I normally stay away from becoming involved in controversial discussion and arguments, but something annoyed me this morning.
I’ve only been blogging since April. When I started I hadn’t a clue about the process and I have spent a large amount of time building my blog into something that I’m proud of. As my following has grown I have started to get to know others a little more and I’ve always been very lucky to receive lovely comments from them and to my knowledge haven’t been subjected to any personal attacks. There have been a few occasions where someone has disagreed with what I’ve written, but they’ve usually done so in a polite and courteous way. WordPress, in my mind, was very much a fun, supportive and happy place to be and I have always felt safe here.
However, over the last few months I have started to notice some of the ‘dark side’ of the blogging world, particularly when discussing stats.
Most people that I follow have a blog just for them – they write when they have time and do so simply because they enjoy it. Some write to make money out of the advertising, to promote their business or product or as an extension to a further project that they may be involved in. Some have experienced a traumatic time, a difficulty or may be dealing with an illness and want to reach out to others. The topics that I’ve read over this year have ranged from family, friends, personal experiences, thoughts and opinions on national and international news stories, poetry, art, life and things that matter to the writer. Some of these blogs have gained THOUSANDS of followers and have millions of views on WordPress alone in a very short amount of time, without including the extra publicity of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr etc.
Here’s where I’ve found that the jealousy begins, and I mean to write this word because that is exactly what it is. Jealousy. I’ve seen a number of posts recently attacking outstanding bloggers under the guise of disagreeing with their blogging etiquette: liking posts before reading them, mass following, blah blah blah. I’ve read posts by bloggers that are responding to nasty emails that they’ve been sent, or had vile comments written to them or about them.
My question is, if a blogger had 20 followers rather than 20,000+, would you be attacking them? If somebody ‘liked’ a post before reading it and they hadn’t gained more than 50 followers, would you really waste your time sending them a nasty email or writing a ridiculously long post about it?
No, you wouldn’t.
I could actually understand this if the content of the bloggers posts were controversial, but the majority of what I’ve read from the people I follow have been well-written opinions on a subject of their choice and should be treated as such. Of course, it is likely that others may disagree and will feel the need to respond, but that doesn’t mean the blogger should be verbally attacked!
What also infuriates me is that these bloggers are generous people – they have taken the time to help me personally and promote my posts (and the posts of lots of others) over the last few months (resulting in my blog gaining lots of new followers) and don’t deserve the criticism that they are getting. Instead, we should be applauding their success – it isn’t an easy thing to accomplish what they have and there are millions of blogs out there who aren’t even in the same league as these guys.
Finally, I’d like you to ponder this: what difference does this make to your own writing? If somebody has amassed more followers than you, how does it affect you? The answer is simple: it doesn’t. You are under no obligation to read and/or follow these blogs. I know who like my posts before reading them and it doesn’t bother me a single bit, I don’t mass follow people and only follow blogs (just over 200 of them) that I enjoy reading, despite having over 3000 followers myself. I reply to as many comments as I possibly can, I take part in Daily and Weekly Challenges and I host regular blogging parties. But if I were to change this and decide to adopt a different approach in an attempt to increase traffic, that is my decision.
So, for those of you that insist that there should be a blogging etiquette, here’s one for you:
1. Write fabulous posts on your blog that people will enjoy.
2. Mind your own goddam business about what anyone else is doing. Leave the trolling to Twitter and Facebook.
Have a lovely Thursday!