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W(h)ine About It: Blogger Communities

 

A laptop, book, and vase of flowers sit on a desk facing the winder. In a pink overlay box is the title "What they don't say about blogger communities"

Hands pulls a cork out of a wine bottle with the help of a corkscrew. The article title is overlaid: W(h)ine About It: Blogger Communities

So you’ve started a blog after reading four or five different “Start a Profitable Blog in 5 Easy Steps” tutorials. You bought your domain, set up your site, wrote several posts, created beautiful images for Pinterest… but your site isn’t getting enough traffic. Solution? Join blogger communities on Facebook!

Right?… Except it isn’t exactly what you expected, at least in the aspect of helping boost your views and encourage discussion.

Don’t get us wrong, the groups are wonderful! We’ve gotten some interaction, have discovered other great blogs to follow, and have learned some pretty nifty stuff. But there are six short-fallings that no one acknowledges. Until now:

 

Post and run

Blog-com pages generally have themes each day to help promote all aspects of your blog, things like “Twitter Tuesday” and “Feedback Friday”. You post a link in the comments for people to like, share, pin, comment on, retweet, etc. The idea is to post yours and then interact with other people’s blog posts that they’ve shared.

Except no one does.

Well, not no one. That’s harsh. But maybe one in ten actually follow through. We get that you can’t interact with everyone: ain’t nobody got time for that! and sometimes you just can’t connect. Example: we’re not going to comment on your mom blog where you wrote an article comparing plastic vegetable toys to felt ones. We’re not moms. We don’t have kids. We buy actual vegetables. As a result, we can’t pin your stuff to any of our Pinterest boards and can’t authentically interact with your post. So we skip it and put our efforts into someone else’s post about skincare, which we care about because we have skin.

Meanwhile, the content we posted hasn’t been touched by the 50 people that posted before it nor by the 273 that posted after. It gets to be a bit frustrating, and in turn makes us not want to engage in other posts because why should we put in so much work without it being reciprocated?

It should be as simple as it sounds: scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours, right? But no, their post hasn’t received any interaction and they’re so busy and don’t have the time to even GLANCE at another post before or after theirs. Well guess what, Sharon, maybe we don’t have the time to look at your recipe for your vegan, gluten free brownies that probably taste like sidewalk chalk with a side of suck. We get it if you don’t like what we write about, but comment on something else: what would you change about the appearance of the blog? was it easy to navigate? would you follow my instagram? are the images clear and organized? It’s not that hard to give some sort of feedback to people. We won’t follow them unless their topic somehow relates to my own (because that’s what I’m interested in–again, sorry mom blogs), but we can comment on the picture: the quality, the hashtags, etc.

 

Click on my ads (illegal and…no)

A way to generate revenue from your blog is to install ads. Depending on which agency you go through, you might earn money only if the ad generates sales, or if the ad is merely clicked on. On some blog-com pages, individuals will start “click for click” posts for people to literally go click on each other’s ads to generate income. Not only is this a bit spammy, but in some situations it fringes on illegal actions (misuse of the system, false number generating…thanks but no thanks). Some admins are really good about getting this kind of content removed. Other times, you just have to scroll on past it. Or you can report the post as well or comment (if you’re really not concerned about what others will think of you).

Photo by Henrik Dønnestad on Unsplash

 

Everyone is accepted as long as they have a blog…

In order to join blog-coms, you have to have a blog. Shocking, we know. In many cases, it doesn’t matter what kind of blog as long as it’s your blog. Great in theory, but not in practice. This means there are a lot of blogs that are amateurly done: it’s a free platform, it’s unorganized, and don’t even get us started on spelling and grammar….

Remember how we talked about not being able to interact with blog posts about plastic vs. felt carrots because we’re in our young twenties and are living off peanut butter and ramen? We don’t mind that because there are other mom bloggers in the group that do care about it! But 99% of us don’t care about your latest achievement on the phone app games you play (yes, there really are blogs dedicated to that stuff). And as much as we want to travel the world and interact with people from around the globe, we can’t read your blog if it’s written in Russian. So we’ll keep scrolling.

 

Where are the police!?

Hello, Admin, yes we’re pointing at you; if you’re going to start a fire, you should know how to control it. On nearly every page, there is a page or post stating what the rules and regulations are (these are often stated on the post too, a.k.a directions). This should be easy enough to read and follow, but for all those greedy people who simply “don’t have time” to interact with others, but have plenty of time to respond to comments on their blog or their post, it’s not worth following. The thing about the rules and regulation posts is that, even though they are intimidating (and there’s nothing more humiliating than getting kicked off a bloggers page on Facebook), they are RARELY followed. Hey, Admin, I’ve commented on 5 posts and I see Felicia hasn’t commented on any and yet she has 4 likes and 2 comments… Care to do something about that?? A simple “bye Felicia” would do the trick.

 

Is anyone going to answer my question? Hello? No?

Many of us are newbies; we aren’t going to know everything. But that’s why we joined a community. Odds are, someone out the the 500 bloggers will know how to create a “Contact Us” page with a good plugin. Or how to fix the SEO on a page. Or what backlinks are. And yet….*crickets*

One of the problems could just be because no one sees the comment. So turn it into a post! Boom, everyone has a notification that you need help. Except their notifications have been blowing up all day because of the 300 comments on the one post they commented on. And what do they have to gain by helping you? Nothing. So what do they do? Nothing. Meanwhile, our questions are still unanswered. So much for community…kaboompics_Young woman working in a cafe

 

Required interaction

Some blog-coms have heard our pleas and answered with required interaction. Theory = great, practice = thanks, but no thanks. If you’ve joined a few blog-coms, more than likely you’ve seen a thread that sounds something like the following:

“Comment Thread: Post a link to your blog post and then comment on ALL comments in this thread. This thread will close after ten comments”

Whoopee, a guaranteed nine comments on your post! If you get less than that, then someone is about to get the boot from the group. Done and done. But, oh, wait, three of the posts are to mom blogs, one is to getting over an addiction, and another is to some news story about a wedding in India. We can’t relate to any of this, nor do we have an interest to. We could comment, but it would just be fake and that doesn’t sit right with us. So it looks like we’re the ones getting the boot…

 

Related Reading: W(h)ine About It: The Little Things

 

Whenever we post on another post on the thread, we say what we’ve done–commented, liked, shared, followed etc.–and what our blog name is (so people know who the heck we are) because that’s what the POST SAYS TO DO. But the people who refuse to interact are so incredibly frustrating. So these groups on Facebook have been great when they actually interact, but be warned, there will always be people (and Admin) who don’t follow directions or enforce the rules.

**To clarify, we love our blog-com groups. Without them, we’d be three miles behind where we are now. We just want to call out some bull-shit that we see and hopefully get some laughs (and results). 

A laptop, flower vase, and book are placed on a desk facing a window. The picture is shot from a side angle. In a pink overlay box is the title "The Truth About Blogger Communities"

 

Male hands are seen on a laptop keyboard, shot from above. In an orange overlay box is the title "Blogger Communities: 6 Shortfallings"
February 6, 2018
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