Yes, I’m talking to you. Yes, you! And me too 🙂
I recently started sharing blog posts by other Bloggers via Twitter. It was hard at first, because I wanted my readers to read MY content, and didn’t want to bombard my timeline with the writings of other Bloggers…lest I loose followers. But I’ve gotten over it now. I am actually enjoying much more engagement from my followers, since I stopped being so selective in this regard, and began to share as many posts as I happen to love via Twitter!
My followers appreciate me for the different posts I share, and retweet some…and yes, most of the retweets are not even my own posts. But what I realised is that, I am blessing them by sharing, even as I am blessing the Bloggers whose content I share…and I also bless myself, as my general engagement and readership grows. Win, win, win!
As I began to reflect on this, I wondered why the initial hesitation. Why did I think that in order to grow as a Blogger, I had to promote only myself and not others, who are also sharing great messages? If the message is the most important, why should I hinder others from hearing it, just because I want my unique voice to be heard too?
I have observed some other bloggers who display this bad habit too. They follow you, but never (or hardly) read, like or share your content. And even when you share theirs, the most appreciation you might receive is that they will retweet your tweet about their post… It shows a spirit of competition and not cooperation, nor an appreciation that the Message is more important than the messenger.
Could you be guilty of being a glory hog? Could you be working in competition against yourself, by trying to promote yourself, and not really taking the time to read and appreciate what others are sharing? Here are six questions every Christian blogger should ask themselves:
1. Do you follow other Bloggers, and check your Reader often to read what others are posting?
It is good to follow a diverse range of Bloggers, not only those who agree with you, but those who hold alternative views, and write about topics out of your usual scope. I think every Blogger does this, some more than others. As a Blogger, it is very good practice to read widely, and this often provides new inspiration for blog posts. Aside that, it is encouraging to other Bloggers, because they exist to be read, and when you take time to read their content, it says that their effort was worthwhile.
2. When you like a post, do you always encourage the authour, the way you would want to be encouraged?
I think we can all be a bit more appreciative of the content of other Bloggers by either clicking the “like” button, or taking the time to drop a comment, or better still do both. Of course, we can’t endorse every post with a “like”, especially if we actually disagree strongly with it, but I certainly think more often than not, we can drop a comment. Whether it is in agreement or disagreement. Comments encourage other Bloggers, because it says “I am listening”.
3. When you are blessed by a post, are you quick to share the blessing with others, the way you would love someone to share your posts?
Different bloggers have their methods and standards of sharing. There are many avenues for you to share the works of others. The easiest is to reblog (if you’re both on WordPress), or to share via Facebook or Twitter or other social media. Bloggers are usually asking their readers to share their content, but how many Bloggers share the content of others? We shouldn’t do something so that someone will do the same to us, but because it is a good thing to do. If the post was so great, what is holding you back from sharing and celebrating the authour? Could it be pride or envy?
4. When someone pays you a visit on your site, do you pay them a visit too by reading their posts?
I know it can get hard to follow everyone that follows you, or even pay a visit to everyone who stops by your blog and reads and leaves a comment, but it is great and rewarding practice. Even if you already have thousands of followers, and your blog is growing faster everyday, it is good to appreciate those who made the effort to visit and read (and who probably shared your content) by checking out what they are doing on their blogs, and encouraging them too. Least of all, please do all you can to respond to comments by your visitors. It lets them know that you are grateful.
5. If someone shares your posts, do you appreciate them and read some of the other things they shared?
There are some people who are always online tweeting or reblogging posts, and it can be hard to keep up with those who post constantly. But if someone happens to share your content, you should take some time to check out the others things they are sharing, and not just like their post about your post, or retweet their tweet about your post. I can understand that it gets harder when lots of people share your content, and you are busy working on new content for them to share…but a little effort to appreciate your audience goes a long way.
6. Do you take an interest in your non-blogger readers?
Your biggest fans are probably those who don’t have their own blogs, but who like and share your content on social media. They may be your friends and family, and people who follow your page. They too have issues in their lives, and while your posts may be inspiring to them, they are probably interested in a real connection with you. I have a bad habit of referring to one of my posts, when having a discussion with someone in the flesh about an issue, that I think my posts addressed. Most often, they don’t appreciate that. We have to remember that if we want them to take an interest in our blog, we also need to take a genuine interest in their lives…and just be there for them.
So Blogger, how do you do? Are you really loving your neighbour as yourself?
Photo credit: http://www.allabouttink.co.uk
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