I say ‘1000 Readers’ rather than ‘1000 Followers’ because WordPress is different to Instagram or Twitter or Facebook. First of all, I don’t count it as social media, although it’s certainly a social space. It’s primarily a Content Management System (where you can create and publish content) and a Blogging Platform (where you can regularly update that content and engage with readers.) Secondly, I’m with Bob Dylan who said, wisely, ‘Don’t follow leaders, watch the parkin’ meters…’
1000 is only a number after all, and a lot of the people whose blogs I read have far bigger readerships (and deservedly so!) But it is a goal I have been working towards, gradually and without paying too much attention to my reader count. So I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who is reading and following this blog. I really do feel the connections on WordPress are genuine, and that people are looking for quality material to read and engage with.
How do I get to 1000 readers?
Unless you have a magical formula (which I don’t) reaching 1000 readers takes time, commitment, consistency and hard work. You shouldn’t even try if you don’t love what you do, or believe in what you are doing. I have been blogging for 14 months now and posting almost every day. That is a big commitment, but for me it is absolutely a labour of love. If you think you have enough love for what you do to commit the time and effort required (without getting paid, which is of course a big consideration) then read on for my Top Tips:
Top tips for reaching 1000 readers
- Love what you do! I said it before, but I’ll say it again: write what you love, and because you love sharing it.
- Focus on quality over quantity: both are important, but nobody will want to read you if you keep churning out posts with minimal effort just for the sake of posting daily. If I can’t produce a quality post on any given day, I’d rather take a break and come back when I have a fresh idea.
- Engagement: you can’t get far without engaging with the work of other writers. Find writers whose work you love, and read them. Comment on their work, don’t just throw out random ‘likes’ in the hope that they will follow you. As I noted above, this isn’t social media. Focusing on building genuine relationships will give you a readership rather than a following.
- Stay true to your vision: this is primarily a poetry website. It’s true that when I set out, I planned to write mainly short fiction and post excerpts from my novel, but sometimes you don’t realise what your vision is until you start to live it. Poetry works well here. Poetry has taught me so much about myself, and about writing. Although I include many other types of content, they are all connected. I write about Slovenia because I live here, and the beauty of the place inspires my writing. The ‘Slovene Cuisine’ series came out of this, and led me to post other recipes, mainly vegan and vegetarian recipes which match my lifestyle choices. I write diaries because I am learning about personal development through my writing. In short, I write about the things which matter most to me, in a way that I hope will be of interest to others.
Achievements so far
Growing a readership has not been my primary concern since I started this blog. If it had been, perhaps I would have got to this point faster. My primary concern has been to grow myself, both as a writer and a person. I am pretty happy with my progress so far. In terms of writing, I’ve achieved the following:
- I’ve had my work published in various publications both online and in print, including Free Verse Revolution, Visual Verse, Spillwords and most recently in Through the Looking Glass.
- Earlier this year, I was recognised by Spillwords as Author of the Month, thanks to the votes of people who regularly read my work, for which I am exceptionally grateful.
- I have joined the team of bartenders at dVerse, and I’m thrilled to be on board because I am passionate about sharing my love of poetry.
- I am soon to publish an anthology of poetry, The Anthropocene Hymnal, which is a collaborative response to the joint crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
But what I’ve achieved as a person is more than this. I’ve grown my self-confidence, grown in gratitude and grown in love. I write about the things I care about most, and I am thrilled when readers engage with my writing. I’ve also made genuine friendships, been inspired by and inspired others. I might have said above that blogging is work without pay (at least at the start) but there are some types of payment worth more than money. All of this. I am finding myself and falling in love with life again through writing. That is not a bad salary, in my opinion!
I am hugely excited about the forthcoming publication of The Anthropocene Hymnal. Working on the manuscript has been a humbling experience for me. There are so many strong and moving poetic voices in this anthology, which join together in chorus to make a collection which truly sings. The book is currently with a professional designer and I will keep you updated regarding the publication date as this draws nearer!
Once I have published and hopefully sold many copies of The Anthropocene Hymnal, all to raise money for WWF, I plan to publish some chapbooks of my own poetry, and return to novel writing. When I wrote the first draft of my first novel, I lacked the editorial skills and vision to make it work. But I know the idea and inspiration behind it were good, so I look forward to returning to this project with a fresh viewpoint, and a whole new skillset which I have gained thanks to writing this blog.
Writing can be a solitary journey, but thanks to every one of you, I have never felt alone. Keep reading, keep writing and keep in touch. 1000 thank-yous are not enough to express my overwhelming gratitude.