the emo wolverine writes

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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 I 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).

27 comments:

  1. Hi, I got your comment on my blog. Thanks:) Love your blog!
    xxLizzie

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  2. Thank you so much for leaving a comment on my blog. I'm so happy you had fun with the questions. It gives me joy to know that others have fun reading my blog. Since it is my blog, I post whatever I like but I try to post things that others will also enjoy reading. :)

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    1. That's quite understandable. And, to be honest, people usually enjoy reading about what you like to post (:

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  3. Wow, this is such a great blog post! I love how you incorporated Dale Carnegie's tactics into blogging, very creative! This is what I need!

    Looking forward to the next post!

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    1. I LOVE his book :D I just felt like I had to do this and with this book by my side, I was totally ready xD
      I'm glad you liked it (:

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  4. So many great ideas in this post. I never actually thought about the difference between thinking about what benefits me as a blogger, and what benefits my readers. I was glad to see that I didn't measure up too badly, though I could definitely improve. I think lots of bloggers would benefit from reading this post. I know I try to comment back on other people's blogs and respond to every comment on mine, but so many times I feel like a blogger is ignoring me when I comment on their blogs and they don't come back ever again. Looks like it's time to lift my game!

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    1. I know that feeling of commenting on people's posts so many times but never getting a single comment back- even after a follow. Personally, I feel a little resentful about it. But with this post, I want to remind myself that I, as an individual, cannot be that one blogger who ignores their readers.
      Thank you for the comment (:

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  5. Great post! I guess blogs really are about what readers want, but sometimes you blog personally for yourself too. I don't know. But thanks for the advice on how to get followers! Replying to every comment and being honest is definitely important. Thanks for the button swap!! xx I love your blog.

    -M
    The Life of Little Me

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    1. Cupcake, I didn't mean blogging for your readers specifically. I'm talking about a slight change of attitude where you think about what your readers will feel when they come on your blog. You can post whatever you want (: you just have to remember that blogging is a social platform and followers aren't fans- but individuals and that they deserve to have your attention- just as much as you crave theirs.
      You're quite welcome (: Have a nice day.

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  6. You know, you are a really amazing person! You've basically made me see the light on blogging! Yes, blogging is a 2 way thing, that's why I follow back everyone that follows me.:)
    This is such a great post, I read it over and over again. I really have to learn from you when it comes to blogging!
    Thank you!
    June
    The Journeys' of my beating heart

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    1. You're welcome, I'm really glad you liked it so much! And you're doing pretty good on your blog, if you ask me (:

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  7. Really nice post. :)

    catscraftsncritters.blogspot.ca

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  8. All I can say is....I totally love this post! Everything you said was definitely true. I've bookmarked this, I need to read it again sometime, you have great tips. I never really thought too much about what was good for my readers and good for me. What you said about what bloggers think when they design their page is so true for me!
    Lots of bloggers will benefit from this post, I know I have. (And I am not trying to flatter when I say this, it's true!) :)

    MJ // www.littlepandacrafts.blogspot.com

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    1. Aww, you're super sweet, MJ! You really made me smile. I just want to remind bloggers that's it's not just about the follow count, it's about getting to know who actually reads your blog (:

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  9. I love this post. It's says the truth, don't take advantage of your readers and don't believe you're better than everyone else. I especially love all the examples you gave in this post. I have never seen such an honest and helpful post (and I have looked everywhere).
    Kat//(Almost) Completely Mad

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  10. Great post! I totally agree with everything you had to say on this topic. I love how you talked about thinking about the reader. That's so important! Especially in regards to how the blog is set up.

    Also, I've been learning to be better at commenting back, and your post was bang on what I've come to realize.

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    1. That's awesome *__* I just wanted to remind people that trying to make a worth-while blog doesn't mean having 200 followers (:

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  11. Though I think that this blog is great in every possible way, I'm commenting to say something else: Catalina, you're the best follower and commenter I've ever had! I loved to read this because it made me understand how you've become such a great follower and internet friend ;)
    I agree with everything you said in this post and I'm trying to be better at being a follower, but sometimes I just forget to comment (I'm usually reading a post just before the bus leaves, then I have to stop reading and chase the bus. By the time I get back home I've completely forgotten what I wanted to say about the post :S)

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    1. Omg o///o you makes me blush xD
      That sounds pretty hectic- chasing the bus! o.o

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  12. This is amazing. I love how you explained each part without making it sound any hard. I think it's really important to give & take whenever you're making a community. That's the main rule :)
    Noor's Place

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  13. Thank you for the tips :) Do you have any advice on how to increase my audience?

    From Issy at www.lettersfromissy.blogspot.com

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  14. Good tips i like
    http://www.consumerspk.com/damages-of-rs-5000-against-dry-cleaner/

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