One of my hobbies is upcycling liquor, wine, and beer-related detritus into decorations and ornaments. I sell these items at the occasional craft show, and at one such show recently, while suffering from Numb Butt Syndrome, it dawned on me how similar blogging is – beyond prolonged gluteal mashing – to sitting behind a table, hoping people buy your stuff. To wit:
Sometimes at a craft fair, people walk right past your booth as if they don’t even see you. Depending on your location, how busy and crowded the fair is, and their ability to pay attention to detail in an environment of overwhelming visual stimuli, they genuinely may not register your presence. This is a lot like those days that are completely bereft of blog love. That is to say, devoid of visitors and views. (In both cases, what is needed is a thick skin and the ability to fight the urge to jump up and down, hands waving wildly overhead, and yell, “Hey! Over here!! I’m RIGHT HERE!!”)
Other times, a person walks by your craft table, slows down a bit, head turned enticingly in your direction, but maintains a forward-moving trajectory that says, “I acknowledge that you and your craft items exist, but even from this distant and safely noncommitted vantage point, I can tell that your stuff just isn’t doin’ it for me.” This is the craft fair equivalent of racking up visitors and views.
On the other hand, lots of shoppers will actually come to a halt in front of your craft table. They pick things up and put them down again. They turn things over and inspect them. They say things to their shopping companions that you can’t hear above the din of the throng, but that you hope are positive. They often say something nice to you, such as “These are so cute!” Infrequently, they may say something meant to be neutral, but which causes a bit of umbrage, such as, “I could do that.” (In response, you keep your friendly, saleswoman-y smile plastered on your face but retort snarkily in your head, “Yes, true, you could… but you won’t!”) In either case they walk away without buying anything. This is akin to getting likes and comments on your blog.
Then, of course, there is making a sale – that euphoric exchange of craft item for cold hard cash. Huzzah! A rush of exhilaration explodes in your brain! (And then you have this unwelcome thought: “Given the exorbitant registration fee for this fair, I need to make 20 more sales like that just to break even.”) This, dear reader, is what it feels like to get a new follower.
And a very rare occurrence – for me, at least – is when the person who just bought something from you goes off, finds her friends, and drags them back to your table, where they proceed to make purchases of their own. From my green and unblogworldly perspective, I equate this to getting a post reblogged. I hope to experience this some day, but I can’t dwell on that right now, as I have a sudden urge to go craft something…