What makes you feel connected?

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about this blog and how best to connect to the people who are kind enough to stop by and read it. And I've been looking at other blogs as well. Turns out there are a lot of ways to connect with blog readers.

~ Some people try to respond to every comment, either on the comment thread or via email.

~ Some make a point of commenting on the blogs of people who leave them a comment; one comment from you = one comment from me, etc.

~ Some people use newsletters to keep people informed.

~ Some people auto-follow, following the blog of every person who follows them.

And so on.

I know a lot of people who do a mix of those things. And some people do none of them, but by creating opportunities for conversations on the blog, they still make readers feel connected.

Every community is different.

So now I'm asking you, regulars, visitors and lurkers alike. What makes you feel most connected to a blog/blogger? What brings you back? What makes you comment? And in your opinion, what is the best way for ME to make you feel welcomed and valued?

Comment away!

19 comments:

  1. I think a combination of those things work best for me to feel connected, but I also know responding to everything can be hard to keep up with. So I think the best thing you can do is have interesting and useful content on your blog. Don't get me wrong! I love a response, but I also like seeing a new blog up. I trust that writers and bloggers respond when they can in some way.

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  2. I like to respond to people, at the very least, when they directly address me in a comment :) I normally comment back on the same comment thread.

    I like to follow the blogs of my followers, but I don't always. It makes me smile, though, when someone I follow pops onto my blog and comments (ppsst-- you! :D seriously though Miriam, when you pop onto my blog and comment it makes me sooo happy.... and connected I guess, lol.)

    I often pose a question for my followers at the end of posts, but again, not always.

    You, my friend, do a very good job at making people feel welcome when you're just being you and not even trying :) I comment particularly when I read something that makes me laugh/makes me think/or I am passionate about.

    I love your blog because of the writing posts. And your sense of humour :)

    Good post ;)

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  3. I usually try to follow blogs which hold a general interest. I have my email posted if anyone wishes to take a step past the ordinary comment.

    I think it's a combination of things. A healthy respect someone may not always be able to comment, but a show of appreciation when they do manage to stop by. I tend to make the rounds. Then again sometimes it's not possible if your following a blog that post every single day.

    I think it helps to keep some kind of schedule. My readers know I'll post at least twice a month, at the most once a week. Honestly, I think it's different for everyone and there is no set formula for what works. (Hugs)Indigo

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  4. I just thought I'd say hi! I've been sort of a lurker, but now I'm going to comment. :) I usually do the "you comment on my blog, I'll comment on yours." If I have time I look for other blogs to read that I haven't been to before, and I always take the time to visit my favorite blogs a few times a week. It's hard to keep the balance with writing and blogging sometimes! :)

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  5. For me, it is content that I am interested in that causes me to follow a blog and to comment. I know some follow every blog they come in contact with (and that is fine), but for me, I follow a blog that I will be coming back to.

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  6. Charlotte- Excellent point about the content. That seems to be a big connecting point for a lot of people.

    Director- *turns deep red* Awww! Thank you so much! I'm really glad you like the writing posts too, I'm always super happy when people tell me they were helpful.

    Indigo- I like what you said about there being no set formula. That's one of the reason's I wanted to pick my reader's brains, see what works for you guys. And I always like it when you stop by! *hugs*

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  7. Chantele- Thanks for de-lurking! It's lovely to meet you. :) I agree with you, the writing/blogging balance is hard. Wish I could clone myself...


    Dawn- Yay for content! I used to follow every blog I came in contact with, but I follow so many I just can't do that anymore. But I do try to stop by my reader's blogs when I can.

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  8. An interesting topic! One I've thought about quite a bit myself.

    I really wish I could do more to make my followers feel welcome and appreciated, because I DO appreciate them. Unfortunately, I've heavily cut back the amount of time I spend on the blogs.

    So I try to reply to every comment. I also try to follow the blogs of my regular commenters, and regularly comment on their blogs if I can.

    Right now that number is manageable, (plus they are all my friends, so I want to keep in touch anyway. But I'm pretty much at capacity for what I can handle in my limited time. I do feel bad about it, though. I hope people don't think I'm being exclusive or cliquey.

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  9. Renee- I think people understand that no one can do EVERYTHING. I think the problem comes when the number becomes unmanageable, when you have so many friends/followers that it becomes really difficult to keep up with all of them. That's why I'm asking for ideas!

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  10. I have felt more connected to a few bloggers who periodically e-mail me responses to my comments. Because usually I don't go back to the comments to see if the blog host responded. (Though I do sometimes on yours.) So I am trying to e-mail comments to my blog posts. Obviously, I can't always do it.

    I do try to make a comment because I think it's nice for the blog author to know people are reading what they say. But there are days when I feel quiet and don't have much to say so I don't. I think good content and not too long posts are what makes me come back too. I think you're doing fine in connecting with us.

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  11. Natalie- I've wondered about that... I don't always get back to check comments either, but I'm not sure if moving to email would make it easier or harder to connect. Must ponder. *ponders*

    (also, thank you!)

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  12. You know, Miriam, I am not really sure. I know the blogs I like best are the ones with voice, ones where the writer shares part of their non-writing life (but not all) and ones that somehow I connect with genuinely.

    I dunno. But I do know that I like you blog now that I've found it.

    Shelley

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  13. I agree with Storyqueen, to let your voice shine through, which you do. And build your own little niche in blogging, something identifiably you, that people recognize and return to for more :)

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  14. As a new follower (of yours, just loved your blog title, read some of your posts & liked 'em) and new blogger, here are my thoughts...

    I try to reply to most comments. If they are regular readers & the comment doesn't seem to need a reply, sometimes I don't. I won't commit to following every single blogger that follows me, but I am trying at least to look at them, and if there's good writing or info there, I'll follow them. I try to comment when something grabs me, especially if there are none or few comments.

    However, I don't want to be this obnoxious self-promoter who tries to grab the first few comments in a blog to link back to mine, whether I have anything related to their post or not.

    The "sign up for my newsletter" biz annoys me, when I do and there is no regular newsletter. I "get" that people are short on time, and they may not have time to blog AND do a newsletter, too, and that's fine - I don't have time to do a newsletter, either, but then I'm not pretending to.

    I do need to get up speed on doing Twitter posts though, talking about false advertising (hanging head in shame.) Is it too late to add as a NY resolution for 2011?

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  15. Shelly- Why thank you! I like your point that it's good for writers to share some of their non-writing life, but not all of it. It's a hard line to walk sometimes. :)

    Joanne- Yay! Sometimes I feel like I'm still finding my niche, hence these little check-ups to see how I'm doing. Maybe I should start taking adorable photos too... (lol, just kidding)

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  16. I'm not keen on auto-following, but I always check out the blogs of those following me to see what they've got going on.

    For me the thing that keeps me connected is fantastic and varied content, so I'm returning to read what's new, and I always try to leave a little love. Some of the most special relationships i have in blog-land have started from reciprocal commenting though.
    Lx

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  17. Laura- That's a great point about reciprocal commenting. I'm with you, some of my best relationships have come from that. And content does seem to be king, doesn't it? :)

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  18. I try to respond to comments directly in the thread, but as mentioned above, I'm not sure if people check back if they're not subscribed (and I know that I don't always either). I always check out blogs of any new visitors, but personally I'm not keeping score on the comment for a comment ratio. Yes to great content -- that always keeps me coming back.

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  19. Amanda- That sounds a lot like what I do. Fortunately as platforms like Blogger become more interactive, it gets easier to stay connected. :)

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