Friday, September 19, 2014

The Ideal Blogger (#1) Follow and Feedback

I've had a lot of spare time on my hands and I had been spending it on browsing fresh blogs, leaving comments and adding a blog or two to my personal follow list. I think I've seen a lot of blogs that seemed to be missing a spark or so and after reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie, I have understood what it means to be an ideal blogger. 

I'm not saying my blog is ideal, but that we could all work together to the goal of being so with the blogging epiphany I had. I'd like to share my ideas and opinions with you and it would be fantastic if you guys shared something back. So, without further ado, I present to you my blog post trilogy.


Following and receiving feedback is something you cannot achieve without your readers. If you want more comments and more followers, you need your readers to do it for you. So here's the question.

How can you make your readers do what you want them to do?

"The only way I can get you to do anything is by giving you what you want.
What do you want?" 
So what do most bloggers want? Let's make a list.

--> increased traffic on their blog
--> comments on their posts
--> new followers
--> a feeling of importance or pride for their blog and their writing.

Let's face it, people are usually thinking about themselves whenever they do something. When bloggers design their pages, they think along the lines of "this will make my blog beautiful" - "This will increase my traffic" - "This will make me look better" instead of thinking along the lines of "this will make navigation for my readers easier" - "this will help readers find something they want to read" - "this will keep my readers interested".

There is a subtle difference between the two streams of thought. One focuses on what you want, the other focuses on what your readers want- and I think we all know how important attitude is!

"If there is any one secret of success," said Henry Ford, "it lies in the ability to get the other person's point of view and see things from his angle as well as your own"
 If you want someone to comment on or follow your blog, why should they do so? Would talking about how feedback makes me happy or how feedback makes my day better or how much love feed back make you want to do it? No it doesn't! Think about it this way.

Reader: Hmm, this blog is nice, I suppose. The posts are average but it has over 50 followers. Perhaps I should leave a comment with my blog linked in it.
Blogger: Please leave a comment! I love comments! They make me happy!
Reader: I know they make you happy- heck they'd make anyone happy! The question is, will you actually look at what I had to say and will you come to my blog and see what I write about too?
Blogger: I have 200 followers! I'm too busy to comment back- did you see the 160 comments on my last post- let alone follow a noob blog like yours that only has 10 follows! I have better things to do!
Reader: Then why should I bother commenting on your post or follow your blog?
Blogger: To make me happy of course!

This is an imaginary conversation a reader has with a blogger who "loves feedback" but hardly ever gives anything in return.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Trying to appreciate your readers before they comment is not a good idea and is fairly annoying if that's your tactic for garnering more comments. What you need to do is offer your readers and incentive to comment and later on, follow. Here are some example for the text that appears before the comment form

Bad: I love comments!
Good: I reply to each and every comment!
Bad: Please share your thoughts on what I wrote!
Good: Please leave a link to your blog so I can comment back!

All this discussion was for new bloggers and new traffic. But how can you get your current followers to engage with you on their blog? Here's a list!

#Give Them Honest Feedback

No, this doesn't mean you point out their errors or start arguing with them. It means you take the best of their post and trying making the blogger feel important. You must be
"...hearty in their appreciation and lavish in their praise..."
No flattery! Sit down and read the post! Think along the following lines.

"What part of this post stood out? What part did I find interesting? How would I describe this post? Did it inspire me in any sort of way? Did it amuse me? Did it remind me of something I used to do myself? Would I like to read something similar again?"

Did anything positive come to your mind? Good! Write it down in the comment section.

#Tag Them in Awards

Here's your chance to talk about the things you love and answer questions made just for you and  keep your readers engaged- because they're the ones who are going to be nominated! Make sure you correctly mention their names, their blog's name and link it properly. It also wouldn't hurt to write a couple of sentences about each nominee- maybe about why you nominated them, what kind of blogger they are or just a heartfelt compliment. Remember, we are aiming for our readers to feel important. Your words should make them realize that you read everything they say and that you are genuinely interested in what their response to your tag/award would be.

#Add Their Blog to Your Blog

There are lots of ways you could do this. Here are three such ways.
  • Swap buttons with your readers
  • Place their blog on the blogfeed widget that can be put on your sidebar
  • Mention their names and blogs on a post that was inspired by something they wrote.

#Utilize Social Media

Do you have links to your twitter/facebook/tumblr/other media? Are you giving out your blog email for contacting? Well and good- but remember, you need to CHECK up on those links too! There WILL be occasional bloggers who tweet to you or decide to email to you (they will be uncommon, or even rare, but they exist. Trust me, I'm one of those random people) but what I've noticed is that once a social media profile is set up for a blog, it is usually abandoned or simply inactive. But- there are some brilliant bloggers out there who are on social media and who actually take the time to reply to you.

One of my favorite bloggers, Riley Sinclair tweets every now and then and I tweet back to her. She's super nice and makes me feel really special when she thanks me for my responses to her updates. Learn from the pro bloggers who make YOU feel worth it. Remember, blogging is a social platform. You're not getting a fan-following on your blog- you're making a circle of friends!

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Let's sum up what we're going to try to aim for from today onwards.

*A change of attitude- focusing on what your readers want instead of what you want and find something that satisfies both parties.

*Offer your reader incentives to comment/follow

*Make your readers feel important as an individual blogger.

*Be genuinely interested in your readers and encourage them to talk about their opinions.

 *~*~*~*~*~*~*

Everything highlighted in pink are excerpts from the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.

Part Two of this post trilogy will be Content and Consistency.

Did you find anything lacking or any new point that could be added? It would be my pleasure to add your insights and examples to this post (I'll credit you, of course).

3 comments:

  1. Not only was this very true, but some parts were simply hilarious! The imaginary conversation was brilliant! :)


    I feel like people care way too much about followers etc. Obviously, it's a normal thing -I do too- but when the blog is driven solely for gaining followers it kind of makes you question its authenticity and opinions and stuff... Although blogging is after all a number game, the numbers should be a motivation not a reason.

    I always reply to comments! :) yay

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  2. This post was totally fabulous. It was hilarious. People care way too much about how many followers/comments/pageviews they get. Some bloggers quit blogging after 2 months because they don't have 100,000 pageviews yet. Blog because you like it, not because you want to become famous.

    I love responding to comments, it is fun to connect with readers :P

    ~Noor
    http://wonderkid22.blogspot.com
    a little bit of sunshine

    ReplyDelete
  3. Okay don't get creeped out that i'm commenting on such an old post, I am completely guilty of stalking your blog because agh it's so awesome and relatable, idk why but I deeply relate to what you post :)
    (pls don't get creeped out haha).

    ~Ritz
    http://theritzblog.blogspot.in/

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