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.

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

  1. The WordPress Content Management Software is open source and feel to use. Theoretically, you could run it on your home computer. Most people use a hosting service to assist and more quickly get their WordPress software configuration on-line and out and about on the web. Prices to do so, vary greater.

    I pay Matt Mullenweg, a lead developer of the WordPress self publishing system, and his company, AutoMattic, (a take on Matt’s name,) around $325 a year to post here. I’ve also had WordPress hosted on other services for more or less money and often simultaneously when posting here, at WordPress.Com. And Matt also owns JetPack, that you’ve learned a bit about today. Notice a trend.

    I don’t sell anything here, or anywhere else on the Web. And have no interest in doing so. It’s a hobby, my participation. As I mentioned in a recent post, I find setting up and running a site a puzzle. Fun to do, and made more challenging by using store bought themes and plug-ins on this WordPress “fork,” and trying to work a site that won’t break in spite of the multiple updates that the change to “block editing” has necessitated.

    And as much as I hate to admit it, I can also take the temperature of mid to long post social media here.

    But to your neighborhood analogy…in the main I agree….but it’s a town full of writers David, and any new conversations that begin in the living room, continue into the dinning room, and end late at night in kitchen, will one day turn on sharing a quick sentence or so on the porch.

    Enjoy your run here David, you deserve it.

    “fork” a variant of a piece of software

    1. made more challenging by using store bought themes and plug-ins on this WordPress “fork,”

      r.D., aren’t themes s’posed to make things easier for you, rather than more difficult?

      And as much as I hate to admit it, I can also take the temperature of mid to long post social media here.

      That seems totally normal to me 🤷‍♂️

      Thanks ❤
      David

      1. Ah that’s super. Thanks 😁 I had a blog way back in…. 2007-2009 ish… I tried blogger and wordpress and found them incredibly stressful back then. I was keeping the blogs for my Master’s in Children’s Book Illustration so it was very different from now. It may just be me, but I feel like blogs have become much better these days. People are really sharing well and perhaps everyone is more used to the online world… I also really like to use the wordpress reader… So many people are writing such interesting things. I also find blogs are much calmer than social media.

  2. This is an excellent post, David, as is the whole series. Glad to be a “neighbour.” 🙂

    1. 🙂 Steve 🙂

      This reminds me of a classic children’s TV show in the USA – Mr. Rogers. Are you familiar with this song? (you might have to look directly at my blog to see the video below)

          1. Yes, but for additional fees. However, if you join my premier membership program, you get exclusive access to amazing discounted shipping rates and free gifts! Follow my blog for more monetization tips and satirical spammy comments! 🙂

          1. mmh – a far out one would be how readers in Vietnam get interested in my posts, but easier perhaps – relating particular posts to readers hanging around, i.e. accessing more than one… ? Thanks David

  3. WordPress.org is an open-source content management system. A piece of software. WordPress.com are no more than a host, who use this system, and who are very mucb committed, charging users handsomely for the privilege.

  4. I love this perspective David. This has certainly been my experience. I like the comparison to our blogs as our homes and wordpress (.com) as our neighborhood. There are so many nice connections here. I appreciate you and they way you share your thoughts. (Have a wonderful day ahead).

  5. I believe it is also possible to get the best of both worlds by having a WordPress.org site and then install a plugin (like Jetpack) that provides WordPress.com features and functions.

    1. It’s true that you can install plugins on WordPress.org…
      but I’m not sure that will make your .org blog appear listed in the .com WordPress Reader…

          1. Flexibility and control. I think I developed my first WP platform based website about 15 years ago. My understanding is that .org is the original and completely free, while .com is is owned/run by a different company, is based on the .org software, and had limited functionality (unless you pay for upgrades).

  6. I liked this post. I chose WordPress.org so I could fully customize my photoblog and not for money. I have been able to form many relationships with photobloggers and bloggers around the world.

    1. Robert, based upon other comments on this post, I understand now that you can install plugins on your .org website, which allow your blog to be listed in the WordPress Reader… is this what you do?


      David

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