I’m no expert at blogging. Not even close (but if you’re looking, I know of a few people that are!) However, I did blog for two years and gained ten followers and then gained over 100 followers in five months. During those 2+ years I’ve come to a few realizations that I wish someone had told me from the get go. I thought here would be a fun place to share them, since I expect all of you are looking for ways to improve your blog!
I thought I’d start off with a topic that is pretty simple. One of the main things that changed my blogging experience was commenting. In September I had been reading blogs for about two years, only commenting occasionally (read: rarely.) Then I had an “a-ha” moment where I realized that it didn’t matter how many blogs I read or followed: if I didn’t comment, I was missing out on an opportunity to put myself out there. It’s that simple.
My goal when I read blogs is to comment on each post I read. I have about 200 blogs in my Google Reader, and some of them post very frequently, so obviously I can’t actually do that. I don’t even come close to commenting on each post. But I feel like having the intention to reminds me that if I see something that I can relate to, I should say something! Even on the HUGE blogs, where you know the blogger will likely not respond to you. You never know, your next blog BFF could be another reader who clicks on your comment!
I’ve found that starting a conversation with another blogger is easiest when I follow their blog and follow up with a comment. I used to follow blogs for my own organizational purposes and then wonder why bloggers didn’t find my blog from their followers box. Then as I started to get more followers, I realized that GFC really kinda stinks (one of the reasons I’m not so sad to see it go- but that’s another post for another day!) Sometimes your account isn’t linked to your blogger account, and therefore when you click on a profile, the blog isn’t there (make sure your blogger profile is the one you are following blogs with!) Even if you don’t use the “follow” button to help you read the blogs, it’s still nice to follow , because even though GFC can be dumb sometimes, it is helpful to bloggers when the followers increase.
Now every time I follow a blog, I leave a comment telling them so. Well, that’s not all I say. I usually respond to the post, tell them how I got to their blog, and tell them that I followed them and I’ll be back! Bloggers are more inclined to respond to you and engage in conversation with you if they know that you are going to be around and that you’re not just fishing for traffic on their blog. DO leave a comment letting the blogger that you follow their blog. DO NOT ask them to follow you back. No one wants to be guilted into following a blog. When I first started out I didn’t mind bloggers asking me to follow them as much, I was just thrilled that they were commenting! But now that I have had to go back and weed out all those blogs that I wasn’t really interested in in the first place, I see how it’s silly to ask that of another blogger. We all follow the blogs we follow for different reasons. Give them the tools to find you, and let them discover how awesome your blog is for themselves!
I hope you enjoyed this first post! Feel free to leave any suggestions for post topics in the comment section!
You’re totally right. There have been way too many times when I’ve just “ghost read” a blog. If I like the blog so much, and return to it time and time again, why SHOULDN’T I comment!?
You should say hi! I think it’s the most important way to grow your blog because you are forming relationships with other bloggers.
So true. I only caught on to leaving comments a while ago too. I think because I wasn’t blogging at the time I didn’t realise what the use of comments was, like I wasn’t able to see the other side. Now that I blog I realise it’s so cool to receive comments and interact with others.
btw, I really am starting to despise GFC and have been wanting to get rid of it for a while, just not quite sure what the implications will be.
Me too! I’m not really sure what blogging will be like without it, but I’m optimistic!
hey girl! What a great post. You KNOW i follow you… love your content. This is a perfect post.
Thanks Annelise! You’re awesome :)
Everything Blog Design says
Hi Katelyn…I created a blog to collect all the blogging tips, tutorials, etc…and included this in it…. check it out! Obviously it has link to your site….
Cool, thank you!
These are great tips. Thanks girly!
I definitely learned the “make sure your blog and email link up” lesson! I had two blogger accounts for two different emails. I was starting to confuse even myself!!!
I know, it can definitely get confusing quickly!
You make great points here. I know I follow many, many blogs through my Google Reader and I comment on every post that I have a reaction (of any kind) to. I wish more people shared that love!
Thanks! I totally agree, comments are often the starting point for starting a relationship with other bloggers, and that’s the best part about blogging!
Hi Kate, I just found your blog! I’ve been reading a few posts and this one has really had an impact on me. I almost never comment on the blogs I follow, even if I feel I have something important to contribute to the conversation. I suppose I get a kind of ‘comment anxiety,’ like when I choke up when I get a person’s voice mail. It’s really silly now that I’m talking about it, but it’s been holding me back from engaging the community of blogs I enjoy. This post has been a good wake up/push for me. Thank you!
Yay! I’m so glad that it helped (and that you commented!) Go forth and comment, you can do it! :)