1. Thanks for re-sharing Marilyn, as the points you make are still very relevant.

    I would add that one way to further build your audience and relationships is to find platforms that come with a lot of eyeballs (so to speak), such as Two Drops, Medium or Thrive – there you can publish comments, and if relevant you can include a link to your writing (good for visibility and SEO).

    You can also post on websites such as Medium or Thrive, either original content or blogs already published elsewhere (as long as it’s ok with the original post platform and that you give credit / make it clear this isn’t hot off the press).

    As for comments, I try to always respond, and usually sign up for updates so I’m notified by email about a new comment or response – but it has happened that such a message fall between the cracks, so amidst the agreed-to principle of responsiveness, I embed a smidge of “allow for human fallacy”. But that’s just me.

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  4. Hi Marilyn,
    Another excellent read. Your posts are engaging and full of valuable knowledge. I am fairly new to blogging and one of the main problems I allowed to hold me back was not reaching out to people in the writing community. I am realizing more and more how important this is. And why wouldn’t we? The more support we give, the more support we get! I have found your posts to be very helpful and interesting. I’ll be looking forward to reading more of your writing.

    • Hi, Nick. Somehow missed your comment, but that doesn’t diminish the kind words now that I’ve found it. It is important to nurture other writers and create an environment where we all feel welcome, valued, and appreciated. You are. So, the invitation to do a guest post is still open – hope this response doesn’t take as long to reach you as yours to me. She smiles.

      • Hi Marilyn. I really appreciate the offer to do a guest post and would love to take you up on it! I have never done a guest post before so I’m not entirely sure how it works, but would love to learn! Is this the best format to reach out to you or is there another way we can talk?


  5. Thank you for this information. I tend to focus on keeping up with my blog, as well as, reading and commenting on other blogs. I didn’t know what the expectations of a guest blogger were. I also didn’t understand how links would help others. I am a self taught blogger and this makes me realize that there is still so much I do not know about the way the blogging world works. I appreciate this opportunity for self-reflection.

    • Hi, Ali. Thank you for commenting. The reality is that the world of blogging is ever-changing. One year, it’s ” only write what you know”, another year, it’s “make the posts short”, followed by the advice for the next year to “increase the length of the posts”. We’re all learning. But, responding to comments, encouraging other writers, and creating communities won’t change here at Two Drops of Ink. Thank goodness for some consistencies.

    • Hi, Lydia. Thank you. What did you find informative – maybe there’s an in-depth post about that particular aspect.

  6. Wonderful blogging advice, dear Marilyn. When we post on our social media sites, we need to remember to be social back to those who engage with us there. I feel bad when I haven’t replied to a comment because I understand the effort the person put into leaving one. There are some awesome friends for us to meet when we take the time. (such as here in the “Two Drops of Ink” community).
    Blessings ~ Wendy

    • Hi, Wendy. You’re absolutely right. Simple equation, they comment, we respond. Engaging and knowing what our readers think and feel about a post is what helps us improve. Thanks for commenting.

  7. Thank you for this Marilyn – I always find your posts so full of a combination of encouragement and practical writing tips! I liked your suggestion to include links (I just need to find out how to make one 🙂 And I agree, readers comments should be responded to – it’s just common courtesy.
    I find everyone in this community from the editors to contributing writers very responsive and engaged! It’s truly a joy to be here!

    • Hi, Terry. Thank you. I appreciate you telling me what works. Now, to hopefully help you. Here’s a link on how to create links. https://help.edublogs.org/how-to-insert-links-in-your-post/

      Yes, we are genuinely interested in engaging our reading community. Of course, you are also a contributing writer here, and sometimes, we forget who else is helping us develop this community, so in case I haven’t said it, thank you for all of your contributions – writing, reading, and commenting. She smiles.

        • Hi. I hope the link helps. Inviting you to write could have gone unanswered. Instead, you wrote a great post. I hope you continue to contribute. We all learn from each other!

  8. Given my background in statistical and business intelligence software I always pay attention to the statistics page, but it is only in the last few weeks that I have been recording them for longer term analysis, in part because I intend to write some articles about the subject. The source of your readership is a good thing to understand (recently analysed on GobbledeGoox.com) as is the best days to publish posts (something I am currently investigating for a new article).

    Having readers come back time and again is an important goal for every writer. It won’t happen the instant you start your blog because you have to build trust. In the first few weeks you will be lucky to have any readers at all. One significant milestone is when you get readers everyday for a whole month (even on those days you don’t post on social media). Community interaction is a good idea, it doesn’t happen on many sites, despite appeals by the writer for comments. I like the number of comments here, all giving an original view – the readers should be commended.

    • Hi, Peter. Thank you for adding to the content. I’ve no doubt that you like statistics. They certainly serve a purpose. It’s just not my favorite way of gauging whether a post was well-received or not. I do check the numbers, but prefer the interaction of commenting.

      Very often, the comment adds another aspect to the theme of the post, much like your comment did. I do look forward to reading your posts about statistics, best days, and sources. I know you’ll cover new ground.

      We are fortunate to have the type of reader who “gets us”. I think I’ve been invitational since I started writing, letting readers know that I valued comments as they helped me improve. And even if the reader didn’t help me improve, they gave me the incentive to keep studying, and trying to give them what they wanted.

      Again, thanks for your comment.

  9. As always, very well written and full of wisdom. Reading this challenges my thinking of ways to add value. I agree with responding to readers comments. They were kind enough to offer a compliment. The least one can do is say thank you.

    • Hi, John. Thank you. What particular idea challenged you, John? Comments help a me understand how a portion of the topic might have enough reader interest to develop into a separate post. Readers do help us with our topics more than they know perhaps.

      Besides the compliments, or critiques, when readers let me know what interested them, or what they learned, it’s a big help in framing the next post.

      • Thank you Marilyn for asking me to be more specific. What challenged me the most is how do I create the most interesting, informative, and value added post. I understand I need to add value by helping with or solving a problem. I struggle with not knowing how to create that content, yet.

        • Hi, John. I think you’ve already answered your own question. You’ve listed your personal challenge as, ‘how do I create content’. Isn’t this the problem? Then the solution would be to sit at the computer and write – we know you can. Not being flip – but think about what you want to learn about writing, and then research – this will broaden your knowledge, and gathering links that support your post adds value.

          Look at your sources, don’t just take the first that’s offered. While ranked well, those posts are sometimes just laced with clichéd advice. For instance, we can all quote a famous author and there’s ‘product recognition’ in their name. But they may not have said it the best – it could be this year’s newest author who speaks to me.

          After you gather your sources, figure out a theme, a few key points, and then, well, write, revise, edit, submit.

          Build on your desire to write using the best words you can to convey a how-to, John, and you’ll do okay.

          Hope this helps. Let me know. Thanks.

  10. I agree with you Marilyn. I try to nurture relationships and acknowledge comments, particularly as they are so hard to come by. My blog stats are very humble and although I desire growth, I worry about how to keep up with it all.
    Thank you for the excellent tips.

    • Don’t worry! If you impact even one person’s life, it’s worth it 🙂

      I went over to your blog and left you a comment. You have some very encouraging posts!

      • Hi, Caitlin. Thank you. Writing, and recovery heal the heart. If there’s any message I want to give writers and readers, it’s that.

      • Thank you Caitlin. I’ve seen and responded. Thanks for your feedback, which is appreciated. Yes, if my posts make an impact on one person’s life, even if that one person is me, then it’s worth the effort!

    • Hi, Ladycee. You do nurture, through your poetry and at your blog. I appreciate your participation on Two Drops and I need to visit you more as well.

      • Hello Marilyn, thank you. Your response has brought tears to my eyes. Thank you. And likewise I appreciate the way you editors and contributors at Two Drops interact with your readers and commenters. It does give a feeling of family and belonging. I don’t know how you guys do it all, along with your own blogs, writing projects, social media and life. I find I cannot manage to find a balance and I’d be interested in reading how you all accomplish this.

    • Hi, Ladycee. Keeping up with it all is hard. I think it’s like anything else in life though, we’ll put time, energy, and effort into what is important, and responding to comments is important to me. Some days, I have other pressing things to do, like all of us, so it might be a day or two until I get back, however, I will get back to them.

      You do nurture – in your writing, poetry, and kind words, Ladycee. I appreciate all of them.

  11. Hi, Caitlin. I know your guest post will be well received as your tone is so positive and upbeat. Those qualities also come through in your comments, which I appreciate. We all need encouragement and you give it abundantly.

    Again, thanks for commenting and look forward to reading your post.

  12. Thank you for this! I reply to every comment & question a reader sends me, whether on Facebook, or DM, or my blog. I completely agree with you… With so many different blogs and resources out there, a reader has options. If they choose to comment on your post, and especially if they comment faithfully, they deserve to be acknowledged.

    This also reminded me to finish my guest post for Two Drops 🙂

    • Caitlin, I don’t reply to everything, merely the substantive comments. I rarely say anything to those I call applause – the people who simply say “Well done”.

      • Hi, Peter. We’ve had this talk. I think most of us just scratch our heads and wonder why the reader didn’t elaborate. The “well-done” could have been an image for all I know. Although, I’m finding that if I take the time to say, “What part was well-done”, many readers will take their time and let me know more about what made it interesting, a good job, great writing, and all the complimentary things that, unfortunately, don’t let me know what parts of the writing they are referencing.

        I think it’s also helped to engage readers more here at Two Drops of Ink. Reinforcing my belief that we can create community involvement in our posts and reader comments.

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