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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Numbers Matter, But What Actually Matters?


Let me begin my saying - Numbers Matter! Big, big time. If someone gets 500 Likes on their profile picture on Facebook, we are tempted to see who the person is. The number game is important to young souls who seek validation on social media and also for people like me, who get money as per their social media standing. How do I get money? I write for brands and share it on my blog and social media accounts. It’s a form of advertisement. When I started blogging, oops writing (that sounds professional), my first job was for $50. I was elated, you know, as the cliche goes - writers don’t make money - and $50 was a hell lot. I was pumped up to work towards earning more. I was getting accolades and money was the cherry on the top.

Accolades you ask? Poems published in an International Anthology, won a few blogging contests, won Indiblogger’s Indian Blogger Award 2013, selected among top 6 creative writing bloggers by BlogAdda, interviewed by an Indian channel in New York and interviewed by prestigious websites like Women’sWeb. And, I was earning money too. This all happened in the first 2 years of blogging. This seems so fascinating. I was living a dream. Let me also share, in the world of blogging, writers are the least preferred lot by masses. People drool over food, fashion, travel and photography bloggers. Bloggers who write are geeks of the blogging world. We don’t get followers easily unless you write provocative stuff or post many ‘F’ ‘B’ or ‘M’ words in your social media updates. By all means, I was lucky, my average comment on each post easily crossed 125, not including my own. In short - I was doing pretty well for a creative writing blogger. And, you know what happens when you get all that? You start dissecting. Yes, dissecting! Out of the 125 comments, you only care for the genuine ones. The ones who have read and not commented for a comment back. When you win second prize in a contest, you read the quality of other winners and measure the judgment process. You do the same when you lose too. You work hard and write for a brand, but you are shattered to see one blogger writing a meaningless post and being paid the same. And, don’t get me started about anthologies - it’s the easiest way to sell books by publishing houses, club people with some talent and lot of reach, and publish a book. Before anyone is offended by ‘some talent’ part, this was said to me by a publisher himself. Anyway, the bottom line is  - by this time, we know the murky side of numbers. Let’s say - It’s easy to maintain the quantity! Quality, on the other hand, is like Art House Cinema - appreciated by only a few.

However, the worst thing is at this stage growth stops! People are dissuaded and only slog to maintain numbers. They read, write and comment more on other blogs to get numbers. They add more people on social media to get likes. They post random stuff, controversial status and cute DPs to get followers.They are lost in the number game. It’s not their fault as everyone around them is growing in these terms. And, brands love people with numbers. So, many buy followers too. But, let me tell you - none of them are happy. Let me give you three examples -

  • You write for a brand, you want comments and traffic on that post. People are not interested in the topic and you get comments like - nice post, nicely written and other variations of it. The purpose of promoting the brand is defeated.
  • You want followers on Twitter and Instagram, you buy but you don’t get interaction as those accounts are fake or inactive.
  • You add thousand unknown strangers on Facebook, they will like your pictures but will not read your posts. And, trust me, Facebook algorithm has no mercy either. If 10 friends don’t like your post, it gets buried by the algorithm.

You see, none of it works in your favor. You chase numbers and even with numbers, you don’t achieve anything. This brings the real question - what should we do? Should we be indifferent, stop writing or simply be a part of this craziness? There is one thing I follow since I started blogging, do what you feel like. Write what you feel is right. Try to grow in your field. Don’t imitate people. Don’t shy away from asking for work. Always admit to your mistakes. Don’t fall for numbers as after a point the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs kicks in. Likes, comments, traffic or even work comes at its own fancy, you can not control it beyond a point, but good-consistent work will always bring you closer to self-actualisation. Yes, that top thing of Maslow’s chart! And, there will come a day when a random message on Facebook from a complete stranger will fill you with pride. That’s the magic of quality-consistency-passion.

Again, numbers matter. My list of accomplishment brings immense pleasure. But there are many other things that don't attract numbers, and I find more happiness in these accomplishments -




Personal messages that keep me going


In the end, I would like to say, chase your passion, numbers will follow. Even if numbers don’t follow, happiness surely will.

P. S. - I completed 5 years of blogging today. Please don’t defeat the purpose of this post by commenting do shabd - Happy Anniversary.

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76 comments:

  1. What an insightful post to capture the glorious 5 years of blogging you've just completed. What touched me most (like always) is your brutal honesty.
    Keep up the fantastic work Saru and may you reach greater heights in the days to come.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your blog is one which caught my fancy when I started blogging and there is hardly a post I missed! I have enjoyed your creative writings thoroughly and hope you get more accolades, Saru:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your constant support, sir 😃

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  3. Happy Anniversary :-) This is one of the best anniversary post that I have read. Lots of insights and confessions make this an interesting read

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. Glad you read and appreciated the content.

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  4. Hi Saru,
    I have been following your blog from a very long time and I must say your writing has inspired me and your honesty and a tangy sense of humor has always kept me hooked to your blog. Happy blogiversary tho bantha hain. May you continue to have more success. 😃

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    Replies
    1. It's an honor to have you as a reader. Thanks a bunch for being here, Ramya. :)

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  5. I started blogging just a few years ago and must say it has been a fascinating journey till now. Looking at where you are, it is a great achievement indeed. A wonderful post sharing your blogging journey. Looking forward to some amazing posts in the years to come. Keep up the great work :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you and good luck with your tryst.

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  6. I dont even remember the day I first visited your blog, but since then, I have been a regular visitor, because there is so much of positivity and humor in your writing that sways the mood and fills one with optimism.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for a uplifting comment. It means a lot, Harshit.

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  7. Congratulations :) Happy Anniversary. Keep Blogging.

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  8. What makes you stand out is your pure honesty and integrity to words and feelings. You are purely a Dil se writer. Nothing should stop you and nothing will stop the herd of your readers and admirers. Write for another 1000 yrs to come. Congratulations for hitting 5. A high five for that to you. Mr. Alok should treat you for the occasion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your support in these 5 years has been tremendous and I can't thank you enough for that.

      And, will show and ask for a treat from Alok. :)

      Delete
  9. I don't have enough words to express how much I like your writing. I love to read you and wait for your next creation. You always leave me amazed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment is a big-big reward. Every time you say something, I am speechless. <3

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  10. It has been 3 years and 3 months since I started blogging. A lot has changed since. Things have changed massively. My audience, the platforms that I've used and my content.

    I might not have had some massive achievements but totally relate to the melancholy.

    Number matter to me because they quantify achievements. There is no other way to know how much have you impacted.

    But I have also come across people who really like my work and are ghost followers.

    As a matter of fact, I was your ghost follower.

    It is really commendable achievement; your 5 year anniversary.

    Go on and I know you will :D

    Just ask this - How can it get better from here?


    I know you've come far from where you were,
    But since you're here just look far and stare,
    Look behind and see your steps in sand,
    Look at horizon, you've still far from the end.


    P.S. This poem is for you, just made it. Consider is more than just do shabdh.


    Much Love Saru. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Aditya,

      Beautiful verse and thank you for that.

      Ghost follower - I am jumping with joy. My only fantasy is to have my very own stalkers on blog and social media. :D

      About blogging - it is all about being honest and learning from your journey. Everything else is just a by-product. Happy are those who accept it. They are bloggers in true sense. I hope, you and me can keep this spirit alive.

      Love,
      Saru

      Delete
  11. Very insightful and cheers to many more.

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  12. True, believe each word, "passion" is the keyword...creativity does not always need approval but chasing the dreams surely pays in some sense...keep on writing and inspiring.

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  13. I think I get it by fair margin. For the reason as vacuous comments, I started keeping the comments closed. They don't mean much, as most of them are writing for a link back. The FB algorithm is now partial to paid ones, and organic reach is hard to come by. These days, any post that gets me 100 FB interactions (likes+shares) keeps me happy. Google is a shifty beast - can't predict how it changes itself every few months. Writers are geeks, yes. We take secret pride in that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, we do. We take pride in being geeky. To be honest, I care for things that are real and people that are honest.

      Delete
  14. I don't think we have ever been formally introduced, Saru, but I have followed your blog for sometime now, and I feel that this is as good a time as any other.

    I came across your instagram posts before the blog, and loved the quotes you share.

    You are very right when you say that - good, consistent work in the area of one's passion is what gives the most satisfaction. Numbers always follow.

    Many congratulations on the several accolades. I know that they are well deserved.

    Happy Anniversary. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment encourages me to do better. Thank you so much for your warm words, Shanaya.

      Delete
  15. I am new to blogging and this post has been really insightful. I do not care about numbers, but getting a true feedback after reading my each and every word of my posts is what I want. Why? perhaps to improve my writing. Anyways, happy anniversary :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That precisely the reason I blog.

      Thanks for a lovely comment.

      Delete
  16. Numbers cannot be ignored...even to reach the right (targeted) audience/readers numbers are important. As you pointed out, Saru numbers play a part in the social media algorithms. Totally. But at the end of the day genuine appreciation is what fills you in with pride. So true.

    Your maturity in writing poems, stories or promotional content is superlative, Saru. You may not be aware but your work is floating on whatsapp too :) Wish you many more accolades. Well deserved, truly.

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    Replies
    1. Genuine feedback like yours makes my day. Thank you so much for gracing this blog with your presence, Bushra. <3

      Delete
  17. Happy anniversary...may you succeed in your passions...slow n steady wins the race.

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  18. I agree that numbers are quite tricky and hence, no credibility to them. Glad you shared your experience with us so that we can learn and grow together. I always believe that I am my only competition but no one else, striving to better the self, up the game every single day:)

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    Replies
    1. Well said. We must endeavor to beat our own standards.

      Delete
  19. Very true... numbers matter but it's the matter that matters the most. Your writings always inspired me. Great going Saru. May you achieve million more. Happy 5th anniversary! :)

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  20. Super achievement.
    Great when people give credit & are inspired!
    Keep going, Saru! Keep celebrating many more milestones :)

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  21. These days when everything is about hits, it becomes difficult for people to focus on creating content for the soul. The world wide web has become a labyrinth where many a creative person gets lost. Congratulations on getting noticed by brands and a worthy audience. Keep it up!

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    Replies
    1. Seriously, it acts as a deterrent. Bloggers are hit severely by the changing algorithm of social media sites. We don't have the money to promote our work. Wish we can find a way out.

      Thanks a bunch for your wishes, Sabya.

      Delete
  22. As usual, explained in a straightforward, yet very very effective manner.

    ReplyDelete
  23. A very happy 5th anniversary, Saru. That's a great milestone. This post was really interesting and an eye-opener. Thanks for sharing your experiences and achievements. Keep up the good work :)

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  24. Congratulations on the 5 years, Saru. It shows drive and dedication. Keep at it.
    This is a good time to look back at your achievements. Congratulations, girl. :) And All the BEST for the years to come.

    Hey, and that's a lovely message to all of there -- that about the numbers following. :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. "Happy Anniversary" :P hehehehe
    You are an awesome blogger... I love your humor posts the best... and numbers don't matter when you have the content. Yes it's these personalized messages that make my day too. I have seen so many interesting blogs with just a couple of comments, but I keep going back to them.
    But you know what I personally don't like reading - product promotion posts. That's when I just give a random comment. It defeats the whole purpose of why I was following that blogger.

    Wish you reach many more milestones... stay awesome :D

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    Replies
    1. I understand, but for full-time bloggers, product promotion is bread and butter.

      Thanks for your wishes and presence. It's always good to hear from you. <3

      Delete
  26. Fantastic post. The things that keep you going are similar to the ones that keep me going. If numbers were the only thing that mattered, I'd have quit blogging many months ago.

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    Replies
    1. So true, Anand. Sorry, don't know how I missed your comment!

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  27. Many many congratulations for successfully completing 5 years. A triymph indeed. Not an easy task to consistently post for 5 years.
    I have been reading your posts for 5 years and have learnt a lot from your poems. You are also an inspiration to many bloggers. I was out of blogging for the past few months. Have to read your posts which I will do soon. Keep posting, keep writing, keep inspiring.
    Will be eagerly waiting for your poems(English & Hindi)... :-)

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  28. Happy Anniversary !

    Now can I go please? :)
    I have to comment on several other blogs and if I say more than 2 words on one blog, I'll be losing out on a race you know.

    On a serious note, the people who run after fake numbers are the impatient ones who want everything NOW. They are not taught 'sabra ka phal meetha hota hai'.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True that. It's about getting the work done of years in one day. I have seen many come and go. People with substance and dedication last.

      Delete
  29. I always loved your posts, have been following your blog from few years. Love especially the poetry by you. All the best Saru. You are the best :)

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  30. Happy anniversary, Saru!

    You are one popular and creative blogger, and this popularity is well deserved. I love your #HashTag stories!

    Many congratulations on your accomplishments. It's wonderful!

    For numbers, I better ignore them as they never follow me :) but, the good thing is that they fail to discourage me.

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  31. I got fascinated by your Hashtag stories which says a lot in few words and then, Alok told me that you guys are from Ambala. It made me more happy to connect with the ones around me. I hope to meet you guys sometime. Do let me know when you are here in India. Congrats for completing 5 years Journey so gracefully Saru.

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    Replies
    1. Would love to meet you, Upsana. Glad that you like my hashtagstories. Thank you so much :)

      Delete
  32. Congratulations, Keep Blogging and Happy Anniversary !....

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  33. आपकी पोस्ट ज्ञानवर्धक है.
    ऐसी ही पोस्ट Technical Tips in Hindi मिथिलेश२०२०.कॉम पर देखें.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Very true Saru. Nothing can be gained by running numbers. One has to give each post the right amount of love and commitment and the blog will grow by itself. People's appreciation should not be the metric for judging. Love your hashtag stories. Wish you the best !

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    Replies
    1. So true... we shouldn't take numbers to head or heart. Thanks for your wishes, Asha.

      Delete
  35. That's quite an interesting post for your blogversary. Totally agree with your point that though we may get numbers by buying followers, the interaction wouldn't be there and the whole purpose of numbers will be defeated.

    On another note, wish you many more such blogversaries in the future :D.

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  36. Thanks for the honest tips to fellow bloggers

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  37. I am in complete agreement with the views expressed herein. It's a lesson for all the amateur writers and bloggers. Will always bear it in my mind.

    Not seen on the forum for quite some time . Hope, you are fine.

    Take care.

    Jitendra Mathur

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, I was busy with other projects.

      Delete
  38. Wonderful Saru! Congrats on completing glorious 5 years of blogging. Sorry for delay in commenting. Was managing several things and was going through a bad phase health wise so couldn't it and read your blog. Congrats for completing 5 years and carry on. You've been an inspiration for me :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope things are fine now. Thank you for being here, always! :)

      Delete

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