You know what politicians are obsessed with? Approval numbers.
Is that what your blog is about? Are you writing to gain approval?
Here's my gift to you.
Being read is great. Having blog traffic statistics is nice because it feels like you can see a return on investment. But seeking approval is causing the most engaged people in your tribe to back off.
1. We're getting less of you - We see this in politicians all the time. We get less of what they actually feel because they become sensitive to having mass appeal. I'm continuing to learn this rule: provide content to the tribe and the tribe will take it to the masses. Politicians burn out trying to make sure they have as many followers as possible. Blog's aren't sustainable based upon how many reads either. Blogs are sustainable when a tribe leader is passionately connecting the tribe to an idea.
2. Broken Polls - How many times have you watched the news and have seen polls on politicians approval ratings? How many times do we find out later a poll was wrong or had false numbers? When it comes to blogging there is only one trusted counter: Google Analytics. I know this from my search to be an affiliate through my blog. I haven't applied to be a potential affiliate and asked what my Wordpress statistics say. Every single affiliate application has asked for my Google Analytics statistics. Who's opinion would you take in to regards of who you are: Your mom or Jesus? Giving Wordpress statistics control over your content is comparable to moving back in at 26 years old because your mom thinks your great. Don't let polls control you.
3. Don't lose your "why" - A common result of popularity is forgetting the "why" you started to do something in the first place. A helpful tool I learned from ProBlogger is to create five profiles of readers. They don't have to be actual people, the important step is that you have five different type of people you want to help with your blog. Every post should be written towards one of those five profiles. This exercise will keep you from getting distracted from the masses and keep you focused on providing the best content to a specific audience.
Here's what I've noticed recently - Politicians rarely say how they feel. They rarely give a guide with concrete steps. They do say things they don't have control over to gain approval. Don't let your blog do the same to you. Write to create. Write to help. Write to provide space for a conversation. Help the tribe grow your readership and focus on content.