Monday, November 17, 2014

Social Media Monday—Are You Blogging or Lecturing?

By Edie Melson @EdieMelson

Blogging is a great way to build relationships with your audience. 

But a lot of people forget that, just like building relationship in person, it’s never a good idea to talk so much that others don’t have a chance to share their thoughts.

I often visit blogs where I want to ask the reader, “Are you blogging or lecturing?” There are things we can do to make sure our posts encourage conversation. And there are things we can do that discourage interaction.

Nobody likes to be lectured, so it's up to us to make sure our blogs are places of conversation.

Ways to Encourage Conversation on Your Blog
1. End every blog post with an open-ended question. It’s not enough to ask a question at the end of the post. We must make sure the answer to the question isn’t just yes or no.

2. Make sure the question posed doesn’t have an assumed right or wrong answer. This will shut down conversation even faster than a yes or no question. If we ask a question that has a definite right or wrong answer, very few people will be willing to risk the wrong answer. And after several have answered the question correctly, we’ll find no one else is answering because they feel like everything that needs to be said has been said.

3. Ask readers to share an experience that relates to the post. Sometimes a blog post won’t lend itself to a question. In those instances we can encourage our audience to share their experience.

4. Ask readers to add to a list of suggestions or tips that have been shared. I do that a lot on here. (And I’ll do it at the end of this post.) Again, if a question isn’t appropriate or feel right, ask them to contribute to the topic already introduced.

5. Avoid using the pronoun you. This is especially true if the post is pointing out something negative. Using the word you carries a finger-pointing connotation that we want to avoid. For example, in point number 1 above, I would never say, “you must make sure the answer to the question isn’t just yes or no.” Instead, I phrased it, “We must make sure the answer to the question isn’t just yes or no.” 

6. Share your own personal experience. If we’re asking someone else to share, we need to make sure our blogs are a safe place for that. Going first rarely feels safe. So I always try to make sure I share my own experience before asking my readers to share theirs.

7. Always try to answer blog comments. This doesn’t mean every single comment has to be answered individually, although I do try to do that. It’s important that your readers don’t feel like they’re commenting to nobody.

These are the main things that I try to do with every post I write. I don’t always do it right, but my goal is to make this a fun place to hangout, learn from each other and share the writing journey.

Now it’s your turn. I would really like to know what you’d add to my list. Or maybe share some of the things that inhibit you from commenting on a blog post.

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


Are you blogging or lecturing – if you’re not sure #Blogging expert @EdieMelson has some tips to help (Click to Tweet)


  1. Great tips. I especially like the one about not using "you" when blogging. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Stacey, as you can see, it's not a never-can-be-broken sort of rule. Sometimes (as you can see in this post) it's necessary, but it does help when we can do it. thanks so much for stopping by.

  2. These are wonderful tips to remember--thank you, Edie!

    1. Kiersti, I'm so glad you found them helpful. Thanks for dropping by, Blessings, E

  3. These are great thoughts, Edie. Thanks for sharing them! Thanks for the suggestion of encouraging readers to share an experience. Sometimes, I can't think of a good question to pose at the end of my posts. Love this idea!

    I've always wondered if it's best to write from first person. It's what I tend to do so I (hopefully) don't come across as lecturing. I completely agree with your thought of not using "you" because of how it feels when someone does that to me. :)

    One thing that hinders me from commenting on blog posts is when the post ends with a sense that everything that needed to be said has been said by the post-er.

    Great post today!

    1. Jeanne, you're so right. Sometimes we have a tendency to wrap things up too tightly. It's hard not to do. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! Blessings, E

  4. Nice post, Edie. I share loads of "tips" (hopefully not lecture style) on my blog. But this "you" business is new to me. Great advice. I usually like to answer all blog comments individually, but sometimes miss that boat. Not that I get that many comments (though sometimes I get a lot), but I do try to respond to each and every comment. Shared this to my fan page.

    1. Karen, are you kidding? I LOVE your site! You share loads of great tips, with no lecturing in sight. (If you all don't know The Word Shark, you need to visit her blog. Here's the link: Thanks so much for stopping by, Blessings, E

  5. Very helpful Edie and as much as you do it, thanks for the reminder about asking readers to add suggestions or tips to your lists. I guess this also proves that adding numbers and bolding to lists really does work:)

    1. Erika, I try not to overdo the lists, but truthfully they are always my most popular posts. Thanks so much for dropping by, Blessings, E