The etiquette of visiting and the whys and wherefores of Stats
- Be positive about other peoplIf you can’t then move on without commenting
- If you’ve lapsed, (I’ve been known to lapse) admit it immediately and move on
- If you think it is a good article but you can’t relate to the topic, at least leave a star to show that you’ve read it and appreciated the article and the hard work that went into it
- Whenever you can do it honestly and nicely, comment
- Unless it’s no visitors at all, there’s nothing as depressing as Stats that show you have had visitors but they haven’t bothered to make their presence known through a ‘comment’ or a ‘like’. I’ve had as many as fifty visitors in a day who haven’t commented. Make your presence known
- Last but not least, the above isn’t necessarily going to increase your traffic, but it might make you some fast friends and like-minded followers. Imagine it, we are sitting at our computers somewhere in the world sending our words into the ether. We could be in the US, the UK, or the Philippines, Australia or Austria. When we get together we don’t always know who is who. I think of it as the ultimate Global Village.
I mentioned to a fellow blogger quite recently that when I started my blog I believed that (as in the movie Field of Dreams) if I built it they would come. I was sure that my words would speak for me. After all, I had bravely hauled myself out of my dusty bottom drawer and opened myself up to the scrutiny of strangers. I posted my first piece and waited. But no strangers came.
I’ve heard that ‘In the beginning’ there was The Word’ . That’s sometimes how a blogger must feel. The Blog belongs the author to do with as she or he wishes. It’s a wonderful feeling. But that’s the limit, the blogger has no control over who visits. I began with many, many words and thought they were good. After several drafts and redrafts I would post my magical prose. Then I would spot a bunch of defects in said prose and update. (Thank heavens for the update and edit buttons.) Then I would wait. And wait. It was dispiriting to say the least. I’d be constantly checking my Stats. No one was interested enough for even a peep.
More do visit these days than used to but I wouldn’t say the hordes are exactly breaking down my door. I did a bit of visiting myself. I dropped in on the Freshly Pressed to see how it’s done. Sometimes I liked their contributions sometimes I couldn’t relate. But all of them had their faithful followers, those hordes that I mentioned earlier. These bloggers knew the secret. Some had been at it longer than I have so perhaps time and patience was the key. Also they had Facebook and Twitter followers and I didn’t. I considered it for myself for a while but I have a hard enough time saving my words for articles. I couldn’t keep up the daily grind necessary to maintain the constant demand. The Freshly Pressed had photographs or clipart that illustrated and enhanced their words, and despite help being available, I didn’t know how to do that.
I went back home and read. (That’s the way I am about new appliances. First I try to work them, and then I go back to the manual.) I read about ‘like’ buttons and ‘comments’ and installed them. That was a good start, but still no comments or likes. I can’t get myself to be carried away about photographs, for me it’s about the word, but I’m in the minority on this so I tried. The thing is that I am not good at photographs never have been; I think it’s to do with the fact that I am artistically challenged. I don’t give too much thought about placement, I’m half-hearted about the whole thing and I think people can sense it. My blog just isn’t pretty or professional. I have a recipes blog with no pictures, that should tell you a lot about me. A teacher once praised a painting I’d done. That was in primary school. It was an accident. I didn’t know what I’d done right then and still don’t. I’ve (unsuccessfully) been trying to recreate that moment ever since.
So what was left for me? I’m never going to have a pretty or a professional blog, so it’s no use my yearning for one. But I’m going to keep writing, which is one of the reasons I started this blog, the other being that when you are professionally published you may get paid for it, but you rarely get feedback. I like feedback and live in hopes of getting some.
I will keep visiting my neighbours and stop worrying about Stats so much. People say that writing is a lonely profession. Writing takes up a lot of energy and time. What better than electronic interaction with fellow bloggers. You don’t have to get into your glad rags and haul yourself out of the house. You don’t have to invite them over, make them coffee and spend endless hours chatting when you’re yearning to get on with that idea that suddenly popped into your head.
Bloggers can sometimes be more real than the flesh and blood types. And I don’t have to answer the door if I don’t want to, except when I want to which is why I have my Blog Roll.
In the end, writing is the thing for me. I’m going to keep it up whether you visit or not, but there will always be a welcome mat. Because we lonely writers need a break now and again and we do need the occasional pat on the back.