What makes a blogger a great blogger? You’re awesome and I’m fascinated on a daily basis when I read your blog. I have a blog, and I imagine I have a few readers at least, or I hope. I get 2 or 3 comments every time I blog, which excites me…but what can I do to get more people to comment on my blogs, and how do I go from just having a blog to having a great blog?
Well, first, thank you kindly for your sweet words. Flattery will, as you well know, get you everywhere with me, so would you like to come over so that I can maybe wax your car and cook you a ten course lunch or something?
First, my not-so-inclusive-list-of-Blogging-For-Dummies-Tips
Blogging is a tricky thing to quantify, because although there are a lot of “experts” who write articles about it on google, as any quick search will pull up, most of them don’t have jack shit to say. Seriously. I totally don’t have jack shit to say either, but I have never claimed to be an expert on anything whatsoever.
Except AWESOMENESS! And winning at LIFE!
But since you asked, I’ll try to answer. If you’re talking about starting a blog about a niche market, though-knitting, gardening, cooking, technology-make sure that you scour those site and stick with that topic. Join a forum about said topic and try to connect with like-minded people. But don’t expect people interested in Linux to be wowed by your Orchid Lovers UNITE!!! (or UNTIE!1!!) blog.
Cross pollination rarely works unless you have an established core audience, and even then, they’re probably not reading about your Fantasy Football Picks if they came to read your cookie recipes.
If you’re talking about personal blogs, like mine, well, it can be a really tricky niche to break into (with the saturation of blogs onto the web, let’s face it, they’re ALL tough to break into) as well.
In the blogging world, you need to have a product that other people want.
Some people offer advice. Or recipes. Or humor. Or pictures. Or tips and tricks. Or porn. Or escapism. If you can successfully offer this to people, you will have a great blog.
I’d start off by just… writing. Stories are a good place to start, but not everything makes a good story and not every story needs to be told. You’ll learn what works by reading what other bloggers that have been at it awhile do. The best personal blogs offer readers something that they are able to relate to.
Unfortunately, there is no THAT WAS EASY button when it comes to blogging.
Blogging successfully takes a lot of work. It’s mostly unpaid, it opens you up to all sorts of criticism and it’s about as glamorous as saying that you clean toilets with your tongue for a living. I spend hours a day blogging, writing, reading, commenting, tweeting, and keeping up with my friends and readers.
And as for the comment quandary:
If you want comments and you want to build a Loyal Internet Army, the only way that I know of (save for inviting the spam bots in) is to comment until your fingers bleed on other people’s blogs.
Go to Google reader, hook yourself up with one, add a bunch of blogs, and comment like crazy. I’m a hell of a lot more likely to keep tabs on people who are loyal to me and I know that other people feel the same way. When I started blogging here, I had been blogging elsewhere for several years prior, and my friends (ACTUAL friends, as in people who personally have squeezed my hot ass) followed me here.
It took at least 2.5 months of solid comments and near-daily posting for a single person other than my friends to comment here. So before you feel too self-conscious about your own lack of comments, do remember that. That alone should keep you warm on many a cold night.
Also, a technique for getting comments much less distasteful than outright begging (or whining) for comments is asking a question or trying to engage your readers. If you want to build a loyal community, you should make sure to foster that part of it. Build your blog roll, know your readers, comment like mad.
If that is too much work for you then you probably won’t have a Blogging Empire.
But blogging, they say, is SO like 2002 anyway, so maybe that’s a good thing.
Besides, who the hell am I to tell you anything?
Does The Daver ever totally freak out on you about your posts? My husband is having a hard time living with me when I write even a whisper that involves him. We normally get along pretty swell, except when he is featured in my blog. Then he gets paranoid and angry. Does the Daver every say, WTF, Becky?!
Will you be shocked to learn that my answer here is actually a “no?”
Hear me out: as I’ve said on countless occasions, and what will serve as Exhibits A, B, C AND D at my trial, Dave plugged me into a blog so that I would stop talking to him. When you see how prolific I am, this must make some sense to you.
If you do go back into the archives during a particularly boring masochistic (or is it sadistic? I cannot be sure.) day, you’d note that I did, at one point talk about The Daver more than I do now.
I’m not sure if I got more self-absorbed or if The Daver got more boring, or a little of both, but I just sort of…stopped. Maybe it’s because I don’t see him much anymore, or maybe because our private time is private and while it does appear that I do let it all hang out, I don’t really, I don’t know.
One time and only one time have I written anything scathing about The Daver and it was on the day before my birthday last year (I won’t link to it, but if you’re industrious, you can find it) and he told me that he just didn’t read it.
It’s weird, I guess, since Daver is really a private guy and I would probably let the mail-man examine my cervix if he asked nicely and it were for med school class or something, but we have it worked out pretty well. I suppose he trusts me not to fuck it up too badly or he knows that he has enough blackmail material on me to shame me underground for years.
Anything you other bloggers out there care to add?
As always, ladies and gentlemen, feel free to submit your questions to Ask Aunt Becky (the linky-poo on the sidebar). I have been trying answer them in an order that makes sense, in case you’re wondering why I haven’t been answering your question.