What makes you put your head in your hands or shake your head regarding blogging?
Recently, I’ve been shaking my head a lot when visiting the blogging world.
Some of my fellow bloggers worry me, and I’m concerned about their mental health.
I’m witnessing bloggers panicking, stressed, feeling guilty, or apologising because of how they blog.
Here are some of the bloggers I am referring to. Are you one of them?
Have you heard this quote?
Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint!
It’s a quote many bloggers acknowledge.
Sprinters rush around the blogging world every day as if they’re on a time challenge where they must read and leave comments on as many blog posts as possible within a certain amount of time.
The comments they leave are seldom engaging and are often empty. Instead of leaving a comment saying why they thought a post was great or why they liked a photo or reading a piece of fiction, they’ll leave a comment like, ‘Great story’ or ‘I enjoyed this.’
They don’t have time to leave engaging comments, so leave comments that’ll not make you want to engage with them other than maybe to say ‘Thanks.’
If they fail to leave comments on all the blogs they’re following, they believe they may upset someone. They need to prove they’ve visited your post, often by leaving an empty comment.
They often show signs of stress or pressure in the content they publish and the comments they leave.
They won’t read long-engaging posts because that wastes time and worsens their stress. They’re on a mission to read as many posts as possible in the time they have so they don’t upset anyone.
Why read a couple of interesting, engaging, long posts when you can read lots of short blog posts in the time it takes to read one fascinating post over 1,000 words that gets you and lots of other readers wanting to get into a discussion?
When I saw the above tweet from James, I punched the air with my fist. He makes a valid point. And it doesn’t only apply to new bloggers.
Blogging should never be about sprinting under pressure around the blogging world to see how many blog posts you can read and comment on in 20 minutes!
Those posts will still be there next week.
There is no such thing as being behind in blogging. Read, respond and leave comments when you have the time to do so.Hugh W. Roberts
Ask yourself why you started blogging. Was it for enjoyment and fun? Or did you come to the blogging world on a mission to try and break the world record every day for the number of blog posts you can read and comment on so you don’t feel guilty or upset anyone?
Is rushing around the blogging world, feeling stressed out while leaving the same non-engaging short comments, fun?
Slow down, and engage with bloggers rather than trying to prove the point that you have visited their posts.
If you don’t have the time to read and leave comments, make time by reading less blogs.Hugh W. Roberts
This brings me to…
The obliging blogger
In the next paragraph, I’ll ask you a question. Leave your answer in the comments section before reading the rest of this post.
Question: If a blogger reads and leaves comments on all your blog posts, should you feel obliged to read and leave comments on all their posts?
You won’t be surprised that my answer to that question is ‘No.’
But if you answered ‘Yes’, share your reasons in the comments section.
Nobody should feel obliged to read and comment on another blogger’s posts because they read and leave comments on all their blog posts.
Your time is precious, and wasting it by forcing yourself to read and comment on content that does not interest you is a waste of your time.
“But won’t the blogger who reads and comments on all my posts stop reading and commenting on my blog posts if I don’t return the favour?’
Yes, they may, but does it matter? And if they do, ask yourself this question.
‘Why am I following that blogger?’
If it’s because you genuinely enjoy reading their content, then, by all means, continue to follow them, but don’t feel obliged to read and leave comments on all their posts.
If a blogger gets upset with you for not reading and leaving comments on all their posts, consider unfollowing them.
Allocate the time you spent reading their blogs to the blogs you enjoy reading, and leave valuable, engaging comments on those posts rather than short, empty, non-engaging comments.
Tip: Make the first comment count and show that you genuinely want to engage.
Don’t get too upset if the blogger you’re trying to engage with doesn’t want to engage with you when they respond to your comment with nothing but a ‘Thank you.’
That’s your cue to think twice before engaging with them again.
If you don’t want to engage with a blogger after reading a post, press the like button and move on. After all, that’s why it’s there.
There is nothing wrong with not leaving a comment after reading a blog post if you’ve nothing of value to add. Stop acting like it’s a crime not to leave one.Hugh W. Roberts
Don’t be tricked into feeling guilty if you don’t always leave a comment. I read many blog posts where I do not click the ‘like’ button or leave comments. Why? Because I have nothing of value to add.
Likewise, never feel obliged to follow a blogger who has followed your blog. There’s no harm in visiting their blog to check out their content. If you like it, by all means, follow back, but don’t follow them simply because they followed you.
The desperate blogger
This blogger comes in two forms.
The first are bloggers you’ve never received comments from, and suddenly they’ll leave a comment and link on one of your posts that begs you (and your readers) to check out their blog, read their posts and leave comments.
I’ve received lots of these types of comments recently.
Their comment won’t mention anything about the contents of the posts they’ve left their comment on, just a few words of desperation and a link to their blog.
You’ll see them leaving the same comment on other blogs. I never approve these comments, so you’ll never see them in the comments section of any of my blog posts.
These types of comments are often left by new bloggers looking for new followers and readers.
If you’re new to blogging, there are much better ways to gain followers and new readers than to leave uninvited links on other blogs. These posts list some tips that will help you gain new followers and readers.
The other type of desperate blogger is someone who has previously left some engaging comments but unexpectedly starts dropping links to their posts that have nothing to do with the content of your post, asking you to read and comment.
I’ve said this many times before. Other blogs are not places for you to leave links unless the host has invited you to leave them. For example, in my Wordless Wednesday posts, I invite bloggers to leave links to their Wordless Wednesday posts.
If you have a post you’d like to share with a blogger in the comments section because it’s connected to their post, ask for permission to leave the link first.
Many bloggers class uninvited links as spam and move comments that include them to the spam folder or bin.
How do you deal with uninvited links left in the comments section of your blog?
I edit them out before approving the comment by pressing the edit button.
Remember to save the changes and then approve the comment. Most bloggers leaving uninvited links soon get the message.
Let’s wrap it up
- Never feel pressured to read and comment on too many blog posts when you don’t have the time.
- Read and leave engaging comments on a few blog posts a day/week rather than try and read and leave empty, non-engaging comments on all the blog posts of those you follow.
- Never feel obliged to follow a blog simply because they followed you.
- Don’t force yourself or waste time reading blog posts that do not interest you. Instead, invest your time reading and engaging with bloggers who publish content that interests you.
- It doesn’t matter if you don’t read a blog post today. It’ll still be there to read in a week or when you have more time.
- Don’t feel guilty if you do not get around to reading all the blog posts you want to read and comment on.
- If you have nothing of value to add in a comment, rather than leaving short, empty, non-engaging comments, click the ‘like’ button and move on.
- Other blogs are not the place to leave uninvited links promoting your blog.
- Edit out uninvited links before approving comments.
- Remove any thoughts of thinking you’re behind with blogging and have to catch up. Read and comment on posts when you have the time to do so.
Are there any examples of blogging that have you holding your head in your hands, shaking your head or concerned for other bloggers? Please share them in the comments section.
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