Yep, this past week my humble little blog-and-novel combination reached that magical milestone of one million hits! That's not a million different readers, BTW -- just a million page loads. My novel ExMormon, however, has been read by more than a thousand different people (and the gratuitous love scene by more than two thousand), and that's a lot of pages, so I guess that explains a lot of the pageloads.
I'm happy, though, because -- ever since I stopped reading my blog stats religiously -- I started getting this (wrong) idea in my head that nobody reads my blog anymore.
Why did I stop poring over my pageload information? Three reasons:
1. I'd learned about as much as I could learn about what draws people to this blog,
2. Further poring over the logs was kind of a waste of time, and
3. It was causing me unnecessary stress about stuff I can't control (like who is/isn't linking to me). Then I would stress some more about all the time I was wasting on reading my stats.
The downside is that I'm no longer inspired to do those amusing search query posts...
Long-time readers may have noticed that a couple years ago I was manic about blogging, and now I'm far more laid-back. The thing is that when I first started blogging, part of the challenge was figuring out the strategies for building up an audience. That has been an incredibly fun learning experience, but one of the things I learned is that it takes a ton of work all the time. There isn't a magic formula that will make your blog popluar without daily effort.
Now, I'm not allergic to hard work -- far from it -- but I found it happening more and more frequently that I'd think of a project I want to do (artistic, professional, or around-the-house) and I'd say, "Ah, I can't ever do that -- it would take so much time, and I can't squeeze it in with my family, work, and blogging..." And I realized that I can't let blogging be something that limits me. If I did, I'd eventually have no life left to write about!!! (Actually, I still have yet to figure out how other bloggers get around this conundrum.)
I thought long and hard about it, and I realized that I love blogging in the sense that I love being able to write up my thoughts in a careful way and then bounce them off the wonderful folks on the Internet, and get good feedback, etc. What I don't love is the pressure of feeling like I have to post X times a week -- whether I feel inspired or not -- because people will unlink me and stop bothering to read my blog, so no one will be around for the times when I do feel inspired.
So, I guess what I'm saying is that I hope people will subscribe to this blog and/or follow it -- just don't expect me to post as often as I wish I had the time/energy to do it. ;^)
And, from my stats (which I exceptionally took the time to review today), it looks like that's what folks are doing, thanks!!