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How Sheer Is Your Curtain?


A client of mine just sent an email to his list (that I happen to be on) – it read:

I’m taking a blogging course through our local adult ed program and the materials say this:

Action: At a minimum, you should be asking your readers to get involved by commenting. The more they participate on your blog, the stronger the connection with you.

Yet so many blog authors forget to ask readers for their opinions and experiences. Or they are afraid to ask a question for fear that no one will respond and the blog will look unread.

Only 1-2% of readers will bother to comment; you must ask anyway.”

And then he asked people to comment and reminded them how to do so.

I won’t lie to you. My first response was a visible cringe so deep that my forehead involuntarily touched my knees. My inner judge screamed, “Don’t let them behind the curtain!” Which caused me to take a considerable pause.

What do you think? Is this too much transparency? Or is it okay because he isn’t claiming to be a blog expert? (His expertise is in a far nobler realm.) Would it be okay even if he was?

Image courtesy of JW Ogden

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • LeAnn says:

    I tried asking for feedback in a blog once. Guess I was hoping that someone would answer (they didn’t), start following (no one yet), or at least read the blog (based on the counter – nope). Hasn’t stopped me from blogging yet. I guess it’s okay to ask for feedback, but I hope that it’s not considered a rule or even recommended.

  • Joannie says:

    I think I’m missing something–if the issue is asking people to comment or, in my case, asking what people do, what they think? Is that bad? My blog is based on the premise that I’m trying to figure things out and wondering how other writer or poets or people in general are figuring out the same things. Or did I just miss the gist of this post?

  • Lorela says:

    Hi, i’ve been reading you for sometime now (bookmarked, that is!), and glad to get some tips here. i’m a freelance writer, too, well, not that long yet. let me just say will include you in my blogroll, for fellow writers to get the chance to read you as well.


  • Debra Snider says:

    All the “rote rules” for blogging seem silly to me – and it’s usually easy to see them in play with or without transparency like your client’s. Maybe word length, asking for comments, post frequency, etc. matter to search engines, but what gets me every time is a genuine, humorous, intelligent voice. With that, I’ll be back no matter how many rules the blog breaks; without it, I won’t be back no matter how many it follows. Ditto with commenting.

  • I’m kind of with Joannie in that I’m not quite sure I’m following the cringe response on this . . . Is it because he is openly saying he asks for feedback/comments on his blog and maybe we aren’t supposed to admit to that? Please know I am not asking this in a snarky way at all (it occurs to me that it could come across as such).

    Although my comments are temporarily closed, I ask for reader feedback all the time. Sometimes I get it, sometimes not. I have no problem with asking, and I frequently comment on the blogs I read when bloggers ask for feedback.

    I am all about transparency in blogging. I would not know half of what I do about how to blog successfully because of some blogging mentors who were willing to be risky and transparent.

  • Julie Roads says:

    I think the cringe factor for me was that the person basically said – I’m taking a class that told me to do this, here’s what the class said, now – will you do it? It’s the transparency of, I have no idea what I’m doing, so I’m just doing what the book tells me to do. It’s that vulnerability. Certainly not that he’s asking for comments. I do that all the time, I did it in this post! The direction isn’t wrong, it’s just that reveal that got me. Make more sense? That’s why I made the comment about not letting them see behind the curtain…

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