During our last night at SXSW, my good friends Andy Hayes, Chris Garrett and I enjoyed some dinner and conversation. Our topic revolved around blog community and whether or not our communities owe us anything for all the information we share. We all agreed that our communities support us in many ways including visiting our blogs every time we post. Without this type of support, there would be no reason to blog at all. I always said that without my community I’m nothing and both Chris and Andy agreed. We appreciate the loyalty of our individual communities and we find our reward in their enjoyment of our words.
With that said, sometimes your favorite bloggers would like to know that they have a supportive community. Yes, traffic does tell us something, but without participation sometimes it’s just bodies. I liken blog traffic without participation to walking into a restaurant and walking out again.
Restaurants have communities too, though. They:
- Stop by and order a meal
- Chat with regular diners and staff
- Support local promotions and events
- Recommend the restaurant to others
Sometimes bloggers wouldn’t mind seeing support beyond regular traffic. It’s not that we don’t appreciate that you all visit us each day, but we’d like to know how you feel and that our words have touched you. We want to enjoy your company. We want to learn about you as a community and also as individuals. Yes, visiting is enough, but here are some other ways you can support your favorite bloggers:
- Comment: Did you like a post? Hate it? Tell the blogger why. Even if you disagree, the blogger will appreciate your input and the community will benefit from all sides of the story. I can’t think of one blogger who doesn’t get a rise out of seeing his community respond to a post. Our biggest disappointment is writing a post that gets no comments. You don’t have to reach into your wallet to support a blogger, instead take part in the discussion. I promise, you’ll make his or her day.
- Recommend: Recommend blogs you enjoy to others. Share the love. Someone once said to me that she doesn’t recommend blogs because she doesn’t want them to turn into the “intimate local band that hit big and now everyone likes them and you can’t turn on the radio without hearing them.” I’m not sure I share this logic. What’s wrong with everyone enjoying the same thing?
- Share your favorite posts: If you liked a post give it a Stumble or a Tweet or share on Facebook. When a blogger sees that people have been sharing something she wrote, there’s no better feeling. When she sees one of her discussion topics stimulating conversation on the social networks, that’s the gravy. You don’t have to click on ads or buy ebooks to support a favorite blogger. However, occasionally sharing or recommending will make all the blogging so worth it.
- Send feedback: Do your favorite bloggers know how you feel about their blogs? Why not send feedback. Drop a line saying how much you like what they do. If there’s something you didn’t like, well say that too – but do be respectful. If the blogger has a survey or feedback form, fill it out. Feedback allows bloggers to write topics of interest to the community and lets them know if they’re on the right track.
Most of us blog because we enjoy blogging and just knowing you’re out there reading is reward enough. Some bloggers spend hours each day building their blogs to foster a happy community. If that means something to you, let them know. You don’t have to sing songs around the campfire, but adding your voice now and then will make your favorite blogger’s day. I know it makes mine.
How do you show support for your favorite bloggers?