Is It More Important To You To Be a Good Blogger , Or a Community Player Or … What?

This post contains a prompt response, a thoughtful personal musing and a 24 Hour Blog Question.

I was reading a post last night, that Ashley – Mental Health @ Home created and published a few days ago on the 24th “What’s Less Popular on Your Blog… But You Publish Anyway?” It’s an excellent read and thought provoking too. I have had running through my mind for the last week or so the question l pose today and l initially saw Ashley’s question being answered on another blog a couple of days ago and instead of creating my own question that day in blog in a post, decided to think and ponder further on my question and answer Ashley’s question at the same time.

A couple of weeks ago, l had seriously contemplated deleting my blog, walking away and never to bother with blogging again … l find l feel this way a few times a year admittedly … a sort of ‘just press the destruct button’ syndrome or something. I am not entirely sure that it’ll not happen this year … but l struggle at times understanding my point and purpose with regards the question of ‘why do l actually blog in the first place’.

What actually pulled my attention was the opening gambit to Ashley’s question …

As bloggers, some of us write for ourselves, some of us write for our readers, and many of us do some combination of both. But what about when certain kinds of posts are less popular?

Ashley – Mental Health @ Home

In that small paragraph to me and my eyes and mind there is not just one question, but two – the obvious question and the not so obvious one which is … do we really write for ourselves if we have a public blog?’ When l was going through my rough patch and pondering about deleting my blog, close friends reminded me that l write for myself first and foremost and yeah, this is only sort of true isn’t it? [This is NOT today’s question by the way]

But do we really ever write for ourselves first and foremost when we are writing in a blog that the eyes of the world view daily? Would we not be writing for ourselves personally more in a private blog not visible to anyone but us and if we were doing that .. why even bother with a blog? Why not just keep a diary, a journal a digital journal … if we are writing for ourselves first and foremost then in order to achieve that we must surely ONLY write for ourselves and not have our musings, thoughts and observations open to the world?

This is something l ask myself daily… ‘why do l actually blog in the first place’. I blog because l have something to say and l wish to share my thoughts with others .. l have stories l wish to tell and if others wish to read them – that’s brilliant. Do l write for myself only then? Nope, l write exclusively for others and when l do write for myself – l either tend to not have the post open to outside viewing or l write it privately on my desktop.

I certainly don’t create prompts for myself, as l have enough things to write about anyway … but in case my content alone is considered boring or my readership seeks out something more, then l create prompts – as this makes people think and their thoughts and reactions, make me think more.

Whilst the ‘whether l write for myself or others’ doesn’t necessarily answer Ashley’s posed question directly, indirectly it does … do you publish content on your blog that is not popular? Well yes and no, l have recently addressed this very topic in the mini-series Blog Changes 2BDUN42021 where l discuss how l feel about content not performing very well or it receives less favour than maybe it should.

For those of us who write both for ourselves and for our audiences, the issue might come up that certain types of content are less popular with your readers. So, what then? Do you keep publishing that kind of content, or do you shelve it?

Ashley – Mental Health @ Home

Some of the prompts l have created in the past have received more favourable responses than others have … and l have been surprised at times at how some have performed really well/really badly in consideration to how the audience might feel about some things. Creative writing prompts do very well with personal bloggers in WordPress, game type prompts to do with words/letters and so on not that well at all which surprises me at times as single word or strings of three can elicit a much larger response.

Musical prompts do well and yet sometimes they are the hardest ones to sustain a following to … l find it strange at times that word games do badly, but music games comprising of lyrics do really well in comparison to music prompts which just look for themed responses.

It can be very hit and miss at times what works and what doesn’t. It is also l believe reflective upon outside influences, environmental and political conditions, climatic scenarios and distraction viewing response – aka, when people are looking to be distracted deliberately as opposed to it happening accidentally and also not forgetting cultural or society fads and trending topics all of which can make or break prompts from doing well or dropping quicker than the Hindenburg!

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These days l tend to not allow some prompts too long a life or season’ unless they are truly deserving of it and have breath breathed into them with regular frequency by the readers. It can be at times a little upsetting to some readers who follow a prompt devoutly for the blogger to suddenly remove it because of lowered popularity and response which is why l will notify the readership when series are being dropped – and as well as pilot fresh new prompts first to begin with and continue to tweak to improve… but sometimes no matter how much love , care, time and attention you put into creating something – it doesn’t guarantee a long life let alone a runaway success … our world is moving too fast and people’s attention can wane and drain just as suddenly!

For 2021 many of the ‘prompt’ series will run on much shorter seasons of between 4 – 6 episodes only and then they will change or be placed on a backburner for a season or three whilst another series will start a short season. Some prompts like this one 24 Hour Blog Question which is now in Season 5 never really end, they run continuously…

But l think these days especially and l have noticed significant reading changes in the last 12 months alone, our readerships are very exacting and deliberate in their choices on content and prompt. Their interest levels can vanish at times overnight on certain prompts and other forms of content pending their overall mood and generalised personality swings … and what l take from that is to just keep watching how people react – the new policy l now administer to any prompts is quite simple – if it receives less than five responses for a period of three weeks – drop the season.

However, all that aside my question to you today is ….

Photo by Prateek Katyal on Pexels.com

Is It More Important To You To Be a Good Blogger , Or a Community Player Or … What?

What is more important to you as a blogger – is it to provide the best ‘blog you can to your readership and audience alike?’ Or is it to be a social butterfly and social communicator? Perhaps you are in the blogging sphere playing the ‘game’ itself as in to be an all rounder blogger – a writer, listener, commenter, friend, influencer, author, seller and so on…. so on that note …. what’s more important to you?

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24 Hour Blog Question directory

Let me know below in the comments.

83 thoughts on “Is It More Important To You To Be a Good Blogger , Or a Community Player Or … What?

  1. Write for yourself first most and foremost, and if other people like it, which many of us do, great, but write for you. Writing, even if no one sees it, is cathartic for the soul.

    1. hey Jeanne, hope you are keeping well … an interesting response to my musing but what about the question itself?

      Is It More Important To You To Be a Good Blogger , Or a Community Player Or … What?

        1. Yes, l understand that Jeanne, but l am curious what is more important to you – to be a good blogger or a community player or something else entirely – maybe an all rounder?

          The reasons for why we write and from where we write are in some ways a very different topic.

        2. To me, it is more important to be a good writer than anything else. I am writing for me. If people follow, great, if not, it’s not the not of the world. It is different for everyone.

  2. As a side note, there’s something weird about how your posts are showing up in the Reader feed, as in the feed itself, before you click through to the post snippet with the link to your post. The post title is showing up as kind of like a caption to the image.

    Anyway, on to the question… For me, being a community player is an integral part of being a good blogger. It’s the interactions, both on my blog and on others’ blogs, that make blogging such an interesting experience. I don’t know if there would even be a best way for my blog to be, because best for who? Not everyone is looking for the same thing.

    1. Answering the thing about the Feeder first – yeah, l saw that Ashley and l know what you mean … last week there was an image and a snippet, but now it is purely an image only – l don’t understand why it has changed to this/

      Any ideas?

      Great response to the question by the way, many thanks 🙂

        1. Do you think it has anything to do with our plans or the layout? I mean it shouldn’t technically – but who knows with WP. You are a ‘business plan’ as in not shop front plan? I am ecommerce plan and the layout wanted to be more like a shop front, but l wanted to keep it the way it was and not change to that layout.

          I don’t know if it has any affect on the reader display?

        2. I don’t think it has to do with plans. Business plan is essentially the same as ecommerce but with a few a few less bells and whistles – and on that note, you should really considering switching to the business plan. I can’t imagine you’d actually use any of the features that differ between the two, and there’s a big price difference.

          But back to the point, I’ve seen the same thing on blogs that I’m pretty sure don’t have business plan or above. Oh, and scrolling through my feed I just saw that display for someone who’s on the free plan.

        3. Well in truth, l have thought about switching to Business plan , l wanted the ecommerce for the 200MB of space , but l think business offers the same space as well?

          Well it places me in a slight conundrum, you know why l wanted to change the display in feeder – l have noticed a difference in traffic because of the decision, but last week my feed rolled like yours, this week and it has changed considerably. I think l might have to have a word with the engineers.

        4. Haha a goodness, lot of fun in that answer …. they say length isn’t eveything it is what you do with it and yet …… however crassness aside, l did wonder that … – l need to possibly address my length then … ahem, cough 🙂

        5. Ashley, when you create a post where do you place your main image?

          Do you place it actually in your content or like me do you use the “Set Feature Image” Function?”

        6. I do both. I don’t actually display the feature image on posts (I’ve got it set to just display whatever I put in the post itself), but what I set as the feature is what shows up in the Reader and social media shares.

        7. This article you linked is a very interesting read, but it confuses me further l guess, because last week, configuring the RSS to my favour worked really well and displayed like yours did, But this week and even though l haven’t touched anything, something has changed.

          I can see what you mean, but checked against their criteria for ‘standard display in feeder’ l am ticking their boxes — so it is either a glitch, a tick requirement, an image size issue or an engineer probed for logic … because l am complying to what the feeder needs to be displayed properly… mm

        8. Something l have just noticed as well Ashley – if l look doen the Reader as in scroll down my posts … it is normal on the 19th January, but also changed on the 19th!!

        9. Yeah it is actually, because changing as l did, it should reflect all the way through my RSS feed and not specifically in a singular format from a certain series of dates.

        10. Actually, I don’t know that it does. I vaguely recall that a post stays the way it was published. The issue might be that you have multiple blocks before the first text block, so it’s not picking up a text excerpt, and that’s why the Reader is showing a photo card.

        11. So l have just gone into this post as an example and checked that theory ….

          Paragraph is classed as a block, so l took out the secondary series image , and the directory link and the Question itself so now it is the feature image, question in the Post title and then straight to text…

        12. Scrap my last comment – it changes the format too much, l think l need to change the config and see what that does, and then change it back and then see if there is a difference and then pester engineers!

        13. Oh that. I keep meaning to find the origin of the name. There are some peculiar names around here. I’ve posted about a lay-by here called “Granny’s pumps”. There’s another lane locally simply called “Bow Wow”.

        14. Yes, there are some funny ol’ names in Britain aren’t there? I used to travel down to a Tongue End, Then there was Twenty, and Dykes Crossing …. Swallow Passage always makes me laugh in London and we have a Swallow Lane here in Sandwich …

  3. Yes, I’ve had to open Rory’s posts in a browser this past week, which is annoying and I don’t always, especially the Hello because I’m not interested in a string of videos…

        1. I guessed that [my phrase for today], but you raise a valid point about a thought l have been having recently with regards ‘strings of videos’, so it’s made me think again 🙂

          Again thanks for the input.

  4. Of course I blog for community engagement, else I’d just keep a diary in a Word document (which I have done). I disbelieve those who say they don’t care if they have readers. Then why write in public? That said, I’m fine with a small number of readers, but not zero. In the old days, I had my posts floop over onto FB, and people commented there instead of here, which was so annoying I quit doing that. It made the posts appear to have no engagement…

    There was a time I had extremely few readers and I blogged much less because of that…

    1. Hoorah for that honesty Paula – entirely my thoughts – l also disbelieve those who say they don’t care if they don’t have readers – it defies logic. There are other ways to document your thoughts.

      It’s strange when l had the connections enabled with FB and when l had it – Twitter – no one commented on anything hahaha .. so l disable that PDQ!!

      That is l think one of the problems with having very different configurations on social media and their connections .. because in many ways it defeats the point to having a blog – if people only comment on your Wall or in your Twitter nest.

      Thanks for the input. 🙂

      As to the other issue, l may have to rethink this somehow …. because WP isn’t seemingly allowing my blog to work like other blogs.

  5. It is important to be a good blogger for me. I am a community blogger and love the interaction with my friends here in blogosphere.
    Why I write what I write?
    Well I like to put out my posts for others to read. So it means I write for others. But as Jeanne said, all writing is cathartic so I fell better for writing some of my posts, not all.
    Another interesting thing that you said clicked with me specially; we don’t know how a post will be received. Sometimes a hurriedly written post is not only liked a lot but also generates more comments than a carefully created post. I never can predict how a post will be received. And some posts that I think should not be published, are given much praise. It is an unpredictable world. But one thing is certain, I enjoy blogging immensely and the change it has brought to my way of thinking and life as a whole.

    1. Hey Sadje, many thanks for all the input including answers to my personal musing on why people write and why do l write?

      It is interesting that so many people say writing is cathartic – you see, l personally don’t experience that – l simply write for the writing sake of writing. I write like l breathe – l don’t just breathe for fun, l breathe to live and l don’t write for specifically for fun either – l simply write.

      I have said before that l can pen rhymes, they are just words to me, l don’t always write for pleasure – which is why l mused upon the question often ‘why do l blog?’

      I write for the entertainment of others and not the entertainment for myself … another interesting point and question.

      1. There is nothing wrong in writing for the amusement and entertainment of others. It does satisfies an inner urge in us all. At some level, I think writing helps us all. For example, when I write something funny, I chuckle myself too.

  6. Rory, to answer your question properly, I would have to consider blogging to be important. There are years when I’ve blogged and years when I haven’t and I can’t say one time was better or worse than the others, whether I blogged or not. It must be enjoyable but not necessarily important.

    But I believe whatever I do I should try to do it well – that’s most important. I try to socialise well when using it as social media but I blog to write. Otherwise I’d just be on FB!

    The question, “why go public?” is an interesting one. The obvious answer is “why not?” Or put it another way: you’ve made something, so what’s making you hide it away?

    That’s not the same as needing people to admire it. Say a person’s hobby is carving realistic figurines. Would you reasonably expect them to hide them from sight in a cupboard? Even if they had no compulsion to exhibit them publicly in a gallery?

    I would expect them to have figures dotted around the house and if visitors took an interest in them, that’s good, but if no one did, they’d still carry on carving figures because admiration isn’t what’s motivating that person.

  7. Here’s a quick thought for you. Isn’t blogging the worst form of social media? What if there was an “Unlike” button next to the “Like” button?

    I’ve long believed that blogging is a very biased, skewed form of social media. People are very kind, but are they always sincere? It’s very PC. Too PC, maybe?

    Of course, I wouldn’t want it to be like Twitter!

    1. Ian, are you currently in the same house as me?? Are you sitting upstairs looking through a peephole into my brain?

      That’s a cracking answer actually, and between you, Paula and Ashley today and this question of mine, l am starting to see strange ol things – none of them technically PC though.

      Blogging has become too PC and it’s this, that could make me walk away from it this year … l am two minds and you may recall we were conversing about this earlier this month – going to be an interesting year l feel.

  8. I write on the blog believing it will be read, that the words will reach someone, and maybe that someone will take something from the meaning behind the words.

      1. Unfortunately, my ability to read minds faded like an old rose and I can only think my own thoughts.
        I do it for me, but hope others will take something from it as well.
        What people do or don’t do is not something I can do anything about. I can reach out …

  9. I started blogging to engage with Autistic adults to help me learn more about Ben, and to find other families with autistic children. I rarely posted in the beginning. With lots and lots of nudging I started the “Adventures” series after the first lockdown in March. I wanted to give people a laugh and a look into my crazy life.
    It has been tremendously helpful to my mental health through all the months of having Ben home from school.

    To properly answer your question. I’m here to socialize, to share my experiences and maybe help someone realize they’re not alone, and to write through my struggles. So it’s for me, and for others.
    I honestly don’t care how many followers I have, but I would miss my friends if they left. There are a few bloggers who dropped out and I miss them.

  10. For me it is more important to be a good blogger in the concept of writing for me and how I feel not so much for what the community wants. In the end if you write for you, you will last longer whereas if you write for the community they can cast you aside at any given moment.

    1. Hey Stephen, well that has fors and against’s on the premise doesn’t it? it’s a bit like friendships as we age .. if you start with the number 10 at say ten years of age, how likely are you still going to have the same 10 friends at 50?

      Quite unlikely in truth. However you might have 2-3 friends from that age, but over the years you gather more and you lose more and this happens for a number of different reasons but mostly because we grow up, move on, move location, start a family, buy a house, move neighbourhoods, change careers and the list goes on, but at each stage of your life – you change and evolve and so too do your friends and your community.

      If you are writing as a general rule for a community as in entertainment to the mass, it doesn’t really matter much if you lose one or two along the way because there is always someone else that takes a seat.

      So in today’s blogging world, with very little loyalty to people, brands and following, being cast aside is merely a matter or practice isn’t it?

      1. I guess with the friendships it depends on the people now doesn’t it. For me I know people that I knew back when I was younger but they are more of an acquaintance than a friend. Like you know I kind of only have a couple of friends in RL and even then they have a distance between them. It wasn’t so much of moving away, work etc, mine comes down to trust and I just don’t trust.

        What I have found with those that write for the masses they throw away their ideals to follow the sheeps, look at every gathering and watch the sheep jump on board to appease their followers, see one or two here or there may be recoverable but say the wrong thing in the social media environment and you could be facing a long road to recovery if you ever make it back.

        I think there may be two sides of the cast away, those who truly are cast aside, as in lost all following due to saying the wrong thing. or those who just lose a couple here and there because their views don’t line up but nothing worth the social media whipping.

        I don’t know I just write to get a following but I write what I want. It is probably why my following is so small.

        1. Mm, you are speaking more about social media readerships by the sound of it. Do you class WordPress in the same theme as Facebook with regards sociality?

          I disagree with this ….

          “What I have found with those that write for the masses they throw away their ideals to follow the sheeps, look at every gathering and watch the sheep jump on board to appease their followers,”

          I don’t think that is true of everyone Stephen – but that is from your own observations and mine would be very different … but then if we were using our two writing styles as examples – that alone would be very different – you write for yourself and l don’t – l write for an audience or a readership and l incorporate marketing into everything l do … l write not for any great love, although l can write with passion when it suits.

          Interesting comment though 🙂

        2. Funnily enough I do. Twitter, facebook, WordPress are all forms of social media. Whereas WordPress doesn’t hold the power that it once did in the blogging world people can still be thrown to the wolves for what they write.
          I’ll go off subject (aka social media) here and address a bigger one, celebrities, how many jump onto a bandwagon movement. Those jumping on pedo Biden, those who jumped on the BLM cases or even the fluid gender movements. Lets not mention those who jumped on the vegan train to gather more fans. Okay I hear you say they are celebrities but aren’t we all kind of like them without the payday in the end? trying to gather followers trying to keep the masses happy? How many of your little blogs have you gotten rid of to keep us happy?
          We all have different views and opinions which is what makes everyone unique, I know you write for the masses and have seen your writing you are way too good to be just writing to appease people.
          big love brother.

  11. This was an intriguing read and very well written! I think both aspects matter, writing content that you enjoy, as well as the unexpected but delightful dedicated reader that comes along for the ride. They both play hand in hand to give the needed motivation and encouragement. Although, when that does not happen, we as writers need to remember not to base our actions off of feelings that come and go, but on persistence that may truly pay off in the end. Cheers!

  12. Originally, I started blogging as a way to talk to myself to combat a dreadful sense of loneliness. In my first post I said,

    “At this very moment, in consideration of why I’m writing, I think it’s because I really just felt a need to have someone to talk to. You might think a sufferer of anxiety disorder would consider social distancing a time for joyous rapture, but we do have our times when we actually want human interaction. Yesterday was one of those times for me. I can’t quite tune-in to the specific moment when I felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness yesterday, but when I did, the weight of the listlessness in the air forced me into baited breaths while I waited for the moment to pass.”

    As for why I keep blogging, I have to say what’s most important is providing the best blog I can. It has become a means with which I can keep speaking, keep conquering anxiety, and stay engaged with people besides those with whom I work…and my cat.

    1. Hey Damus, good evening to you 🙂

      Many thanks for commenting – so your blog is a way of reaching out to others who are in a similar scenario like yours as well as saying to those same people – we are not alone’ 🙂

      1. Yes, and on a personal level for overcoming a sometimes paralyzing fear of judgement from people about who I am or what I say. To that end, I think about something I want to share, set a 5 minute timer, and write. Whatever results I have after the 5 minutes are what gets posted. No error correcting, no editing for content. Just my organic thoughts on display.

  13. I had my blog for a month and a half. It started as a way to open up and help me process life, but now im starting to worry about the stats and the people’s reaction. Why do we care so much if people read our posts?

    1. Do you care if people read your posts or are you not bothered? If you are not concerned as to whether people read them then you’ll not be worried surely?

        1. It would only have a negative effect if you allowed it to. After six – seven weeks – of having your blog, you are still building an audience and a readership – keep writing, people will come and read and follow and comment 🙂

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