Growth should not be at others’ expense

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I think I’m pretty much preaching to the choir here, but I thought I’d talk about the good and the not-so-good ways of trying to grow on a platform like WordPress (or social media).

Trying to grow at the expense of annoying others is not okay.  An example of this is leaving comments like: “Good post.  Please check out and follow my blog, www.blog.blog.”  That’s not an actual comment, it’s spam.

I don’t know that this is a thing on WordPress, but I’ve heard of it happening on Twitter – the follow, unfollow.  Essentially they follow people hoping others will follow back, and then they will unfollow you if a) you don’t follow back, or b) you’ve served your purpose by hitting the follow button.

When I first started the emerging blogger series, I figured that people would read the criteria I’d laid out and respond if appropriate.  That happened, but there were also some people who were just trying to take advantage of what I guess they thought was an easy chance to get exposure.  At first it really bothered me and I felt taken advantage of, but since then I’ve gotten more jaded and have taken the approach of just not responding to things that set off my BS radar.  I don’t particularly like that I’ve become jaded about this, but for me at least it works better than internalizing things.

When it comes to growth, I think the relationship of that growth to our blogging community matters.  Some people are trying to grow on their own, a few people are trying to grow by stepping on others or pushing them down, and others approach their own growth and development by trying to lift others up.

I’m a strong believer in the third approach.  I think we should all be trying to grow – not in terms of stats, but in self-development as a blogger.  Stasis isn’t going to be particularly meaningful for you or your readers.

There are many different ways to lift others up.  It may involve reblogging, or mentioning other bloggers’ posts in your own post, or doing a post elaborating on (and linking to) someone else’s post.  It may involve blogger introductions – you see blogger A is interested in finding more about topic B, and you mention they should check out blogger C.  It may involve doing some type of collaboration with another blogger.  It may involve participating in another blogger’s prompt series.

All of this stuff helps you build up some serious good blogging karma.  And that goes a long way towards your own growth as a blogger.

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16 thoughts on “Growth should not be at others’ expense

  1. Meg says:

    What a beautiful blog post! You and I think alike about lifting others up!! 🙂 And you do a lot of it with your book reviews and featured posts, and the way you always reply to comments!! YAY!

  2. marandarussell says:

    Agreed. The follow/unfollow thing is a plague on Instagram. It annoys me so much to see people follow me just to unfollow when I follow back. I don’t normally get bent out of shape about social media stuff, but that is very annoying.

  3. kristianw84 says:

    I completely agree. I remember reading a quote somewhere (I apologize, I don’t recall who said it) that read “A candle does not burn brighter by extinguishing another’s.” I firmly believe we should try to lift one another up & support & encourage one another. Thank you for being a supportive & encouraging blogger. ❤

  4. BeckiesMentalMess.wordpress.com says:

    Bravo, Ashley!
    I’ve noticed this happening a great deal on my own site as well. Comments that aren’t comments at all, but a spam message to grab my attention. I do go as far as checking out what that persons blog is like… All to realize they have nothing whatsoever in common with my blog in the first place.
    Granted, I not only write about mental health, I do cover a broad span of interest because I do love to write.
    But, I really enjoy having the commonality factor. The blogging community as a whole. People you truly care about.
    This morning for example, Rory’s post was the first I read. I’ve honestly been crying on and off thinking about how Suze and him have to put their beloved pet (Scrappy) down.
    We may only know one another by way of a blog, but it becomes more than that. It’s a a form of a kindred relationship (to me anyway) when I know one of my blogging friends is hurting, or celebrating.
    Comments that I tend to make are from the heart.
    I remember when I began my blog… I never went out of my way to say… “Hey! Hey You! Check out my blog!” – So rude!
    I’m just so grateful for those who follow me, and for the friendships that have genuinely developed.
    Okay… I just realized I’m rambling now… Sorry.

  5. kachaiweb says:

    I feel like you helped me tremendiously already! 1. by being here 2. by letting me knowthat you’re here 3. by not judging my posts 4. by leaving nice comments. I really felt welcome and it is so nice to know that anyone reads yours posts when you’re just starting. I think when you just do it for the ‘numbers’ or ‘exposure’ things will die down as fast as they went up. The ‘like for like’ attitude is so obvious on social media but I don’t believe it helps out in the long run. I am aware of the ‘blogger series’ you have and I think it is wonderful. I red the conditions but I’m waiting until my writing gets better, my thoughts are more coherent and I’m really really proud of a post, maybe I’ll apply then. But just for ‘exposure’ … I wouldn’t be happy with that.

    • ashleyleia says:

      Whenever you feel ready I’d very very happy to have you! 💕

      It’s unfortunate that there are some people who are just in it for themselves, but overall I’ve found the blogging community to be quite genuine and helpful.

      • kachaiweb says:

        Wauw, that’s so exciting <3 <3 <3 It's not going to be perfect, because I'm learning that but when it's good enough for me. I really enjoy the blogging community up to now, there are many interesting people and the topics are endless. It feels like a safe way to express thoughts, emotions, knowledge, skills …everything you want in a format that is quite 'patient' and not so hyped up with forced positivity or more emphasis on the impulsive and negative side of things. I like it here 🙂

  6. crushedcaramel says:

    I guess in some ways people get out what they are looking for. If they want a 100000 followers and nobody really reading their stuff…ok.

    I think anyone sensible and balanced will enjoy the bonuses of blogging, the genuine interaction with others who also have their heads screwed on.

    I would love to read and comment more, and follow more blogs…but I feel as if I am pretty close to maximum capacity. Every now and then if there doesn’t seem much appearing in my WP Reader, I will go looking for new blogs, starting with bloggers who have recently followed my own site first. But I try to just stick with blogs I know I will actually like rather than those I can tell will not appeal to me.

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