Blogging Narcissism: Do readers really matter?

The Gallup organization calls them signature themes. I call them compulsions. Either way, they seem to drive me the way table scraps and doggie derrieres draw my dachshund’s nose.

A couple of my signature themes – identified by Gallup’s StrengthsFinder 2.0  – are Connectedness and Analytical.


Things happen for a reason. You are sure of it … because in your soul you know that we are all connected. … You are a bridge builder for people of different cultures.


You like data because they are value free. They have no agenda. Armed with these data, you search for patterns and connections.

So it is no surprise that as I sit in Indianapolis’ Central Library with nothing particular to blog about, I’ll feed my compulsions. On the analytical side, I must confess to checking my blog site stats daily. I’m obsessed with knowing what you’re reading and what search engine phrases got you there. So, me being me, I loaded the site stats into a spreadsheet and made a bunch of pivot tables.

 Topics  Viewers  My Entries
 Marketing & Media  69%  50%
 Faith & Life  31%  50%

My concept of Relational Gravity tells me these numbers are purely a barometer of success in connecting with my readers. The numbers say that what I most like to write about – faith and life – apparently makes little connection; while my thinking on marketing and the media seems to draw you in.

So, as blogging is at least a little narcissistic, I’m conflicted. You’re not particularly drawn to my writing on faith and life, and I find no evidence that my attempts at humor make any difference in readership.

For Heaven’s sake, I attended grad school courses on the ministry of writing taught by author and humorist, Tom Mullen. This blog is a small attempt to live down the fact that I’m one of his least prolific students. (It’s not Tom’s fault, I sat right next to Phil Gulley in class, and he’s landed on the New York Times bestseller list.)

At the same time, my ego is a bit relieved that what I’ve written on media and marketing is of at least some interest. After all, I’ve put 23 years into this career, plus grad school, and earned a handful of awards in journalism and marketing.

So, should I write more of what you’re reading or more of what moves my spirit? I’m thinking I’ll keep doing both.

But, today it’s time for a new blog entry, and I’m writing what I darn well please. If you don’t like it dear readers – both of you – you can find another blog. << Humor Alert>>

2 Comments Add yours

  1. People keep arriving at my blog, (the random ones) thanks to an incredibly obscure post I wrote two years ago about a British film about girl gangs…Go figure. If they come back later, intrigued, so be it.

    I’m another award-winning journalist — but blog readers don’t care what credentials we bring. That’s clear to me, after blogging for more than two years, 3+ times every week. Readers here want authenticity and they do (on my blog) appreciate humor. I don’t analyze which posts get the most views because there’s no huge pattern. I do see a big jump in subscribers (12 this week) when I post something that clearly seems to resonate with them…

    1. Jeff Hutson says:

      Thanks Caitlin. Beyond my structured world of numbers and metrics, it is always a delight to be surprised by what readers find interesting.

Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.