Wednesday, January 9, 2013

"What do you think?" Wednesdays - Do followers and comments influence your blog presence?

What do you picture when you think of a successful blog? Chances are the first thing you thought of was a gazillion followers and steady flow of comments from all around the globe. You might think of a blogger who gets a lot of media attention, or one that receives many products to review.

These things are the products or results of a successful blog. A successful blog would have regular, interesting posts. It would have good images, a nice layout and a variety of posts within a theme.

These things are all achieved with ease, but if you had no followers and no comments coming in then you would undoubtedly, not put in as much effort into your blog.

For this week I decided to write about the influence that followers, or comments themselves, have on the presence of a blogger on their site. Without the input of readers on a blog, it really isn't nearly as enjoyable.

Sure, for most bloggers (for the purpose of this post I'm going to use beauty bloggers for any examples) the act of blogging itself - researching a product, purchasing it, testing it out, writing a review on it and taking pictures of it - is highly enjoyable in itself, but it really isn't sustainable if you don't get some kind of response, or if you're not aware that others are reading it.

When I started out my blog it took me quite a long time to get followers. There were definitely many mistakes I made (poor blog design, no images and poorly written, brief posts) but compared to other bloggers, it took me a long time to build my readers up. Whilst I found blogging really exciting even without any followers or comments, everything just became so much better when I was receiving input from the outside world. It certainly made my presence on my blog more frequent and of a better quality.

Now that I have (what I consider to be) a lot of followers, I spend a lot of time responding to comments and coming up with post ideas that I think would be both fun to make as well as interesting for the reader. In fact, the majority of my time as a blogger is spent not only responding to input other bloggers have contributed to my blog, but ensuring that I return the favour by following, reading posts and responding to other people's blogs.

If everyone ceased to read my posts and I didn't allow for any comments to come through, I don't believe I would continue to blog, or at least not for any longer than a few months.

This may seem quite dramatic, but when it comes down to it, it is the followers and comments that make the whole posting process enjoyable, because you know that someone else is going to get information/enjoyment from the post that you are putting time and effort into.

Having said all of this, I am very blessed to have never had any negative attention. I've never received any attacking type comments or negative insults. I haven't actually seen much of that on anyone's blogs in fact (maybe I'm not looking in the right places?) but I do imagine if I was to experience that then it might work in the opposite way and really weaken my blog presence. I would love to know people's thoughts on this because as I said, I am really lucky not to have has such experiences. Do you think it would make you blog harder or weaken your blogging presence, or even make you stop blogging all together?

I would struggle to believe that followers and comments don't improve a blogger and their online presence, with the exception of personal blogs that act more as diaries as opposed to informative/theme based blogs.

I would love to know to what extent you think outside input like followers and comments improves your blog presence and the enjoyment you get out of blogging.

12 comments:

  1. Ohh yet another good topic, Candice!
    As sad as it is to say, yes, I do believe that comments and followers make all the difference. I find it really odd when a post I've written has hardly any comments, and I feel bad, yet when I look at the pageviews they are through the roof! It actually annoys me, because I say to myself: "well nobody else sees my stats, all they see are the comments!"
    If I didn't have as many followers as I did, and if I stopped getting comments, I would probably also stop blogging. I think the fun in blogging (aside from all that you mentioned) is actually talking to other like-minded people and interacting. I love getting comments from the same reader in every post, because it means somebody is actually reading my stuff and liking it (or disliking it) enough to actually talk to me about it! The same with on twitter, I like when I tweet about a post, and instead of commenting on the post, they will tweet back at me! But it's almost the same as the pageviews... not everyone who reads my blog (for example, PRs) can see that I'm tweeting regularly with my readers, all they see is what is in front of them on the page!
    Sigh here I go rambling again lol! Your topics are always so interesting!
    xx

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    1. Yay! I love your comments so much!

      I totally know where you are coming from with a post with no comments but a ridiculous amount of pageviews! I didn't think of pageviews but they make me a better blogger too and really make me feel good.

      You are right about the same people commenting regularly - it's like they become more of a friend than a stranger, it's really nice.

      I haven't yet been brave enough to get a Twitter account but from what I gather it is a pretty awesome way of extending the commenting system further.

      Thank you so much for your input, it makes me a better blogger! :)

      xxx

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    2. You should definitely get a twitter, we could chat all day long! :D haha!
      xx

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    3. You think I should? I've actually written next week's WDYTW on the importance of other social media sites for a blog, because you inspired me to! :) I know very little about next week's topic so I'll definitely need your opinion because I need your advice!
      xx

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  2. I definitely agree with you! When you blog it is much more enjoyable when you know people are reading it and giving in their input on your thoughts :)

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    1. Absolutely, just knowing that someone is going to read your ramblings is the nicest thing!
      x

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  3. Yep I agree with 100% here hun. I have been lucky enough to connect with some awesome ladies what I see as fairly quickly in my blogging journey, but receiving a super thought out comment always encourages me to put a lot of effort into my posts. The first time I released what I was writing had influenced others was when people started commenting "oh I went and got that product on your recommendation, and I loved/hated it". It really shocked me I guess, that I was actually influencing what other people would spend their money on, and it made me really think about what I am writing. It really makes my day when someone else loves what I recommend!
    x

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    1. Oh my goodness I remember that realisation, where someone told me that they had purchased something based on my review! It was a wonderful but scary feeling too! I also had someone tell me that a family member of theirs was coming to Australia and she wanted to know what makeup to ask her to pick up. It was crazy thinking that someone I had never met, in a different country, wanted my opinion! Thanks for commenting!
      xx

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  4. I completely agree with the previous comments. Now, there's another issue involved. Most of the bloggers ( including me) have either google adsense or other sources through which ad units are placed by which we get to earn from a little to a lot depending on amount of traffic. So, the greater the traffic, the greater the revenue. So, it's almost like another job in its own way. If you are reaching out through other social platforms, you would be able to reach out to a greater number of audience and hence publicize and attract an even better mass of people.
    I don't mean blogging is not fun. For me it is. But we all can make do with some extra cash . :P
    ( I'm just being honest here )

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    1. Mmmm good point, I hadn't thought of that! You are so right, blogging can be a fun way of earning a little bit more money. It makes a lot of sense when you think about it because a lot of bloggers spend a significant amount of time on their blog, so why not earn a little bit from it too!

      Thanks so much for bringing up that side of the story - Twitter would increase traffic flow I would imagine, therefore increasing your earnings too. I can really see why it would be worthwhile getting a twitter account for that!

      xx

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