In most recent years, there’s been a lot of talk about numbers in blogging and to an outsider it may seem like they’re the most important thing to bloggers. But do numbers really matter when it comes to blogging? So many of us are constantly working towards a particular number goal, getting frustrated when our following goes down on Instagram or being ecstatic when we reach a new thousand on Twitter.
It can be hard to not want to grow on our socials, because it means more people are seeing our content and wanting to interact with what we have to say, but should we really care about the numbers?
As mentioned, us bloggers have a tendency to set goals as to the amount of followers we’d like to reach within a particular time frame. We want to do this so we have something to work towards and use it as a way to keep us motivated to continue to work our arses off. If we have a bigger following, we’re more likely to reach a bigger audience that we can then for engage with. The only downside to setting ourselves these number goals is that they can turn into something you become obsessed with and unfortunately it may mean you drive yourself into a negative head space.
When you’re constantly monitoring your following, noticing when people unfollow and follow, you can soon become very disheartened when you’re not growing the way you want to and wonder why people are so quick to unfollow you. This can really push you into a downwards spiral, which can end up demotivating you all together. Sadly this is completely the opposite of what you want. It can become very obvious then that the numbers are the only thing that are motivating you to do what you do and it can be the reason you decide to step away until you remind yourself why you began blogging in the first place.
When you start to not feel good enough about your following, then you start to doubt yourself and begin to see the numbers as validation for your own self worth. This can be the numbers of likes you get, the views, the shares or just simply the amount of followers you have. It can then be hard to remember what its like not to feel disheartened by your lack of numbers and how good you felt before you started valuing yourself with your count. I’m sure we’ve all been there, right?
Taking a step back from the numbers side of things is the best thing for you in this moment. Remind yourself of the reality of the situation. Your opinion of your own self should be the most important, not what your following tells you or the number of the people backing you. Sure receiving compliments is a great confidence boost and we’re all really grateful for it, but if you don’t love and believe in you, then what really is the point?
Remember that numbers aren’t the be all and end all. Are numbers going to be there to help you through a difficult health problem? Are numbers going to enable you to spend time with your family and reminisce?
This is why I try to only take a look at my stats in full when I’m updating my media kit at the start of every month. Doing it like this really helps to stop me from becoming obsessed with my follower count and instead keep focused on the things that do really matter, like the writing and being creative. Of course I have an occasional look at my stats throughout the week, but I don’t become so fixated on them that I’m constantly checking them to see how I’m doing.
It can be really hard to walk away from this mindset and almost a habit of watching your number count. It’s not easy to just push it to the side and out of your mind, because whenever you go on your profile, it is staring right there back at you. It’s just all about learning to change your mindset around it and stop being so obsessed with it.
But there are those days when numbers are important, especially if you want to work with brands and earn an income from this work. It’s become a requirement that brands know your following and reach before they even decide to work with you. This can really drive bloggers to not feel good enough or like they could even be considered when brands set strict requirements. When brands don’t give smaller bloggers with an engaged audience a chance to work with them, they’re missing out on opportunities and possibly some income if they rely on blogging to help them provide.
It suck’s that a lot of brands (not all, big love to those brands who do appreciate all bloggers) focus on the numbers rather than the quality of content or how engaged an audience is. For me I’d rather have a more engaged audience that are interested in my work, than a large following with minimal engagement due to sloppy half arsed work. I really hope brands start to take more notice of this and work with people who do have a really engaged audience. It would be so lovely to see!
By changing your mindset and doing this, you’re not being ungrateful for the followers you do have, because I for appreciate every single one, but it’s more that you do not feel the need to seek the validation of your own self by these numbers and instead in time are able to see your own self worth.
Do you think numbers really matter?