The One About Being a Better Blogger

When I first started reading blogs and blogging myself, the internet was a different place. I stumbled upon blogging, mostly by chance. I found new blogs by the comments left on the blogs I was reading and by blogrolls (which I think people still actually use.) My first blog listed my favorite reads and what I considered my “network” on the left side column. That was it. That’s how it was done.

A lot of those bloggers still blog, some by different names, some by the same. Some are still very much in my life, see my BFF there at the bottom? We had just become friends. That was over 3 years ago.

3 years ago, I was a regular commenter on these blogs and they on mine. At the end of that blog, that list should have been much longer as my network had grown because we were just being introduced to social networking. Facebook, Plurk, Twitter, even MySpace; these were all new and you know what we did on them? We talked. We shared photos and laughs and had fun together.

Oh blogging, how you’ve evolved.

See back then, we would connect, add each other’s blogs to our blogroll or our reader and that was that. Then we engaged. Now my reader has over 1000+ unread items, I have no blogroll, and when I end up reading someone’s newest post, it’s because of a link on twitter or Facebook. I’ll be honest, I read and leave. 9 out of 10 times, I don’t comment.

I’m a terrible blogger. The concept of personal blogging is slowly dying and I know there are people out there who hate this. While I happen to be one of them, I haven’t done anything to change that. Until now.

I want to be a better blogger. I don’t think that only writing here every day will do that. I believe there is more to being a blogger than just sharing what you’ve got and expecting people to read it and talk about it and share it. I used to respond to every comment I received. I haven’t done that in awhile. I used to comment on blogs. I used to share the good stuff I was reading.

I miss all of that.

So here’s what I’m proposing: Better Blogging.

I don’t think its a terribly hard concept but I know I’m going to have to push myself to do it. Some ways I’m going to try and be a better blogger:

  • Read more blogs and actually comment.
  • Clean my reader out. There are so many in there I don’t even LIKE (and yes, there are bloggers I don’t like. Guess what! It’s ok. It’s ok to go against popular opinion and dislike someone. Since meeting some bloggers in real life, I’ve learned that some people are downright nasty IRL and basically, that makes me not give a shit about their blogs. Some are still sitting in my reader so, bye bye). I’m going to put new blogs in my reader and make an active effort to read them and comment.
  • If I see something I like, I’m going to share it. If I comment on it, I’m going to share it. I’ll share it on Twitter and probably my Facebook page. I’ll tell you why you should read it.
  • I’m going to start with about 5 blogs a day, with at least one new blog I’ve never read before.

This is going to take work and effort. Is it going to pay off? I have no idea. Am I doing it to get more readers? Partly. Honestly, I just want to start connecting again. I love the relationships that blogging has brought me but my twitter stream is tired. I feel like I’m in a small town and it’s the same stuff over and over. I feel like branching out and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

So. Is there anyone who wants to join me? Is there anyone you think I should be reading? Is there anything that you have posted lately that you really think I should read?

Let’s hear it.



This Post Has 31 Comments

  1. ohmommy says:

    9 out of 10 times I don’t comment because I’m reading on my smart phone – which I didn’t have three years ago. Heck, I didn’t even have a laptop. I was tied to the computer and excited to see a new post up in my reader. Times certainly have changed. I’m still reading blogs, just a lot more silently.

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    Miss Reply:

    @ohmommy, I totally hear that about reading on your phone. It’s so hard to comment when the blogger doesn’t have a mobile layout activated. It’s much easier to comment when they do which is why I think everyone needs to have one.

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  2. Caroline says:

    This makes me smile. I miss the early days of blogging. It was so, so good back then. ;)

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    Miss Reply:

    @Caroline, Wasn’t it? I loved getting new comments and checking out new blogs!

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  3. When “Personal Blogging” becomes “Blogging for profit” it’s my cue to leave.

    I mean, I’m all for sidebar ads, I’ll even go out of my way to click on some that I really have no interest in because I know I’m helping support a fellow blogger, and the occasional sponsored post (which, honestly, I usually skim but ignore.)

    I’m here for the personal connection. Hell my business suffers greatly because I refuse to self-promote, but that’s just kind of who I am.

    I’m all for better blogging. Where do I sign up?

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    Miss Reply:

    @ShredderFeeder, I’ve done sponsored posts and have made some cash which of course, helps make ends meet around here. I know they aren’t the best posts to read but I usually try and add my own touch to them with personal experiences. My movie reviews are sometimes done because I was invited to a screening of the movie which really, is win/win for me because I LOVE movies. Blogging has given me a lot on top of the relationships I’ve made and I can’t apologize for that. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to make it better and work on changing it a bit. All it takes is people willing to try!

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    ShredderFeeder Reply:

    @Miss,

    When it’s in addition to it’s great.. find and dandy, I totally get it. In fact I’m a bit jealous as no-one seems to want my opinion. ;-)

    But I see so many blogs that do NOTHING but the sponsored posts… That gets old. I’m here for the people, first and foremost. Many seem to have completely forgotten what brought us together in the first place.

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    Miss Reply:

    @ShredderFeeder, I’ve seen far too many blogs like that lately and I agree with you. I don’t think they should call themselves personal bloggers when they are doing none of that. Some people however, are in this for nothing BUT the perks and that really messes up what the rest of us are trying to do.

  4. Commenting is really based on if you feel like you have something to share. Sadly my reading of blogs has significantly dropped simply because of the lack of hours I have in a day to read! (You already know I struggling in reading the long list of books I have on my Kindle).

    I actually read a very interesting article this morning walking into the office (an example of how I have to multi task in order to read ANYTHING other than my email) on how personal blogging is dying. After reading that I realized that I need to once again start making an effort to share more personal thought. Marketing and company relationships has taking over my writing, but that doesn’t mean I have to lose myself in those words. I might still be promoting a product or an event, but I will make sure to put my personal story along with it.

    People started reading your blog because you had something to say. We now read because you have something to share. Now it is a matter of finding that balance.

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    Miss Reply:

    @Red Lotus Mama, I have no problems with building company relationships and sharing those with my readers. I’m also not saying we should comment on things that don’t touch us. My problem is I’m not commenting or sharing the things that do and that’s where I feel I’ve lost my own way. So I’m going to try and get that back, a little bit at a time.

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  5. Good for you. I read way more than I write and I comment as often as I have something substantive to add. It makes me sad when I go through my reader and realize I haven’t seen a new post from someone in a long time. Blogging, like all formats, is evolving. What it was three years ago was great, but it’s interesting to see where it’s going now.

    In the end, I hope your blogging experience is an enriching one for you. That’s what really matters.

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    Miss Reply:

    @Nancy [Spinning My Plates], You said it well Nancy! We have to make it what we want it to be and when it stops being fun, its time to re-evaluate!

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  6. Avitable says:

    I wasn’t on your list when you first started? That’s a tragedy!

    Yesterday I went through my feedreader, which I hadn’t opened in over a month, and cut it down from 900 blogs to 50. And now I’ll finally be able to just read and enjoy the blogs of the people who mean the most to me.

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    Miss Reply:

    @Avitable, I think you were a guilty pleasure because remember, you were totally “edgy” back then?? I was sure reading though!

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  7. Great post! I actually “saw” this on Twitter! Unfortunately, I think as we evolve technologically we are losing a lot of the personal connection–it’s not gone, I think we just need to work harder to keep it there. Thanks for the post!

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    Miss Reply:

    @Jessica Morrison, You’re right Jessica, we do have to work harder. In a world of 140 characters, we just don’t really have to, you know? Twitter is the ultimate enabler! LOL

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  8. Briya says:

    This, exactly! I read more than I comment. But I *DO* still read. It’s gotten even easier with people posting on twitter, and tumblr, etc. But I’ve gotten so lazy in the commenting. (And the writing *cough*)

    But I’m totally down for better blogging. The reading AND the commenting!

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    Miss Reply:

    @Briya, It’s work, no doubt. I’m getting caught up in reading when I should be cleaning my reader. Easily distracted!

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  9. tehamy says:

    I am terrible at commenting. I read posts days after they were published and then I feel silly for commenting so “late”. I am going to stop feeling silly and start commenting more. And I’m going to clean out my reader and cut down the blogs that I read. I often get overwhelmed by the number of pots that I have to read and I just shut my reader.

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    Miss Reply:

    @tehamy, I often HAVE TO hit Mark All As Read. Instead of doing that this time around, I’ve been trying to catch up or just fully delete without even reading, especially if the person has a lot of posts. As for reading and commenting on stuff that’s old, I do it anyways. ;)

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  10. Issa says:

    Ali Martell posted a challenge a few months ago about commenting on 20 blogs a day. I’ve been trying really hard to just do that. 20 comments. I have 200 in my reader…although I’ve started taking people out too. No reason to leave them in there, or keep them in my “friends” list on FB and Twitter if I can’t stand them.

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    Miss Reply:

    @Issa, 20 is a LOT. I’m struggling with 5.

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  11. Lex says:

    Love this post, Miss. Makes me want to… Oh, yeah, blog! So ok, I’ll join you. And start by posting on my own on a regular basis. As for new reads, are you reading Temerity Jane? I love her blog.

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  12. Jackie S. says:

    I use to read Immoral Matriarch religiously and through her I stumbled on to your site. Through you I started reading Piper of Love. What happened to those two blogs? I miss reading them.

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  13. melissa says:

    oh yes, the good old days of blogging. cre8buzz, blogcatalog, visiting and commenting. then…this social media crap took over and personal blogs aren’t read the way they used to be. it SUCKS.

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  14. Mo says:

    I love this post. I started blogging about three years ago and I loved going through blogrolls, finding new blogs to read. I think it’s a shame that people don’t keep them anymore. It’s definitely more convenient to put everyone in a reader, but I don’t comment as much anymore, and I seem to collect blogs that I’ve read once or twice but don’t really enjoy. I would love to go back to basics but cutting back on who I read, commenting more often and sharing great posts.

    Maybe you should start and old school blogging movement!

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  15. Becky says:

    I literally just did this. Cleaned out my reader. Narrowed it down to the ssc and a few others, started to comment again etc. it’s nice and I forgot how much I miss it.

    Ps. I hear you should read my blog :)

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  16. karenmeg says:

    I miss blogging, a big part of me misses the life I had as a blogger 3 years ago, but like you wrote here (so eloquently) blogging evolves and life evolves. And I miss the connection that we (you and me!) had and the connection I had with a lot of those other original bloggers I visited regularly. It is hard to keep up when I only post a few times a year now … but I do pop in here whenever I do to catch up on you, beautiful girl. Blogging has become a lot less personal, and I agree, it is rather sad.

    I am so old school now that when I pop into my blog I only go into my original blogroll – my reader exploded ages ago and I haven’t followed the technology to keep up with it. Hard to believe that I was plurking, cre8buzzing, and facebooking and tweeting before a lot of people knew what that even was … and now I am such a lame blogger.

    I’d love to try what you’ve suggested. Can you find me an extra 5 hours a day ;)? xoxo

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  17. Shay Kay says:

    You commented on my blog recently, encouraged me and made my day! Thanks. It brought me back here, and with any luck will again in the future.

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  18. Love this post and your ideas! I’ve blogged off and on for a few years but never got passionate about it until last year or so. I love personal blogs and often get put off by all the marketing hype and nonsense. I’m also not one for crafts and recipes either and that seems to be what a lot of blogs are about. I like the real, raw, B.S. of life with a side of humor.

    Found you through MomsLA and glad I did!
    Elle

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  19. [...] point has been made that blogging has changed.  Some might say evolved, I say changed.  I wrote my first blog post back in 2005.  Back when [...]

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