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Blogging: A hobby for loners and egotists

Aug30

Written by:
2010/08/30 08:04 AM RssIcon

This is a guest post by Chris Hinton.

When I first started blogging (2003) my friends at work didn’t really get what it was all about. Not that they were ignorant of technology – I worked in the e-commerce department of a large bank. “Why not actually talk to people?” they asked.

Blogging was seen as a hobby for geeks; sitting in their rooms writing out their thoughts but not really interacting with real people.

Later that same year I went to a church service in the centre of London. This particular church was very big on the use of technology, which meant it was quite a surprise when the speaker said this, “All these people writing their blogs, as if the world is just hanging on their every word. It’s just an exercise in ego-stroking.”

Blimey, so bloggers are either loners or egotists – do I want to be labelled with either of these?

The thing is, I couldn’t disagree more. In fact, I think if you come at blogging with the attitude of wanting to be left to your own devices, or of just broadcasting your thoughts without listening to others you’ll fail spectacularly.

**You gotta talk**

Blogging’s a remarkably sociable affair – comments and social media are important ways to extend the blog’s reach beyond static articles.

They help you explain points that people aren’t understanding, and a good conversation on Twitter or in the comments can draw in new readers.

More importantly, though, if you want people to come and read your writing you have to cover subjects that are relevant to them. How do you know what’s relevant? Well, you could do a lot worse than actually asking. Keep an eye on Twitter, ask your e-mail list, or put a “how can I help?” post on your blog, and see what people tell you.

Ignoring your readers is a road to blog obscurity, so start talking and start listening. Build a community, and draw people in by showing them they matter to you.

I’d be curious to know what you think about this subject – why not tell us in the comments?

About the Author:

Chris Hinton

Website: Geek Speak

Twitter: @cdhinton

Chris is a pastor (officer) at The Salvation Army in Glenrothes, Scotland along with his wife, Dawn, he was a programmer and website designer. He is mad on new technology (especially Apple), sci-fi (especially Doctor Who) and motorsport. Chris tends to post on a whole load of random stuff, purely because his interests are so wide!

 

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