Tuesday, April 6, 2010

If you want thousands, you have to fight for one

To quote Terry Pratchett's Brutha in Small Gods.

Yesterday, I subscribed to a professional photographer's blog, with the intent to review it. Remember that now the Blog Report Blog reviews both blogs available on Kindle and blogs that aren't. So, if I'd liked this blog, it would gotten a review here, despite the fact that a photog blog wouldn't usually be suitable for Kindle, since all Kindle viewers get are greyscale pictures.

In any event, I open up my Kindle, and find the blog hasn't been updated since last year. However, the last entry stated that he was changing the URL to his blog. So, I went to that URL via the web, and yes, indeed, the blog was still being updated on a regular basis. The guy just hadn't updated the Kindle feed.

So, I emailed and told him so. I didn't tell him I was a blog reviewer. He replied breiefly, said "I have a follower! Great! I'll look into this."

A few hours later, I got an email from Amazon saying that the photog blog had been removed from Kindle entirely. But, I have yet to receive an email from this guy telling me what he'd done, or why.

So, I'm a bit annoyed, and while I'm venting about this, I'm not going to give this guy any publicity by mentioning his name. He doesn't deserve it.

Obviously, in three months or so, no one else had ever subscribed to his blog. (Or, they might have subscribed but, finding it inactive, unsubscribed.) But now he had a subscriber, and more, someone who cared enough about their subscription to actually contact him and let him know what was going on! And he doesn't have the common courtesy to contact me a second time and just say, quickly, that he's decided not to bother with the Kindle anymore? "Thanks, and please check me out on the web." ?

Well, I won't be visiting his blog on the web than, either, and plugging that. That is a courtesy he has shown he does not deserve.

A blogger must be a patient blogger. One who enjoys writing his or her blog for its own sake. You can start a blog and take months - even a year - to build up a readership.

I know this - I have several blogs as well as this one, and none of them had a substantial readership (via the web) for at least six months. That's how long it took me to build up my posts, see every post archived in search engines so that searchers could find it regardless of what they were looking for (in the blog's topic area), and so on. Now, those same blogs are well read on the web, but are not doing well on Kindle. But, I've only had them offered on the Kindle for a month or so. It just takes time. (This particular blog, on the other hand, has taken off on both Kindle and web, so I'm quite pleased about that.)

So, although this particular photographer didn't know I was a blog reviewer (and may well not have cared even if he had known!) I was still a subscriber. Someone who cared enough about his work to be willing to stay subscribed. And yet I am treated in this fashion. Dismissed.

Any blogger who gets a follower, or a subscriber, should value that person. Oh, I don't mean pander to them... I lost one follower from one of my blogs because he didn't care for my political beliefs, and I dont' intend to stop commenting on politics should the spirit move me, so I didn't make an effort to get that follower back, but if someone makes a comment that says, "Spend more time on this," or "You were incorrect in your facts here, please fix." I will take a look at those comments and make corrections if necessary.

So, to cut a long story short, followers, or subscribers, are important. Don't lightly dismiss them.

My goal with this blog review blog is to be able to send at least a thousand interested readers to any blog that I or my associate reviews. I have not yet reached that point, but I will work to ensure that I do. Because bloggers and my own subscribers are important to me.

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