In recent times I’ve been postulating over what it is people are generally looking for in a blog. When you get the urge to read what somebody has posted, are you looking for something in particular or is it more to do with the person who wrote it?
In the case of the latter, I know that I have my supporters who will read whatever I post regardless of the subject matter or whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. These people are what I like to refer to as “bloody epic”. Where the former is concerned, I do wonder about what might put off potential readers. Is it the length of the post? Is it the fact that it’s fiction? Does the subject matter not appeal to them? Is it something else entirely?
I try to think in terms of what I’m looking for in the posts of others. That is a tough one to answer. I won’t lie about the fact that I have my favourite bloggers and will always take the time out to read their posts regardless of the subject matter (though it’s been a struggle to even do that of late). However, when I do find myself wanting to read the posts of others I tend to find it really does depend on the day. A catchy title will often grab me or if the accompanying title image is something good. What’s contained within might be pure gold, but if it isn’t titled well then you’ve already lost me as a reader. Take that as advice if you wish to.
That does make me conscientious of my own work. I wonder if the titles grab the attention enough or if the image is the best one I could have used. I’ve said before that I’m happy with the progress my blog is making, but then I see posts with three or four times as many likes on them as mine and it makes me question whether my work is actually any good at all.
Is the problem networking? Am I not getting my name out there enough to other bloggers by reading their work and commenting on it? The problem with that is I barely have the time to read and comment on the posts of those who are already diligent followers of my work. They have to take precedence when I do have the time to read because they aren’t just people I follow. I consider them friends.
Or is the problem something a little more aesthetic?
My two latest posts combined (Living the Dream Part 10 (Novelist’s Itch) and Find Me a Find – Chapter Seven) have received less cumulative likes than other single posts over recent times and I can’t deny that does concern me. It makes me wonder whether people are tiring of my lack of cursory likes on their posts. That is something I avoid doing because I like to do three things; read, comment and like. The importance of each thing is in descending order for me. How can I like something that I haven’t read? How can I comment on something that I haven’t read? If I’ve read it then how can I like it without commenting on how good the post is? The like is the least important of the three in my opinion. I always prefer it when a person thoroughly comments on my posts as it shows that they’ve read and formed an opinion. I appreciate the cursory likes in a way, but I appreciate my actual readers infinitely more.
So where has my audience disappeared to this week? Has my time in the bloggers limelight reached its conclusion? Am I no longer “flavour of the month”? Or is this really a case of people will only remain a loyal reader if you blow arse bound smoke in their direction? Unfortunately, that will not be happening. I’m starting to grow weary of the “like for like” business. I don’t have time to scroll through my reader and like people’s posts blindly without reading in the hope they’ll do the same with mine. I have writing to do. I have a son to raise. I have a relationship to work on. I also have pride! When I have the time to peruse the work of other people on WordPress then I’m going to do it the way I cited above; read, comment, like. I’m going to do it for those people who do the same with my work. I’m certainly not going to drop a like on a post I didn’t have any desire to read in the first place in the hope they’ll like my stuff in return.
I hark back to a Living the Dream post from a while ago entitled Blogging where I called out people who post just generic memes created by somebody else; quote and all. The fact that these people are still doing the rounds riles me. The fact that these people’s posts are still receiving a tonne of likes makes me want to breathe fire! The fact that the most basic and least thought out of posts receive such grand attention genuinely makes me question what a lot of my fellow alleged bloggers are actually here for; both as writers and readers.
So, what are you looking for? I’ll tell you what I’m looking for. I’m looking for well written posts into which the blogger put some serious time and effort. I’m looking for people with a passion for the craft of writing and aspirations of making the craft a serious part of their life. I’m looking for interesting and varying personalities who want to display their talent and are genuinely interested in the talents of others. I’m not looking for people who’ll drop me a like so that I’ll like their stuff. If a person doesn’t like my work or hasn’t bothered to read it then I’d rather get no like at all! I’m here looking for genuine readers and genuine supporters of my work because writing is literally all I want to do. I’m not here to write a journal, post memes or kill time. I’m here to display what I’m capable of, build a support base and practice my art. I’m here for the right goddamned reasons!
Okay; there are no rules as such regarding WordPress and you can use it for whatever purpose you like in reality. Nobody can tell you otherwise. However, if so called bloggers are exercising their right to free will in such a way then there’s surely no problem in me exercising my right to free speech. I think there are people abusing blogs and making a mockery of blogging in the process. I think there are people who turn up here not looking to connect with other writers at all and only drop a like on posts that they don’t have to spend time reading or commenting on; posts like said blog abusers are composing. Lazy, meaningless crap! It’s a vicious circle. I shouldn’t care that poor posts are getting tonnes more attention than mine are, but I do because I’m giving this blog my all unlike those people. It often leaves me wondering what the point is in me even bothering.
Then I remember the old saying; “quality over quantity”. The door swings both ways in that regard. I don’t drop random likes on posts in my reader because I want to read. I only tend to read posts from quality bloggers; those bloggers who have proven themselves to have true talent in my eyes. If I have read, liked and commented on at least one of your posts in the past then you are in an esteemed group of people who truly impressed me with your writing. The saying works the other way too. I’m receiving reads, likes and comments from these quality bloggers. Their one like amounts to a hundred cursory likes from somebody who couldn’t be bothered to actually read my post.
I don’t find cursory likes flattering. I honestly find them quite offending. Sure, they make my stats look more impressive and perhaps help me get noticed more (though I’m yet really to see evidence of that), but the fact that they only like the post in the hope that I’ll return the gesture and with no real intention of seeing if I’m actually a good writer is not even remotely flattering.
So I ask again, what are you looking for? If you’re looking for a person who’ll hit the like tab on your posts just because you do it on theirs then I’m not your guy. If you’re looking for somebody who’ll post short and thoughtless stuff with no substance or meaning just so it doesn’t take you long to read then I’m not your guy. If you’re looking for a way of wasting some time then I’m not your guy.
What am I looking for? I’m looking for people like me. I’m looking for individuals who love to write and love to read the writings of others. I’m looking for those who’ll work hard to grab my attention and show some passion for what they do. I’m looking for kindred spirits who’ll inspire me, give me new ideas, support me, and allow me to support them.
If you aren’t looking for something similar then I fear you’ve come to the wrong place…