A recent conversation with my mom about why my friends don’t love me comment on my blog got me thinking about the various ways blog readers interact with the blogs/bloggers they love. Or don’t interact, in many cases.

Mostly I think people either don’t know what kinds of things make a difference, or else they are busy, lazy, and/or averse to putting themselves online. But really, supporting a blogger can be very quick, easy, and/or anonymous.

So, inspired by the post “If You Love a Writer,” I decided to create a short list of things that you can do to help a blogger you love.

  • Read their blog! This is #1, and a big fat duh.
  • Subscribe. For those of you who don’t know what that means, subscribing to a site’s content automatically sends anything new from that site to your feed reader. Your feed reader could be your browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.) or a web-based service like Google Reader. Usually you can subscribe to a site by clicking the RSS icon that appears on its page, or by manually adding the site’s URL to your feed reading service. Not only does subscribing look good for those sites, it also creates a convenient one-stop shop for all your online reading.
  • Visit the site. At least for posts you really like. Because RSS readers are great (lord knows I love mine) but advertisers are concerned with the number of unique page views/visits a site gets more than they are concerned with subscribers. Also, some bloggers get really obsessed with excited about their stats. I mean, I don’t. Of course not. I could care less. It’s not like I do naked cartwheels around the house when my stats go up. BUT. Some bloggers do.
  • Comment. Real bloggers don’t just want to shout into the wind; we want a discussion! Even if you disagree with us. Although we’ll probably like you better if you agree. And send us brownies.
  • Link to them. If you have a website too, there is no better way to increase your audience than to find other blogs and link back. Whether once in a post, or permanently in a sidebar. Also, you should comment on those blogs and let them know that you linked, because they might return the favor. The World Wide Web is one giant sea of love, my friends, so start swimming! Personally I’ve made some great friends that way. (You know who you are!)
  • Facebook them, Tweet them, Stumble them, save them to Delicious. Whatever. Pick your favorite social bookmarking site and go wild! This usually results in increased/random traffic from people who would otherwise never hear of the blog. Some of them are bound to stick around.
  • If the blog has ads, click on the ones that interest you. I’m not saying you need to generate false hits for them — in fact, it’s better not to since many ad networks check for suspicious/fraudulent clicks — but if that new car looks good, or that recipe sounds tasty, go check it out! Ideally marketing is meant to inform you about products and services that are a good fit for you. Seriously.

I think that’s it… Is there anything else y’all can think of?

In my opinion, all of these things are a relatively low commitment. For those who prefer to limit their online presence, reading, subscribing, visiting, and clicking ads can all be done anonymously. Personally, I do all of these things for the blogs I love (though not necessarily for every post, of course) because I know what it’s like to be on the other side of the screen. I guess that’s my motto: “Do unto other bloggers as you would have them do unto you.”

Believe it or not, this was not intended to be a pathetic attempt to generate more activity on my blog. But hey, if that’s how it works out, I certainly won’t complain!

(And if that isn’t how it works out, it’s fine. I’m used to how things are now. And as for my mom, well, I’m sure she’ll forgive y’all someday.)

24 responses to “What you can do for the blogger you love”

  1. Angela Avatar

    just curious- are you able to know if I subscribe to your blog? because I do. how does it make the site look good?

  2. [F]oxymoron Avatar

    I agree with most of what you said, EXCePT for the clicking on ads bit. I avoid ads like the plague.

    And it’s weird.. most of my real life friends never read my blog. Ever.
    .-= • Recent post by [F]oxymoron: If Only You Could Say It So… =-.

  3. Kristan Avatar

    Nope, subscribing is anonymous. I can see how many subscribers I have, because I use Feedburner to create my RSS feed, but it doesn’t show any identifying names.

    Subscriptions make a site “look good” (sorry, that might have been too vague a phrase) because an advertiser will usually ask how many visits and/or subscribers your site has to get a sense of how much exposure their ads will get. I think it also affects things like rankings in Google and Technorati.

  4. Kristan Avatar

    Heh, some ads are probably similar to the plague. :P

    Sometimes I think not having friends/family read would be nice. Liberating, you know? But then again, I’ve gotten used to the feedback and support. :)

  5. Tim Avatar

    Inspired by the Orwellian notification from the entity known as facebook. I read your note about your blog and was then inspired to read your blog which contains your facebook note. But after escaping that infinite loop of technology, I was pleasantly not at all surprised by how good your writing is. It is at the same stellar place it has been since I met you. Keep up the always excellent work. And tell your mother I love you and this is her proof. Time stamped and all. She now has proof that some random ip address loves and supports her daughter’s art.

  6. Kristan Avatar

    Lol. Thanks, Tim. I’m still figuring out exactly what you just said, but I’m sure it’s awesome, just like you. ;D

  7. Tim Avatar

    ’twas meant to be cryptic and overly written. As a reader, I want to show my love for my blogger by illustrating she has an intelligent and active audience.

    but as an artist I agree with all of the points. They can help the artist in ways that the fan never dreamed possible. So, in the little way I could help, I figured I’d comment. Twice. I’m that good.

    Also, I totally do naked cartwheels when I get a new view/play/internet comment. It makes me feel like I have real friends! :)

  8. Kristan Avatar

    Lol, yeah I was kidding. I mean, I did reread it to be sure I understood, but I still speak Dimond-ese. ;)

    Naked cartwheels are the best! I mean, so I’ve heard…

  9. Angie Avatar

    LOL you have comments, I don’t! You get enough comments from me outside of your blog anyway :p
    .-= • Recent post by Angie: A sartorial moment, well top half anyway =-.

  10. Margot Avatar

    You always comment on my blog and I am VERY appreciative of that. Thanks K!

  11. Kristan Avatar

    Well, you don’t do as much to network/publicize JBU… And I’m never sure how much you really want me to.

    Comments outside the blog are good for me (to know/improve), but my mom’s point/concern was that private comments don’t show anyone that my stories are popular.

    I do appreciate your feedback, though. You know that. :)

    No prob! And thanks for supporting me too!

  12. Andy Avatar


  13. Kristan Avatar

    Oh, you do ALWAYS promote my stories and stuff via your Facebook! I just wanted you to know that always really makes my day. :)

    Cookie bunny.

  14. sam Avatar

    I have a blog reader on my blackberry and keep up with all of my fave blogs daily, but unfortunately it is so much harder to write a comment using a phone than a laptop and my time at home is nearly non-existant! :( but do know that I read every post you make even if my voice is unheard! I will try to comment more often because your comments always make my day! :)
    .-= • Recent post by sam: BRR! =-.

  15. Kristan Avatar

    Aw, thanks, Sam! Yeah, I know smart phones and stuff can be a pain to type on. I’m really bad at it myself.

  16. Trisha Avatar

    trying to scrub the mental image of naked cartwheels…

  17. Kristan Avatar

    Lol. Sorry… Picture what Andy just said instead: “I think Kate Hudson is wearing a Snuggie!”

  18. Trisha Avatar


    Great. Can’t wait to meet him. Hmmmm….invaded by ‘the rest’ of the Hoffmans. Pity the man.

  19. DrZibbs Avatar

    Just found your blog. Hello. I’m Dr Zibbs from the famous blog THAT BLUE YAK.
    .-= • Recent post by DrZibbs: Guess Who’s 83 Today? My Man Chuck Berry. Reelin and Rockin. =-.

  20. GingerMandy Avatar

    i bet naked cartwheels are very liberating. i wonder how hard it would be to do a cartwheel in a snuggie? hmm.

    you are an awesome blog commenter. i’m still working on that skill :p but i do make a point to click on your ads because you are doing lots of great things with your site and your writing!

  21. Kristan Avatar

    Snuggie cartwheels, HHMMMMMM… ;)

    Thanks so much, Mandy!

  22. Krista Avatar

    i subscribe…so tell your mom not to cry, i didn’t know i wasn’t upsetting mothers around here. ;) i don’t comment very often because…wait for it…I’M LAZY! terribly, horribly, no-good lazypants, that’s me.

    i mostly read blogs at work and one of my biggest problems is that most people use flickr for their photos (myself included!) and so i can’t see the pics in a blog…flickr is blocked here! so i will save it for later to comment on pictures (like your gorgeous NC pics), but then never get around to it. or the blogs are blocked…that’s the worst. because those poor people are commenting on every blog i write and all i can remember to do is stop by THEIR blog once a month and be like SORRY BLOCKED. i’m just a lazy person, period. ;)

  23. Kristan Avatar

    Boooo to work censors!