I would like to take a break from my regularly scheduled posts on my regularly blogged about subjects to talk about
I read a re-tweet today (thanks Joy) linking to a post that intrigued me. It was called: "3 Secrets to Getting 'Return' Blog Followers" and was posted a few days ago by Theta Mom. I was not previously acquainted with her blog, but took a gander to see what all the re-tweeting was about. If you're a blogger who does it for more than just your own personal edification, you may be interested in who visits your blog and why. You also may wonder why some bloggers have thousands of followers and you have less than 50. Or less than 20. Or none.
I don't know if I've mentioned it previously on this blog or not, but I have kept a personal blog for years. It's an invite-only deal not because I'm a snob, but rather because I'm not comfortable with throwing tons of personal photos out for the general public to see. Call me crazy, but there are lots of weirdos out there. Anyway, I started it as a way to document Mr. Skooks and my journey into parenthood so our kids could read someday about how
Even in this invite-only world, I am unsure of who all visits and reads my blog. There are probably less than 10 people who comment on a regular basis (out of the 20 invited readers) to let me know they've stopped by. Their comments, however, are priceless to me. Not only because they are from dear friends and family, but also because it helps me know what I'm putting out there that they're connecting with. I don't change my content based on their commentary, but it is interesting to note what they deem comment-worthy.
I don't post over there for the feedback. As I said, it is something I wanted to do for my own kids and obviously they're in no position to give me feedback at this point. Having said that, I've realized that feedback is still nice. It helps me know I'm not just writing to the empty air. It also helps me feel like I have a relationship with the people who are reading, and that I'm not just being spied on. I don't like feeling like I'm being spied on. Does anyone?
I started Skooks' Playground at the end of last November as a way to publicly enter into the creative world and be able to share about these creative things that bring me joy with those that are of a similar mind. There is this amazing handmade movement going on that I love to be a part of, and having been endlessly inspired by so many bloggers out there on this subject (check out my sidebar for a small sample if you wish) I wanted to join in on the fun! I feel like I have gotten so many ideas for projects I would like to try from all these amazing people that I am overwhelmed with all of it. It makes me think I should straight up quit blogging (and reading so many blogs),hunker down with all my materials and just make and make and make til all my supplies are gone and I just pass out from crafting exhaustion. (For the few of you that read this who just gasped, no worries. I'm not quitting blogging. And maybe only one person gasped. You know who you are.)
The point is, this blog is not something that I do just for me. That is, it's fun for me to have documentation and a personal record for myself to reflect on how far I've come with my little hobby here, but I could easily do that through taking pictures, throwing them on my computer, and looking at them from time to time remembering for rememberings sake. But with the amazing community that blogging brings, why not share? Why not interact with the very people who have inspired me so greatly?
So I blog.
But I wonder. A lot actually. Those of you that do read, that do subscribe to my feed, that choose to follow me on Twitter, or become a Follower . . . why? What makes it worthwhile to you? If you're not a follower of this particular blog, I want to know what makes you follow the ones you do. Let's share a bit about this crazy bloggy world, shall we? I'll go first.
Here's what I look for in a blog I follow:
1) The posts. They've got to be good. I want to feel like you're engaging me and not just a number. I'm not just another stat to add to your counter, or an opportunity for you to get another person to your blog *to maybe click that ad in your sidebar because you desperately want to make money being a blogger so you can quit your job*. I'm open to many different kinds of content, both creative/crafty and not. I read parenting blogs, sewing blogs, great photography inspires me, and humor is always welcome. As it stands I have subscribed to over 200 feeds in my reader (WAY TOO MANY!) and frankly, it's time to break up with some of you. There are a few in the mix who just aren't bringing it with the content, and this busy mom just don't have the time for that. The impending break-up is coming with some of the others because of this next reason:
2) I want my comments to matter. I want to feel like you read them, not just because your little comment form says, "I appreciate and read every one of your comments!" I want you to respond to me. I want to hear if you agree with me or disagree with what I've said. If I've asked you a question, I want you to answer me (at least in the comments, at least sometimes, but if it's possible, email is great too!)
3) I need something easily navigable. If your blog layout is a nightmare, it's a big turnoff. There are some excellent blogs (as in, well-written) that I refuse to visit anywhere but in a reader because of how unappealing the layout is. That's just me. And this may also mean I'll get some flack from those that don't appreciate my own layout which I'm prepared for.
Those are my big 3. What are yours?
And what can I be doing better than I'm doing right now? What would you like to see more of (or heck, less of) in the future?
P.S. I just went and re-read what the 3 points of that linked blog post were and pretty much mine are exactly the same. I promise you I'm not trying to plagiarize the Theta Mom. But it appears that she and I are on very much the same page. :)
P.P.S. For those of you that do follow, subscribe, and comment: Thank you. Seriously and sincerely. It really is so much more fun to do this WITH you and not AT you.