When you first start blogging, you really don’t know if someone hears/reads your words.

You write and write, but no one shows up. Your statistics are improving, but no one is commenting.

You borrow the line from the movie Field of Dreams , and think, “If I build it, they will come”.

But then you start asking, “How long do I have to wait?

Just like in the movie, patience, perseverance and persistence will pay off.

Today’s Lesson

When I started blogging, I was blessed with a “real comment” on day three, from a young lady in the UK by the name of Jomay. I was shocked, excited, and instantly motivated to keep writing. I knew I was being heard.

So I kept writing.

I envisioned an imaginary audience. Daily I would sit at my computer and construct my articles. Daily I would check my comments. I even checked my spam folder hoping a “real” comment accidentally got marked as spam.

Other than a few from friends, the comments were slow in coming.

I had read leaving comments on other blogs, joining blog carnivals, and/or submitting to blog directories, were several ways to get “discovered”.

I tried a few blog carnivals and a few directories. They brought a little bit of traffic, but no comments.

I was hesitant to leave comments on other blogs.

Although I had questions about blogging, I was too stubborn to ask for help.

Besides, what if they thought my comment was stupid?

I persevered. As time passed. I began to leave comments on various blogs.

Soon, a few commenters showed up. Slowly, the comments began to mushroom and my blog began to grow.

Lesson 2 If you want to grow your blog and know that others are “hearing your words”, make time to comment on other blogs.

If you want to become part of, or form a community of like minded people on your blog, concentrate your efforts on smaller blogs.

Although I have found a few candidates for my “New Blog Of The Week” (NBOTW’), leave comments on, and have gotten comments from readers of big name blogs , community within smaller blogs grows much faster.

Today’s Assignment

Do you ever feel like you’re writing just to write, and wonder if anyone will ever find your words?

Is blogging becoming frustrating because it’s not meeting your expectations?

As you leave more comments on other blogs, are you seeing an increase in comments on yours too?

Photo Credit: Taken at the location of the Field Of Dreams movie in Dubuque County, Iowa by mwlguide’s photostream

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Look Who's Talking
  1. MindBloggerNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve gone through what you’ve gone through and I can really relate to it. I read blogs since I enjoy them and I comment on them if I feel I have something valuable to share. I never comment with two word statements like “Nice Post!” and I feel motivated to comment on blogs where the blogger actually values the sense of “community”, that commenters bring to the blog. Like right here in, BWAB.

    When I started out, I occasionally had the fear of bring discovered by other bloggers, and I thought my blog posts would just all go to waste since no one reads them. But the most important thing I did was keep blogging through it all. And that paid off in the end because I believe my blog is starting to stabilize in the blogosphere.

    MindBlogger’s last blog post..We’re all making good money on Pepperjam… Are you?

  2. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi MindBlogger,

    That’s such a true statement about having other bloggers finding a “blogging blog”. I would think if a “pro” found my blog they would just laugh, but I also believed that there were many other bloggers like me who may be struggling, so I just kept writing.

    With blogs, I like to read different author’s viewpoints, as some explain it better than others (or maybe it’s in a “language” I can understand easier). Just like your blog, some of your topics may be the same as mine, but you put your own spin on it.

    Perseverance pays off, doesn’t it?

  3. NicoleNo Gravatar says:

    Leaving comments on other people’s blogs is usually a sure way to get comments yourself.
    That’s my recipe when people ask me.

    And I only write to write, I usually write and post too much, oh well πŸ˜‰
    Can’t help it.
    I still have tons of pictures with stories I wanna tell from years ago πŸ˜‰

  4. It helps to see blogging as a work-in-progress. Some of my posts get more comments than others. I have to ask myself why, which is cool.

    So today I decided to try an experiment. I made the title of my latest post a question to my “audience”. I set it up so that the comments they leave will be, by default, inspiring and helpful to others.

    It also helps me to remember – one of the main reasons I started my blog was to have a personal creative outlet, and to share my inspiration with the world. So even if nobody comments, I decided that’s okay, at least for now.

    What’s that song? “Sing, like nobody’s listening…” etc. πŸ™‚

    Mark – Creative Journey Cafe’s last blog post..What Are Your Favorite Quotes?

  5. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Nicole,

    I have a hard time keeping up with all of your posts, and even though I don’t comment on each one, I especially like the recent photos you shared from Germany. I feel like you’re giving me geography lessons. πŸ™‚

    Hi Mark,

    Isn’t that amazing how a post you think will be well read and commented on, only gets a comment or two. Then you can write a silly or short post and it will get lots of comments. If there’s rhyme or reason, I haven’t figured it out yet.

    Engaging your audience/community is important. I checked your newest post and like how you have included some of your favorite quotes, and asked your readers to share theirs. I’ll be back later to include one or two of mine. πŸ™‚

  6. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    well your blog is poppin’ now, so keep up the good work. can’t remember how i found you, but glad i did

    Do you ever feel like you’re writing just to write, and wonder if anyone will ever find your words? sometimes. no, i write because i always have something to say, πŸ™‚ i do wonder though if anyone cares what i’m writing about

    Is blogging becoming frustrating because it’s not meeting your expectations? no it isn’t frustrating…i never wrote down any expectations, which is probably a bad thing, but getting 1 comment on each post is all i’m expecting…anymore than that is just pure gratefulness. πŸ™‚

    As you leave more comments on other blogs, are you seeing an increase in comments on yours too? oh yeah, for sure. people like to know “who” this person is that left a comment on their blog and will at least click on the link back to their blog, if there is one. i also try to leave a comment on their blog as well, if possible.

    Natural’s last blog post..No Money, No Problem

  7. Ian DennyNo Gravatar says:

    The sense of community is what it’s all about. I must admit that I don’t travel around blogs as much as I used to.

    I tend to stick to the same community and yours Barbara is one of my daily must visits (well most days!).

    I can’t say I’m frustrated with blogging. I’m frustrated that I haven’t got much writing time at the moment.

    Ian Denny’s last blog post..New, Aspiring, Failed Or Successful Businesses – Share Your Business Story –

  8. Barbara,

    I have found a way that seems working better lately. I love to share what I know. That brings me to this idea of writing a post and then find blogs relevant to that subject. For instance, when I wrote the post –

    4 Habits of Millionaire in Making – http://www.successsoul.com/2008/04/01/4-habits-of-millionaire-in-making/

    I searched for the money related blogs and took time to read their post and commented on those blogs with relevant knowledge. I have yet to get a big celebrity blogger to comment on my blog, but I have attracted few established blogger like you. As you said, I am focused more on sharing knowledge that I have and less with my concerns to drive traffic. I am confident that if I write with purpose, traffic will come. Guaranteed.


    Shilpan | successsoul.com’s last blog post..3 Steps to Develop a Personal Vision for the Life

  9. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural,

    I’m glad you found me too. πŸ™‚

    I always enjoy how you answer each question, and share your thoughts. Again, you aced this assignment. πŸ™‚

  10. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Ian,

    Gosh, you’ve been around so long, I can’t remember when you weren’t part of the BWAB community. πŸ˜€ I always enjoy your input, honesty and great stories.

    You know you always have a “home” here.

  11. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Shilpan,

    I hope you’re enjoying your reign as this week’s NBOTW. Hopefully some of the regular readers have made it over to your blog and checked out your writings.

    Researching for posts is very important. It make your articles more credible, and like you said “writing with purpose” will eventually help establish yourself as an “expert” in your field.

    I like how you quote famous people in your posts, and then continue to expand on the topic.

  12. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    Commenting on other blogs seems to be the best bet for me. I sometimes visit a blog and leave a comment and if the reciprocate I’ll try to visit again. Normally, I let them come to me first. If they come back more than once then I add them to my reader. I agree the smaller blogs are the way to go. I’ve tried going to some bigger blogs and left messages but they never visit mine. It’s not that I’m offended, but I don’t waste a lot of time there unless I really like the blog. I figure not everyone is reading everyone elses comments so I’m not overly optimistic of picking up a fellow commentor. I still want to grow, maybe somewhere in the back of my head is the dream of being a problogger, but for now, I’ve made some great friends and I’m enjoying blogging. It’s been over 5 months since I started blogging and I think I’m doing fairly well considering all the competition out there.

    Debbie Yost’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday – Swinging

  13. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Debbie,

    I think you’re doing extremely well for 5 months. You are educating your readers on Down syndrome, sharing stories with other parents, and establishing a name for yourself in cyberspace. That’s a great accomplishment for a “young” blogger.

  14. Dr. NicoleNo Gravatar says:

    Oh my gosh Barabara get out of my brain! I feel like were writing this just for me. I keep reciting that field of dreams quote in my head repeatedly…

    I like commenting on other peoples blogs. That is what is more interesting for me than reading a magazine. I doubt that I would comment just to comment, but I think if you enjoy reading someone’s posts and are subscribed to them it is important to leave a comment. Right now I have just over a hundred subscribers that are mainly friends and family. I know they all read my posts and as much as I have asked them to leave their feedback or question in a comment they still continue to call me or e-mail me about it. They are kind of missing out on the whole point of having the blog…so my question would be how do you get your e-mail readers on the blog?

    Dr. Nicole’s last blog post..Tell Me What is in your Shopping Cart and I will Tell You What is Wrong with You…

  15. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Dr. Nicole,

    I’m glad this post was timely. πŸ™‚

    Good question.

    If they’re mostly friends and family, I would ask them (again) to leave their comments on your blog so that you can share your answers with all of your readers.

    The way I see it, if they have particular questions about alternative medicine, thousands of others probably have the same questions.

    If you can get them to understand that their questions and comments will help your blog succeed, they may be more willing to comply.

    If they are hesitant about leaving their name(s) in cyberspace, let them know they can use an alias on the comment form.

    Unfortunately there are many who do not understand the concept of a blog. As bloggers it becomes an added responsibility to educate our circle of friends on why we do, what we do.

  16. Dear Barb:

    Well I was sure I left a comment on this post before, but checking up on it just now it is nowhere to be found πŸ˜›

    *attempts to recall previous comment*

    I just wanted to say that this post pretty much embodies my experience with blogging. It is very hard to keep writing when you feel like it is just going out into a deaf cloud.

    Also you should know that your comments on your blog do mean the world to Elina and me – thank you so very much.

    So what have you learned in order to keep yourself from quitting the poor paying blogging job?

    Elliott Russell’s last blog post..Cheap Wedding Caterer

  17. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Elliott,

    Now you had me wondering…..

    I checked, and you did a “Friday Linkback” and a comment on the CommentLuv pluigin post.

    I’m watching your blog in my reader, and am patiently waiting to see the wedding pictures. πŸ™‚

    Yep, it is a poor paying “job/hobby”, but I like to write and try to help others. My loyal readers and commenters keep me going.

  18. KekoaNo Gravatar says:

    Well, after a long hiatus, I’m back! Life has been a bit turbulent, but I’m regaining balance as the sun warms up the northern hemisphere. I’m glad to be back.

    Persistence seems to be one of your main themes lately. I completely agree. It’s all about persistence and CONsistence. Consistency is so key, and consistently commenting and networking with those of similar interests, including participating in blog carnivals, is the surest way to build a viewership over the long term.

    Earlier this year, I did some research and my entire paradigm was reshaped by the advice Steve Pavlina gave in this thread: http://www.stevepavlina.com/forums/business-financial/9070-still-not-making-much-money-site.html#post96103

    Highly recommended.

    Kekoa’s last blog post..Ode to the Travelling Soul

  19. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Kekoa,

    You’re back! Yeah!

    Thank you for sharing the advice from Steve Pavlina. He’s good. I’ll definitely check it out, and will stop by your blog and see what you’ve done since my last visit.

  20. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I know exactly where you’re coming from. For a long time, you begin to wonder if anyone is reading at all. And eventually one brave soul seems to comment and that encourages more.

    I think commenting is vitally important in the early stages of blogging – it can be a major source of traffic. And I think many new bloggers underestimate the amount of traffic they will receive, if they leave intelligent comments on some of the larger blogs. It really doesn’t matter whether the actual blogger visits your blog or not.

    In the early days, I used to comment on some of the bigger blogs and found interesting smaller blogs by reading through their comments.

    Nowadays, I read a lot of blogs but don’t comment on them all. I tend to participate more in those that have become part of our community.

    And now that my blog has grown – traffic from comments only amounts to a tiny fraction. But, this doesn’t bother me, as community is extremely important to the survival of a blog.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..Does Your Business Feel Like A Prison?

  21. […] Lesson Two :Commenting on blogs […]

  22. danNo Gravatar says:

    Hello Everyone,

    Things are starting to pick up! I did not see any changes in conversions or traffic until I started writting and updating my site on a regular basis
    I know that it takes a lot off work and effort to build an audience.


  23. TNo Gravatar says:

    Jomay’s blog seems to be gone. Now you just get pop-ups. You might want to remove the link.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you T for pointing that out to me. I’ve removed the link as I see her blog is now “parked” and unavailable for viewing.

  24. The community aspect of blogging is a great part of it. It’s great when you have had a blog for a long time and you know others in your same field. Keep up the good work on your blog.