Cindy @ Whimsical Musings is doing a whole series on blogging. She is giving some fantastic advice for new and older bloggers.
Also Debbie @ Debbiedo's Blogging and Blabbing did one of her "Coffee Talk Series" posts today that is fabulous and all bloggers need to read.
I thought I would throw my two cents in on a couple of subjects about blogging also. I think we all blog for a variety of reasons, however I think we all find that the friendships we make from blogging out weigh any of the reasons we started in the first place. Debbie has a picture on her post that so totally described a friend, that I just had to borrow it.
Debbie, I have never seen a friend described so perfectly, so I hope you don't mind that I borrowed you picture.
First I would love to talk about comments. We all love comments, it validates us and our efforts to create something others want to see. It helps our self esteem and it confirms us as individuals with our own tastes and talents. However, if you blog only for the comments, sometimes you will be really disappointed. You may find that you have 1000 followers and only receive 20 comments. That can be really disappointing if you are wanting and needing those comments. Remember, there are a lot of lurkers out there.
I have removed a comment here about lurkers as it appears it has offended several people. I by no means intend to offend anyone. I do understand those that do not have blogs and who don't want to comment or don't have the time to. Commenting should be something you wish to do, and not commenting is certainly ok.
Then there is the blogger that leaves you an email that thanks you for visiting their blog, however that person never visits your blog to leave a comment. Thanking someone for a visit and a gracious comment is nice, but shouldn't you say that on their blog and not in an email since you have never been to their blog and you have no idea what they just posted.
I think the most impolite comment is the one that simply says "Nice". If you read a post and you really do think what they've created is "Nice", can't you expand on that just a little. It appears that you are just going through the motions, maybe didn't really even read it, possibly didn't like it and at the very least have nothing really good to say about it. However, I would so much rather have a "nice" than have some comment that shows the person really didn't read the post at all. Time is short and a "nice" is perfect sometimes, I just think we should try to add a little to it if we can.
Now I am the worlds worst at making all the rounds and visiting everyone everyday or even every week. Real life just gets in the way. I think we all follow many more blogs than we are able to comment on for every post that person does. I know I miss a ton of them. I really don't want blogging to become a chore and make me feel like I have to visit every single person every single day or I am a really bad person. That just isn't real life, however I do try very hard to make the rounds as much as possible and to try and visit those that so consistently visit me. I don't want to be rude and not visit anyone, and I understand that not everyone can always visit me. I just think we should try to visit when we can.
I love blogging and I have made so many fabulous REAL friendships here. I also love sharing what I am doing and I so enjoy all the feedback and encouragement. I really love all the critiqueing and suggestions also. That's what friends do. They help each other, and to me that is a great big part of blogging. (Now, don't get me wrong. If a critique is really a harsh criticism, then I think that is totally out of place and that person is not being a friend.)
To sum up my thoughts. I think you should treat each other the way you want to be treated. If you read a persons post, then leave them a meaningful comment. That is common courtesy. Remember, you've been invited into their home, so be sure and be a gracious, loving and friendly guest. Don't say nothing or leave by sending them an email. Be the kind of guest in someone else's home that you want them to be when they visit yours.
If you want to have comments, then leave comments for others.
If you want someone to visit your blog, you need to visit theirs. Then if you visit, leave them a comment on their post, let them know you were there and you read it. Tell them what inspired you.
Don't leave them an email that says "Thanks" when they leave you a comment. Most people don't expect a thanks, they much prefer that you return the favor and comment on their blog.
The main thing is to remember Blogging is being good friends with others and treat them like good friends. It doesn't matter that you've never met them in person. They are friend just the same and should be treated like special friends that just came into your home.