Jon Gibbs (jongibbs) wrote,
Jon Gibbs

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The Fine Art of Self-Promotion: Part Six – How to lose blog readers (cont’d)

Here’s the second part of my thoughts on the results of the poll about what might put people off from reading a blog, along with suggestions for how folks - particularly writers - who want to use their journal as a self-promotional tool might put those results to good use.

Aside from top three ‘sins’(which I covered in last week’s post) the two biggest no-nos as far as the 151 voters were concerned, are posting spiteful things about other people (58%) and ignoring most or all comments (56%).

Frankly, other than to recommend not doing it, I can’t think of any helpful suggestions about the making spiteful remarks thing. Ignoring comments, on the other hand, is a different matter.

Imagine you watched a great conference panel and afterwards went up to the speakers to tell them how much you enjoyed it. What if they simply turned their backs and walked away? I don’t mind admitting that if that happened to me, I’d be tempted to never read anything they wrote again.

I don’t think ignoring someone who comments on your blog is quite that insulting, but it still seems a tad rude.
Suggestion from a self-promotional point of view:
We’re all busy, but engaging with your readers makes blogging much more fun and (I believe) is a big help self-promotion wise. If hundreds of people comment on your posts, I think folks would understand if you didn't respond to each one, but if you have less than (say) fifty people leaving their thoughts on your latest blog entry, take a few minutes to reply. If you really think you’re too busy, or just don’t want to, then disable the comment option altogether, that way you won’t ruffle any feathers.

Less important, but still useful information to take from the poll is that almost a quarter of people who voted thought less of a blogger who didn’t friend them back.
Suggestion from a self-promotional point of view:
If you’re an unknown writer (and by unknown I mean: If you stopped ten people in the street and less than eight said they’d heard of you) then, frankly, if someone friends you, check out that person's blog. If he/she is a real person, and you share a common interest eg; writing, why not friend them back?

Finally, it’s worth noting that more than half of those who voted have unfriended people for doing one or more of the things covered in the poll, and that almost 40% no longer read posts by friends who did those things, even though they hadn’t yet taken them off their friends list.

I hope you’ve found this useful. Next week, I’ll be talking about writers’ websites and among other things, why I’m not convinced it’s a good idea to have a blog there.

In the meantime, if you’ve got a minute, I’d appreciate you answering a quick question:

Poll #1492439 Writers' websites

Blog or website: For a writer, which do you feel is more important?

Both equally vital
Neither - the writing should sell itself
Tags: blogging, fiction, writing

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