how you found me, pie chart!

The Vital Reader- and where they come from

The 80/20 Rule

The 80/20 Rule is the idea that, for many events, about 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.  This idea has been translated to various industries.  If you’re a farmer, you might have heard that 20% of the plants in the garden produce 80% of the produce.   If you’re in business, you have surely heard that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients.   This rule is also called the Pareto Principle, or — my favorite– the Law of the Vital Few.

I have personally seen this rule apply to many different industries and hobbies, and blogging is no different.  80%, or more, of the rewards of my blogging efforts have been generated by the readership of about 20%, or less, of my community.

Imagine that you have 100 followers.  That means 20 followers will be actively contributing.

The Variances of your Vital Few

Just because 20% of your readership is active by their own definition, doesn’t mean they’re active by yours.  There are variances amongst them.

In a retail environment, for example, your Vital Few may be made up of regular customers, customers who rarely buy anything but always spread the word, and fans who genuinely love your work and keep your store full even though they never purchase.  All of those combined are what create 80% of the results that keep a shop happy and in business.  If you need more of one group than another, and you’re not getting it, you need to ask yourself if you’re appealing to the right type of 20 Percenter, or if the problem is that you just don’t have enough of them.

Again, blogging seems to be very much the same.  If you have 100 followers, and 20 are actively contributing– it could be that only 5 choose to contribute by commenting, and 15 contribute by visiting and reading every day.

I often read comments in the Community Pool from people who want more comments than they’re getting, or more likes, or more followers.  In a way, that’s nitpicking about the type of variances in your 20%.  If you want more of those things, you have to seek out those 20 Percenters specifically.

I’m not going to say that’s easy to do, but it’s certainly not complicated.  Search for people who have similar habits as the demographic you want to expand.  Stop by and say hey.

How did you find me?

At the beginning of this month, I asked for you to tell me how you found me.  The results were pretty much exactly what I expected since I stalk all of you study my numbers regularly.

About 10% of my readers responded to the poll (or by email or comment), though it took 10 days to accumulate them all.   (Blogging has time zones and reading preferences to contend with, as well.)

These numbers are a reflection of my 20 Percenters who are “good sports” and/or “like to make their voice known”, which is about half.  The others, well– y’all only speak when you have something unique to add, and I’m okay with that.

how you found me, pie chart!

Lots of people, if emails I receive are any indication, think all/many of my followers came from being Freshly Pressed or listed in the Recommended Reading.  For my total followers, I would agree– but mostly that number is meaningless to me.  I focus on my 20 Percenters.

Most of my 20 Percenters found their way here from seeing my gravatar,  comment, or guest post over at a friend’s blog.  I sought out and found a lot of you, as well.  

And those prompts that I do? Everything from Yeah Write, to Trifecta, to Alastair’s Photo Challenge, to the Daily Post, to Prompts for the Promptless— all of that stuff brought in a good chunk of you guys as well.

Of course, 5% of you don’t remember how we met.  Not bad.  I anticipated 15% there.

I must make a pretty strong first impression.

RAWR!

I have a feeling that if I had dinosaur-stomped all my readers into completing this poll, the number sent over to me by WordPress’ generous recommendations would be much higher– as would the prompt sites.  In fact, I’d bet that over 60% of my total readers came from WordPress and various Prompts, instead of just the 34% represented by my active reader pie chart.

That just goes to show how much easier it is for a reader to turn into a 20 Percenter when they know you through friends or when you find them yourself.

So what does this mean?

I guess all of this narrows down to pointless research, a fun pie chart, and an answer to the  one of the questions I am asked most often.  “How do I grow my blog?”

  • If you choose to be niche-less, like me, keep in mind that this builds further variances in your 20 Percenters.  In a sense, you’re splitting the vote.  In my case  for example, only maybe 10% of my 20 Percenters seek out poetry– so unless my poetry crosses over into another boundary or is combined with another thought, it’s going to go over with much less of a splash.  It doesn’t stop me from writing poetry, and it shouldn’t stop you either– but it does help take it less personally when 100 people ‘like’ a photo and only 2 ‘like’ a poem.  If this was a big problem for me, I would be actively seeking out poetry readers by joining poetry prompt sites and regularly giving input on other poems on other sites.
  • Keep an eye on your 20 Percenters.  Make sure they never have reason to stop loving you.
  • Think about what your favorite 20 Percenters have in common.  It shouldn’t necessarily effect your writing, but it’s good to keep in mind.
  • Don’t feel bad if only a small portion of your followers are “active”.  That’s normal.
  • Define what you want out of an active follower.  Seek it out.
  • Make friends. Comment, like posts, read posts.  Friends make more friends.
  • Do a prompt or two.
  • Maybe consider a more branded or personality-indicating gravatar.
  • If you don’t like what you have or where you are, do something different.
  • Don’t ignore your quieter 20 Percenters. They’re part of it.
  • Remember that numbers are just predictions of tomorrow based on reports of the past– but words shape the future.  So write, write, and write some more– and leave the worrying over stats to yesterday.

__________________________

Have you found the 80/20 rule to be true in your blogging efforts, or in any other industries?  What kind of 20 Percenter are you generally? (I’m a quiet, loyal sort. The one telling other people about you, but not telling you that I did, or even necessarily remembering to hit ‘like’…)

Did you like my pretty titles or did it make things confusing for you email and phone readers?

83 thoughts on “The Vital Reader- and where they come from

  1. I used to try to comment a lot more than I do now but I got to the point where I would just be rambling on without something interesting to actually say so now I just comment when I think I have something to really contribute to the post. Otherwise, I’m happy with just hitting like and/or sharing it around my fave social sites 🙂

    I liked the titles 🙂

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    1. I’m trying to share posts more, which is why I set up Twitter and FB. 🙂 I’m still getting the hang of them! I’ve always been a quiet reader, but I’m trying to at least leave little ‘like’ tracks wherever I go. It’s just that I get caught up in reading and forget about the niceties.

      And yay! A vote for the titles. 🙂

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    1. 🙂 Well, I’ve put a lot of thought in the 80/20 rule since I’ve been in business most of my life. Now, it’s just very easy to weave it into anything else… even not-for-profit ventures like knitting or blogging. It’s really all the same concept.

      I did put an embarrassing amount of time into the pie chart, though, haha! I couldn’t get it to “make sense” on the first 2 tries.

      I’m glad the hints were helpful!!

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      1. I had never even heard of the 80/20 rule – so that was especially helpful. Now I’m going to over-analyze everything according to it!

        Your chart looks awesome AND it makes sense now – score one for Rara!!

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  2. Yes, I think the 80/20 Rule applies to my blog. I enjoy receiving comments from readers–the interaction is fun and thought-provoking–but I don’t expect it or feel deflated if I don’t receive comments. I’m pretty shy in real life, and I remember hating to feel obligated to speak in class. Just because I wasn’t contributing verbally didn’t mean I wasn’t listening or that I wouldn’t respond at a later time. The same is true with the blogs I visit. I don’t always speak up, but I’m still paying attention.

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    1. Good, being deflated over a lack of comments is counterproductive! 🙂

      I love your example!!! I was always the same in class. If the teacher pointed at me at any given point and asked a question, I had an essay worth of answers and thoughts. I just rarely felt the need to speak up. I always tell people that if I follow you, I read you– and if you quiz me, I’ll prove it. I’m just not good about comments. So for me the analogy worked out perfectly. 😀

      Thanks for reading!!

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  3. Not only do I not remember how I found you (though I think it was by clicking a link on someone else’s blog … or maybe you found me?) … but I also don’t recall if I participated in the survey. Yet I remember all the words to theme songs of TV shows I watched when I was 8. I’m sure that means something.

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  4. As a relative newbie to the blogging community, I tend to be the quiet reader type, but I do try to post when I find another post that has helpful information or makes me smile 🙂 I think the 80/20 is probably right on. I liked the pretty titles, graph and bullets! I always enjoy your posts, this one included! 🙂

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    1. Hurrah, I’m glad the titles look alright! I’ve been struggling with whether or not to upgrade the font package here, specifically becasue the heading-fonts bother me… but these types of titles were easy to put together, so maybe I’ll just go with that. Yay for free solutions! Thanks for reading, and for smiling, Beth!! 😀

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  5. I like how you presented your research! I also write fairly varied posts, so I know not every subscriber is going to like, or even read every post. I do have regular participators, and I’d like to think I have many more quiet readers (it’s much better than assuming all of my posts go into spam folders!) I love the comment dialogue, but some posts just don’t spark the conversation…sometimes I read posts and I really don’t know what to say, so I don’t comment. I’m not good about using the “Like” button, but I’m trying to get better at it.

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    1. Haha! Well, I’m one of your quiet readers… though I try to hit like regularly enough to remind you that I’m still around. 🙂 I’m always stuck on comments, though– like you with the like button– I’ve been trying to get better at it. 🙂 I’m glad the data looked presentable, 😀 Thanks muchly for reading!!

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  6. Interesting. I have said before I lost a lot of followers/subscribers when I went from the .com to the .org (self-hosted) side of WP. Based solely on follower (via email) numbers that I can track, I am right at the 20% of the equation. That is a better way to look at it!

    I think I fall in between the two groups. I will “like” if I think what I wanted to say was already said, I will contribute just if I feel like it.

    And as much as I like the idea of Community Pool, boy does it get crowded when you have a question.

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    1. Yes, that’s actually great– retaining your 20% after a move means you’re doing something right. 🙂

      Community Pool makes me a little uncomfortable, only because when trying to be helpful I end up sounding like a faux authority. Everyone reading here knows I’m just a blog noob, but over there, I feel a little silly being 1 of the 4 people answering questions. Plus, since you never know what type of expert is available that day, it’s hard to know whether it’s worthwhile to post pictures.

      It needs to do what early childhood classrooms do and have “moderators” for each week… that way, it would say something, like “Sortaginger and Rarasaur will be on call this week, but of course everyone is welcome to opine in!”. That way, the answerers aren’t faux-experts, just appointed-experts — and that way everyone gets answered — and that way, people can reserve their questions for experts that they want to consult.

      Oh no, there goes my giant red pen again… haha! 😀

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      1. Well, 20% of my current numbers was a lot less than 20% of my previous blog, but I know what you mean 😀

        Maybe you can offer to host a blog Community Pool thing? Only we can’t call it that…how about “The Ce-Ment Pond of Blogginess”? But I get what you mean; I just want to find out where to get a custom header, darn it!

        (that was a Beverly Hillbillies joke for you young folk. No, I am not going to tell you who they are.)

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            1. I’ll make you a header! … if you want. 🙂 Just let me know specs and I’ll send one your way, and then whenever you DO get to a computer, you can just upload it. But, yep, you can ask me any blog questions too, even though I don’t run a pool, I might be able to answer them, haha! 🙂 (Plus, I totally got the Beverly Hillbillies reference!!)

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  7. I love your blog, Rara. [Am I saying it for the 100th time? I have to check 😀 ]. I also answered that poll. Your 80/20 rule is absolutely true. and that’s a delicious pie chart .I love mathematics and statistics :D..Have you read any of my posts? curious. 🙂 have a good day:)

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    1. Of course, Archita, I read every one. I’ve even passed on a few to friends who I thought might enjoy your photos. 🙂 *high five for math and stats* 😀 Thanks for reading… I hope you have an amazing day, as well! 😀

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  8. Wow, I don’t put any deliberate effort like that into my blog.
    I read what I like, comment where I think it’s appropriate, and don’t really watch my stats much at all.
    I follow way too many blogs (with different levels of attentiveness), and have finally stopped worrying about reading every post from everyone.

    But no matter how anyone manages their blog, as long as they’re having fun, that’all that matters.

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    1. Yep, reading every post from everywhere is a big time commitment. At this point in my life, blog-reading has taken the place of several books. Which is all good with me, since reading is reading– but I do understand how someone with kids or other non-combineable hobbies couldn’t manage it. 🙂 I’m less concerned with building a readership for myself and more fascinated with the functionality, statistics, math, and system of blogging. I’m a math geek at heart, I guess… because pie charts would definitely make my top 10 “fun things” list, haha! 🙂

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  9. I’ll leave the worrying about stats to you. For me, I concentrate on those who comment, simply because I then know they’ve read the post. Didn’t take long to realise that some people press “like” without even looking. That doesn’t help me or my cause. I don’t mind it. It’s always nice to see the likes but I concentrate more on my 20 percenters. They are the ones who are important to me and we have fun together (very important to me 🙂 ). I am sure I dropped off your 20 % list of late but that’s because I have been without communications. Temporarily back until my pre-paid card runs out. See, even with limited time, here I am. Hope it gets me back into the 20%

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    1. I concentrate on my 20 percenters, too, though many of them are not commenters so I also try to keep that in mind. I’d like to think of myself as one of your 20 percenters– I read everything, send your emails out and help when I can, or enlist help when I can, but I’m really not a commenter. And of course you’re in my 20%– you’re positively essential! 🙂 *hugs* Thanks for popping by! Now, go save up your pre-paid card so you can stay around for longer. 😀

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      1. had to my 20% seem more interested in the writing process than my long winded “short”stories, so I ferule like being nice and sharing something they’ll love. Everyone can enjoy a dino.

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  10. I’m a quiet lurking 20%er. I talk a lot about bloggers I like, I’ll share their stuff on FB and RT them on Twitter but I rarely comment. I don’t usually feel like I have much to say and, even if I do, I have a horrible habit of not following up on comment replies. It makes me feel like I’m leaving people hanging when I don’t check back to reply to a response. Instead, I’ve learned to lurk.

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    1. I’m the same about follow up on replies. Even on my own blog. I see a lot of people who have crazy comment threads and I’m in awe of their ability to keep it going so seamlessly. Nothin’ wrong with a lurker, says me– another lurker, haha! 🙂 Thanks for reading and lurking!

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  11. This is really good, and I do live by the 80/20 rule, in most aspects of my life. I think we connected to Le Clown’s blog (is there anyone who doesn’t connect there?!) and loved your handle. RAWR.

    This is the advice I always give people when they ask me how to grow an audience: “Make friends. Comment, like posts, read posts. Friends make more friends.” It’s so true, and it is EXACTLY how I built my audience. I also think that your advice about trying something different is spot on as well.

    I’ll be sharing this!

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    1. It’s hard for me to find areas where the 80/20 rule doesn’t apply. When I started studying health, I realized that even 80% of my calories came from 20% of my food– and that helped me wrap my mind around what I wanted my 20%ers to be. 🙂

      Actually, I found you! Through recommended reading early on, or maybe because of a FP post… but then I lost all the blogs I followed and lost you again, then remembered your name and re-found you after a few variations… and then somehow unfollowed you… and then re-found you recently with the IndieChicks nomination. 🙂 Yeah, I’m a stalker. Sorry. 😉

      “If you’re not happy, try something different.” is one of the least popular types of advice I give… glad to know someone “gets” it. 😀 People are afraid of change, though… but (I think) they should be more afraid of being unhappy.

      As for making friends, that’s the secret to any success! 🙂 Thank you for reading, and for sharing, and for being awesome enough to stalk. 😀

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    1. Just from a math perspective, with no real commentary on whether or not you should look at numbers… I wouldn’t worry about spambots in terms of reviewing your stats, except for exceptional moments like when a certain post gets 200X it’s normal hits from somewhere weird. Any group or business or blog or situation has an acceptable variance in the numbers which accounts for things like spam, or lookieloos in the mall, etc. So if you’re comparing your numbers to yourself or to others, that percentage is the same everywhere and so totally negligible.

      Thank you for reading!!

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  12. Criminy you are brilliant. I do agree with what you say. Though it took me THREE years to get 200 followers, it has almost doubled that in less than a year. And yet my readership, commenters, don’t really show an increase. for every twenty people who “follow” I might get one new active reader.

    THis is a brilliant post with a great pie chart and fantastic titles. I think you should get a gold star.

    And, by the way, I think I shall ask you a question. I have noticed in the new “reader” here at WordPress (who I love by the way so this is not a complaint I just don’t understand the reason behind it) a reader can “like” a post without even reading it. I don’t mind people not reading. But why would people want to like a post they have not read? I just trust your dinosaurability and know you will have a great answer for me. 🙂

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    1. I pretty much live for gold stars! Yay me! 😀 I’m so glad you enjoyed the pretty pie.

      That seems pretty normal, in terms of numbers of active readers vs followers. It’s that 80/20 rule, popping up everywhere. 🙂

      The WP Reader, since I’ve started blogging, has allowed that “like” function without clicking it. I think WP includes that functionality for image posts and quote posts, where you don’t need to visit to get the whole post. There’s a ton of those types.

      Why someone, a non-spammer, would click “like” on a post they haven’t read… hmmm. They could be showing their support of a blogger who is tackling a topic they’re not interested in. They could just like the image that pops up and that’s enough for them. Or, they could have read it in an email and forgot to hit like so they do it in the reader. I do that last one sometimes. Or, maybe they just really, really like the like button, haha! 🙂

      Thanks for reading, and for my gold star! 😀

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      1. Okay….ten gold stars.

        I tried to copy and paste one…but failed.

        Ten gold stars because your answer was fabulous. You are the smartest dinosaur I know. Thank you! And you’re welcome.

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    1. 🙂 Of course you are, Lindy! I wish polls told me who voted, just so I could figure it out and fill in the blanks… but ah well. I think it worked out alright. 😀 Actually, I have a post ready to go, but missing some pictures, that will link to your blog! I’m hoping to get the pictures churned out by this weekend! 😀

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    1. *high five* Huzzah, thank you! You know what they say… If a girl has a storm trooper in her 1%, it’s almost impossible to go wrong in life. (Okay, so maybe no one says that, but they should. 🙂 )

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  13. This is great! We always refer to the 80/20 where I work (retail) and I had never thought of it in relation to my blog before. It makes perfect sense and has now got me thinking about a few things.
    I don’t think I was following you when you did the poll but i found you through comments on similar blogs to the ones I follow.

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    1. 🙂 Yay, well, I’m glad that whatever comment that was left was left… it’s been great having you about! 🙂 The 80/20 rule fascinates me every single time… it applies to just so, so much! I’m glad you found it interesting, too! 😀

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  14. My husband says I am too eclectic and I will never have anything other then a small following that will jump on and off the ship depending on what I post. He is probably right. People often go to blogs that have a theme. They know what they are going to get, no guesswork. I though, have writers, poets, singers, Christians, professional bloggers, x-rated sites, fashion, bipolar, cancer and it goes on and on. Because I post about humor, illness, poetry, singing or whatever else is in my head. And that will always disappoint someone. I have seen the 5-10% like rule. It seems that is the average number of total followers who will like or comment on average on any one post. In the end, though, I would rather have 20 people that I love then 200 that I don’t know.

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    1. Haha, that’s all just variance in your 20%ers, but it doesn’t mean you’ll have less people overall because of it.

      In fact, my 5 most popular posts ever are written in entirely different voices, about entirely different things. If you just read those 5, I’m not sure if you’d even notice you were on the same blog. If I see over 2% of my overall readers on any given post, that’s popular by my standard. Like other niche-less bloggers, I “split the vote”, so my 20 Percenters pop in and out and comment/read when it suits their personality. It’s worth it! I can’t imagine committing to one topic, or type of topic!

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  15. I like to comment on posts I’ve enjoyed, but only if I have something worthwhile to say. I guess it’s kind of a ‘do unto others as you’d want them to do unto you’ thing, because I love when people leave thoughtful comments: comments that feel like the person actually cares, and isn’t just trying to draw traffic back to their site. If all I have to say is “nice post!” I think hitting the ‘like’ button does the trick. I usually either like or like/comment on posts I enjoy, for the most part.

    One thing that confuses me, though, is when more people ‘like’ my post than wordpress tells me have actually viewed it. How does that work? My blog’s new and my view count is sometimes depressingly low so it’s really obvious when this happens (>_<)

    Also I JUST joined twitter yesterday, so I'm with you there in trying to figure it out (@_@)

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    1. Well, I’m following you there now Janelle! We can #TwitterNoob it up together. 😀

      I’ve had a few posts where I talk about how many times I hit like for that specific reason, but the overall consensus is that people would rather have a “Nice post!” than just a like. And, as a blogger, so would I. 🙂 As a reader, though… I’m working on it, but, by nature, I’m more like you. I like adding new, worthwhile information.

      The “like” discrepancy is something that WP has addressed a few times in their forums. I think it comes down to (1) People liking the post in the reader without actually visiting, (2) People reading your complete post in email and hitting like without fully loading the page, (3) WordPress autocorrecting for Spam visits, (4) People not spending the requisite amount of time on a page to “count” as a view, (5) a weird glitch in timezones where someone visits you today, but it actually thinks they visited you yesterday because that’s where they are. 🙂

      I know that doesn’t really solve it, but it sort of explains the madness a bit, right? 🙂 Hope it helps!!

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      1. Haha, okay, more ‘nice post’ comments, I’ll try. I do want to be a good neighbour on the interwebs.

        I try not to think too much about the views/likes and all that, I don’t want to become neurotic about it or anything, just curious.

        See you in the twittersphere! 😀

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  16. I love how you break complex things down to a point that anyone could easily understand.
    You have a true gift.
    & Yes, I loved your colorful titles & I’m readin’ on my iPhone. 😛

    I don’t know what kind of 20%er I am because I constantly change (somedays I’m more vocal; others, not)
    I do know I’m loyal, though & I love me some Rara after a long day. 😀

    P.S. I thoroughly enjoy you being one of my quieter, yet loyal, and lovely 20%. When you do speak, a lot of my other commenters listen & love you for it. So, quiet? Hmm..what is quiet if it still makes a huge impact. 😀

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    1. Firstly, I love the new gravatar. I know it’s not strictly “new” at this point, but I just keep forgetting to mention it when I see you around. 😀 Also, I just got an email with your posts from the whole week… and then I saw your reply at the same time here. Random!! 😀

      I think people are different types of 20%ers depending on the brand/company/person. When it comes to say… Coca Cola… I’m a pretty loud 20%er. 🙂 When it comes to all things reading, though, I’m pretty shy about my opinions.

      Thank you for your kind words, and for letting me that the titles worked out on a phone! 😀 And thanks for always making me feel welcome as one of your quiet 20%ers. 😀 I appreciate it!

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      1. *hugs*, *hugs* & *more hugs* Enough hugs? Ok. 😛
        Anytime, I love your visits. They brighten up the place. 😀
        A lot of people dig this new gravatar – I think I’ll keep her for a long time & stop OCD changing it every month! 😛

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  17. So cool, an amazing piece of research! I’ve seen the same with my followers and the percentage is probably about right for my blog as well (maybe a bit lower than 20%).

    I don’t have a niche/theme either and that’s just the way I like it. If I want something like that I’ll start a new blog (though it’s hard enough keeping one going!). I’m aware that some people followed me after I’ve, say, suddenly gone all poetry-nuts or something, but I like to mix it up a bit.

    I love the titles you did for this post – it makes it even more of a joy to read!

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    1. Mine’s a bit lower than 20%, too, but it’s around there. There’s a margin of error who for followers who are spam, or who stopped using the internet, or who got eaten by a yeti and so longer count.

      I like to do the same. If I had to write about diets all the time, I’d be bored. Or geekdom. Or fiction. Or stories of my childhood. In fact, if I write about any topic more than a few times a month, and I burn out. 🙂

      Yay for the titles, I think I’m onto something! 😀

      Thanks for reading!

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  18. Rara, I can’t remember if I remembered how I found you, or if I was perhaps in the 21st percentile when you asked your poll … It is so hard to keep up with all the blogs I love. I read more of them than I should, but comment less frequently. Because I hate to just say boring things.

    I will admit to skipping poetry, though. Not my thing at all!

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    1. Of course you’re in my 20%, Elyse. I still tell people I only was Freshly Pressed the first time because you waved your magic wand over my blog, haha! 🙂 And no worries on the poetry or the less-frequent comments, I know you’re always around, and when you comment, it’s always fabulous. 😀

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  19. Interesting post. I have been thinking about this lately myself. I have about 70 people that follow me, but what i have found is that in (approx) 85% of follows people will follow me and i will never hear from them again, they do not comment, they may sometimes click like on a post, but generally it is as if they are not there.

    Ill admit I find this frustrating and wonder if it is anything that I am doing wrong. I mean look at the comments you have on this post. I dont know how many followers you have but there are log of comments here, lots of likes too.

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    1. 85% of your followers disappearing is about normal, I’d say. Like, I said, the 80/20 rule applies most everywhere, with a reasonable margin of error.

      🙂 To put it in perspective, Steve, I have over 3300 follows and at least half of these comments are mine… so, 35-ish comments and 80-some out of 3300 followers? 🙂 For me, that’s normal because I have about 600 regulars, all of which are here for the stuff that interests them, and I write on about 15 distinct topics/styles. About 30 folk just hang out see me (Hey, guys. Love you!) — but the rest show up when I write a post that is relevant to them. Sometimes there’s cross-over, and I’ll get two subcategories to respond at once… which to be honest, is a little exhausting. 🙂

      When I read the mainstream bloggers like The Bloggess and see thousands of comments, I really don’t know how they manage. To get thousands of comments, you have to have 4 or 5 times that in followers. Crazy! A Cup of Jo talks a bit more plainly than other professional bloggers on what that takes, and she doesn’t use the word 80/20 rule, but makes clear that it applies. Her blog receives over a million page views a month! http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/

      There’s also timing, and making your comment zone a safe space. MissFourEyes.wordpress.com is a great example of pacing your posts so that everyone has a chance to get a word in, and being okay with responding to comments a week late. I’m regularly late to the party, but she loves me anyway. Stuphblog.wordpress.com is a great example of a comment zone safe space, where people play in the comments. I tend to be (unintentionally, but it’s just how I talk) more abrupt in my comments, which can cut them off instead of lead them into longer strings. I also am a prolific poster, but not a regular one. Those are two things that I could do to maximize my 20%, and maybe one day I’ll work on them. But for now, I’m happy where I’m at. 🙂

      I hope that information overload helps a bit, haha! 😀

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      1. I get the bloggers disappearing thing but would have figured that it would be after a while, even a short while, but i get a notification that X is following and that’s it, nothing, nada, zip, I don’t understand that, so sudden bit.

        I have my moments when I post regular but generally its once a day at 10gmt, although they do vary and have more so lately due to being out of work and muse less lol.

        OK so 3000, a tad more than I lol. I still think I am under the 20% “threshold”, but this is all still relatively new to me so we shall see.

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        1. Oh there’s so many reasons for people to click the follow button and then disappear. In my case, sometimes I accidentally sign up for weekly digests or other weird things and don’t get the emails. Sometimes I just always miss the posts in the reader. Sometimes, because of timing, I read the posts in areas where I can’t like or comment. And sometimes I follow with the intention of going back and delving in and just plum forget. 🙂

          I think posting on schedule is more important than posting daily. If you schedule a post for every Monday, and have a possible bonus post on Wednesdays, for instance… that’s more valuable than a ton of posts. 🙂 It’s something to think about if you want something different! 🙂

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