When I started blogging, I knew next to nothing about the fast-paced, competitive atmosphere I was about to find myself swept up into. Like a deer in the headlights, it took me a long while to finally find my feet, and my voice, in the vast crowd of successful bloggers.
I don't consider myself to be a successful blogger in the financial or numerical sense. There are many great bloggers out there that have managed to turn their blogs into well-oiled, money-making machines, and hats off to them. It was once an untapped industry, waiting to be utilised by those looking to make their mark and manufacture their own business, and now it's a bursting at the seams community, ripe with opportunity and prospects - that is, if you're savvy enough!
But in blogging, do numbers really matter?
Sure, if you're in the business of blogging business, then traffic is your meal-ticket. The higher your numbers, the more brands you'll find clambering over themselves to work with you, that's how it works. I won't delve into the murky waters of advertising, affiliate links and whatnot. Let's just say, there's money to be had. But where does that leave us smaller fish? Do we have a place in the blogging community?
I'll hold my hands up and admit that I've had moments where I've been ready to throw in the towel. Disheartened by the tiny digits,glowing from my computer screen. Why was no one interested in what I had to say? Where was I going wrong?
With not wanting to sound negative, there have been times when I've felt like blogging is one big popularity contest and I'm sitting on the sidelines, wondering how to join in with the cool kids.
I later realised how utterly self-indulgent this notion was. Yes, there are hundreds, upon thousands of bloggers out there that will have infinitely more success than me. That will be afforded greater opportunities and thousands of adulating fans. But it's okay to be a smaller fish. Small fish are pretty special too - and I don't just speak for myself here!
There's something raw and real about the lesser-knowns. Yet to be chewed up by the powers above. Fresh and interesting.
There are those that blog to have a voice, to channel creativity and to create a space in which they can express themselves at the end of a boring day at the office. Those that started to fill a gap, to hone a skill, to make friends or to set the record straight. Everyone has a reason for starting their blogging journey and every one of those reasons is as valid as the next.
I'm not calling out bigger bloggers here, I admire the success and fame that they have so tirelessly worked for. They are true inspirations and I wish them their continued good fortune. But to anyone that has ever gotten themselves down over page views, reader stats and follower numbers - digits on a page don't convey your worth. If you love what you do, then nothing else should matter.
Just knowing that I've reached one person and brightened up their day brings me all the satisfaction I need.