Last night, I read the prompt for My 500 Words and saw it was about letting go. At the same time, I was trying to learn more about blogging, mainly, how to leave feedback that was meaningful and impactful, the type of feedback to make writers feel seen and heard.
Today, I decided that instead of scouring the Internet for an answer to avoid making myself vulnerable, I would just let go and ask for your help.
The question I asked was “Bloggers, can you tell me what do you MOST want me to do when I visit your blog?”
Your answers touched me because behind them was this immediately evident human concern to be seen and known through writing, a need to know that the sacrifice of vulnerability and openness of exposure mattered.
According to Laura Scott, “The hardest thing about starting a blog from scratch is having very low traffic; you feel like you’re posting into the void,” and Shelley DuPont makes a point about comments that they should be “Preferably…beyond the generic “nice”, “Interesting”, “neat, “cool”, etc.” She also said funny things about queens.
Denise Beidler Jackson further highlights “I love when someone makes a connection to my writing and shares it with me. The vast majority of people just wander through, without making a peep. An increase in traffic is fun to see in the stats, but not as much as connecting with the readers through their comments.”
And over and over again, regardless of gender, we agree with what Michael voiced, “It is about starting a dialogue.” And Christine Royse Niles drilled into this need for engagement saying, “I love when someone comments to further the conversation — adds another idea/example/story, asks a question, or offers another perspective. Comments like “this is great!” lift my ego but really don’t further the conversation…if that’s all they’re going to say, I’d *honestly* rather they just share it.
Then, Lynn Ewbank said “Same as the zoo, museum, restaurant, etc. I want folks to like what they experience, come back again and again, say nice things to others, and bring their friends! But (the) main goal for my blog is for everyone to be encouraged and equipped to tell “their story.”
At this point, it was very clear that above platitudes and empty compliments, you wanted meaningful discourse and genuine engagement. You want the ability to enhance the lives of others through your writing.
From what you said and what I surmise, reading your blogs is like a visit to your home. You invite me there and hope for good behavior and pray I don’t jump on your couches.
What does this good behavior look like? It’s basic Manners 101.
What exactly do we do to be a good guest? Well, here’s what I learned from your responses ranked from most too least important:
1) Comment and Engage
Basically, Don’t come to my house, eat all my cookies, drink all my pop, play with toys and then leave without saying goodbye or letting me know it mattered. These two points outstripped all other comments by a minimum of 3:1.
2) Share and Subscribe
This is the equivalent of telling me and others that I was fun to play with and that you’d like to come back again.
So, that’s it, the whole prescription: comment and engage, share and subscribe.
Thank you for taking the time to help me and help each other. When I read blogs going forward, I’ll know to do so with my best party manners and the highest hopes that I’ll be a good guest.
And finally, Vanessa von Mollendorf demonstrated that much interaction can be silly, harmless fun, when she said “Uhmmm interaction, friends and….chocolates” demonstrating once and for all that engagement takes many forms and above all, should be a PLEASURE.