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The Risks of Growing a Blog Too Big


Small Business Ideas Forum

A friendly place to find help & encourage one another

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind week - lots of new visitors, comment records broken, and search engine traffic has tripled recently… and now I’m presented with a great problem to have:

I can’t keep up with it all.

It’s a risk as blogs grow - I used to try and link back to everyone that left a comment or who linked to me. I certainly left a comment back on posts that linked to this site. I commented back on every comment here (I certainly don’t know how Liz keeps up with it so well!), and was even able to somewhat stay on top of the conversations on comment threads on others’ blogs.

This week, if I spent every spare second on contributing to all of the conversations I have going, I wouldn’t have posted a darn thing. It’s both exciting and a little disappointing.

And as I started the conversation about being inclusional this week, I fear that too much success can also make our blogs a little exclusional.

So this isn’t a whining session - it’s one of those think-out-loud posts. Here’s some ideas, based in no small part on your suggestions as well as mine:

Lay Out the Welcome Mat on your Blog

  • Set up a section with top posts, a site introduction, and a VERY basic intro to how to navigate and comment on a blog
  • Occasionally write a “Welcome New Commenters” post
  • Always respond to the really thoughtful comments - somehow!
  • Write posts in an “approachable voice”, inviting participation from everyone

Keep in Touch with Your Most Loyal Readers

Don’t Isolate Yourself

It’s been increasingly difficult staying on top of my favorite blogs and commenting. But when I slack on it, both of us suffer (well, “suffer” is probably a strong word…). Here’s some of the ways I make it easier to connect with others:

  • I would be L.O.S.T. without my CoComment plugin - it tracks all posts you have commented on in one place
  • I have my RSS feeds set up by topic, but also have a folder set up with my favorites - people I really want to maintain a relationship with. If that folder starts getting too full of unread posts, I know it’s a signal to get out and mingle.
  • Starting the Guest Blogger tradition has been phenomenal for everyone involved - and it helps bring other blogs to me, so that it’s easy to stay on top of what others’ have to say!
  • REMEMBER what made us successful: all of the mingling, helping, linking and commenting with each other. No matter how busy I am, it’s critical for me to do everything I can to stay true to what makes a blog successful. It’s not as much as I used to be able to do, but if I didn’t do it at all, the “ship would sink”.

And if any of you ever think I’m losing touch with you as this blog continues to grow, by all means, let me know. As I say on my About page, you have given me a greater gift than I have given you on this site - and it’s my top priority to continue to try and “catch up with you”. ;)


Dawud Miracle also wrote a post in this vein today - with even more insightful comments from his own readers. This indeed is evolving into a great conversation! :)

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    On March 9th, 2007 at 12:19 pm, Rory said:

    I hope it doesn’t get too overwhelming, Wendy. Things will inevitably get bigger - rising visitors, big-hitter links, speaking at SOBCon07 - and I honestly wish you every bit of success.

    Oh, I didn’t mean to send you into a cold sweat…

    There are some very helpful suggestions posted here. I’m going to have to use these as a check list. I especially like the “approachable voice” - you practice what you preach on that one. And I vow not be offended when there is no reply :)

    On March 9th, 2007 at 12:40 pm, Alex Shalman said:

    Wow Wendy… you have completely out done yourself with this post. At first when you starting sending me private e-mails I ‘thought’ you were just embarrassed to talk to me on the site where everyone could see - now I ‘know’ that its true! =)

    On March 9th, 2007 at 6:03 pm, Aaron M. Potts said:

    Thanks a lot, Wendy! As if I didn’t have enough to do, now I have even MORE things to get done on my blog! :)

    J/K, of course. Thanks for this great post. I’m going to do a site redesign soon, but I will maximize my time by waiting to do all of these changes at the same time.

    Keep up the great work, eMom!

    On March 9th, 2007 at 7:12 pm, Char said:

    Wendy - did you ever imagine being this busy when you first started this endeavor? Knowing you, you did and you are thriving in your success. Don’t forget to take some time for yourself this weekend and just relax!

    On March 9th, 2007 at 8:20 pm, Ponn Sabra said:

    Wendy & visitors, *Pretty please* follow my post here:

    Holy geez…Lynette posted 4 Tips How to Blog with Limited Time. There are 2 Tips we haven’t discussed…and frankly I didn’t know possible!

    Can’t wait to implement both of them!
    Peace-out y’all ;-)

    On March 9th, 2007 at 10:40 pm, lornadoone said:

    I aspire to one day have your dilemma! I think it’s great that you’re still doing your best to stay personable and interact with your readers.

    On March 10th, 2007 at 5:48 am, lee said:

    These are problems I’m looking forward to having.

    On March 10th, 2007 at 8:20 am, Alex Shalman said:

    It really is an interesting dilemma - I feel that I would just spend less time in the commenting of other blogs when my blog gets to the “too big” level. Perhaps after that I’ll have to hire Wendy to manage the comments section - she’s definitely good at it.

    On March 10th, 2007 at 11:50 am, David Airey said:

    I tried installing the top commentators but had to alter the coding to fit in with the blog style.

    Agreed that it’s a great addition though. I should really work on that one.

    Two thumbs up to Dawud’s writing aswell.

    On March 10th, 2007 at 10:16 pm, GP said:

    greetings wendy and all… im finding the more i’m in the blogosphere.. the more one journey leads to another . Sometimes the initial stuff gets put on the back burner Thanx for your suggestions. See u next week at the virtual show :)

    GP in montana

    On March 12th, 2007 at 3:45 am, David Airey said:

    This is also the second time in the past week I’ve seen the cocommment tool mentioned (having not previously heard of it).

    It’s a great idea!

    On March 12th, 2007 at 5:50 am, Dan and Jennifer said:

    Wendy, you mentioned the “CoComment plugin” - do you mean the plugin for Firefox?

    I participate in my share of conversations too and it’s, well, quite a handful. Making that easier would be a Good Thing ™. :-)

    Have an awesome day!

    On March 12th, 2007 at 6:58 am, Wendy said:

    Yep - plugin for Firefox.

    Silly of me to forget that part :o

    On March 12th, 2007 at 7:41 am, Alex Shalman said:

    I’ve been all over cocomment since I saw you mentioned it - how was I ever able to comment spam without it? Our kids will never know how we had to tough it out ‘back in the day’

    On March 12th, 2007 at 8:51 pm, Witchcraft said:

    Dangers? I’d love to have a huge blog, no disadvantage can ever outweigh the advantages of having a popular blog.

    On March 13th, 2007 at 5:13 am, Alex Shalman said:

    Witchcraft - what if one of the disadvantages was the mob coming to your home to provide “protection” and make you an offer you cannot refuse.

    On May 2nd, 2007 at 5:39 pm, Sue Olson said:

    I am bookmarking this post to come back to when i am fresher. i’ll start with it tomorrow morning. There are things here I need to digest!

    On May 4th, 2007 at 10:05 pm, JoLynn Braley said:

    Thanks Wendy, this is the first I’ve heard of CoComment, I’m installing it now!

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