the true goal. That's the only thing that will feel like I accomplished something real.

Clarissa Draper said...

In the past, I cared a lot about blog followers but less now. I love it when people comment and come read my blog, that means a lot to me.

You're so right about blogging to stay close to other who write. I don't have any writing friends either (other than online) so I appreciate the support I get here.

Great post.

Siv Maria said...

You did it, of course you did :) I don't think much about a certain number of followers but I get upset when I lose one and don't know why or who. Like most bloggers I do the best I can in a busy world. I appreciate this community and am happy to feel less alone.

Summer Frey said...

My blogging has followed the same trajectory course that most of my social undertakings do: put a lot into at first, spread myself around, make some connections, get burnt out on being too social, retreat back into my introverted cave, and talk only to the ones who really penetrated my isolationist bubble. I knew it would happen, so I'm okay with it. I'm not saying it's the right thing to do, but it happened. I'm far too immersed in my own writing and personal life to worry too much about, as you said, such arbitrary things as follower numbers. I'm not even sure how many I have these days, since blog posts are more a masturbatory exercise than communal thought-provocation.

salarsenッ said...

All I'm going to say is "I want that bill!"

Haha... My journey is taking a similar road as yours, Matt. I think we've chatted about that before. I'm almost at 900 followers, plus my team blog is over 1,000. As far as writing, I just received edits back from a professional editor. She showed me what I think I needed to see. Yes! Time to fix and query. :) All my best to you!!

JeffO said...

We're funny about numbers, aren't we? Tenth anniversary means more than 9 or 11, Sweet 16, 25 years for the Gold Watch, platinum records. In some respects, we give those numbers more power than they deserve, but they do mean something. In your case, a thousand followers means you've got something to say that people find worthwhile. Congratulations!

Ryshia Kennie said...

Congrats on 1000. My blog journey hasn't reached a thousand followers but, despite that, it's my most enjoyable online social venture next to following other bloggers. In fact I'm planning to lurk less and stick my head out of my writer's cave more often in 2012.

Slamdunk said...

Congrats on 1000 Matthew and I am glad so many readers enjoy and learn from you.

Personally, I try not to focus on follower counts. I just try to use my blog to add perspective--parenting, crime, missing persons, current events or whatever.

DL Hammons said...

I always maintained that the number of followers I have is immaterial unless my posts generate comments & feedback. The number of followers can be artificially inflated, but not comments. Comments are an indicator of how well I'm doing speaking to those who are reading, which ties back to my writing.

So...congrats on all of your comments!! :)

Brinda said...

I'm already loving your blog, so it's no wonder that you have legions of followers. I follow Nathan Bransford's and agree with your comments. I've never seen Julia & Julia, so now I'm curious about that.

Kristen Wixted said...

I honestly am not that interested in numbers, just quality of the blogs I follow. I started this, too, because I was writing in a vacuum, and it's been so good for me.
I'm still working on meeting people. It's only been a few months.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

First congrats on passing your 100th follower.
I started blogging back in 2006 and for a long while I didn't even know what follwers were then one lady became one and from then on had a few. It was Arlee Bird's A to Z Challenge that changed my direction in blogging.To him I will be eternally grateful.
I have just had my second poetry book published and is on Amazon.co.uk also I have just set up with Amazon .com to reach a wider range of readers.

Good luck with your writing.
Yvonne.

Wine and Words said...

It's not the number of followers that matters to me, because it's really only a fraction of that number that actually read on a consistent basis, even less that comment. But it is those few that do, the ongoing conversation we have had for 3+years, the friendships that have formed out of that. That's what really makes my blogger tick. I don't want to be a writer. I have no passion for publication, so as a general rule (which I've told you before) I don't read blogs about writers. I read blogs of writing. Anyway...you're the exception I suppose...because we have an on-going conversation that somehow got started :)

Nicole Zoltack said...

You're so right. The connections behind those little heads are the important thing, not the number at the top. And those blogs you mentioned? They were the first ones I started to follow when I started to muddle my way through to the blogging writing community. I learned so much from all of them too.

Cherie Reich said...

I definitely read the blogs you mentioned. :D

You're right about it being nice on paper to see big follower counts. It's the relationships that are the most important. I love the blogging writing community. We're awesome folks, but it's the friendships that will matter in the end, not thousands of followers. Also, writing is very, very important too.

Carolyn Abiad said...

Congrats! I am amazed by how quickly you got to 1000 followers once you set your mind to it. So. I think that should be the takeaway. Set your mind to it, and just do it. ;)

LTM said...

*sniff*sniff* I'm so proud.

Nerd.

So like that's very cool that you did this! It matters not if it's like turning 21--you set a not-easy goal, and you reached it! ROCK. ON! And you're not one of those "doing it for the doing it's sake" bleeps, which is even better!

You go, serial killer. Next stop, publication~ ;o)

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

yepp, read all their blogs, nacth. I just recently crossed the 400 follower mark after 2 years of blogging. It is just a number. I'd much rather have 100 followers and another finished ms than 1000 followers and no writing accomplished. That's just me. That's how i roll

Wendy Ewurum said...

Congrats on your milestone and on gettig your passion for writing back. Its good to hear about.

Dianne Gardner said...

I spend time reading blogs, and have gleaned a lot of information from them. Nathan's is a great source for new writers as myself. I wish I had more than 20 people following my blog, but I'm really thankful that anyone is, and that my precious followers actually comment on my blog. I've pretty much limited the blog to my manuscripts and illustrations. I don't feel I know enough to pass any Yoda wisdom on just yet. I hope I get there someday. Until I do, I will keep visiting all of your blogs and thanks for the recommendations!

Cassie Mae said...

I follow all those awesome people already :) Their posts have helped me learn so much in just the short time I've been blogging.

And I did get all giddy when I hit 100 (first milestone, eep!) But I'm happier with the friendships I made through blogging. Almost all of my critique partners came from this blogosphere and though I've only known them for a few months, it feels like we've been friends a lot longer. So numbers don't matter to me really because of what I've already gained from the experience and what I continue to gain. :)

Lindsay said...

I do follow all those peeps already. I've been a bit of a lurker the last couple of months, but I'm back in the commenting flow now. :)

I'm always excited when anyone follows my blog (or twitter), but numbers aren't the main thing for me. What I love is the friendships and feeling of community that has developed through blogging. And I met my CP's and beta's via blogging. :D

mshatch said...

like you I've been blogging since 2009 but I don't have anywhere near 1000 followers. And that's ok. Because I'm very happy with the followers I have as well as the progress I've made toward my goal of actually getting published. Because to be honest, that's what it's all about for me. Of course, I'll probably get there quicker thanks to blogging :)

Christine Fonseca said...

We travel in such similar circles, and yet we hardly no each other - something we should remedy in 2012, yes? YES! You and your blog are great Matt!

storyqueen said...

I like to think of blogs more in the quality arena than the quantity of followers they have. that being said, I come back to your for the quality of your content--and obviously I am not alone:)

Shelley

Jay Noel said...

The followers thing is really new to me, because there wasn't such a thing when I quit blogging prior to 2010. Back in the day, it was all about unique hits.

But I like the followers concept much better, because you are not only building a following, but a true living/breathing network. Congrats!

Johanna Garth said...

This was such an inspiring post. I am a relative newbie to blogging and when I started I didn't realize how hard it is to acquire followers (now they feel like gold every time someone new pops up).

Still, it's not about the numbers, as you point out. It's about the connections and, I agree, they have been wonderful.

Jessica Nelson said...

Yikes!!! I didn't even know a personal blog could get that many followers! lol Congrats!!
I've read Elana's sporadically. She has great advice. I don't mind if I have a lot or a little followers. Blogging, for me, has become a wonderful networking and relationship-building with other writers. Like you said, that support and connection means SO much in the publication process. Hope you have an awesome 2012!

Lisa and Laura said...

Congratulations, my friend. it makes me so happy to see the blogosphere bringing people together and creating a real, live community. So glad we've gotten to know you over the past couple years! XOXO

Marta Szemik said...

Reading your blog inspires me because although I have not met you, I feel connected through your honesty, thoughtfulness and knowledge sharing. I look forward to your posts and love when you share other people's blogs I may not have heard about. I find the blogging community very resourceful and helpful and I can only hope that one day my followers can look up to my blog the same way I look up to yours. Congratulations Matt!

Shannon Messenger said...

Aw, that shout out made me a little teary. (hugz back, Matt).

And I'm with you--the 1000 little smiling squares is kinda a cool milestone. But what REALLY matters are the connections. I've met so many very cool and AMAZING people in the blogosphere (and um, I DEFINITELY count you among them) and THAT'S the real value of blogging.

Sorry I haven't emailed in a bit. We need to start another infamous chain--SOON!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I've been blogging almost six years now. I've had spurts where I put a lot of time into it and ones where I've fallen back from Internet burnout. I've been in the 500's for a while and that's good with me.

Sub-Radar-Mike said...

A thousand followers is great, but you're right, it's the people that we meet and the connections that we make that make blogging truly worth it.

Jemi Fraser said...

Yes, I most definitely follow all of those amazing people. When I stumbled into the bloggy world I knew zip and those were some of the people I learned the most from! :)

D.G. Hudson said...

Congrats on gaining so many followers, and I agree, it's nice to meet like-minded people.

I like to visit blogs that offer interesting content, as well as giving something back to fellow bloggers.

Followers are nice to have, and it's the encouraging comments or new information that is exchanged that make it worthwhile. (or the humourous cartoons certain bloggers feature. . .) I like the fact that some of my photos are pushed by the Google bots and get lots of viewings. Even robots like a little interaction. . .

Best wishes for 2012, Matt!

Amie Borst said...

i think we run with some of the same friends! but, unfortunately, i'm shy and i haven't really gotten to know you. maybe this is the year i step out of my comfort zone!

Rick Daley said...

Hitting 1,000 is an achievement, it's OK for you to be proud of it!

I follow a few of the blogs you mentioned, and know many of the commentors here through them, especially Nathan Bransford's blog. There are some people I don't know directly, but when I see their name in the comments always read what they have to say.

My blog has been largely neglected over the past year. I'm considering changing that in 2012, but I'm not off to a great start if I am going to do that.

Must return to the drawing board now (figuratively, not literally)...

Kelly Polark said...

Yes, you mentioned some pretty amazing people! Writing is such a solitary art, that having supportive blog buddies to cheer you on and steer you in the right way means everything.
Regarding numbers, I think it would be nice to have 1000 (I'm not even halfway there), but yet a little overwhelming as I like being able to visit the friends that stop by mine and I'm afraid I wouldn't have as much time to visit as many. But yet I'd be thankful that so many people had followed me. So, I guess the answer is yes, I'd love more followers yet I still want to maintain a good relationship with them. (and I know that people do and can like Elana and Alex and you, but I'm afraid I'd fall short).

Cynthia Lee said...

Um, I don't know why I keep blogging and lurking and commenting. I like to read about other people's thoughts, most probably.

I stopped querying a few months ago after a death in my family. I just decided that stressing about literary agents and the publishing market wasn't really very important. Now I'm enjoying writing more than ever and I'll maybe self-publish one day, maybe not. I no longer feel any real pressure.

I guess I'm looking forward to seeing what happens. :)

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

Major congrats on reaching the 1000 followers!

I sometimes wonder if I'm doing something wrong when I see other blogs that have been around as long as mine with triple the followers, then I remember that the ones I've got are all kinds of awesome and I'd rather keep you guys than half twice as many who were faceless followers.

KarenG said...

First off, many congrats on hitting the big 1-0-0-0!!!! And the rest of your post echoes my sentiments exactly. Blogging is a fantastic way to learn about the industry and meet writers on all steps of the journey. I love it! But it's so easy to let it take over and stand in the way of the real writing of books. I look forward to seeing where you go this year along your journey to publication, Matthew!

Old Kitty said...

So long as you're having a ball blogging, is what I say!

Now off you go to write your novel! Because yes - that's what really matters! Yay! Take care
x

Michael G-G said...

Golly gosh, you're batting 1000! I love all the guys you mentioned, but I have to say you are my tops, Matt. You've created a great community, and given me some blogging cojones of my own.

May 2012 be YOUR year. Congrats, my friend.

Marsha Sigman said...

I follow all those blogs and have for the last few years. All awesome, incredible people and I'm happy to call them my friends (ok maybe Nathan isn't really a friend because hey, he is busy!).

It's nice to see the number of blog followers grow but what is really important is the handful of real relationships I've found that I know will last a lifetime.

Nancy said...

I find myself torn about whether I want tons of followers or not. Don't get me wrong, I think it is great to reach that number and I get excited when I get a new follower. But then, I want to follow their blog too. With each one I add, it decreases the time I can spend on the others and I only have like 20. I can't even imagine how that works once you get into the multiple hundreds. You seem to handle it well but it all seems almost overwhelming.

Elana Johnson said...

You are the rock star here! I mean, seriously. You've done all the work and whatnot to make an amazing place that people love to come visit.

And that's how you blog. WTG, Matt!

I can't wait to see what 2012 brings you. :)

Mike Winchell said...

I've been at the game for a bit now, and I've learned it ALL means something, Matt. Getting __ followers, getting the first agent to request a partial, then the first to request a full, the first agent to send that positive and personal rejection, that first agent to offer, that second and maybe more, that first conversation with a cool agent, the first time you get revision notes, and then the stuff I haven't experienced yet but hope to, like that first editor/publisher to offer. And then there will be more. So I hear you with the "what really means something is __" and I know you aren't discounting how much of an accomplishment 1000 followers is, but it's a step. You know? It's something you set out to do, and you did it. And along the way you developed a lot of people who respect you, like me, and that will help you attain all the rest of those goals. Because people like me know--KNOW--you'll get there. I've seen your drive and passion, so I know it'll happen. Cheers!

Michael Offutt, Visitor from the Future said...

I don't really look at my follower number. I know who reads my blog, and I'm more interested in building friendships and rapport with people. I'm also more interested in honest relationships. Not the kind of people that click follow, never show up again, and who might leave a comment like "great post! So inspirational!" after every post that you make (cause that means they didn't read it).

Honestly, if you gave me a choice between that thousand dollar bill and the thousand follower number on the gadget...I'd take the thousand dollar bill. It's something I can hold and spend and buy shit I don't need.

But that isn't the question nor the choice.

I think more than anything, the number of followers you have gives you "street cred". You have "street cred" in that you know what you're talking about and you're worth listening to. So you, my friend, have great street cred. Which is why I keep checking back with you to see what's up on the QQQE.

Nick Wilford said...

When I started, I thought the number of followers was a big deal, but I'm slowly realising that it's not so much. I'm more amazed by the wonderful comments I've had. I suppose anyone can hit a button, but it takes time to read and respond and write something that might just put a big smile on someone's face. I've had a couple of people who've returned to leave comments on different occasions, but haven't followed, and I don't mind.

Totally agree with your point about things being easier if you feel you're not alone. Congrats on the 1000!

Angela Brown said...

I started looking at my follower number when I first started blogging last August. I thought if I could get to some magic number, I could really perfect having a platform. Then I got more interested in what I could learn from all the bloggers I was following and have since enjoyed looking at the number grow in it's own time and way.

I've embraced blogging as something I love, something I enjoy and something that I hope to continue should I get that fateful call for representation and a publishing deal. I want to do for other writers what so many writers, like Elana Johnson and Authoress, are doing. Reaching back.

1000 followers would be awesome. I'd love it. Doing giveaways along the journey and other stuff. But all in all, I hope to grow my interactions, friend with others I connect with and enjoy blogging for blogging sake...not just for numbers.

Bish Denham said...

I do read those blogs. As for numbers, they're justnumbers, it's the people behind them that count. I'm honored by every person who pauses at my blog and leaves a comment.

Munir said...

I like to read more than I write because I enjoy reading. Blogs are an easy read for me. At my age people must have read ten times more books than I have, as I had postponed a lot of my hobbies while raising children. It turned out that lately I am not able to finish big books as I tend to forget the subject matter of the pages that I previously had read. So for me reading a book takes much longer than it used to in my earlier years. Also fiction tends to keep the thirst for reading and remembering is not hard. Anyway to make the long story short, I urge that people do not postpone their hobbies instead enjoy them while they are still young, weather it be reading or writing.

Andrew Leon said...

I should just never read what Michael Offutt says in his comments, because he -always- has already said what I want to say.

But, yeah, I'd rather have people that leave engaging comments, comments that mean something or can lead to a discussion than a bunch of people that just click "follow" or say "nice post." In my unscientific estimation, it seems that about 10% of "followers" will actually be the real commenters. I could be wrong, because that's just a visual guess.
So, yeah... in that respect, you need the raw numbers just to get to the "real" stuff.

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

congrats!

Nancy Thompson said...

Like you said, it's a number, but part of me couldn't help but giggle when I turned over 200 followers today. I, too, joined this community to make connections with like-minded people. And that I have. I couldn't imagine what it must have been like to be a writer and NOT have this awesome community surrounding me. I feel very blessed!

ali cross said...

Congratulations Matt! I loved this post. I loved it because I totally get it. The WRITING blogging community is a powerful force for good. I truly think it is the epitome of internet goodness. THIS is what the internet was created for--to bring people together, to connect people with the information and associations they need to find success.

Awesome post! And congrats again!

Hannah Kincade said...

Nope. I don't really care about followers. That's why I don't participate in blogfests and contests anymore. Too many pleas for followers and really, if no one comes back after hitting that "Follow" button, what's it worth? So I've been focusing on keeping the connections I've made stronger and staying connected with people. If I find more friends along the way, great! If I dazzle a few more readers my way, that's fine too, but I'm not worried.

I actually lost quite a few followers in my absence. Oh well.

I'm glad the blogger universe has kept you writing and focused on writing! Otherwise, I wouldn't have found you and made an awesome buddy-friend.

Congrats on the 1000+!!!

Jeanine (Wayfaring Girl) said...

Wow. Just stumbled upon your blog and it's mammoth. How about that for a characterization?? ehh??

So much good content and interesting topics and insights here...Especially as I am a fledgling writer myself. So I'm inspired!

Good for you for reaching the 1K mark. That would be a dream of mine...well I guess at this point reaching the 100 mark would be considered fab for me :) But returning followers is better than amassing hundreds who don't come back I suppose. Which in your case, I'm sure you don't have to worry about!

So anyhoo. I look forward to reading more. Hats off to you man!

Ciao and Cheerio!

Jeanine

wayfaringgirl.blogspot.com

alexia said...

When I first starting blogging, I became really addicted to it, and writing on my books suffered. So, now I've gotten much better about knocking out some serious writing, but my blog following has suffered (not dropped, but doesn't rise very fast either). I try to find a balance... I guess that's all we can do. Congrats on your milestone nonetheless!

Donna K. Weaver said...

For me, it's not about the numbers. It's about connecting with people. Like you mentioned, when I started this writing thing I felt very much alone. And it was when I attended Elana's class on social media at LTUE last year that helped me understand the point of the platform. And I'm alone anymore.

Enid Wilson said...

Congratulations! I don't have a lot of followers or commenters but a small circle of loyal friends. I love the blogsphere, people are always very supportive.

The Spinster’s Vow

Arlee Bird said...

I still maintain that the numbers are important for appearance sake. In other words if you are being checked out by someone (agent, publisher, another blogger, or whoever) who wants to know your "platform", big numbers look good.

On a more personal level it's more important to have the personal contacts and the reputation. Without blog friends--or at least hardcore fans--those numbers are only numbers and little else.

The downside is that it becomes more difficult to keep up with all of the bloggers that I try to keep up with. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, but thankfully I have some outstanding blog friends out there who keep stopping by to see what I've had to say.

Congratulations on passing the magic milestone of 1000. You probably won't be paying that much attention to the next 1000, but I don't think you'll be unhappy to see them join either.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Matthew .. well done on getting to the round 1009 .. I agree with Clarissa's and Lee's comments it's wonderful having comments, and followers are fantastic ... but when the time comes I may push for more following exposure - for now I'm happy - until the next A - Z?! .. but it's the comments and interest I love.

Cheers - Hilary

Katie Anderson said...

Wowzers!!! Congrats!!!