I particularly love it that through sharing my story, others feel empowered to share their stories. It's wonderful to get to know people this way, and also to help people become more confident in themselves.
I wrote about talking to people with visible difference on Tuesday. I've had an incredible response to this piece - so many comments, messages, shares via social media and most importantly, pride from my parents. Thank you for taking the time to think about the issue and continuing the conversation.
People ask me for blogging tips all the time. I have given a few over the years and no doubt I'll continue to give more. But this is one (issue) that has been on my mind for some time. It's a personal motto that I've tried to love by when blogging:
Invest in those who invest in you.
Too often I see bloggers (and writers in the mainstream media) push out a blog post only interact with their clique, overlooking those loyal readers who take the time to read and comment and share their posts. Emails and tweets of support receive no replies. And sadly, sometimes they don't even interact outside their circles on social media.
I see celebrities - writers, actors, musicians - interact so well with their fans on social media. And I see high profile bloggers who could learn from these celebrities.
Bloggers, take the time to engage - especially when your blog forms some or all of your income. Have some two way conversation with your readers on your blog and social media channels. Thank people for sharing your blog with their friends. Reply to the comments you receive (I try to, and see lots of bloggers who do this well). And acknowledge those who have been loyal supporters. When you have time, stop by and read their blogs and share them with your networks.
Take the time to meet with readers you haven't met before when you go to blogging events. They'll be chuffed you chatted with them, especially if you left your regular blogging circles.
If someone references you or mentions you in their blog and tells you about it, thank them.
I can't always get to all the blogs I want to, but I try my hardest.
While building a new and bigger readership is great, I also think it's important to treasure the community you already have. It's nice blogging manners.