Why did you begin blogging? I did for a number of reasons. Of course I love the internet and I really enjoy meeting new people. I was also intrigued by the possibilities of viral marketing. But the biggest reason I began blogging was to share what I know about growing a small, service-oriented businesses through the web.
What’s really impressed me about the blogosphere, though, is how openly and freely bloggers share what they know. For the most part, there seems to be no holding back – no protecting information. Which is amazing. Anything, and maybe everything, you would ever want to learn about blogging, business, branding, marketing, seo, etc is openly available on the blogosphere. And bloggers seem to love to share it.
But what about nonbloggers. How open are we to them? How easy do we make it for them to join ‘our world?’ Do we offer ample opportunity for nonbloggers or beginning bloggers to join in? Is the blogosphere just a huge clique?
That’s what Wendy Piersall from eMoms at Home has been wondering. She’s been noticing how much of her traffic comes from bloggers while how little comes from nonbloggers. She began thinking that perhaps we bloggers aren’t making it easy for nonbloggers, and even new bloggers, to join the conversation.
Blogs are conversations, yes. But have you ever walked into the middle of a conversation at a party, with a bunch of people you hardly know? Specifically a group that already knows each other well?
We all know how hard it is to walk into the middle of a conversation. We awkwardly stand there, trying to figure out whats being talked about; listening intently for a chance to add in. Sometimes we get in. But more often then not, we’re ignored and even shunned. And we walk away thinking ‘they were a bit snobbish and cliquey.’
I love Darren Rowse’s site ProBlogger. Darren so freely shares what’s made him and others successful. And I get the sense he’s a pretty nice guy. But I’ve had experiences like this commenting on his blog. A few times I’ve posed questions or what I feel are valid ideas in the comments that just get ignored. I don’t necessarily fault Darren for this, but I do question why no commenters were willing to engage me. Maybe I’m just too new in the conversation. But the experience has made me stop commenting at ProBlogger.
So, as bloggers, do we have a responsibility to, as Wendy writes, “break out of the blogging clique?” What can we do to be more open to newbies and nonbloggers? Please join in.
Here’s a few ideas from eMoms to get the conversation started:
Darren Rowse suggests “I think a mistake that some bloggers make is promoting themselves as a â€˜blog' – in doing so they could be losing readers as some people will either be confused by the term and/or distracted by it.”
Aaron M Potts thinks that, “If bloggers are going to band together to inform the masses, putting together one united banner would seem the most effective way to spearhead the effort.”
Rory adds, “It could be that many non-bloggers are more familiar with the use of a forum. They might have questions, but they go to their favourite forum, and post a question there. When they happen upon a blog, they might just read the information without understanding that they can comment – perhaps not even wanting to. They might be more inclined to try sending an e-mail to the blog owner. …Commenting on a weblog might be considered to be too daunting.”
Ariane Benefit suggest, “Addressing newbies in any field will get you lots of readers! As will addressing any specific problem that people commonly have. One of my most popular posts ever is still â€œ25 ways I save moneyâ€ It gets tons of traffic and has lots of links to it from other sites.”
John Wesley, “…if you can break through the barrier and get non-blogging, non-internet savvy people to start participating, you have a huge opportunity for growth. I think this potential out weighs the short term benefits of writing for bloggers.”
Please, be sure to read and carry on the conversation at eMoms.
In a future post, I’ll write about our conversation and link back to your blogs. Thanks for join in.