Book reviews, health, hockey, publishing, music

Why Bother?

Posted by Scott Holstad on February 15, 2015

You know, I’m becoming pretty discouraged blogging here on WordPress. I used to blog on Xanga all the time for years. In fact, it is where I met my wife many years ago. And there was a real sense of community there. You looked forward to getting on Xanga to see what everyone was up to that day, what had been going on. That doesn’t happen on WordPress. At all. It’s a totally different format. And so I’ve adapted my blogging practices in an effort to change. But I’m afraid it’s been for no good cause.

As of right now, I have 406 followers here on WordPress. Not the most, by far, but still, a decent number. And you know how many hits my posts get? 20 or 30. How many likes? Three or four. My excellent blog post I wrote on our new floors complete with pictures got one the other day. WTF??? What the fuck is wrong with you people??? Two years ago, when I had half the followers, I was getting 10 or 11 likes, so what am I doing differently now to get no likes? And comments? My wife has commented on about a quarter of my 472 posts. Another blogger has commented on 50 posts. The next highest is 13. In four years. In four years of writing blogs, the third best I can do is 13 comments? WTF? I happen upon all of these blogs by all of these teeny bopper girlies who are self published and self important “authors” dispensing writing advice with hundreds of comments and I just shake my head in amazement. Now I’ll admit, I’m not a very good commenter on other people’s blogs, so I’m willing to cut some people some slack, but I almost never get comments.

So my question is, what the hell are you people doing? Why are you even following me if you’re not remotely interested in reading my posts, or liking them, or commenting about them? Why not do me a big favor and stop following me? In fact, after reading this post, I expect to see about half of you flee and I expect to lose followers in droves, or then again, maybe not. Since most of you don’t even see what I write, perhaps you won’t even see this post. I don’t know. And I’m not sure I care. However, just because I’m somewhat curious, I’m going to post a little poll and I challenge you to answer it just to give me some feedback so I know what’s going on. If you do, a big thanks to you.

  1. I read your posts somewhat regularly, but never feel inspired to like or comment on them.
  2. I read your posts somewhat irregularly, but never feel inspired to like or comment on them.
  3. I like your book reviews, but don’t feel compelled to comment on them.
  4. I don’t like your attitude.
  5. I don’t like or comment on anyone’s posts. Don’t feel so special.
  6. You don’t write enough non-book review posts.
  7. Other.

I don’t know what else to include. As I’ve thought about it, I’ve come to realize that I write about a lot of things. It seems to me that something would appeal to most everyone. Among the topics I’ve written about include book reviews, Christianity, creative writing, depression, family, health, hockey, life, music, NHL, Philip K. Dick, Pittsburgh Penguins, poetry, politics, publishing, religion, reviews, science fiction, sports, and writing. Surely there’s something there to interest most people, right? I guess not. Not if you go by my stats. Well, here’s to no one reading this post.

74 Responses to “Why Bother?”

  1. dweezer19 said

    I agree Scott. And you know what else? Of all the blogs I follow I look at all the posts each week and like and/or comment on most all of them. I have gotten max 30 lines on mine. EVER. And the same handful of faithful firends are so good as to leave me comments. And I work full time so do my blogging evenings and Sundays. Lived the floors BTW. I don’t get some of the blogs that have hundreds of likes for a dumb comment. Its a scam somehow. Ive been reading about a few of those. I dont care. I write foryself and those few who might be uplifted by something ive shared. You wfite great pists. Do what you want to do.


    • Thanks! You’re the second biggest commenter on my blog site. I certainly appreciate it. When I go through my reader, however, I rarely see yours! You must write at odd times. I’ll look for it more fervently. Thanks for being such a loyal blog reader.


      • dweezer19 said

        Hi Scott, I am not sure why that is but I feel it is one reason I don’t get much response from WP readers, although there are about a dozen who very quickly see my posts and respond, perhaps due to notifications they get via email. I generally post my novel chapters on Sunday night so they appear in a new weekly notification and poetry with photography comes during the week when I especially try to put something up on Fridays. I love reading about your life and your book reviews are always concise, honest and actually make me consider reading fiction again. I wish you would definitely check out my short story attempt here http://tropicalaffair.me/2014/12/21/the-great-escapeshort-storyfiction/ when you have time. Thanks again and I hope you hang in there. I get most of my new visits when publishing to g+, twitter and facebook. It is the main reason I have those accounts.


        • Hi Dweezer19! I don’t remember getting notifications about you in my emails, but I’ll check into that. In the meantime, thanks for the link. I’ll definitely look into that. I appreciate it. Cheers!


  2. When we subscribe to your blog we are allowing your posts to be added to our readers, but we are not agreeing to read every post you make. That is on you as a writer and blogger to get our attention the same as any other blogger. You admitted to not commenting much on other blogs… well there is your issue. On WordPress you must interact to get interaction back. That is how blogging works now. EVERYONE is a blogger, whereas back in the xanga days not everyone was “blogging” and sharing their lives. It was still trendy. Now, everyone is doing it and you must “stand out” in some way. Much of that is through effort of making connections daily. If you aren’t willing to do that then don’t expect people to take the time to read you in turn. That is just how blogging works now. Best of luck and I suggest putting your energy into blogging and connections and less in complaining and blaming others for “not reading your work.” -OM


  3. Reblogged this on HarsH ReaLiTy and commented:
    When we subscribe to your blog we are allowing your posts to be added to our readers, but we are not agreeing to read every post you make. That is on you as a writer and blogger to get our attention the same as any other blogger. You admitted to not commenting much on other blogs… well there is your issue. On WordPress you must interact to get interaction back. That is how blogging works now. EVERYONE is a blogger, whereas back in the xanga days not everyone was “blogging” and sharing their lives. It was still trendy. Now, everyone is doing it and you must “stand out” in some way. Much of that is through effort of making connections daily. If you aren’t willing to do that then don’t expect people to take the time to read you in turn. That is just how blogging works now. Best of luck and I suggest putting your energy into blogging and connections and less in complaining and blaming others for “not reading your work.” -OM
    Note: Comments disabled here, please comment on their post.


  4. I feel the same way sometimes – you just have to keep commenting on other peoples and hope they check out your blog!!


  5. Asariels Muse said

    I have to go with “other” as this is the first time I’ve come across one of your posts. You’re right though, not many people take the time to actually comment on posts round here.


  6. Asariels Muse said

    LOL and apparently my comments are subject to moderation on your site too. sooooo


  7. sweetshann said

    I really miss xanga. It’s nothing like that here and there will probably never be anything like it again. When you go into writing with that reality in some corner of your mind it makes not seeing likes or comments easier to accept.


    • Xanga was awesome! It was a really special place. Both my wife and I miss it. We were devastated we it appeared that everyone was started to abandon it and then when they announced that they were shutting down? Craziness! Cheers!


  8. I agree with you that it is difficult to gain followers on WP and also I find myself not getting a satisfying amount of likes. It sucks, but there are just tons and tons of blogs out there and you can’t make people read your stuff. I’ve been blogging on WP since January and I only have 42 followers and I think 6 comments. I’ve posted literally almost once a day since I started and I have maybe one follower for every post I’ve made. It makes me feel like I have to work hard to make one post just to gain one follower. It really does suck, but with how popular blogging is and how many people like you and I are out there trying to do this kind of work, it’s just not as easy as it used to be. You just gotta keep doing it. If it’s what you love and what you want you have to keep at it and maybe try a different tactic and see if something new helps. They say commenting on others’ posts and interacting helps, but I don’t think I personally have benefited from that thus far. The main thing I think is important is trying to make sure your content is getting across to the right audience. Also, I don’t think getting frustrated and angry at your readers is going to help. Honestly, even I have read a post of someone’s while in the middle of something maybe if I have just a few free minutes, and then forget to comment because I get distracted and close the app, or it reminds me of a post I wanted to do. I hope you get what you want….keep at it and good luck to you.


  9. I’m here because — and only because — OM reblogged this post on his blog. I have around 2700 followers on my blog but only around two dozen readers who comment with any regularity. And that’s fine by me. There is no rule that says every follower must read every post.

    Oh, as to your “excellent blog post [you] wrote on your new floors complete with pictures,” why would you expect anyone who is not interested in new floors to read that post?


    • Oh, I know not every follower must read every post, but when virtually no one does, it makes you wonder….

      As to the floors, I just thought as a matter of general interest in my personal life, people might like to read a post about our new floors and the struggles that went along with getting them, as well as see the pictures after we got them. Not for everyone, I know, but I thought surely more than one person might be interested. Back on Xanga, I would have had 30 likes….


      • Scott a suggestion. Work on your tagging. I noted the tags you used for your “floor post” and they aren’t specific enough or even “enough tags.” You want to add at least 13 tags and some generic ones included or your post doesn’t get seen on WP bud.


        • Thanks for your excellent suggestion. I did struggle with knowing what to tag with that post. I’ll try to do better next time I do something like that. Cheers!


        • Jay Dee said

          I’d like to add it should be a maximum of 15 tags and categories together, as any higher than that, and the post won’t appear in the reader for tag searches. Overtagging is bad. Undertagging is bad. 13 is a really good number.


  10. Kisha said

    well. I just reas this post as it was reblogged by some whom I read often. So, there you go!

    The bible says that in order to make friends one much show himself friendly. Do you actively engage with other writers? I kinda don’t–at least not often. Sometimes I just read something that is interesting but not necessarily compelling. So no comment.

    Then too, as a writer I am personally not invested in like counts. But that is just me. People read my stuff–they tell me all the time that this moves them or that was really great or tyat sucked. But not necessarily on wordpress because mine is hooked to all my social media sooooo….

    Also, most of the writers I follow are pretty prolific. So if somebody posts like once a day or something, I will miss it. Unless they reblog it or press it. I personally am a “1-2 a dayer”, so I often reshare my stuff. People may just be missing it.

    Finally, if you do book reviews, did it ever occur to you that that the time of your reviewsyour readers haven’t read those books but look forward to getting recommendations from you?

    Anyway, good luck to you! Hope you find the community you are looking for.


  11. Reblogged this on My Blog News And Blues Reviews and commented:
    I am out there slaying dragons, so you will just have to look at this till I get back. Sorry for the inconvenience, but as soon as I get in, I’m heading back to this blog to hang out.


  12. Hey, I don’t know you, I think there’s a lot of newbies out here, that don’t know much, and never heard of ya. I only just heard about you, and we do need to interact with each other more. I promise I’ll come back, and if you say what I want to hear, I’ll push your buttons.


  13. Jay Dee said

    I started my current blog 4 years ago. It took me a while to gain a following and it never took off until late 2013 when I started blogging daily. I’ve been doing that ever since. In 2014, I had more than 18,000 views, which isn’t amazing, but it’s 3 times as much as the previous 2 years put together. And so far this year, I have nearly 5,000 views. Last month alone, I had 600 comments. You have to gain a following, and I have. I have around 30 or so regular followers, which also isn’t a huge number, but it’s something. But I notice something. Whenever I go to other blogs, follow them, comment on them, and like them, I often gain them as a follower and they comment on my blog. I did this as a bit of an experiment early in January, and the traffic skyrocketed. The participation increased drastically. I’ve slacked off recently, and I’ve noticed things have slowed down on my blog, even though I blog just as regularly. It all has to do with my interactions with other people’s blogs it seems. They say “write and they will come.” Not really. It’s more like “write, go to them and talk to them, and they will come.” Even better, “go to them regularly, and they’ll stay with you.” Others say views aren’t important. I agree it’s not important, but I like stats and it even helps encourage me.

    Oh, and noticing you do book reviews, I followed. I’m also a book reviewer.


  14. misfit120 said

    Scott: I posted this response to another bloggers similar question: In 2010 I began writing my daily humor blog. The first year I averaged under a hundred views. Here it is five years later with nearly 2000 blogs to my credit and i am only getting 200 to 300 viewers per day with maybe one comment and usually one like. Sometimes none. Twice I wanted to stop considering my blog is free, I’m doing humor, and no one can even click on the like button. I finally, out of frustration, stopped writing every day and now I only write when something hits me rather than writing so that people can read my humor and not even bother to give a like. So, that said, I’m writing for ME….because it’s a way to express myself, vent on occasion, and make myself laugh at my own demented mind as well. I DO have followers and I write for them as well. Why THEY do not click on the like button is beyond me. But…..in conclusion, if you love to write, do if for the love of writing and your creativity rather than to please others. Works for me


  15. Everyone is going to have different experiences…you must interact for people to interact with you, which is commenting, liking and sharing. People are busy in life with so much distractions so it’s right they dont have time to comment on everyone’s post. Next to that, you are suppose to write for you, if you give up, then you weren’t writing for the true reasons. The best way to gain followers is to visit popular blogs and talk with the commenters as well as do your research on keywords and topics people care to read and comment about in your niche of writing. If you aint writing for the long term, and only here for the love, then you are wasting your time.


    • Hi! I’m definitely not writing to gain followers. I just wonder why the followers I do have never interact with me, you know? That’s been my one real source of confusion. Other than that, I tend to write for myself. Thanks for your input.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yea I hear what you are saying…they best way to get your followers to talk to you is by asking them questions and give them a stage to talk about what they want to talk about…. An interview series will help that. I am doing that same thing at the moment and it gets the conversation going finding out what all of them actually like to talk about or search online for when in their spare time. That’s the key.


  16. Amanda said

    Yes you definitely should interact with people on their blogs if you want them to interact with you on yours. It’s just being respectful and by reading other blog posts you might even learn something new 🙂


  17. LindaGHill said

    I did a bit of a survey on my blog, to get a rough estimate of the percentages each blogger gets in views compared to their following. There wasn’t one over 15% – most were between 3-5%. So if you’re getting 20 views out of 400 followers on average… you’re pretty average. What Jay Dee said is true – the more you comment the more visits you get. This goes by the day… spend a week not interacting and your own site is going to show the results.
    Best of luck with your future here at WordPress. There really is a great community here, but you do have to go out and find it. I’ll do my best to drop by once in a while. 🙂


  18. This seems to be the big theme today- people not commenting on other people’s blogs. It’s a tough life.


  19. butchcountry67 said

    The key is to network, you do that by following other bloggers and actively commenting on other blogs, not the dumb shit posts like “nice blog” or ‘good post” , put some thought behind your comment, let the blogger know that yes you read every word, not just glossed over it.

    and if OM mentions you or leaves a comment, I guarantee your stats will spike!, he is a very prolific and popular blogger, he tells it like it is and some get offended, but that’s life. ( I found you because of OM’s comment)

    It doesn’t matter if you write 5000 words or 50, those who matter will read it, those who don’t won’t, you will quickly learn who’s who 🙂 Happy blogging !!


    • Yeah, I’m learning that OM is pretty big. Never heard of him til now. Don’t know where I’ve been. I looked at his bio and the irony is he and I both attended the University of Tennessee, although at different times. There was a guy on Xanga who everyone knew who was pretty big. Made me think of him.

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your insights. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. This is the second blog post I’ve read by two different people now tonight complaining about no likes and no comments, no hits, etc. Write because you love to write, period. Hopefully the rest will follow, and if it doesn’t, don’t let it upset you. Do you know how many blogs are on this site? We can’t read them all. Chin up.


  21. clawfish said

    Hi Scott , I hold my hands up I have been lazy with a lot going on personally over the last couple of years I have distracted myself as a result I have not visited as many of the sites as I should of hell I have not been so great on my own blog , it is a wake up call you write , people follow ,decency is they should comment however brief and like we as bloggers and writers should support each other. All the best to you and you will see more of me


    • Hi Clawfish,

      Well, you probably have noticed I haven’t been on Twitter very much recently, so I can understand. Things happen. No problem at all, sir. I hope you’ve been well and that you’re writing is coming along very well. Cheers!


  22. Awesome article..! You spoke your heart out..and it was really nice to read it..the flow,, your ideas and everything you wrote seemed to me very convincing and agreeable. People who claim to be wise would say to you, its your fault that you expect, some may even say stop being cynical or complaining or whining about.. or some may advice have patience, it’s not cool to be pissed, or to expect things..

    I would say… Nah!

    “Its perfectly human to Expect.”

    We donot want people in life who are silent observers, as we met a hell lot of them, while travelling in subways, trains, buses, strolling on beeches, in movie hall, weddings, parties..everywhere we met/come across silent observers, who look at us, but never say us anything, as we are strangers to them…

    But, to whom we smile back, genuinely speaking, we “do” expect a smile back. And when they don’t it does put us inside a little off, though we never show it off as we fear of being uncool…


    Its perfectly alright to show it off on you, to dismay, to be annoyed, ..that;s how we all did when we were children, we use to frown with lips down (these days, we only see that gestures in smileys we type on what’sapp…lol where have those expressions gone off from your face?)

    I liked it..keep writing my friend:)


  23. You expressed this very well…and I agree with what you’ve discovered/ and said! WordPress is different. But no site will be like Xanga was in it’s prime. 😦
    I only have time to read a certain number of blogs each week and I’ll admit….the ones I read and comment FIRST are of those people who read and comment my blog faithfully. I don’t take their friendship and time for granted…so I make sure I take time to see how they are doing/what they are posting. Then if I have time, I branch out and read/comment a few more blogs. I have my site on “private” and lot of people won’t even take the time to request access ( 😦 ) which is very simple to do.
    I guess everyone blogs differently. 🙂
    I will keep blogginb, because I love the interaction with friends…many of them e-mail, snail-mail, phone, text, etc., with me. And I like a place to share my humor and my writing. 🙂
    I’ve always enjoyed your wife’s blog…on Xanga and on here! 🙂
    I will “follow” you and try to stop by more often.
    HUGS!!! from me…Carolyn 🙂


    • Hi Carolyn! Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it. I know Gretchen appreciates your friendship as well. I just sent you a blog approval request. Xanga was awesome. There’ll never be anything like it again, eh? WordPress is cool, but there’s nothing like Xanga’s blogrings. Oh well. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Oh…and I know my sense of humor is not for everyone…so I get why they don’t comment sometimes. And almost 100% of my readers are people I knew on Xanga for years. So, I don’t mind that the numbers are lower here than they were on Xanga. 🙂 I honestly don’t have time to go out and meet new people here. So, maybe I should do that this year. 🙂


  25. I hope I’m wrong, but it seems like the way to get comments and likes is to post something hopelessly cute about cats. Got any cats? Got any neighbors who have cats?


  26. […] me be the “self-important blogger” to answer all of HankRules2011’s questions on Why Bother?  All of them.  Everything.  And I pre-apologize, and will try not to do this […]


  27. You’ve got more followers than me, and have been blogging longer than I have.
    I follow a variety of people (this is the first post of yours I’ve read) and comment a lot. I also receive a fair few comments and views.
    If someone likes my post, that’s great (thanks for the tick), if they don’t, that’s equally fine, at least they’ve read it as reflected in the views.
    Everyone’s different. A post I thought was one of my best received little traffic, yet another which to me is nothing particularly special has gone nuts with views, but not necessarily likes. Swings and roundabouts. Just enjoy what you’re doing. Good luck!


    • That happens to me too. Some posts I think are especially good will get something like 10 views while other posts which I think are completely trite will get something like 250 views. It makes no sense. I guess it’s hard to predict! Thanks for your input.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. I think there is a move to social media… Twitter comments replace blog comments.

    But NOT commenting on posts with by bloggers with similar interests might be a serious reason. Bloggers need to make some effort to create their own community.


  29. kamikazezealot said

    First time running across your blog, so I’m just gonna say “other”.
    Anyway, back in the day with Xanga, there was a big push for the longest time about community. In the wake of Xanga’s collapse, those of us who fled are still attempting to find a way to bring that sense of community back elsewhere. Unfortunately there’s so many blogging site options out there that it’s difficult to bring everyone together again. One way I’ve seen people go about it is the Xanga Database of DOOM, where people have put their Xanga user names, and links to their new blogs, and other contact info if they wish. If you have any contact info of other former Xangans you used to follow and talk to on there, well all I can say is try reaching out to them and getting them over to WP or something to help boost those comments and get conversations going again.
    As for what can be done blog-wise to encourage new readers and comments and such, Daily Post here on WP posts daily with suggestions on how to tweek blogs, and find your niche. So that might be worth a look as well.
    Though I agree with Joachim Boaz, social media like Twitter and Facebook are fast replacing blog comments, but I’m gonna take that a step further and say they’re replacing blogs in general. At one time even Xanga attempted to implement a Twitter-like system (Xanga Pulse) that ultimately became too much of a hassle for a lot of average users to deal with. Though, Twitter and such can be taken advantage of. I talked to a WP user a few months ago about the advantages of the share buttons on our posts. What he does to get more exposure is he’ll make his post, and then use the share buttons for facebook and twitter to post the link to the post there as well, drawing in users and followers from the social media sites to the blog.
    I by no means am an expert on the subject, just a random ex-Xanga checkin out the Xanga tag here on WP who happened to stumble across ya.


  30. I often read blog posts on a tablet or my wife’s cell phone, and I am horrible at typing on virtual keyboards. Even when I have an idea for a comment, I have to remember to go back to that post while I’m at my PC. Also, it’s possible you have more readers than you think, as people who read your posts within the wordpress reader don’t show up as page hits.


  31. LM said

    I get a few visitors a day. I have no fuckin clue as to why since I write about stupid shit.
    What worries me most is, I have no idea who these people are.
    Where are my/their footprints!


    • Footprints. You must be an ex-Xangan. I really miss the footprint feature. I feel your pain. Yes, you can track hits on WordPress, but that’s basically it and not much else. It’s not enough. Thanks for your feedback.


  32. Yeah. I started blogging half a year ago and I noticed that some days the stats are great and other days they suck. I noticed that I got too upset or too addicted to following these stats, so whenever I get the feeling of “why am I doing this anyway”, I remember that I just want a place to write about my thoughts on books and movies, because I like doing it, and just building up a big site about it, no matter how many people see it. I’ll keep doing it because I like it. Besides this, I did notice that some people get a lot of comments because they literally ask people to comment at the end of a post, like “what did you think about this book? please let me know”, and that sounds cheesy, but I think it actually works to stimulate readers to say something.


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