New Blogger? Please Don’t Do This
I’m a new blogger.
Well, actually I’m the proud owner of a handful of failed blogs and this brand new baby blog. Those failures will be in a story for another day, I promise – I like to learn from my failures (as you know from my recent post on failure).
For those of you that don’t know, blogging is hard. It’s not just writing whatever comes to mind and taking pretty pictures. It’s drafting, curating, editing and slaving over content. Optimizing for SEO. Finding images (or taking original images, which is a whole other animal). Editing images. Branding content. Scheduling content. Promoting content. Agonizing over content.
It’s not easy. Most successful bloggers do it because they’re passionate about it; they have something worth sharing and their excitement bleeds through in every word, picture, and back-end tweak that happens before they hit publish.
Knowing this, understanding this – the work, the effort, the blood, sweat and tears that go into good blogs – I got a little irked the other day.
I commented on a blog post about using Bloglovin’ to promote your blog a few weeks ago. Imagine my surprise when I opened my email this weekend and saw a reply to that comment from what appeared to be a new blogger, asking for a review of her site.
Color me suspicious.
Pretty sure my original comment was about how I’m new to the blogging world, and Bloglovin’ and how I needed the tips in the article. And here is this random person from across the internet reaching out to me as a “new blogger”. Here’s exactly what she said:
Hi Rachel 🙂 I only just signed up to bloglovin recently. Would love for you to check out my blog? 🙂
First off, it’s RACHELLE, not RACHEL. It’s really not that hard, people.
Second, she left a link to her site, which I did check out. Rando Commenter is a photographer, and a pretty darn good one. The problem is that she left the exact same comment on every. single. comment. on the post thread.
Once I realized that, I felt like I had wasted my time reviewing her site. Her comment felt impersonal (I really could have forgiven the name thing). Blogging is about building relationships. Am I bad at commenting regularly on blogs I love? Admittedly yes. But shamelessly using someone else’s threads to promote your site seems so… cheap, to me.
So, new bloggers. Please, please, focus on building relationships. Don’t spam the world with your site and expect a glowing response. Don’t drop a bunch of links to your site in a comment like “great post!”. Be thoughtful. Care about the thread you’re joining. Care about the people in it, and try to understand why they’re there. Obviously a bunch of newbs looking for tips on growing their blog aren’t going to be rushing off to review your site just because you put a smiley face at the end of your request.