Guest post by AnnabelCandyfrom Get In the Hot Spot
Over the last 13 months 63,548 people from 165 countries have visited my blog and left 1,637 comments thanks to my friend Teresa. In fact it’s really all thanks to Teresa that I’ve enjoyed so many amazing opportunities since I started blogging. These are a few of the highlights of my short blogging career:
- meeting like-minded people from around the globe;
- being flown to China for a social media conference;
- earning money online;
- getting new clients for my copy writing and web design services;
- meeting best selling authors;
- writing for print and some of the most popular blogs on the Internet like Problogger.
You’re probably wondering who Teresa is and where you can find this great blogging guru. You may be imagining the female version of Problogger ~ an experienced bloggers who’s been coaching me and feeding me her best tips but the funny thing is Teresa doesn’t even have her own blog. She doesn’t know anything about blogging apart from what I’ve told her, and she wouldn’t normally read any blogs, but when I started blogging she read mine because she wanted to support me.
That’s because we our friendship is based on supporting each other to achieve our goals. We do also have shared interests in poker, dancing and white wine, but that’s another story. Teresa and I met in Costa Rica and started a writing group there based on a shared goal of wanting to improve our writing skills. Teresa liked my writing and I loved hers but mostly we enjoyed each other’s company.
In fact, we liked each other so much that after considerable debate we didn’t invite anyone else to join the writing group. It was just the two of us at Teresa’s kitchen table every Thursday night with a bottle of wine and our writing.
The idea was to encourage and motivate each other to write anything at all when we could have just as easily been surfing, practising our spanish with the friendly locals or hanging out in the jungle with the monkeys and sloths. We were accountable to each other and we agreed never to criticise and always keep the feedback positive.
Our exclusive writing group wasn’t just fun. It worked and we both wrote lots. Then I spoilt it by moving to Australia and soon after that Teresa moved to England but she still carried on encouraging me to write and she did it in a public forum by leaving comments on my new blog for all to see.
There are almost 100 comments from Teresa on my blog now, even though she hasn’t left many recently because she moved back to Costa Rica and getting online is tricky there.
3 Big Blogging Problems For New Bloggers
I didn’t realise at first but Teresa’s comments solved these three big problems for new bloggers:
1. Low motivation
60-80% of blogs are jettisoned by their authors less than 30 days after being started. Knowing that Teresa would be checking up on me motivated me to keep blogging even when I was tempted to give up;
2. Lack of social proof
It’s human nature to want to be where other people are. Having comments on your blog shows other readers that your blog is read, enjoyed and engaging. Teresa’s comments made me and my blog look cool, interesting and loved;
When your blog is new and you don’t have many readers there is a tendency to think that it doesn’t really matter if some of your blog posts are a bit off topic, badly written or of limited value to your readers. Knowing someone read my blog made me keep trying to improve my blog. Teresa made me keep trying to put only my best writing up there.
The Power of Blog Comments
In short, Teresa took me from being a depressed new blogger with only a handful of readers to a blogger with scores of posts, an established blog and an engaged community of appreciative readers. She single handedly fixed those three big problems most new bloggers have.
Here’s an excerpt from Teresa’s first comment ever:
“You’re sooo funny!”
Four posts later, and she commented on every one of them, she left this comment:
“Go Girl! Your best ever piece…passion, enthusiasm, encouragement…I love it!”
Comments like this one poured in from her:
“Wow I didn’t realise just how much I loved receiving your blogs until I thought I had missed one.”
It’s easy to see why those glowing comments kept me motivated but they also made me strive to publish only my best writing and showed other blog readers that I had something good to offer.
Blog comments are essential to a new blog’s success to:
- motivate you;
- give you ideas for other posts;
- provide social proof.
I love getting comments on my blog posts because they;
- let my readers have their say
- turn a monologue into a conversation;
- make my posts more interesting and deep;
- let blog readers add their tips;
- let me and readers find out about other blog readers;
- build a community.
- Show the post is well read, useful and enjoyable.
A blog without comments is like a party with no people. You can’t get out of there fast enough.
But when your blog’s new you probably won’t have many readers, let alone comments. Just by reading my blog and leaving comments Teresa kept me motivated, made me try my best and made me look popular.
1 Easy Solution: Blogging Buddies
You can’t have Teresa but you can solve these problems for yourself by getting a blogging buddy who leaves regular comments on your blog.
Finding a Blogging Buddy
First try asking your friends or relatives. I was lucky that Teresa just took it upon herself to comment on my blog regularly, but if you tell a trusted friend or relative what you’d like them to do and why, they’ll probably help out.
If that’s not an option then find an interesting blog that’s similar in age, style or topic to yours and leave the lucky blogger a comment. If they then visit your blog and leave you a comment, keep reciprocating and see where it leads. It could be the start of a beautiful blogging buddy relationship.
If you want recommendations for people with interesting, growing blogs check out the people who comment on Problogger – they’re obviously dedicated to blogging success and might like the idea of getting a blogging buddy too. Or seek out like-minded bloggers on sites like Twitter, LinkedIn or Brazen Careerist.
If you another blogger leaves a comment on your blog go back and leave a comment on their blog. With luck the blogging buddy relationship will grow naturally from that. If you find a friend who doesn’t have a blog but wants to support you with yours I recommend you help another budding blogger by commenting on their blog. Giving something back to other people really does make you feel happier in yourself. I love leaving comments on other people’s blogs and it’s a great way to start networking with people.
The more blogging buddies you can get in the beginning the better. You can tide each other over until you really do build up a good community of readers who care about what you write and leave you comments.
Have fun finding a blogging buddy. I hope they’ll be as enthusiastic and supportive in their role as Teresa was and that you’ll be able return the favor. I’ve got a few blogging buddies now and I’m still trying to get Teresa to start her own blog and share her writing with the world. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to kick start her blogging journey as she did mine.
What do you think? Would you like a blogging buddy or have you already got one? If you haven’t, check out some of the other commenters’ blogs and leave them a comment. You never know, it could be the start of a beautiful blogging relationship and a long-lasting, successful blog.
Annabel Candy covers business, success, writing and blogging tips at Get In the Hot Spot. Subscribe free by email or RSS feed to stay motivated and learn how to win business and influence people online.