Saturday, 9 October 2010

I have a reader in Burundi

One of the coolest things about being a writer is that you never know who's going to end up reading your stuff. As I mentioned in my post about what the blogger stats page tells you about your blog, I'm getting readers in all sorts of places. I get a lot of hits from Moldova for some reason, even more than the United Arab Emirates where I actually know somebody. (you still do read this blog, don't you Abha?)

Now I've gained a reader from Burundi. This small East African nation has only 8 million people, a third less than Greater London, but I've still managed attract a reader from there! I wonder who it is? Perhaps one of these students from Burundi's "Back to School" program?

Writing, especially for the Internet, gets you a readership that cuts across class, race, age, and geography. I was just chatting with one reader who is a World War Two veteran, and now I'm wondering about this mystery Burundian. This poses an important question for writers: when your audience is so vast and varied, how do you write to them? I'm thinking that while you do have to have certain parameters of style and subject in order to maintain regular readers, in general you just write the best you can, promote your work, and let your readers pick you.

I wonder what the next country will be to appear on my stats page for the first time. . .

Student photo courtesy the United Nations via flickr. Flag photo courtesy Pumbaa80 via Wikimedia Commons.


Sioux said...

I completely agree with you. It is fascinating to attract a reader in another country. It makes you wonder what struck a chord in them...There is a writer in India who follows my blog, and I follow theirs. Interesting bits of their culture get passed on via their posts. (I don't assume that I am returning the favor.)

I also wonder what turns readers off. Recently, I wrote a post about my fondness for a particular show (Sons of Anarchy). I lost a follower that day. I don't know if there was a connection or merely coincidental, and I don't keep track of who follows me, so I have no way of contacting them out of curiosity to ask, "Hey, was it something I said?"

Sean McLachlan said...

"I wonder what the next country will be to appear on my stats page for the first time."

The winner is Bulgaria! I've never had hits from Bulgaria before. I worked as an archaeologist in Bulgaria for a time back in the 1990s. I wonder if this is one of my old friends looking me up?

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

You can also find him on his Twitter feed and Facebook page.