Friday, November 12, 2010

The Point Of Blogging

I'm a bit confused.

I know why I blog (for self-expression), but I don't understand why some others do.  It seems, from reading the aspirations of other bloggers, that many want to attract a huge following.  In fact, they explicitly discuss how to drive readers to their blogs with both subtle and blatant self-promotion.


Of course, everyone likes to be popular, but what does being read online by many people get you? 

It doesn't facilitate making friends, because friendship is based on regular, quality interactions -- and having 100+ readers usually precludes that.

It doesn't make real money, as far as I know.

And, last, there doesn't seem to be a correlation between quality and quantity.  Some of the biggest blogs have meager offerings.  The substance of their posts are often anemic by any standard.  As a reader, I much prefer blogs with better quality regardless of how many comments are shown.

Your  ideas?


  1. I agree with you. I've been trying to figure this one out for a while. I used to not care how many readers/comments I had because my blog was new, and then, after a few months, I was like, "Oh...shizz. So-and-so's blog has wayyyy more followers than me, and hers has only been open for 2 months! What am I doing wrong?" So then I cared for a little bit and checked my stats quite frequently. Then, I read how some of the more popular blogs get about as many hits per day as I get in an entire month, and, to be honest, I don't think their content is that great at all. Most of it is boring and not very fresh or ground breaking.

    I'm not quite sure where I'm at today. I'm of the opinion that if you're going to blog and put a lot of time into your content, you at least deserve to have it be read. The question is by how many? I like quality over quantity, myself. I feel like I've developed some pretty kick ass relationships with my more regular readers, and I wouldn't change that. I usually return all of the comments I get, but I try to actually make my comment meaningful, none of this, "Nice dress! <3" B.S. If I had 180 comments to return each post, I don't think I'd have the time to return them all AND leave meaningful comments on their blogs, and that's really important to me. So I'm fine with having a "smaller blog." It's likely that my reader base will grow over time, but not at the rate of some blogs, and I'm totally fine with that. I've had blogs before, and I've found once I've reached internet popularity, I tend to burn out a little bit.

  2. I saw your comments over at Trish and that's why I click on the link to your blog. I completely agree and funny enough, I had this conversation with E this morning. I said a lot of 'huge' blogs have poor photos and more importantly for me, poor content!

    ah, well, like anything, blogging is like fast food! People would rather go to Mcdonald's..


  3. Well.. some of them probably blog because of the fame, the freebies you can get as a blogger... :)

    I love writing reviews (my opinion on certain products) and that's the first reason why I started blogging. Then I realized I'm a bit egocentric, thus I post some more photos of myself than I planned. But it's all good, I enjoy make up and it's a real passion for me.. :) I do enjoy sharing it with others. I also like it when (IF to be honest) I get freebies from companies, and of course I wouldn't mind being fameous from it, but lol... that's kind of hard to believe, since I want to be known for other things :).

    I actually do understand the people who link their blogs in comments, because at one point we all are 'comment whores'.. xD

    I'm sorry if my comment is a bit weird, I'm not sure myself, what I actually wanted to tell.

  4. As I said yesterday, my blog is what I want it to be: no ads, no product pushing (if I mention a product or brand, it's just because I happen to like it), and no giveaways or gimmicks to rope in readers. I have slowly grown my readership over nearly 3 years. At 140+ followers, that's pretty small considering how long I've been blogging, but I like that I know most of my commenters, and I feel like I've developed friendships with many of them. They're quality people.

    Recently, there was a new blog that started (names not being named). She aggressively commented on TONS of blogs over a period of a couple of weeks - leaving the link to her blog. When I went to check her blog (because I always check out those of my commenters), I saw that she had over 500 followers! That's insane! I really don't think you can grow a blog so quickly and still maintain quality. And when I look at her's full of obvious sponsors, ads and promises of giveaways and "big surprises". Whoa, settle down! You've had a blog for 3 months!

    I know that everyone has their own agenda - and that's cool. But I don't think a blog "should" be this or that, or be compared to everyone else's. Let your blog be what you want it to be. :)

  5. I also blog for me and to meet quality people like yourself. There are a few really great people that I have met (not literally) by blogging. I enjoy these online friendships. They enrich my life since I don't get out much. It is like having fashionable friends. I have very few followers but the ones I do have that comment regularly are dear to me. I also read most blogs because I like to see what real people are wearing and their interests. It is nice to get to know people and I really appreciate you following my blog. I am lucky to know you now.

  6. i agree with you. i think you need to blog because you love it and use it as some kind of outlet. if you are in it for fame and money then its probably not for you.

  7. I'm of the same mind these ladies are... I don't understand a big push to get a lot of followers. But I love that my own blog has expanded beyond it's original purpose, and I get internet buddies like you and Sheila!

    And I love that my few readers can give me an objective eye when I'm not looking my best, and ideas on how to correct it. Just as I talk to other lawyers when I need help, I'm now doing the same with other bloggers.

    And I like tracking back through commenters' posts, and have gotten several great ideas from reading their blogs.

  8. Honestly thinking about having a huge readership does make me happy. It kind of makes me feel valued in a strange kind of way. But I think I would only feel the happiest if those readers came over time and because my posts were amazing to look at or had thought provoking/ resourceful content.

    However when I do realize that once one starts getting 100+ comments a day, it will become literally impossible to know each and every commenter or even get back to them, unless one hires a pr person. But then what is the point of the blog in the first place?

    I am thought a lot about it and finally decided to just let it take its own course. :)

    Love from Toronto, Canada

  9. I blog because I like the interaction with people. I blog because I do not have many friends here and it feel good to have a conversation with so many people thru the blog. Over the year I have fallen in love with blogging and making new friends and experimenting with fashion!

    Not promoting myself but I too had written a whole post about Why I started blogging. Why I started Blogging

  10. I think a lot of blogs become very popular like that because they just say the same old things a bunch of other ones do. Blogging to get followers seems pretty exhausting. It's rare someone becomes the most popular, and then they're just setting themselves up for failure and disappointment.

  11. A lot of bloggers do make money. And who doesn't daydream about getting paid to do something like that. Although a lot more work goes into that than one might think.

    I actually started my blog to share stuff about an Alaska vacation. Then I just kept going. I like sharing pictures with people. And stories about our motorcycle trips, and our dogs. Unfortunately, most of my readers (you not included) aren't bloggers or regular readers of blogs and aren't aware of comment etiquette. It's comments that keep us going, right? That's the only way we know people are reading. What I really like about reading other people's blogs is that I have met lots of very different and very interesting people. People I never would've met otherwise. So even if I do get frustrated that few people comment, I'll probably keep plugging right along.

  12. What wonderful responses! Thank you all.

    You've enlightened me in several ways and, more important, you share some deeply-personal stuff about why you blog and what you're looking for. That matters to me, big-time. Learning about you is not only fascinating, it touches me emotionally.

    One point I omitted from my initial post - but which many of you mention, so I should too - is that a major reason for my blogging is to meet new people and make new friends.

    A year or two ago, after much introspection, I realized the biggest hole in my life was not having friends who saw me in my totality (i.e., including my TG nature). Most of my friends see me without that aspect and, in real-life, it's sometimes hard to bring it up. I figured if I was open about it from the start, new people who couldn't handle it would simply move on and whomever is left are potential friends.

    And, in fact, that has happened. I've made several really-nice, really-satisfying friendships from blogging. I don't want 500 readers; I want a dozen great friends with whom I can share my thoughts, feelings and life's events.

  13. I agree with you completely. At one point in my blogging, I started to get really caught up in my statistics (this was when I had a job with nothing to do but play on the computer all day). I put so much pressure on myself, posting photos linking to my blog on multiple websites, trying to comment on at least 50 different blogs a day. My stats were fantastic, but the relationships were shallow, and it was exhausting. Once I got a real job, where I couldn't blog all day, I had to cut back severely. And honestly, I love it more now. It feels more "me". I don't post as much, and I don't read as many blogs as I used to, but I feel like my relationships with my readers and fellow bloggers are much stronger than they were before. Sometimes I'll go a few days without any comments, but that doesn't bother me anymore.
    I agree, quality is much more important than quantity.

  14. Typing from my phone so this will be short with lots of iPhone spellings. I started my blog because I'm trying to grow my fashion biz. I'm a consultant and my we site has a link to my "fashion blog". I was afraid to post my daily outfits because I was afraid that I wasnt sure if people would be like, "why would I hire her? She can't even dress herself." but I also wanted potential clients to see that I'm a regular gal that just dresses normal. And that I'm not some scary fashion snob.

    So that's why I started. But what has actually happened is that the few regular readers have become friends. Including you. I love it. I have no idea how people found me or why they like it but I know that I really like them and really get excited to see if they are leaving comments.


  15. What a great post !
    I see that I have been missing out on a lot.
    Honestly I began blogging for me, so I could keep track of what I wear, see how I could be more creative and have an outlet.
    It has been so much more.
    I like getting comments but I love getting them from the same people over and over.
    I feel like we are having a conversation and interacting and I am getting to know that person.
    I think that some blogs so reflect the shallowness out there, its like meeting a really pretty girl who is dumb. You will get tired sooner or later.
    BTW.. you got a new follower.

  16. Thank you, Lorena! I feel the same way.

  17. As someone who has a 'bigger' (5-6,000 readers daily) blog, I do have to say that once your comment count goes over 30, it becomes challenging to maintain relationships with your readers. It turns into more of a standard content-feedback magazine format. You can definitely feel a lack of interaction on mine, and I often feel guilty for not answering every single person. :(

    Higher readership also changes the way you blog. I used to allow myself much more personal posts, about my daily affairs or things that bothered me personally. Now I'm much more careful not to even use the word 'hell' (let alone 'fuck' -- oh heavens!) because someone WILL get offended. Larger readership also means higher likelihood of negative comments (YouTube is the most extreme example of that).

    A more intimate blog allows you to open up more, share your innermost thoughts, and get sincere support from your readers. Which is exactly what we have here on this blog! From a reader's perspective, it allows you to recognize a lot of the same commenters and makes you want to check out their blogs! It's a beautiful thing.

    Most popular bloggers have smaller 'secret' blogs for that reason -- to re-experience that connection.

  18. I agree with.... everyone! I blog for new relationships based on common interests, to satisfy my own puerile vanity, etc. (Can I say I also blog so I can use words like puerile without people looking at me strangely?)

    More thought provoking things occur in the normal course of blogging, like this post, but if all I want and need is to look pretty that day, I can do that too. I have an intense and stressful life and blogging about clothes is something that is light and fun and just about/for me. Sometimes the act of getting dressed is the ONLY thing I do for myself in a day... may as well relish it!! And clothing is a fun vector through which my teenage daughter and I can relate... something that's not always easy with an almost 16-year old.

  19. Thanks, Doe. Your perspective is really valuable because you've seen both worlds.

    I grasp how what I've got here is enviable in its intimacy and the opportunity it provides to make real friendships. That couldn't exist on a big blog.

  20. As you know, the main reason for starting our blog was to promote self-confidence in what is hopefully a fun but also thought-provoking way. People told me enough times that I am a good writer simply from reading emails I'd send where I just rambled, lol, so I thought why not blog about issues I find interesting and maybe actually inspire some people along the way if I can. And part of the reason is because we do want to turn "the closet narcissist" into a business eventually, and we wanted a way to interact with people and develop relationships beyond just selling things. Our main purpose has been and always will be to make people feel better about themselves.

    I used to get kind of depressed (okay, that's a strong word!) when we wouldn't get very many comments when I'd compare how many comments a lot of blogs get. It seemed that we needed to measure the impact of what we're trying to accomplish based on that. One day when I checked our stats after not having checked in a long time, I was pleasantly surprised by the number of daily views! I realized that just because someone isn't moved to comment every time, it doesn't mean they're not reading or that it's not making a difference. What a load off. I also used to feel like we needed to post every day or else risk getting forgotten, until Ariel gave us some sage advice and told us not to worry so much about that. We want to have content that matters, with the occasional quick and light post here and there too, and some days are just too busy to post, and sometimes there just isn't anything that interesting to post we don't sweat it. We post "when the spirit moves," so to speak. lol We don't want to inundate people either.

    I've also noticed that on some of the big blogs with lots of comments, many times it is the BS type of stuff Ashley mentioned where it's obvious people are commenting only to promote their own blog. People can tell when it's not genuine. When I leave a comment, it's thought out and purposeful, not because I want to advertise. I've also noticed that on a lot of bigger blogs, they have TONS AND TONS of photos and very little content. It's just a bunch of pretty stuff to look at, and I tend to skip over those kinds. A lot of times, they are only featuring things...on one day of each week, they'll talk about other blogs; on another, featured products. While that's relevant sometimes, of course, I want something more than someone simply compiling stuff for me to look at, you know? I want something meaningful thrown in there too.

  21. Good points, Jen. I agree with you.