30 Minus 2 Days of Writing: You better put out (5/28)

Feb 05

OK, folks, time to talk about blogging.

In this crazy thing we call blogging, you basically have only two or three “types” of blogs. You have personal blogs, niche blogs or making money blogs. Sometimes, the three can merge. Sometimes not so much.

I’ve been blogging, in some form or another, since like 2005. My blog is a personal one — a place where I might be serious, funny, or just have quick posts, such as a photo or a quite. I’ll dip into some niche things, but it’s all on a personal level.

This is my domain, so to speak.

In the years I’ve run this blog, I have 1,298 (including today’s) posts. In that time frame, my blog posts have also garnered 3,578 comments. That’s nearly three comments per post, if you do the basic math.

But there are many more posts on this site that don’t have comments than those that do. Sometimes, though, comments aren’t that big of a deal. I like it because it gives me reminders to visit others, or discover other new blogs. Or, it sometimes can be a fun conversation.

Blogging challenges are more than writing a daily post — it’s about experiencing everybody’s posts and being part of a community.

As you all know by now, I’m in this crazy blog challenge. It’s the second time I’ve done this month-long challenge, run by Nicky and Mike at We Work For Cheese.

I truly am glad I stumbled across it the first time. Because in that time, I’ve found some great blogs and people. See, for many bloggers, blogging is a community thing. It’s a way to read about others, know people in an online world and go from there.

When you run a niche blog or one that makes money, sometimes I think the thought process is different. I run a disc golf blog and there are times where it’s overwhelming. Trying to find things to post and all can get extremely hard, even with the group of great writers we have there. And I just don’t have the ability to answer every comment there because the stories are sometimes there to elicit opinions etc.

But a personal blog…

I love when people visit this blog. I love comments. I love all that. I try and respond to each and every comment  though sometimes it takes longer. (And, to be fair, I usually don’t comment on my Snapshot Saturday posts because it’s usually all family having fun with one another etc.) But, truthfully, this blog isn’t ever going to have a month with 20,000 page views. I’m just not that interesting.

That’s why challenges, such as the one I’m currently involved in, are important.

See, when you have a blog such as this, you hope to get people to come visit once or twice, like what you have to say and then keep coming back. In turn, I look to try and find interesting people and want to keep returning to their blog. Especially if they comment. I always try and make it a point to go visit a blog of somebody who has commented on my site.

I’ll admit I can get lax about things, but I try.

After the last challenge, I kept up with visiting blogs for a while. But then time gets in the way. I still try and check several, though. And I try and comment as much as possible.

When I’m in a blog challenge, I go out of my way to visit every blog and comment. If I haven’t commented, it means the blog was either linked late or I couldn’t leave a comment one way or another.

Or, it means it’s later (time wise) in the challenge.

See, here’s the thing about challenges like this — if you are part of it, you better put out, too. By that, I mean if you expect people to come by your blog, you need to return the favor.

These challenges are nice because you get to see different styles of writing, different ways of interpreting a theme and some really good posts. The comments can be just as fun. But there are some (not all) people who don’t seem to visit (or, if they do, they don’t comment) too many other blogs. And that’s their loss as they aren’t getting the full experience of the challenge.

For the first 10 days or so, I’ll visit everybody. I’ll comment on most, though I’ll start backing away from ones who don’t seem to visit back. Why? Because if they don’t want to be part of the challenge, why am I worrying about being active on their part of the challenge? I want a sense of camaraderie  not just me visiting a blog and commenting. I do realize that there are days people just can’t get to all the blogs. And that’s understandable. It happens. I don’t penalize people for missing a few days. This is more about people who do the challenge as a way to have things to write about, which is fine, but I think they miss the overall experience of the challenge.

This is a community. Be a part of it.

It really is a shame, too. Because I’ve been lucky enough to find some great bloggers over these two challenges. I wonder if I’ve missed a couple because I’ve gotten to the point where I just have to do it the way I feel is right.

So you better put out. Or you might not get anything back in return.

And the best part of this post? Those who don’t put out won’t even know it was posted!

Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com. Also, please “Like” HooHaa Blog on Facebook!

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26 comments

  1. Ha, ha. I agree. I really enjoy making the rounds and engaging people about their posts in their comments. And I know we’ve followed each other on again/off again since the last challenge. And I appreciate you dropping by.
    nonamedufus recently posted..30DW2-2 – Day 5: You Better Put OutMy Profile

  2. I do understand that people blog for different reasons and get different things out of a writing challenge, but like you, I love the relationships that develop! I even appreciate when the people I’ve gotten to know through a challenge start to hound me about having other challenges. Not that that ever happens. :-)
    Nicky recently posted..Meanwhile, Somewhere In Finland…My Profile

    • The friendships and such developed from blogging really are fun. I feel for those who don’t experience it. And who the heck would hound you about challenges? Nuts!

  3. It is true – what you say. Although it does take a lot of time to read and comment on every blog!
    laughingmom recently posted..30 Days of Writing Minus 2 – You Better Put OutMy Profile

    • I don’t disagree, but I enjoy that 30-45 minutes spent each day checking all the others in the challenge!

  4. The whole point of this little exercise is to build community… and rag at MikeWJ for letting his face get like that! Like you, I try to get to everybody who posts, so I appreciate when people return the favor.
    Boom Boom recently posted..You Better Put Out (30M2DW: Day 4)My Profile

    • Exactly! I think it’s a key part to a challenge. If all we did was follow prompts and not visit others… what’s the point?

  5. Everything you say here is true. It makes it more fun for everyone if are all in this together – a community. You also admit to getting lax. That happens. It’s not intentional on my part, it’s just that things need to be done, errands need to be run, and dinner won’t make itself.

    Another thing we get from a challenge like this is a chance to stretch our creative selves. I like that. I have been running on empty for a while now and this might be a good kick in the behind to jump start my brain cells.
    Linda recently posted..Putting OutMy Profile

    • Getting lax happens. And if somebody misses a day or two, it happens. But if people make the effort to see most of the others posts, I think you get something in return!

  6. Oh yes, I so totally agree with you here. Visiting and commenting and making friends is exactly what these challenges are about. You’re in it together and you come out of it with new friends and a sense of togetherness. Of course there will be days when I don’t have time to comment, but usually I will spend the next day commenting on whatever I’ve missed. :)
    Ziva recently posted..Nicky, You Better Put OutMy Profile

    • There are always going to be days where people miss. I do. It happens. But in the end, the point is to do this with each other, as you noted.

  7. Hey P.J., I’m going to have to agree to disagree with you on this one. It’s lovely when folk leave comments, but I don’t expect it. And I always leave a comment on a blog I read if something occurs to me; sometimes it doesn’t. I’m working hard to read and comment during the challenge, but my blog isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and sometimes theirs aren’t mine. I don’t think there’s any shame or lack of etiquette in that. And I’ll be back tomorrow. Indigo
    Indigo Roth recently posted..I Get Hate MailMy Profile

    • On a regular day, I agree with you. But when you are in a blog challenge, by not visiting/commenting/interacting, you are missing out on a very fun and important aspect of the challenge. If we all just wrote the theme and never visited, what’s the point of the challenge? I totally agree on a regular, normal day — but with the challenge, everybody should make the effort to visit and comment.

      And, if one doesn’t, they definitely shouldn’t expect others to do it in return. I guarantee by the middle of this challenge, I’ll visit fewer blogs because I know who returns to see my stuff and who doesn’t. That’s all based on the challenge though.

  8. I’m not in any kind of blogging challenge. I don’t blog enough to go there. I first started out, as you know, in a niche blog, but it just didn’t work out mainly. It was supposed to be a collaboration of 12 or so different people about geocaching. It didn’t work out that way, mainly because I ended up being the only contributer and after awhile, I came to know the blog as my own.

    Eventually, I got tired of it because I really couldn’t think of any kind of original content that I hadn’t already done, so I dropped it for my current blog. Granted, I may have traded one niche for another in that one, but I think I have more branches out in this current incarnation to explore all sorts of different avenues and just write about stuff.

    Thanks for continuing to follow me. I’m enjoying your writing.
    Paul Myers recently posted..All over but the shoutingMy Profile

    • You could be in a challenge like this, Paul! The best part about it is it’s themed, so you have a topic already.

      Niche blogs are tough, for sure. Especially ones where there are more than one writer. The best part about blogs, though, is you can always transform!

  9. It’s funny… I have followed a few people and left comments religiously… and they NEVER visited mine. I finally lost interest. “I read you every day and you don’t visit me ONCE?” BAH!
    Katherine recently posted..You Better Put OutMy Profile

    • That’s my biggest point. In these challenges, especially. Plus, I like it when I find people I like enough to keep visiting after the challenge, whether an everyday thing or every once in a while.

  10. Yep, there’s a lot of give and take with blogging. As for commenting, I understand that people just run out of time too and that’s ok with me. The comemnts are fun though.

    • Sure, people run out of time. Understandable. With challenges, I think they need to make the time.

  11. I try to comment on everyone’s blog when I read it…but…I think aol doesn’t like some blog programs and refuses to leave one.

    Anyway, I posted mine late today – and that means that I’ll be lucky if three people make a comment. I live for comments. I’ve always said that. While I know people might come by and read my stuff…without saying something makes me think I just said stuff no one cared about.

    Truth be told I was a much better writer when I first started blogging. I wish I would have started with the later posts and went backwards…I’m sure I’d have a LOT more readers. :)
    Mariann recently posted..Caterwaulking the HallsMy Profile

    • I’ve been on those blogs where I can’t leave comments, too. Very odd.The thing about blogs, though, is no matter what you say, somebody will read and hopefully comment. :)

  12. This post really speaks to me. Until this February writing challenge started, I turned into one of those lazy, non-social bloggers who only “blogs for friends”. In other words, I usually just posted links to my blog on Facebook and silently rejoiced when people hit the “Like” button. Up until a few days ago, that suited me just fine.

    I’ve been in the game since 2002, so the whole blogging thing had gotten really stale for me. This competition has given me the kick in the butt that I needed to get out there and give a damn about writing, and meeting new bloggers again.

    Everything you’ve posted here is true. It all needed to be said, so I’m glad somebody took it upon themselves to address the topic. Nice to meet you, by the way. I’m glad I decided to stop by.
    KZ recently posted..Bottled Water BlurbsMy Profile

    • I once thought that way, too. But I realized friends don’t always stop by. Bloggers relate with bloggers.

      I know that feeling of things getting stale. That’s why I try and find different blogging communities or challenges or things like that where I can keep going with things. It makes it a bit more fun when you can find certain aspects that keep you going!

  13. Holy cow, look at all those comments!! haha. I think everyone loves comments, and yes, it makes the blogging community what it is. I’ve met so many great people through my blog and other blogs… and non of it would have happened without someone commenting!
    ErikaJean recently posted..Dual Holiday TowelMy Profile

    • It’s one of the good things about challenges — usually you’ll get a boatload of comments. It’s truly a shame when people get into these and never go visit others. After 10-12 days, I stop visiting those who don’t seem to be taking full part in the challenge.

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