Thursday, September 20, 2012
A two-way street
Every once in a while, a post by another blogger will have a big effect on you.
That was definitely the case with what I read last night by Robert from "$30 A Week Habit".
It was short, concise, and very well-written. The title, "Write What You Want, Dammit", should give you a pretty good idea of what the post was about if you haven't had a chance to read it already.
As I've mentioned a few times before, I was intensely focused on the number of views I got and posts I made in the early days of this blog.
Sometimes, I wrote when I didn't really feel like it, just so I could maybe get a few more hits to my blog. Perhaps another couple followers as well.
It was definitely the wrong approach.
That's the kind of attitude most people have when they write essays for school. The concept of "forcing it" has no place in the blogosphere.
The idea that Robert conveyed in his post is one that marked a major turning point in my blogging career.
Earlier on, I didn't often mention a lot of the "obscure" players I collect on this blog, even though they pretty much represent the very idea of being a "low-end" collector.
After all, who the heck cares about Jesus Colome?
With that thought in mind, I figured people wouldn't read what I wrote. And since I craved those "hits" to my blog, I mainly ignored guys like Colome all together.
But, somewhere along the line, I realized that the opposite was what I should've been doing the entire time. I'm not sure when the thought first hit me, but it definitely marked the most pivotal change in my thinking as a blogger.
The "obscure" players deserve a share of the spotlight every once in a while. Heck, with a blog like this, they are the spotlight.
Thankfully, I've found that most bloggers think the same way. Turns out that I'd had it backwards the whole time.
I originally thought that no one appreciated the "under the radar" type of ballplayers, so I simply didn't write much about them. It's probably a carryover from my Jeter and Pujols-filled time on trading forums.
Most bloggers love "obscure" guys every bit as much as I do.
As a result, I've gotten a lot of great feedback with a few of the players that I thought no one else knew.
Maybe there are a few fans of Jesus Colome out there, ones who were waiting in the wings for this post.
One of my other main focuses during my earlier days of blogging was the amount of comments I'd get.
I'd actually get a bit upset if I didn't get any comments on a post I wrote, especially one that I felt was a decent effort on my part.
While I don't take my "need" for comments anywhere near that far anymore, reading the feedback I get on my posts is still one of my favorite things to do as a blogger.
The fact that people choose take a couple minutes out of their day to read and possibly even comment on the things I write will always be something for which I'm grateful.
As long as I'm blogging, that sentiment will never change.
Trouble is, I almost never left comments on anyone else's posts.
I read to my heart's content. If I click on a link to a new post on another blog, I read the whole thing. Word-for-word. I would hope that's the case with most people. (Another major theme of Robert's post.)
Still, as much as I read others' thoughts about the hobby, I didn't often comment on them. It was all take and no give.
A few weeks ago, I came to a major realization, as far as comments go.
It doesn't matter whether it's just a comment saying, "Nice card!", or a few paragraphs of feedback on my thoughts on a given topic.
I read your comments every single night, and I appreciate each and every one of them.
But I'm not the only one. I'm sure most bloggers love reading comments as much as I do.
Lately, I've become a changed man, at least as far as the blogosphere goes. I'm commenting on others' posts more than ever, although it's something I should've been doing this whole time.
The back of this Sports Illustrated for kids insert tells me it's "my turn" to come up with a comment for "Pudge" Rodriguez.
Thanks, SI, but I think this is the one time I'll pass on doing so. This is a family blog, after all. (Although I'd love to read some of the captions people sent to SI for that one.)
But, in general, the folks down at Sports Illustrated are right about my blogging tactics.
It is "my turn" to become a more frequent commenter in the blogosphere. It's the least I can do for the loads of great material people have left on my posts during my time here.
After all, blogging is indeed a two-way street.