To paraphrase the Bob Marley song – ‘No women no cry’:
‘No followers. No likes… No Cry’.
Boo hoo hoo hoo hoo…
For my regular reader(s) – (that’s you Stan), this is a more of a regular-type blog article.
I’m so lonely – not really
It’s a common theme. Person starts a new website. They don’t get traffic. They get depressed. Next, you find them propped up in some sleazy bar, knocking back flourescent coloured cocktails, hitting on the barmaid and talking loudly to no one in particular about the good old days.
You had such high hopes. You imagined your website hitting thousands of clicks a month. You dreamt of installing Adsense. Counting the pennies rolling in. Retiring to Bali.
But it doesn’t work like that. Not in the late 2010’s. Billions of people are out there doing the same thing. No one cares. The good times are over.
Where’s that barmaid? I need a refill.
Here’s a quote by Tony Robins:
People overestimate what they can achieve in a year. But underestimate what they can do in five.
Any endeavour, whether it is creating a website platform or learning how to surf, takes time. You will wash out in the beginning many times. But if you keep going, you will suck a little less. You will start to find a niche. You will start to get a little following. Then years later, it will come. It depends on what exactly is you goal.
I am clear what my goal is… a trip to Las Vegas. I need a lot of Adsense for that.
Long term picture
But what Tony Robbins says here is wise. Every minute step you ever take towards your goal adds up. I wrote articles in 2012, and put them on my old website. Those early articles was the beginning of a habit that has led me to write a hundred+ articles. Years later, those same articles became the foundations of a health book I have written (and soon to be released).
Every article I write today, including this one, takes me one further step down the path to achieving my goal (Vegas). My purpose is having a large online platform in which to showcase my work.
It all counts. All that matters, if that you do something. Don’t pay attention to the immediate mirror – what is right in front of you.
There are always obstacles – that you don’t have enough time. That you have work, family obligations, not enough money. Or that you’re not good enough or that no one else wants to hear what you’ve got to offer.
So what? Life is not like Facebook. Do what you will with it. If no one likes it, so what? The mirror in front of you is always changing. Picture where you are heading, not where you are.
But enough motivation-speak. Back to the topic of ‘no followers and no likes’.
WordPress solution to traffic
Well WordPress.com does have a way to help out their community of bloggers. They have installed the ‘Reader’ function and encourage bloggers to share each others work. They also make it easy for WordPress.com bloggers and website builders to ‘follow’, ‘like’ comment and subscribe to each other. Sounds good.
But then, just say, some weird loner decides to truncate his blog posts, making access difficult unless you actually leave the reader and visit their site. He also made efforts to disable the ‘like’ button and partially succeeded (except from the reader). And say, he also for a while switched off his comments so that every blog post he published was like staring into a black hole?
Well then if some sad loner did that, then it would be quite possible they would have fewer followers and likes.
Especially more so, if said sad person also writes about strange, unfashionable, unknown topics like Spontaneous Qigong, instead of Kim Kardashian’s butt? Just hypothesising, that’s all.
No followers. Not following
I suppose it comes naturally. I’m the kid who wanted to do his own thing at school. I’m the kid that the teachers literally had to force me to be sociable to others as I was quite fine doing my own thing. Then they came to regret it after I discovered that joking and messing around with the other kids was a fun thing to do.
But going back to my actual blog – I don’t have many ‘likes’. About an average of one every two posts. I fare less well with followers. I have less than ten followers through WordPress.com. On the other hand, I do have more external subscribers to my site than WordPress followers.
And honestly, I’m quite impressed by these stats.
It’s actually really really hard to write over 200,000 words of content and have this few followers. Almost like seeing Haley’s comet twice in your lifetime.
Usually, to have this few followers you would literally have to have an empty shell of a site. Something so empty, that it still had the default WordPress editing text on its pages when you visiting it; Things like – “This is just a short excerpt for the home page” or “Edit this message in the Customizer (Theme Options)“.
And of course, almost no content written.
Yet, I have written vastly more. So, I suppose I should wonder why?
Get with the programme
I mean in the beginning I did wonder. But back then, I couldn’t figure out what all the ‘following’ and ‘liking’ business was about.
If you are a WordPress.com blogger, don’t you feel a little green-eyed when you come across a blog with thousands, or even tens of thousands of followers when you’ve only got a few hundred? Or even if you’re still in the double digits? And what of those sites with millions of followers.
Doesn’t it make you want to play the game? To get into the action? Dare I say it… to be popular?
I did. Kind of. And that was back when I only had around 2 or 3 followers. (6 months ago, I think). Though, there was no logical reason why I should care. Then I decided I didn’t want to play that game. It kind of reminded me of Facebook. And I don’t do Facebook.
And as there are no teachers around to force me otherwise. I just carried on dandy, doing my own thing.
It’s kind of like back in school on Valentines day when Cindy and Chad get all the chocolate and all you get is an anonymous Valentines card, which you know was written by your mom. I feel your pain brothers (and sisters). I feel your pain.
So rejoice. Look at my example. Someone has less followers than you. And likes too.
And just in case you’re thinking, that this is a cry for more followers. It isn’t. And I really mean that.
Nor do I want ‘likes’. I actually feel cool with this. The way it’s cool to be uncool. You know – like Steven Seagal.
Finding what fits you
Nor do I want to reach out to other bloggers unless I have something in common with them. From time to time, I follow other blogs, which I find interesting and read through their material. But when I am done I will simply unfollow and look for something new.
Some people have thousands of followers and maybe they in turn follow thousands of people. Or instead, they ‘like‘ thousands of articles. But I can’t do that. It’s just too much content to read. I mean, it’s not as though someone would like an article and not actually read it – right…? Or even go as far as to follow?
So if I follow a blog, I do it one at a time. And there are some really interesting writers out there. Including some really well researched articles on topics of interest to me. But I wonder, just how many of their followers really read or look at their work? I somehow feel that Facebook is responsible for this.
That’s right, blame Facebook for everything.
Helping to decide a direction
This sounds a little counter-intuitive, but it is really meaningful if you can connect with just a handful of people and your content hits the spot. It will help you to learn to create better content in the future.
And actually, this is a useful lesson. Otherwise you can become complacent or stuck in a comfort zone. I have enjoyed creating a lot of content. But I have to ask myself am I creating useful or relevant content to build an audience with? Perhaps not yet, so then that gives me more consideration for what direction I should take this website in the future. What will be my next general theme, particularly after I finish my ‘Encounters with Spontaneous Qi’ series?
And by doing this, I did come up with a new idea for the direction I will be taking my website in 2019. All very exciting and a lot of work.
So what is the purpose of this post? It is more of a self-reflection. One of the benefits of a blog is you can reflect and put it in writing. Posts don’t always have to suit a purpose or be polished.
Many acupuncturists who add blogs to their websites, assume that the blog has to be full of articles about qi, the seasons, or Chinese recipes involving ginger. Not so. That’s why most don’t continue past a few articles. I mean it’s kind of boring to only write about those kind of things.
As I recently passed my 100th blog post – a mini landmark moment, I find it funny that I have so few followers. So much so, that it became something I am proud of.
I read another WordPress blogger who said you should never write negative things about your blog. You should always exude a level of success or confidence – something like that. The same way a slug exudes slime, I suppose.
But I’d like to challenge that. The outcome doesn’t matter. It’s what the action does for you that matters. For example, does it help you grow? Does it make you squirm a little and feel uncomfortable when you do something? Then I think it will help you grow. So for that reason, I have written this post.
But I don’t think showing too much vulnerability helps either. Or confessing to bad things that happened in your life either. Unless it is to achieve a higher purpose. Perhaps to show how bad stuff happened, but you can overcome it, as a lesson or a morale boost for others. But even then, I’d still be a little careful with excessive exposure and vulnerability. Some things are better kept private or anonymous.
“Sarah Conner…?” – “…Yes”
I will admit, that I occasionally delete (terminate) the odd follower or two when I don’t believe they are visiting my site. We all have that power.
You can roughly figure it out by looking at the stats and even checking out their site. And then asking: Do they even have anything in common with you? Do you have content, they are probably interested in? If not, the chances are that they are not reading your content. And so far, I don’t think any of them have even noticed they have been hasta la vista’d.
Here is a graphical description. Please stop watching at 0:50, as it gets a bit violent:
In a way, I am actually proud that I have less than ten followers. I feel I have achieved something quite unique.
I’m not really a social media person anyway. As I mentioned, I don’t do Facebook. Nor other social media sites like MySpace (wait, that isn’t popular now?). Nor MSN Messenger (Wait, that’s gone too! China…). Chat rooms? What do you mean – its so early 2000’s!?
Jees… to quote Withnail and I – ‘Up yours granddad‘. Or even better, here’s the video:
Ah memories.. I remembered doing this every day back in the 90’s.
Only joking. I’m not that kind of person, although I suspect my friend Botanic Crow did (back in the 80’s). And who knows… Maybe even today still.
So, I was just wondering, if I could get an award for the least popular WordPress.com blog? Nominations please.
But enough naval gaining. Overall, I am happy with the direction of my site.
It’s a platform
Some of my close friends refer to it as a blog. But that is incorrect. It really is a platform.
And I don’t mean ‘platform’ the same way Hyacinth Bucket tells people to pronounce her surname – “Bouquet“. – (So 1990’s, I know)
In this day and age, a platform is a useful thing. Especially if you are running your own business.
On mine, I have articles, products, my own ebooks, and now I’m branching into video making.
Look for the talent around you. it is there
One lesson I’ve learnt is that there are talented people all around. Recently, I found two such people.
I made a qigong video with a Japanese Tai Chi teacher. I hired a room in a dance studio for an hour and asked him to run through some simple qigong exercises, which I recorded with my Smartphone.
Then I asked a retired professional singer to provide the narration for it as her voice is clear, crisp and fantastic.
Then I figured out how to use iMovie and made two short qigong videos. These videos are in the Qigong Videos Page on my website.
Doing something completely new
The whole experience was really enjoyable and I think we all learnt a lot from doing it. I made lots of beginner mistakes. For example, I used an iPhone 5s and held my camera at a portrait angle, not landscape. Hence the black bars on the side. However, I filled that with a silk background.
Also I did not have a tripod so I ended up propping my phone on a table. Unfortunately, the table was too low so the angle of the video was not optimal. But that doesn’t matter.
Overall the end project was pretty good for a first attempt. Here is the video:
And also more importantly, I saw two people around me that have talent and approached them to collaborate with me.
I’ve met many people who I thought: – it would be great if I could collaborate with them and make something. The only thing that stops me is when I weigh up the amount of work necessary versus the likelihood of completing it. If I think the project is less likely to be finished, then I have to put the idea on hold.
And anything can be a talent. It just depends on what your motivation is.
For example, Cooking is a talent. Understanding how to use a certain software or program is a talent. Speaking a particular language is a talent. Telling jokes is a talent. Being a masculine guy or a feminine girl is a talent. Getting children to eat vegetables is a talent. Understanding women is a talent.
The point is that, this is the day and age to just go for it. To write, make a video, sing, learn a skill, learn dance, teach it – something that takes you out of your comfort zone.
Ease out of comfort
I spoke to a young lady today who told me that society today is designed to tempt us into a comfortable life. But growth only comes when we are out of our comfort zone.
This doesn’t mean we should quit our jobs and start a business or pack up and live abroad. Try dipping your toes in first to new things. This is what I did with making this video.
And I discovered something interesting. When you make a few steps in a new direction, the Universe will meet you halfway by bringing you people who can help you. Or it will open up other opportunities to help you. But you have to be prepared to take them when they come.
And that is what happened here with this video. But you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone. You’ve got to let go fears of how it will turn out. Or embarrassments of how it may make you look. It doesn’t matter what others think. What matters is how you feel about doing it. In the end, what you think about yourself is all that matters.
It means that we should not be afraid to try something new and completely different. Something we have never done before. If you don’t give some attempt to try something in your life you have always wanted to do, then regrets may come. And regrets suck. Especially at the end, when you look back on life.
In the recent past, it would have been harder to do this. But not nowadays. If you don’t have any skill, then use your imagination. These days, the biggest restriction is what you place on yourself. Do it while you can. Here’s a great animation by Steve Cutts:
Creatively bring out the inner craziness
As I’m ever the one to self promote (i.e. sell my merch), you might be interested (probably not) in the kind of nuttiness that I have done:
Here is my zombie book:
And for those not aware, I’m an acupuncturist and professional in complementary and alternative healthcare.
I guess it’s a little different. I mean zombies have nothing to do with health and fitness.
Ah wait… well then, how about this book? This is related to health and fitness:
Release that inner poet
But my point is that there we have the freedom to put whatever the hell we want out there these days.
So, if you want to be a poet (Miro), then this is your chance. What are you afraid of? Being judged. Who cares? Connect to that sensitive side. Just get that pen and paper and think of a word to rhyme with “love“. Here are some starters – “dove“, “heavens up above“.
And make sure you grow a little goatee to go with it.
Creativity feels good
And also more importantly, it feels great to create something. To put something out there. Creativity is pure healing energy. I’m sure that God loved what he was doing when he created the world in 7 days. He did it with love. Not as a chore. This is why I don’t believe in the theory of the Big Bang.
The fundamental premise behind the Big Bang theory is that there’s really no point behind it – it just happened… The universe is expanding and contracting for no particular reason.
I mean come on? How lifeless an explanation that is.
It just happened…
It like saying – each of us just happened, and there’s no point to us or anything. How devoid of wonder and mystery is that? Does it not make you wonder if modern scientists are not all a bunch of nihilistic killjoys. Not Einstein of course.
No, we are all much more unique than that empty explanation. we just can’t see it yet. I think there is a point behind everything – especially our lives. We are all special in our own way. If you agree – join me, break the programming.
And one way to do that is to find your inner creative spark and light it up. It’s pure dynamite.
The Age of Babel
In this day and age, people want to learn from each other and to share. YouTube is full of tutorials. Google too.
Most people who have skills or abilities are ok with expressing their talent to one or two people or a small group of people. But not everyone expresses that talent in a way that meets a larger audience. Nor do they do it in a way that can be repeated without them physically doing the repeating.
But if they could do something in a format like a video recoding or MP3/CD recording, several people can watch or listen to get the benefits of the lesson. For the teacher, you only need to do the basic lesson once. And it can be reached by more people.
I suppose this is what is defined as leverage.
For example, if you share with one person a little bit of knowledge, that person benefits. You benefit. And then it’s over. But if you can share something, record it and put it on the net. Then hundreds of people can potentially benefit. You just need to figure out how to do that. You may even get paid for it. Who knows?
From this recent video, I can say I’ve got the bug for it. I will be looking forward to collaborating with talented people around me to create stuff. If you meet me, you’ll have to watch out if I look at you with furrowed brows, as I size you up and wonder how you might look in front of a camera.
Don’t worry, were not talking X rated stuff. I’m no Hugh Hefner (yet). Health and fitness kind of stuff is what I mean.
And if you actually liked this post. No likes please. And no following either, thank you very much. I mean that. Though, I don’t think I need to worry about that.
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