I originally put a password on my website because it was still unfinished, but I think I’m going to keep the password and continually share it with people. It creates a small extra hurdle between potential readers and the content.
I’m interested in what effects it might have on me and my writing.
As I embark on a new season of blogging, I intentionally want to do things that will de-incentivize me from trying to get clicks. I don’t want my blogging to be about creating content for others to consume. I want my blogging to be a tool and a regular practice that will help me grow.
I don’t want this to be another exercise in “platform building”.
My new space has no comments section, and I have no traffic analytics setup, so I can’t even track how many people are reading/visiting the site. If you’re out there reading this, I have no idea unless you’ve told me or you’ve liked one of my tweets about it.
Despite this, I have played around with the idea of adding one of those old-school hit counters. The ones from the earlier days of the web that publicly displayed how many times the website had been visited. Those are fun, but even they can lead to negative side effects.
When I’ve blogged in the past, I’ve spent a lot of time making sure that the content I create is highly shareable and clickable. I spent a lot of time crafting the titles, selecting stock photos, and testing the appearance of the links when shared on social media sites. (Hi Facebook debugger and Twitter card validator)
Now, I’m not doing any of that. Most of my posts won’t have images, unless of course they require a visual aid.
When I share my posts to Twitter, I’m not going to take the time to craft the perfect share tweet. I’m just going to post the title, the link, and the password. This simplifies things and prevents me from overthinking (a bad habit I’m trying to break).
I also won’t be spending much time editing these blog posts. There will be errors. There will be typos. The transitions between sentences won’t always be ideal.
## Platform building isn’t good for creating
I haven’t given this a lot of thought, so I could be wrong, but I don’t think focusing on growing a following is conducive to the creative process.
It creates barriers and bumps in the road that make me constantly turn inward to examine thoughts like, “what will my audience think of this?”
“Is this going to be shared or liked within my niche?”
Personally, I don’t want those to be the questions I’m asking while I’m creating things.
Inevitably, the platform building mindset makes me careful and cautious. It makes me second guess myself. It makes me crave approval.
None of these things will help me produce my best work.
## The wheat from the tares
Having a password on my website isn’t a smart business move, and that’s why I’m doing things this way.
The mere presence of a password, even though it’s freely available, will most likely mean that less people end up reaching my blog. Which is fine, because I think I care about quality over quantity... at least when it comes to web traffic.
I hope that the people who come here are genuinely interested in whatever it is I’m saying. The presence of a password will strain out some of the link clickers that weren’t that invested.
Less readers, less people to please, more focus on doing the actual work.
I’m probably naive in thinking the internet can be this way, but I would hope that an audience or a following would be a byproduct of honestly sharing the work I do, rather than of a carefully executed personal branding strategy.