A-List Bloggers & Everyday Bloggers, They Do Things Differently

August 5, 2009

Blogging

I’ve been blogging for awhile now and I’ve noticed something. I’ve noticed that A-list bloggers do things a little different from how everyday ordinary bloggers do things.

This article is about things I have noticed when it comes to how A-list bloggers vs. everyday non A-list bloggers deal with comments and interaction with their followers. It is not meant to make A-listers look bad, but rather help newbie bloggers understand why they don’t always respond to others.

What is an A-list blogger?

Real quick, if you’re new to blogging and not sure what an A-list blogger is, an A-list blogger is a blogger who has a mass number of followers, readers, and typically have a well established community. They also have reached a level of success through their blogging endeavors, such as making $100k/year from blogging alone. There is no defined definition of what makes you an A-list blogger, but this description at least gives you an idea.

The everyday blogger

That’s opposed to the everyday blogger. The everyday bloggers are those of us who don’t make enough money from our blogs to quit our day jobs, don’t have 80k followers in our RSS reader, and aren’t necessarily known throughout the Internet as a “top guru” in a given niche.

Differences I’ve noticed

Over the years I’ve read many blogs and probably can’t even count as high as the number of times I’ve left comments. The interesting thing is, when I visit an A-lister’s blog and leave a comment, rarely does the A-lister reply to my comment, even if it was directed at him or her. On the flip side, when I visit the everyday blogger’s site and leave a comment, I almost always get a reply back.

Furthermore, many times we read on the A-lister’s blog how one way to promote community within your blog is to reply to your commentators questions and concerns and become useful to them by engaging them in conversation. You also hear how it might be a good idea to visit many other blogs and leave useful comments “over there” in hopes that the other blogger will start visiting your blog and take notice (as well as that other blogger’s community).

But in all your travels online and to different blogs, how often do you see an A-lister’s name in the comment section? Many times they don’t even leave a comment in an article in which they were interviewed.

That seems odd, doesn’t it?

Again on the flip side, I see everyday bloggers taking the A-list blogger’s advice and replying to every comment directed at them on their blog (usually every comment is replied to). In addition to that, I see them leaving comments on other blogs all the time.

There seems to be a missing link here, right? Something’s not adding up.

Then there’s social media sites like Twitter and StumbleUpon.

Have you ever tried to engage an A-list blogger through Twitter? How often do you get a reply back? However, if you have messaged someone that’s not considered an A-lister, I bet most of the time you get a reply.

What I really find fascinating is how many A-list bloggers talk about how to use Twitter to drive traffic (and hopefully business) to your blog or website. They even have ebooks about it. Some of these tips include:

  • Try to be useful and leave meaningful statements that relate to your niche
  • Try not to tweet only links
  • Use Twitter to build a relationship

But then it seems they don’t always follow their own advice. One A-list blogger I stopped following because he kept tweeting things like, “A to the izo”, which means absolutely nothing. But I guess that’s his personality and he’s letting it show through. I suppose that means I’m not his target reader/follower. But in my research on how to use Twitter, never have I seen anyone say to tweet things like that.

So Why Is This Happening?

I’ve had my ideas but when Darren Rowse recently published his article, How I’m Increasing Reader Engagement on my Blog, I decided to ask him if this is something he has noticed.

To be honest, I felt a little timid asking him my question. I’ve learned a lot by reading Problogger.net and I would hate to think Darren might think I’m trying to be a jerk or stir up controversy. But then I remembered that blogs have a comment section for a reason and Problogger.net is all about helping bloggers learn and grow.

Darren of course can’t answer for every A-list blogger out there, but he does provide some good insights which in my opinion, parallels a business growing into a successful business.

Amongst other things he mentioned, here’s a good summation:

John – it’s certainly a lot harder when your blog grows to be able to interact with everyone. For example on an average day I get 100-200 emails from people asking questions, with problems or wanting to interact…. plus all the comments.

The advantage that I do have though now that I have traffic is that quite often readers answer one another’s questions.

I think the ‘leave comments on other blogs’ advice is good for those starting out but I guess you get to a point with your blog where you have critical mass and your ‘marketing’ takes a different form. Similarly, responding to comments takes a different form also as you just can’t do it all. For me it means I tend to respond to people via email more than as comments because I live more in my inbox than in the comments section of my site.

That of course is a very logical reason as to why A-list bloggers cannot do the same things everyday bloggers can. Imagine trying to answer every blog comment, every Twitter reply, every email, and spend time on other blogs commenting all the while trying to develop new products and services to increase profits.

Oh, and I haven’t even touched on a family or personal life yet.

The reality is this: As your business or blog grows, so does the way in which you have to do things. If you’re an established entrepreneur, you know that growth can kill your business if you simply keep trying to do things the same way you always have been.

You need to adapt to your situation.

I still think the “a to the izo” thing is stupid, but then again maybe I’m still missing something.

I don’t hold anything against very successful bloggers when they never respond to my comments because I understand their situation. I do think, however, that it can be a little confusing and frustrating to newer bloggers.

That was the reason for this post.

I think there is a missing link between what many A-list bloggers say and what many A-list bloggers do.

And that is something I think new bloggers should understand.

Questions:

Have you run into this issue before? Has the lack of an A-list blogger taking notice of you left you felt you must not be important enough?

If an A-list blogger never replies to your comments, will you keep reading their blog?

If an everyday non A-list blogger never replies to your comments, will you keep reading their blog?

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About John Hoff

John is the lead instructor inside the Blog Training Classroom Video Course. He's been blogging since 2007, authored a WordPress Security ebook, and was recently featured at Niche Profit Classroom as an affiliate rising star.

View all posts by John Hoff

8 Responses to “A-List Bloggers & Everyday Bloggers, They Do Things Differently”

  1. Betsy Wuebker Says:

    Hi John – I think some of them have gotten a little too big for their britches. Whatever. They sure don’t need me tellin’ them what to do or what I think. :)

    That being said, there are some real classy operators, too. Darren is one of them, and Michael Martine, Jonathan Fields, and Chris Guillebeau come to mind too.
    .-= Betsy Wuebker´s last blog ..PASSING THRU: A YEAR =-.

    Reply

  2. John Hoff Says:

    Hi Betsy, I agree. You know, if I ever became an A-list blogger, I’d probably hire an assistant LOL.

    Reply

  3. Samar Says:

    As an everyday blogger who lets life come in the way of blogging, I hear you! Interestingly, I’ve been meaning to write a post reasoning why commenting on A-list blogs might (dare I say it?)be a waste of time and effort.

    From personal experience, I can vouch for Michael Martine, Naomi Dunford and James Chartrand. They’re stellar folks who take the time to get back to you.

    To answer your questions:

    I know an A-list blogger will rarely (if ever) respond to my comment on his/her blog so I don’t worry about it.

    I’ll still read an A-lister or everyday blogger’s blog even if they don’t reply to my comments. It’s their content I’m after, not their attention.
    .-= Samar´s last blog ..Enter ‘The Best New Small Business Site Award’ and get a chance to win $10,000 =-.

    Reply

  4. Jim Gaudet Says:

    I run 4 businesses and my blog. I don’t get enough comments on my blog to compare or complain, but I do get over 200 emails daily with questions. I answer everyone who asks me a question (within reason, :) ). That’s who I am.

    To be honest, I have noticed that I get responses from some A-List bloggers. I feel that Chris Brogan is one of them, but he has a different one than others. He wants to engage…

    Twitter for engagement. A++ seriously. Do I check out links and Rt’s, yes. But, Twitter is first and foremost for me a way to “listen” to real time info and engage with the movers.

    These a-listers will share their interesting ideas and listen to yours. They will. But I can feel them, there is a lot to filter. Certain people get priority and there is only so much time in a day.

    To get a response, I think you have to say something that makes them think, gets their attention. So to answer your ?s;

    I have had times where I have not been responded to, I only feel that what I said was not interesting enough. For sure they have heard this before, I can’t be the first…

    I will always follow the A list blogger who is in my niche. I need to keep up, bottom line.

    Same rule goes for non a list bloggers. I am following your blog because you said something I liked. I may come here every day, but if you write something that is uninteresting to me, I will not read it. How can I not expect that you would do that to me?

    Wow that was long…I was going to reread, but damn. I hope there are no bad errors!
    .-= Jim Gaudet´s last blog ..Legalize It! Watch the Union Online =-.

    Reply

  5. John Hoff Says:

    Samar
    I tend to do the same as you do. I’ll still read their blogs, but I’m much less likely to leave a comment. To me, if you entertain a comment section on your site, shouldn’t you be a part of it? It frustrated me in the beginning when I was a new blogger, but now that I’ve been blogging for a number of years I understand them and how it works.

    Jim
    Oh man, you should have proof-read, there are errors all over the place! haha just kidding. You’re right about what you send them. They look for things that get them to think. Those are the things they respond to.

    I find this whole topic very interesting. For an A-list blogger, blogging is their job . . . their business. They are the entrepreneur that owns and manages it. So in essence, they are a business owner of a sort.

    However, could you imagine doing business with a company that only responds to the customers that “make them think”? I mean, I am a customer of many of these A-list bloggers because I’ve purchased their products. So if they are like Jeremy Shoemoney who claims they make $500k plus, you might think they’d have this all figured out (assistants, secretaries, etc.).

    I guess A-list blogging is closely related to owning a business, but in reality, it is not? The rules are definitely not the same.

    Then again, I’m not an A-list blogger, so who am I to say.

    Reply

  6. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach Says:

    A-list bloggers are bloggers like everyone else…except the word of mouth/marketing/networks they are in/etc. give them a bazillion more layers of visibility.

    Your question “Has the lack of an A-list blogger taking notice of you left you felt you must not be important enough?” puzzled me….allowing yourself to be controlled by others (ie, choosing to interpret actions as “not important enough”) is business suicide. You must always sing your own song.

    Sure, recognition is nice….but truly, you and you alone own your own feelings of satisfaction/self-confidence when it comes to blogging. Your mileage, of course, may vary.
    .-= Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog ..Delight Your Visitors – Easily Add Online Help for Free =-.

    Reply

  7. Jim Gaudet Says:

    Being a customer, I would think you have access to a support number or email, that should receive a response.

    I guess it depends on the comment. I mean, if the post is about the product you purchased and it was a valid question, it should be answered. But, if the post is not related to you being a customer, but just a reader, I guess it’s up to them.

    I do feel, however, that if a question is posted, on subject, on your post it should be replied to. If you do make that much money, you can afford to have someone filter the comments for you and give the “thank you” responses then send you the ones that may need a more personal answer.
    .-= Jim Gaudet´s last blog ..Legalize It! Watch the Union Online =-.

    Reply

  8. John Hoff Says:

    Barbara Ling
    You’re looking at my question from an experienced blogger’s point of view and your own self-confidence. Not everyone is the same. Imagine a new blogger whose never owned a business and is just starting out. It might make them feel like they aren’t “important” enough when they see A-listers replying to some comments while not others.

    This happened to me when I was just starting out. I use to visit Copyblogger all the time when I was new. I was leaving comments and asked questions in regards to the post I just read. I noticed often times my comments were left untouched while others got more replies from Brian. It did make me feel kind of like, “Geez, I guess I’m not important enough.”

    It didn’t do anything to my self confidence, it just kind of left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t hold anything against Brian, but taking a step back I can see how some people might react in different ways to that situation and how many A-list bloggers hold a filter over their eyes.

    Question is: If I were to ever get that busy and interrupted with that many people during the course of my day, could I handle it differently? To be honest, I’d probably be a lot like them, though I think I’d always take time to reply to those commenting on my blog who have specific questions directed at me.

    Jim
    This post wasn’t in regards to anything I’ve purchased. Just came about from my observations over the years I have been blogging. It seems like something no one really ever talks about but I see all the time.

    I find the subject fascinating. On one hand you have Seth Godin preaching how you need to build communities and tribes but yet I see filters by many of the leaders all over the place.

    I think the more popular you get, the more you get to bend the rules. But then again, that’s true in just about anything in life, take celebrities for example.

    There’s no right or wrong, I just find it all interesting to digest.

    Reply

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