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?

315 thoughts on “An Open Letter to New WordPress Bloggers

  1. Thanks for your post. As a blogger with only 5 posts under my belt, I’m still trying to figure out what I want to write about and what I want to be my voice, so anything directed at us newbies, especially along the lines of advice is welcome. Consider yourself followed. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks so much! Nice to meet you.
      When I started blogging six years ago, I was told that most writers are introverted and not adventurous. He encouraged me to write about my Wild life in Colorado and it became my brand. I would make a list of topics to focus in. Subjects you’re passionate about or know something maybe others don’t. Tomorrow starts Shark week. I’m in California and will go surfing today!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Awesome! Surfing is one f my new hobbies since moving to Southern CA. I’ve noticed that I tend to like to write about my observations re: Southern CA from the perspective of someone from the East coast, but I definitely don’t want to be locked down to just that idea since it may be a bit too tight of a niche. Enjoy surfing–I think we may be out there too. The weather is gorgeous!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Sorry I missed your comment!
          You can always try something new. I’m in the middle of reassessing what I blog about since I write thrillers. Have fun with and see what works.
          Enjoy the SoCal sunshine!

          Like

      • It’s tough in the beginning. You set up your blog and then posting can be terrifying! I looked around for popular blogs and met others through reading and commenting. I still do! So many have quit over the years, so I’m always working to build my community.
        Welcome to the Blogosphere!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks…that’s exactly what I’m trying to do now and it really is working. It’s about finding my community as not everyone may like what I write about and a host of other things… Like a fellow blogger said it is about 80% interacting and visiting other blogs and the 20% is left for your blog. I hope one day my community can be as huge and ever growing.

          Like

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  4. Hi there! I just started blogging earlier this year, and I am absolutely in love with it. I have a free version of wordpress because I’m a college student and don’t have enough time or money to invest deeply in my blogging (much to my despair), so I’m hesitant to attempt to get a larger following for my blog on the notion that one day I will upgrade my blog . . . Any thoughts? Also, I’m a sort of naturally introspective person, and so I am often worried that my thought processes may come off as pretentious. In a different post, I noticed you said that you put a hopeful and/or humorous spin on more emotionally intense posts — I love that! I suppose it’s a part of the process in finding my voice in knowing how to keep from sounding too emotional or know-it-all, but I’m curious if anyone has any thoughts on this struggle?

    Anyhow, I love this blog! I’m excited to explore the content and glean some wisdom from this site 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Also, just to clarify, I write about things that I think about, and these trains of thought can potentially give off the notion that I think I know a lot about the world. But I’m really passionate about these ideas and taking steps to understand life and people!

      Like

      • Thank you so much, Emily!

        I think that if you write the way you talk and give opinions that have at least one, “I think” or “in my opinion,” readers will get that.

        The only upgrade you might consider is to drop the WordPress in your blog name. (susielindau.wordpress.com to susielindau.com) I have seen so many of my friends go off to .org sites and then quit without the anchor to this blogging community. It depends on what you hope to accomplish. If you plan to sell something, then you may need plugins a .org site offers.

        I upgraded to a business site to have Google Analytics, but I no longer show up in Search in the Reader. (Engineers are working on that.) When WP recently offered plugins I installed Yoast, but my most loved WP features, like the floating Follow button, disappeared. In a year or two, the bugs will be worked out. Some day I’ll write about my misadventure! See? I’m still trying everything so you don’t have to. Ha! Since I give away my words, this site works for me and I don’t think I needed to upgrade to a Business site. I have friends who have an amazing ranking and SEO and they have the same free site as you!

        Like

  5. You hit bulls eye when you write about ‘Absent followers’!! Its exactly 1 year since I started blogging and am sad to say that I could manage only a few followers and among these still fewer ‘faithful’ ones – if you know what I mean. Sometimes it is disappointing after a post, I personally feel was quite good, generates very few views.
    Thank you for this one. I’m feeling rejuvenated. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • It happens to everyone! For some reason, the posts I spend the most time on get the fewest views. After spending so much time on the article I spend hardly any on my titles!!! Big mistake. That and the first line and paragraph are crucial.
      The absent follower thing is frustrating. It’s so easy to set up a blog and then vacate after a few months. Just keep writing what you’re passionate about and your community will grow!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you. For your reply and for the encouragement. And yes, as you suggested, I am passionate about writing so I’ll keep at it regardless of the number of followers or likes!! I really appreciate you taking time off to reply.Means a lot! 🙂

        Like

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