photo of publish button from WordPress blog edit screenMost of us still remember those first days of blogging.

We believed no one would be reading our first attempts at blogging so we either envisioned an imaginary audience or proclaimed “we’re just writing for ourselves and for our friends and family”.

However, when we hit the publish button on a public blog, strange things can happen.

Search engines find our words and offer them up for those who are searching online.

Today’s Lesson

When I was rereading my Interview With Lorelle VanFossen – Part 3 – Content: Is Good, Good Enough, Lorelle left a comment that make me think.

She said, in part,

I just referenced one blogger in an article I published who came back to say that it wasn’t a fact, he was just talking out loud and assumed no one was reading his blog. As an expert in the subject, I took his words seriously. Now he says he will put in a disclosure statement when rambling.

You never know when someone is reading and paying attention. Write accordingly.

That’s fabulous advice.

When we blog, we often don’t think about who is reading our blog other than those who leave a comment.

We often don’t think our mentors or those whom we admire may silently be taking in our words.

And, if we’re new to blogging, we certainly don’t think someone may link to a post, claiming we’re an expert on the subject.

Because we’re not seeing past that which we believe is the case, we often forget how what we write could affect others.

How what we write not only gets found, but creates our online resume.

It’s time to ask, “Who is paying attention to your blog?”

Do you know?

Do you care?

Today’s Assignment

Is there someone “out there” you wish would be reading your work?

If you knew they were, or if you knew they would be linking to your posts, would you be writing differently?

Raise your hand and share your thoughts.

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Look Who's Talking
  1. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    LOL Barbara – When I first started blogging, I thought nobody was reading. Looking back, I wish I’d rehearsed a lot more first.

    Even later on, I was surprised that people who knew me more reading. I guess if I’d known, I might have thought twice about some of the things I chose to right.

    I guess I don’t wish any particular person would be reading my work. But it would be nice if some big book publisher stumbled upon one of my best posts and just had to twist my arm to write a book.

    It would be even better if that publisher was one of Oprah’s best friends.
    .-= Check out Cath Lawson´s awesome post: Should You Talk Dirty To Your Customers? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Catherine,

      Isn’t that the truth? Having one of Oprah’s publisher friends (or Oprah herself) find our blog and offer us a book deal or a spot on her show would be awesome.

      Should we book our tickets to Chicago? 🙂

  2. Hi Barbara, of course I care. There’s no reason to write a blog unless there’s somebody to read it, and each of my words must be true and well thought.

    Well, I’m not always perfect, but when I get close to it, I learn, even more than my readers. Learn? No, perhaps there’s a better word: grow.
    .-= Check out Miguel de Luis´s awesome post: Not yet? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Miguel,

      I KNOW you care. You’re posts and the reputation you’ve built online are proof of that.

      And you’re right. The more we blog, the more we learn and grow. Knowing we gave it our best each step of the way insures we won’t have any regrets.

  3. Great post! I definitely care. I have an idea of who looks at my blog from looking at the links on the back end of the blog and also from Twitter. Like Cath, I’d love it if someone fabulous came across my blog and wanted me to write a book! 🙂
    .-= Check out Positively Present´s awesome post: words to live by: just wanna be happy =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dani,

      It makes a difference when we care, and your posts show that. Checking where our visitors are coming from can give us a little insight, but unfortunately we can’t tell who they all are.

      One never knows Dani, one day you may have a surprise visit. How sweet would that be?

  4. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    I always assume that people I know might read my blog — even if it’s unlikely — or that someone I write about might come across it and recognize their self.

    Sometimes I agonize over the right words to use without potentially offending someone without cause.
    .-= Check out Mike Goad´s awesome post: Day Use =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      That’s a good point. Even if we reference someone as “a friend” or “acquaintance”, if that person reads our words, they’ll likely be able to identify themselves.

      Offending someone needlessly is something we do need to be cautious of.

  5. LisisNo Gravatar says:

    You know, I have thought about this a good bit because I always hope I have readers “out there” (who don’t comment or email me) who are truly struggling with some personal challenge. I hope they look forward to my blog posts as a little sparkle of light in an otherwise dim day.

    The readers who do comment and email me are fantastic, and engaging, and add lots of value to the conversation, but aren’t necessarily suffering (which is great!). But my secret hope in my heart of hearts is that my posts will magically land in the inbox of someone who really needs a ray of hope, a flash of inspiration, or a bit of encouragement to take some steps towards feeling better. Then, maybe, they will become some of my commenting/ emailing readers.

    I guess I write for them… the quiet ones. 🙂
    .-= Check out Lisis´s awesome post: How to Lose Your Worse-than-Useless Thoughts: Dispersal =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lisis,

      What you said is very touching. I’m guessing what you write, and have written has already helped more than you can imagine. By keeping your hopes of helping others in your mind as you construct your posts is a great way to fulfill your goal. And I believe the “quiet ones” will be forever grateful for your words.

  6. I love Cath Lawson’s wanting her arm twisted and what Isis says is so kind and genuine.

    I’m the what you see is what you get type of person and my blog is as well.

    I only want to be a better writer. I don’t need to impress anyone.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tess,

      I love how you describe yourself and your blog. And anyone who reads your work knows that is what you are – authentic. When we write from our heart and are not trying to impress someone, that’s when the beauty of our words shines through.

  7. I completely agree. I always knew a blog was a very public forum and wrote accordingly. Even when no one was reading my blog except for a few close friends.
    .-= Check out vered – blogger for hire´s awesome post: Patrick Swayze Can Finally Rest in Peace =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      I agree. Once we make our blogs public, our words are “out there”. From then on it’s up to us to take responsibility for what we publish.

  8. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve thought about this, wondering what people must think that come to my blog from google searches must think. I exaggerate and say crazy things for humor, but if you didn’t know I was joking…dang.

    Heh, now I feel bad about suggesting that SlimCados were avocados with added camel genes.
    .-= Check out Tracy´s awesome post: I have one of the best writer’s websites in 2009 according to Writer’s Digest =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tracy,

      You’re too funny.

      Your comment did make me wonder too of how others interpret our writings. I’m sure if someone were to search for some of the crazy things you write about they may be a little shocked, but if they take time to read your tag line or some of the comments, they would realize it’s all in good fun.

  9. Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

    I love what Lisis said, she made some very good point there.
    AND now I know she is not writing for me, I comment and I no longer suffer! Thanks Lisis, and I still love you.

    I am used to writing reports that were sensitive so I am trained to be careful about what I put down on paper AND I am aware that I am transparent. What I write is what happened and what people can see.
    Who I write for are indeed the people who can identitfy with what I am writing about, daily practical issues that will in the end make a huge difference as they do in my life. Down to earth living that will lead to higher level of consciousness.
    For me it is about taking what you do serious and about adding value and blogging is no different from other things I do in my life.
    .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: The benefits of doing completion. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wilma,

      Learning about sensitive documents and confidentially in the real world helps us when we start blogging, doesn’t it?

      I love what you’re trying to accomplish with your blog. You share stories of how you handled things in your life and in some cases how you could have done better, and because of your honesty, those who read your words feel compelled to share their stories, as well. The concept you’re following not only helps others but opens the door to growth for all concerned.

  10. jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

    Sometimes I write with a particular reader in mind. Edit that to often. Maybe it’s something I read on their blogs that resonate with me. So I write it and provide a link.

    Sometimes I don’t. A good friend once commented a wry observation on one of my posts. I bled from that comment. Just a glancing wound, but it bothered me. So I wrote a riposte – a passionate piece. My friend did not comment on it. But knowing my friend, I know it was read. And yes, we survived this tempest in a teacup.

    Would I write differently if I know someone might link to my writing? Nope. It doesn’t figure in the equation. My inner critic is a handful already. Although of course I’d change my tune if I know David Sedaris is reading me. lols

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jan,

      I know we’ve talked about inner critics before and how they can get the best of us, if we let them . Being bothered by the comment your friend left on your post is a sign you really care. Sometimes we do make mistakes and inadvertently hurt another person, but if they truly know us, they quickly realize it wasn’t intentional.

      BTW: How do you know David Sedaris isn’t reading your work? 🙂

      • jan geronimoNo Gravatar says:

        Good question, Barbara.

        It’s good I’ve no way of knowing – unless of course he leaves a comment. Just have to work hard at self-improvement so as not to disappoint my readers. They have been here all along with me for much of my adventures in the blogosphere – giving support and inspiration. That’s an act of faith, too, in my book. And it’s them – not big shots like David Sedaris – I should be paying attention to. 🙂
        .-= Check out jan geronimo´s awesome post: How Blogging Affected My Offline Interaction =-.

        • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

          Hi Jan,

          That’s right. It is your loyal readers you need to write for. Through thick and thin, they’ll be by your side. 🙂

  11. RogerNo Gravatar says:

    You raise a very important question. I never believed that anyone would discover my writing yet a part of me hoped they would. They did. I believe that it is very important to carefully consider the words we publish and the manner in which we convey our ideas and experiences.

    It is important to write from the heart with the understanding that what we say becomes a permanent record, possibly leaving us with regrets somewhere down the road when our emotions may not point in the same direction.

    I am not sure that there is any particular person I would wish read my blog, just that those who do leave feeling better in some small way. What I write is my way of placing words to what I have experienced as a reminder that I do not wish to return to the past. Beyond that I am always grateful when someone comments that they have related to what I said.

    Great site and I’m happy to have wandered in.

    Namaste
    .-= Check out Roger´s awesome post: Missing Your Dreams =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Roger,

      I’m happy you wandered in, too.

      What you’ve written is so true. What we write does become a permanent record which will always follow us. With blogs being like an online resume, we certainly don’t want to write something that can haunt us later on.

      And yes. Writing from the heart is key.

  12. I took it for granted I would have an audience, because I already had a well visited website and a newsletter with a few hundred subscribers. I started blogging when I realized I would always have enough to say 🙂

    But the truth is, I do sometimes throw things out there that isn’t quite ready for a big audience yet. Whether it’s because of spelling mistakes or because I’m merely thinking out loud.

    Still, I am thrilled when someone thinks what I’m writing is good enough to link to… most of the links people give me so far are to the main blog, not to individual blogposts. And no, I would not change my writing style to accommodate them. I don’t have that much control over my writing style to begin with. I’m glad when something I write comes across the way I meant it, that’s about as far as my ambition goes.
    .-= Check out Katinka – All Considering´s awesome post: Spiritual fantasy: The Curse of the Tahiéra =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Katinka,

      How fortunate you were to already have a reader base when you started blogging, as that’s what so many of us struggle with developing.

      That’s true. When someone links to our posts, it is a great feeling. Like you said, it shows what we’ve written is “good”.

  13. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    I try to keep a rule of write for my sister. She does read most of my stuff.

    I think my blog is still under the radar so I enjoy flying low. It reminds me of the early days in my group at work. We used to fly low and it was a good thing. With exposure comes responsibility. The rules of the road change. Expectations change. Right now, I think expectations are low, so I get to play more and experiment. It’s the nature of the path from sapling to Oak.
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: Lessons Learned from Peter Drucker =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.,

      I don’t know how much longer you’ll be able to fly under the radar as your blog is gaining in popularity fast. I do agree, when our blogs become more popular and we gain more exposure, more is expected of us.

  14. Hi Barbara,
    Its true at first when i started the blog, i did it and never put a second thought cause i thought who is actually reading. But the day i got my first comment.and then started reading and learning a little more about blogging especially the google searches that were landing people to my blog…i got sensible and sensitive towards my readers. My blog is for my readers…and like lisis points out so well…its not just the ones who comment…but the ones who dont comment who are the most affected by your words. I am so happy when i get an email that says “my post changed their perspective and helped” . Its an uplifting feeling. That appreciation helps me to write better and make sure i dont make silly mistakes. I feel i owe it to my readers to give them the best i can…My blog might be mine…but my readers give it LIFE! And i am so greatful for that.
    .-= Check out Zeenat {Positive Provocations}´s awesome post: To Have Succeeded {Inspirational Quote} =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zeenat,

      That’s so true. We have many more readers than we realize. And although it’s easy to forget about the ones who don’t comment, they’re there, possibly waiting to read what we post next or hungry for a tidbit of information or an uplifting word.

      I like how you said our readers give our blogs life. That is so very true.

  15. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara,

    I think that I usually don’t have anyone in particular in mind. I always hope there are lurkers but I can honestly say I just try to write good stuff because I know it is the right thing to do.

    The only real exception for me is that I try and not write about a topic that is based on my experience with particular clients – although the post fodder is tremendous at times…

    George
    .-= Check out Tumblemoose´s awesome post: Buzzing Around the New Blog of the Week =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      That’s a good point. If we were to write about our clients, we could potentially hurt our businesses. (No matter how great a story it would make).
      Concentrating on doing our best will get us the furthest.

  16. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I’ve always felt I needed to be accountable for what I am saying on my blog. I often wonder about who is reading my blog – my subscriber number, while not huge, is far greater than the number of comments I get – I wonder who these readers are! (but then, who knows what is really going on with Feedburner stats?)
    PS – I’m jealous that Vered had a few close friends reading her blog in the beginning :=)
    .-= Check out Robin´s awesome post: When Someone Close To Us Is Struggling =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Robin,

      You’re right. All we have to do is look at our stats and then look at our comments and it’s always obvious we have more readers than commenters. Who they are may remain a mystery.

      Feedburner? True. Who knows what our real numbers are?

  17. Over time I’ve found myself going in the direction you suggest – writing and editing my posts more carefully. I think some of it came from a long-time commenter who was hypercritical and seemed to almost deliberately misconstrue my words. So this person actually contributed to my stating things with greater care and precision.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Paul,

      I hear you. Sometimes our readers will get us on track to construct our posts in a clearer manner. Although the criticism can hurt at first, when we have time to think about it, often we realize it’s true.

  18. DotNo Gravatar says:

    I did some research before starting to blog and was aware of the potential for anyone to read what I wrote. As far as I know, none of my friends have read more than a post or two, but there are always the lurkers. The commenters are a lot fewer than the subscribers, and we have no way of knowing who the subscribers are, nor the readers who don’t subscribe. However, looking at a list of countries of origin, I’m amazed at the people who’ve stopped by from all over the world, even if many of them don’t come back.
    .-= Check out Dot´s awesome post: Comment on Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes by Jannie Funster =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dot,

      Your research got you on the right track, right from the start. The reach our blogs have is enormous, and like you learned, anyone can be reading them.

      That is amazing, isn’t it – when we look at our stats and see we have visitors from every corner of the world. Who knew?

  19. PeggyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara!

    I touched upon this on my Stepmom’s blog because the question was asked via another blogger, “Does your significant other read your blog and if so, does it change the way you write? Or what you write about?”

    I don’t write anything that isn’t true, doesn’t come from my heart, or raw and so off the cuff that I could hurt someone I love.

    I write with passion and integrity. I write what matters to me…and hopefully, it matters to other people as well. I write about my experience through life and by sharing it, I hope my experience will teach others that life is exactly what we make it.

    xo
    Peggy
    .-= Check out Peggy´s awesome post: Your Moment of Bliss =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Peggy,

      Writing with passion and integrity is smart. Not only do you remain authentic, but you’re also teaching others from your own experience. And, whomever is visiting is seeing the real you.

  20. Yes, I am expecting Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Keith Richards and Paul McCartney to not only be reading, but hanging on my every bloggity word. And craving my next post! 🙂

    But back in the Real World, nope I would not be writing differently, that would feel all fake and weird to me.
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Just Plain What The Heck? — Funny Keyword Searches, 5 =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jannie,

      Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Keith Richards and Paul McCartney may not only be reading your words, but listening to your CD, as well. It could happen…..

  21. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Great timing – this blog of yours, Barbara! I was just giving some serious thought to why I blog in the first place! It is simply to discipline myself into writing on a regular basis – pump the creative flow up and keep it flowing so I can work on my “other” writing projects. The fact that I have followers is a real bonus to me! I treasure that fact and REALLY appreciate comments! Writers write in the dark usually so to have anyone reading/commenting is fuel to me, keeps me going!

    First, to answer your question, I wouldn’t write any differently if I wrote for the NY Times, and secondly, I am all too aware that my words are out there for all to see, whether they comment or not.

    My blog content is eclectic, sometimes serious, more often not. I have a great sense of humor, love writing whacky “takes” on things but some people fail to see the humor if I have a sarcastic spin. Pity that they can’t hear my tone of voice, but oh well. I love presenting anything that would make people think outside of the box.

    I will admit, I’m almost sorry I got into “stats”. I wonder why I have readers who read constantly yet never comment on my blog. It wouldn’t bother me as much but I see them comment elsewhere. Or a loyal commenter that suddenly doesn’t. Like did I offend someone? Drives me nuts if I think about it too much, so I don’t!

    Great food for thought here on your blog! Thanks!
    .-= Check out suzen´s awesome post: I’m Alive! Celine Dion and Great Inspiration =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Suzen,

      With you having other writing projects, a blog is a perfect way to not only vent or share stuff you may not write about elsewhere, but like you said, keeps you disciplined.

      The commenting part – some commenting on our blogs, or not, seems to come down to an individual choice. I think we all have our favorites (for whatever reason), and blogs we may read or skim, but the material doesn’t resonate with us, or we’re tired, or …. Try not to let it get to you. I know. Easier said than done. (I’ve been there). 🙂

  22. BunnygotBlogNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Everyone,

    I write on a variety of topics because I like variety in my life. I try to make my posts unique and as interesting the subject is to me, for my readers.

    I have spent 3-4 weeks on article – just researching the facts and editing it. It is difficult sometimes for me to decide what content to use, so I don’t overwhelm my readers with too much and they stay interested. All this work is worth it, my husband is my biggest fan and critic and he calls some of my articles not all… masterpieces. He is my husband, he has to say this.lol

    You might say I am selfish, I love to learn and share with others what is of importance to me. Encouraging women to live a full life and helping out in the community is important and I really love history.

    I notice where a lot of my readers come from and I could write about many other topics. Sometime I will get an crazy idea and run with it. I like the challenge.

    My work is authentic and researched to the max because that is what I feel is important to give my readers and for me, the author.
    .-= Check out BunnygotBlog´s awesome post: Coco Chanel: Famous Quotes =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bunny,

      Anyone reading your posts realizes quickly how much research you put into them. I also enjoy them as you’re teaching me what I didn’t learn in school – I didn’t like history at that time.

      Having your husband for a critic is fantastic. Although he may be somewhat biased, I’m guessing he knows a masterpiece when he sees one.

  23. Ahhh, even though I try to write mostly from a first-person perspective (which keeps the integrity of what I present high), there have been times when I’ve picked up a quote off the internet, thinking it was sourced correctly, only to be schooled. People have always been kind in doing so, and I’ve appreciated the corrections received. But this post really made me think, and coupled with your ADA-compliance suggestions last week, I’m wondering, Who is reading my blog? Who do I need to consider in what I think, say & do?

    Thanks, Barbara!
    .-= Check out Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s awesome post: Feeling Prosperous =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Megan,

      I know what you mean about grabbing something off the internet and to later find out it’s not sourced correctly. Double and triple checking is often necessary.

      You’re right. We don’t know exactly who is reading our work. I’d say, just continue being your authentic self.

  24. Hi Barbara,

    I think it is so important that we are responsible for what we publish. When I first started blogging, I really did not pay attention to that because it was not something really crossed mind.

    However, when my blog started to get more popular and people started to ask advice or leave comments, I realized that I had a responsibility because even though it was not my intention, people will look at the author as some type of expert. So it is really important that we honor our readers and write accordingly.

    It is a sin, in my mind, to write a post inspiring people to believe a certain thing when the author does not believe it themselves or does not even try to live their own advice. There has to be a sense of accountability.
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: The September Issue of My Life =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      You’ve raised an excellent point. Through our blogs, we are often looked at as an expert in our field. Thus, we also need to be prepared for how we’ll answer questions that are asked of us.

      Like you said, if our readers are treating us like an expert, than we need to take that into consideration when we post,… and be accountable

  25. DaphneNo Gravatar says:

    This is something I have thought about quite a bit, especially because I use pseudonyms in my blog (I post about this at http://daphneanddonald.blogspot.com/2009/08/honesty.html).

    Your question about whether I would write differently if certain people were reading definitely struck home with me. I wonder about this all the time. I would write differently. I often use my blog to verbalize the conversation I have with myself. I write about work and family. It is a sounding board to myself where I can get feedback from people who don’t know me so that I can find the courage to address these issues in my life. Ideally, I would be able to write openly and honestly about what I am thinking and feeling and have anyone read my thoughts.

    The reality is, I should speak to someone in person if I’m frustrated with them before I air my feelings publicly. My blog gives me the brainstorming room to figure out how to do that. I want to avoid using it as a vehicle of passive-aggressiveness to deliver my message without a conversation to convey my words.

    My blog ends up being honest and raw. My conversations end up being honest and tempered. I’m still teaching myself how to have honest conversations without so much hedging. My blog is a tool to get me there.
    .-= Check out Daphne´s awesome post: Ripples =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Daphne,

      You’re not alone. Many people use their blogs to vent – the good and the bad. And it’s often the readers who are thankful to see that, as they may be going through the same thing. If they don’t know how to put it into words, but find a great blog like yours, then they can discuss it with you and others and often find a solution.

  26. PeacefulWmn9No Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara…On some personal blogs in the distant past, I may have written, well, less “personally,” but for everything these days, no, I write so that I don’t have “regrets.”

    Karen
    .-= Check out PeacefulWmn9´s awesome post: Explore Inspiration Today =-.

  27. Thanks for this Barbara — this is definitely food for thought. I feel like I’m okay with not knowing who most of the people are who subscribe to my blog — I would probably second-guess what I was writing endlessly and make compromises if I tried to learn information about my audience and tailor my content to them. But I admit that the curiosity is definitely there. 🙂

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chris,

      I agree. If we stop and think about it, curiosity could get the best of us. But I think if we can continue to be true to ourselves and blog accordingly, no matter if a book publisher or a fellow blogger were reading our posts, we wouldn’t change a thing.

  28. CarlaNo Gravatar says:

    When I first started writing, I didn’t think anyone was reading either. I still think that from time to time until I check my stats! I have gone back to rewrite some of what I wrote early on.

    I honestly don’t know who I would want to read my blog now that isn’t already reading it. Good question!
    .-= Check out Carla´s awesome post: A Small Vent about SIGG =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Carla,

      You’re right. It is via our statistics that we find out we do have readers. If we’re not getting comments, we often assume we aren’t, but it seems like even the newest of blogs are getting some kind of attention.

  29. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    My Mother always said be careful with your words, particularly when you write them down. Always be aware of what you are signing.

    Her words come back to me all the time. I chose a career path that makes me even more aware of what I do or say…like the woman who looked in my grocery cart and saw a bottle of wine -“Communion?” she said…I said no, poached pears…

    I like flying low right now, but I don’t like that I do not have the return of all my readers – enough for some ads I want! just keep trying and putting good stuff out there.

    Oh Barbara you amaze me with your good classroom sharing here. I still spend a lot of time in your archives! Yep it’s me!
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: DIY* Healthcare Plan: Skin Care =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      LOL I love your bottle of wine story. 🙂

      Flying low, as J.D. said, does have it’s advantages, however the day will come when none of us will get by with flying low. In time our blogs will get found, we’ll get more attention and it will be time to soar.

      I’m happy to hear my archives are a source of information for you. Please let me know if there’s something specific I can help you with.

      BTW: I’m working on the SEO post you requested.

      • PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

        good thing I wasn’t buying condoms!…

        Oh wonderful about the SEO research. I am working right now on twitter again in your archives!

        I just added some new research to my last post that might answer your question better…FYI
        .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: DIY* Healthcare Plan: Skin Care =-.

  30. WalterNo Gravatar says:

    There are millions of people surfing the internet. If a blog is good and addresses the sensibilities of us humans, readers will come out pouring. 🙂
    .-= Check out Walter´s awesome post: How to unleash your true capacity =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Walter,

      That’s very true. With the millions who are surfing for information, every blog will get found. Some may just take a little longer than others.

  31. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I too started off knowing that because my blog was online that people would be reading it (or at least I hoped they would). I always do my best to be accountable for what I write — most of it is based on my own personal experiences and observations.

    I had to smile when I read Cath’s comment because the someone I would appreciate landing on my blog is also someone who would offer me a writing contract. THAT would be a dream come true. Oprah would be calling me to write Forewords and Introductions to books 😉

    I also see how people “assume” you are an expert because you write a blog on a certain topic and I have an issue with that. As soon as someone believes you are an expert, they believe less in their own capabilities. I’d rather show people how they can be experts for themselves — and that is what a life coach does.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: Remembering a Friend =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      That’s one great thing about blogs. Our work is published online for all to see. When those “in power” do find our work, all it takes is a little digging through our archives to find more of it. Having followed you for a long time now, I wouldn’t be surprised if your dream came true. Your writing rocks.

      The “expert” thing has me thinking. Watch for a whole post on that.

  32. Hi Barbara,
    Lorelle’s comment scares me! I take the facts as facts when I read these blogs and it is startling to think they are made up. It was kind of the original author to speak up. Just recently I read a blog that had a statistic on it (which was not linked to a source but I trust the author). I quoted it to someone and it just didn’t sound right. I did my own research and it turns out the statistic was misquoted. It should have been 25% of a smaller subset, and instead the statistic was 25%. Big difference! I know mistakes can happen but I think it is vitally important that we all fact check in our own writing. Otherwise blogs will get billed as a bunch of hot air.
    .-= Check out Jodi at Joy Discovered´s awesome post: Expressing Thanks =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jodi,

      Yes. What happened with Lorelle quoting that guy is scary. And look at what happened to you. If you hadn’t done your own research, you would have been helping to spread the wrong information. Kudos to you for questioning the data, digging deeper and posting accurate information.

  33. I say be boldly authentic, in the moment and let the chips fall as they do. More and more I’m less concerned about who is reading and why they are. If I tell my truth in that moment – that’s more than good enough for those who are looking for it. Life’s too short to impress and to be cautious. Be boldly genuine and the right folks support you.
    .-= Check out Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s awesome post: The True Calling Connection =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tom,

      That’s true. When we are being authentic, it’s pretty hard to mess us. Worrying about who is reading our work is much less important that doing our best.

      Re: Being cautious. I would add, be cautious when we post facts. As Jodi mentioned, had she not double checked the numbers, she would have been spreading falsehoods.

  34. SpaceAgeSageNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve always written for the audience and my web-savvy husband always says, basically, “What goes online, stays online … forever.” With these two things in mind, I rarely have to worry about what I write.
    .-= Check out SpaceAgeSage´s awesome post: Distractions help movie heroes and self defense =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      The advice you got from your husband is spot on. There will be no gray hairs from worry is we practice that.

  35. TracyNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Barbara, I had to come back to say that the other day my husband’s CEO made a comment to my husband about reading my blog. It seems that he remembered the URL from one day when my husband was showing him how Google Analytics worked for my site and he was bored one night and read some posts.

    Whew, I had a quick think and was glad I never wrote about that *&(%)% company (joking!).

    I was very flattered that he seemed to like my blog.

    Also, my inlaws have been forwarded posts from my blog by people who had no idea we were related.

    It helps me to remember that my real life can be impacted by what I write and act accordingly.
    .-= Check out Tracy´s awesome post: I have one of the best writer’s websites in 2009 according to Writer’s Digest =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi again Tracy,

      Thank you for sharing those stories about how our blogs can be unknowingly read by others, and like you said, forwarded to friends and family.

      And that’s true, our real life can be impacted by what we share online.

  36. elmotNo Gravatar says:

    For I just write whatever I feel and think…and then I try to scan over my post for a couple of times in order to see if I was all too one-sided or not and then I edit it.

    It is quite difficult for one if he will just think of others of what they are to say or how they will react when you write a post. There are some things to consider. If what you have written was personal in tone. If you made a post out of bad faith intended really to hit someone. Or you made a post just to be really insensitive to all people and then recant.

    Recanting one’s opinions is something that will hurt a blogger’s reputation. That is why I think, going over what you wrote a couple of times before publishing it makes you aware of the things you said on your post and think over of some effects that it will entail; and would make you responsible for it in return. Hopefully.
    .-= Check out elmot´s awesome post: May 2010 Election Concerns: An Online Interview with Mr. James Jimenez =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Elmot,

      That’s an excellent point. Our emotions can play a huge role is what gets published. Writing a post when we’re angry or mad at another person is one thing, but in instances like that, it’s probably best not to publish it.

      Like you said, by going over what we wrote, and stepping away from it (maybe even giving it some time to percolate), should ensure what we’ve written will sit well with most.

  37. Everything I write is my opinion – that’s the whole point of my blog and when I do say something that’s not my opinion I back it up with someone reference.
    .-= Check out Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome´s awesome post: Finding Encouragement Where You Can: The Lab Rats & Support Networks =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Alex.

      That’s a good point. When we do reference something in our blog posts, it’s best to back it up with a reference. For those who are curious, they can click through and read “the rest of the story”.

  38. Hey Barbara,

    This is true that you never know when who is reading your blog post. For me blogging has always been fun, but through blogging I got some serious readers who suggested me some novel concepts that improved my blog.

    So I would like to say that Lorelle’s advice is really practical.

    Thanks for such a thought provoking post.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Rick,

      That’s one nice thing about blogging. We make friends online who will willingly help us, if we ask.

      And yes, Lorelle’s advice is sound. She’s also got a fantastic blog, too.

  39. […] the comments of Write Responsibly Right From The Start, Nadia of Happy Lotus wrote (in part) … when my blog started to get more popular and people […]