So, do you still read blogs?

On 4 March 2010, I wrote my first ever blogpost. It wasn’t startling, nor was it particularly erudite. I followed it up with thirteen more posts that month. Unfortunately, any ‘Likes’ and comments were obliterated when we suffered a major backup disaster in 2016. I wept, but some followers were kind enough to go back and ‘Like’ and new followers have discovered some of the older posts. Thank you!

But something else has been happening… My site statistics for this and the Roma Nova blog have remained reasonably healthy, growing steadily with the odd huge peak here and there. So far so good. My burblings must be of interest or even amusement. But comments are few.

I am not alone. Other author blogs, product blogs, even revered institutional blogs are receiving fewer comments or even ‘Likes’.

Now I don’t want you to get the violins out. In these time-strapped days, we have to be selective. However, there’s a very unfortunate trend developing and becoming increasingly prevalent – blog-snubbing (my word for it).

When I publish my piece here or on the Roma Nova blog, it’s posted automatically to Twitter and Linked In. I post it to Facebook manually as I like to add a few words of introduction/temptation to accompany the link. I also post in other relevant Facebook groups depending on the content. Facebook very kindly notifies me if somebody has commented. “Great.” I think. “Time for some conversation!”

But… (You know me well!)

If somebody has commented on Facebook or Twitter saying “Thank you” or its equivalent, I’m very happy that they’ve enjoyed the post. It’s very gratifying they’ve noticed it and found something of interest in it.

But when the commenter on Facebook/Twitter has only replied to my introduction/temptation and in a superior tone or (more often) in an uninformed way, merely repeating what I said in my blogpost, I despair.

Because I’m well-brought up, I resist the urge to be sarcastic and agree in a ‘hearts-and-flowers’ tone that that’s precisely what I was getting at.

Then I ask them a supplementary which they would only be able to answer if they’d actually read the blog post, e.g. “And what did you think about my idea of how XYZ developed from there?” Either it’s ignored or they say “Oh, I didn’t read the post – I haven’t got time for that.”

Then why the —— did you comment in such a silly way?

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t ask people to read my blog or study it. It’s entirely up to them. I don’t have that big an ego. However, I’m delighted if they do as I try to write sensible and informative content without being over-long or boring. I always reply to comments below the blogpost as readers have made a positive effort to join in the conversation.

And commenting on a blog will bring a little glow to the author’s soul and inspire them to go on and write more.

Comments welcome!

If you did click through from social media to this post, I will send you a free ebook of any of my Roma Nova novels as a thank you if you leave a comment, however short. Include in your comment which book you would like.  It’s just to see who actually does this when I post on Facebook/Twitter.  😉

You can, if you like, sign up to receive blogposts from this blog by completing the box in the right-hand column.

 

Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers INCEPTIO, PERFIDITASSUCCESSIOAURELIA, INSURRECTIO and RETALIO.CARINA, a novella, and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories, are now available.  Audiobooks are available for the first four of the series.

Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines… Get INCEPTIO, the series starter, FREE as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter

20 comments to So, do you still read blogs?

  • Richard Tearle

    Hi Alison – for me, reading someone else’s blog post is largely a question of interest in the subject matter. I try to read most of my author friends blogs and share/retweet whether I actually read it or not, But time is a factor as well. I am becoming increasingly aware of how important it is to authors to receive reviews and, basically, to know that their blogs are being seen; that is something I am attempting to improve upon. Commenting is largely a personal thing – have I got a point to make? And some bloghosts (is that the term) are difficult (Prove you’re not a robot, How many red cars appear in these 9 pictures etc) and I have had long comments thrown out for making a mistake in one of those conditions!

    • Alison Morton

      I admit I moderate comments otherwise I’d have 20,000 comments advertising handbags, sunglasses or investing it silver on the blog, but we don’t have any robot malarkey.
      Disqus drives me bonkers, so I tend not to comment on blogs using that, but most blogs I’m interested in use a sensible screening process that verifies the first comment or two and post the commentating history so the blog owner check their status.
      Obviously as a friend of Roma Nova, you pass with flying colours!

  • Hi Alison, I too have been blogging since 2010. I aim for a once a week post and I still enjoy doing it. But yes, the comments are few – just enough to keep me doing it. I follow several book bloggers and make a point of commenting when I have something relevant to say and I regularly share these posts on Twitter etc. Maybe a time will come when blogs have had their day. But for now I plan to continue. I hope you do too.

    • Alison Morton

      Thank you, Anne. We’ve been at it for the same length of time! Blogs are still valuable as there is more content that doesn’t vanish into the ether like posts on social media and much of it is evergreen so can be discovered by new readers. Also we ‘own’ our blogs. Short of another disaster I had in 2016 (but I did have the content backed up!), I will always have it there, even if FB and Twitter disappear down the Swanee. I don’t think WordPress or Blogger are going anywhere soon.

  • Oops should have said Inceptio would be my choice of book. Been meaning to read one of your books for ages. A kind offer, thank you.

  • Everything is exploding for me Alison blogging-wise because I give most of my energy daily to blogging. Give. Get. Being ALL IN gets uncomfortable but so worth it 😉

    • Alison Morton

      Thank you for commenting, Ryan, and well done for blogging every day. I don’t think I have your stamina! I spent a lot of my day writing my novels which absorbs mine.
      The offer of a free ebook is on the table. Do let me know which Roma Nova book you would like.

  • I’m a selective reader, mostly due to time constraints, Alison. I usually ‘like’ posts I’ve read (and I really dislike blogs that don’t give me that option!), tweet them, occasionally share them on FB. If I’m on twitter, I may only retweet and not actually get around to reading. It’s that time thing.

    • Alison Morton

      Yes, it’s the time thing! but thank you for commenting all the same. I agree re blogs that don’t have a ‘Like’ button – I tend not to revisit those… My other pet peeve is the absence of a search box.
      Do let me know which Roma Nova ebook you would like.

  • Hi Alison – I read a very small number of blogs and even those get ignored when I’m busy. But when I click through to a blog like yours I almost always put the comment on Facebook.

    • Alison Morton

      I think that unless you’re subscribed to a favourite, social media is the way we discover blogs these days. Yes, Facebook is the easy and convenient way. to comment But at least you read the blog post! 🙂
      Do let me know which Roma Nova ebook you’d like as a thank you.

  • I@m pretty much the same as your other followers. Technically I have about 500 blog followers (I think) not a massive number but I’m happy with it. However, I can guarantee that only a handful will post a comment and I know in advance who they will be. I try to blog twice a week – one day is faily eclectic – snippets of history, people, places customs culture and the like. The second post is usually about some aspect of the writing I’m involved with. Time to read blogs is certainly an issue but frankly I think some just like to look at the photographs!

  • As with above, time is limited for blog reading (most of it being spent on blog writing) I’m finding comments are few and far between – not helped by Blogger often deciding to block them (*heavy sigh*) For myself, I do at least try to click ‘like’ buttons where I can, because at least then the author knows their hard work has at least been noticed!

    • Alison Morton

      A ‘Like’ is a little nugget of gold by itself! – thank you, Helen!
      I blog here because I enjoy it; it could be something to say about books or publishing, a guest to welcome or sometimes burbling about something completely different!

  • Helena Halme

    I started blogging in 2007 and still do it. My first published novel was born as a result of a series of blogs I wrote on how (and why) I came to the UK. When the finished book, now called The English Heart, was published, my online community was hugely supportive. I wouldn’t be a writer without my blog, so yes I still also read blogs.

    • Alison Morton

      I’ve read The English Heart and very good it is too! I hadn’t realised it had started as a blog…
      Do let me know which Roma Nova ebook you’d like as a thank you.

  • I do read and respond. I also share particularly helpful posts.
    As an author and blogger myself, I understand the significance such small actions can actually have.

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