Jan 14, 2013

On Blogging Currency


Friends, that is my "let's talk" face. It's not my usual "let's talk" face (D can attest to that), but I can't find a serious looking picture of me anywhere. Probably because my serious face isn't worth photographing. So, you're really getting my "I just won a bottle of wine face" instead. It's much more pleasant, anyway. Today I want to share something that's been weighing on my heart lately. I know that's totally not my fashion...I try to keep things lighthearted and focused on the non-preachy stuff like travel, cooking, wine, oh, and I dunno, weenie dogs. But sometimes things pop into my mind and I just can't shake them off. Like last week, when I had a bit of a meltdown about my blog. I think I tweeted something to the effect of, "I want to stab the crap out of it." Stab the crap out of my blog. Yeah, as if that were possible. I was obviously having a moment there, but it really got me to thinking. About my blog, about the blogging community, and what the heck I was even doing all of this for. What's the allure to blogging? The fancy blog designs? Ehh, no. The money? HA, definitely not. The clout? Maybe a little. But what happens when those follower numbers don't mean as much anymore? 

What happens when you've put in 100% and you only get back 50?

When the interaction is lacking? When you keep coming back to that keyboard day after day, but somehow the shimmery blogging allure that once drew you in has suddenly worn off and you've lost sight of who or what you've been writing for?

That, my friends, is when you step back, you reevaluate, and you refocus (and you get a new blog design, because ugh, I can't look at it anymore). You kick it old school and get back to the blogging basics. And if you're anything like me, you let go and let God. Because this whole blog space was never mine to begin with, you know? Then, just as quickly as you got fogged up, the clouds start to part and you remember why you started doing what you're doing. You're centered again and the whole blogging phenomenon comes full circle.

As bloggers, we put ourselves out there for the entire world to see day in and day out. Sometimes we write about our thoughts and feelings, opening our hearts to share content that shapes who we are and lets readers into the innermost workings of our minds. Other days, we write about our trips to the grocery store or share the to-die-for recipe that earned us the “two thumbs up” from our husbands; just barely scratching the surface of who we are. Whatever the blog post, no matter how mundane or thought-provoking it may be, we all strive for the same thing. To be heard and related to. It’s essentially why we write. And for all intents and purposes, it's why I write. But what's the point if it seems no one's listening?

I know for me, comments, tweets, and emails are definitely my blogging currency. Just like a dollar or a euro stimulates the economy, getting a heartfelt message from a loyal reader fills up my confidence bank and motivates me to keep writing and sharing my life on the interwebs. In the beginning, when my blog was just way for me to update our family and friends on our adventures abroad, comments didn’t mean nearly as much...mostly because I got very few of them. But as time marched on and my blog grew bigger, comments became a means to an end. I longed for that interaction and acknowledgement from my fellow bloggers. I look forward to hearing from the people who take time out of their own busy lives to read about mine. As my comment bank grew larger, I began sharing the wealth, leaving comments and sincere messages to the bloggers I'd grown to love and those who helped inspire me to nurture my blog along the way. Everybody needs a little lovin', so I’d get a little deposit, then I’d give a little back. Over time, I began to feel embraced by the blogging community, which in turn just fueled my blogging fire. Although lately, I feel my blogging fire slowly burning out. 

While commenting and receiving gratification shouldn’t be your sole reason for writing, it sure doesn’t hurt the process! It’s amazing what a brief word of encouragement can do for a blogger’s soul! That's why it's sad when I roam around the blog world reading amazing posts by my fellow bloggers (posts that obviously took time, energy, and thought to produce) and I see these posts have very few comments...or worse, the ever un-popular "Great post...please visit my site and return the favor?" comments I think, really? Is that what blogging has come to? Then these "Follow back!" comments started popping up in my inbox and I felt a twinge of hurt. Did you even read my post? No. Not at all. You're trolling for followers. Does that really work for anyone? I doubt it. Those kinds of commenters I want to banish to the land of no internet, because, quite frankly, you're ruining this for me! But leaving a comment that connects with me as a writer, conveying your understanding, praises, or how you relate...well, you can expect a comment back from me. Or even that coveted blog follow, because those are the interactions I strive for. Those are the comments I write for. I don't know any blogger who'd disagree.

I know some of you are thinking, "Now, Casey, while commenting on every single post I love would be ideal, what about those of us who don’t have time to comment? How can you build a rapport without them?" To you I say this: thankfully the blog world is great about evolving and changing to accommodate those with tighter schedules and less time to comment. There are infinite ways to support our fellow bloggers and acknowledge their value in the blogging community! You can re-tweet your favorite posts (if you're a new blogger and don't have a Twitter account, get on that...it's pretty necessary), share new blog finds via Facebook, pass on sponsor opportunities to a new blogger, collaborate on projects, email for advice, snail mail encouragement (my new favorite thing), and host giveaways, just to name a few! But whatever kind of communication you choose, strive for quality! A half-hearted exchange won’t facilitate a reply. Nor does it encourage great content from bloggers. Leave the kind of love you'd want to receive. Build up your fellow blogger, because with comments and positive interaction comes courage. The courage to keep writing and putting your voice out there for the entire world to embrace.

I've made it my blogging goal this year to disconnect from the hype-the numbers, the clout- and really get to know the people behind the blogs. That’s why I challenge you, dear blog friends, to make this the year of meaningful interactions. If comments, emails, and tweets are the currency of blogging, aren’t they worth more thought? Let the bloggers you enjoy reading about know that they are appreciated, heard, and understood with more than a “Hi, love your blog! Follow back, please?” Send emails, build relationships, and write with purpose. Collectively we should strive to fill up our blogging banks with supportive interactions, rather than obligatory one-liners designed to gain followers. You're more likely gain readers from heartfelt dialog and great blog content than thoughtless banter, a process I'm just now embracing. So, why not give back to the blogging community just a fraction of what it’s given to you? Interact with intent to build friendships, fill courage banks, and inspire blog content. Here’s to spreading the wealth in 2013!

Have you ever needed a blogging re-direction?
What are your favorite ways to interact with your readers and fellow bloggers? 
I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Oh and for all you no-reply bloggers...I'm coming for you tomorrow. Stay tuned!

76 comments:

  1. I love this post! It's so true. Another thing that makes me sad is when I see awesome, amazing bloggers who have like 34 followers on GFC and then boring ones whose majority of posts are sponsored (in an insincere way) with like 3,000 followers. Sighh... Thinking about stuff like that usually discourages me and sends me into one of those blog-avoiding phases for a while. I get out of them when something inspires me to write. When I write I realize why I love blogging again.

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    1. Yes! Yes!...to both of you!

      I just told my husband a few days ago I was getting the feeling some of these big follower blogs felt like a clique...or a pyramid scheme.
      "I'll follow you so you can follow me."
      I started dropping many of the blogs I followed this week for that reason.
      My little blog is mostly for my own record and for family, but I like following blogs I can learn from, be inspired by or at least make me think.
      Keep fighting the good fight!

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    2. That is so very true! I couldn't put my finger on it, but pyramid scheme pretty much sums it up.

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  2. Casey you hit the bullseye! being new to blogging i often battle to connect with my virtual voice bt the interaction is what keeps us floating through those dark days!

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  3. Amen, Casey! I've been blogging about a year and a half but felt this way probably about 3 or 4 times. I find that I pour myself into my blog but then feel so discouraged when I hardly get a response. I totally agree, though... its all about quality rather than quantity! I feel so much more when I receive a comment when I know someone has really taken the time to read and relate to my life. This is a great post, thanks so much! It is definitely encouraging for those dark days!

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  4. This is awesome! I try to remember that the cream always rises to the top.....people who write sincerely will have lasting relationships in this community! I love this post!

    Carly

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  5. This is such a great post, Casey. It certainly is tough to put yourself out there, write from the heart, spend hours drafting a post only to receive little to no interaction when let's face it, the majority of us that blog are in it for the interaction! Thousands of followers mean nothing if they are solely a number on GFC - I would much rather gain a small, loyal and interactive following and know that they stop by to see what I have to say and if they feel so inclined, join the discussion.
    Lately, I've been watching the big giveaways from sponsored posts and wonder if it's all about increasing that number --- I have yet to host one as I don't want people following just because I'm giving something away. While it's a great way to gain some exposure, I feel more comfortable knowing people follow my blog because they are interested in what I'm writing. With that being said, I won't enter a giveaway if I have to follow a blog I don't read as it just doesn't feel genuine.
    Who knew this blogging world could get so complicated?!

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  6. what a great post. i honestly don't know the best way since i think so many people want to be responded to in a different way. I try to comment on other blogs as much as they comment on mine. but i dont know the right way!

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  7. Yes, yes, yes! I agree with you completely! Like another commenter above one of the saddest, most discouraging things to me is when I see fabulous, well-written blogs with small followings, and blogs with no class/talent/style with huge numbers. - From the beginning of my blogging adventure, I've always been shocked by the reader-to-commenter # ratio each day. Whether it was 3 comments from 100 viewers, or 5 or 6 from 400, it's so, so sad that people won't take the time to leave some love. - I've just been out of the reading loop for so long - since the holidays really - I need to get back to the visiting and love-leaving myself! We're halfway through January for heavens sake! Time to get back to my regular schedule.- Oh, and one last thing (longest comment ever...sorry!): I have had several friends say that they read my blog on their phones, and that it's such a pain to comment on a phone. I don't know why exactly b/c I don't have a smartphone, but perhaps this is a growing reason for the decline in the comment world? - Anyway, I need to go write my own blog post for today, and you'd better believe I'm gonna promote the heck out of yours today! The blogging world needs to hear this :-) Love ya girl!

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  8. Great Post! I'd love a follow back...JUST KIDDING!

    You are truly one of my favorite blogs to read. Followers really don't mean anything if no one is actually reading your blog. My biggest pet peeve in the blog world are the people who only leave a comment for a follow. We as bloggers put so much time, energy, and love into our posts that it almost seems insulting.

    If you ever need a little encouragement then I'm here :)

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  9. I go through the "no more blogging!" routine at least once a year. This year, I changed my tactics and told myself that if I'm going to take the time to read someone's post, I'm going to take the time to leave feedback.

    New designs are always my first step too- something new to look at makes you want to look more often!

    It can't hurt to bring up memories of your real life either; sometimes those are the best things to connect with.

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  10. I can relate. The low cements is a downer but I just keep pressing on because what I write is what I want to write. And with comments... I do try but somedays I just want to quickly catch up on my blog subscriptions and move on. Also, when people have the capcha (or whatever it's called) I just don't bother because it is such an inconvenience and I hate typing in the word 4 times before I get it right.

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  11. Preach it, girl! Everything you just said has legitimately been where my head's been at for the last month or so.

    Oh, and I hate the bloggers who fish for followers. Ugh!

    Thanks for keeping it real, that's what keeps me coming back :)

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  12. Great post!! I actually had a blog meltdown last week. I told Ryan "I'm so frustrated and discouraged! I hate this! I don't know what I'm doing and I'm not passionate!!" This passed in about 24 hours, but I think it's very natural to hit those points.

    Some friends who heard about my meltdown thought I was crazy. "How can you say that?!? You have like 1000 followers."

    The thing is, I could have 1 million followers and I think I would have still felt that way. It was just a bad day where I felt like I wasn't really connecting with my blog or my readers. I love that you wrote this!

    Kaitlyn (:

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  13. Thank you for taking the time to write what I've had on my mind for quite some time! My time for blogging is getting harder and harder to come by as my second son is due to arrive. I enjoy it when I'm inspired and get feedback that others relate, too. That "me too!" connection is always so satisfying. It feels difficult to come by, and I've started to think maybe my voice just speaks for a small group of people – which should be perfectly OK. Of course, it might just be that I'm too far behind on my Reader and blogging :) xx

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  14. I've been blogging for about 5 years and I'm pretty terrible about building my readership...or whatever you want to call it. It's been more about me and just writing what I want.

    Even though I don't have many followers I feel like I do really know a good portion of them. This past year I feel like my blog finally started in an actual direction instead of being all over the place.

    I like to interact on Twitter (as you mentioned, and EXCELLENT way to get to know people) I also recently started a FB page. I still haven't decided if I like it or not. However, it unclogs my personal Facebook.

    I know that through blogging I've made some amazing, irreplaceable real life friends. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

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  15. As someone who has been a very sporadic blogger for two years now, I really appreciate your honesty. I try to follow blogs that I actually care about, and have realized through my own failures how hard it is to keep up my own blog, follow a million other people, and still have time to make dinner.

    So, thanks for your honesty, and for putting yourself out there day after day. And P.S. - I can't wait to see what you have to say about the no-reply status tomorrow.

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  16. Right on, I think it's something we all think about and you put it will. Comments are definitely my measurement, particularly when I can tell someone took time to actually read the whole post and write a considerate response.

    Moving to Wordpress really helped me with the followers game. Particularly, a lot of followers entered through giveaways and then never read again, so it felt like the numbers didn't really mean anything. Comments, however, really make you feel like there are people out there that get you, that you're helping, that want to help you, etc.

    Great post Casey!

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  17. Great post! I have been feeling the same way with my blog. I have been growing slowly but sometimes I have gotten the "follow me" post and run and I'll follow and comment and NEVER hear back from that person again. I'm pretty lucky where I have time at work to read so many posts and I actually take the time to make comments on the blog posts I follow (which is over a 100). I have been very fortunate to actually make some fellow blog friends that routinely comment on my posts but out of the 156 followers it's probably about 10-20 that actually make comments. Where are the other 130?? I'm just going to continue working on my posts and hopefully that will spark more comments.

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  18. This post was great! I'm pretty new to your blog and this may be one of my favorite posts yet. :) It is so easy to get caught up in the numbers and the clout. And it definitely is disheartening when you give your all and get nothing back. My blog is still in its infancy and growing slowly and sometimes I get frustrated. But you're right--I just need to remember that ultimately I'm writing for me. :)

    Jana @ life could be a dream

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  19. Ditto to all of the comments above. :) (and in case someone's reading this and thinking this is a terrible comment on a post all about commenting, she already knows how I feel about this!)

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  20. Love, love, love. Thank you so much for this...I've been a little disillusioned with my blog lately, and this was a wonnnnderrrrful pick me up!

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  21. I can echo that, as well! I must say you are one of the most genuine blogs I read. As a newbie blogger, it is almost like being on the outside looking in on a world you weren't even aware of. And yes, I'm sure comments, followers and thoughtful emails are so encouraging whether you have 20 followers or 20,000.

    Thanks for keepin' it real, as usual!

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  22. This was a great post, Casey! I completely understand where you're coming from..

    I recently got very discouraged about blogging because I felt like I was writing fluff --just oober cheery posts-- and not being very real. Because, let's face it, life is simply not that cheery all the time. Like you, I try to keep things light on my blog too. But then when I finally decided to get real and write a heart-to-heart post, none of my reader's reached out to me..and well, that kinda hurt.

    Still feeling a little discouraged..but I do love to blog and it's the easiest way for my friends and family on the east coast to keep up with my life here in Seattle.

    Sorry to leave you the longest comment ever!! :(

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  23. I love everything about this post. I am bookmarking it for future reference. I started blogging in 2004 (deleted that, started over in 2005, haha!) when there were no giveaways, people commented, and we got to know each other really well. I am balancing the old blogging world with the new blogging world, and figuring out how to stay true to myself.

    I really appreciate your thoughts. If anything else, it validates how I feel sometimes! I'm not the only one!!! :)

    Thanks, lady! I wish you lived closer, I would totally buy you a cup of coffee. Keep it up!

    xoxo,
    Gayle | Grace for Gayle

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  24. Hear hear! I completely agree with you! I always get so excited when I have a new comment - I love to hear what my readers have to say but when it is imply - 'I followed you so you can follow me now' - it is a bit disheartening - I am really trying recently to comment on posts I have read and actually connect! Your post really hit the mark!

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  25. Great Post! I am slightly new at the whole Blogging thing and still trying to figure everything out. I love when I get comments on my Posts. It means that they actually took the time to read it! I may not have very many followers and I am ok with that. But I still keep going with all my posts because I am writing for me!

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  26. That's one of my goals this year! To connect more with my readers. To find out more about the people behind the blogs!

    Eve
    lovealwayseve.blogspot.com

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  27. Yes! This is spot on. One thing I've come to realise since blogging is that numbers don't matter, having an engaged audience is what's more fulfilling. Even the silent readers - sometimes I find that people I know IRL will say to me in person, OH I read this on your blog and it meant blah blah blah to me - that just makes my day. Personally, I also find the 'you're so cute, please follow my blog' comments frustrating. If someone doesn't take the time to read what is written or has read but can't think of nothing to say, I'd rather they say nothing then a bid to get more followers. Anyway, enough of my ramblings. This is a great post!

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  28. Thank you for being so honest and sharing this. I was struck by how well written and thoughtful it was. I've really enjoyed your blog for the short period of time I have been following it, and I really admire the way you approach it.

    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on this, it gave me a lot to think about. :)

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  29. I think this is perfect! It can be tough to find the balance between writing, commenting, responding to email and talking to the people in my real life, but I find that I would rather have faithful and meaningful followers than lofty ones who are just looking for my 'number' back. Thanks for sharing!

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  30. You really just hit home for me! As I have started to see more traffic and readership, the comments that I get excited about are the ones that actually relate to the content of the post I just spent my time creating. The "follow me back" is fine too, I get that. But sometimes it is really nice hearing someone's opinion. Thank you for saying what no one would!

    xx
    Amanda

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  31. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I feel similiar in a lot of ways. I know I am not always the best about commenting (even though I do read and enjoy the posts), but I do check out instagram pretty often. I have found that twitter and instagram are great ways to get to know bloggers better. Either way, I am working on getting better about commenting because I know how meaningful those comments are to me when I get them. Thanks again for your thoughts! Yours is one of my favorite blogs to read...even if I don't always let you know I'm reading :)

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  32. Well done, well said. I hate the people that comment in a way that you know they didn't read anything. But the people that make comments that actually start a dialogue are the ones that I will take the time to check out their page and start a relationship with. The blogging world needs to get back to the basics of communication.

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  33. amen, girl. it should be about quality, not quantity - "the year of meaningful interactions" is exactly what we need for 2013! I think the bloom is off the rose a bit for a lot of bloggers, and returning to basics will focus us and bring us home. thank you a MILLION for writing this!

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  34. I've been reading your blog now for a couple weeks and have really been enjoying living through your travels and life! Can't wait to get to know you more this year.

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  35. This was a great read and it reminded me of the best advice I received from Shanna at Because Shanna Said So, be yourself when you're writing for your blog. Esther Norine Designs

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  36. I'm your newest follower & just saying hi. Your "About Me" made me smile. Looking forward to reading your posts :)

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  37. Ok I have never given much thought to how many people follow me, not important and anyway I have no idea where I am going so why follow me. I just ramble on about nothing much most of the time and lead you well I was going to say up the garden path but lets be honest here I am likely to lead you over a cliff now lets say up the garden path and over a cliff that sounds better doesn't it.

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  38. You rock. You're the only person I've found in blogland who 1) actually says that yes, we blog for other bloggers and 2) seems to be ok with it. I'm new to the whole scheme and it's crazy to me. Makes me wonder what I got myself into esp when friends/family are too busy to read what you write. Don't we all have 24 hours in a day?? I find time & I sincerely believe you DO what you WANT to do, not what you have time for....anyhow, whether you like it or not you've got a faithful follower now. Glad I have something worthwhile to read. :) ~ Dee

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  39. Hey I really love that you were so completely honest about how you felt regarding this topic. I know that it totally makes my day when I see touching comments below the posts that I worked very hard to write. One of the things that I have loved and never expected was building friendships with all my fellow bloggers. Its become the best part of this whole thing.

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  40. I blog for me. Only for me. That is why my blog is not fancy. I don't care. I don't have a nice camera (although I would love one!)

    I don't do Mac, photoshop, sponsors. Not that there is anything wrong with that! I love your blog, it's beautiful, and I enjoy your Europe photography in particular.

    For me, blogging was a way to get out my feelings about my husbands deployment back in '09. It evolved into documenting pregnancy and now my life overseas with my son. Not thrilling, and I don't write well.

    Again, it's for me :)

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  41. You have definitely just said a mouthful! I must confess that back around Christmas I too got caught up in the new trend to always leave your URL under your name when commenting. At first I thought "great idea", but then started feeling convicted. If someone wants to see if I have a blog or not, they can click my name and it'll be right there. We don't have to use other people's comment sections as free ad space. If we're a truly doing our blogs for God, He will grow it in His own time...His own way.

    I truly love commenting on other people's blogs! I know how much it means to me and I just want to encourage them so they can keep spreading their positive energy in the world. I worked in print journalism for years before I started blogging and I still remember how it would feel to log onto a newspaper or magazine's web site and see someone had commented on my article! Thank you for sharing your heart and not worrying about what the blog world would think about it :-) ...God bless.

    Great read...now return the favor! (JK...LOL! I wouldn't even be my humurous self if I didn't throw that in there!)

    xoxo

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  42. I've noticed that the shallowness that can come from blogging has been on a lot of well-spoken minds like yours lately. And I'm glad to hear great perspectives like your own. I started my blog as an outlet...but lately I have managed to get lost in the blogosphere and found myself obsessing about followers, following blogs that I don't actually read (they don't deserve that) and checking page views like my life depended on it. I lost sight of what really mattered--connecting with like-minded people, reading blogs because I can't get enough, and putting out content that actually means something to me and is relevant to my life. I had to take a step back and find myself again. No more link-ups that require following 12+ hosts, no more missing out because my blog roll is clogged, and no more self-esteem blows over the fact that I haven't gained a follower in a week. There's more to life, and more to blogging. It is so easy to get caught up in the perceived perfection of other bloggers and forget that they are mere mortals like the rest of us. On my death bed I won't be wishing I'd had more GFC followers. I work every day not to let a lack of pageviews and/or comments gauge the quality of my blog. I can't please everyone all the time, and my blog has to be true to me first and foremost. Great post!

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  43. what a timely post :) My blog is finally growing and I'm really happy about that. It's taken me 4-5 years of blogging and about 18 months of really figuring it out. But what I really want...is a bloggy best friend. I want to connect with one person to bounce ideas off of, to tell me when my ideas suck, etc. I love the writing. I love how it has motivated me to change my life in positive ways. And I've found when I'm true to myself, I get far more blog comments. What can I say...baring my soul and my cluttered house makes people feel better about themselves ;)

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  44. So true. I am actually new to the blogging world, but I quickly realized how important comments were. I went from stalking a TON of blogs daily, to really narrow down ones I can actually connect with. You know. The ones where I'm like, this girl would be my friend if she didn't live so dang far. We would do coffee, have movie nights. That thing. Now I am able to comment, and I feel closer to them. I still follow the others, but not as much. Only when I have time. I'd rather have quality over quantity! Great post and great reminder!

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  45. Hi Casey,

    Thank you so much for this post. You have literally taken the exact thoughts in my mind and put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard??)... I have fallen in love with blogging & one of my favorite parts is meeting genuine people from all around the world who I get to meet many times through the comments & "follows" that they leave on my blog. However, it's always so extremely discouraging to see "Follow back!" ... and what's worse - I feel so very guilty sometimes not following back even though - why should I? I don't want to follow someone just for the sake of doing so - I want to follow someone because I genuinely love their writing and blog. Anyway, this was so well written & it is so nice to see your blog - I love it! Yay for 2013! :)

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  46. Ok, I was literally just thinking about this. My blog is by no means a top read for the blogging world and I am perfectly ok with that fact. However, I do love when other's read it and comment but it just makes me crazy when I do get comments that just say "hey cute blog, follow me..." Mostly because my blog is not meant to be cute nor is it about followers- blogging is about sharing parts of myself. That's why I love reading other's people blogs, because they are willing to share parts of their lives (no matter how small they may seem) with me. Even if I don't know them, I care for them- and their little posts about the dinner they made for their families or the boy that dumped them or whatever it may be- it makes me see how special each of God's children are and how similar our trials are... it helps me see I am not alone :)Thank you for this post!

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  47. What a great post!
    I love Twitter especially now that I use it to interact with other bloggers. It is a great way to give encouragement or comment on life happenings.
    I wish I had more comments, but I also see that people are viewing my page.

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  48. Woah! This is totally what I needed to hear (funny how that always works, huh?). I do love getting emails saying so and so has left a comment. Seriously makes my day.

    But yesterday, I was having one of those days where I started to think to myself why do I even blog. I mean I don't find myself to be very interesting so why would anyone else? I still wonder that today but who really knows why they do the things they do anyway. Only time can really tell. I will keeping blogging for me for now and see where it takes me.

    But thanks for writing this. I really needed to hear this. I was starting to feel ungrateful or needy wishing I had more of those "so and so left you a comment" emails.

    Alyson

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  49. i try not to get stressed over it (try). it's MY blog, MY words. if i feel like going a different direction, i do. if i don't have anything to say, i don't say anything. ; )
    i like your space though - it's my first visit

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  50. THIS!!!!!!

    This post is amazing! I wrote something slightly related today, but you extended everything that I wanted to say to a better degree. Thank you for sending my thoughts out into the world! Happy 2013, xo!

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  51. Loved this post!! Couldnt agree more!! Too many people are getting caught up in the amount of followers and its quite annoying.

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  52. You really struck a chord with me...I try not to focus on the numbers and focus on writing for me...thank you for writing this!

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  53. Thanks for writing such a wonderfully thoughtful post! I 100% agree with you. I write because I love to build community and share ideas, not to gain fame or fortune (haha!)

    This is an excellent reminder to really connect with fellow bloggers in the new year. As a blogger who has swapped buttons with you, I will make a real effort to connect and share!

    Cheeres,

    Belinda
    www.foundlovenowwhat.com

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  54. whenever i am not feeling into blogging or getting worn out or burnt out from it. i literally just stop. no need to apologize to your readers. your blog is there first and foremost for you. and if you stop enjoying it, then whats the point! these last 3 weeks off of blogging while i was home were glorious! and ya know it makes you more excited to get back into it and reconnect! its ok to just say, ya know i need a few days off , no explanations or apologies.

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  55. Wow! How inspiring. I really am addicted to checking my stats. Only because, for me, that's a booster. I guess it helps to write when I know people are stopping by my blog and checking out a page or two. But at the same time, I adore comments. They are even better boosters. I try to comment on the blogs that I really enjoy. I guess I don't think that very successful bloggers need encouragement from a little amateur like myself, but everyone needs some love! Thanks for the inspiration. I need to focus more on my web-friends than my numbers.

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  56. Excellent post! You did a great job of putting into words what I have felt since I began blogging. If I love getting comments, why wouldn't a fellow blogger, who has commented on my post, deserve a visit and comment from me. Well done! laurie

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  57. I am still fairly new to blogging but I love reading posts like this. I feel like it's advice that will really help me stay focused on "why I like blogging" instead of "what am I doing blogging".
    Before I started my Blog I LOVED reading other blogs but was intimidated to comment because I felt like my comment wouldn't matter. Now I know that is SO not true. I just wish I would have known that earlier. Great post!

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  58. This is such a great post, Casey. I found your blog through Bonnie's giveaway, and I am excited to be your newest reader! I can definitely relate to this post. After years of blogging off and on, I can finally say that I now do it because I love it, and not because it is a burden. I am so thankful for that. Of course, I sometimes struggle with wanting more feedback, but I am learning that genuine feedback, in smaller numbers, is just as rewarding. This is an exciting community to be a part of, and it is worth it to find that perfect balance. Thanks for writing this!

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  59. It took me so long to reach the end of your comments, I can imagine your smile over the emails! The photo at the top helped. I agree. I just want to be a good writer, but as always the posts I feel the most proud of create comment tumbleweed and the ones where there's something to be had, get loads. Hmmmm. I am happier writing well for three comments. I always comment lots on blogs and love building new friendships. XXX

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  60. Brava! Well said, Casey. I clicked over from Vignettes (Kristin), so I knew it would be a good post. In the last 3 months, I've completely released on "keeping up" as a blogger, and I'm so much happier for it. I like being able to blog when I want to and about whatever I choose. It's kind of nice to go back to blogging the way I did when it was a private blog for family and friends. :)

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  61. 1. Twitter for bloggers is a must. Glad you addressed that! 2. You are such a fantastic writer. This was a VERY well said post. 3. I don't take near enough time to comment on blog posts that I love but I am with you, comments make you feel the love from the blogosphere. 4. I heart you and so glad I found you in blogland! 5. I'm off work tomorrow (tonight actually) and will email you back soon! :)

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  62. I love this post! So true in all areas! Blogging should not be for gratification, but it certainly doesn't hurt! I haven't been blogging consistently lately & it's felt mostly refreshing! Not worrying about the comments and page views!

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  63. New follower! I love your heart and writing style. I can't wait to read more.

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  64. Hi, Casey!
    I've lurked around your blog before, then lost track and found it again. I'm now following-especially after I read this post!

    I've been blogging since 2011, but have a small following. As i read this post, I realized that being small is ok! And I don't have to join link ups with 6465465476 co hosts you have to follow OR follow anyone I'm not interested in reading.
    It's just nice to hear that it's ok sometimes, you know?
    Thank you for putting this out in the blogosphere-I think every one should read it!

    I hope you had a blast skiing in Switzerland. I.am.so.jealous!

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  65. You are appreciated. You are heard. You are understood. :) this was a really beautiful entry. I don't know the purpose of my blog or its identity but I do know what you mean on the occasion that a reader leaves me a comment. It's so uplifting and inspiring that someone out in the web has made a connection. I like your sense of currency. It's like choosing to have a few close friends rather than a hundred acquaintances. We're just choosing where our values in our blogs lie and I support yours. Thank you so much for sharing this insightful idea.

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  66. I'm still so new to this, I don't really know what I'm doing. (Don't worry, I don't troll, I don't think). Even as new as I am, I think you make a really great point about making connections. I think people get into this blogging thing for all kinds of different reasons, and I marvel at some of the things I read. I know why I'm here, and it's not to be a troll.

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  67. I stumbled onto your blog from another random blog I found, and wow! Did you dig around in my brain and write what I was thinking? I love to comment, and have great conversations with people. When someone puts "follow back" I cringe and don't even bother checking out their blog. I am so glad I am not alone in thinking this!
    Have a great weekend!

    I wish I liked Twitter. I loathe it. Ha ha

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  68. I kind of love this.... Lately I've been feeling that same sort of frustration, combined with the struggle of trying to provide content I know is needed, and also balance my need to be heard.

    I found myself saying last week that "I just can't write about that!" .... something has been off limits to me, because I don't know how my niche would take it- and that just sucks. At one point my blog was for me, and now, I'm really not sure WHO it's for.

    Lots to think about for sure, but it's a frustrating feeling to watch it grow and grow and wonder if you really have a grip on it anymore.

    Which probably doesn't make sense, because I'm not sure I am even making sense in my own head space. So it goes. ;)

    (and also, I may have commented on this in the past, and forgot because I am too lazy to scroll and check. LOL)

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  69. Thanks for this! I'm new to blogging, and really only doing it for family and friends right now. However,I've always been a blog follower, and I've already started beating myself up a bit for not having any "followers" myself. Thank you for reminding me that I'm blogging for me, my friends and my family. Anyone else who stumbles on my piece of the world is icing on the cake! Happy Anniversary weekend! xoxo Ashlee

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  70. OMG Now here's someone who takes blogging seriously! I totally understand what you're saying. But I'm just not sure I agree yet. (I probably will eventually) I've been blogging for years, mainly for myself. Now I've started a new blog and I get way more comments than ever before and I love it. (about 3 comments per post is a lot for me haha) Of course you want people to read what you wrote, but for me it's really just about writing. The followers are nice and I sometimes invite people to follow my blog, because it looks nice. But still, it's about the writing for me.
    Hope you read my comment and of course that you take a look at my blog ;)
    Keep blogging!!

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  71. I just found you through your feature on Helene's blog...and I LOVE this post so much! I love what you said about leaving love how you want to receive it within blogging. Isn't that so true in all areas of life? I love to leave comments, because I love to receive comments. My favorite thing is when I leave a comment and get one back and when to go to a blog who left me a comment, do same for theirs and become blogging besties... I've been thinking lately, that if it means blogging one less day to be able to foster that community everyone claims they blog for, then who cares about losing page views because of one les post. Right?
    Eva Marie

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  72. I think comments are a pretty solid way to make any bloggers day better. :) I just set my blogging schedule to post Tuesdays & Thursdays, while using the rest of the week to amplify my blog as well as blogs/posts/links I love on social media. It gives my content more of a chance to be seen and it's not a huge timesuck. When I was posting everyday I was so scatterbrained, focused on quantity instead of quality. You have a way with words and I love what you said about "give the love you want to receive". I love comments and funny/sarcastic tweets, they definitely brighten my day so I try to do the same! I do need to go through my social media and remove bloggers I've followed for giveaways but never got into, that way I can make more room for great bloggers like you! (Found you through Helene's blog today!) :)

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I appreciate your feedback, friends! I read every comment and try my hardest to respond to each one, but if your email address isn't attached to your blogger profile, you might find my response in the comment thread instead. As always, thanks for reading!

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