Audience Size

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What is the size of the weblog audience? How many readers do we need in order to make writing a weblog worthwhile?

Who reads your work can matter more than the raw number. If you are interested in the frontiers of science or in crafting public policy, your audience is unlikely to be large in number. When I worked in picosecond laser photochemistry, the natural audience for my research was limited to a dozen research groups scattered throughout the world. The natural audience for research is always going to be limited to the relatively small number of people who can understand it; if this bothers you, you probably shouldn't be a researcher.

In mid-2002, it appears that a few hundred people read my personal weblog ( regularly. This seems to be a fairly common reading level amongst topical weblog writers. People starting a brand-new weblog -- especially one that is not obviously interesting to those who don't already know the author -- often see much smaller audiences. Older, established weblogs, and weblogs on hot topics, see more traffic -- sometimes much more. (-- MarkBernstein)

Quality over quantity: it's often more important who reads you (and who links to you) than how many people read you.

Weblog log files:


  • Traffic Report: Curt Cloninger collects traffic logs, and a day of browsing logs, from 32 leading designers, information architects, and weblog writers.[1]

Anyone else want to share their log files?

The IAwiki currently (mid 2002) gets about 150 unique visitors per day, of which less than 20 are search spiders. Not sure yet how many are repeat visitors.

I think there is also the issue of "longevity". It simply takes time for folks to find a good weblog. It happens, I suspect, far more from word-of-mouth and from being recognized by the "biggies" then it does by being trawled by search engines. If Dave Winer mentions you, you get readers.

I could never write frequently enough and long enough to create the conditions for folks to notice my work.

( --KenTompkins )

I specifically try not to see how many people are reading my site. I'm not sure why, perhaps I like the feeling of writing in private, off into the blue. Perhaps I don't want to be disappointed. Still, I'm always surprised when fresh new faces email me about something on the blog. It's good to know that someone's out there. -- AaronSwartz

Other WeblogIssues

-- Last edited October 27, 2002

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