Monday, July 19, 2010

Blogging Summary

Thanks to all who responsed to the survey we ran last week, here is a results summary of the rather unofficial, unscientific poll.

As you can see of the 40 responses we got, under one year was first with 35%, and between 1-2 years was last with only 15%. I think this shows us a couple of different interesting things about the Buddho-blogosphere, which I think were fairly expected. (Obviously these are just our opinions of course.) Firstly, I think this shows how difficult making it past the 12 month mark for new bloggers can be. Many folks do tend to take up blogging and begin with a lot of enthusiasm, ideas and energy, but as you can tell by the numbers after the first year, quite a few bloggers stop writing. Sometimes it is rather difficult to come up with new writing topics and interesting ideas to keep that energy and enthusiasm going. As well, it does take quite awhile to build up some return readers and followers. This can be a bit disheartening to some after awhile, even though becoming a well known Buddhist blogger perhaps isn't their intention to begin with.

Also, as you can see, and I think this is mostly true, if a writer hangs in there for a couple of years, they do tend to stick around and continue blogging for quite sometime. Here are 10 tips that may help new Buddhist bloggers build a readership, keep a steady flow of ideas and perhaps have a more enjoyable time blogging.
  • Don't push yourself too hard, too fast. Be easy on yourself and don't be afraid to take a step back every now and then.
  • Get involved with the online community; join other Buddhist blogs, comment on other posts and perhaps ask to exchange being added to each others blog roll if they are a blog you enjoy reading.
  • Reading others blogs is also a great way for you not only to learn about other peoples practice and what they are writing about, its also a great way to get new ideas for topics to write about yourself.
  • Making a post complimenting another blogger on something they wrote that impressed you can go a long way to building new friendships and getting a dialogue going.
  • If you have time, get a twitter account to promote your blog as well as to converse with other Buddhist tweeters out there. There are tons!
  • When an idea strikes you for a post, jot it down on a piece of paper. Don't ever feel bad about having several partially finished posts started at once. When the moment is right, you'll find the words to finish them.
  • Speak in your own voice about how your practice is coming, or about your understandings of the dharma. Don't be afraid to bring up controversial topics that interest you too.
  • Learn about the different sites around the web you can register your blog to point new readers to your stuff. It only takes one great post to get a loyal reader.
  • When people leave comments on the blog, take some time to thank them and interact with them. 
  • Don't let negative feedback get you down. Sometimes the criticism isn't constructive and should be ignored, but many times you might pick up a tip or two, and make a new friend.
We have reached over 225 blogs and websites that have been added to the directory here already. Don't forget to add yours. Also, Nate has been hard at work on something special we are hoping to unveil in the next few days. So stay tuned!


Jan said...

Thank you for this wonderful list of suggestions for how to be a kind and compassionate (and interesting!) blogger.

As I neared two years of blogging, I felt I needed a rest. Not that I was running out of material, but just energy...I took a full 30-day retreat away from the computer (put myself under a bodhi tree, literally!) and let go of the "need" to write or create or even connect. It worked wonders. It was purely restorative. I highly recommend it. My experience is that faithful readers will return, even if you do take a break.


Kyle Lovett said...

Excellent point Jan, thank you!