Do you have to give blogger love to receive it?

28 Jun

Okay so here’s the thing.

It seems you can only really be a successful blogger by being an active one (by successful i refer here purely to blogger traffic, we’re egotists after all. Are all bloggers egotists? ) Reading, commenting, tweeting.

It’s pretty obvious stuff really. If you comment on someone else’s blog they’ll give your blog a look out of curiosity. If you say something nice on twitter you’ll get niceness reciprocated.

And i’m fine with that. To a point.

I enjoy tweeting aimlessly on occasion, having virtual conversations about random things when the mood takes me. I’ll wander over to someone’s blog if they charm the pants off me.

However, i won’t comment on every post i read. #ff people on twitter simply to return their gesture. I will read posts that catch my attention, interest me, titillate me. Comment when i feel compelled to do so. And i won’t just read the blogs that follow me. I read those that i like. Simple.

Thing is, i can’t help feeling if i was a bit “looser”, put myself about a bit more, i might be getting a few more readers.

I’m just not sure i’m comfortable with that kind of mutual masturbation.

So, the question is, am i biting off my mouse to spite my blog?

Should i be reading every single blog i can get my hands on and carry on reading them even if i find them not to my taste? Tell people i think their posts are fabulous even when i find them a bit, well, dull. Comment even when i have nothing to say because of some unwritten blogger rule?

I fear i may be failing miserably at blogger etiquette.

But at least when i do comment on your blog, you know i liked it, and i mean R-E-A-L-L-Y liked it. Surely that’s got to be worth something?

So come on, be honest. Do you:

  • Only read blogs that regularly read you
  • Comment on every blog you read, even if you found that particular post a bit b-o-r-i-n-g
  • Strike blogs from your list if they don’t comment back
  • Copy and paste your #ff from the following week

I dare you to be as honest as me….. Then again, maybe that’s blogger suicide.

39 Responses to “Do you have to give blogger love to receive it?”

  1. jomiddleton June 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    I will dare to be honest. I hardly read any blogs at all. I don’t have a reader, I just have a few favourites sent straight to me inbox (including this one). I know the ‘thing’ is to comment and be commented on, but I just don’t have time, and I find reading other people’s blogs mainly pretty dull.

    For me, writing a blog is a thing on its own. I write it because I want to write it, and have people read it. I don’t feel I need to be sucked into the whole blogging world, trying to get people to comment, and as a result I think I have a much more balanced readership – men and women, parents and non-parents, people from all over the world. It’s not just mummies.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that ultimately I blog to blog, not to be part of a gang.

    (Was that too honest??)

  2. Peabee72 June 28, 2010 at 8:06 pm #

    No, No, No and No….

    I’m sure there is a blogger etiquette, but I don’t think it’s clear cut. I think we all have our own rules about how we manage our blog. I read the blogs that interest me – simple. I often pick up links from Twitter because my g-reader is full to bursting and I can’t be bothered to read just for the sake of it.

    I never comment just for the sake of it. I comment if I’m drawn to do so, if I think the writer needs some support, or if I agree or disagree vociferously on a subject. I don’t strike blogs from a list of they don’t comment back – I don’t have that sort of list, although I’d be lying if I didn’t sometimes wonder why people don’t comment on my blog, and I’ve been through the same thing of thinking I should gad about more to gain more comments – but it just doesn’t work that way.

    My final no – when I do #ff (and it’s not every week) I try and make them personal, give a decent reason. If I find myself on an #ff list of every person that individual follows I think it’s worthless….just another think to bring on the failwhale.

    Life is too short; I enjoy writing and I enjoy reading a handful of blogs, I dip in and out of others – I expect nothing in return.


  3. jfb57 June 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    * I don’t #ff many & when I do I like to have a reason so do them individually

    * If someone follows me, I don’t necessar8ily follow back but do say thank you (if it is a person & not a company)

    *I have email alerts for the blogs I like (ie yours). If I’m busy, tired or a quick scan shows it’s not my thing, I delete straight away. Otherwise I comment – that ‘s why I follow blogs.
    I like having readers. I have gone to other types of blog out of interest & have picked up more followers. I’m not good at thinking of topics to write about all the time so join things like Gallery, Writing Workshop & Alphabe-Thursday (which has given me some USA blogs)

    Have now joined FlogyoBlog Friday which is an Aussie thing (new pool) & you link a post you’ve done that week.

    Better stop because this is long enough to be a post!

  4. marketingtomilk June 28, 2010 at 8:13 pm #

    No, i’m loving the honesty girls. Thank you.
    And Jo – didn’t you just get nominated for a blogger award? That’s some achievement for a fairly chaste blogger ;>)

  5. jomiddleton June 28, 2010 at 8:17 pm #

    Haha! Yes! I am up for a MAD and was just nominated for a Gurgle award. I wouldn’t say I don’t have loyal readers, I just don’t hunt them down or trawl other blogs for them! The Gurgle thing was just a case of Mothercare picking some favourites I think.

    Just imagine what I could do if I DID whore it around the mummyblogsphere! I could take over the world! *evil laugh*

  6. Susie June 28, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    What no one has been to comment yet????

    I read blogs of friends and ones that I like (Usually friend ones I like as well)

    The blog has to engage me-or at least the particular post. I prefer email subscribe to reader.

    • Susie June 30, 2010 at 2:34 am #

      wow-just looked-lots of people must have typed faster than me lol.

  7. Heather - Notes From Lapland June 28, 2010 at 8:55 pm #

    1. I don’t #ff, full stop. i think it’s daft and pointless.

    2. I do try to comment on all the blog posts I read but don’t always manage it. I try because I feel bad not doing.

    3. I do stop reading blogs that I find dull or dont click with which does help with #2

    4. I will comment on all the posts even if I think they’re dull if they are someone i have a relationship with, a blogging friend. but when people are your friends it’s amazing what stops being dull, if you know what i mean.

    5. I don’t stop reading because people dont comment on my blog but I will if I feel I am putting everything into the friendship and getting nothing back. for example, there are some people whose blogs i read and I chat to them on twitter and we are ‘friends’ they sometimes read my blog, sometimes not and rarely comment but that’s okay because i feel like I communicate with them enough through Twitter.

    does this make any sense? For me blogging is all about talking to people, having interesting discussions and so forth. If the other person never talks back then you end up feeling like a bit of a sad loser and often drift away.

    which also goes some way to explaining #3. i don’t see the point in perusing friendships with people I don’t click with.

    6. If I really like a post as well as commenting I will link to it on twitter or facebook and add it to my shared list in greader, maybe stumble it or something too, to show my enjoyment and tell others about it.

    I do think it is very easy to get drawn into the comment to receive comments thing, but really what are you achieving? Yes it looks all very nice any everything but you are having to put so much effort in, spend so much time doing it. and if you ever wanted to receive more, you would have to spend yet more time. Surely you’re not really gaining anything?

    I suppose it depends what you want to get out of it at the end of the day. I admit to wanting lots of readers but I don’t have the time, energy or inclination to spend all my waking hours commenting on other posts to gain them.

    Crikey, that was a long waffly comment. Sorry, it’s getting late here 🙂

  8. Deer Baby June 28, 2010 at 9:13 pm #

    I have a few blogs where I never miss a post because they’re that good – I’m excited when they pop up in my reader. And they don’t blog that often which makes it even better.

    I don’t comment to get comments and don’t want to be drawn into some I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine thing. I think people can tell if that’s the case. If I like a post, find it interesting, sparks something, is well written then I’ll want to comment. Having said that. there’s a lot of posts that I’m sure are all of those things, but I don’t have the time to read them.

  9. London City Mum June 28, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    Oh I don’t know. I just change my comment format and delete all the random musings that various ‘people’ have left there, just to piss them off.

    And then they come back for more!

    On a serious note, it’s like Facebook. I mean, seriously, who has 782 ‘friends’? Really? And you know all of them by name? Life is too short to ponder meaningless twaddle.

    Blog because you enjoy it. And anything else that takes your fancy.

    LCM x

    p.s. comment cut short because I am preparing for a fight over a wig with Paula (Peabee72). Long story.

  10. kelloggsville June 28, 2010 at 9:44 pm #

    I don’t tweet! my life is already saturated with blogging and facebook, I don’t want more

    I tend to read only a few blogs and if I find a new one I like I’ll drop one off the other end if I find I’m not reading it much – fickle fickle me.

    I leave comments when I feel I have something to say and often feel guilty when I read but don’t leave comments because…

    ….I like getting a comment on a post because it shows someone took the time to read what I wrote (how bad is that grammer!!) and that makes me feel valued.

    I don’t get upset if I don’t get a comment, I just like the feeling when I do.

    Nobody in bloggersville has ever upset me but I’m not convinced I’ve tried to closely befriend anyone (actually one lovely American lady I did but these long distance love affairs never last!!!!)

    did I answer your questions? Hope so. Please leave a reply so I know that you have read this and inorder to maintain my followship ;0)

  11. Saffy June 28, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    Ooooh this is one of my favourite topics. I’ve decided that there are, roughly, two camps of bloggers:
    – those who blog for themselves, using it as a form of therapy/record etc etc and don’t really need public adoration.
    – those who, God forbid, are driven in their blog content by what drives the greatest stats, sometimes plead for readers to vote for them on Top Mommy blogs etc etc etc. Those in need of public validation perhaps?

    I have a core 10 or so blogs that I’ll check daily. A lot more that I’ll check as and when I have time. And no I don’t strike blogs that don’t comment back.

    I leave comments when I fee like it. Not always.

    Actually everything that Jo said on comment #1 really.

  12. Livi June 28, 2010 at 11:21 pm #

    Oh lord no! I’m like you, I follow the people/blogs that interest me. If they get boring, I unfollow. I refuse to waste my time reading/commenting on stuff that bores me, why bother? Life’s too short! All this “I’ll follow you if you follow me” nonsense reminds me of high school! grrr!

  13. Lori @ RRSAHM June 29, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    I always forget #ff 😉

    I read lots of blogs-I prefer blogs to watching tv or reading books- about lots of different things. But I only comment if something catches my eye.

    If someone continually comments on my posts, I feel obliged to Follow them, even if I don’t want really want to *hides*

    But, I’ll go through my Reader every now and then and elete the blogs that aren’t doing it for me.

    Boring posts, I just scroll past.

    It’s bizarre, isn’t it? A woman who’s blog I was Following just had a big whinge about how she links to people all the time, and no one links back. I didn’t think it worked like that.

    It’s a fine line. But I don’t think it should be a culture based on reciprocation. How boring.

  14. Laurent June 29, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    I dont have a personal blog yet but believe that if your content is good it will get read and noticed. Twittering and posting comments on other blogs is too time consuming to do it on blogs and twitterers you don’t even like!

    After all you’re blogging for yourself really. is gaining a few extra visits worth the hassle? Is it what you’re really after? It seems that you already have a nice bunch of readers and commenters!

  15. jomiddleton June 29, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    @Saffy – I reckon I’m a weird combo of those two personality types. I love a bit of public validation and happily beg my readers for votes for things, but I’m just too lazy to actively go out and look for NEW readers 🙂

  16. JulieB June 29, 2010 at 9:04 am #

    Can pretty much identify with the things people have said already. I guess life is short! When I first startedout, I followed pretty much everyone and everything, but of course now am regretting that and starting to unfollow. As with a lot of things, I do think there is a certain amount of trial and error involved in finding blogs you like. I’m now at the stage where I have a handful of fairly loyal readers, which I enjoy, as for me it is about the relationship with people. (Typing v slowly on a phone, so soz if this does not make sense!)

  17. Muddling Along Mummy June 29, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    I have a cull of blogs in my g-reader from time to time, those that irritate, I find dull or just not something I ever properly read – in the same way I tend to constantly find new blogs to add in

    I tend to read in fits and starts, some weeks I’ll have more time and will dip in and out, other weeks I’ll be busy and only read the odd post if it really interests me

    I tend not to comment for comments sake but only if I have something to say (and if the comment thread isn’t too long..)

  18. itsasmallworldafterallfamily June 29, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    I could have written this post! I tweet a lot, but only because I enjoy it and have made some good friends. I’m certainly not doing it to get people to read my blog.

    I go through phases of reading blogs, some weeks I actually only read a couple. I mostly comment if I’ve read, but not always. Sometimes I can’t think of anything to say. But generally the blogs I DO read are though provoking.

    I certainly don’t comment to get comments. That seems a bit pointless to me. Like a huge, self-generating, commenting machine. I’d rather people commented because they like something. The comments I love most are the ones from people I actually know in real life.

    If you only get good stats because you tart yourself around, isn’t the whole thing a bit self defeating?

  19. Vegemitevix June 29, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    Wow, big topic this one. Gird your loins girl, here’s my take on it! I blog for a variety of reasons. I read all sorts of blogs, for all sorts of reasons. I enjoy discovering ‘new’ blogs but then often forget to put them on my reader so if they tweet a post it reminds me to have a squiz. I have a couple of friends who I will read every day. They’re friends I’ve met blogging, and I often comment to offer support, though I try to make the comment mean something, if you know what I mean. I do try to actually add value, not just get my name in the comments and perpetrate traffic. I think some people don’t realise that commenting (like this) doesn’t actually get you links as most blogs have a default setting to nofollow for comments! Sometimes I’ll write something I think was pretty good and I’ll get hardly any comments and that can be disappointing. Though having said that, I am fairly certain that the comments I get are well thought through and not there because someone feels obliged. I really think it comes down to why you blog…I wrote about that a wee while ago called (Blog Love and Evangelism or something) explaining my view that understanding what you are wanting to achieve with your blog is the most important thing of all. Not stats. Not comments. Not validation or ego stroking. Sometimes when you have the kind of background we have (marketing) you need to remind yourself..are you blogging as a marketer, or as a writer? Vx

    • marketingtomilk June 29, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

      But you see, that itself is an interesting question. You can take the girl out of marketing, but can you take marketing out of the girl? I’m not sure. You see, i know i always leave my url on comments. This isn’t, as you might guess, in order to improve my search ranking (it doesn’t work as you say) but simply because through my work (web usability stuff) it is a good habit to get into so people can find you easily. I also think, if you truly believe u blog without giving a stuff about people reading it / commenting etc, you’re probably kidding yourself. Different people to different extents, but there has got to be some ego in there somewhere!

      • Vegemitevix June 29, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

        That’s exactly my point. I do the same thing. I also know how to work on my ‘brand’ as it were, but maybe modern writing is 65% marketing these days, anyway!

      • marketingtomilk June 29, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

        well u see you might have failed just there. Vegemite? Maybe for a change once in a while, but it hardly compares does it hee hee ;<)

  20. jomiddleton June 29, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    @vegemitevix – you’re so right! I work in Marketing and I really do see myself as a brand, I can’t help it. It doesn’t mean I’m always whoring myself around the other blogs, just that I am always conscious of the marketing angle.

    I agree too that bloggers who say they don’t care at all about stats/comments are kidding themselves. Surely you’d just write things down in a notebook under your matress if you really didn’t care??

    • Vegemitevix June 29, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

      Stuff I don’t want people to read I write in my journal. Always have. Always will. Tough stuff no one needs to read. I do try to be honest on the blog though and if I’m not having a good time I will try and say it. I think there’s strength in shared experience. Empathy is a beautiful thing! x

      • jomiddleton June 29, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

        Same here – you can be honest and open without having to disclose everything. And who really wants to hear about my relationship with my mother or anything dull like that anyway?

  21. Vegemitevix June 29, 2010 at 3:58 pm #

    Differentiation baby, differentiation! Something especially Antipodean! Not many people forget it…though they frequently can’t spell it. Funny thing- first name for blog was Vegemite Vixen. But shortened it to my nickname Vic. Was really surprised and kinda thrilled to see LondonCityMum has started the VegemiteVixens hashtag/group for Cybermummy. Just look out for the blonde curly wigs and the VVVs!

  22. christinemosler June 29, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    I’m too much of a flibbertigibbet to get caught up in the ‘I comment, you comment’ thing because I forget! I comment on posts I find interesting or on blogs where people seem to need a bit of support.

    I blog as writing practice because I am a writer and it gets me started, gives me a push and clears my head. I love comments (what writer doesn’t?!) but if people don’t comment that is fine. Some posts don’t invite comments after all.

    I have a reader but I never look at it, I rely on Twitter and other people’s comments to lead me to interesting posts and I dot about a bit if I have a spare five minutes!

    Some people bring me back again and again because I know they are reliable and interesting (you, for instance!)

  23. Vegemitevix June 29, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Ah something else I’ve just thought of off-piste over on ma blog (subtle plug!) was that we don’t right our very best deep and meaningful posts all the time. SOme of our posts have to be offpeak traffic posts? Don’t they? Does that mean they’re rubbish and relegated to the blogger’s round file under the desk? Comments please.

  24. Deer Baby June 29, 2010 at 4:44 pm #

    Back again. I’m with Christine above. I blog mainly as writing practice and to connect with people. I have never once checked my stats and don’t know how to do any of that stuff. I did try and get on the Tots 100 for a while – I found that when I wasn’t trying I made it to 110, but then the more posts I wrote, and the more RTs and links I got, I plummeted like a stone to 167. So I decided to never take any notice of it again. I’m not interested in monetising or reviews or branding or any of that stuff really. If I were, I’d have thought about my blog name a bit more!

  25. Rosie Scribble June 29, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Some days I don’t have time to read any blogs, other days I’ll look at those in my reader, those that have commented on mine, posts that catch my eye on twitter and on other people’s blog rolls. Sometimes I comment to say hello and let the blogger know I’ve been over and enjoyed reading the post and other times I take the time to leave a more detailed comment, like this one, because I have found a post really interesting like your one.

    I never do #FF because I would just miss people out which could cause unintentional offence.

  26. PurpleRamblings June 29, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    Like Jo (1st comment) I blog, just because I like to. It’s a place for me to put my thoughts just because. I was totally unaware of the whole cyber culture of blogging and commenting and reciprocation. So I guess i’m unintentionally on the outside of the gang, but I don’t mind being here, as blogging is still something I do just for me regardless of comments or followers etc…

  27. Simone June 29, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Hey Henri…. this is so interesteing; It’s so easy to get dragged into the world of mutual comment luv.
    I have been TRYING to reply to my commenters (with mixed results because blogger comments are not easy to reply to) and I go check out new followers – I I like what they write I follow them and if I REALLY like them, I’ll add them to my blogroll.
    I have two blogrolls; one is for friends (those I know personally and like to keep up with them because they are my friends) and the other is blogs I enjoy reading. I comment if I like what they’ve written…
    Sometimes I visit SITS and comment there; I also visit the community from time to time and join in the odd discussion that takes my fancy.
    Honestly to do any more would require a full-time blogging gig. I would have to be nailed to my computer chair 24-7.
    My family suffers! My butt suffers!!
    So right now,as soon as I finish commenting here, I am about to switch off my computer and go to the gym. I have to spend LESS time blogging and to heck with the consequences.

  28. Nickie@Typecast June 30, 2010 at 10:59 pm #

    Ooohhh good topic 🙂 It’s certainly generated some interesting comments.

    I have a Reader FULL of blogs – it’s generally got between 100-500 unread blog posts in. Most evenings I’ll skim through a few, click through and comment on interesting ones but there is no way that I could comment on them all.

    I Tweet because I enjoy the immediate interaction – I used to be a MSN user but got “bored” with my static list of friends – Twitter is an extension and forward step of that for me.

    I have phased out my #ff because it was time-consuming. I have a list that auto-tweets each week of my “favourite” and “interesting” bloggers – I do adjust that quite a lot so that it’s varied – but that is the only way I recommend people.

    I make a massive attempt to respond to comments on my blog – I feel that interaction is important for MY blog to evolve but know that isn’t how everyone else feels.

  29. Naked Revelations August 30, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    I was wondering the same thing! As a brand spanking (figuratively AND literally – wink wink) blogger, I haven’t a clue as to how to market or promote my blog! In fact, I signed up for twitter a few days ago, and am just as clueless as to how to twit/tweet/twix/whatever-you-call-it!

    Must say… I am enjoying the virgin essence hanging over my head…

    I subscribed to you because you offered me kind words and support. After reading through your blogs, I must say – I really really like you.

I'm all about the debate. Would love to hear what you think.

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