What should a blog be? Why do people visit a blog? Why does the author write the blog? Let’s look at this for a minute.
People visit a blog for many reasons. For some it is a respite from the hustle and bustle of their busy day. For others, it is seeking information to help them with some aspect of their life. Perhaps they are looking to be entertained, informed, cuddled, amused, or they just want some empathy. When they arrive at the blog, there are expectations they bring with them. They want to see an honest effort on the part of the writer; “phoning it in” is not an option. Most importantly, the reader must walk away with a sense of gain and satisfaction. They need to walk away feeling like they are better for having invested the time spent at that blog. It doesn’t matter if the blog is about politics, social media, football, raising kids, being a better husband, or scrap booking. These are just the facts of consumerism: the customer must be satisfied. Readers are customers. Bloggers sometimes forget that. Yes, writers write for themselves because that’s what they enjoy, but ultimately, they write for their readers.
What do blog authors expect from their readers? The question really is, “What do readers and visitors owe the author?” Think about that. Any transaction in life has two participants, both bringing their own perspectives and expectations to every instance. The most important thing a reader can do is show up with an open mind and a willingness to be presented with a viewpoint that may or may not differ from their own. What most bloggers want is a conversation. So readers should put some effort in (just a little bit mind you) and leave a comment for the author. Did they enjoy the piece they just read? Why or why not? What could the author have done better? What would readers like to see more (or less) of? For writers, feedback is the nourishment they need. It sustains and drives them.
When authors and readers actually work together, the experience is better for everyone involved. It is like any other relationship: For the relationship to work, both parties have to contribute and there has to be effective communication. Think about that next time you visit someone’s blog.