When Your Fan Base Only Consists of Your Mom, Your Best Friend, and Your Sister
We’ve all heard the verse right…you know the one:
Do not despise these small beginnings. Zechariah 4:10
We spend all this time (and money) setting up a blog, applying for Twitter/Instagram/Facebook with our blog-related email addresses, installing plugins and designing our logo when finally we announce to the world that our blog is ready for public consumption. We wait on pins and needles for the viral blog post following to happen.
Aaannnddd you get three followers.
Your mom. Your best friend. And your sister.
But they were “following” you already. They just signed up using their husband’s email address this time.
Yep. (*Hangs head*). It happens.
So what do we do? We get on our Facebook page and click the “Invite to this page” button until every single one of our personal friends gets a request to come like our Facebook page.
I swear that my friend Mia, who I’m pretty sure already likes my blog page, keeps showing up in this list, but I keep “inviting” her anyhow. Thank God for loyal friends who put up with my craziness!
But it doesn’t seem to matter what we do. Our blog just doesn’t grow like we thought it would.
And so we think, “Content is King!”, right? And we plug away at writing some amazingly thoughtful posts. Your mom reads it and confirms this notion. She emails it to your aunt. She agrees too.
Wonderful. Just…thank you, mom. Tell Aunt Lyna that I’ll be at her house at Thanksgiving, kay?
Your BFF reposts your latest blogs with some great status update like this:
Then, we go to her Facebook page and “like” it with our personal name attached just so her other friends might think it is a cool blog post to read (that is if they don’t already know we actually ARE the person who wrote it).
When one of her friends do actually comment, you literally jump up and do a happy dance. You are finally making a difference in the world! Yay, you!
It’s a sad and lonely world in blogging land sometimes. And you need an ear to hear you out, so you call your sister. She’ll lay it out for you – tell you what you are doing wrong in a way that your BFF won’t.
“Maybe if you just do X.Y.Z?” she says.
So you do it. And it doesn’t work.
What the crap? Why am I listening to her! She doesn’t know about blogging! (Okay, actually my sister has given me some great advice…and she does read my blog so “shhhh!” Don’t egg my house, kay, Natalie?)
You buy a blogging book from Amazon.com and it tells you all the amazing ways Pinterest can grow your blog AND you’ll be making a six figure income. SCORE! I’m going to do that right now!
You create the perfect pin and beg all five of your Pinterester friends to re-pin it (which of course they do). Your Google Analytics shows that you had 16 visitors yesterday and your comment button shows you actually have a comment!
Can you say, “Super stoked!”
But when you read it, you realize it is a robot spamming your website with a link to buy Viagra.
Super. Not. Stoked.
By now you get my point. Starting a blog sounds glamorous to everyone else, but behind the scenes it is a whole heck of a lot of disappointment and waiting. The masses of people you dreamed of hanging on your every word are just not there. And you’ve poured your heart into it. What happened to the voice whispering to Kevin Costner in the corn fields saying, “If you build it, [they] will come?”
A long time ago, I put out a poetry CD. (PS. If you sign up for my newsletter you can download it for free!) Since I was sixteen I’ve been into performance poetry. It started after hanging out a local dive called Catbirds in Houston, Texas with my high school boyfriend.
When I got saved in Austin, Texas, the poetry scene was alive and thriving. I got involved with some really amazing poets and honed my skillz. For realz. (See…that rhymed. #boom)
I performed a piece about having control over your thoughts. It’s on the CD. I think it’s good. It wasn’t my favorite piece, but my mom does. She still references it 15 years later. It really made an impact on her thought life. I did that! (Okay, God did that. But he used me to do it!) And that’s important.
She is important to me and my writing.
And just today, my friend messaged me and said:
“I will say even though I’m not a blogger, your recent posts have helped me. Lately I’ve really been seeking my purpose…your words do matter and they are making a difference in lives!“
She is important.
And my sister is the sole person that will look me straight in my face and give those hard words I need to hear. She’s also one of the most encouraging people in my entire life who believes in what I do. She helps edit my books and gives so many of my blogs and extra dose of added perspective. (You can read her guest post here.)
She is important.
In Matthew 2, baby Jesus is visited by the three wise men. They have been looking for the fulfillment of prophecy and studying the signs in the sky. They KNEW that something big was about to happen when they started following that star. What they didn’t realize is the impact of their own visitation of Jesus to the rest of us.
God showed us through the three wise men, that even in Jesus’ infancy, he was important enough that the kings of this world would bow down to him.
Obviously, we aren’t looking to have people “bow down” to us (and if you are ♬ you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.♬ Sorry, Beyonce.) But we need to realize that our first followers are special. They are important. They are the ones there for you before everyone knows about you, and they will be the ones there for you when everyone leaves.
They love(d) you before you went viral and they will love you when your blog something gets some serious hate-mail. They are your God-given base. They set the stage.
And if we can’t respect the three, we don’t deserve the multitude.
This blog uses affiliate links and referral links.