Tips for bloggers #6: Community etiquette

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org

The Skeptic’s Kaddish blog was created with and is hosted on WordPress.com, rather than WordPress.org, and there is, indeed, a significant difference.

The major advantage of WordPress.com, you see, is the community aspect. Bloggers may easily search for, find, ‘like’, and otherwise interact with one another’s blogs in the WordPress Reader. WordPress.org, on the other hand, is for self-hosted blogs, which have no built in communities.

If you take the time to read or listen to any blogging tutorials, you’ll find that there are bloggers who make thousands of dollars monthly through their blogs, and almost all of these bloggers use WordPress.org, which allows them the complete freedom to place ads on their websites in a way that WordPress.com does not. WordPress.org has other advantages as well, but that is not the point of this particular post.

The point I am coming to is this – if you’re hoping to increase your subscriber numbers in order to make money off of sales and advertisements, you would be better off using WordPress.org. However, if yours is a hobby blog or a personal blog, you are likely to find the WordPress.com community more suitable. Sure, you can provide services and sell products on WordPress.com… but it’s not the best service for that.

WordPress.com is best for community.


ADDENDUM

In the discussion thread at the bottom of this blog post, it has come to light that if a blogger opts to pay for WordPress.org, they can install plugins on their websites that make them appear in the WordPress Reader.


What does a high subscriber count get you?

Many bloggers have written or are writing books, and their WordPress.com blogs offer wonderful platforms for selling their works. But I have a serious question – what percentage of your WordPress subscribers are likely to purchase your books? I would wager that it isn’t high…

In fact, if your intention is to monetize your blog in some way, you would be better served by promoting your blog on various social networks (Pinterest, etc.) than by attempting to network with other bloggers on WordPress.com. This blogging community, I would say, is not itself large enough to sustain most small online businesses ventures.

I suggest that the primary benefit of having a high subscriber count on WordPress.com is the opportunity to form relationships with and have engaging discussions with other human beings. Personally, I would liken WordPress.com to a neighborhood.


Howdy, Neighbor 👋

We are, essentially, online neighbors, and our blogs are our respective homes.

So – how would you act if you were visiting a friend in your neighborhood? Would you barge in and immediately insist that they admire your new shoes, look through your massive family photo album, or purchase a cutlery set? Or… would you graciously take the time to look about your host’s home, inquire about the interesting artwork on their walls, and pay them suitable compliments?

This 6th blogging tip is not a technical one, as were my previous posts… it’s simply food for thought.

101 thoughts on “Tips for bloggers #6: Community etiquette”

  1. Ben, I really admire your work. Having a disability creates problems for me being able to research and have blogs in my back pocket for days when I am unable to post. I am also trying to write a book and the time that is consumed trying to be successful at both and put in enough time for both as well as priorities of my house and family are proving to be quite difficult. I have tried to get others engaged in some of my posts but that is proving unsuccessful as well. I would love some tips on how to make this all work and be a success.
    Pam

    1. ❤ Pamela ❤ ~ The truth is that all of us have limited time for all of these projects… I'm successful on WordPress because I pour my time into it (instead of publishing poems in a book or in some publication). We simply can't do everything, and we need to decide…

      There's no simple solution, but I would definitely say that if having a blog is important to you, you need to keep at it – it's a "long haul" project. Also, participating in writing prompts is a great way to interact with other bloggers on their blogs and on yours – and you meet a lot of wonderful writers that way.

      BTW, please feel free to call me ‘David’ because that’s my first name. The word ‘ben’ simply means ‘son of’ in Hebrew, and my father’s name was ‘Alexander’ – hence my pen name… I know it’s not what you’d expect because ‘Ben’ is also a name in English – sorry about the confusion 🙂

      All best,
      David

    1. As I wrote in this blog post, I consider other bloggers to be like my neighbors… and most of my readers are fellow WordPress bloggers.

      ❤
      David

      1. I prefer to be a friend. Meet individuals. Start an open conversation. Share ideas. See if we can go further together.

          1. Sometimes, I feel awkward. Opening myself with strangers is hard. For that I decide what to share and how to share.

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