Sometime last week I had the chance to sit down and speak with a blogger from a large digital publication site (too many authors to count), and discuss the use of Feedweb. I was shocked to discover that she simply did not want reader feedback. She “could not imagine people rating my content“, as if it were her own private diary. I must say that her reaction shocked me. Obviously there maybe bloggers who don’t want as much feedback as possible via various channels, or those that want to keep with the “rules of the game” (we are breaking them) and only have comments. She doesn’t think that her readers should be in “her head” when it comes to writing – because she knows best. I think she is afraid of feedback from readers.
Bloggers, or at least a “good” one knows their stuff and what they are talking about. A good blogger does not write about something that he/she doesn’t know, rather they do their homework before hand. However, knowing something is far from meaning you are an expert and know all there is about the content. Blogging is not just about creating terrific content – it goes beyond that – presenting it in an easy and creative form, getting readers to act on tips, creating shareable content, and so on. There is no way for you as a blogger to know what your readers think about every aspect, unless you are taking the time to ask them. Are you?
Working with Readers
Whether or not if you consider your readers to be your “customers”or not – they are. A customer consumes something from a provider, and in our case here in the blogosphere we are talking about readers consuming our content. The most successful brands in the world have worked hard to find out exactly what makes their readers happy – which means increased sales. For bloggers, working with readers to improve content could lead to more shared content and of course better metrics results in Google Analytics. Working with readers to reach a better final product can be accomplished via various channels. The problem is not a lack of channels, rather a lack of wanting to do so by bloggers.
I don’t know what the statistics are, but the high majority of bloggers don’t take aim at readers via surveys/polls in order to create a better product. I can visit 10 bogs right now, and I’ll be shocked if anyone of them is collecting more feedback. I went to Reddit, in hope to find like-minded content creators. Again, no one going for feedback, although they did think it was a good idea.
No one should be told how to do something. Everything we do is part of an art form. Your life is an art, with no one right way to live it. You as a blogger believe that there are certain boundaries and characteristics that your blog has to carry on because it is what’s done in the industry. Do you think anyone successful (I’m talking about the top dogs) got there by doing what others did?
Make the Change
Everything has its pros and cons. In the case of collecting feedback, bloggers have made up their minds that collecting feedback has more cons than pros. Why and how is this decision made before trying it? We’ve all visited blogs that have one thing or another that we like a little less, but we kept that too ourselves. Why? Are you afraid of honest feedback?