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, http://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.