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.)