Blogging Etiquette: How do you ask someone to view your blog?

Hello good reader.  As writers we are eager to get people to see our work – in the world of blogging and the Internet there is so much content out there that it is difficult to be seen.

In many situations we may get frustrated and quit because we are not getting that instant validation that we need.  In other situations we may take action, taking time away from the writing to plug and promote our work as much as possible.  I understand I have been there.

I thought I would give my own personal opinion on what is the correct way of asking someone to view your blog.

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Background

There is good reasoning behind doing this.  I have shared a number of writing on the WordPress community pool – where my motivation has been to feedback on my writing, my content and the layout of my blog.

In doing so I have also put in time to provide feedback to others.  Sometimes this involves reading content that I would not necessarily be interested in or from writers whose views I oppose, but I am open minded and I can see the benefits of reading different things from time-to-time.

After a request for feedback, I got many good comments and a few follows (hello those readers!), there was one response that bothered me.  I will paraphrase the quote and see if you pick up on it.

“Yeah your blog is great, come have a look at mine”

Now initially you may not see what my issue is – they have said my blog is great, which is good – what more could I want?

Well there are a few things that irritated me about the comment and I will break them down now:

Yeah your blog is great, come have a look at mine”

This first statement is particularly frustrating because of its generic nature – it’s good you think my blog is great, but why?  What did you like about it?  Was there any posts in particular that stood out?

If I wanted to read too much into it, then it sounds like you haven’t even looked at my blog.

Even someone who is relatively lazy wanting me to give feedback could easily click my link.  Have a quick look through my home page and say something a bit better like

“Your blog is great, I particularly liked your post on doing more pull-ups, come have a look at mine”

Although I would not recommend writing a request like this, it is still better than the comment I received because it illustrates that the person invested some time to actually click and read what my blog was about

Now the second point

“Yeah your blog is great, come have a look at mine

You probably are thinking that I am a bit annoyed by that demanding nature that I should go have a look at their blog, just because they left me a generic comment.  In some ways you are very right – I do always try to make time have a look at anyones blog who leaves me a comment.  But the demanding request is not the primary reason.

The problem with come look at mine is – what am I looking at?  A general frustration with me when people share their blogs for feedback or just general shameless promotion is when they make no effort to explain what they are about.

If they had put:

“Yeah your blog is great, come have a look at my blog which shows my poetry writings” that is much better.

I am not a massive fan of poetry but at least I know what it is about, bare in mind I have been slightly narked with your demanding approach, but if I do decide to follow through with your request I know what I am getting into.

If they had taken my actual advice before and read what my blog was about they could have said:

“Yeah your blog is great, I particularly like your writing on health and fitness.  Come have a look at my blog, I write poetry, but I am also a runner and have written poems about my experience of running which you might get a kick out of.”

Finally

“Yeah your blog is great, come have a look at mine”

I was reading Dale Carnegies “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, although the book is dated in many ways, it still has golden nuggets of relevance.  In one of the chapters Carnegie absolutely demolishes a business enquiry letter where the writer has contacted a potential client talking about everything they want and not once taken into consideration the potential customers needs.

The same is the approach for asking for someone to look at your blog.  As soon as I read that statement I thought “Why should I?”

Take the Dale Carnegie advice – next time you are wanting others to look at your blog think about the needs of users.  So for example if I wanted people to look at my blog – The Manifesto of Perfection, I would say

“I write a blog called the Manifesto of Perfection, it is focused on self-improvement and goal setting.  I particularly focus on the topics of Fitness and Career – it is from a personal point of view and I hope it inspires other to make improvements in their life.”

Although my blog is very personal and essentially about me, I have made statements to angle it towards a person’s personal interests.  So if there is anyone else who reads who is interested in self-improvement they are probably more likely to click than if I had said

“I have written a blog about myself, come have a look”

And as a footnote on the original request.

“Yeah your blog is great, come have a look at mine

The final issue is the wording – from the “Yeah” which sounds like the person isn’t really interested to the “come have a look at mine” which is irritatingly demanding and bossy.  The thing with the written word is that it is a powerful thing, it can portray all sorts of things in the individual.  In this case the person came off as rude.

It’s important to reiterate how you word a request for someone to view your writing, because if you are a blogger or an aspiring writer your language is everything.  If you portray yourself poorly in writing a simple request, it could easily be that your blog writing is just as poor.

Language and grammar is everything

It also helps to have some manners – include pleases and thank you’s, it can also be helpful to add sentences like “if you could spare a minute of your time to look at my blog and provide some feedback” because that is showing that you are considerate and recognise that the viewers time is precious – even if you don’t say what your blog is about, if you have personally requested I view your blog I will do it because you have asked nicely.

Lesson: manners maketh the (wo)man

So thank you dear reader for your time – I realise I have probably written way too much on a small annoyance of mine, but if one person gets the point, my little rant was worth it.

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14 thoughts on “Blogging Etiquette: How do you ask someone to view your blog?

  1. I love this James. Come visit my…

    I so wanted to write a snarky reply in the style of a bad, generic request to visit my blog but I couldn’t do it.

    Awesome, practical marketing advice here. I’ll have to keep it in mind!

    1. Thanks i didn’t realise a general annoyance of mine could result in such a large post. I love it when I am over analytical and break things down. I should try it more…

      1. Sometimes annoyances provide the best material.

        And I too enjoyed your analysis. More please!

      2. Thank you again! Will definitely try to without making it too false. One of my favourite things to write as it made me realise how much my writing has improved over the past few years

  2. James, love this. I have been getting a tiny bit…… with comments that say heres my blog link come and have a look. I even gathered a few blog post by others to then ping back on this same/similar subject . The other thing that gets me is when likes are greater than view.. But these days i ignore, but i havent got the guts to delete comments that say come and like mine..

    One if the etiquettes i read somewhere is if someone comment pay that person a visit, but the commentor should never demand you visit..

    Sometimes best to ignore.

    When i first started blogging i was so naive if some followed me i would politely follow back.. then realise it is not want i want to read.

    It is a learn curve.

    1. Thank you. Yes there is a few irritating habits from people. I don’t mind not approving/responding to shameless plugs because the worst thing is they don’t come back – but as I don’t want people who just take all the time as my audience it doesn’t bother me ☺

      It certainly is a learning curve doing this for over three years and approaching 300 posts and feel I am learning everytime still!

      1. Always fun to be exposed to these new experiences eh? XD

        Dale Carnegie’s book is amazing hehe.
        To me, it’s all about bringing value! If you bring value to people, people will likely give it back as well.

        Though not all, that’s for sure lol. I don’t explicitly tell people explicitly to check out my blog all the time. Usually I just leave my link down after signing out a comment to allow them the option to check out my blog if they like my personality when I checked out their content.

        If they do, awesome! If not, too bad I guess lol. I might change things in the near future but for now, I’m sticking to this formula 🙂

        I HAVE received those kinds of comments as well (The generic “Demand” ones) and I’ll sometimes entertain them if I’ve got time. When I do, some of them actually do come to me as well and check out my stuff and I believe the reason to that, is because I was able to provide value to them via my comments and reviews, which led them wanting to return the favor.

        Perhaps there’s other reasons to it lol but I personally believe that people would return to you if you are able to give value AND treat them as another real individual, talk to them like one instead of just “Hi, you are just another blogger. Here’s my stuff, help me see if you like them!”-

        And just end it there. Talk to people, ask them questions. Be genuine. If you totally don’t care for the topic, let them know too lol! I do that.

        I’m not one who’s very into poetry, poem blogs etc as well but I still review them with my personal opinion while informing them that I am not very into those kinds of stuff and I will try my best to review them and everything else as best as I can.

        At the same time, talk to them in the posts. Try to at least XD
        Nice article 😉

        Your pal,
        Benjamin
        http://www.projectbiy.com

      2. Thanks – like you say it is all about value. Sometimes I like to give my opinion, or share an experience. Sometimes it’s just showing appreciation for what someone had written.

        And agreed these bloggers are just people and I accept in many cases that they probably are genuinely nice beyond the shameless plugging, I suppose it’s just they are bad and inexperienced at the whole thing and don’t know a better way of doing it 🙂

    1. Thanks for the comment if I was going to give a simple bit of advice to new bloggers is be as generous to others as you would expect them to yourself ☺

    1. Thank you Gloria for your comment as someone whose spelling and grammar isn’t always the best I take extra care with what I write – even when commenting.
      Hopefully my little rant will impact someone although at the moment it’s mostly bloggers agreeing with me ☺
      And no problem you have great content

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