I really enjoyed all of the comments from my post on the "followers" widget. It's clear that some of us really like the widget and some of us prefer not to have it, for a variety of reasons. Which brings me to "comments." I will admit to a certain amount of validation when people comment on my postings, and a little let down when they don't. That feature feels much more personal to me than the "followers" widget. But again, I have to go back and ask myself why I'm blogging. For me it's the connections to other people. I'm an empty-nester, and can feel lonely for my family that live 10 hours away, blogging keeps me connected to others, to all of you. So a comment says that people are out there.
The other reason I blog, and the reason I first started blogging, was to get back in the habit of writing. An off shoot of posting several times a week is practice. Learning to express yourself in a meaningful way is a skill. One that is used throughout your life in many different ways, but most expressly in business. If you can learn to write creatively, clearly, it will work to your advantage. So I blog to hone my skills. Your comments give me a barometer as to whether my writing is interesting or, gasp, not.
But the reality is probably much simpler. With over 115 million blogs, thanks to DJan's research, some may not leave comments because they have moved on, and in that case you can't really blame them. We can't write something that will be of interest to everyone, everyday. It is simply a matter of numbers. Many blogs, many new voices, only so much time.
Which brings me to the reason for this post on comments. I was amazed at all of the new people who left comments on the last post. All of which I will get around to visiting in the days ahead. I always try to visit new people, but only when they leave me a comment. Which made me wonder - how many blogs have not established connections because they may just visit others and not leave comments? How many other people, like myself, would love to meet new people - especially those new to blogging - but use their comments as a way to forge those relationships?
So maybe the key to adding readers, if you would like to do that, is to make sure you drop a comment when reading blogs that you like. Don't be shy, and don't be put off if the blog has many followers. As I mentioned in my last post - most of those followers are not actual readers. I, for one, love to meet new people. I'm a student of humanity, and your stories make me laugh, cry, are entertaining, educational, and most of all take me to new heights and places I will never have the opportunity to visit. I will bet that many others feel the same way and use comments as their means of connecting to their readers. Of course there are those times that you just want to read, or you really don't have a comment. Or, more importantly, are happier without having too many readers. That's okay, too. But as one of the commenters noted yesterday - your readership is directly related to how many you read. But isn't that true in life as well? Your friendships or sense of community is directly related to how much energy you put into it? And some people are simply happier with less people in their lives, whether they are fellow bloggers, family or friends. Which is fine. Life is complicated enough, and blogging can become very time consuming. But for those that would like to expand their blogging relationships:
When in doubt, leave a comment.