Are You Creating Value as a Blogger?

    creating vlaue as a blogger - team

    Everybody needs a friend.

    We really can’t do life without them.

    And that includes bloggers too. And creating value as blogger earns you friends.

    With just the laptop for company and umpteen hours behind the small screen, bloggers could do with some bigging up and support. It can be a lonely existence tapping away on the keyboard day after day, so a friendly face and a few kind words, even if they are only comments on a post with a gravatar picture to match, can prove food to the writer’s soul.

    But friendship is a two lane street – it goes both ways. What you give is what you get and the blogosphere is no different.

    Blogship is friendship so its best to be a blogger buddy and not a blogger bum.

    So, if you’re not sure of the difference between the two, here’s the low down on whether you are a friend or foe when you log on and blog on.

    Blogger Buddy.

    This person represents blogging and contribution at it best. Here’s what they do:-

    • Regularly post consistently high quality content designed to inform, advise, help, and solve problems in a particular niche or field.
    • Visit and read other blogs in a similar sphere leaving comments and opinion to back up and support the host blogger adding value with their words and thoughts.
    • Develop respected connections with other bloggers including via e-mail and on social media where they share their posts and products to a wider audience, all with a positive angle and ‘don’t-miss-this-it’s-ace’ ethic.
    • Invite other bloggers to write guest posts for their blog and happily reciprocate if asked only ever creating the same excellent work for others as they do for their own site.
    • Are an active participant in blog forums and online communities, even attending live events,  happily offering their insight and the pitfalls they’ve experienced so everyone can gain and not make the same mistakes.
    • Feel a good reputation is worth having any day rather than climbing all over people to be a success.
    • Is prepared to work at it not just aiming for or expecting overnight success, being keen to get respect and recognition for amazing content from peers and the public alike, even if it takes years.

    Blogger buddies are the cement in the blogosphere bricks and the very foundations that the blogging world has successfully been built upon. They are warm and approachable and are team players wanting everyone to be a winner.

    Does that sound like you? Or could you actually be the dreaded Blogger Bum?

    Blogger Bum

    This person is only out for themselves and is the ‘I’ in Internet. They don’t want friends, they want something else like somewhere to make money, mischief, or moronic statements.

    This is some of what they get up to:-

    • Writing very average non structured content as well as cobbling together other people’s blog posts and claiming them as their own, all on an intermittent basis.
    • Posts often speak about how great they are, their awesome work and what success they have achieved, the money they are raining in, plus what brilliant things they are about to do next that you should get involved with. In other words; me, me, me!
    • Guest posts aren’t welcome or encouraged on their blog as it takes traffic away, but they chase down other bloggers for a slice of their action, often in a very coarse fashion.
    • They rarely comment on other blogs except to boast about their profile and to leave links to their site, upcoming book sale, or a selected affiliate they want plugging to earn oodles of bucks from.
    • Forums and communities are hated by them as it’s about giving and they are about taking. Why help others when you can help yourself?
    • They have few good blogger relationships as their selfish attitude leaves a trail of bad feeling and negative feedback from experiencing their behaviour and actions.

    Blogger bums knock down the walls others work hard to build in and for the online blogging neighbourhood. They trash for cash or speak out simply to freak out people, their only concern being their own welfare and what’s-in-it-for-me. The only person that matter is them as they wage a one man (or woman) war to win at all costs.

    So there it is – which one are you?

    Tough question perhaps but take a rain check and check out your online activity today.

    It’s worth taking time to truly figure this out because there’s more to blogging than being first, just as there’s more to friendship than taking first.

    You can be a blogger buddy and do the write stuff, or be a blogger bum stuffing it up wherever you go.

    Your blogging personality is your personal statement to the world, so which one are you making?

    About the author

      John Sherry

      John writes his blog on how to live as a real simple person with tips anyone anywhere can use for a carefree, uncomplicated life. At Real Simple People he believes life isn't rocket science, but rocket salad.

    • Melissa says:

      Great post – I’m glad to say I’ve got most of the qualities/habits of a blogger buddy. I haven’t had a guest poster in a while, so I think I’ll add that to my to-do list as I’m currently working on some guest posts for another blogger.

    • Eric C says:

      “inform, advise, help, and solve problems in a particular niche or field”

      How come it is never entertain? I feel like the guy who owns Lolcatz is lolling all the way to the bank…I know the problogger, copyblogger mind set is all about solving problems, but the political and entertainment blogs are all about arguing, debating, and entertaining. I look at the technorati top 100, and inform would be the most common thing, solve problems, not so much.

      • Eric there’s oodles of ways to be a buddy like entertaining as you mention, I just didn’t have space to list them all. Entertaining though in the political sphere is a delicate balance as it often turns into arguement and accusation. But, whatever the niche, if we can share our thoughts with respect, I’m all for it. That’s what buddies do, right?

    • Josh Cole says:

      Blogging bum…
      This was incredibly convicting, and it’s simple practice advice. Blogging is all about the online community; a give and take of thoughts, feedback and retweets.


      • Josh, you’ve captured the ethic I was describing perfectly. In all communities when we give supportively and mix in, everyone gains. Blogging is no different to me.

    • Thanks for making this distinction, John. I have been trying to be a good blogger buddy and your post has me feeling more confident that I am on the right track. I agree with GutsyWriter that it’s difficult to keep up some days. I suppose we need to feel satisfied with having done our best on any given day. Happy blogging!

      • You make a good point Cookie Mom in that often our mood or emotional setting for that day can seep into our comments and behaviour. Best then to ensure that whenever we comment or write or contribute to blogs or online, that it’s the real ‘us’, our true personality, that we are showing. If we’re wound up then don’t pur words down as we maybe putting people down at the same time. Wishing you well!

    • Blogger buddy! Luckily I do not know any blogger bums, so hopefully they are few and far between. I started my blog to connect with other writers, and it’s been one of the best things I could do for my writing career. I “know” so many amazing writers going through the same things I am, and I’m happy to buy their books and promote them on my blog! That’s what being a friend is all about, whether it’s in real life or virtually. 🙂

      • Laura, you sound a buddy and your words have the warm sentiments than many will appreciate and positively respond to. That will get you far in blogosphere world.

    • Thanks for the tips about blogging etiquette! I’m new to the blogosphere and social media – about 3 months. So it’s great to hear from a blogger expert about this topic- just conforms a few things for me, especially re being a blogger buddy. Just in these few months I’ve connected with a few like minded bloggers and am doing my best to write comments on and tweet their posts, sometimes it’s hard to keep it up though! Thanks again 🙂

      • Lesh, cheers my friend, I wouldn’t say I’m an expert merely a human who blogs whose learnt the best way is to fairly connect and create goodwill rather than leave a trail of resentment. And I know plenty who agree. Good luck on your blogging adventures!

    • Gabrielle says:

      Love this! It’s all about giving to others and being in service. Definitely have had my share of bum days, but once I learned how to be a blogging buddy, it feels good to give back what I’ve learned to others. Giving to the community will help you in the longer run to stay productive and energized.

      • Can’t agree more Gabrielle, what we honestly give comes back to us tenfold..and more. Blog on!

    • Adarsh says:

      Nice post there. I think you must consider the fact that when a person is a blogger, they can either be part time bloggers or pro bloggers. Only pro bloggers get time to be an actualy blogger buddy. All others are somewhere in between these two.

      Also I dont agree with people not accepting guest posts are blogger bums. You also make a point that those people chase other blogs for guest posts. Let me ask you then.

      If a blogger takes only guest post and then does not go and post elsewhere, then do you call them a blogger bum as well? In that case, many of the top bloggers would be called a bum. Darren Rowse for example.

      It’s also a matter of personal choice. Maybe people want only their voice to resonate on their blog. Besides, if you are one of the top bloggers in your niche, and you accept guest posts, you will be pitched with many number of guest posts and you’d have to spent hours going through them, making modifications if you choose to accept them and so on.

      I dont allow comments on my blog. That does not mean I am not open to reader interactions. All are welcome to contact me using the contact form and share their ideas. If it’s good, I’ll edit the original post and give attribution the the user. That is better than allowing comments.

      But great post overall.

      • Adarsh I disagree completely that ony pro bloggers have the time to be a blogger buddy – anyone can leave a comment and it’s their attitude that they bring not their professional status. As for Darren Rowse and guest posts the blogger bum portrays many unhelpful traits which is why I wrote a list of them and Darren doesn’t operate under them. He fulfills many of the buddy elements and in his early days he was a prolific guest sharer so he’s one of the good guys. I personally think welcoming comments is the way to go as it makes you open and approachable in that sense and you also said people haven’t got time like pro bloggers so the facility to leave a quick comment helps folks out. Making it easy for the reader to engage is a plus I believe.

        • Adarsh says:

          I agree that Darren is the best of the bloggers out there. i was just wondering if he can be called a blogger bum if he “NOW” accepts guest posts only.

          I agree to your viewpoints completely. What i’d like to say is. It depends on each person.

          Most people who work in IT field in India rarely get free time. I was actually referring to them

          • His track record over the years makes Darren firmly a buddy Adarsh and I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.

    • John, this is a great reference for aspiring blogger buddies, myself included!
      I have loved the connection made with other bloggers (all blogger buddies, no bums!!) since joining the AList Blogger Club. The blogship that can be found there is truly awesome!
      My own challenge is to continue to comment on other’s blogs even when I’m struggling to get my next blog post up. I’m not doing nearly as well as I’d like to be with posting regularly on my blog and am finding I’m reluctant then to comment on other’s blogs because I have no fresh content on my own.
      So while I definitely wouldn’t class myself as a blogger bum, I know I have plenty of room for improvement.
      The guidance on those areas to focus on is very much appreciated!

      • Hi Brigid, nice to meet you, you sound like a buddy already. I would say that it’s not about the number of comments or posts that you make but the behaviour and activity behind them. Someone making a few genial and supportive comments a week is more contributory than another who only moans and critcises by the same number. Over time it all adds up. Keep the right ethic and forget the amounts, that’s what’s truly important. I wish you well with your blogging!

    • Aurea says:

      i’m working on leaving more comments on the blogs i read because I know how much I love getting them! but forums… thats another story.. i always feel like I’m interrupting a conversation and butting in – will have to shake that thought and get active! Thanks

      • Good on you Aurea, adding a helpful comment helps everyone else as we all have something of value that could make a difference to other people’s lives. As for a forum just see it as a party that’s just got going and you’ve just arrived. So many friends to meet. Circulate, circulate!!!

    • David says:

      Like a few other folks here, I’m somewhere in between the two, but I definitely have a roadmap to becoming more of a buddy. Part of my problem was information overload; really struggling to find the sites that pertained to me and not really feeling any association with them, so I rarely provided feedback (thankfully when I did, it wasn’t for shameless plugs) But, I’m filtering down the sites and blogs that I truly gain value from, and am making an effort to get more involved with those sites, through comments, through tweeting and facebooking them, and through that hoping to find a related community of folks.

      • David, you make a beneficial insight. NOT commenting is highly helpful as opposed to mouthing off out of frustration or because you can’t find the type of blog you’re interested in. Sometimes a good friend is one who doesn’t chip in but merely observes until the time is right to say something to the right person in the right way. Very good point David1

    • I tend toward the quieter side on blog commenting and networking, but that describes me through my whole life. Trying to improve as there are more advantages to being social online than quiet, but it’s a big change for an introvert.

      • Being quiet or being more active works just the same Stephanie but being social and helpful works best of all. I think it’s out attitude and actions rather than the nature of our personality that makes the difference. I’d prefer to hear from a constructive introvert than a rude loudmouth any time.

    • When we help others get ahead we will follow. I have had people write ask to write guest posts for my blog. After they revel in my tribe, I never hear from them again. This seems a little off to me. What do you think?

      • It’s true and a shame Tess and I’ve experienced that too. It just goes to show you don’t operate that way. But I have an inherent trust of human nature and for every one of those people 5 more are as reliable as morning dawning every day. The more months and years you blog the more your instinct develops plus you’ll gather a whole heap of good blogger buddies you know won’t write and run but stay and reciprocally connect. The early days are the learning ones I guess.

    • Good points. I usually tweet or Facebook blogs I find interesting, but I have a problem posting comments. I get writer’s block and can’t think of anything to say other than “good article” sadly.

      • You’ve made a great buddy start Alina and are being a valuable contributor. As for comments don’t worry about adding too much if you can’t think up the words. Just write a few more words or just one sentence to start with and soon you’ll find your feet. You can always come and say ‘hi’ on mine at The 100% You!

    • Thanks for pointing out the differences. Even when we try to be a blogger buddy, there are times when we cannot be at our computer all day and read as many blogs and comment as we’d like to. As Mary and Leo stress, we need a balance and that’s hard to achieve when you get seriously involved in blogging, writing, keeping old blogger buddies and developing new blogger buddies. We are only human after all.

      • I quite agree – we can’t be everywhere and everyone to all the people we meet. To be honest blogging can take over our lives if we let it so ‘yes’ be more of a blogger buddy but first of all always be active in person with real friends and especially those you love. Real life is going on around us and we need to be present in that. They are the true friends whose comments and support you always need. Great reminder Gutsy!

    • Karen says:

      I love that line ‘somewhere to make money, mischief or moronic statements’. We’ve all come across that blogger. I’m glad to be able to say I’m not a blogger bum, and will use your advice to constantly improve my blogger buddy rating 🙂

      • Thank you Karen, actually that statement was inspired by just one person. But we’re all one person which proves that our reputation and impact can be as big as our buddy or bum approach. Personally I prefer to meet and make friends, don’t you?

    • Cindy Huff says:

      I try to be a blog buddy. But I’ll admit Idon’t always leave posts. I do have the don’t brag about yourself all the time down. And like those who have already comments I try to post quality writing and information that is truly helpful. Thanks for the encouragement I am fairly new to blogging and often get the bum info sent to me.
      goodd to know I am on the right track.

      • Cindy, welcome to blogging, I hope you stay a long time and have real fun with it. You sound like you’re right on track because many people comment before they ever blog. Adding your opinion like you do with a pal will help you having as many pals when you start blogging (and you can even disagree nicely now and again). How cool is that? Good luck.

    • Hey John,
      Great points in your post. I have met many ‘awesome” people online and have developed many friendships as a result.

      To me it’s a team effort and we must want for others what we want for ourselves. Whether we re-tweet someones post or like it on Facebook, it’s all about helping each other out.

      • That’s the statement Justin – “it’s all about helping each other out”. That’s what friendship is all about and certainly blogship. Good luck ‘buddy’!

    • Isn’t that like life? Life isn’t all about ‘me.’ There’s other people who live here, too. Friendship in life is a two way street like friendship online. Great blog! And yes…it is a very lonely position and sometimes it can be thankless especially for a blogger just starting out whose voice has yet to unfold.

      • You are 100% spot on Nikole – life and blogging have a correlation. It’s not all about ‘me’ but ‘we’! When we do things together all our lives improve and blogging is no difference.

    • John,
      This was terrific. I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of how to discern a blogging buddy from a blogging bum.
      I would add only one thing:
      Blogging is a two way street. I love leaving comments on people’s blogs and I love supporting bloggers by sharing their information. A blogging buddy will not only comment, but share your article on social media too. I want to support my blogging buddies and be sure their fabulous work is seen by as many people as possible.

      • Angela you are a true blogger buddy to everyone – your friend filofax for bloggers must be bulging! I didn’t mention social media because not everyone is active (or even prefers) being on Twitter or Facebook. I’ll leave that to individuals to choose rather than make it an expected part of blog etiquette.

    • This is a good one, John. I think I fall somewhere between buddy and bum. I can always be better about commenting and sharing.

      I try to have a rule of thumb – if I read something and get value from it, either comment or retweet it. I sometimes fall down on the first one because of the general advice to add real meaning to the conversation, don’t just say ‘great post’. Sometimes I don’t have an amazing thing to add.

      I also hesitate to disagree. I try to be positive to others and know that I can still poke back on some things without being negative.

      Thanks for poking me to be a blog buddy and not a bum!

      • Very valid point Cynthia – I regularly get the ‘great post’ response to a post with the comments that follow showing the person hasn’t actually read the post at all. I’m also not advocating being nicey nicey and not challenging a writer’s point of view – I AM saying that we need to do so through positive interaction and not just with a critical unhelpful agenda. Just as in a real conversation.

    • Eva says:

      Thanks for the guideposts on bums and buddies, John. While I do have a blog, I rarely post there, but I do love to read other blogs. I wish I had more time to frequent them and leave comments.

      I have a good friend who, alas, gave up her blog due to circumstances with work and such. At any rate, one thing I noticed other than her content, was that she had cultivated quite a following, and she had also become quite a follower. Writing is a solitary experience. What I’ve found in writing on the internet, be it in forums or blogs, is that most people are kind, supportive and like the sense of community.

      In a way, you’ve made a case for good writing karma. Be a buddy, make a buddy. It’s not too different from what we learned as kids! 🙂

      • Eva, blogging is a true community and you make as many friends as you are in return or as you say, “be a buddy, make a buddy”. Love that!

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