Face (Phase) 2 of blogging – Focus on Happiness and Connecting!

Taking a blog to the next level involves a lot of hard work. In fact, when I started this blog earlier last year, I had underestimated the effort involved and started spending more and more time (quite unknowingly) to accelerate harder to reach some of those unrealistic goals.

In an attempt to become more practical, I recently came up with a plan and hence the revised version of my goals. The process of zooming out (by 10x) the monetary and other egoistic targets secret behinds happy bloggersaved me time and I started enjoying other aspects of my blogging life without compromising my family time (the smile above). The reduced focus on money and material targets also gave me time to connect better with the readers. And I realized that connecting better results in certain reader behaviors that make every blogger happy.

Visitor/reader behaviors that every blogger relishes

#1 Genuine comments: Posting comments and replies originally meant voicing opinions and not backlinks or marketing opportunity for the commenter. Of late, the commenting process has become more of an obligation and artificial popularizing mechanism but there are still a good bunch of readers who come up with genuine comments. This is something that bloggers really enjoy!

#2 Follow up: How often do we follow up after reading a post and commenting there in? In most cases, you read and forget where you commented and do not even care to go back. In fact, a blogger gets more satisfaction when a commenter comes back to follow up or check the discussion status. I think it is a good habit to subscribe to comments at least to follow up once per post thread.

#3 Readers and commenters connecting each other: A lot of people directly address the blogger while replying or making comments. However, a blog becomes more successful and the blogger feels just great when the readers are helping each other and involving in healthy discussions and debates. This also helps to reduce the load on the author/blogger. Technically speaking blogs are not really naturally conducive to promote discussions but platforms like WordPress are maturing towards meeting this genuine requirement.

#4 Regular visitors’ faces on social media widgets: Of course not everybody has those widgets enabled nor do all visitors have social media accounts. However, whenever those familiar faces (and avatars) show up there, it gives the blogger a good feeling that at least a few of them are listening and following you regularly. (In fact, this somehow gives me more satisfaction than increasing RSS counts where I do not know who is accessing the blog)

#5 Content credits: Even when somebody, who could market your content better, reuses your original creation elsewhere but (s)he has mentioned your name there it gives the blogger due credit. Thanks to the small percentage of people who have cared about this aspect!

#6 Reading contents completely: There are many people who do not read completely and not even 50% for that matter but stop at a stage where they are somehow ready to come up with a half-hearted comment. On the other hand, there are genuine readers who completely read from title to the last period, digest it and then comment! Even if such comments come in only once in a while, they are special and make the blogger happy!

#7 Token of appreciation: Sometimes as a blogger you strike good deals with vendors and provide firsthand tips for your readers. Some readers promptly consume it without thanking or without even mentioning whether it was really useful at all. But there are many whose simple and genuine β€˜thanks’ makes a lot of difference. (Recently there was a funny incident where a genuine referral of mine fought with the vendor to take the referral credit away from me! These kinds of backstabbing are one off incidents but otherwise mostly people tend to ‘thank’ genuinely)

#8 Offline feedbacks: I receive 10-15 emails per week (with respect to this blog) via the contact form, seeking help, reporting issues, good feedbacks, suggestions to improve, friend requests etc. It gives me a lot of pleasure to reply to those emails as these are examples of the effectiveness of the blog. And many a time, the offline email feedback conveys a lot more than the public comments. This is one of the things that I really like about having a blog.

#9 Link loves (not from link love only posts): The link to your work or findings from a relevant post (even if it is with rel=nofollow) is always something that I like. Of course, I am not a person who receives a lot of it nor do I give a lot. But I guess, in general, all bloggers love it! (This point is slightly different from #5)

#10 Blogroll linking: Of course blogrolls have become monetization tools now, but if somebody – without expecting a link exchange – does link to your blog it is a major approval for any blog and is highly satisfying!

There may be several other reader/visitor behaviors that a lot of you particularly like. It could be subscribing to your feeds, donating, reviewing your blog, following you on twitter and so on. Could you share what you like the most about your readers and their actions?. Also let us know what all aspects of blogging give you satisfaction and happiness.

Happy Blogging!

Comments

  1. Well, I am quite jealous to find that you get a lot of email love as well. lol. But what I like best are repeated visitors or visitors who have found my content useful… I also like when readers ask questions.

    On a somewhat unrelated note, I released a WP plugin on my blog some months ago, and it gives me great pleasure to see that people have found it useful and are downloading it… I know that you released a plugin last month, so you probably feel the same kind of pride. :-)

    Shirley’s last blog post… Does Your Website Need A Sitemap?

  2. Kim Woodbridge :

    I really appreciate #2. In my comments I often ask additional questions or for clarification. I love it when the person comes back and answers. You start to know who will and who won’t πŸ˜‰ I don’t always follow up very well on the comments that I make but I try to. The problem is I hit submit before checking subscribe to comments.

    Lovely photo by the way :-)

    Kim Woodbridge’s last blog post… WordPress 2.7 Post_Class Template Tag and Sticky Posts

  3. 1,3 &5 are very important to build good readership among the fellow bloggers.Good points dude.

    TechZoomIn’s last blog post… Google Project 10^100 Decision Postponed

  4. Great observations. I like to see my feedburner subscription number going up as that means people like my content on a consistent basis and are looking forward to my views.

    binaryday’s last blog post… A Blogger’s practial guide to success with getting traffic from Digg

  5. Following up on comments that we left on other blog is definitely important. Never leave a comment thinking that is the end of it. There might be questions asked regarding your comment and it is unprofessional should you not respond to it.

    There are times when we subscribe to too many comments and we accidentally delete it. How do you actually go about reducing this sort if mistake?

    Wei Liang

  6. Ajith,

    “Underestimated the effort involved” — really? : – )

    I completely agree with that. Blogging has taken lot more time than I initially planned. But, as I started writing more articles, I really enjoyed the process of blogging — researching, creating draft, adding meat around the draft, editing, interacting with other bloggers etc.,

    Like you’ve mentioned, I get utmost thrill when someone links to my article. Also, recently I started getting around 5 – 10 emails per week from the contact form, which makes me very happy.

    Very clever title with the “Face” thing. The picture perfectly goes along with the title. Vidya has a very nice smile.

    Ramesh @ The Geek Stuff’s last blog post… Tutorial: Make Vim as Your C/C++ IDE Using c.vim Plugin

  7. Hi Ajith – My greatest satisfaction is comments. I love when my readers learn something from what I wrote, and/or I made them think – and they tell me.

    I also like when readers come back and recomment. I think of doing that, but run out of time.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post… Celebrating NBOTW One Year Annivarsary With A Free E-Book

  8. @Shirley, Emails are not always appreciation. Most of the time it’s about help and sometimes it’s really satisfying that you are able to help some budding bloggers around! Your point on repeated visits is definitely a bullet item that should have been included in this list.

    As for the plugin thingie, well I did not market it well, I guess… Only about 200 downloads took place so far πŸ˜€

    @Kim, Follow up on comments is a very important thing to do except when people follow up too many times with the intention of improving the comment luv or Top commentator count πŸ˜† As for the other problem, I guess, the subscribe to comments checkbox should be ideally placed before the submit button where as in most cases it is not.

    (And thanks for the compliments)

    @Lax, I totally agree with you on that without connecting and conversing each other, the comments on a blog may not make much sense. Giving content credits is equally important.

    @BinaryDay, ever improving feed subscriber count is definitely an indicator of the acceptance levels and quality content (Thanks for reminding me, the next post will be somewhat related to feed and feed count)

    @Felix, yep, once deleted by mistake you can’t track it easily. For the time being we have to live with it I guess. But sooner or later everyone will move towards Open IDs etc and I think even your subscriptions will be managed globally, somehow. Just a thinking few yards in advance, may be πŸ˜†

    @Ramesh, yes, blogging is really a time consuming task if you want to make exponential progress but I am trying to draw a line whereby I fix the number of hours to work on it. If you tend to spend a lot of time but the benefits (mainly monetary) are not that much, it’s better to slow down right?

    Yep, email love definitely encourages us a lot, I think.

    And thanks for your compliments for the title and image :)

    @Barbara, You should be loving comments and they are apleanty there in your blog. I think, comment follow-ups, if not overdone, are always good.

    Thanks everybody for your comment and follow up πŸ˜€ !

  9. Dennis Edell :

    My readership is awesome all the way around. It’s great satisfaction to see comments (sometimes a lot) before the feed even goes out…..that really tells me something. :)

  10. @Dennis, good to hear that… Manytimes, just after I release the post, I get a comment almost instantaneously. This reason is the immediate New post alert on Twitter.

  11. Dennis Edell :

    I don’t use that, but I know a lot of people enjoy it.

  12. thank you for the above list and tips. I intend on blogging a lot this year, I want to see if I can make some online money in the near future.

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