MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

5 Ways to Keep Your Blogging Buddies Happy

January 30th, 2007 Visited 3131 times, 1 so far today

Five ways according to Mary, who admits that this perspective is based solely upon her experience as a blog commenter, not any hard and fast rules based on the growth of comments over at Home-steeped Hope. :dizzy:
1. Include YOU in your posts

It’s okay if you aren’t the main dish of your blog posts, you only have to refer to yourself or your child or your spouse a tiny bit in the beginning of the post to snag my interest, to make you more credible…more HUMAN. Then I’ll read to the end because you’re real and I feel I can possibly identify with you. Or maybe I’m just nosy.

If your blog niche doesn’t allow for this humanity to shine through in your posts, then when you visit my blog be sure to let it shine in your comments. (Oh, you have a daughter? Three of them? Cool. Me too.) It’s a connection, one I’ll probably follow up on by clicking your link.

2. Not too much YOU in your posts

Like I said, I’m intrigued by your personal experiences and learnings, but not in a “dear-diary-this-is-what-I-did-today” sort of way…unless you’re my best friend, family or live an amazing existence!

That said, I believe there is a lot to be learned by reading about how different people do different things, so there is a fine line between this and #1

3. Keep the conversation going in comments by replying to commentors

Am I talking to a brick wall here? Helloooo? I feel ignored when you don’t reply to my comment. (Comments other than “Great post!” that is)

There is community in ongoing comment dialogue. Not getting any comments? Check out: Ten Reasons Readers Don’t Leave Comments by Liz Strauss

4. Please! Your blog takes forever to download!

Blog Bloke calls it Hacking Your Blog to Death

It may have great content, but I’m not going to visit very often if I have to go fix a latte while I wait for your site to finish blowing its bells and whistles…

Same thing for your comment filters, I don’t mind entering a code once, but when it takes three times, it gets old. And if your blog host doesn’t allow me to comment unless I’m a member, such as Xanga and some Blogger blogs, I probably won’t be back. I’m a hands on/talking kind of gal.

5. Daily updates are addicting

I like starting my day at MInTheGap because there is always something new to chew on. Sometimes, maybe I shouldn’t admit this, I check here before going to my own blog. I really enjoy MIn’s mix of culture shocks and Biblical devos that are applicable to my life.

So, Blogging Buddies, what are your observations? Got any pet peeves or tips of the trade to share? I, for one, am very interested!

Comments

23 Comments

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  • Stephen Kingston says on: January 31, 2007 at 5:18 am

     

    I can’t offer advice from experience, because my blog is not currently the vibrant community I would like it to be. I can offer some thoughts of how I might improve my own blog (if I have the time and dedication):

    1. Be consistent.

    The blogs I read regularly are ones that interest me. For instance, Juan Cole’s “Informed Comment” is always worth reading, but I know that when I go there I am getting comment on the middle East situation. Now that is not my only interest, and his is not the only blog I read. But I know what I’m getting there, unlike some blogs (my own included) which sometimes comment on the middle East, but usually do not.

    I have tried to solve my own inconsistency on my blog by adding buttons at the top, where you can choose just one category, and still read it like a blog. I don’t know whether this will work, because people are not tuned to taking specific feeds off a blog. But it is worth a try.

    2. Mix short with long articles.

    I am often verbose. Sometimes people appreciate my long articles, but if there are no shorter snippets, then people (who are short of time and have many blogs to choose from) will tend to skip over my blog. I’m trying to add in some short articles… but it is hard whilst being consistent!

    3. Reward commentators. This blog does that, and generates plenty of comments.

    4. Go out into the world and talk on other people’s blogs. Nearly every commentator who has commented more than once on my blog has done so because I have commented on theirs, or we have both commented on another blog (such as this one).

    5. Be a little contentious. If you want people to comment, you need to give them a reason to do so. Sometimes we can say “I agree” as a comment, but discussion only really gets going when we disagree! Honest disagreement is not a bad thing, as long as we remember to separate the person from the argument!

  • Colleen says on: January 31, 2007 at 8:31 am

     

    I LOVE pictures, so I really enjoy when blogger buddies include pictures or update their photogallery regularly. Also, I enjoy when bloggers update regularly. I have a few blogger friends that it takes a week and sometimes more to write something new!! I enjoy that the crowd over here at Min’s is pretty good about writing consistenly!

  • Mary says on: January 31, 2007 at 10:22 am

     

    Ooh thanks for all the great tips you guys! The “being consistent” one is something I’ve been chewing on lately…I don’t have a blog niche and I know we’re “supposed” to…I try to keep all my posts to do with home and family life, but I’m not die-hard about it. Good point also on the switching long and short articles…I can relate to being verbose, as you know!!

    I love pics too, Colleen, and they help keep my interest on long articles. Personally, I don’t need them in order to come back and read, but I do appreciate them when they’re there.

  • Leticia says on: January 31, 2007 at 8:03 pm

     

    I stick by another rule. If I have a new visitor I will visit their blogs and keep in contact, but after three tries at communicating with them and they don’t respond to my comments, I delete their bookmark.

    It’s important to keep up with your visitors and keep up a dialogue.

  • Mary says on: February 1, 2007 at 12:31 am

     

    Very true. You saying that reminds me that someone dropped by my site a while back, asked me to add them to my blogroll and then never popped back in. :whistle: Delete, delete, delete? :dizzy:

  • Rebecca says on: February 1, 2007 at 1:09 pm

     

    Short, to the point, and easy to read posts. And I, too, don’t have much interest in sticking around if conversation never develops.

  • Mary says on: February 2, 2007 at 9:17 am

     

    Rats, everyone agrees short, to the point posts! No wonder I never get many comments at my blog! No wonder I’m in the middle of cutting a 120,000 word manuscript down to 90K! ;O)

    Thanks, Rebecca, I guess I’m an either/or on the long or short posts (liked Stephen’s idea on alternating the two kinds) as far as reading them goes. I love how you do yours…and have found that when I’m reading a longer one with more than one pic, the pics distract from the “longness” and good content will always keep me reading!

  • Rebecca says on: February 2, 2007 at 11:13 am

     

    I also like Stephen’s idea.

    Thanks so much for the compliment, Mary! I also try to use things like bullets and short paragraphs to make it easier to read, and if I’m really trying to convey alot of information I will use some bolding too. (I noticed you do those things AND add color too.)

    BTW, thanks for filling in over here. 🙂

  • Mary says on: February 2, 2007 at 3:42 pm

     

    You’re welcome, twas fun! 😉 And thank you for the compliment!

  • Deborah says on: February 2, 2007 at 4:24 pm

     

    Well, I’m going to stir things up a bit…but remember, this is my opinion and I’m not attacking anyone personally. I am very new to all of this, and I must confess, I don’t know how long I’ll stay around! I learned a lot from Mary’s article and everyone’s comments on blogging. But, come on…does anyone have a life out there?! With five children and various commitments to family, friends, church and just general things like yard work, cleaning house…I just don’t have the time to get into all of this. By the time I check various blogs, (because yes, you all do entrap me with your wonderful writing on various subjects!) my e-mail, etc. a couple hours have flown by and sometimes I don’t know if it was time well-spent. I’ve usually enjoyed myself, don’t get me wrong, but maybe I should have been doing one of those things I listed above. Does anyone else have this problem, or am I the only one feeling some conviction about this? Deb

  • Mary says on: February 2, 2007 at 5:17 pm

     

    :whistle: Hm, I’m glad you stirred the pool, Deborah! At least, I think I am!

    I admit that blogging has taken time away from things, for me, mainly my fiction pursuits. I’ve often wondered the exact same things as you…about tv watching, reading, etc. There’s always something better to be done with my time. I like to look at blogging as a nice way to combine down-time with the give and take of learning/being inspired by others. I rarely read real paper pages anymore, except snippets here and there or REALLY good books, and TV? What’s that? I’d rather get my blog-fix.

    I sometimes feel trapped by it though, with feeling the need to post every day. Was that honest enough? 😉 It would be a great topic to blog about…(yikes, am I addicted?)

  • Rebecca says on: February 2, 2007 at 6:08 pm

     

    Deborah, I’m glad you brought that up. I definitely feel that the Lord has brought blogging into my life at this time for a reason. My kids are nearly grown. In my attempt to gracefully allow them to become independent, it has been good for me to have something else to absorb my interest.

    That said, I have often wondered the same thing about many others. Particularly as I restrict myself almost entirely from blogging when my husband is available.

    Somewhere I recently read the idea that it’s much harder to be both a good blog-reader and a good blogger. I would have to agree. If I end up having to make a choice, my own blog will win, primarily because I am confident in God’s call on my life to do it.

    Then y’all will just have to come over there. Well, you won’t have to. Some of you already do. And I really don’t expect the men to care that much about daily conversations about what to wear. 😉

  • Stephen Kingston says on: February 3, 2007 at 5:01 am

     

    Indeed, I find the question of what my children should wear is a daily mystery to me. On those occasions when I cannot leave this to my wife, I spend a perplexing period in front of piles of clothes that apparently don’t all go together! Fortunately both girls are old enough to make their own choices now. Unfortunately they are not so old that what they choose is something that most people would consider a good match. :cwy:

  • Holly says on: February 3, 2007 at 10:04 am

     

    I love the conversation that can go on in the comment section. I love to visit the people who grace me in my comment box. But sometimes, I CAN’T! And I feel terrible about that! :blush:

    I sometimes think I put TOO much “me” into my posts (see last night’s post)…but those are the ones that get the most comments…so…I guess that it should be a balance. (?)

    I am resigned to the fact that I will never be a power blogger – probably not even a remotely great blogger! I am trying to be faithful to post on whatever God speaks to me about in a given week…and that has to suffice right now with seven kids and all the rest that comes during this stage of life!

    Appreciate you, Mary!

  • Mary says on: February 3, 2007 at 10:19 pm

     

    Thank you, Holly! 🙂

    You know, I didn’t have any of my friends here in mind when I said “don’t put too much YOU” in your posts. I was talking more about the posts you’ll come across that are one mundane detail after another…nothing like the thought-provoking, encouragement that I find at your blog. I love reading about the daily life of a mother of 7…anyway, and I LOVE your new look…thanks for the link!

  • MInTheGap says on: February 5, 2007 at 11:16 am

     

    Here are my 5 ways:

    1. If your post is long, break it up into subpoints and create a series.
    2. Research topics of interest and comment on other’s blogs.
    3. Make sure to talk about what your friends are talking about– link to their posts.
    4. Team up with people bloggers that you like, learn from them, and use your different “voices” to add to the discussion and bring differing opinions to the table.
    5. Never tell all of your secrets. :whistle:
  • Mary says on: February 5, 2007 at 7:10 pm

     

    Love your secrets! I do like how you occasionally give the option of “Continue reading such and such”…that way if I don’t have time, I know to come back…but usually I make time!

    😉

  • Stephen Kingston says on: February 6, 2007 at 7:46 am

     

    If your post is long, break it up into subpoints and create a series

    Or I suppose you could go and write a book 🙂

  • MInTheGap says on: February 6, 2007 at 8:10 am

     

    Mary, well, if you say you have a secret does the reader ever know if you have a secret or whether you couldn’t come up with #5 on the spot?

    Now Stephen– you’re the second person that has said something about writing a book. At one time (a long time ago) I did have a silly work of fiction that may materialize at some point, but I really don’t know if there’s a book in me.

    Something that did surprise me the other day was when my wife said that I was a good writer and that I should have done that instead. Somehow, I think that I’m able to get my writing out here without having to struggle thinking of enough content to go into a book. Don’t know if I’d even know how to get started!

  • Mary says on: February 6, 2007 at 9:47 am

     

    I definitely think we’ll see a book from you someday… I also think you could get some of your articles here into even more hands by trying to free lance them into Christian mags such as Focus on the Family, etc. I’ve wondered if we can submit things we’ve written and blogged about, or if that’s probably considered published already?

    I see you writing non-fiction though, that seems to be where your heart is…in turning this cultural tide back to God.

  • Stephen Kingston says on: February 6, 2007 at 11:03 am

     

    Speaking of freelancing – I have an article on my blog today about that 🙂

  • MInTheGap says on: February 6, 2007 at 11:20 am

     

    Should I go read it to keep you happy? 😆

  • Stephen Kingston says on: February 6, 2007 at 11:47 am

     

    Leaving me comments makes me happy 🙂

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

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