If Your Blog Disappeared, Who Would Miss It?

If Your Blog Disappeared, Who Would Miss It?

Reader Comments (62)

  1. Thanks for posting this Ryan, this is some of the most pratically useful advice I’ve read recently. It’s no coincidence that the best blogs do all of the above.

  2. I recieved a similar comment from a reader the other day, he said he missed my old style of writing and that lately I had become too much of a clone.

  3. First of all, I think that’s a fantastic mindset for a church to have.

    To answer your third question, I am often surprised by what my readers like because I rarely have a good feel for which posts they enjoy.

    Part of it is that the lines of communication are unreliable. I put a post out there, I may get a few comments, but I don’t have a great way to know who liked it and why.

    Sometimes posts that I think weren’t received well turn up on del.icio.us or on another blog with great comments attached.

    So, I’m a little in the dark as to how well my posts are received on a case by case basis. I look for comments, see if the post gets linked to, and see if it shows up on a social site.

    Generally, I just look for new RSS subscribers, and that helps me know that I’m doing well overall. Occasional emails are greatly appreciated, but that’s not a very reliable method of judging reader response.

    Any suggestions?

  4. Excellent advice. I’ve been thinking more and more how I can make one of my blogs and business more unique and looking at the posts in my categories really helped that. I’m getting ready to post something about that not long after I post this. Interestingly enough it has less to do with writing and more with photography.

  5. A while ago I put gvod on the shelf, and got tons of comments and emails from people saying they were going to really miss it. I was really surprised by this and it made me reconsider, but at the time I was really sick of it and I had to mothball it. The response from my readers (well, really more lke watchers, since it’s a video blog) touched me deeply.

  6. @Chuck: I would suggest asking your readers, in blog-audit style, what they like most about your blog. Some readers won’t talk about that unless you ask them to.

    I would also check out some click tracking services like CrazyEgg. It can be a big help when trying to see what readers click on. Pay special attention to your recent posts listing and category listing. It can show what topics people like most, at the very least.

    PS: I’ve heard of and seen your blog before. Looks solid, I’ll be (finally) subscribing.

    @Patrick: Thanks, I’m glad you took something away. I look forward to reading your thoughts.

  7. I have two blogs and I would miss them! I’m just getting started, so it’s too soon to tell if they’ll resonate with anyone else. I clearly have a different reason for blogging than most people. And that’s fine too. It’s a great world…big enough for all of us.

  8. For some blogs that are still young, It can be the personality that is missed as well. When you take the time to respond on your commentors blogs or put links to them, you are doing another part of building a community.

    I feel confident that I could name 5 people who miss my blogs. But if those 5 people tell a few people, that number grows. Quality content is a huge part of being in the community, but I think mixing it up with the locals might have even more of an impact.

  9. Hmmm… I would rather say that I’m writing in-depth and quality articles.

    Personally I know a few people who would miss my blog.

    On a side note, I do not find Dumb Little Man’s design lame. You must say it is very sleek compared to other blogger blogs.

    And yes, DLM is hosted on blogger and not on wordpress which is disappointing for you! 😉

  10. Ryan, I have been pleasantly surprised and really touched by many of the comments that my readers have left on my blog. I am a newby and sometimes still feel a little insecure about what I have written. Recently I started writing what one reader has called my Flagship Series. I am not sure that is the right term, but I think that is what she called it. This series is on the difficult topic of incest and how to recover from the effects of living with it. Some of the responses have bought tears to my eyes and have let me know that I was right in following my intuition in writing these articles. My niche is in Spiritual Blogging. I learn so much about blogging from reading copyblogger. I need to add you to my Blogroll still. I benefit greatly from reading your articles. Thanks.

  11. I just happened recently that I didn’t blog for a week or so. The first comment on my next post was something like “Nice that you are writing again!”.

    That really made my day 🙂

  12. Hey Ryan,
    Does this count?
    When my pop died in March I had to take some time off from blogging so I contacted some of my blogging friends (read readers) to cover for me.
    Each and every one volunteered to cover as long as necessary.
    Don’t know if they would miss me, but they helped make sure the blog kept going. 😉

  13. You’d be surprised how many people would miss you if you shut down. I publish a regional political blog and shut down because I became burnt out.

    I couldn’t believe the number of calls and emails I received asking if I was OK, if my family was OK. What was even more bizarre was that a couple of hundred people kept checking into the sight every day to see if there was anything new.

    After about a five month break I began to publish again. One of the radio stations even had me on to kick off the re-launch. While I haven’t gotten anywhere near the traffic that I had prior to the shutdown, it’s built itself up steadily since the re-launch.

    Trust me. There’s an audience out there. Once people find you, they become very loyal. I was shocked, but pleasantly so.

  14. I’ve stopped blogging for about a week or so, and not one person contacted me to see if I was okay. But I attribute that to my blog still being so young and I don’t have a large readership yet.

    My worry is always that my content is not unique enough for people to keep coming back. I try to mix it up with current events and tips – but no one has said “you need more of this” or “you need less of this.”

    Blogging is still very experimental for me and it’ll take some time to figure out what works well and what doesn’t.

  15. Brilliant and thoughtful.
    I love my readers and I believe they love me too.
    I certainly hope I fill my niche and that there would be a hue and cry if I didn’t turn up for work…


  16. Not sure why you think Dumb Little Man’s design is awful. It’s pretty slick. If you look at my design, you have more chances of going off and calling it awful 😉

    Though you can chat with a couple of your readers, this approach isn’t scalable that much. Unless you interview or guest blog with an A-lister, such as Brian Clark.

    Nice post, though.

  17. I definitely think that my blog is unique, simply because I’m not just repeating news stories and such, but write based on my own experience. Since each one of us is unique, as long as I’m writing from my own experience, then no one else could possibly have the same thing to say (not taking into account sploggers and scrapers, of course).

    You gave us something to think about, thanks Ryan! I’d like to think that my blog (and hence, me!) would be missed. 🙂

  18. When the story ends– you begin anew. I did not miss mine when I deleted over 1200 posts. Maybe because I kept the name and my red theme.

  19. Great way to frame the conversation.

    I also love this: “there is no proven formula; relationships don’t have those.” I am going to chew on that.

  20. I definitely find my blog unique and some of my article got hundreds of comments, some very favorable, like my article on “How to get rid of stuffed nose”.

    It’s great to get thank you reports from people who suffered.

  21. Great info as always. Re my blog (Delusions of Divinity?), for some reason, people prefer to email me privately, which doesn’t help ratings… but at least I know some people are reading it!

  22. It’s so funny that you posted this now. Just yesterday I started a new blog as I felt I had backed myself into a corner with my old one. I stopped blogging for about a month, and just decided this week that I was going to start a new blog, where I could blog about whatever I wanted, and keep the old one going for purely professional content. My reasons for doing so were purely selfish, as I was feeling so inhibited, but in only 24 hours I’m beginning to appreciate what my blogging means to others. People have begun to get in touch to say how much they missed my take on things, and how glad they are that I have started blogging again. It’s nice to be missed :o)

  23. I have several websites, but on my Economics blog I offer to answer reader questions. As an Economics teacher, these are particularly helpful to the students who ask. (especially near exam time)

  24. Thank you for this -jolt of reality. I can think of only 10 persons who would miss my blog. I receive comments, but more emails from persons who do not wish to leave a comment even though they subscribe to the Blog.

    The general comments are the same – that mine is a refreshing change. It’s not easy to ‘stay’ refreshing! It adds some pressure and I wonder how others deal with this. Can living up to readers expectations become too much of a distraction?

  25. My blog wouldn’t be missed right now, just because it hasn’t been there long enough. I think I’ve been slower to grow because I want to keep it unique and attractive, and not just post anything that comes to my head.

  26. You know, I didn’t like this blog post at first. But then a strange thing happened.

    The other day I got an email from a reader of one of my blogs. Due to a major web hosting denial of service, the blog went down a few weeks ago and hasn’t gone back up.

    I didn’t think the blog was old enough or established enough for anyone to care.

    But sure enough someone did. And she even told her blog readers (many of which clicked on the link to my blog in her blogroll) what was up with my site.

    WOW! It was a good feeling. I was going to give up on the blog. Now I’m not. This post contributed to that. Thanks for writing it.

  27. I have to agree with Chuck’s comment that often what users find fascinating is not necessarily what I intended. Sure, I always set out to write quality content of some form, and I pay close attention to my users and their reactions, but often I am surprised by what really gets the virtual blood flowing.

    I wrote an article some time ago, and it has spawned an unbelievable amount of replies, both in the public comments and in private emails. It makes one feel really good when that happens and can be great encouragement for continued, quality writing.

  28. Nice post Ryan Imel. If only I read it before I deleted my blog. Where is Clark these days? Saving the world by any chance, as Superman?

  29. Ryan, I just wanted to contact you cuz we have the same name. I am actually a struggling blogger. I use mine for publishing my devotionals and it automatically is sent to my wife and close friend. I’d be stoked if I had more readers and responders so maybe you can email me back with some tips about that too. I noticed you are taking classes in biblical studies. That is awsome. I am assuming that means you are a born again christian. Anyways, contact me. I think It will be interesting. Blessing to you Ryan.
    Ryan Imel

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