Sunday, November 12, 2006

Blog Karma and Blog Residue

There may be times when you get lots of comments on your blog. So you assume that you're meeting the needs of your audience. You automatically assume you're giving them posts that provoke discussion. Posts that give readers answers, humor, facts, tips that they like and seek.

When you get comments, blogrolling, links, citations, traffic...you may be tempted to congratulate yourself. You may be tempted to think: "I must be doing something right."

Wrong.

At least: Not necessarily.

What kind of comments? What kind of traffic? What kind of links? Who are these people who like a particular blog?

I'd rather have two smart people visiting and commenting on my blog, than 100,000 silly people praising and blogrolling me.

There could be many reasons why your blog is attracting comments, and not all the reasons are necessarily good. If you blog about celebrities, who are irrelevant and arrogant, you'll probably get more traffic than if you blog about your genuine passions and the issues you care about.

More people care about Britney Spears' love life, than about web usability. More people care about shopping, than about blogocombat. More people care about Hollywood movies, than about net neutrality.

Some of the most frivolous, exhibitionistic, narcissistic drivel blogs get tons of comments, yet I find those blogs to be mostly irrelevant and poorly written, so there's nothing to gain from them, even in terms of entertainment or curiosity.

Many business and marketing blogs are self-congratulatory wastes of time. They get lots of traffic, links, and comments from people, but the posts and comments are not worth reading, for my purposes.

So, don't worry about your blog's traffic, links, or comments.

The best way I know of to get comments is to post good comments on other blogs. For my own blog, I see a direct connection between posting comments at other blogs and receiving comments at my blog.

Call it Blog Karma. Or, as I coined it long ago, Reciprocal Commenting. You reap what you sow, comment-wise. Give out comments if you want comments.

What's weird is that comments on my blog don't seem to be related much to the quality of my blog posts. Many posts that I think are really good, get nothing. Then throw-away posts, that I just dash off in a moment of excitement or comedy, these tend to generate more comments than my more scholarly and serious posts.

Maybe I'll prove that good blogs often get no comments, and bad blogs often get tons of comments.

All I have to do is give you the URLs (web addresses) of some blogs I think are terrific, by famous business writers and marketing minds, and let you see how nobody posts any comments on them, even when they have massive traffic numbers. Then I could point you to sleazy, worthless, self-centered blogs that have lots of comments all the time.

Cheer up.

The "blog residue", what you gain mentally and spiritually by blogging, is far more enduring and important than fleeting popularity from the fickle public. How you improve marketable skills like networking, writing, researching, debating, web design, and topic selection, is more valuble than how many visit and comment on your blog.

Blog Karma: how you gain new readers and comments when you contribute rich, relevant comment content to other blogs.

Blog Residue: what occurs within you as you practice the discipline of blogging and interacting with other blogs, what you take away with you when you turn the computer off.