A Slave To The Numbers
Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Nov 25, 2008
Michael Jackson has the biggest selling record in the history of the industry with Thriller. At its peak, it was selling a million albums a week. Sales are estimated to be between 47 and 108 million copies worldwide. There were only nine songs on the album, but seven of them were released as singles and four of those songs went to number one; the others all made the top ten. Thriller the album won the Grammy, American Music Awards, and just so many other awards that it’s scary to try to think about it.
Thing is, since that time period, Michael Jackson has done fairly well musically, but he’s never been able to get anywhere close to the standard that Thriller did. It doesn’t seem to matter that no one else has either; people look at him as someone who did it once, so why can’t he do it again. And that’s with his second album selling over 25 million copies and having five of those songs hit number one. Even with that type of success, he, and everyone else, keeps looking at the numbers, wanting more, wanting to be better.
That type of thing hits many of us who are trying to monetize our blogs. We look at the top bloggers in the world, who show us their monthly figures, and wonder how we can get there. We check our Technorati stats to see how we’re progressing, and get worried if we slip a notch here and there every once in awhile. We check our Adsense and our Widget Bucks and our Commission Junction affiliate performances and do our tweaking, looking for that one big post, or that one big product, that’s going to put us over the top, so we can join the pantheon of top bloggers and proclaim our success to the world.
It’s tough not to. I’m one of those people, mind you. Not only do I post my monthly statistics on this blog, but I’m looking at my figures often, trying to figure out why one particular post hit the masses and made them stand up and say “hey, this was good”, or why I’ll write something else and have it totally get ignored. I wonder why my Adsense performance is so far down on my blog, but doing fairly well elsewhere. And I wonder how others are doing, those who don’t share all this information. I wonder where my blog ranks with all the other blogs in the blogosphere. Okay, sure, right now it’s ranked in the top 300 blogs, sitting at #279 (look at that badge on the right), but who knows how long that will last, or if I’ll be able to move up the ladder some more?
So, what determines our success with our blogs? Is it the number of visitors we get? Is it the amount of money that we might make, if we’re trying to make money with our blogs? Is it the design, how pretty our blogs are, or how ugly, how many ads we have on our blogs? Is it the pictures, or the widgets, or any of that fancy stuff? For that matter, is it our content?
Or is it the fact that we’re blogging to begin with, and not only blogging but adding more and more things as we go along? In a way, we put ourselves out here for the masses to grade us, and it can be somewhat scary at times. Not everyone agrees with our position, and sometimes we have to deal with that. It’s kind of life what I’m talking about in my book writing series, the guts that it takes to even start writing, let alone finishing. I look at all you wonderful people here in the blogosphere and then I look at my friends, and I can easily say that the friend to blog ratio doesn’t figure out all that well. It could be that most of my friends are older, but I’m not sure that qualifies anymore.
As I’m about to embark on another professional adventure, heading to Reno next week for a consulting assignment, I wonder whether the obsession for chasing better and better numbers will wane a bit, or whether they’ll stay as intense as they already are. In any case, I hope to keep up my blogging schedule as it is now, but realize that it might come down to 3 or 4 posts a day, unless I do what I’m hoping to do, that being writing a bunch of posts on the weekend and dating them for future posting. After all, that’s how I’ve done my book writing series, which ends Wednesday morning. I hope y’all have been checking it out, by the way, and sharing it with others. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to ask that of people, to share the idea and spread the word to anyone hoping to write anything. I guess I’m also supposed to ask you to flag them on any of those social networking blog sites so that people will supposedly come over and check the articles out for themselves.
Nah, I’m not going to ask that. It’s enough that I’ve told the world that I want more RSS subscribers (and I still do, by the way, so let’s keep it going!), but I’ll have to do with getting those higher numbers the natural way, I suppose. And I’m going to gain control over myself as it pertains to checking all those other numbers also.
Yeah, right; we all know that I’ve already checked my Adsense and my Technorati score. 🙂