As I’ve spoken about previously, aside from enjoying the writing and thinking out loud my blog provides, a major reason for having a blog at all is to create and grow a community of like minded people.
I could just jump on an existing site or social media platform but I prefer to do things my way, and have control over adverts, layout, design, privacy and so on.
Whilst I use WordPress of course, and Flickr to host my photographs that feature here, these platforms give a great deal of freedom in what I can do, and I can’t really think of any feature they lack.
Even if you don’t have a blog of your own, there’s plenty you can do to support the blogs you enjoy, and help them grow.
Personally I feel a certain duty on this front.
The blogs I really enjoy reading I try to support, so they continue to exist and thrive.
My approach to support other blogs is very simple, and can be summed up in three simple steps.
1. Read blogs you enjoy, and I mean properly read, not scan and speed read before racing on to the next one, having only absorbed a fraction of the full content of the post.
For centuries, reading has been a way to share and distribute the thoughts of one person to another.
When you read a book, it’s like the writer opening their doors and inviting you to spend some time with them and their unique view of the world.
With blogs of course, there’s a whole other dimension, because you reading is the beginning of a conversation between you and the writer. More on that below.
If you feel you don’t have enough time to properly read and absorb all of the blogs you enjoy, then something has to give.
Either allocate more time to reading blogs overall, or cut down on the number of blogs you follow.
If this means you decide you can follow 10 blogs, and need to unsubscribe from 35hunter as it’s number 11 or 111 on your favourites list to focus more time to a blog you enjoy more, then please go ahead, I fully support you!
2. Comment on blog posts you like.
This is the conversation I began talking about above.
My general view on “likes” is not a secret. I don’t like them at all, and never use them myself. William wrote a fantastic analogy recently, far more eloquently than I’ve been able to.
I feel it’s infinitely more helpful and supportive to take an extra thirty seconds to leave a comment on a blog post you’ve got something from, even if it’s just to say the post got you thinking, or gave you a useful tip.
It gives the writer a useful snippet of feedback, encouragement to keep writing, and the opportunity to continue the conversation with you. Which brings us to…
3. Follow the conversation.
WordPress makes this incredibly easy. When you comment, just tick that box that says “Notify me of new comments via email” and then when someone else replies to the same blog post you’ll get an email plus a notification in your WP dashboard (an orange or pink dot will appear on that little bell in the top right corner) so you can follow up further if you wish.
As a blogger it’s frustrating when someone goes to the trouble of commenting, we reply perhaps with a further question, and the conversation stops dead, tumbleweeds blowing across the foot of the page.
Sometimes of course it may be that the original commenter didn’t have anything else to say, or has been busy on other things, but I bet more often than not it’s because they didn’t tick that option to follow the conversation, and so have no idea that anyone has responded back.
Even if you don’t (yet) have your own blog, you can still play a major part in building and supporting the community around other blogs.
I hope these simple tips help you do that.
Do you have any useful tips to share about how you follow and support your favourite blogs?
We’d love to hear them in the comments below (and don’t forget to tick the “Notify me of new comments via email” box to follow the conversation).
Thanks for looking. Please share this post with others you feel will enjoy it too. If you’re interested, this is what I’m into right now.