A Guest Post by David Risley
Except yours, of course. ;) However, there are a lot of bloggers who feel this way.
You write. You write some more. You don’t feel as if you’re getting the traction that you want. What’s going on?
There is plenty to be said about issues like proper market selection, search engine optimization and other tactical things, but let’s go deeper. In fact, let’s go deeper than most bloggers really think about when it comes to their blogging.
Are You Talking At Or Talking To Your Readers?
If I walked into a crowded mall, went into the food court, stood there in the middle of it and just started talking, what do you think would happen?
Most people wouldn’t see me. Then, a few would and they would probably think I was crazy. At the end of the day, I’ll just be that crazy guy they saw at the mall.
Now, imagine if 90% of the people in the food court did that. They just got up and started talking into space. It would be one big din of noise. Now, all of those people want to feel as if they are famous, so they start competing and trying to out-talk the other people. The volume increases, but few are being listened to. The ones who are listened to are the ones at least saying something useful.
And that is the blogosphere.
Most new bloggers go out there and start talking, then hope somebody notices and listens. Chances are, it won’t happen that way.
What is True Communication?
I’m married and that leads to some minor adventure from time to time. ;) One of them is being accused of not listening to her. She will tell me something I need to do and I have literally no memory of her saying it. Well, that was because I was doing something when she said it. When she told me what I needed to do, she spoke AT me and not TO me.
In other words, she just threw out the words with no intention of them really GETTING to me. It put the responsibility on me to be paying close attention first. She was right, I wasn’t listening. She was just talking at me.
Now, I love my wife to death, but she was doing what a lot of bloggers do.
What is TRUE communication?
Well, it isn’t communication unless the idea being said fully ARRIVES on the other end and is understood. To complete this process, an acknowledgement of some kind would need to take place to show that the information was indeed received and understood.
Underlying all of this is, of course, the importance of saying something that people want and doing it in a likable way. When you combine being likable, speaking within a reality that your audience will click with, along with actual communication where your thought actually gets to your reader, that’s when people will most definitely care about your blog.
Then you have readers, fans and more traffic that you’ll know what to do with. If you want to make money with your blog, that becomes really easy.
Applying This To Blogging
Blogging is a communications platform. Personal human relations still apply. If you just talk to yourself on your blog and hope people listen, it won’t work very well. That’s not communication.
In other words, talk TO your audience. Your job is to have something worth saying, then communicate that in a fashion which works for THEM. Do it in a reality which works for them. Make sure the idea arrives in their head by getting them to talk back to you. Without some acknowledgement from the audience, you don’t have true communication taking place. The cycle will be incomplete.
Your job with your blog is to create a relationship with your audience. You want them to know, like and trust you. That is done by forming true understanding between yourself and each of your readers. You want them to see you as an authority in your market, but also a trusted friend. The key to do that will be what I said above.
Blogging isn’t all about yourself. It isn’t about just blurting words into WordPress and hoping people listen. It is about talking TO them and having them talk back.
If you are new to blogging and hardly have any audience yet, the same principles apply. You want to have these interactions with other people. So, you go out onto social media and you do exactly the same thing. In other words, go where the people are and strike up a conversation. Then, with some form of understanding formed, you direct them to your blog.
Build a tribe of people who know, like and trust you… who you routinely talk to (in both directions), then you’ve made it. The rest of your goals as a blogger become a piece of cake.
So, in a spirit of communication, let me know what you think. Post a comment. Let’s talk!
By David Risley, a 6-figure professional blogger who got his start as a tech blogger. His blog David Risley dot com is a pull-no-punches account of the business of pro blogging and what it takes to earn a living as a blogger.
no wonder it happen. We should learn how to attract them.
Your article on mom blogs got me here, and I must say you really know what you speak of. I have a degree in marketing and was in advertising for a decade before I got married and had kids. I started my blog on a whim, with no objectives or target audience in mind. But reading some of your articles which really make sense, makes me want to do some strategic planning! Oh-oh, does that mean I should also give myself a deadline?
your post just described the very predicament I am having with my blogs, I feel almost as if nobody cares. Google Analytics tells me I have visitors but when I check for comments, I see nothing. Every once in a while I do get a comment from my sis but, no offense sis, she doesn’t count. Truth is, comments would probably get me much happier than Adsense clicks would. I just would love to hear from visitors.
You have great advice for new bloggers, especially the piece about using media to get out there and meet people by talking to them. I just started blogging, and my intention is to build a business based on what I write. The great plus for me is that I actually have an advantage in that I am bilingual. I write my blog in both English and Spanish on separate websites, so that when my blog becomes successful, it will generate twice the income. Your advice gives me a lot of hope.
I’m a new blogger and am finding getting people to comment is really difficult. I’m wondering if it because my information is for people who are new to online communities. I am trying to bring more personality into my posts. I think at first I was too factual. I’m hoping more stories will bring more people to the comment section.
Late to the comment party, sorry. Two thoughts:
1. I’m still struggling identifying my niche and audience because as a journalist and copywriter I’m a true generalist. Thoughts? Better use of social media?
2. Our collective lack of grammar, punctuation, and spelling continues to make some blogs almost impossible to decipher. As I’ve blogged before (!) we have become a fonetic (sic) society.
True but your job with your blog is to create a relationship with your audience. You want them to know, like and trust you. That is done by forming true understanding between yourself and each of your readers by chating. You want them to see you as an authority in your market, but also a trusted friend.
Aha, I’m sure your wife WAS talking TO you when you were busy doing something else. Perhaps you don’t know that men cannot multi-task like women can. But perhaps that is for another blog post lol.
Great article. As a REALTOR, when I decided to start blogging a year and a half ago, I joined the Active Rain platform. I have learned so much and it has been a great experience. My blogging also spawned an interest in photography so it has been a very positive experience.
My blog is an extension of my business, but I’m also truly interested in other people, so I try to strike a careful balance between the personal and business-focused posts. I have another blog, which is my personal blog. That is only shared with people I’ve known a good long while.
I do post promotional information–sales I’m running, challenges/giveaways/events, etc. but I also include my insights about being an artist or small business person and just general studio updates–what I am up to overall. I don’t overshare, and I work very hard to not talk AT my readers.
My blog is small–just 52 followers right now–but it’s a start, right?
JenniferLynn Productions, LLC
I have just started my blog, and definitely can relate to all of this. I feel, for one, that there are tens if not hundreds of blogs talking about the things I could maybe talk about, so instead I talk about something else. Something, which probably doesn’t interest a lot of people.
The difficulty is in finding the audience, like you said. If no one really comments on my blog, I have no way of communicating with the people who possibly sometimes read it. And I’m not sure how to go about establishing relationships elsewhere, especially not ones that would lead to an interest in my writings.
Thank you for writing this, though, it’s given me a lot to think about!
Oh I see, suggestions to possibly help, someone who cares? As if my self-worth is measured by the numbers of followers. Wrong again. Stated above; “You want to have these interactions with other people.” Really? Thats the ONLY reason to blog? No. Just your opinion sadly, as in most of what is online. It’s a bit deeper than the fantasy or personal satisfaction or even getting one’s view/opinion out for other people to see and read.
If your still reading or haven’t removed this it’s evidently obvious your waiting for the moment to slap a label on this or myself. Label attached, the “nobody cares” in my instance is real. The “you need to” comments start as if your opinion matters, it doesn’t. Human nature can’t be changed, an animal is an animal and will react accordingly. All the crap humans use to fill the void in order to receive any acclamation from another is fake. The truth is pushed back and hidden and never allowed to surface in most human’s lives. Why? Real people are used, abused and ex-communicated to a point that nobody cares. The only time Real People are even noticed is when the fake, ego-driven false pride users need something. Only for the moment for his or her personal use to maintain the fantasy of the users pathetic life.
Ying? Yang? It’s much deeper than that, it involves balance. Without Real People living, all that humans have done or achived would not be possible. Yes, since the cave, before any aspect you take for granted.
Instead of seeking recognition through any venue, walk a few steps and be Real. Risk? You bet, it may just open your eyes for that brief fleeting blink of what it’s like. Caution is advised, you just might come away with a strange feeling that you have never felt.
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I’d write a comment but I’m certain no one is going to read it.
Thanks for the write up this is really some great stuff here!