An email from Bob Blogosphere: I want to interview you about the A-Z April blogging challenge. Meet me in my office at 11 am.
Bob Blogosphere, the most famous man in the blogosphere wants to interview me? I glance at my watch. It’s almost 11 am now. I click my mouse a few times and before I know it, I’m standing outside the Blogosphere News Building. I push through the revolving door, step into the elevator, and shoot to the top floor.
Miss Bell is sitting outside Bob’s office. “Go right on in,” she tells me. “Bob’s expecting you.”
I push open the heavy door and step inside. Bob is sitting behind his huge desk. He glances quickly into his mirror and smooths his already immaculate hair, then he turns and treats me to a dazzling smile. Bob is as perfect as ever.
“Sue! Sit down,” Bob orders. “I’m writing an article for the Blogosphere News about the A-Z challenge. Big news at the moment! I need someone to interview.”
“The blogging challenge?” I ask.
“Yes. How’s it going?”
“Great,” I say. “I’m enjoying myself immensely.”
“Enjoying yourself? No, that’s not what I meant,” says Bob, shaking his head. “How’s the pageviews? Are you attracting readers? Do they like your posts? Are they commenting?”
“Well, I had a stream of new readers at the start of the challenge,” I reply. “But most of them disappeared after a few days. Not that it matters. One or two are still with me, and I’ve got some lovely friends who've been encouraging me along.”
“But isn’t the A-Z challenge about networking?” asks Bob. “Aren’t you supposed to be attracting new followers?”
“I guess so,” I reply, “but new followers aren’t everything. I’m enjoying the challenge of writing lots of new stories.”
“I’m not sure you understand,” says Bob. “What’s the point of writing so much if no one is reading? You can’t rely on the kindness of friends. You need proper followers. What are you doing wrong?”
I shrug my shoulders. We both sit in silence for a few moments and then Bob narrows his eyes and looks directly at me, “You haven’t been writing about all that sad stuff, have you?”
“Yes, I have actually,” I admit. “I started the challenge off with a grief story: Angels and Babies.”
Bob rolls his eyes. “That was a huge mistake. Probably scared everyone away!" Then he shoots another question at me: "And all that faith stuff? Have you been writing about that too?”
“Well, yes...it seems to have worked its way into quite a few of my posts.” Bob is slowly shaking his head, so I say in a rush, “I didn't mean to write about faith. It just sort of happened.”
“But at least you've been encouraging some religious debates?" asks Bob. He leans forward and rubs his hands together. "Are your readers arguing?”
“Well, no,” I say. “No debates. No arguments. It’s all very friendly.”
“Then that’s your problem,” says Bob, slapping his hand upon his desk. “What did I tell you when I interviewed you last time? Unless it's controversial, no one is interested in that sort of stuff. Readers see the word 'Catholic' or 'grief' and they don't hang around. You need to write about something with more appeal: Big news stuff… something sensational… something everyone can relate to.”
“Yes,” says Bob firmly. “Have you visited Alex J. Cavanagh’s blog? Or Shannon Lawrence’s? Or Mark Means? Or Arlie Bird’s?”
“I have actually,” I reply.
“And what did you discover?”
“Their posts are very popular,” I admit.
“Popular? They get hundreds of comments on all their posts. And do you know why?” Bob lowers his voice and leans towards me. “They write about things people are interested in, like movies and history mysteries and superheroes and…”
I don't let Bob finish. “I can’t write about those things,” I protest.
“You’re just going to have to make more of an effort if you want to attract some readers,” says Bob.
And then something occurs to me. “Why am I here? Why aren’t you questioning Arlie or Shannon or Alex or Mark? Surely they’d provide you with better interviews?”
Bob looks down at his desk. “I tried to interview them. I left them emails.” He fiddles with his ear and then adds, “I guess they’re too busy. All those comments… Probably haven’t seen my emails yet. But you…”
“You know I don’t get much mail. I’m not busy answering comments,” I say. “You knew I’d hop straight over at a moment’s notice.”
“Precisely!” says Bob smiling, once more in control.
It's all making sense. “Are you really going to publish my interview this time?” I ask. “You never did use my Elvis’ Wife interview.”
“Well,” says Bob, suddenly noticing a speck of dust on his jacket. “It all depends on whether…”
“On whether you get someone better to interview before the deadline,” I finish for him.
“Precisely!” agrees Bob. “I can see you understand. There’s still a chance Shannon or Alex will respond to my emails. I’ll just hold you in reserve.”
I sigh. Had I really expected Bob Blogosphere to be interested in my little blog? I stand up. It appears the interview is over.
But Bob has one last piece of advice for me. “You’ve still got a few letters to go before the end of the month. Use one of them to write something popular. Go on. Give it a go,” he encourages. “You’ll see. The comments will come flooding in. It'll be a challenge.”
Bob has said the right word. I love a good challenge. I stand in front of his desk, deep in thought and then say, “’S’… I could try writing a superhero story of my own. S is for Superheroes.”
Bob smiles his perfect smile. “Perfect! I bet your readers will love it.”
Before I know it, I’m back at my blog. I pour myself a glass of red wine, reach for a few squares of chocolate and then sit back to think…
- Will I be able to write a superheroes story?
- Will anyone come to read it?
- Will anyone stop to comment?
- Will it be popular?
- Do I even care about popularity?
- And will Bob Blogosphere publish my interview in the Blogosphere News or will he find someone better to write about?
Please stay tuned to find out!