In March 2019, there were 4.4 million blog posts published per day! I can’t imagine how much higher that number is now. What even happens to a blog post after it gets published? How many readers does it have? How many of those 4.4 million blog posts do you read a day? One? Two? Most days you probably don’t have time to read any.
Eight people read my first blog post. I was ecstatic. Half of those views may have been from my family. But at least one was a real non-related person. I know because I sent the article to a few friends as well.
What happens to a majority of blog posts? Or anything for that matter? Not much. It disappears. There’s the old adage that if you a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around: does it make a sound? An audience is the lifeblood for us creators and our biggest challenge is to find them.
With how easy it is to start a blog, the barrier to entry is a computer and an internet connection. The power of the internet has made it so it’s easy to learn almost anything. We can all become creators.
This is one of the most freeing parts of modern life that each person has something of value to provide. Our only limits are ourselves. Want to start a podcast or youtube channel? Use your phone and free editing apps. Want to write a book? Go ahead. You can even publish it yourself.
So why aren’t we all internet famous? Followed and ready by thousands? It’s because of the long tail. It says that because there’s so much out there that most stuff isn’t read or heard by many. Many of us are at the end of the long tail, the yellow part of the graphic below. A handful of readers. A couple of fans. We hope to slowly gain more fans and provide more value. Move left.
A majority of the demand for anything goes to only a small few, the green part of the long tail. That’s true for blogs, podcasts, movies, and pretty much anything. If you aren’t one of those few, then you are fighting not against them or each other. You are fighting against obscurity.
How can we try and escape this long tail? Is it only due to luck? No, it’s luck and hard work. Since we are only competing versus insignificance, we have the power to help each other. In the world of blogs, this looks like posting on each other’s blogs. Or help spread the word. This may be sharing tools or tricks. This way we could all move left. We can share the message that only we could provide. Collaboration. We can help lift each other up.