Doesn’t time fly. On the second of November 2014 I signed up to WordPress on a whim, with the sole intention of reviewing a few books. I had no intention to become a part of one of the internet’s most kind and caring communities, no thought of making good friends. But that is what I have done. I’ve learnt about tags, images, books, interests, but I still think the most important thing I have learnt on here is that you can be good friends with someone you’ve never met.
Even if you go on a hiatus for days, weeks, months, blogging friends will still be around to welcome you back. I went away twice, once for GCSEs and once for the start of the school year, and my blogging friends were really thoughtful and considerate upon both my returns, and I had had several emails after my unplanned second break inquiring if I was OK.
Something I’ve noticed in general online is that many people are inclined to be more open online. Although bloggers often don’t post personal photos, most post personal details which, although not significant, do massively aid building a relationship with readers. When I started blogging, I had in mind that I would be impersonal, my posts would be strictly relevant and read solely based on literary merit and verve. What I quickly came to realise however is that people don’t want to read a mechanical post, something which has no empathy or sparkle. People want to read something different, something that relates to them, something human. Humans want to read about the failures and fallibility of others, we want to know their successes, we want to know more about them. Humans are social creatures, we thrive on interaction and friendship.
A large number of bloggers when they are starting out read as much as they can about traffic, they focus on it all consumingly. They try and establish why their posts are not getting many views, why there are no comments. The more cynical sites suggest commenting as widely as possible but with a comment which is actually meaningful. As time goes on blogging though, commenting becomes less something done for benefit, and something done out of friendship, something in return for reading a good post. And whilst some bloggers may comment on scores of other bloggers’ posts and bring in thousands of views, one can’t help but feel they are missing the point rather. Blogging for traffic and views makes blogging a chore, a business to be run and manipulated to produce an end result. Though that is not to say that traffic and views are interesting and entertaining, but it is missing the point. It is not the ends, but the means that is so important-you may not get as many views when you build relationships, but it is a whole lot more fulfilling.
So if anyone is interested in the most important lesson I have learnt in my first year of blogging it is this: cherish and make friendships, for friends are the ones who will keep you going, they are the ones you will build relationships with, and they are the ones who ultimately make blogging worthwhile.