Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Be part of the community

The theme today at Works for Me Wednesday is "blogging tips". I love reading web sites with blogging tips, so I definitely will be checking out all of the links on this one.

I still have a lot to learn about blogging, but I do have a tip to share.

Back in my previous life, I was a newspaper reporter, so I wrote words for a living. That was back in the dark ages, when people preferred to have a newspaper dropped off on their front porch so they could read it while drinking their morning coffee.

It was a simple process: I wrote words. My editor read them. They were published in the paper. People read them. Once in a while, people would write a letter to the newspaper about something I had written.

I developed relationships with lots of sources. But I didn't really develop relationships with my readers, unless they were enthusiastic enough about something I had written to call or write to me.

And that is how blogging is completely different from the way the written word was published in the past. Blogging is a two-way relationship. It is so much more than just writing and expecting the world to read because you have the most interesting and thought-provoking words on the planet. Sending words out into cyberspace without interacting with readers is kind of like dominating the conversation at a dinner party without listening to what anyone else has to say.

When people comment on my blog, I try my best to interact with them. (And I KNOW I'm not perfect, but I do try!) If they have a blog, I pay a visit to their blog to read what they have to say. For those who don't have a blog, I try to respond to comments either through my comments section or by sending a personal e-mail, especially if the person asks a question.

If you do comment on blogs, I highly recommend that you enable readers to click on your profile, so they can read your blog. Also, set the preferences on your comments to include your e-mail address for the blogger so she can respond to your comment. If you don't want to do that, then subscribe to the comments. These are the only three ways the blogger is able to interact with a commenter.

This interaction goes both ways. I read lots of blogs and if something strikes me, I take a minute to leave a comment. That is the only way another blogger knows that you were there. Leaving comments or following other bloggers is a good way to encourage someone else. But it's also a way to leave a little "calling card" that can generate traffic back to your blog.

I'm not trying to say you should leave millions of comments just to serve yourself, but if you don't leave comments, it's impossible for other bloggers to even know you exist!

For more tips on blogging, visit Works for Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family.

What do you think? What is your #1 blogging tip?



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11 comments:

suzannah said...

i wish more people had their email listed. it's so much easier to respond that way.

cograts on your new "christmas gift." what a sweet picture!

JoLyn said...

I love it so much when people leave comments on my blog. I guess it's a validation that what I wrote meant something to someone. Sometimes I worry too much about it...I have to be careful not to let my self-worth get tied up in it.

I sure appreciate your comments--this is a great article and good advice for all of us. What a wonderful way to build friendships and that sense of community!

Anonymous said...

You write a good blog, Em. It's fun to visit every day. I'm somewhat of a blog stalker, as I check my favorites at least two or three times a day!
:) Lynn

everydayMOM said...

Thanks for stopping by, Suzannah!

JoLyn, I love reading your blog. I think everyone should read it. It's true that we can put way too much into getting comments... But I do think it's good for bloggers to leave comments because it also helps us expand our own community.

Lynn, Thanks for being such a faithful reader! I'm so glad we can connect that way. I would stalk you, too, if you had a blog. =]

Anonymous said...

Oh, but I would only write things about Bruce Springsteen. It would probably become old real fast.
:)Lynn

Avivah @ Oceans of Joy said...

Thanks for your post! I never used to leave comments when I read a blog, thinking that what I had to say didn't matter to the person blogging. But then one day I thought about how much I appreciated my blog visitors taking the time to tell me they found something helpful. If I appreciate it, I'm sure others do, as well!

marineswife said...

This is one of my resolutions this year. If I'm going to take the time to read, then I should take the time to comment. :)

Except I usually don't comment on blogs with word verification. LOL

everydayMOM said...

Marineswife. Well… then I owe you an even BIGGER thank you for commenting since you had to get past my word verification.

I wish I had started my blog on wordpress so I wouldn’t need it. The ONLY reason I have word verification is because I allow Anonymous readers to comment…. the reason I allow them is because they are some of my most loyal readers AND most frequent commenters, but they don’t have a blogger ID. When I turn OFF my word verification, I get spam. Nothing like a viagra ad in your comments section… so I had to choose… and I decided to keep my anonymous commenters at the expense of word verification.

Avivah, Thanks for stopping by. I had the same realization myself. I realized that it was sort of silly to take so much time to read someone's blog and then NOT comment! I should at least let them know I was there!

marineswife said...

Emily, I just had to comment. I like your blog. ;)

That is one thing I like about Wordpress. I do still get spam but it goes in my spam box and I clear it out randomly.

What about switching to owner approval? Are there pros/cons to that?

everydayMOM said...

Yes... owner approval is something I could try, too. I think I'm just going to switch from allowing anonymous comments. It's something I've meant to do for along time. See... it was worth it to leave me a comment!

Angie said...

I'm catching up via Google Reader and felt a little convicted to leave a comment this time instead of just reading and leaving! (I leave a comment ONCE in awhile...)

You're right, comment love is so nice. I should comment more often on the blogs I read, if nothing else than to just let them know I read it and appreciated it! But my biggest pet peeve when people comment on my blog is when I can't email them back thanking them for their comment!!! Drives. Me. Nuts. I wish it were required to link email to comments. :)

Oh! And since I read through Reader most of the time, I hadn't seen your new header! SO CUTE!!!!

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