Do You Make These 3 Blogging Mistakes?

By: | April 28, 2015 | Tags: , , , | 50 comments
Networking is the answer to growing your blog.

You should network to get more blog readers.

Tempting, isn’t it?

You research, write, and promote your post.  You are done.  The rest of your life awaits.

However, there’s a nagging ache gnawing at you saying have forgotten an important part of blogging, but what is it?

Then, it dawns on you.  Your blogging time is not over.  You have forgotten a pivotal part of blogging–networking.

Is it necessary?  Is there really a right way to blog?

I have heard people volunteer that there is no right way to blog.  I would agree with this if and only if your blogging goals do not entail growing your readership.

I maintain that there is a right way to blog if you want to get more followers.  That avenue to blogging success can be summed up in one word–networking.

The Wrong Way to Blog

 

Low reader engagement screenshot

Is this a sign that I have engaged my community?

This screenshot shows results of reader engagement I received on a post I wrote about five weeks ago.

I did not understand why the comments and likes I received on posts were not higher.

Then, I received a comment from a reader criticizing me for not going to her site after she had been to mine half a dozen times.

It stung because it was the truth.  That motivated me to change the way I blog.

How to Avoid Making Blogging Mistakes

Write and promote your post.  This will get people to your site.  They won’t come if they don’t know about you.

What to do when readers comment:

  1. When you get a comment, write a thoughtful reply to it.  Show your reader you read and analyzed their comment.  This will tell them your comment mattered to them.
  2. Reply to the comment or answer the question as soon as you can.

Recently, I wrote a blogger a question.  I received an auto-generated reply that they received my comment and would answer it soon.  That was two weeks ago.  I still never received the reply.  It is rude of them when I took my time to express an interest in what they wrote.  I ended up not only hurt but frustrated since I am still wondering the answer to my question.

There is a philosophy which states, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”  You should respond to your readers in a timely manner since you’d want them to be courteous to you if the situation was reversed and you were the reader.

What to do when readers click the “like” button:

When a reader clicks the “like” button, you will be notified.  The notification, which comes to your Email, will say, “You should go see what they are up to.  Maybe you will like their blog as much as they like yours.”

A "good" way to blog.

Go network. Return the attention to the blog visitor.

  1. Go into one of their posts.  The bottom bullet is their most recent post.  You have two choices.  You can choose their most recent or the headline that interests you the most.

I do both but find I am better organized if I choose the bottom one.  Often I return to the site and don’t want to forget if I’ve been to that post yet.

2. Read the post.  Often you will find you have common interests with your readers.  This is bonding time.  Take advantage of the time you have to network to explore interests other than what your site is about.

3. Comment on their post.  I’ve been able to write analytical comments about my favorite books, movies, and television shows for example.  It is fun writing about pop culture and other topics that interest me I don’t normally write about when I blog.

My post How to Increase Traffic By Writing Better Comments gave advice that applies here.

  1. Repeat the blogger’s main point.  It  shows them you read, and understood, their post.
  2. Make a comment that adds a new perspective on the topic.
  3. Thank the blogger for visiting your site that day.
  4. Tell them you are glad they “liked” the post.
  5. Mention the post by name, so they know you didn’t copy-paste your comment to each visitor.

What to do when readers follow your blog:

This might vary depending on your platform.  If you are on WordPress.com, I recommend the following:

1. Go into one of their posts and read it.

2. Summarize their main point and write a thoughtful comment.

3. Thank them for following your blog.

If you do not have time to go into their site and welcome them, you can pay MailChimp $10.00 a month to send an automated Welcome Email.

4. If they have signed up to receive an incentive for following your blog, send it to them.

In this manner, I have grown my readership.

Now I get comments like this:

Love the community you have.

And I get results like this:

Engaged reader screenshot

By networking with every visitor who comes to my site, I have grown my readership.

 

In conclusion, I have grown my readership by visiting every person who comes to my site.

Because I am in California, I generally don’t see the benefits of my networking until I wake up the next day.  I joke with myself that magical things happen while I sleep. Magical things can happen for you too if you follow the advice in this post.

Readers, if you feel others could benefit from these networking tips, please share.

Do you have any tips for growing your readership?  Please share in the comments section.

 

 

 

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  1. Trudy at 2:37 am

    I try to do all the points that you cover, I haven’t seen much results yet but it’s nice to have interactions with other bloggers. Maybe I’m in need of practice for the best results.

  2. Chris White at 4:36 am

    Thanks for this advice which is certainly timely for me. I have been doing these things and it is paying off. I have a question …
    I’ve noticed that some bloggers seem to have disproportionate numbers of hits to followers. E.g..Saw one blog which had 800 followers, 30,000 hits and regularly producing a minimum of 3 posts a day. Surely these numbers should produce many more hits. When I follow a blog it has to interest me. I don’t so much look at the number of comments but at whether the comments are being answered. I also know it is considered etiquette to follow someone that follows you. I agree with this although I have a feeling this isn’t always the case. Thank you so much for the help and advice you offer. One more thing … Not sure about these sort of awards buzzing around (versatile BLOGGER etc.).
    They are quite nice because they are awarded by real bloggers of course and accepting is optional. It will very quickly result in too many people being nominated or repeatedly nominated and they will become meaningless. Rant over. Keep up the ace work.
    Kris

    • memeethemuse at 5:36 pm

      Hi, Kris, I cannot help but jump on your comment about blogging awards. I really hope you do not find it to be rude, but I am going to post a link to my blog because I tackled this same choice (as we all eventually will) and found a solution that works for me and I think those around me as well. So I wanted to share it with you, maybe you’ll find it usefule, maybe you won’t, but still, blogging is about sharing, so consider it that, my share 🙂 http://wp.me/p5hvQo-fV

      Good luck!

      • Chris White at 1:16 am

        Hello. No problem at all. You are very kind.I was just expressing a personal opinion which may well change. Yes, I will have a look at your blog. All the very best. Kris

  3. unrelentingmayhem at 5:30 am

    I am, by all means, an amateur blogger; however, I’ve found out while reading your post that I do follow all of these steps, which is good news for a newbie like me! Maybe it’s because I have a manageable number of followers, so I’m able to keep up with the likes and comments that I get, or it’s just that I like interacting with my followers because I’d like them to show interest as well. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to keep up if my blog grows larger, but I sure do hope so. Starting a blog was one of the best things I’ve done this year, and my followers mean the world to me. Nevertheless, thank you for taking the time to give your followers tips and advice; it’s very thoughtful of you! 🙂

  4. Sandhya at 6:26 am

    Great post. I reply to all the comments on my blog but am trying harder to go to all the posts of people who liked my post.
    Your advice is much appreciated!

  5. Julie Phelps at 8:46 am

    I love this! I try to interact with everyone who comments and likes, and I always try to go visit them and see what they’re up to as well. I find that in blogging, the interaction is almost as much fun as the writing.

  6. julz at 10:17 am

    hi Janice – I appreciate all your tips – and I do try and welcome new followers, but sometimes I’m remiss. What is interesting tho’ is who they are, and if they share any interests, not, in the end, how many of them click the follow button and stay!

    It’s lovely to make new friends, but not all the people that read you will be friends, and once you have the kind of following you have, I really don’t know what else you could fit in your day, if as you seem to, you reply to all their comments – smile!

    What has been quite amazing tho, for me, and some of the others that did the blogging101 course in January, is that we have kept in touch thro a site set up like the ‘Commons’ on the blogging course, and got to know each other quite well, and have helped each other out as a consequence.

    Your friend and mine, Elle is one of the group, and has grown in leaps and bounds as a blogger – tho she doesn’t really approve of my ‘campaigning streak’ – smile – Elle?

    can I just put the link to my round of of the results and failures of these here – I’d be interested to know how many people are put off by that kind of stuff, and how many actually would engage with it, and ‘like’ a post, just because I need it to look populated so the my local Council take me seriously – smile!

    http://julzcrafts.com/2015/04/28/x-is-for-xtra-xtra-read-all-about-it/

    thanks!

  7. D. Parker at 10:31 am

    This was interesting and well-written.
    It gets harder to read and comment on posts when you follow a lot of blogs and when you have more followers, but it’s not just good for your blog to read the posts of others, but it’s good for you. I think the best part of blogging so far has been finding other bloggers and readers.
    Thank you and hope this day treats you kindly. 🙂

  8. memeethemuse at 6:08 pm

    Janice, I really doubt that blogger meant their comment meant to come across as a criticism. That’s the tricky thing with words and internet relationships, sometimes when we write something down we read it in the tone we meant it in not recognizing that someone else might “hear” it differently. 😉 That’s kinda what I find scary about commenting on other’s sites. But I do do it.

    Here is, however, my quandry. If I follow everybody who follows me then I cannot read the stuff that I am truly interested in because I can no longer find their posts on my feed — and don’t even get me started on my email box. That is a huge mess of everyone posting everything, including me doing interarticle links. UGH. It’s a fright that I’m afraid to even go visit anymore.

    I do go check out all of my visitor’s blogs, and follow those that I really relate to. I guess I’m kinda gonna always be a newbie low-numbers blogger because I really, really cannot see how I can possibly follow every person who likes me.

    I’ll keep trying to figure it out. I always enjoy reading your tips and the little canva images you create go a long way to helping me understand. So thanks for continuing to inspire us and keep us learning every single day!

    • Janice Wald at 9:55 pm

      Hi!
      Thank you so much for the kind words. I’m so glad you like my Canva pictures! I feel creative making them which is fun for me, I know I am helping visual learners, and the Pinterest crowd seems to enjoy them.
      Janice
      PS I don’t follow everyone who “likes” me. I network with them. I go into their blogs, read, and comment.
      Thanks for writing.

      • Trudy at 7:33 am

        I turn off the emails for all but a couple of my blogs and just access them through my reader because the full post is never in the email anyway. That way my inbox is less cluttered and the site gets real visits and I’m actually reading the entirety of the content.

  9. Generation Above Me ( at 7:35 am

    Thanks for the invitation to reach out more to other bloggers. I have room for improvement in this matter. You showed courage by expressing your own vulnerabilities in reciprocating. Kudos to you. Your before / after screen shots are very persuasive!

  10. oncealittlegirl at 7:57 am

    Sometimes I like the on a blog post as much as I like the post itself. It takes time and energy to nurture friendships. That same goes for committed blog followers. My biggest struggle is writing posts that invite comments. I feel like questions at the end of my posts seem contrived.

  11. Robyn Wright ( at 10:05 am

    Great post – and some very true points. Some of those who comment on my blog have their own blogs and I recognize them, but there are lots of others that I don’t know if they do or not. I do try to challenge myself every day to comment on at least 5 blog posts from others. Or, like today I shared one of my posts in The Women of Midlife so I am selecting several, including yours, to come and comment on as well.

    Agree that networking, online and offline, is crucial to the success of any blogger!

  12. judiboomergirl at 1:41 pm

    Good advice and good reminders. I try to comment on other midlife blogs once a week or more. But I need to do better.

  13. treats-and-travel at 2:32 pm

    Thank you for the advice. I try and network but think I probably need to organise myself a little better in order to fit everything in! I am going to try designating a period of my week as ‘blog reading’ time!

  14. ivmoats at 1:38 am

    This is very inspirational and encouraging, as always.
    I’m a new blogger, and I find myself having hard times getting to know all the aspects of blogging. Definitely, you don’t want to make mistakes blogging, and you certainly want to treat your readers, followers, clients well. So thank you for this sharing of your experience. It really helps me believing I can do better with my blogging skills and enjoy a increased sharing of my posts.
    Please keep on sharing your lust, it really helps.

    To successful blogging,

    Samir

  15. Lysa at 4:07 am

    Hi Janice,

    Once upon a time, which right now feels like centuries ago, I was Johnny on the spot when it came to responding to comments on my blog and visiting the blogs of those who commented on mine. I have lived with so much guilt the past few months because I took on way too many responsibilities as a blogger add my health issues and a life changing loss and I’ve fallen so far behind that I don’t know if I’ll ever catch back up again with it all! UGH!

    The end result… I have lost more than a few friends along the way, really, really good blogging Friends to boot! It makes me sad as I miss each and every one of them so very much. The list of friends and the blogs I have neglected includes you and Reflections and I’m sorry! I have not been responding to comments right away and have been especially horrible at not stopping by as much as I should have and really wanted to!

    I have been fighting to find the time this week to try and catch up with everyone else’s blogs and actually write some blog posts instead of ONLY setting up the linky party, guest blogger series, giveaway, and blogger opportunity posts! But at this point I don’t know if some of the friendships can even be repaired anymore!

    Between the added responsibilities, my health issues, and suffering a life changing loss my traffic has drastically reduced and I was feeling so burnt out in regards to blogging that I was about to totally quit all together about a week ago. I obviously didn’t but I have had to make a few changes and have stepped down from a few of those responsibilities all together.

    This week has been all about getting my blogging butt back on a schedule… A schedule that is the SAME each and every week! Heck I haven’t even had time to really write any blog posts in FOREVER! I’ve been on the administrative side, almost behind the scenes, so to speak and I HATED every second of it. So like I was saying this week is all about finding my groove again and writing it down in my blogging calendar. That way it can be repeated, religiously, each and every week just as I use to do.

    I hope you can forgive me for being neglectful as your friend. I also hope you know just how much your friendship and support means to me!

    Wishing you a lovely day!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx

  16. rommel at 11:37 am

    Yes, awful as it may sound, reciprocity is a proven ingredient to a successful blog. Yes, I have learned not to follow a blogger who basically snob me anyways. 🙂 Also, following through -keeping the ones who comment to stay commenting. That way you also build actual blog friendship. 😉 And suddenly, great content becomes second to loyal readers and first to new readers. 🙂

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  18. lifeofatravelingnavywife at 12:00 pm

    Thank you. How interesting. I never expect other bloggers to follow me because I comment on their blogs. If I find something interesting I will just comment because I wanted to let them know I read and add my thoughts. I guess I have to admit I find it a bit entitled to expect that they would. Of course, don’t get me wrong, it’s a bonus but are they really obligated to reply? Do other bloggers follow this? (Sincere questions, hoping they come across correctly in tone given this is “internet”.)

      • Janice Wald at 10:03 pm

        Hi Chris,
        I hope for the follow. I do try and take certain actions when I network to try and take the luck out of it. I almost used a picture of dice for this just to make that point. For example, I visit their site, I read what they write… and then I hope =).
        Janice

    • Janice Wald at 10:21 pm

      Hi,
      I can’t speak for other bloggers. Hopefully, they will reply to your question, and we can all have a true engaged community, so I will put out a shout out here: Anyone? I know two of my blogging friends do this since I got the idea from them. One of them wrote me a guest post on the idea. I hope you don’t mind, but I took the liberty of getting you the link. This way you can read about her process and rationale, and read others’ opinions of her strategy. There are 72 comments on it. Here is the link: http://wp.me/p5jxvv-Dj
      I love your question. A blog that inspires thought, dialogue, and even controversy is the best kind.
      Janice

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  20. clara at 3:00 am

    You are so right! But I am starting to feel ridiculously overwhelmed. I am happy if I get 10 comments on a post, and can engage a little with each of those people. But where do you find time to visit the pages of 50, 60, 100 other bloggers? I see this list of recent posts in my inbox (they get emailed to me) and want to read so many of them….but I have a job, two children, my own blog, a book to promote, food to be shopped for and cooked, an overseas move to organise, bills to pay, the garage to call……aaaagh, am starting to wonder if I need to duck out of blogging altogether as I don’t seem to be able to do it right 🙁

    • Janice Wald at 10:24 pm

      Hi Clara,
      Great to hear from you. You and many other people are writing comments and blog posts about this very topic. So much so that I am planning another post on this topic myself.
      First, you should definitely not drop out of blogging. My suggestion is what I am doing. Scale back until you have a schedule you feel comfortable with. For example, I use to blog today to publish on Thursday. However, I found I didn’t have ample time to respond to the commenters. So, tomorrow is my first Reblog Thursday! See, I can still publish for my readers and not have to write. Play with your schedule until you find a balance.
      Janice

      • clara at 12:18 am

        I like the idea of reblog Thursday! Might do the same. It’s also a good way to support fellow bloggers especially those who are just getting established.

        • Janice Wald at 11:00 pm

          Hi Clara,
          So many (I’m thrilled to say) have reblogged me over the last six months, I feel it’s my way of giving back to such a supportive community. Elle does a Reblog Wednesday. I used to publish on Thursday. Since my readers expect a post on Thursdays, that day made sense to me.
          Janice

  21. Rohit Srivastava at 1:06 am

    These tips and other posts are so helpful you know! 🙂
    Thank you so much Janice!
    Maybe this blog of yours one those rarest blogs that actually guide beginners and even mature bloggers to make their blog better!
    Again, Thanks so much! 🙂
    Looking forward to learning a lot more!

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