Communicating with the Community

Communication is important in just about every aspect of our lives. We need to actively communicate with our families, friends and significant others if we want our relationships to work. When meeting new people we engage in conversation to get to know these people and maybe over time, become friends – but that magic won’t work if we don’t put in some effort. To develop meaningful relationships, our interactions, our communciations need to be two-way, they need to be conversations. This is just as important within our blogging community.

I’ve been thinking about our WP community, how important it is; what purpose it serves and extending from that, do we, the more experienced bloggers, have a role in helping and guiding new bloggers so that they stay within the blogging world and become contributing members of the community who, in turn, will then help future bloggers. Do you think about the less experienced bloggers? I suspect for many of us, we think about our own needs. What is required for our own blogs and being in touch with our friends and contacts within the Community.

There have also been a few other things over the past month or so that have had me reflecting on why I blog and of the importance of the blogging community. One of the things I feel quite strongly about is supporting new bloggers who are just starting out and finding their feet. I want to be able to help them. I’m not going to do that by producing lots of posts about blogging dos and don’ts as there are already some excellent bloggers covering that, and I can share their links. That said, I am planning a couple of “how to” posts on my blog, and will look to see how I might be able to develop more.

When I think back to the beginning of my blogging journey, I was wary of the community, and I suspect this is also the case for some new bloggers. Anyone who is more experienced and actively engages with the community will, I hope, share my enthusiasm for our active community. Its an important part of the blogging experience. My feeling is that new bloggers may have various reactions to the community and when I think back to how I felt when I first set up Curiosities, Castles and Coffee Shops I wasn’t sure what to do or say, so I read and liked posts but didn’t say anything (I know, its hard to imagine a quiet “Brenda”). I was looking at blogs to see what others did and learning from my observations. I wouldn’t copy them, but I could see what worked and what I liked or didn’t like.

For me, I realised that silence wasn’t going to get me very far. In my mind I knew that I had to engage more and talk to people. However, where do you start when you look at a post with lots of comments which can feel daunting and overwhelming. It can look like the bloggers and people communicating through the comments already know each other or are friends and you don’t want to interrupt and it can feel invasive, so you may be put off saying anything. The risk is if the new bloggers don’t engage and join in, they could give up. I accept some will decide blogging isn’t for them, but we don’t want to lose them unnecessarily. Is it even our role to consider the new bloggers?

This is potentially conflicting for new bloggers – how to get in there and make an entrance into the blogging community when you are wary of active, engaging comments sections – but at the same time, that’s what you want your own blog posts to look like. I guess they just need to make a start. We can’t change how we’re talking to each other.

I know not every new blogger or blogger new to WP will feel that way, but it made me wonder what can be done to help them feel part of the community. While I say this, I want to recognise (and its my own opinion) that the WP Community is amazing. Its full of great, friendly and welcoming people who, once I took that initial step and made my first comment on someone’s blog. welcomed me in – now you can’t shut me up! (Sorry about that)

As I said above, I want to think about how we can help our newer bloggers – of course, we can and do talk when they engage with us, but is there anything we can do more proactively? I appreciate that we’re all busy and I’m just looking at what I do/could do, I’m not suggesting that others follow suit. But maybe giving some consideration about the experience new bloggers have and how we can help keep them in the community will help them.

Generally when bloggers spam us we just delete their comments. I agree spam is irritating, and like everyone else I do delete these, but I did wonder if these newbies know its not apporpriate to do this? We might say they should, but did anyone tell them? I may change my mind, but I’ve started checking out who’s posting these messages on my site, and I’m leaving them a message on their blog asking them not to do this and explaining why. It maybe also helps them start communicating with the community and hopefully that may keep them blogging longer.

I’ve started reviewing responses to the WP Prompts, not just the ones I respond to, looking for new bloggers to encourage. Additionally, I also try to check out who’s liking my posts and going to their sites if its a name I don’t recognise, but both of these are time permitting.

Beyond that, I think we in the community all continue to be awesome bloggers, engaging with each other which creates our community. Having a vibrant, active and engaging community is the best way to help and support each and every one of us, not just our newie members and will ensure a dynamic home at WP in the future.

46 thoughts on “Communicating with the Community

  1. Thank you for this post. I started blogging last October. I read a lot of blogs but rarely make comments. I take your point that I should be more involved in the community.

    1. Hey Don, Brenda and I chat frequently. We met (figuratively) through a mutual blogger all becuase of comments. plus, I found commenting is the best way to feel involved, enjoy what youa re doing and grow your audience.

    2. Hi Don! I was like that when I started blogging as well, but there’s this unexplainable energy once you engage in the community. Once you leave comments or thoughts then people reply back whether negative or positive, it gives a little excitement. Welcome to the blogging world by the way! 😃

      1. I definitely agree about the energy. The community is a big positive that encourages and drives us

  2. We love reading your blog! Your unique perspective and authentic voice have an impact in the world. Keep sharing, because your thoughts have a lasting impact. Thank you for being who you are!

    Thanks – TheDogGod

  3. I think your wisdom here is spot-on, Brenda. Especially for newer bloggers who might feel they’re peeking into well-established relationships when they read lively comments. I suspect that CAN be daunting…but your advice to be brave, lean in anyway…engage? Sounds just right to me. 🥰

  4. Good morning, Brenda and all my fellow digital pen pals. I started blogging in 2019, not sure where that fits in the newness category. Writing a story is definitely new to me, I only started this after I retired.
    To a new blogger I’d say just have a conversation. You get to read how someone else, possibly on the other side of world lives. Use the WordPress reader to discover a blogger you may share a common interest.

    1. Thanks Kevin. You’ve been at this a little longer than me, but I think we all learn as we go. We can try new things and explore new ways of writing and blogging. From that perspective, we’re always learning,so always new at something

  5. Really great post and timely too. I’ve been thinking about the community we’re trying to build here on this site. I may reach out to you to discuss this further. I have a few ideas I’d like to discuss with you and maybe hear some of your thoughts about how we can build community here and perhaps even mentor others.

    1. That would be brilliant. I must admit I had thought about mentoring, but wondered if it was a step too far.

  6. Great post. For me, it was a great way to write something that I wasn’t going to get comments from people that I didn’t want to see it. That’s why I deleted my social media platforms and started to write a blog. I’m not trying to reach anyone or anything like that. I keep my blog for my own personal understanding of what I was thinking about and how I am writing a blog on a topic and then the language used etc etc. I’m able to see that some of my posts that aren’t about my Bipolar are fairly repetitive. I am though so so glad I started blogging as you post and it is looked at and read by the people who want to engage with your blog. It’s a nice way to do things.

    1. I’m glad blogging is working for you, and less stressful. It’s always good to see what other people think. I wouldn’t worry about repetition as there are always new readers 😄

      1. Yeah that’s exactly right. The repetition is a good opportunity to combine the blogs maybe and then I can see if it can work as a chapter in book?!? I’m medicated for bipolar and I have seen that when I’m not manic or depressive and my medication is making me stable but it’s also robbing my expression and stifling my enthusiasm for blogging. I’m just loving learning about my bipolar every day and trying to be an expert on myself

      2. That is something a challenge too … and through writing (not everything I write gets published) I find I’m finding so much about myself, understanding me and what matters… and sometimes what makes me tick. Maybe writing will help you too

  7. What a great post, Brenda! I’m still laughing about the “(I know, its hard to imagine a quiet “Brenda”)” Because of course your voice is delightful – as are your ideas about how to proactively encourage others. I haven’t thought much about it – and probably have missed some opportunities to encourage people who are less voluble. You’ve given us some really good food for thought! Thank you!

  8. Great advice, Brenda! I didn’t used to comment on the blogs I read, only use the like feature. Then I started realizing how much the comments meant to me on my own posts, so I tried to leave more comments on others as well. The community that has grown because of that small effort is amazing. 💞

  9. Great post Brenda. I must admit I’ve given less thought to new bloggers than I perhaps should have. Like you have here. We should give back. A great way to do that is to find new bloggers. Leave a comment and some friendly advice. Also if we find a gem share it. I shall make more lf a point to do this. 🙏

  10. Great post Brenda. I must admit I’ve given less thought to new bloggers than I perhaps should have. Like you have here. We should give back. A great way to do that is to find new bloggers. Leave a comment and some friendly advice. Also if we find a gem share it. I shall make more lf a point to do this. 🙏

    1. Thanks AP. You’re right about the comments. We all like comments, so they will probably mean so much to new bloggers. I dont share much, but sharing their work would help them a lot. Great idea AP

  11. The blogging community is indeed a wonderful thing to be a part of, Brenda. I got started by participating in blogging challenges and it was not long that I became a part of blogging communities and started to build my own.

    Engaging with other bloggers is key, but I always recommend to leave thoughtful comments that prove you’ve read the post rather than short comments that add no value. If somebody starts leaving me a few thoughtful comments on some of my posts, then I’ll go and check out their blog. However, I’ll only follow back if the content they are publishing is interesting enough for me to join the discussion and add value to what they have published. If you’re a new blogger, don’t leave short comments such as ‘Great post’ on as many posts as possible, as not only does it show you do not have time to engage properly, it shows you probably did not read the majority of the post.

    One last piece of advice for new bloggers – don’t get too overwhelmed with how many blogs you follow. While communities are great, never feel obliged to read and leave comments on all the posts of all those community members. Trying to do so will take the fun out of blogging.

    Keep blogging a fun and enjoyable experience.

    1. Great tips Hugh. I knew there would be bits I missed out. I agree about both the meaningful comments and not overwhelming yourself by trying to keep up with everyone.
      Thanks Hugh. A pleasure, as ever to hear from you

      1. There’s no way you could have included everything, Brenda. Far too much to learn. But good engagement is something that will definitely help.

      2. Youre so right, Hugh. I didnt want to overwhelm them. I know what it’s like doing inductions with students, you can only take in so much

    1. Thanks. It gets easier the more you do. And it’s a great way to get to know people

      1. You’ll possibly find there are quite a few other introverts in the community

  12. As an experienced blogger, this is an eye opener. I have been in hiatus and I felt like doing something new in the blog. This insight helps a lot.

    I remember when WordPress had this WordPress university blogging course where how to blog was discussed. I enjoyed that even the community. It also showed how to properly leave comments or engage with bloggers in the blogging community. Do they still have it? It will help new bloggers. Plus, having communities make bloggers feel not so alone when writing. 😅

    The comments from people who don’t write or blog are just so different from people who blog. You can see the difference and you want comments from both, but more on those with the same minds hopefully. 😅

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