"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Saturday, May 18, 2013

How You Can Keep More "Virtual Doors" Open in Blogging...

Not too long ago, in my efforts to spruce up my home for spring, I contacted my favorite, local hardware store. I was geeked about getting a pretty new shade of paint for my basement room, and wanted to get an idea of what was available on sale and in my budget.

I had been calling for a few days with no answer. Finally, on a Saturday I made a "connection" with someone who answered the phone from the management company that owns the building.

The lady said to me, "Sorry miss, the store has been closed for the last few months. You guys have been giving your business to stores like Menard's and Lowe's--so we couldn't compete."

To put it mildly, I felt like crap.
This lovely little store had been in our community for decades.
And it was the old fashioned, ma and pa operation, family owned.
You know...where you could find things that you couldn't get at the big stores-- like the real good, old fashioned cooking pans, and inexpensive trinkets for the kitchen, spice racks, cool gadgets, and things that gave a sense of nostalgia. More than a piece of real estate, it added value to our surroundings.
The owner would often indulge you in stories about his fishing trips, his wife's poetry, and his philosophy on events of the day. He was an elderly guy with quiet wisdom.

Bear with me readers, there's a point here, I promise...

A year before this incident, one of my favorite neighborhood book stores met with the same fate; it had to bid farewell, because of a lack of support in terms of patronage and dollars.

So what does this have to do with writing, or the price of tea in China?
Glad you asked.

Lately, I have witnessed many of the "virtual doors" of bloggers are closing too.
A few years ago it was Jean at Virgin Blogger Notes.
Any of you remember her site? Hugely popular.

Last month, one of my favorite motivational bloggers, (who has also won awards for her blog), announced that she is throwing in the towel to pursue a few creative projects as well.
And the list goes on.

Now some of you may mistakenly believe that just because there are thousands, maybe millions of blogs from which to choose, that a few bloggers bowing out of the game won't be of detriment to a community of online readers.

If so, that's where you'd be wrong, my friends. :-) Quantity is not the same as quality.
Are you with me here? :-)

Think of how you'd feel if your favorite local restaurant went out of business.
Or your favorite novelist stopped writing books.
Or your favorite sitcom went off the air.

Well, some things we have no control over.
Some we do.
And that's why "ACTIVE SUPPORT" is so important. So often we take the things we enjoy for granted. We shouldn't.

Good bloggers bring value! They help to expand our horizons, our knowledge base, and our bottom lines. They allow us to laugh, ponder, and keep us pushing forward. They foster a sense of community where we can connect and come together from different worlds and regions. They create bridges for better communication.

Not to mention, each blogger has a different voice and personality. They bring different skills to the game.

With this being said, here are a few ways to keep more virtual doors open and create a win/win situation for everyone.

  •  Comment.
Blogging takes a lot of time and commitment. And blogging by its very nature is supposed to be an interactive medium. I can't speak for everyone, but on days when nothing else seems to be going well, (computer glitches, editor's rejection, etc.) a thoughtful comment can help to lift spirits and convey a sense of appreciation for your favorite blogger's efforts. Even something as simple as: "good job" can go a long way. Trust me on this one.
  • Write a review of an author's book and post it to Amazon
This small act can pay off in big dividends.
  • Tweet a post or "Like" a blog on Facebook.
It will only take a few minutes of time from your busy routine, while helping to share something of value to friends and followers in your circle.
  • Purchase products offered on your favorite blogger's site.
Perhaps if you don't see anything of interest for yourself, you can offer it as a gift for graduation, or Father's Day, or a writer friend's birthday. What have you got to lose?
  • Write and submit a quality guest post.
Doing so allows a blogger to take a much-needed break, and offers you the opportunity to share your expertise and gain exposure for your site.

Well, I'm off my soap box for today.  That's my story and I'm sticking with it! :-)
It's good to be back and I look forward to opening more "doors" for you, as we continue on our journey here at Pen and Prosper's upcoming 4th year.

As always, thanks for your support and your time.
In the words of Tupac: "You are appreciated."

Thoughts? Agree or disagree? Do tell.

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net


  1. Yes, I agree! These are all great points. I've actually thought about doing a post about the decline of blogging, whether it's happening, or not, etc. I've seen many of my blogger friends slow down or stop. For many, it has to do with writing commitments - book contracts and such. It can be a hard and tricky balance to maintain it all. You're right, support can make all the difference. I've seen a direct correlation between my involvement in other blogs and the interaction from others on my blog. The bottom line is that it is a wonderful community, and I'd like to continue to support it as much as possible. After all, there have been many benefits - like getting to know you!

    Have a great weekend! :)

  2. Hi Karen,

    Great feedback. It is indeed a tricky balance. Particularly for me, with not just keeping current on my blog, but juggling "ghost blogging" assignments for other clients. :-) Still, it's a labor of love made sweeter by readers and blog "family members" like you. :-) Thanks for your thoughts today.

  3. I love it and I completely agree! Blogging is not an easy task and to keep it up - says a lot about the person. I am always sad to see bloggers go and my reaction to their leaving makes me realize how important it is I stay in the game!

    1. Nicole,

      Indeed you make a solid point: "Blogging is not an easy task and to keep it up says a lot about the person." It really does. Thanks so very much for adding to the discussion here; I value each reader's input.

  4. Jennifer--

    You are right. Comments go a long way--even brief ones.

    By the way, I'm posting it later this evening, but you won the poetry collection. Send your address to me at sroslawski@yahoo.com and I will put it in the mail next week.

    Also, congrats on snagging your 200th follower.

    1. Sioux,

      How great to get your feedback on this--and to know that I've won something as well. Yay! Thanks for connecting. 200 "Friends Connect" followers is sweet. :-)

  5. Unlike other forms of Social Media, blogging offers an opportunity to develop meaningful relationships. I got to know all three of my critique partners through blogging, and they've become dear friends. We not only connect via the Internet, but also by phone, mail, and in person.

    Blogging does take a lot of time and effort, but it's so worthwhile.

    1. Susan,

      It is indeed; I have had the same good fortune. Yet for the many writers who are also juggling other creative projects, there is a need to get a good R.O.I. for their time. Which is why some opt to stop. Thanks so much for spending time with us today and sharing your thoughts. Hope all is well.

  6. I believe that blogging s a commitment and I owe it to me readers to provide.

    1. Linda,

      Good point; but so is marriage. :-)

      A commitment typically works best when everyone is mutually valued. Thanks so much for taking a minute here to "chat".
      :-) Always a pleasure.

  7. Such a great post! I totally agree on this one. Time hasn't really been on my side lately, so I've not been commenting as frequently, but as you point out, just a few seconds to share a post on twitter or FB can make a difference and show your support. I really like blogging because of the blogging community. I wouldn't still be doing this if it weren't for other bloggers, like yourself, who inspire me to keep at it. Thanks!

  8. Thanks for your post Jennifer,

    Expanding our Horizon, and connecting different Worlds is something that I find interesting. For example in the Aerosmit/ Run-DMC Video Clip ('Walk this Way') you can see how Rock - & Rap Music as two apparent different Worlds can merge, and blend together.

    You made me realise that my blog probably is a slightly 'Different World', and probably isn't like most other Writing Blogs.

    That it's more a blog about Blogging/Affiliate Marketing & (Mobile) Laptop Lifestyle, with a blend of several different types of Writing or 'Writing Worlds', and that 'Discovery Positioning' might be the answer to creating value for you as a reader.

    1. H.P.,

      Glad to hear that this post created an "ah-ha" moment for you. :-) B/T/W/ I really love "Walk that Way!" Thanks for the input here.

  9. So many good points in this post, Jennifer.

    1. Thanks so much, Yasmin. I appreciate the "thumbs up". :-)