A few weeks ago, I wrote about what I thought made a good equine blog. Digesting this topic some more internally, I wanted to write a follow up post about what I think may be even more important – being a good blog citizen.
I didn’t realize when I started blogging that I would truly be entering a close knit community of people. I now call several people I’ve met through blogging friends, and even if you’re not someone I talk to on a daily basis – I root for your success and empathize with your failure all the same.
So what does it mean to be a “member in good standing” in the community? As always, these are my silly opinions and you should recognize that deep down I don’t really know what I’m doing.
A comment received is a comment given. Blogging shouldn’t be all about the comments… but it’s hard not to want feedback on something you work hard on. If someone comments on your blog, check theirs’ out and return the favor.
Don’t kick someone when they’re down. I think when you read a lot of blogs, you see things unfold that you may or may not have thought were a bad idea to begin with. We can’t all be captain hindsight, and when we blog our mistakes are so obviously public. As a member of the community, you can do a lot by saying “I’m sorry” instead of “I told you so.”
Offer happiness and condolences. It is not a coincidence that my posts that usually have the highest number of comments are the ones where I am celebrating something (a great show) or upset about something (a lame pony). All of you are so fantastic about making me feel better about things. I feel so much support from the readers of this blog!
Don’t one up each other. It’s not a contest. Jenny doesn’t need to be better than Sally. Just be Jenny, Jenny!
Interact with your readers. If someone leaves a comment on your blog asking a question, do your best to answer it for them. Really, any comment given is an opportunity to respond replying to that comment. I don’t reply to all my comments anymore (used to), but I try to answer questions, offer thank yous, and clarify anything that seems fuzzy.
Let someone know if you’re MIA. Shit happens. Sometimes we don’t feel like blogging, and that’s no big deal. If you disappear for a long time without anything happening, people really do get concerned though. If you can, tell a blogger friend or post a quick ‘hey I’m going to chill for a while’ post.
Help validate the newbies. Starting a blog can be really intimidating, especially when you discover this community of bloggers out there with tons of comments and followers. You know what’s a good way to make them feel welcome? Leave them a comment or two on their new blog – even if it’s not something that interests you and you may never come back again. They will notice and appreciate this a lot (ask me how I know!).
Above all… be yourself. Don’t try to fit into a mold just because someone says you should.
I’ll also take this as an opportunity to thank all my readers! Know that I read each and ever comment, and really appreciate your continued support. This blog is a lot of work, but it’s a labor of love for a lot of reasons… and the blogging community is a big reason!