Food for thought
Here’s a thought that I’ve been chewing on for a while: For those bloggers who hope to expand their networks on WordPress and increase their subscriberships, it’s more fruitful, on average, to interact with and support blogs with few subscribers of their own.
Sharing this is, basically, like shooting myself in the foot because I now have more than 3,000 followers. Still, I think we should all be honest about it.
The main reason that I’m writing this post is that I came to this conclusion by personal experience. As a new blogger, I remember following many large blogs and regularly commenting on their posts, hoping for reciprocity… hoping that they would take note of me. Some of them did, it’s true, but the majority of bloggers with large followings did not. They were too busy producing content for themselves and responding to comments on their own posts.
Appreciation is relative
I love receiving comments on my blog posts and revel in the discussions that ensue on the Skeptic’s Kaddish. This blog has become a huge part of my life, as you may have guessed already, and this includes all of you in our virtual community.
There’s something incredibly powerful for me about knowing that my words have touched another human being across the globe, somebody that I would never have encountered if it weren’t for WordPress. I think I shall never be able to fully convey the degree to which I appreciate all of your support and constructive feedback. You buoy my soul.
Having said that, I think back to the ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ that I received on my first blog posts, just over one year ago… and I remember the unexpectedness of it and my excitement back then. And… well… that was something very, very special for me as a burgeoning blogger. Back then, I could hardly believe it – who are these people that like my poetry? How did they find me? I can’t believe they actually enjoyed this piece! Wow, this poet is from India… and this author is from Australia! How cool is that?!
And, of course, given that I was so new to blogging and didn’t know whose blogs to read, I naturally began reading the blogs of those writers who had taken the time to ‘like’ and ‘comment’ upon my posts. They were my introduction to the extended WordPress community at a time when I knew no other bloggers and had almost no subscribers.
I’m too sexy for WordPress 🎵
(get the song reference?)
The truth is that while more than 3,000 bloggers have subscribed to my blog, I follow a fraction of that number. Obviously, this isn’t about me, per se, but I am being honest enough to write it like it is: the more followers a blogger has, the lower the percentage of those (s)he can realistically reciprocate to.
The math is simple. If I have 10 followers, it’s easy enough to reciprocate and follow their 10 blogs. If I have 100 followers, it becomes more challenging to keep up with all their posts. If I have 1,000 followers… well, what is the probability that I’m actively following them, let alone subscribed to all of them?
Speaking for myself, I always look forward to making new friends on WordPress, and I do my best to follow and interact with those who are kind enough to visit the Skeptic’s Kaddish and engage me in meaningful discussions. I take the time to actively peruse my feed multiple times daily; and I always support my friends with ‘likes’, commenting on the posts that pique my interest… but, like anybody else, my time is finite. I also have two jobs, a wife, a daughter…
My point is simple: You would be better served by showing your support for smaller blogs than larger ones if you would like to increase your subscriber count.
While I stand by everything that I’ve written above, and my advice to all new bloggers would be to support one another as much as possible as you develop your blogs, there are also reasons to follow blogs with larger subscriberships. Two that come to my mind immediately are:
- Blogs with larger numbers of subscribers tend to have active discussion threads on their blogs, which provide you with an opportunity to interact not only with them, but also with others on WordPress.
- Also, you may learn from successful bloggers by example – what are they doing right that others find appealing? What are they doing differently than me, which seems to be working for them?
Also, of course, you may find their content interesting, as I hope you find mine!