Who Owns Your Blog?

As the blogger and domain name owner, without a doubt you own your blog, don’t you? But, really, do you?

I admit this is a bit unusual, but it is nevertheless important to think about.

In one way, you own your blog. I mean that it is your possession. You do whatever you like about it. That’s undeniable.

But at the same time, from the viewpoint of a site as a community, there are two facets to ponder.

I bet you have read it numerous times. Listen to your readers. Engage with them. They give feedback that is worth listening to. Sometimes.

Just because the minority of the readers say you must keep your blog post shorter doesn’t mean you have to. People would like to have good information. And if that information is relevant to them, they will read book-length post.

So, user feedback is not always good. You should learn how to filter a legitimate feedback representing your audience or complaints from occasional readers who are not even your target market.

Another thing is your personality. Don’t let other people’s opinions overshadow your voice. After all, that’s why people come to your blog and stay.

Let’s explore another facet of your blog. People in general are always looking for a site which they could “own.”

Let me elaborate. As you probably already know, web users are scanners. They don’t read. They try to absorb as much information as possible, like a sponge, from web pages. The only reason why this is so because they are looking for a place to stay.

They will keep scanning until they found it. I bet you have a site that you visit everyday. A blog perhaps, that you read regularly. One that you peruse word by word. Leave comments every time you have something to say.

You spend like hours and hours in a discussion board. You are part of the community. You feel like owning the site. When some strangers misbehave in the forum, many people help resolve it; notify the administrator or warn the offensive party.

They feel incomplete unless they spend at least half an hour per day on the site. When the site was unavailable for a day, the regulars miss it.

That’s what you want to build on your blog. Good content, rich community. If your readers want to own your blog, let them. How could they “own” it?

One obvious way is to welcome feedback. Let people report a bug, no matter how small it is. They want it to appear the way they like because they want to be part of it.

Put up a picture or two with comments from your readers. That builds a warm and cozy feeling about your site or blog as a community. And yes, use avatars in the comment area.

There are ways to make people feel like home without you giving up ownership. I’ll write a post about some of the tactics later. For now, start thinking about how you could make your site or blog better towards “user ownership.”

Have a few ideas? Don’t hesitate to leave your comments below.

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