My web host provides some simple tools for seeing your visitor statistics ('simple' being the operative word). I had a feeling they weren't accurate but I was all too happy to think that between 1000 and 2000 visitors were seeing my pictures a day as they reported. If only!
When I was ready to face the truth I signed up with Google Analytics. What a let down! According to Google Analytics about 50 unique visitors were looking at my pictures a day. Twice that number visit for the descriptions of the cameras I own. Disappointing but more in line what I thought was accurate. The fact that twice as many people are more interested in my cameras than are interested in my photography is a bit demoralizing.
My Flickr, adsense and stock photography visitor numbers are similarly, embarrassingly modest. I get about 10x more comment spam than genuine comments on my photoblog. So why do I keep plugging away? About once a year I ask myself the same thing; I think most none-A-list photobloggers go through the same feelings of doubt at least once every 12 months. Wouldn't life be a little simpler without a photoblog to feed? Wouldn't pulling down the blogging software and releasing your domain name be liberating?
For some reason my feelings of doubt get less compelling the longer I am a photoblogger. It becomes less and less important to me if anyone sees my photoblog or not. I'd probably go on posting even if I got only one visit a week (hello mom). Why? Because the act of posting forces me to keep shooting. Because I now identify myself as a photoblogger. Because 10 people seeing that shot I'm proud, of that I made yesterday, is an audience infinitely larger than the one the shot would experience if it was left to fester, un-posted on my hard drive. Because occasionally, very rarely but just often enough, someone I admire and/or respect, someone I am in awe of, leaves a comment or drops me a line saying "nice shot" and, at that moment, I feel like I'm on the right tack. Because, occasionally, when you're downloading the images from your picture card one flashes by that gives you goose bumps and you can't wait to get that sucker into PhotoShop. Just because....