Last month I had the privilege of attending one of the biggest events in Australia—the AFL (Australian Football League) Grand Final. For those of you outside Australia, it’s kind of like the Superbowl of Aussie football (without all the cool ads and wardrobe malfunctions…).
Anyway, I was a guest (with my wife “V”) at the event of Virgin Australia and it was quite the experience.
The game is held at the MCG (a stadium in Melbourne) and was attended by 99,683 people.
I don’t know if you’ve had the experience of being in a crowd close to 100,000 people, but it is a pretty amazing thing to be a part of—especially when so many of them are so passionate about supporting their team to win the season’s ultimate prize.
As I sat there in that frenzy of flag-waving, face-painted, screaming fans it was easy to look at the crowd and almost see them as a single unit. Within an hour or so, the stadium had been transformed from a quiet, empty place into one that was teaming with life.
However that crowd was actually made up of almost 100,000 small parts. Each person in attendance had entered through the turnstiles that day, one by one, having made their way to the stadium from around the city (and in some cases, from around the country). Each one came in their own unique way, with their own unique story, and their own unique expectations of what was about to unfold at the Grand Final.
Each one also had their own experience of the day. For some, those expectations were exceeded as their team won. Others left the stadium dejected after seeing their team lose.
This was highlighted to me at the end of the game, particularly when I watched these two fans celebrating with such emotion.
It strikes me that all this is true for the “crowds” that read our blogs, too.
I was chatting with one blogger at the ProBlogger Training Event in Melbourne recently and they told me that they’d just passed the 100,000-visitors-in-a-month milestone. As we chatted, I told her that that’s enough people to fill the MCG, and an amazing thing!
However it is good to also remember when we celebrate these milestones that the crowds (whether they be 100, 10,000, 100,000, or 10,000,000) are actually more than just a number—they’re made up of individual readers.
The total “unique visitors” stat that many of us use to measure the success of our blogs is actually made up of real people who arrive, one by one, on our blogs.
- They have unique journeys, and arrive from different places.
- They each arrives at a different part of our blog (many on our archives).
- They each come with their own set of needs that they’re looking to fulfil.
- Each person has been shaped by their own stories and experiences.
- Each has his or her own expectations of what the experience of your blog will be like.
Keeping this in mind as you blog is so important—it should shape the way that you write, the way that you build community, the way that you find new readers, and even the way that you monetize.
Don’t get too wrapped up in the overall number of visitors (big or small). Instead, focus upon the individuals who make up the crowd, and you’ll create something that not only grows, but really impacts the lives of those who read it.
A big thanks to Virgin Australia for the experience of going to the Grand Final – an experience of a lifetime.