On having no readers

I’m a month and a bit into this blog now, five weekly entries and four supplementary posts, and I have no readers. That’s not entirely true; I’ve had one reader, which frankly spooked me a little, and occasionally someone looks in while looking for something more useful. But otherwise the graph of posts viewed on the WordPress dashboard is flat as a strap.

I’m okay with that. For the moment, obviously. There’s no point to blogging without readers forever. But I haven’t done any of those things that get you readers, either, like telling friends about the blog or publicising it on the blogs of those I follow. I’ll do the latter. The former I’m not sure about because none of my friends and family want to hear me talk about comics any more than they already do, which is why I’ve started a blog in the first place.

A successful blog is a reliable one. The most successful blogs are daily ones, but I’m not up to that kind of commitment. Weekly’s enough. An unsuccessful blog is the one that peters out, that manages four entries in the first week, another two in the first month, another two after three months, then sits preserved awaiting an owner who will never return. There’s nothing new in this; the number of unfinished novels in the world has always vastly outnumbered the number of finished novels (and the novels abandoned after chapter three vastly outnumber the ones that make it to halfway). But with the internet, all this failure happens in public.

I have one of those unfinished novels on my hard drive. I have form. So I want to be sure this is a commitment I can keep, that I won’t slack off and give up before even finishing Moore’s Swamp Thing run, before I ask people I respect to pay attention to me. Waiting a while means there’s some substance to point to, that there are archives to read, if I can get anyone to take a look. And it means if I fail I do so quietly, in a dusty, unregarded corner of the internet that few will ever discover.

This lack of confidence in my own constancy is the reason it’s just comics on here. I may post on video games and music – I’ve got posts written – in the future but for now I’m concentrating on the core business, on what I know. A reliable weekly comics blog that later expands into covering other media is something I’d read. A blog that tries to cover too much, that explodes into busy life with posts on everything under the sun, beginning supposed series every day of the week and continuing none, won’t be read by anybody.

I have no readers, and I’ll continue with no readers until I deem myself deserving of them. Perhaps after that I’ll still have no readers, but that’s up to them.

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