|Flickr Credit: Caroline|
Why that sacrifice? It boils down to one simple idea:
Blogging requires a reciprocal relationship.
It’s a little bit like getting married—if you think more about what you will get than what you can give, you’ll be in trouble.
(By the way, this doesn’t imply a union should be some kind of slavery, either—there should be a balance. If one party is dominating then maybe you should have a heart to heart talk with the Civil War and reestablish the federal government in your relationship.)
This principle applies to all blogs, too—not just the book blogs, or the teen personal blogs that you may be accustomed to seeing. Yes, that’s one option. But at the same time…
- business blogs need to cater to their customers
- writing blogs need to give useful advice
- humor blogs need to make you laugh
- financial blogs need to teach and guide responsibly
- political blogs need to make a statement
- book blogs need to share things people will (or won’t) read
- personal blogs need to make you care
Except for that last one… They ALL need to make you care. Because whether your blog is trying to sell something, say something, share something, or simply help someone—it isn’t really worth it if the people on the other end aren’t interested.
That’s only half of the relationship, though.
Because, you see, if there aren’t people on the other end in the first place, then a blogger is trapped. Without you there to read the blog, the reciprocal relationship never happens.
As a blogger, sometimes I spend so much time being a blogger that I forget to be a reader, as well. I spend a lot of time looking at other blogs, but my interest is passing. I want to get back to what I’m doing.
However, if you try to blog on your own little island, no one will ever row over to visit.
So, Fan Month is a month to be a reader. A month to remember that, hey, we’re all in this together. A month where we can settle back and enjoy other people’s work without being preoccupied with our own, and a month to remind ourselves that other bloggers are just as important as we are.
This, of course, leaves the big question—what are you supposed to do about it? I brainstormed.
- write a comment (this, by the way, has got to be the easiest one of them all)
- share on Twitter
- share on Facebook
- pin on Pinterest
- share on Tumblr
- share on ALL THE PLACES
- follow the writer on social media
- take the time to read older posts
- shoot them an email just to say hi
- request a guest post
- check out the blogs they love
- check out the books they love
- check out the music they love
- offer praise
- make a sock puppet of their face
- write a review for their blog
- write a review for their writing
- give shout-outs in your own posts
- specifically recommend them
- take their advice and give them feedback
- consider their advice
- follow up on one of their posts
- make a craft they recommend
- buy their merchandise
- share said merchandise
- put their button on your community page
- share their link(s)
- propose a blogging toast
- give to an organization they care about
- give them food (if it wouldn’t be creepy)
- thank them, often
Not a conclusive list—there’s plenty more you can do to tell someone you’re grateful.* And Fan Month is meant to serve others with that grace. Many people can’t join, and for some people, stepping out is hard.
But, at the same time, I have to believe that promoting that relationship is worth it—for all of us.
|Flickr Credit: Bill Gracey|
What do you think? What do you think is the best way to promote a reciprocal relationship in blogging? Will you join Fan Month? Or #FanMonth, since other people decided on a hashtag over on Aimee’s blog, I think.
*the list is just thinking; it could be a bad idea to send someone food unless you knew that blogger in person, and it’s not like you have to do it all the time—but if you needed an idea for ONE thing, at least you have some ideas