Comment on a blog post today!
You can change the life of a blogger with just one comment.
Sounds like a big deal, right? Bloggers live by what’s called engagement. Your comment helps a blog to thrive. A blog gets famous one comment at a time.
Maybe you read blogs, and maybe you don’t. Either way, it’s easy to miss what bloggers do. And how they succeed. [ictt-tweet-inline]A blogger’s success, actually, depends on you. (No pressure!)[/ictt-tweet-inline]
Who are bloggers?
Bloggers are mavericks of the internet. Bloggers write about new things, different things. Things outside of your wheelhouse. Things right up your ally.
Bloggers are the glue that holds the internet together. Without bloggers, the internet would be run totally by corporations. Everything would go through a committee. The goal of a committee is to sell you stuff. That gets old fast.
[ictt-tweet-blockquote]Without bloggers, the internet would be run totally by corporations.[/ictt-tweet-blockquote]
What makes bloggers unique is independence. They work for no one. Which means, they work for you. Bloggers are journalists, with a bit of entertainment. They create their blogs out of thin air, using their own money. That reason alone is worth your attention. To counterbalance the business-driven internet.
Do you like originality?
There are so many ways you can spend your time online. The biggest way is Facebook. It makes sense. Facebook is familiar. It’s filled with friends and community. You always see a friendly face.
But where’s the adventure? When you vacation in another country, you start in a city. But you don’t stay. You venture out. Look for something original. Seek out the local culture. Staying in the city the whole time would be boring.
[ictt-tweet-blockquote via=””]To fully experience the internet, you need to get out of Facebook and get into the blog culture.[/ictt-tweet-blockquote]
A blog is a step beyond Facebook. You’re more liable to see new things on a blog. There are so many topics. Parenting. Culture. Travel. Gardening. Design. Cooking. To fully experience the internet, you need to get out of Facebook and get into the blog culture. It’s where the original internet lives. It’s out there.
The blog drill (it’s easy)
We all know the content available on Facebook:
- news headlines
- invites to things
- family updates
All short and sweet. Like, share, comment. Facebook is great for quick updates. Then, a blog post comes across your timeline. It feels different. A blog post:
- seems like a deep dive
- asks for time you don’t have
- wants a commitment
“Who is this blogger? What is this website? How long is this post?” Scroll, avoid.
Avoid an original blog? Dear internet reader, you have it all wrong!
Five seconds or bust
Blogs don’t take long to review. What if you were told, it takes only five seconds to “read” a blog? Even if there’s a lot of writing. Generally, you can find out in five seconds what a blog says. Is originality worth five seconds?
[ictt-tweet-blockquote]What if you were told, it takes only five seconds to read a blog?[/ictt-tweet-blockquote]
Let’s go back to our Facebook example. Let’s say, you see your friend has posted some photos on Facebook. Of her child, or a cool vacation. How long do you plan to view these photos. “Five seconds, maybe.”
How about five minutes? We’re on Facebook for an average of 50 minutes per day, according to The New York Times. Where does all that time go? Viewing photos, and other things. Compared to the time spent on Facebook, reviewing a blog here and there isn’t such a time commitment.
The long and short of it
A blog post may have a long word count, it’s true. An intimidating word count, even. There’s a reason. It’s been proven, a long blog post gets more social shares. So bloggers write long.
… a long blog post gets more social shares. So bloggers write long.
Think about why that is. If you read a blog, do you want it to be authoritative? A short blog post kind of is a benchwarmer. “I could’ve written this,” people often think. And they’re right. It’s surface. On the other hand, a long blog post shows craft. Commitment. Research. It’s worth your time to read, and to share.
You actually want a blog post to be long. A blog post is free, right? Why not get the full story? But—and this is the part that a lot of people miss—even though a blog post looks long, it should read short. Five-seconds short. How?
Let your eyes fly
Here’s the secret to reading blogs. You don’t need to read every word of a blog post. This isn’t science class. Blogs are written to be skimmed. If you’re skimming a blog post, you’re reading it the right way. You’ll learn what the post is saying. And it should take about five seconds. Seriously.
[ictt-tweet-blockquote]If you’re skimming a blog post, you’re reading it the right way.[/ictt-tweet-blockquote]
Your eyes and brain are a great skimming team. Headline. The subheads. Callouts (blockquotes). A picture caption or two. Done. If you can’t tell what the post says, it’s not you. It’s the post. Skip.
Chances are, you’ll get the message. And you’ll have a reaction. Here’s where the kindness comes in.
Small kindnesses that help big
Following are possible reactions to your five-second skim (in order of involvement):
If you found the blog link on Facebook, then “liking” the timeline entry is a great thing. Facebook likes offer social proof for blogs. Likes advertise to the world, this blog is for real.
Commenting on Facebook is nice. Commenting on the blog itself is a higher compliment. [ictt-tweet-inline]Readers who break out of Facebook and comment on the blog look like leaders[/ictt-tweet-inline]. Their comments give the blog legitimacy. If you want to help put a blog on the map, consider skipping commenting on Facebook and do it on the blog post itself.
Your comment doesn’t have to be positive! A good blogger will welcome any reaction, even a critique.
Here’s where the kindness really pours in. Reposting a blogger’s blog on Facebook shares it with your entire network. Which gives the blog a lot of new coverage. And it only takes a second.
Facebook isn’t the only social network to share a blog post on. Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn are all there. Share buttons on the blog page make sharing easy. Send the post into the world!
Most blogs offer an email newsletter. Your email is totally safe. Unsubscribing is one-click. And leaving an email shows support for the blog in big way.
If you don’t have five seconds?
Helping a blog does put you out there, a little. It’s easier, and safer, just to scroll on. Here’s why you should take the risk.
Expand your horizons
“The average person visits the same five to seven websites per day.” Sound accurate? There’s no hard proof that it’s true. It feels true, based on the ruts we get into. Visiting a blog site or two, per day, will give you new perspectives. Bringing new ideas to the table is what social media is supposed to be about.
Imagine reposting The Pioneer Woman way back in the early days. Imagine how you’d feel now. “I was a fan way before she got big!” Who knows. Your blog discovery might end up the same way. Help now.
Break the lurker habit
A lot of us lurk online more than we contribute. Why do the same heavy users on our feeds contribute so much more? Maybe they know, online is simply more fun with something at stake. A blog is all about participation. Deciding to become a blog reader, and commenter, will add a new dimension to your day.
What’s at stake for bloggers
“Why do people blog, anyway? Isn’t it just public journaling?” It’s an honest question. No, blogging is a legitimate business. There’s a format. A benchmark. And for every blogger, there are goals.
Blogs are a vehicle for honest information. As the magazines of today, they’re watched by the powers-that-be, including:
- news media
Blogging isn’t just fun and games, although it should look fun. Every time a reader, like you, engages with a blog, the blog gets better. The possibility to make money (monetize) the blog gets closer.
Time is running out
Bloggers might seem a little weird. They’re out there, without a guarantee of readers, trying to bring you something new. They’ve built a website. Bought a domain name. They’re working to get something going.
A blogger needs to build an audience, number one. And an audience is demonstrated by site traffic and social proof.
To get there, a blogger must somehow convince people like yourself to engage. A blogger will end up wearing many hats, doing keyword research. Social media. SEO. PR. Website maintenance. Whatever it takes.
It’s a race against time. How so? Because the blogger needs to see a growing response to keep going. If you threw a party every week and nobody came, what would you do?
An encouraging word
We know what an encouraging word can do in real life. Lift a person’s spirits. Point a person in the right direction. Remind that someone cares.
If you don’t comment on a blog you read, you’re letting the blog fizzle out. It’s that simple.
[ictt-tweet-blockquote via=””]If you don’t comment on a blog you read, you’re letting the blog fizzle out. It’s that simple.[/ictt-tweet-blockquote]
Reading a friend’s’ blog is a big favor, in itself. The site traffic helps. Only, reading the blog is half-way to what really will help. Reacting to the blog. A blog with a steady following can take off. Getting there takes people reading and reacting. Like any business, a blog relies on friends as customers first.
Leave a comment
What could you do with five seconds to help a friendly blogger? What’s something that you might gain from aiding a blog? (And if you don’t like blogs, tell us why.) Is it possible to shape the internet that you want to see, by supporting (even promoting) small blogs that you discover?