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.

Connectedness:

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.

Analytical:

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.

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