31 Days to a Better Blog--A Personal Learning Experiment and a Blogger Challenge
Guest Blogging on Career Development at "Pick the Brain"

31 Days to a Better Blog--Day 1: Email a New Reader

Today's assignment in Darren Rowse's  31 Days to a Better Blog series is to Email a New Reader.

Writes Darren, who has built up several blogs with thousands of readers:

What I found is that when you do it (email a new reader) the chances of the readers that you email coming back to your blog again increases significantly. Get them to come back to your blog once and you increase the chances of them coming back again… and again….

This one makes total sense to me. I know that when I visit someone's blog and take the time to comment, it means more to me to have them email me back, than to have them reply to me via comments. That's why I do try to email new commenters to my blog when I get them, although I know that a few times I've fallen down on the job.

Anyway--right now I don't have any new commenters waiting in the wings, so I'm going to ask for your help to do this assignment:

  • If you're a new reader who's never written or commented before, then come out of lurk mode and write a comment or drop me a line. I PROMISE I'll email back.
  • Even if you're not a new reader, I'd like to hear from you on this topic. How do you feel when you receive an email when you comment on someone's blog? Does it make you more likely to keep reading? Or does it not make a difference to you?


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When I get an email from a fellow blogger, I feel like I've been "chosen". It takes that conversation to a more personal level; it's now "private" and somehow even more significant. Someone wants to talk to me!

This private conversation takes that sense of community to a deeper level. I feel like I have a more personal connection with this person.

So that's the hokey, mushy part.

I've also found that the email conversations begun on a blog can get more in depth in email. Emailers tend to share more of the details that they might not feel comfortable posting to the entire world. I learn a lot from the email conversations I've been having -- it's a privilege.

While I am still a new blogger/blog reader, I have noticed that I do pay more attention to the blogs where the author has emailed me after I made a comment.

When they don't respond either by email or acknowledge in the comments, I assume they don't really want interaction. I may keep reading, but I tend not to bother responding again.

Cammy--I agree with you about how emailing can take conversations to different places than they might in comments. I notice that I tend to go back and forth--usually using email to respond to new people and if there's something I want to say to a reader outside of the public realm and using comments to respond to regular commenters and when I want to further the public conversation. Actually--I'll often do both, responding both in comments and via email. :-)

And Christine, I agree with you about not getting a response to a comment. If it's someone I know and where I comment regularly, I'll take it less personally. But if it's the first time I've commented and I don't hear back, I tend to feel ignored and, as you say, like they don't want conversation.

Thanks to both of you for sharing your thoughts.

Inasmuch as I feel validated as a blogger when readers leave me comments, getting a response to a comment that I've left on another blogger's site makes me feel like my opinion mattered - or was at least noticed.

I really appreciate blogs whose comment systems provides for email notifications when additional comments are posted. I'm hoping that this feature will make it over to Blogger soon...

...and it's really gratifying when I see that bloggers whom I've left comments for take the time to visit my site - and often those visits result in more comments on my own posts.

Rob, I'm with you on the ability to get emails when new comments are added at a blog where you've commented. I tried to use co-comment for awhile, but it just never worked for me. If the option exists in Typepad for me to do this for my readers, I haven't found it.

I find it really inspiring if someone emails me after I comment on their blog, it makes me feel that my work is valuable and that my thoughts and the work I do is significant.

It's also of value to me because it usually means that they visit my blog and I make connections with people that I ordinarily would not.

I really appreciate receiving an email response from time to time when I comment on a blog. I have almost always received these responses from people with typepad accounts, and it looks as if they have generated the email directly from their blog, presumably from their comments list. I have recently switched to typepad, and I haven't been able to figure out how to do this, nor have i found anything in the knowledge base that provides information. How do you respond to comments via email? Is there a function within the blog for this?

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