This is an amazing milestone for a person who flunked English three times and had to retake the courses until passed. I thought not knowing what a verb or adjective was might hinder my abilities to write, especially since my blog entries are published without editorial oversight, but I’ve quickly learned that blogging is more about ideas and opinions than grammar.
Blogging gave me opportunity to meet some incredible people and to formulate my thinking process. If you count the number of pages I’ve written, including my first few blog sites that bit the dust, I’ve written enough to publish four books. It’s no wonder Michael Hyatt suggests that bloggers focus on specific areas of topic with the idea of formulating a book after every 100th blog entry. In fact, he did that very thing with his latest book.
My blogs are more eclectic and my audience has changed over time. During one of my previous blogs I focused on stories and gained a significant audience. But when I started writing a few entries on entertainment my audience changed. For whatever reason, those who liked my stories didn’t care for my entertainment pieces. When I merged my blog that supported men physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, I lost many of my entertainment audience and found that the majority of my readers were women.
This current blog was the most consistent when it comes to publishing dates with almost three entries each week. It too has seen a turnover of audience. The bottom line is that Michael’s concept of focus is preferred, as you can share your expertise and publish a book after every hundred or so entries. But, that’s not what I’ve done.
In reviewing the past 100 entries, I’ve seen that filmmakers are my biggest audience followed by pastors. The one commonality they have is their love for using story to get messages across. This gives me the idea that writing a blog about story telling in various formats and venues might be a good point of focus. However, when I write about relationships, I get a temporary surge in women readers that far exceed the other two audiences.
Hmm, what if I were to create a films for women that pastor’s could reference in making their key life changing points? The filmmaking community would show interest, the women would probably watch the films and the pastors would gain plenty of ideas to share the practical applications of their content.
In all reality, the one thing that consistently drives an increase in audience in the area of blogging or filmmaking is quality. The majority of the audiences I’ve addressed have made it clear that their loyalty is only there when my content is rich with quality. Whenever I do something with a high level of quality the audience numbers rise. And, whenever I do something of less quality, the numbers drop quicker than you could imagine.
I’m not really surprised by that concept. In chatting with folks from Veggie Tales, Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks, they have all stated that I should not release a film unless it’s of high quality. My filmmaker friends and blog experience proves that to be true and it does make sense.
On the other hand, my educator friends tell me the opposite. They point out that doing numerous projects will hone my skills and I’ll be able to create something within the sheer volume of work that might hit the mark and generate a future. Unfortunately, I’ve met too many people whose careers have ended once their experimental or early works surfaced.
Out of the millions of writers, I’ve only learned about two who got book deals as a result of their blog, and neither one was me. And, out of the thousands of filmmakers, I’ve only learned about five who got a feature deal based on a short film, again not me. Typically speaking, there are only two reasons people have gotten book or film deals from a blog or a short, and that was due to the audience they generated or the quality of unique information they brought to the table.
Back when I was full time in filmmaking, I was given opportunities to direct projects based on my creativity, knowledge and morals. Today, it seems that opportunities come up when projects stir the market long enough for someone to take the risk of etching a deal. Unfortunately, what stirs a market in blog entries are usually controversial, and in the film community is visual impact over story. Since my work is typically to help others rather than be controversial and I usually put story first over visual impact, I’m not in the running for that miracle.
I will just have to do what is put before me to do and be content with my ability to reach those who have found that I have something of value for them. And, for those who don’t like what I share, they will certainly drift off to another artist.
Regardless of how small or unique my audience might be based on my eclectic style, I’m happy that they have found something useful in my work for their life. So, while there might not be two hundred thousand people celebrating this 100th entry milestone, there are some who are thankful for what I’ve shared – They are the ones I do this for.