Blogging 101 time, guys!
Today’s assignment: write a post that builds on one of the comments you left yesterday. Don’t forget to link to the other blog!
I gotta say I saw this one coming and I was somewhat dreading it because if I was going to talk about posts I commented on lately I knew that the topic would be this. I knew. There was no way around it being this. This is something that matters a lot to me as a writer.
First thing’s first though; I commented on this post here on the blog Writerish Ramblings (love this title btw) during the ‘go out and comment on blogs’ assignment and last night I commented on this other post on the blog A Little Place of My Own.
Both those posts talk about bloggers who demand readership of their followers, who complain about the amount of feedback they get or attempt to dictate how possible readers interact with their blog. Most of you would not remember the YouTube Drama post I wrote almost a year ago, because there weren’t as many people following me and reading my stuff back then, but there was an example in there of how stuff like this annoys me in a very personal level.
I suppose I consider the way writers treat their readers as work ethics. I have it, other writers I interact with on a daily basis seem to have it; and yet there are people out there who don’t. considering how many bloggers here on WP want to be, or already are, published authors, I find that fact even more troubling.
So guys, before you go around WP ranting about your followers, or lack thereof, take a moment and consider a few things…
You Are NOT God’s Gift to The Blogosphere
I went to a play a while back, was a really good play; least I thought so, and at the end of it the cast politely asked that we wait a moment so they could say a few things. The main actress in the play then thanked us for our presence and she said “thank you so much for choosing to be here when you could have stayed home watching TV”. This is a good attitude for any artist to have; an understanding that there are millions of things just as, if not more, entertaining than you. You’re not giving your readers the wonderful gift that is your writing; they are giving you the gift of their time and producing engaging posts is how you repay them. The mere fact that you wrote something doesn’t mean you’re entitled to anyone’s unwavering attention.
The Follow Button Is NOT a Contract
The Follow button puts you on people’s readers. All that means is that you are now competing with a smaller group of blogs for that particular reader’s attention. That is all the Follow button does. When you gain a follower that doesn’t mean you have someone who will read and like and comment on all your posts from now on. It means that someone out there liked something you wrote and chose to believe you would continue to live up to those standards. What you write from that point on is what determines whether that readers comes back and how often. I don’t know about most people out there, but personally the more followers I gain the more thought I put into my posts. Those people gave me the benefit of the doubt by adding me to their readers and I feel the need to live up to that. I don’t see any other way to look at it really.
You Can’t Demand That People Have Something To Say
I’m very close to 200 followers and 3000 views right now. My most likes in a day record is 38. Out of the 2,800 something views to my blog I have at the moment, only 38 of those views resulted in likes. I’ve gotten 321 comments since the start of this blog and, out of those 321, 92 are my own and 84 are from Sarah, which means that only about 145 comments are from visitors who had no previous knowledge of how awesome I am before reading my content. 145 comments in almost 3000 views. Now, because I look at my demographics and I pay attention to like notifications I know that a lot of people visit me on a regular basis and have never posted a comment. I don’t mind. I’m very much like that on most of the blogs I follow. I know that it doesn’t mean I don’t read regularly or don’t really enjoy the posts; it just means I couldn’t think of anything to say. So I assume the same from my readers.
You can’t demand that people shower you with compliments if they like your content, or express an opinion on everything you post about. It’s like published authors demanding that everyone who reads their books post a review on Amazon. You can ask that people do that, but you can’t demand it of them or complain if they don’t.
Your Whining Is a Waste of Everyone’s Time
See above where I wrote that being followed only means that you are competing with smaller group for a reader’s attention? While you were posting about how you don’t understand why you have 300 followers and get only maybe 10 views a day, the other bloggers on those 300 people’s readers wrote about things that might, you know, be relevant, or interesting, or even slightly amusing, to someone else. The only person who cares about your views is you; and that’s how it should be. Imagine yourself on a busy street. Readers are passing by and your the guy with a little tin can at your feet and a little cardboard sign where you’ve written some sob story with the intent on having someone drop you some change out of pity. While you’re sitting on your ass and mentally bitching about other people’s lack of consideration for you, other bloggers or out there playing a guitar, or making balloon animals, or performing magic tricks, to show the people passing them by the reasons why they deserve their spare change.
By the end of the day all that time and energy you wasted complaining about your situation could have been better spent drawing attention to what you have to offer. Every time you start writing a post you need to consider it your one chance to gather someone’s attention. Whoever it is that might be browsing for posts on that exact moment when you hit ‘publish’ and if what they see is you complaining about lack of commitment from your followers, they’re going to pass right by and find the guy making balloon animals.
Bottom line, nothing in this world is truly for free kiddies; if you want those views, likes, and comments, you need to make it so your posts are worthy of your followers’ attention. Maybe WP should change it to the “I’m giving you a chance to impress me, don’t fuck it up” button to avoid further confusion.