What traits DO we want in our readers?
Just as we appreciate quality in writing, we appreciate thoughtful, engaged readers. Of course, the primary way readers support us is by leaving comments.
In our multi-tasking, fast-paced world, it is reasonable that readers will do a certain amount of “skimming” – they show up, skim your post, click the “like” button and move on to the next blog. I do this myself if time is limited or bloggers post multiple times a day.
Most of the time though, I linger on each post reading and absorbing the content. I try to respond in the way that will be most meaningful to that blogger and that specific post:
- Encourage; praise; sympathize
- Relate a similar experience or triggered thought
- Inject some humor into my comment
- Ask for more information
- Heartily agree – or respectfully disagree – with an opinion
- Suggest an answer or resolution
- Recommend a link to a relevant blogger or online resource
Knowing how to comment effectively becomes easier as your engagement with specific bloggers evolves. I try to take cues from bloggers’ tones, their comments to me, and their “about” pages to determine the frequency of contact and degree of intimacy each blogger seems comfortable with. (Note: I’m not sure I’m successful!)
Beyond comments, how can readers support bloggers?
Participating in daily challenges, blog hops, shout-outs and award nominations are all ways readers can acknowledge bloggers.
Late at night, I browse by searching tag words – for example, “musings” or “life” – to find bloggers I might be interested in following. It’s akin to browsing in the stacks of my library, which has always been one of my favorite indoor pasttimes.
Readers who can afford to might purchase books by indie authors and art or photography from indie artists. Bloggers often recommend books that have impacted them. Reading those is a way to gain perspective in your blogging relationships. I have taken a cue from Damyanti, using some of my book budget to buy and enjoy the following reads:
- Whirled: Life, Loss, and Healing on the High Plains by Jane Willis – Musings on her life as a minister in a small Wyoming town.
- The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin – A medical thriller with a genre twist that gives her plot a unique flavor.
- Imaginary Friends by Melanie Lee – A compilation of Melanie’s A to Z Challenge fables with simple, thought-provoking messages for adults.
- Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – Marci at Fuzzy Undertones recommended this graphic memoir of Marjane’s childhood in Iran. I found it highly informative and exceptionally creative, a great read I would never have discovered on my own.
On my wish list for future purchases are:
- A Dad’s Journey by Mark Trout
- Climbing the Eiffel Tower by Elizabeth Hein (to be published Oct. 3, 2014)
- Yakimali’s Gift by Linda Covella (to be published July 29, 2014). Linda has THE BEST book trailer I have ever seen!
- Art by several of my favorite artists (who will be featured soon in an artist shout-out post)
I recently made a small contribution to Laurel Regan’s “Go Fund Me” campaign to help her reach her goal of attending a Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT) seminar. Laurel’s blog introduced me to my new tangling passion, and I have learned so much from her. She generously shares her expertise, and I am grateful for her mentoring.
Are there other ways you support bloggers or feel supported by your readers?