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Are You a Generous Blogger?

I know what you’re thinking.

“Of course! I’m a lovely blogger! I’m always giving stuff away—advice in my posts, free chapters from my ebook, whitepapers, time, and a whole swag of fun fun fun on my Facebook page!”

That’s great—and certainly generous—but what I’m talking about is something different.

A generous blogger is one who shares such valuable information that readers immediately start searching for their contact details.

  • In a blog post, we’re scrambling for the comments so we can thank them, and add our own thoughts.
  • After using their product, we head to their Contact page so we can let them know what a difference the information has made to us.
  • In a guest post, we’re scrolling frantically for the bottom of the post so we can find the author’s bio and check out their site, now!

As we consume their information, we find ourselves thinking, “This is amazing. Who is this person?”

A generous blogger doesn’t need to sprinkle their off-site content—comments on others’ blogs, Twitter replies, and so on—with links to their own blog: they freely provide information that’s so valuable it makes readers want to seek them out.

They explicitly ask for feedback and happily engage in hearty, thoughtful exchanges with readers.

And they encourage goodness—by alerting readers to All Things Good, not just their own thoughts or products, or programs they’re affiliated with.

Generous bloggers let their content and actions do the talking, while their easily findable bio, linked name (in post comments), or contact page lets readers get in touch, or get more information, if they’re interested.

Are you a generous blogger?

About Georgina Laidlaw
Georgina Laidlaw is a freelance content developer, and Content manager for problogger.net. You can find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
  1. Hmmm! Great food for thought.
    A lot of cloggers give stuffs like content, ebook (opt-in required) and time. Since everyone is doing the same thing, It’ll take giving more than all of the above to tag one’s self a generous blogger.
    For me, I’ll leave it to my readers to decide.

  2. Great post! I think a blogger has to be willing to give in order to receive.

  3. This is something that I want to get better at. I want to get to the place in my content where people want to seek me out. Can you offer any practical ideas of how to go about doing this? I’m tired of seeing so many blogs that try to sell you something without offering something of value to their readers first.

    • Georgina Laidlaw says: 07/18/2011 at 7:25 pm

      Hey Eric,
      There are some pretty good ideas in these comments — see Ryan’s below, in particular.

      I think one approach is to give when you’re giving, and see marketing perhaps as a separate entity. I know that might sound a bit audacious in these days of personal branding, but I think a lot of bloggers put themselves out there with the intent of marketing themselves, rather than putting themselves out there with the intent of helping and learning from others. To do that with a singular focus is really important, I think.

      Like I said, I think that if you can do it well, people will seek you out — they won’t need you to push your products or links as part of your key message.

  4. Hello Georgina :)
    I am glad to comment here, just came here by seeing the title and it’s feel good to see generous blogger here also.

    There are many bloggers, but only few of them are generous with a helping attitude. I have many blogger friends and most of them are generous.
    “The moment you stop helping each other, that’s the end of your blogging life” ~> This is my blogging quote and always recommend to each and every blogger :)

    Happy Blogging :D

  5. I’ve actually been giving this a lot of thought lately. Since I started my blog, I’ve always had the readers in mind, but have I been writing content that they actually find useful? I mean, my blog isn’t exactly a “How-To” blog, so I need to find a way to write generously while maintaining the blog’s identity. If that makes sense.

    It’s easier said than done, but it’s still very good advice. Thanks, Georgina.

  6. Great post Darren – it really reminded me why I have started blogging and it is all about generosity of content…the other stuff comes as a bonus! It is the same principle as bricks and mortar Relationship Marketing…in the offline world we provide so much great service and value in our business that when our clients go out the door, they have had an experience that they want to tell all their friends about. Online, it is the same…provide such great value and content that your tribe can’t wait to see what you produce next, they have their trigger hovering over the comment section when consuming anything you produce, and they can’t wait to tweet, comment, like, share, digg and ping about you! Looking forward to seeing you at Blogopolis!

  7. Sorry, should I say great post Georgina! It’s late! ha ha.

  8. no i am not a generous blogger. just start blogging to improve writing skill. and try to give valuable information.

  9. Great post Georgina, well as to the answer of your question i may say yes………

  10. Well, I would like to think I am, and your gracious blog post has helped me consider more facets of the generous blogger. I have been blogging seriously for about six months, so I have learned enough to be able to sense the difference in the bloggers you describe in your post. I have lots to learn, and thank you for challenging me in good ways, Georgina.


  11. Its amazing and it really encourages bloggers for quality content and you are right at this point that review will be based on truth, not on the blogger’s imagination.Thanks for sharing these principles of blogging.

  12. A generous blogger should attract readers attention and try to write to help reader with their problems or suggestions.

  13. I let Amazon advertise on my blog, how generous am I?!

  14. I only began blogging within the past 2 months and, although I receive very few comments on my blog itself, I’ve been surprised by the people who find me on facebook or email me with private messages about how much they felt inspired by a post. It amaze me, honestly. I started blogging on a whim and never thought I would truly inspire my readers. Perhaps I should be considered an accidentally generous blogger?

  15. Agreed!
    Great bloggers always build an active community rather than being passive writers.

  16. Renee says: 07/17/2011 at 6:42 am

    I’m currently building a website/blog and I hope that once it is set up & ready I will be a generous blogger. Thanks to great tips and information I am getting from this site and more (including ProBloggers’s book) I’m hoping I will start out from the beginning in the right direction.

  17. I definitely want to be more generous of a blogger, but I think it is taking time to learn how to really do that correctly.

    This post has me really thinking how I can be more ‘generous’.

    • Well, I think we all have our own level of being generous and even some cannot notice our generosity the important thing is we work harder and smarter to reach out to them.

  18. I feel that I am a generous blogger. Whenever I write a post with a link to someone else, I don’t care if they link back to me.

    I still have a lot to learn though.

  19. Of course I am generous but so are the majority of the successful bloggers out there. No man/woman is there own island. We need to support each other as we climb the mountain of success.

  20. Hi Georgina,

    Super tips.

    Give freely, receive generously. Emphasis on FREELY.

    Generous bloggers give with no strings attached. No”what’s in it for me”, or 1-for-1 silly stuff which handcuffs so many growing blogger. The follow me and I’ll follow you stuff isn’t generous: it’s self-serving, and repelling.

    Provide such valuable content that people seek you out. Make yourself easy to find, too. Provide multiple channels through which people can contact you.

    Give wherever you’re at. Your comments make a difference. I receive positive feedback from my comments, because my intent is to give whenever I stop by. I want to add value to the post, to share my viewpoint and to simply give freely.

    Having a giver’s vibe magnetizes you to others. Everybody loves a giver. Givers never want, because people are willing to give freely to givers, too.

    Sow. Reap. It’s a common theme in my comments, but I can’t stress it enough. Those who give freely help others, and receive generously.

    Thanks for sharing your insight Georgina.


  21. I think generous bloggers give a lot of themselves for free!! They want their readers to have some useful information, not just give aways for the sake of it. They pride themselves on giving quality and not bombarding their readers with useless information that benefits no one. It does not matter what you blog about as long as you do it from the heart – with good intentions. Yes, we may sprinkle it with a few keywords, but if you truly believe it what you are writing, then the key words will come organically. I am very new to blogging, but try to help out blogger when given a chance. If I see a problem or issue, broken link etc.. I ensure that I state this by contacting the owner. I write articles on numeracy sprinkled with saving tips and cooking recipes to help parents/ guardians or anyone looking after children but I also try to be involved in the wider more technical side of bloggering – to help myself and fellow bloggers. Nina

    • I agree, generous bolggers have given free content and have helped many. I’ve received free tips from some bloggers better than me (I’ve not been able to contact any having international repute). It was very encouraging to have received appreciation and help from someone who knows the industry better than me.

  22. I guess I’m not, but I suppose I’m a generous writer since I regularly get emails from poeple who say their lives changed after reading one of my books. I’m not sure I’ve ever come across the sort of blogger you are talking about? Can you give some examples?

    • Georgina Laidlaw says: 07/18/2011 at 7:27 pm

      Hey Vago,
      I’d say Darren’s a generous blogger — he never holds back in his posts or his engagements with readers. He’ll go as far as he can to help a fellow blogger out.

      …but perhaps I’m biased. There are plenty of others out there…

  23. It is so much easier to communicate and comment now, with Facebook Connect, Disqus and the like. I like to comment when I have something worthwhile to say. I hate all the meme commenting that comes with some of those. With memes, it is not generous, it is selfish commenting. No comment and no comment back.

    So yes I am fairly generous, but am more engaged with Twitter and Facebook. Much less work.

  24. Hey Georgina!,

    Awesome post, I know that working insane hours and networking with thousands of people has got me to the stage where I can give away free stuff and benefit hugely from it!…

    All the best,

    David Edwards

  25. Short but sweet! In a nutshell, this marries with my philosophy well: aim to produce awesome content, link to awesome content, and interact with your audience.

  26. I think I’m generous. I’m not a spammer, nor do I like to promote myself unduly. I’d like to think I’m that blogger you described. I hope I am because I’d very much like to be.
    Thanks for your post.

  27. I strive to be a generous blogger. I am still learning, but hope that one day people find me to be in this category.

  28. That is great! I believe more and more I am a generous blogger. When you first start blogging I think it is hard for anyone to become a truly generous blogger. We dip our toes into the blogging pool and eventually want to dive straight. The more we are ready to go all out the more we become generous as we give more of our ideas a chance to really sink in with our reader.

  29. I thought I was generous, but now I will have to take stock again.

    As Anne said above, I don’t spam and aim to be ethical in all I do but I can see there is more to be considered.

    Thanks for a great post.


  30. Believe it or not, I am generous. Unfortunately I’m also a newbie who is starting out again for the 2nd time. (Long story). I ask for feedback, the only link to my blog in a comment is the one I put in to the provided slot, I have never ever spammed, I answer comments with a comment, and express gratitude. I thought most bloggers do this sort of thing. Am I wrong?

    • Georgina Laidlaw says: 07/18/2011 at 7:28 pm

      Hi Glynis,
      Many bloggers take your approach, but many others simply engage for the sake of self-promotion, or with self-promotion as a key motivator. Keep at the generous blogging!

  31. Based on 95% of the 600+ comments I have received without publicizing my site to date, I am.

  32. A generous blogger helps those who can’t help themselves. I try to get giveaways to animal shelters. If my readers leave comments, shelters get food. Or I ask my readers to sign a petition or call a congressperson to introduce animal welfare laws. I have very caring readers who follow through.

  33. What a lovely phrase, Georgina … a generous blogger. Very thought provoking.

  34. That’s an interesting way to look at generosity. Yes, you’re right… with all the talk about monetization etc. some bloggers will not link out unless they benefit from the link (eg affiliate link). What we need to realize that instead of seeing each blog post/interaction as a transaction, we have to see each interaction with a blog reader/prospect/customer as a way to add value.

    The more value we add, the more we receive back in the end

  35. I’m beginer in blogging. I’m learning all the time. Thanks for helpfull informations.

  36. What a great question to start with as I think of my blogging and work on developing it. “Am I a generous blogger?” Your posts are inspiring, Georgina.

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