Three things I’d love to know about blogging – but don’t

You only need to take a quick look at my archives or even my follower count to know that I’ve not been at this blogging malarky for long. I’ve always been slow with trends. I was still listening to music on my Sony Discman when the world had moved on to mp3 players. I get there in the end.

Although, I’ve been writing for most of my life and communicating (professionally) for a lot of it, this blogging game, (sometimes I feel it might be a game for some) is an interesting and enjoyable passion that I’d really love to get to grips with fully.

So far, I have learnt some great things. I’ve learnt that I love writing even more than I ever thought I did. I always thought I was a reader not a writer, now I do both. I love my mindless drivel and my attempts to tell a story, no matter how trivial it is. I love that I am entertained by my own stories, even if no one else is.

I’ve also learnt much about the wider blogging community itself. The wonderful people who entertain me, make me think, make me laugh and inspire me. But with all my new knowledge, I’ve still got some huge rookie gaps that need filling in, please.

I would like to know…

…do people follow you because they want you to follow them or are they genuinely interested in what you’ve got to say?

I suppose the answer to this is both yes and no. There are some who follow you out of interest and others who I guess are trying to bump up their followers. Is that a good thing? Is that a bad thing? Is that what you’re supposed to do? I really don’t know. I personally don’t ‘like’ something, if I don’t like it (relate to it, agree with it and so on and so forth) and I don’t follow someone if their blog is not for me. I have no idea if that is what I’m supposed to do or not, but this seems logical to me. Or is the etiquette that if someone follows you, you follow them back? Another thought. Is it strange that only people who blog like your blog? Are blogs just for bloggers even though they are available to all? Enlighten me please.

…are all followers real people?

I’m sure you’ve all been here. You get your email notification, you see it’s from WordPress. You let your stew burn whilst you check out who it is that’s following you. Damn the stew, someone likes your blog. You see a photo of a smiling face. A nice face. You like this person already. You’re interested to know a little more about them. There’s a bit of generic blurb about how much they love life and how they have the secret to success blah, blah, blah. You click on their website and it takes you to either a ‘how to make money from your blog,’ blog or a ‘self-empowerment’ blog that somehow does not feel so bloggy but more dodgy. I currently have someone following me whose blog has a title and a tag line but they have absolutely no pages on their blog and their About page still has the example text that you get when you sign up. So what’s that all about? Enlighten me please.

…and finally, what are all those damn awards? And more importantly, why don’t I have one? Ha, ha

My last perplexing thought is of the blogging community’s system of appreciation. I’ve seen the Liebster award, The Versatile Blogger award, the Miracle blog award – what does that mean? Does it mean if you write something in your blog it comes true? I’ve seen lots more but I can’t remember all of their names. Where do these awards come from? Is there an awards body or are they awards given by the blogging community for the blogging community? It seems to me and correct me if I’m wrong; someone nominates you, you accept, you answer some questions about yourself and then your blog wins an award. Goodness, is it really that easy? If that is the case, every actor would be an Oscar winner, if the film academy ran its award system like this. Maybe I am missing something? Is there a criteria? Are there any rules or is it simply about loving your blogging neighbour or more cynically, a way to drive your hits up, or even a bit of both?  I have also noticed that a few names seem to be doing a lot of the nominating? What does this mean?  Am I thinking about this all too much!?

So, if you didn’t catch it already, my plea for today is for a little bit of enlightenment please. I know the topic is pretty trivial but very perplexing nonetheless. So over to you my blogging friends. Thank you. 

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10 thoughts on “Three things I’d love to know about blogging – but don’t

  1. I am so where you are right now Cleopatra! I only started my blog back in June (I think!) and my first hurdle was trying to attempt a unique design/layout – super big fail on that one but at least I got rid of the generic WordPress header and added my own! I think I actually know less than you about all this blogging award business too.
    Also I follow you because I’m interested in what you have to say and how you say it! But I too have got followers from the “Empower Network” – in fact I think one of the first followers I had was one like that and I was all excited until I looked into it a bit and now it rings major alarm bells if my follower happens to be a young, American, male who appears to have no ties or family life – ie – bugger all in common with me! I tried to delete this follower but apparently WordPress won’t let you delete followers.
    As you say its a mixture of the genuine and the marketeers – some of them its hard to tell!
    That’s an interesting point that all followers and commentators are bloggers themselves. I have to admit that I never used to read blogs before I started my own but now I read other blogs regularly. I guess that’s how it goes.
    By the way I didn’t read this post until today even though I had notification of it on the 9th – the notification led to an error page. I checked back today and it was up – so that might account for the fact that you don’t have more comments! Post to Britmums etc? X

    • The same happened to me when I tried to read a post that I was notified about, it came back with an error message, but then later was available. Yes, this ’empower network’ is strange and annoying but if they can’t be deleted what can you do? I’m sure in a year’s time, with bags of blogging wisdom behind us, all blogging etiquette will make sense! Thanks for sharing, as usual x

  2. “do people follow you because they want you to follow them or are they genuinely interested in what you’ve got to say?”
    — A lot of folks will do mutual follows, especially if they are just interested in numbers. Previous etiquette suggested a returned follow, but now there are so many SPAM blogs, you should really be careful reciprocating any follow. Check out the site, if it looks interesting to you, follow; if not, then don’t follow just to be polite. If that follower ends up being an involved commenter on your site and a relationship builds, you can always follow later.
    –There is no way to block a blog or person from following you on WordPress.
    –A friend did a very nice piece on blogging etiquette last year, I’ll post the link for you. She recommends mutual follows, but if you read through the comments, you’ll see lots of different perspectives.
    http://brigittebanter.com/2012/04/06/a-gracious-guide-to-benevolent-blogging-five-tips/

    “are all followers real people?”
    –no, not lately. there are a lot of spam sites recently. WordPress is aware and is working on a solution.
    — Most are real though. It takes time and effort to grow a genuine, loyal follower base. The biggest advice I have is to get out there and find blogs you like and comment on them, build a network that way. As you see comments from other people on blogs you follow, check them out and follow. Most people are really friendly and respond well when you reach out. BUT most people are lazy too, haha, maybe shy, and won’t take the intitiave to follow and check you out first. So don’t be shy.
    –and don’t worry too much about the numbers either. So many folks use readers or to view blogs that won’t show up on your stats.
    –if you’re interested in numbers only, by all means, get out there and follow everyone and like, like, like, like posts. you’ll likely get the same in return, but if you want something deeper, community and comments take time to grow…

    “and finally, what are all those damn awards? And more importantly, why don’t I have one? Ha, ha”
    –lol, they’re cute, and they’re really exciting when you first get one, but the longer you’ve been around, the more they become a bit like chain-mail. Fun, but often distracting. I have passed a couple along in my past, but it gets so hard to single out 10 blogs out of everyone when you enjoy different things about all the blogs you follow. I would much rather spend that extra time responding to comments and commenting on others’ blogs.
    I have no idea how they originated. I know some people have made up their own to pass along for fun or for laughs.

    Hope this helped a little, feel free to stop by anytime if you have more questions. Oh and thanks for the reblog permission. I’ll plan for either later in the week or as a quote and mention in my next weekend post.
    Enjoy!
    Christy

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to do this Christy. This has really answered some questions that I really didn’t have a clue about. Will definitely read your friend’s post on blogging etiquette too. Hope all is well, xxx

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