The following post is a guest post written by the Introverted Nurse Blogger.
Saying that someone is an introverted blogger (or antisocial blogger) almost sounds like an oxymoron. I mean, bloggers write content that may potentially be viewed by thousands (or even millions) of people. How could any blogger possibly be an introvert or antisocial?
In some strange way, I have managed to pull it off. I can now say that I am perhaps one of the most introverted and antisocial bloggers/writers on the web. And in case you don’t believe me, I can prove it below.
I’m An Introverted/Anti-Social Blogger
1. I don’t allow comments (usually)–When I started my online stuff–I used Microsoft Frontpage and I created static HTML pages. That meant absolutely no comments. I got used to that format, and that I how I worked. I wrote, I published. I wrote, I published. Then WordPress became huge, and I realized how much easier and faster it would be to publish and manage my content. So I made the leap. When I did this, these things called ‘comments’ appeared on my page. Over time, to my surprise, people actually started to use them.
At first, I was intrigued by the whole comment idea. Over time, however, my views of comments became negative. First, I received about 10 spam comments for every real 1 comment. Next, I would occasionally get a comment that was constructive, nice, or useful. Sounds great and all–but to get that, I would normally have to endure 10 other hateful, belittling, or “I agree or disagree” nonsense type comments. Also, people would continue to comment on severely outdated articles. Like my wife graduated from nursing school, and I eventually went back and turned them off (who wants to hear “congrats” years later??).
Finally, I found myself spending my whole entire day trying to write back to comments, or trying to sift through real vs. spam ones. I would spend an hour or two writing a post, and then several hours managing the incoming comments on all of my blogs. It was a major time-sink.
So when I decided to update some stuff on my sites, I turned them off. Suddenly, I felt empowered. I thought, “WOW- I can actually write content all day, and not deal with those pesky comments.” It was amazing–as if I had a ton of bricks lifted off my little blogging fingers. I found that my blogging was more productive, and I could write without fear of criticisms. I actually had time to do other stuff, like SEO. After this, I decided to never bring them back (except for a rare occasion). Did it affect my income? Not one bit! Comments do not affect your income at all (in my experience). And yes, blogs are still blogs without comments.
So now I belong to a rare (and perhaps dying) breed of bloggers who don’t have comments enabled. Seth Godin is one. There are a few others. But I am certainly one of a few rarities. This upsets some people. On problogger.net, there was a discussion about comments, and almost everyone said a blog should have them. Some even got offended at the very idea of a blog not enabling comments. I thought that was odd. In any event, I don’t like them very much. The negatives far outweigh the positives in my opinion.
My personal comment philosophy goes like this:
- Static Websites are for content/articles (written in a more unbiased/encyclopedic format)–comments aren’t expected
- Blogs are for personal opinions and commentary/articles (written from a first person/biased view)–comments are optional
- Forums are for discussion–comments/replies are expected and even necessary
So when I want to talk to others, I enter a forum where discussion is expected. Unfortunately blogs now have a connotation that discussion is expected. I disagree with that. I think blogs are a way for a writer to express their opinion, share experiences/advice, and so forth. Blogs are an intermediary between a forum and a static website. Comments are 100% optional. Some bloggers love them. I loathe them in most cases. Forums, in contrast, are expected to arouse discussion. That is the point of a forum. I enjoy discussion on a forum. Not so much on most of my blogs.
2. I Don’t Social Network–People seem to be so fanatical about social networking. I couldn’t care less. I have no twitter, no myspace, no facebook, and I never will. I don’t want to be contacted by old classmates, 100,000 friend requests, and all of that other junk.
My wife doesn’t either. We are private people, and I don’t particularly like posting my pictures and private details. If I have something to say, I write it on my blog. Of course, my blogs are different because I earn an income, and maintain a level of secrecy. I don’t have my picture or real name published, so I can say what I want. My own family (aside from my wife) has no clue I even write online and have a tiny blog empire. Pretty cool, huh?
3. I Don’t Nework with Other Bloggers–My blogroll contains my other sites. I never attend seminars or “blogger” conventions (probably never will). I can count on my 2 hands how many other bloggers I have even spoken to directly (in some capacity) within the past year. Is that a little odd? Perhaps. But I enjoy my privacy and solitude. I read a lot of blogs from time to time, and I certainly appreciate a lot of the bloggers on the web. But I rarely feel the need to get involved on a personal level. When I do, I go to a forum where it is mutually expected to engage in dialogue.
On some level I do realize that my antisocial/introvert tendencies do interefere with blog traffic/success. I would probably have a higher PR if I rubbed shoulders with people more and did link exchanges. But I don’t really care because I think building backlinks is a waste of time anyway. It’s counterproductive.
4. I Don’t Promote Myself–Most big bloggers are great at building their brand and promoting themselves. Names like John Chow, Darren Rowse, and Shoemoney are almost immediately recognized by folks in the blogosphere. You can find pictures, videos, ads, links, articles, and more by these people easily on the web. This is a great strategy for building your brand and increasing your blog/site traffic.
Unfortunately, I have zero interest in that. I am more like a J.D. Salinger type–the guy who is a complete recluse in most cases, but writes/blogs because he enjoys it. I would probably faint at the idea of seeing myself plastered all over the web for all of eternity. So while I do realize I could be a more successful blogger by promoting myself, it is way too far out of my comfort zone to ever even consider something like that. I write because I enjoy writing, and I earn an income. I don’t want to gain notoriety or fame. I want traffic coming to my site for one reason: I have something useful for the reader. I also earn a small income from blogging, which I appreciate.
Whether it is a tip about making money, or if they Google, “Introverted blogger” to see if anyone else is like them, I want my articles to provide some benefit or value. For that reason alone, I want traffic. I don’t want traffic because my nosy neighbor or former classmate wants to see what I am up to, or because I am spamming or promoting myself.
I have never even sent 1 single link request email in all of my years as a webmaster. I simply don’t care.
Conclusion: Introverted Anti-Social Bloggers Do Exist
I think there are some antisocial and introverted bloggers in the world. We are a minority for sure. We may even risk going extinct one day (like an old crusty dinosaur). But I am not changing. I am like a cockroach when it comes to survival. I will do whatever I can to succeed, while still maintaining my introverted/shy/antisocial tendencies. I cannot compromise them.
If I was handed an ultimatum between blogging with comments, and not blogging at all—I would quit blogging instantly. If I had the choice between blogging for $100,000 per year (while being social), or blogging for $10,000 per year (while maintaining privacy), I would do maintain my privacy.
I will never be the social type of guy (online or off). I enjoy writing. I enjoy solitude. I enjoy privacy. I enjoy them even more than I enjoy money. So this is my oxymoron lesson for the day: I am an antisocial/introverted blogger. I talk to no one, yet thousands of people read my thoughts every day. Wow, that’s weird.