Friedrich Nietzche once said:
“He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.”
And today, I’d like to rephrase this quote for all those who’ve asked me how to increase their blog readership:
“He who has a why to blog for can bear with almost any how.”
You see, when I started blogging–before I asked how to increase my blog’s traffic–I asked myself this question first:
Believe it or not, it was the answer to this question that has led to my blog’s exponential growth.
I know. The question is so simple, right?
But I promise you that it’s answering this question that will lead to your blog’s success as well.
The Story of The Farmer And Her 201 Chicken Eggs
Let me tell you a little story to explain what I mean:
There was once a farmer who wanted to produce 201 chicken eggs.
So, the farmer started asking around:
“How can I make 201 chicken eggs?”
Sooner or later, the farmer ran into the best experts in the business who told her exactly how to make 201 chicken eggs.
“Get exactly 201 chickens,” the experts said, “make sure they’re all a foot tall and weigh five pounds. Make sure the chicken’s feathers are dark brown and really soft. Make sure you get a rounded chicken coop, and make sure it’s at least twenty feet high and twenty feet deep. Make sure the chickens are three feet apart from each other, and make sure to feed the chickens cornmeal. Make sure to the temperature is always at seventy-five degrees, and give the chickens water at least four times a day. Finally, make sure to check in on the chickens at seven in the morning, three o’clock in the afternoon, and then again just before sunset.”
After she receiving all this great advice, the farmer nodded and then went straight to work.
But even from the very start, the farmer ignored most of the advice given to her: she half-heartedly picked from the chickens that were available for purchase (she didn’t even pay attention to their color or texture). She forgot to put the chickens in chicken coops and instead put them in her attic. Instead of feeding the chickens the food the experts recommended, she feed them leftovers from her kitchen. She kept the attic at a freezing cold temperature, against the recommendations of the experts, because she liked it that way. She gave the chickens too much water, and there were some days when she completely forgot to check in on them.
Finally, after all of this, the farmer was dismayed to find that only one chicken egg was produced.
“What happened?” the farmer asked herself. “The experts told me how to do this. But how did I still get it wrong?”
The farmer went to bed that night feeling troubled.
Then, the next morning, a wise sage and his 199 followers came to visit the farmer at her home.
The farmer apologized to the sage because all she had was one egg to feed him and his followers.
The wise sage seemed very surprised by this and asked:
The farmer was puzzled. She said:
“I don’t know why. I listened to all the best experts but I was still only able to produce one chicken egg.”
The sage asked her again:
Again the farmer was puzzled. She said:
“Well, I had a lot of rules to follow, and I just couldn’t keep track of them all. The process was so overwhelming and exhausting and there were days when I just wanted to give up. It was really difficult.”
The sage asked:
The farmer was stunned by the sage’s persistent question. She said:
“Well, to be honest, it was so difficult because I didn’t know who the eggs were for. I mean, if I had known that you and your 199 followers were coming, I would have been more motivated to do what I had to do in order to make sure my chickens produced 201 eggs. Hmm. I guess I’m just going to have start this process all over again with you and your followers in mind.”
Finally, the wise sage smiled, rubbed his belly and said: “How?”
Before You Ask “How?” First Ask Yourself “Why?”
The story about the farmer and her chicken eggs teaches us an important lesson about blogging.
It teaches us that before we ask how to produce something we must first ask why we are producing it. The answer to the why question gives us motivation, and that motivation pushes us to exert the effort required to produce the results we want.
For instance, in the story I told you, if the farmer had known she was producing the chicken eggs for the wise sage and his followers, she would have followed the advice of the experts more closely, and would have been more effective. But because the farmer didn’t know why she was producing the eggs in the first place, she wasn’t able to be successful at it–even though she had received the how from the experts.
So, for those of you who want more blog readers, I ask you:
Why are you starting your blog? Why are you keeping it up? Why do you care about blogging? Why do you want to be a blogger? And, finally: why is it so important that your blog get more readers?
When you sit down and seriously ask yourself why you might find answers like these:
- Because I want to make people realize that being a writer is who you are, not what you do.
- Because I want to inspire, motivate, and “unblock” writers so that they can follow their passion with greater ease.
- Because I want to help people live happier and fuller lives.
- Because I want to make people realize that you can’t solve all of your problems with just your mind—you need a more holistic approach to life that utilizes your spirit intelligence, your emotional intelligence, your community intelligence, and your physical intelligence in order to overcome life’s toughest challenges.
- Because I want to be a symbol of hope, love, optimism, comfort, and guidance in a world seemingly filled with so much hate, cynicism, neglect, greediness, and selfishness.
If you couldn’t already tell, the above answers are the answers to my why.
These are answers that have led to my blog’s exponential growth.
So, if you want your blog to be read by more people, ask yourself why first before you ask yourself how.
You may surprised to find that, in the end, the answer to your why will help you bear with almost any how.
Why do you want your blog read by more people? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
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