Warning: this post is tongue-n-cheek. If you have a hard time grasping sacrcasm or you take pleasure in being easily offended or passing judgement, just skip this one.
When I first began blogging, years ago, I desperately wanted comments. I would write my heart out. My deepest thoughts, embarrasing moments and strange prayers. And then I would wait.
Two, three, four comments would trickle in during the following week and I would wonder in utter frustration, "What do you have to do in your blog to get people to leave a freaking comment???"
Then one day I wrote a post about my families' obsession with pets and the gross misuse of money that is spent on our animals in this country in light of the fact that children around the world starve to death or wait to be adopted and loved half as much as an American dog.
And that's the day I learned how to get people to leave a comment on my blog.
So for those of you who are wondering, "How do I inspire people to leave comments on my blog?" Let me help you out.
1. Talk badly about their pets or the money they spend on their pets. Or about how much money they have. (offend)
2. Endorse a book like Rob Bell's. Admit that you voted for Barack Obama. Or confess that you went to Planned Parenthood for years because it was the only way you could get a papsmear and cancer screening done (record labels do not equal = health insurance). (controversy)
3. Occasionaly throw in cute pictures of your kid. (cuteness)
4. And write about the possibility of baby roaches growing in your gums. (roaches. rodents. rancid milk).
Had I known talking about roach babies would generate 64 comments in one day, I would have developed this fear long, long ago!!!
You people crack me up!!! Thank you for all of your animated comments, shared confessions, and pledged support to the lunacy that can sometimes be found on these pages.
Seriously, if you are striving to generate comments on your blog- take it from a girl who has lots of blurkers (note to blurkers: I still LOVE you, you secret little weasels):
Diss on pets, take the wrong side- or worse- show grace to both sides of a controversy, toss in a cute picture of your kid or someone else's kid, and occasionaly tell a horrible story about a mouse running across your baby or baby roaches growing in your mouth.
My gums are better, thank you for asking.
I have no idea why I: flossed, had an explosion of blood, and a roach leg then extracated itself from my gumline. I retraced my food. No herbs, popcorn, grapes or other fruits or vegetables with stems. No furthur pain. No furthur bleeding. No clue. And worst of all... no pictures for proof. Though you should know I tried.
I asked Ryan for a flashlight (Yes, I had to ask. I didn't even know if we owned a flashlight.) and scoured the floor around my sink. I think I threw it to the ground in horror and disgust. But I couldn't find it in the carpet. Then I thought, "Jenny- it's highly unlikely that you threw it to the ground. You collected and saved your own earwax for the first three years of elementary school. You must've put it on a piece of toilet paper and ultimately threw it away without thinking." That seemed more in line with my character and my brilliant, scientific, inquisitive mind. So I got the salad tongs and went through the bathroom trash can to try and find it. And believe me, if it were in there, I would have seen it. It was that big. But nothing. So you'll just have to believe me.
Chip- you got two cute Annie stories coming soon, I promise.
Meggan and Elizabeth- Excellent workplace diversion. I'd love to hear the theories of the co-workers!
John- Your knowledge about what could actually be happening when a small egg embeds itself into the gums made me want to throw up :) Imagine that.
Bloggers who want comments: Be yourself. People will comment eventually. The truth of it is this, your blog becomes a community of people from all over the world sharing tiny moments of life together. And a bunch of tiny moments end up making you like family. Want proof? Annie got birthday presents from people- who I met through this blog- who we now consider family- from six different states. But before your blog becomes a community, it is first and foremost a place to craft your writing, to pour out your stories, and to bare your soul. In regards to that, my manager gave me the greatest advice I've ever recieved when our band signed a record deal five years ago:
Do not listen to people's praise.
Because if you let people's praise build you up, you will let their criticism tear you down.
Pick your safe people. Those people who love you and know you. Their praise and constructive critcism are always welcome.
Other than that- say thank you and learn to let their words fall off of you.
I am forever grateful for Brickell's advice. It has saved me from a puffed up head and a destroyed heart. As you embark on your journey in the "public eye"- whether that's on stage, leading others in the office, or posting your blog for the world to read- pick safe people who will build you up with encouragement and gently re-direct you when you need to hear the words that hurt... and then, just be grateful for everyone else.
Not influenced by their opinion of you; simply grateful that they are journeying with you.