Thoughtful readers can transform desert-like blogs into decadent desserts.
If you maintain a blog, you probably remember the first time you filled up a draft page then hit publish. Perhaps you worried that no one would read your post—or that everyone, including your mother-in-law, ex-boyfriend/girlfriend and neighbor you pissed off, would. In either case, I bet you felt a rush when comments and subscribers trickled in. (Well, depending on the comments… ) Your readership has probably grown since then and with it, your appreciation.
When Raani York nominated me for the Reader’s Appreciation Award, I was giddy—and not just because she’s a terrific gal. Any chance to say THANKS to readers is well worth it. First I thought I’d share the makings of a thoughtful reader and the super perks of being one.
Thoughtful blog readers tend to…
…read, rather than glimpse at, posts.
…choose and read posts with titles or topics they’re intrigued by or care about.
…post genuine, heart-felt or hilarious comments.
…share desirable blog links on community sites, like Facebook, Twitter, WANA International and Google+.
…subscribe to blogs they enjoy.
…visit beloved blogs often.
Benefits of Thoughtful Blog-Reading
Fun, inspiration and education: With the many millions available to us, it’s not difficult to find blogs that strike our funny bones or hearts. We can learn about animals from Amy Shojai, glamping (glamour + camping) gear from Natalie Hartford, surviving a creative existence from Chuck Wendig and building online communities and platforms from Kristen Lamb. Doing research for a new novel? Why not seek out blogs related to your topic? Yes, we should keep in mind that we’re reading blogs, not textbooks or the New York Times. But you know what? I’ve learned a heck of a lot from blogs and blogging friends.
Friendships and community: We can make friends, and not merely with the bloggers we follow. I’ve encountered fabulous new blogs I read regularly now, after admiring their thoughtful comments on others’ posts. Our comments could spark conversations, inspire more blog posts (hopefully with proper credit ) and gain attention from readers throughout the web. You just never know who’ll read your comments, follow you on Twitter or “Like” you on Facebook in response to your thoughtfulness.
Reciprocation: Supporting others through thoughtful comments and shares tends to bring that boomerang directly back. It’s not the main reason we should read and support blogs in my opinion, but it’s definitely an added perk. The more we give, the more we’re likely to receive.
Gratification: It feels good to support others, particularly when we believe in the work. I read posts by numerous bloggers who’ve never, to my knowledge, read mine. That’s fine with me. We should give for the sake of giving, IMO. I’m usually compelled to comment or share the links simply because they’re so darn awesome. (In this way, sharing makes US look good—quality links shared with our own readers. More “frosting.” )
I’d love to give this award to all of you. The fact that you’re reading this warms my heart. Please feel free to carry Reader Appreciation on via your blog. I’ve also selected a handful of recipients to highlight. As you’ll see, thoughtful blog commenting and fantastic blog writing go hand-in-hand.
- Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride
- Nigel Blackwell: Facts, Fiction, and Nothing Else
- Kourtney Heintz’s Journal
- Coleen Patrick: Read. Smile. Repeat.
- Kathryn Magendie: Writing from my mountain cove
- Natalie Hartford: Life Out Loud
- Tameri Etherton: A Cup of Tea and Sourcery
- Debra Kristi: Sparks in the Fire
- Marcy Kennedy: Life at Warp 10
- Lisa Hall-Wilson: Blogging Through the Fire
- Stacy Green: Turning the Page
I’d love to hear your thoughts. What do you love most about blog reading? Have you been surprised by readers’ thoughtfulness (or lack thereof)? Do you consider yourself a thoughtful blog reader? Why or why not?