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Why Should I Bother?

Writing a tutorial like yesterday’s takes a tremendous amount of work and effort. In fact, the day after I usually suffer with a migraine (like I am now) because of sitting so long at the computer.

But what is really disheartening about it is some tutorials (and some posts) seem to get so few comments. I know that it’s being read a lot. The stats tell me that, and in fact this tutorial has been Stumbled several times. Believe me when I say that is appreciated, but what really blows me away is the numbers don’t seem to transfer into more newsfeed subscribers.

So why is that?

The primary motivation for me writing a post like this is to impart my knowledge for the benefit of my community. To empower my readers to help themselves and be even better bloggers. But when the community doesn’t respond or seem to appreciate my efforts I have to ask myself why should I bother?

More than anything else, a sense of community and a thriving comments section are what is more important to me than just high traffic statistics. Because to me, that is what blogging is really supposed to be all about.

Perhaps part of the problem is that we are living far too much in our social network sites instead of in our blogs, and that is wrong. Because at the end of the day it is the social networks that are soaking up most of the Google juice — not us.

Written October 5th, 2007 by | 29 Comments | Filed under: Miscellaneous Blog Tips ,

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There are 29 Comments so far to “Why Should I Bother?”

  1. 1. I think the strength in tutorials is not as much about the instant hits, but the long-term search hits. I find my ‘how to’ posts have very, very long staying power even if folks aren’t receptive up front.

    2. I think you might want to break up your (very long) post into a. What’s the problem, b. What’s the solution, c. Here’s the code. I got tired just reading your post. :)

    3. I think mixing it up with pictures and perhaps a different font/background on the code might help. I use both <p class=”code”> and <code> tags to wrap my code. My .class code has a smaller courier font in white and my background is green. The code tag is a nice WP feature that tends to not screw up things like quotes and stuff (too much!).

    Hope some of that helps! Here’s one of my latest How to posts - that proved pretty popular.

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  2. Bloke — When I read that post, I immediately thought “I can’t do all that.” I’m just afraid to code and mess with my template. You remember how worried I got when I wanted to tweak my comments section?

    That’s not to say I never will do it. After I get more confident with my coding skills, I may jump back to it weeks from now and give it a whirl.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. You always provide tips that get used. You just may not get feedback from people, or they may not try it immediately.

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  3. It’s a thankless job but someone has to do it and YOU ARE THE BLOGBLOKE! Try teaching English in a little school in Costa Rica. They don’t even let you know when there is no school that day. Plus, all the grades are in one classroom (6 yrs old to 15 yrs). If you can reach just a handful, your efforts are a success.
    Your tutorials are much appreciated and they it do have that long-range effect as a resource tool.
    A Big, heartfelt THANK YOU.

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  4. Bloke, I know how you feel. But don’t give up !

    I didn’t bother to comment because I didn’t know what to say. Probably because I already know how to make a clickable banner.

    You spill out great posts time and again even if they are a short paragraph.
    Most importantly you take the effort to replying to each and every one of the commenters - which is why you made it to my RSS reader.

    We love you !

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  5. Thanks guys. I will try to respond in more detail later but right now I’m recovering from exhaustion, a 3 day migraine and my firewall has been compromised.


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  6. sounds like you could use a blog break. Remember life goes beyond blogging…

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  7. Dear Jaffer, Tica and Kathy, thank you for your kind words and it is hardcore readers (and commenters like yourselves that is the reason why I keep blogging. I live for your comments. I don’t monetize my blog like others do and my compensation is reading your comments.

    I’m still feeling exhausted today but hopefully with a little more rest I will get over this hump.

    Thanks again.


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  8. Douglas, having written dozens of tutorials as a veteran blogger I’m intimately familiar with the intricacies of breaking up the monotony of a long document. All one has to do is look at my other tutorials. But unfortunately Blogger’s editor continues to screw up my formatting and so I gave up in disgust.

    Even today I’ve wasted hours on it. Feh! For that reason I can’t wait to move over to Wordpress.

    I did not put any pics in there for the very reason that the post was already long in the tooth and I did not want to add that. I think that most people know where to find their dashboard menu items and it would have been just fluff without adding any value to the content.

    Unfortunately tutorials can be long due to their very nature, and this one especially could not have been made shorter without also removing valuable content. Sorry it hurt your eyes, but believe me suffering from a migraine at the time I can assure you that my eyes were all the more worse for wear. :)

    I agree with your assessment about the long term staying power of tutorials. However, I was complaining in a more broad sense over the inconsistency of comments on this site in general.

    For example there are many bloggers like yourself who read this blog but rarely ever leave comments, and that is what I was referring to.

    Anyhow, I appreciate very much you taking the time to comment and I hope to read many more.


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  9. Bloke — about the inconsistencies with comments, I feel your pain. I can almost never predict how my posts will be received in terms of popularity. I gauge it by the number of comments I get, but I must remember I have lurkers who, for whatever reason, don’t want to comment. Sometimes people I know who read me daily won’t comment, but they’ll chat about how much they liked it in real life. Just because people don’t comment doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy it or find it useful.

    Hope you’re feeling better soon!

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  10. My own family and long time friends don’t even comment. In fact, they don’t even read my blog. That’s why I started it in the first place, so they could get an idea about my life here.
    Go figure :(
    I have made some wonderful connections through my blog and I am sooo grateful to have an outlet to connect. It’s a journal to myself really. My place in cyberspace. I hope all visitors enjoy and I don’t expect them to comment. Most don’t know how and others don’t even think to bother. It’s all good. They can’t get by my “Meter Maid”, “Rita”! :)
    Your blog buddie in Costa Rica,
    Tica Macha (aka, Teri)

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  11. You know Bloke, if you really want to know who your readers are, here’s an idea:

    Veerle Pieters holds a Delurking event every year on her blog.

    This way, she knows her demographics, and clues to improve her style.
    Its a fun way to being lurkers into the light !

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  12. While we are talking about Comments, to lighten things up, techCrunch just posted this article:

    Big Media And User Comments: The Onion Nails It

    Watch both videos !

    Warning: Not safe for work !

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  13. You guys are great. Thanks muchly.

    I’ve been feeling under the weather which has contributed to my crankiness. Insomnia/lack of sleep and headaches on top of my other health issues have been getting me down.

    So I will decide to dwell on my blessings with having great and loyal readers like you guys. I am truly blessed.

    Thank you so much for cheering me up.

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  14. Not to add more work to your list but….
    I keep getting kicked off your site. Not sure why I get an Internet Explorer message “Operation Aborted”.
    Also, your banner comes up at first with a red background around the letters and then changes color.
    Housework is never done! :)

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  15. Blogging in NOT like Fishing…
    You don’t throw a lure out and see who bites (comments).
    There are many big ‘fishes’ out there just checking out what you’ve got to offer.

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  16. I need to promise blogging riches and glory like my colleagues do. Or just regurgitate old Tony Robbin’s books (who copied Napoleon Hill and others. :)

    That always makes them bite.

    Don’t worry about the red background on links such as my logo — that’s normal. BTW, is it only my site that’s kicking you off?

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  17. It’s only your site but I have a problem accessing http://www.gall.ca.
    I think it’s Internet Explorer and wanted to know if you would recommend Foxfire? Is it hard to change over.
    You know I don’t like messing with stuff….

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  18. This is the first time in many a day that I’ve felt like even reading blogs or commenting. There’s a flu bug going around here on Maui, and maybe you’ve got it too….and the poor tutorial gets the blame! I’ve not even gotten that far yet….so I’ll see how it hits me, ok? :-) BTW, you will notice that I’m the FIRST one to stumble this post! Yeh for me and yeh for you!

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  19. No flu here thank God. That’s all I need on top of all my other health issues.

    Thanks Kuanyin for the Stumble.

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  20. Tica, if you are already complaining about low memory issues then I wouldn’t recommend Firefox. It needs more resources than IE does. However, it costs nothing so go ahead and give it a try if you have the hard drive space.

    Regarding IE, I would try clearing your cache and cookies in the Internet Options menu and see if that helps.

    Have you recently updated IE? That could also be related to the problem.

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  21. Happy Turkey Day fellow Canuck !

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  22. I cleared the cookies and stuff and checked on upgrades for IE.
    Which would you recommend?
    I’m not even sure what version I have. Still having connection problems when I go to comments….

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  23. To check your version click on “Help”, “About”. If you already have version 7 it could be a pop-up blocker that’s causing the problems.

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  24. I have version 7, thanks.
    Is the pop-up blocker connected to my Norton AntiVirus?

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  25. No, it is in your browser settings. You can either disable it or modify it.

    To turn off Pop-up Blocker:

    1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, and then click Pop-up Blocker

    2. Click Turn Off Pop-up Blocker.

    You can customize Pop-up Blocker in several ways, including allowing the websites you select to launch pop-ups. To access the Pop-up Blocker settings:

    1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, and then click Pop-up Blocker

    2. Click Pop-up Blocker Settings

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  26. Fiddling with the technical stuff in blogs gives me migraines, too. But I’ve almost beaten them now. Here are some of the tips I used to get rid of them. Hope they help you.

    Natural Migraine Cures

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  27. I am a long time alternative medicine advocate. My wife suffered with Migraines. I recently had the pleasure of Meeting Dr. John Haché a world authority on pain resolution including Migraine Pain. You might find it interesting to read my interview with him on my website



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  28. I am a long time alternative medicine advocate. My wife suffered with Migraines. I recently had the pl… http://t.co/3uIGE62y #blogtips

  29. I am a long time alternative medicine advocate. My wife suffered with Migraines. I recently had the pl… http://t.co/BOTnsh8S #blogtips

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