Walter at LionSlinger posted a comment on my blog this week. I had been reliving some of my blogging experience trying to put the experience into perspective and help me plot my future course. Mainly I have been diverted down rabbit trails where I explored traffic boosting gimmicks. In review it seems clear that my time in the rabbit trails has not been productive. Traffic is not up if you look for reader engagement and comments. The time invested in these activities as only come from time that would otherwise be available to create my posts.
Walter went straight to the point. Engage your readers and your following will grow. Checking out LionSlinger – as I recommend you do – you find that Walter lives his advice with meaty topics and personal experience. One of his posts addresses exactly that point.
“In everything you write, put a human touch on it. Make it a personal experience to your readers. When you write about something don’t be afraid to express your feelings; don’t be ashamed to share your failures and mistakes; don’t get shy on admitting your desires; be true to yourself yet never be selfish by being irresponsible in expressing your profanities. This way your readers will sense a connection and will be able to relate with you because you have shared with them the same vulnerabilities each of us has.”
I really appreciate Walter because he is a committed and successful blogger. Without knowing his stats, you only have to look at the number of comments on all of his posts. He clearly lives the message about engaging his readers. Even more, Walter reaches out with advice and encouragement like he did with me.
All this leaves me back where I was heading in my BLogging Saga posts. I acknowledge the need for quality content. My intent has been to provide engaging content. Quality content, however, is not measured by my standards – as Walter tells. It is measured by how readers respond. Therein lies the problem. When you don’t have many readers and the readers that you do have don’t respond, how can learn? It’s like the old question about whether the tree falling in the forest makes a sound when no one is there to hear it. It the content engaging but not being read by enough readers or is it not engaging and receiving the attention that it deserves? It is that really troubling question that makes me take off down rabbit holes seeking hits. Perhaps Walter just persevered through doubts and questions and found his audience by building a relationship with his growing number of readers with never a doubt about his plan. Perhaps he received encouragement and feedback that helped him keep going. I am persistent but when my plan doesn’t produce results or provide insight I look for new information.
If you are reading this post and have gotten this far, go a bit further and let me know if you are engaged. Be blunt and I will be very grateful. If I am missing the boat with engaging posts, it’s time I get to work.