You Are Not Alone!

There’s an old saying that asks, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it make a noise?” Bloggers might ask a similar question. “If I post something on my blog and no one responds, did anyone read it?”

I am reminded of a story I’ve previously shared. The 2009 movie Julie and Julia recounts the real life story of Julie Powell as portrayed by actress Amy Adams. It tells of Powell’s 2002 experience writing a daily blog of recipes from Julia Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Powell’s personal commitment was to prepare and discuss 524 recipes in 365 days, all in her tiny apartment. Early on, the only feedback her blog received were critical comments from her mother. She had no idea whether anyone else was reading her content. After a few months, the blog slowly caught on. It eventually became a great American success story. Her posts were later compiled into her book, Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen. The book went become a best seller and the first of several books she has authored.

Fred Campos of FunCitySocialMedia assures me it takes about 100 posts before you begin to build a following for your blog. In his experience, the average blogger becomes discouraged and gives up long before their 100th post. While I have been unable to find any authoritative source to support Fred, Powell’s experience certainly seems to support him. So does mine.

I posted my first entry on December 31, 2010. As of today, I have made 89 entries to my blog, 76 of which have been extracts from my book Highly Visible Marketing – 115 Low-cost Ways to Avoid Market Obscurity. I received my first comment on January 9. It was in response to the December 31 post. At that moment, I knew exactly how Sally Fields felt as she walked up to accept her 1979 Oscar for Norma Rea screaming, “You like me! You Like me!”

Since then, I have received 82 other comments, an average of slightly less than 1 every other day. But I’ve noticed several interesting trends lurking just below the surface of the raw data. First, comments do not come evenly. Far from it! I’ve had two days, both in June, when I’ve received over 20 comments in a single day. In between, there have been weeks of deafening, ego-shattering silence.

Secondly, we lose sight of the fact that once launched into cyberspace, blog posts are “out there” forever. I am often surprised to see comments on blog entries posted weeks early. For example, just yesterday I received a comment on something I wrote on February 28, seventeen weeks ago.

So let me end with three final comments:

  1. First, falling trees always make noise, even if no one hears them. They are too powerful a force of nature to do otherwise.
  2. Therefore, STAY THE COURSE! If you believe in your message, then believe that people will benefit when (not if) they read it. Don’t give up when success might be just around the next bend in the road.
  3. Last and most important, to everyone who has been kind enough to share their thoughts and encouragement through comments on CFO America’s blog over the past six months, THANK YOU! Please continue to support us through your comments and by sharing our content with your friends and associates.

Have a safe and joyous Fourth of July holiday, as we celebrate our great nation’s independence from the tyranny of that was the crown. I am going to take the day off, but I’ll be back bright and early on Wednesday, July 6.

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  1. Dale, you’re a brilliant writer, always providing practical tips for everyday life. I love reading your stuff because what I read in the morning, I can apply in the afternoon. If we stay focused planting seed, the harvest WILL follow. John Grisham’s first novel was rejected by sixteen agents and twelve publishing houses. He went on writing and writing until he became best known as a novelist and author for his works of modern legal drama. Most people measure their effort by looking at their harvest and that’s ok. We all need encouragement. But it will serve us best if we just stayed focused planting seeds! I’ve found that God will always reward our deligence, especially when it’s aimed to help others. He adds a touch of His favor when we allow Him to work in and through us. We must expect and pronounce that favor over our lives. You’re doing just that! Keep blogging – you’re making a mighty sound!

  2. Hi Dale,

    Absorbing read! Just the kind of fuel I needed to help me infuse fresh life into my writing. One more compliment:

    You’re a CPA but you write so well. I come from a family of Chartered Accountants and know the kind of strenuous lives they live. Still you manage to pen advice that even non-CPAs can use! I feel that as you keep writing and offering content of such value to other writers like me, your site’s PageRank and other parameters too will improve. I have bookmarked your site. And yes…

    Some of the visitors to our company’s blog actually visit months-old posts. In fact, I believe that we should write some posts to attract visitors/attention (something WE bloggers/businesses need), while some posts should be written for those out there WHO need us. So yes, whether or not they visit your blog today itself, those who will visit it WILL visit it – sooner or later. Thanks for the lovely writeup.

    • That is the nicest comments anyone has ever offered. Chartered Accountants? May I count you as another friend from across the pond? I love London, having been there three or four times. July was my favorite month to visit.

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