An Open Letter to New WordPress Bloggers

Dear New WordPress Bloggers,

Thank you so much for following my blog! I’m so glad you’ve decided to become a part of my blogging community. Or have you…

an-open-letter-to-new-wordpress-bloggersA few of you left comments. You are so good at what you do! That’s exactly how you build a blogging community. You are on your way to being a successful blogger. I always respond and try to stop by your blogs to read and comment. Here’s the thing: Most new blog followers never stop by the Wild Ride. EVER. 

Some new bloggers have an itchy index finger. They click to “Recommended,” and hit “Follow, Follow, Follow,…” all the way down the list. How do they handle so many new email notifications? They probably turn them off. What about the Reader? It may resemble a Twitter feed when following thousands. Whoosh!

A properly built WordPress blog is structured with real connections with other bloggers and readers. It is strengthened by getting to know others. Reciprocating doesn’t mean, “Ha! You followed me back, sucker! You’ll never see me again!” It means taking the time to reach out to those who make the effort to read your words.

You may confuse blogging with Instagram or Twitter.

It takes a minute to pick out a photo, edit it, and add hashtags on Instagram. Okay, maybe two. Twitter takes even less time. We plow through our feeds and can engage with followers or not. There’s very little time investment on either side. With so much in our feeds, about one-hundredth of the people who follow us may see our posts before they slip to oblivion. On those sites, users follow for followbacks. I get that.

For most bloggers, posts take an hour and sometimes days to polish before blogging them publicly. (Or they should since no one wants to read poorly written garbage.) We may add carefully edited photos or video which takes even more time. Our site is a living room where we welcome strangers to sit down on our favorite couch with a cuppa joe or tea and stretch out while we share our wild lives and then open it up for discussion.

The WordPress Reader makes it easy for you to take a look at our latest posts. (It’s right up there on the left side of the black bar.) Bonus! Views from the Reader and Likes are being counted, as of last week. That’s such a huge relief since I want to know if my posts are hits or big time misses to the sound of crickets. I’m always learning too.

You should ask yourself this question:

Why do I want to be a blogger? To become famous and spew? To build an author’s platform? To sell books?  To make money? Those are all end-games. Blogging for results will get you nowhere.

Instead, focus on the path of writing what you are passionate about and you will see results. It’s all about practice and community building.

Follow blogs without the expectation of a followback. Writing books and screenplays takes most of my time, but I still make the effort to stop by, read, and say hello when I can. That’s how I’ve built my community.

I follow four hundred people. Some don’t follow me. I read them like the newspaper or a magazine. Newspapers and magazines don’t follow me either… yet.

Don’t build a flimsy blog. No one wants to post in a headwind so strong no one hears your voice. You may get frustrated. After a few months, you may quit. That would be a total bummer.

Build a strong blogging community and you will get to know other bloggers pretty well. You might even meet them in real life. They may help you when you are sick, even if they live halfway around the world. They aren’t just another avatar or a number. They are real. They could be your people in your community if you build it correctly. The best part of blogging is the instant gratification of interaction. I love my blog. Have fun with it, communicate with others, and you will too!

I hope that helps you in your first year of blogging. If you need any other help, tips, or guidance, I’m always here at the Wild Ride. Yee Haa!

Wishing you the best of luck in your blogging journey,

Susie Lindau – AKA – Wild Rider

P.S. Here are some other blog tips and tricks:

Wild Rider Magazine – Crush Procrastination and Boost Your Blog

Blogging Tips from a Wild Rider – How to Hook Readers

Why Blog And What the Heck is a Writer’s Platform?

Do you see a pattern of follows and unfollows? What are you doing to build community that could help others? Do you follow a lot of blogs?

257 thoughts on “An Open Letter to New WordPress Bloggers

  1. This is a great post. I’m glad I came across it on Jason’s blog. I’ve been on WordPress for about 3 years now and have built up to almost 1,000 followers. I only started seriously working on my blog about a year ago, however, and the growth has been fairly fast. In following others’s blogs, I used to follow everyone that was in my field of writing books. Then I quickly learned that I didn’t have time to devote my full attention to everyone I followed. I’ve culled my list of sites I follow to less than 100 and I really focus on them and share their posts. Some, like Jason, have a much larger following than I do. Others do not and I’ve had them thank me for helping them build up their followers. The bottom line is, my growth has improved through this focused approach and I’ve enjoyed it much more and feel part of a community. Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jason is the best! He has over 50,000 followers. I am so flattered he reached out to reblog me.
      That is so great to hear. Everyone has to reel it in at some point. I have a tendency to follow too many, but try to reciprocate when I can. It sounds like you have the whole community thing handled! I’m sure those you follow really appreciate the shares. I couldn’t live without my community here!
      Thanks so much, Don! I’ll be sure to stop by your blog.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for these words. As a new blogger, I found myself getting “likes” from other bloggers without a “view”, which I found somewhat insulting. Glad to be joining the community.

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  3. I really enjoyed reading this, Susie. I think that I must be fairly oblivious to the subtleties of how readership grows. At times the statistics don’t completely add up and I don’t have time to answer my questions. But I completely agree that if there isn’t a connection with the readership/followership it hardly feels worth the effort to me. 🙂

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    • Thanks so much, Debra!
      What questions?
      Blogging is all about that connection. Otherwise, I’d have a .org site and spew into the Internet! —to no one, probably.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  4. Thanks for your expertise, I am fairly new at blogging, except what I do on Facebook. I am so happy yo meet folks all over the world who like to blog too. I have a few followers and that is nice, but I write because Zi have to stand this time in my life. I retired 7 years ago, after my mother passed, so now I find writing keeps me in touch with her. I blog about my mother, my family, students, my children, my grandchildren, my thoughts about the world, my country, my culture and everything. I am a caregiver for my husband of 47 years, who has dementia. It helps me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am brand new to blogging and both very excited and terrified. I happened on to your blog through comments at The Bloggess. I’m looking forward to reading through your advice. I’ve got a feeling I’m gonna need it. Thank you!

    Brandi – https:\\sanitynotincluded.blog

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    • Thanks for swinging by! One thing, you don’t need to add your link in the comment because WordPress already did that for you. (They’re cool like that.) if you look at who comments, you can click to their blog through their name.
      The Bloggess is the best!
      Just write in your own voice and what you’re passionate about and your excitement will come through in your wiring. Thanks again and good luck to you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for the article. I blog because I’m passionate about writing. Mine is kind of a stew of different things that I love or feel very strongly about.

    I’ve been spending some time each day reading through other people’s blogs, but I only follow those whose contributions speak to me in some way and I would like it if people only liked and followed me when they believe in what I am writing about…not in the hopes that I will follow them back.

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    • Thank you, Rose!
      It sounds like a great blog. Despite what some say, I think a variety of subjects keep readers coming back!
      You know exactly what I’m talking about. It frustrating when people follow without sincerity. Empty numbers are irrelevant!
      I traveled over the weekend and will.check out your blog when I’m home. 🙂

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  7. I am a new blogger of only 2 weeks and your right it is not for everyone. I am still trying to get use to everything on here. I am just a normal guy telling my own story. This is my therapy to help me with my traumatic event that I went through medically last year. I never thought I would get 400 views a day, heck I didnt even think I would get 2 in a week! Doing this daily, people are really reading this and relating to it and it is really an honor. People have posted about my blog on their blog and I have cried about what they said. I never knew this would have such an impact on others. Thanks for your blog today. I will be back to read more! -Bruce

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! I’m glad to hear you survived. I went through breast cancer a few years ago and still can’t believe the outpouring of support I received. I think it’s why my outcome was better than predicted. Some of me blogging friends know me better than my real friends after oversharing over 550 posts!
      I’ve been traveling since
      I blogged this and will check out yours when I’m back.

      Like

      • I’m in an airport and am finding typos. Ha!
        Anyway, Bruce, thanks so much for stopping by! On thing my oncologist said when my Boob Reports soared, “Your views will come down when they realize you’re going to live.” Ha! I’m so glad he was right about the living part.

        Like

  8. Thank you for this. I, too, am new to this, but thought there seemed to be a set of unwritten rules the real bloggers were going by. But, wait, here it is, all written out in paragraphs and stuff. Thank you! And I wish I had seen this a couple of weeks ago.
    Love the newsfeed analogy.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m now following you 😉

    Seriously, great thoughts and observations here. I’m a new blogger and it’s so exciting, yet building a community is something I had no idea would be so multi-faceted and involved. Spreading yourself over so much social media, and trying to find relevant content for each and engage with people. There is so much great writing out there that you want to read and comment on too.
    It’s a fantastic ride though.
    Glad I found your blog, take care!

    Like

    • I’m laughing. When I first started on Salon.com, blogging took all of my time. I was obsessed. In order to be seen, you had to gain lots of likes and that could only be accomplished by reading and commenting on a lot of other blogs. Talk about a racket! WordPress is different in that you don’t have to be online when you blog and the post is seen in tags, by followers, and through social media. I do answer all of the comments, eventually. I just got back from California! I can’t follow everyone back either. This is my free time between writing books and screenplays.
      Nice to meet you!

      Like

  10. Hi! I am new to blogging. I decided to finally put my thoughts on a blog because I am an Uber driver in Seattle. I have met so many colorful people in my car. Everyone has a story. And I appreciate every ride to the max. Because my livlihood depends on it. So, I decided to finally JUST DO IT. I really hope to connect with other writers, story tellers, poets, artists and much more.

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  11. You have made great points here Susie, I often wonder where people go and why they even bother to push the follow button if they have no intention of ever visiting my blog. I ensure I reply to all comments left n my blog and have built up a nice blogging community. I enjoy following a wide range of blogs but have y favourites of course. I look forward to reading more of your blog now that I’ve connected with you. 🙂

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    • Thanks so much, Debbie and I look forward to reading yours. 🙂 I’m always looking for new bloggers to build my community.
      I just got back from vacation. Ha! Funny time for a blog post to blow up.

      I am tired of the casual, meaningless follows and don’t know why they bother. I think there must be a percentage who blindly follow back and check out their blogs. I wonder what that number is…

      Liked by 1 person

      • I get what you are saying Suse, it annoys me too especially on twitter and Instagram where I notice it quite a lot. I love blogging and finding new blogs which I can relate to and learn from. All the best and I promise I’ll visit yours from time to time to check out how things are going. 😊

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        • Thanks so much!
          There’s a super blogger who followed me on Pinterest, so I followed back, impressed he only followed 70 people. Then I got alerts that he followed 20 more the next day and the next… He still only follows 70!!! It does work… He’s being followed by thousands! Not my style.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Susie! Thank you for the tips. I blindly followed many blogs, now I think I’m just gonna unfollow. Well, the primary reason for me to start blogging is to expose my thoughts and grow.. I’m now following you with full conscience and I want to hear from you more. Lets stay connected. 🙂

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    • Thanks so much, Doodler!
      I occasionally unfollow, but only if I don’t remember why I followed in the first place. That’s the cool thing about our blogs. We can make our own rules! I shared what works for me. I’ve been doing this for a while now and building and growing a community takes time.
      I just got back from vacation. I plan to work my way through all new bloggers like you who were nice enough to leave comments and stop by your blogs. Might take a day or two…

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for posting, social media has taken us in a direction that is far less personal. Liking or faving is quick and really means little if the reader hasn’t put the effort into reading the post.

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    • You can always tell if the “non” reader leaves a comment that has nothing to do with the post. Ha! Most people skim, so I try to keep my posts easy to fly through.
      You’re right about social media. And WP makes it easy for likes without reading too. I’m pretty careful. One time when I first started blogging, I left a, “Great post! Fun story,” comment. Then I scanned the rest of them. They were like, “OMG! I need to take a cold shower.” I quickly read the post and died. It was a porno post about a three-way. Ha! I learned my lesson that day!
      Thanks for stopping by, Joseph!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Ahhh! I love this. I am on my third blog attempt. In the past, the blogging community (or what I saw of it) seemed very superficial. Not that I need deep attachment or anything, but I am not pouring my heart out for people to just follow in the hopes for a follow back.

    This time, the purpose of my blog is to inspire myself to get in the habit of writing. Sure, I hope people will enjoy my blog, but I’m not here for followers.

    I feel like I’m on the right track. I think this blog may stick. Thanks for your words, Susie!

    Like

    • Good luck to you, Noel!
      I could make a suggestion. (It’s what I do. Ha!) I schedule my time, my free time too, and include writing every day.
      Making the commitment of a blog has taken time away from my books and screenplays, but it has kept me in the habit. It can be a lonely pursuit, just me and my keyboard, so I look forward to winding down after a few hours, to kick back and see what my friends are up to!
      Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I clap my hands for you Susie 😊. I learned a lot from what you wrote. I’m a newbie here and reading that kind of advices kinda give me hints on what steps to take to be a good blogger/writer. Cheers!

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  16. Thank you so much for this post. I just started my blog and I didn’t know where to start. You have really laid out the platform for new bloggers 👍🏽This really helped me to develop a structured plan on how to post my next post

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  17. I’m so glad I came across this post. I started this blog last year but I wasn’t ready to let anyone know about it until yesterday! Hopefully this is a step closer to sharing my innermost thoughts with everyone I love and with the friends I haven’t met yet. 🙂

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    • Good for you! Congratulations!
      I did the opposite with my friends and family. I blabbed to everyone I knew about my blog! Looking back, it would have been better for it to leek out organically. Part of the reason I blog, is to share my thoughts and the crazy things that happen to me. I couldn’t write in a vacuum. Have fun opening it up to the world and building your community! I love mine.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I write what I’m passionate about which is a large variety of subjects. Recently, they are bent toward inspiration in some way. I stay away from politics and religion though. Some are hits and some misses. Some people focus their blogs on one thing. I don’t. I write about my crazy wild adventures! Click on “Home,” and you’ll see what I mean!
      Thanks so much!

      Like

  18. Love this post… I started blogging to develop more connectons in my life, and I’ve been fascinated with how some of this world operates. It’s been especially interesting to see how people think that “canned” comments really do much good. I always try to take the time to add thoughtful comments on people’s posts, which I think really means something. We just don’t take the time anymore for many things. In any event, I came across your blog in Discover and I’m looking forward to checking out more of your posts!

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    • Wow! Thank you so much, NS!
      Sometimes those “canned comments” are spam. You have to be careful or your blog will be overrun with them! One time, I didn’t catch one, and my Aruba post became a site where they pitched their tent and camped out for a couple of weeks! After putting all of them in spam, Askimet finally learned and they packed up and left the beach. I do get comments where it’s obvious they didn’t read. I still am glad they stopped by. As long as they take something with them that’s not misconstrued. Ha!

      Like

  19. Hey Susie! This was great insight into the blogging world. I started actively blogging about a month ago just to cope with a lot of change that was going on in my life after moving to a new country. I don’t follow a whole lot of blogs and don’t have many followers myself just yet but I feel that I can really connect to the bloggers that I do follow and relate to different aspects of their lives 🙂 it’s funny how blogging can make you feel like you are surrounded by friends who are actually strangers living across the world xx

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    • They actually DO become real friends. I’ve met quite a few of my blogging friends in real life and they are the BEST! Some have reached out when a loved one is sick and we’ve banded together in support through Facebook PMs. I think they may get to know us better in some ways. I notice a lot of my acquaintances mask how they feel and we never really connect on a deeper level. Here, bloggers are more likely to share their deepest feelings.
      One of my dreams is to travel the world to meet up with more of them!
      Thanks so much, Dimi!

      Like

  20. Yes, I just started blogging regularly since I joined WordPress probably 2 weeks ago.

    My WordPress blog is: foreignloveweb.wordpress.com.

    I am going to upgrade to Premium mebership and change the blog web address.

    Thanks for the info, Susie. I am going to read your other blog post “Blogging Tips…”.

    Like

    • Oh, great! Make sure to link your name to your updated blog too. People click to your blog through it. That way you don’t need to add your link to your comment. WP does it for you!
      The Premium membership is great. You’ll enjoy the direct line to Happiness Engineer support. I also got my own web address with my name since I’m going for name recognition in the hopes that will help sell books someday!
      Thanks for stopping by! I write a smattering of subject matter, but usually include tips once a month. One is coming up about Twitter and why bloggers should have an account.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. This is so helpful, thank you! I’ve only done two posts so far, hoping to do a 3rd, and slightly more thought provoking, post this weekend that I’m polishing up right now. I just took notes from this post… I really appreciate the advice! I created a “template” of sorts of how my future posts will look (or be patterned) so readers will know what to expect when they click. So far so good, it’s a great outlet, a great teaching tool and the sense of community here was not something I expected! Thanks again! -Marie

    Like

    • You are so organized! I wing it every since I write how I talk. I pretty much dictate my first drafts.
      When I started blogging, I had hardly typed over the last two decades. I suffered over every word. As I got faster and I learned cut and paste, IT GOT SO MUCH EASIER! The idea is to have fun with it. Blog posts only last a day or two. Whether I spend a ton of time or whip it out, they usually get the same number of views. This one blew up!
      Nice to meet you!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. I agree wholeheartedly. I never like a post unless I’ve read it and like it. I never follow a blog unless I’m genuinely interested in reading. It irks me when someone follows, unfollows, forgets they already once followed me, and then refollows me. Chaps my ass, I tell ya!

    Like

    • Me too! I was Freshly Pressed a while back and there was one blogger who would like and unlike the post several times a day. There was no way I would follow them. After several weeks of this, they finally gave up!
      Thanks for stopping by from Twitter!

      Liked by 1 person

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