My first post went up last week in response to some of the changes I’ve noticed within the blogging community. So I wanted to do a more positive follow up. I tried very hard with the previous post to keep it as positive as possible, because I in no way wanted to tell people how to blog and that was sort of the point of that post. To tell you to be who you are, be happy, and have fun.
Now I want to talk about how we as a community can help and uplift each other.
A community by definition is a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. We definitely fall into that category, and I would really like to see more emphasis on the fellowship part. So what are some ways to spread the love? Well, they are pretty easy and while some do take up a bit of time the payoff is always worth it.
- Visit other blogs – Fairly self-explanatory I think, and for the most part everyone does this. It’s kind of impossible to be a part of the community if you’re not actively checking out what other individuals have to say. You don’t have to gorge yourself on blog reading, unless that’s something you want to do. I personally try to visit 5 to 10 posts every week.
- Comment, comment, comment! – Another one that is a given, but it’s also one that a lot of us have trouble finding time to do. I have trouble with this one myself, but I do try to comment on the posts I visit. Comments are like blogging treats, and we all want treats! I love when people comment on my blog because it’s awesome to have that connection with readers. It lets me know you’re out there, and I appreciate the conversation. I personally welcome all comments as long as they are not rude. You can love a book I hated, by all means I want you to tell me why you loved it! You don’t have to write a paragraph either, just a one line response is enough to make me smile. I don’t know a blogger out there who hates comments.
- Return comments – This one has two parts. Part one, respond to the comments on your blog as much as possible! People are there to have a conversation with you, even if it’s just polite small talk, so let them know you’re listening and shoot them a response. They might never see it, or if they are like me they check that little box to let them know when their are replies. Part two, visit the blogs of those who comment on your blog! This is the easiest way to find new blogs and form friendships, and all the bloggers will appreciate the time you took to do so.
- Share content – Did you find a review that you loved? A discussion post that resonated with you? Share it! You don’t have to make a new post on your own blog for it either. Simply link to it in a weekly/monthly recap or share it on social media! Sharing content means more traffic for that blogger, which in turn means that people are finding new blogs and that blogger will appreciate it a lot.
- Interact on social media – We all do this already to some extent. Social media is a must for a blogger, and most of us have them already so we can share posts with our followers. Now talk to them! Facebook has gotten increasingly frustrating because of their limiting of post reach, but to combat this you can do several things: Join a facebook boost meme like Boost it Tuesday , anytime you see a blog you follow post something give it a like and/or a comment, and share content. If you have a facebook page, reply to comments and try to have a few posts every week for discussion. (Like a simple ‘what are you currently reading?’) Twitter is super easy to get involved with. All things for Facebook also apply to Google +, Tsu, and other sites.
- Avoid the drama – So this one is mostly for the sake of your mental health, but it also saves you from losing followers or becoming a part of the snowball effect. Some drama is unavoidable and totally understandable, case and point: stalking. Other drama is fully avoidable, so don’t get sucked into it. I always make a point to know what’s going on, just in case it comes down to personal safety (because it has before), but I make a point to log off when I see it occurring. I’m here because I love books, I love talking about books…but what I don’t like doing is getting bent out of shape over something that most people will forget about in a week. Life is too short for drama. Log off and get some extra reading time in!
- Be Nice – Self explanatory. Treat other bloggers, authors, and readers with respect and they will treat you the same way. Being nice means you have a higher chance to avoid the drama mentioned above. My mom once told me ‘You never know what someone else is going through.” and that’s incredibly true. A nice word here and there goes a long way. Just randomly wishing someone to have a nice day does wonders. Don’t go about insulting people or playing the troll because no one likes trolls and if you’re insulting me chances are I’m avoiding the hell out of you. If someone asks you a question, wants to know what you’re reading, or just sends you a friendly message be nice…respond. They are following your blog/twitter/facebook and a couple seconds to reply is worth it.
I think most of these things are fairly simple and easy to understand, and I think if we all make the effort to do these things at least half of the time we’ll be stronger for it. I love the blogging community and I want us to grow closer, not farther apart.