Monday, November 30, 2015

Don't Email Me About Your Blog

Earlier this year, I participated in a group blog hop. I thought it might help, but mostly it was a waste of time. These things usually are...for one big reason:




Okay, maybe most of the people reading this blog do. Because my readers are smart. But raise your hand if you've participated in a blog hop.



Now raise your hand if you read any of the other blogs participating in that blog hop.



Which brings me back to the story about the blog hop. The host seemed extremely concerned that we all not be no-reply bloggers. I have no idea what that meant, but I was told soon into it that I was one. So I fixed it...and guess what happened?



I still don't know the specifics of "no-reply blogging," but it seemed to somehow mean that if you are one, people can't email to respond to the comments you have left on their blogs. Email. Let me repeat my above graphic...




When I participate in a blog hop (including IWSG), I make a point of reading as many blogs as I can that day. I just go through the list and read and comment. If you want to have me as a new reader, you need to click on the link and comment my blog. That's how you get added to my regular blog-reading rotation. If you email me to say, "Thank you for commenting my blog," guess what? This is me:



Am I supposed to email back? Become email pen pals? Because...excuse me...but I thought we were reading each other's blogs here. I just am so confused. So about 30 minutes into the blog hop, the answer to this question...



...was once again "YES!" I immediately stopped getting annoying spam mails. The result was I participated in a blog hop full of people who wanted pen pals, I guess, because I don't think I met a single person whose blog I still read today.


I think you guys know this...so ignore it. Maybe someone will stumble on it while Googling, "Why are so many people no-reply bloggers?!" But here's the thing. The next time you participate (or even SEE) a blog hop, go through and leave comments on all the interesting blogs you see there. If anyone new comments your blog, read their blog and comment back. It's how you build a readership. It's worked for me since 2006 when I was blogging on MySpace. Emailing thank-you notes to people who comment your blog...well, I'm not sure what that accomplishes...except maybe being seen as polite?



How do you build your own blog readership?

64 comments:

  1. Exactly!
    People can email me replies, but usually the ones that do are friends whom I've already emailed outside of blogging anyway.
    I've hosted dozens of blogfests and after years of running the IWSG and co-hosting the Challenge, I've never heard that rule. Go through the list and visit others is all I've ever told people to do. That's how you make new friends.

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    1. I know, right? They were making this huge deal about no-reply bloggers. It almost seemed like it was the theme of the blog hop! I do want people to be able to email me through my blog if they need to--I just don't want "thank you for commenting my blog" messages. Or replies to the comments I leave there. Those are just pointless.

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  2. That is exactly how I build blogging relationships. Someone will comment on my blog and I'll go visit their blog and comment back. Or vice versa. And if we like each other's blogs, we'll continue to visit. Occasionally I'll build a relationship of emailing one another outside of the blogging world but that's rare. I can hardly keep up with the blogs I follow and I can't imagine receiving emails from everyone!

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    1. Exactly! I commented on that blog hop that I don't want emails--I'm just looking for new people to follow. They didn't respond. It was all very weird! To their credit, though, most of the time when I join a blog hop, very few people go around and comment other blogs. And they don't comment back when you comment theirs. I guess they're just hoping it'll be a one-way thing forever?

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  3. I don't blog hop but I built my readership by commenting on blogs who comment on my blog. I don't have time to personally reply to every comment but I'll email my friends if the email me. People can reach me by email so I guess I not a no reply blogger.

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    1. Me, too. I don't even use my follow list before because there are a couple of people on there who have set it to where I can't unfollow them--and they don't read mine anymore.

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  4. I don't get e-mail replies either. There are some bloggers whom I visited maybe once in my lifetime and they still occasionally send an email with their upadates to everyone who follows them.
    I appriciate email response to a comment only when a blogger wants to ask me something personal or get to know me closer. Otherwise, just comment on my blog too and I will sure come back to return it and read the answer as well

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    1. Yes, there are times when I'd love a personal email, but not just as a response to the comment I've left or just to say "thank you." I just delete those immediately. If I'm participating in a blog hop and commenting quite a few, I probably won't even remember what I said when I commented originally!

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  5. If I participate in a bloghop, I make it a point to visit every blog on the list (or, in the case of the IWSG or A to Z, as many blogs as I can fit into my day), and I generally end up following a few, and perhaps vice versa, but growing my blog readership has never been anything I've ever worried about. I'm lazy that way. I participate in bloghops just because I like the theme and want to see how other people may interpret it. Maybe I'm doing it wrong?

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    1. I have noticed there's NO way to visit every blog in the IWSG or the A to Z. I just try to visit a new chunk each month (or each day in the case of A to Z). Sounds like you're doing it right--I'm sure you've maintained a steady readership, since you've added a few new ones as the old ones have dwindled away. If you never visited new blogs occasionally, you'd gradually dwindle down to just a few readers, I would think.

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  6. For a blog hop like IWSG, I usually visit my regulars then hit the main list and visit a chunk from there. I often try to leave a comment, but I don't always. Sometimes the post is too long for a hop or I just really have nothing to say/to add or the commenting doesn't work for some reason.

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    1. I have found it's best to ask yourself, "Is this a blog I would want to read every day?" before commenting. There are some people who post poetry or fiction...or they just blog about the pies they bake. Or blogs that are 100 percent book reviews...I can't fly with those. I just run out of things to comment after a while. Unfortunately, one bad thing about IWSG is that everyone blogs about their insecurities that day and you don't realize their posts aren't the kind you like until they're already reading yours!

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  7. I've participated in a handful of blog hops, and I definitely don't email my comments, or replies! Like you, I don't understand the point of that...

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    1. I do actually go back to see if bloggers replied to my comment on their blogs sometimes. Only if they don't post a blog the next day or two and I happen back and it's the same blog, though. But sometimes people feel the need to answer a question I've asked via email or over on my blog. I get it! I probably shouldn't ask questions if I'm not going to be able to go back in time to see the answer.

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  8. I've participated in blog hops before and for the most part I will comment on the interesting ones. The blog hops enjoyed the most were the ones which had a writing theme because they prompted me to write, motivated me to some extent.

    When folks start hitting you up for comments it feels a bit fake, like I'm supposed to just randomly pick a blog post to comment on just because I'm participating. What if I don't have anything nice to say about any of the participants' posts? Should I just comment with a :) which sometimes I do if it's a blogger friend and all that's necessary to feel connected is a simple :)

    I'd rather just move along to the next. Only when I see something I enjoyed or something I can relate to will I comment.

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    1. Not at all. I think the only way to do it is to comment on blogs you like...otherwise you're not going to keep reading it later, so what would be the point? We all know there are certain types of blogs that are just horrible to read every day...it's personal. So I've learned to go through and find those that are interesting and comment those. No way could we comment every one!

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  9. I'm no reply too. It's because I set my blog up with my real name google account. I can't change it, so people need to deal!
    I read a blog post of one of my readers going off about no reply bloggers (she's not the first) and how annoying it is to her. I was like Bitch, please. Talk about 1st world problems. Hahaha.

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    1. I'm still SO confused as to why they get so upset about it. It just doesn't make sense to me and people who complain about it can't explain it. What is it they want to do that they can't do? Why do they think emailing someone who comments is an appropriate thing to do?

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  10. I've participated in blog hops and I do visit as many blogs as I can that day. I don't email comments which seems weird to me. I go and return comments on their blog.

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    1. It doesn't make sense to me, either, but MilitaryPugWife said she sees someone complain about it...I just don't get why they want to do that in the first place!

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  11. I don't always return comments that are left on my blog but I read as many blogs as I can and comment on the ones I find interesting. I don't even comment on the blogs I read regularly all that much as sometimes I just have nothing to say.

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    1. I personally would prefer people read my blog and comment than reply to my comments on their blog. I try to reply to comments here, but reading your blogs is #1 priority. If I have time to reply, bonus, but I don't rearrange my day to make sure I reply to every single comment here!

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  12. I reply to all comments left on my blog, but I do try to visit everybody's blog back and leave a comment on their blog too.

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    1. That's certainly the place for a reply--on the blog. I don't know why some people feel the need to email their replies.

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  13. That makes no sense. Blogging is about community and building relationships. You can't do that if you don't communicate!

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    1. That is definitely true! But they're communicating by email, which defeats the purpose. I guess they don't get it!

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  14. If that happened to me I would just be uncomfortable. I tend to return blog visits and follows. So, I mostly communicate on blogs. Only when I have a personal question to ask a specific blogger, will I email them, like asking for their help with a book release? Even then, I feel weird emailing them at all.

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    1. Yes--I have a form whenever I'm asking for help promoting and they enter their email addresses on that. I know what you mean. It does feel weird contacting them directly!

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  15. Oh dear, that sounds so uncomfortable. I've pretty much stopped participating in blog hops - I do ISWG because to me, that isn't a blog hop - it's a community of people supporting each other, which is what I think blogging is to me. Thanks for highlighting this, Stephanie.

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    1. It's all about community. I think that's what a blog hop is meant to build but it only works if you join one that leads you to people of interests that are similar to yours. I used to participate in one but when we weren't doing the blog hop, everyone involved blogged about things that were way outside of my area of interest, so I eventually realized it just wasn't helping me make the right kind of friends.

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  16. I am 100% with you Stephanie... we need to support each other not just say thank you. I'm all about commenting with meaningful thoughts, if people return the favor I will be your follower and read regularly. It's most definitely not about just saying thank you.. I have a no reply and I'm okay with that, I go back and comment to each blog who comments on mine ♡

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  17. Huh, never heard of such a thing. You're right, emails are incredibly inappropriate in terms of blogging and the whole reason behind it. Besides, how do you know an email is not spam when you don't know the sender? Ha! Now I'm wondering about emails I've deleted...

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  18. I follow the blogs I find interesting. I comment when I feel like it. I am not concerned whether I have readers. I blog for myself (one public, one private). Basically, I do what I want. *wink*

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  19. There are a few people I follow who only respond via email. I generally don't check my blog email account all that often, so sometimes their comment is two weeks old when I read it.

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  20. You and I are doing the same thing. If you want people to visit you, you visit them and leave a comment on their blog. I've a ton of blogging buddies because of this exchange.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  21. Never done a blog hop and now I never will! Your readership attests to your hard work in building a relationship with your readers, I am proud to be on your list. I don't have a strategy in building followers hence my low readership.

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  22. I try to be as active as I can. Yes it is polite to respond and communicate and so on but sometimes people just don't have the time or stamina. For me I love the written word but vice versa would less likely go video outside discussing something I really enjoy once in a while. We all have our ways of communicating and need to find our niche.

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  23. I always try to respond to my blog comments and I always visit them in kind because they took the time to visit me. If they e-mail me, I usually don't respond because I think they are just replying to my comment. I do bloghops a lot with my card making and find that many I visit, rarely visit mine and reply

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  24. I didn't even know you could be a no reply blogger. I try to read and comment on the blogs I like but sometimes I miss them. I do try to post a blog about author's I like even though few have done the same for me...but my memoir was published four years ago and I don't promote it all that much anymore.

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  25. Yes! I don't email reply. I go and leave a comment on everyone's blogs and if I see the follow...I follow.

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  26. I do email some other bloggers. But NOT as part of a blog hop. If (rare) I participate in those I read and comment on blogs.

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  27. I follow your method, Steph. As far as I can tell, it's the only thing that works, although I'd love to reach the status of someone like Wendig, who doesn't have to spend hours visiting blogs in order to get a few comments. He just writes a lot of good content and lets people come to him.

    I've never heard of people emailing in response to a blog. That's just weird. For the most part, I think blog hops are a waste of time and alienate readers, who don't care about blogging, but I did have some success with the Blood, Boobs, and Carnage Blog Fest.

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  28. Well, exactly! There are too many blogs and not enough time to put in the effort unless you like the other person's blog and/or they are visiting you, too. Reciprocal works for me. :) But I don't think a comment at a blog during a blog hop warrants the start up of an email relationship. Never seen that, but then again, I don't get involved in a lot of blog hops.

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  29. Emailing to thank you for commenting? Um, no. I just reply on the blog comment and then visit that person's blog.

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  30. I totally just go and read their blog and comment. Emailing seems like a crazy way to end up with a lot of extra work.

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  31. I participate regularly in blog hops, including Battle of the Bands, Question of the Month, and The Cephalopod Coffeehouse. I enjoy the blog hops. I read as many blogs as I can and leave comments. I receive many nice comments. No one has ever emailed me. I don't know what that's about.

    Love,
    Janie

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  32. I don't do blog hops (much). After 8 1/2 years, I'm in my own little private Idaho. I visit those who have stuck with me and who have commented on my blog (such as yourself) on my blog from time to time. I always respond to people's comments on my blog, because if you took the time to stop by and say "hi", then it's only fair that I should say "hi" right back.

    Except for those who spam me on blog with the proverbial, "This is my first time commenting....", then they just get nuked and ignored.

    I had people who have gotten upset with me over the fact that I didn't have my e-mail addy available in my profile for the first year of so in blogging. Those people really need to grow up.

    Still, the only tried and true method of building a readership is to reciprocate when people stop by to comment.

    Father Nature's Corner

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  33. I have participated in some blog hops, but I don't think I have run into the no reply blogger thing. I tend to go to the blogs of people I meet and who come to my blog. I have blogs I visit regularly and some I visit from time to time (though getting ready for my book release I have been a little behind). Interesting post. I don't think anyone has ever emailed me.

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  34. Emailing a thank you for a comment....hmm....well that's one approach I guess.

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  35. Hi human, Stephanie,

    My human or I, for that matter, have very little experience with folks emailing a thank you because I commented. Okay, two bloggers do email us every time we comment on their blog. Heck, sometimes some folks actually break down at just follow my icon to my site and comment on our blog.

    As for any kind of blog hop, the cynical side of me and my human, Gary, reckons they can be just an exercise in trying to accumulate new followers. That's probably why Gary and I satirise blog hops, blog fests and anything to do with that ridiculous alphabet challenge. This might also explain, despite our best to be interactive and proactive, our blog site is losing followers. Then again, the number of followers on a site is not an indication of a blog's pupularity, um, popularity, I bark convincingly.

    Pawsitive wishes and doggy kisses,

    Penny xx

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  36. I've been in a few blog hops but never had anyone email me a thanks, that I remember.

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  37. I don't generally do blog hops. Mostly because I forget about them.

    I do respond via email to those that comment on my blog if I can. I know I don't remember to come back to blogs I've visited to see any follow up comments, and I'm sure others don't as well. I don't expect any sort of reply.

    I guess that makes me annoying. Sorry about that.

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  38. Well, you could say that emailing a reply is quite nice. They've taken the time to craft a response to your comment, probably based on the rationale that you wouldn't come back to their blog to see the reply there. I'm friends with a couple of people who do it, like Liz there, but they're still commenting on my blog as well. In terms of meeting new people in a blog hop, I'd definitely prefer they return a comment on my blog!

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  39. I've participating in quite a few blog hops and emailing a reply was never involved. I wouldn't have done it if it was. Too time concerning. I like to reply right on the blog or ~ Forget About It....

    Have a good day Stephanie.

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  40. I don't know the point of emailing a person either. I've participated in a few blog hops now, and I make it a point to visit as many of the participants as I possibly can. I always make sure to visit whoever visits me and I even try to give a personal reply to anyone who leaves a comment on my blog. Outside of that, if the blog is interesting enough, I'll be back. If it's a subject matter that doesn't interest me, it's not likely I'll visit.

    But I will say this. There has already been a few blogs where I've visited, left a comment and have received nothing in return, not even a reply to a comment. If that happens enough to me, I stop visiting the site, even if the subject matter interests me.

    You've got a great blog and I love stopping by for visits. Keep up the great work.

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  41. Wow. This is my first time hearing about "No-reply" blogging...? I too am quite confused. Anyhow, I've never received emails but comments straight on my blog post. And I agree, there's not much you can do with an email reply. LOL

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  42. I made a resolution to meet many new bloggers and to gather my courage to comment. Uh... Don't quite get it. Lol

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  43. Hi dear Stephanie, I am a no reply blogger. Fortunately I get VERY few spam comments, too! I prefer a blogger to "return the favour", as it were, and read and comment on my blog as opposed to responding to me on their own blog. In my experience, even if you do respond to a person not many people have the time to go back and see what you said, as it isn't like a live conversation. I don't respond to the comments on my blog BUT I always return a visit and comment by visiting and commenting on the person's blog. I used to respond to every comment I received on my blog but, to be honest, I was beginning to sound like a broken record so I stopped. I don't participate in blog hops or "memes", I like to have the freedom to do my own thing. I do e-mail a few blog friends whom I have gotten to "know" (not face to face yet), on a more personal basis and sometimes this can be a great help and it is also more private, too.

    For example, if a blogging friend is struggling with depression and I have their e-mail address I may wish to communicate with them on a deeper level in order to help them, if I can.

    This is not to discourage any fellow bloggers or anything, but when I see the blog hop thing I don't bother commenting. As well, if I am going to do any blog hop, I prefer to choose my own blogs to hop on. LOL! :)

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  44. Hi dear Stephanie, I am a no reply blogger. Fortunately I get VERY few spam comments, too! I prefer a blogger to "return the favour", as it were, and read and comment on my blog as opposed to responding to me on their own blog. In my experience, even if you do respond to a person not many people have the time to go back and see what you said, as it isn't like a live conversation. I don't respond to the comments on my blog BUT I always return a visit and comment by visiting and commenting on the person's blog. I used to respond to every comment I received on my blog but, to be honest, I was beginning to sound like a broken record so I stopped. I don't participate in blog hops or "memes", I like to have the freedom to do my own thing. I do e-mail a few blog friends whom I have gotten to "know" (not face to face yet), on a more personal basis and sometimes this can be a great help and it is also more private, too.

    For example, if a blogging friend is struggling with depression and I have their e-mail address I may wish to communicate with them on a deeper level in order to help them, if I can.

    This is not to discourage any fellow bloggers or anything, but when I see the blog hop thing I don't bother commenting. As well, if I am going to do any blog hop, I prefer to choose my own blogs to hop on. LOL! :)

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  45. I do like you do. I get the names, website and follow social media pages of my regular readers. And then I see to it I visit their blogs regularly (except when my internet is down or when I was using my old laptop and it always dies on me).

    I don't know if those who email me with their replies actually get a glimpse of my page. I eventually stop following them.

    I'm guilty of not responding on the comments where they left it (on my page) but I make sure I respond or comment back to their page. :)

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  46. I only comment on the blogs that I find interesting and think I will want to read more of. If the person doesn't reply to me then they tend to drop off my radar. If not, then eventually I will probably join their blog so I don't keep having to go and find them. I love the readership of my blog, so many nice and interesting people and I'm always pleased to see what they have to say and glad to hear from them.

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  47. I only comment on the blogs that I find interesting and think I will want to read more of. If the person doesn't reply to me then they tend to drop off my radar. If not, then eventually I will probably join their blog so I don't keep having to go and find them. I love the readership of my blog, so many nice and interesting people and I'm always pleased to see what they have to say and glad to hear from them.

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  48. I gave up blog hops a couple of years ago when I realized I was spending all my time reading their blogs and no one was reading mine. So why bother! I can spend the extra time doing housework!

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  49. blogging for me is a way of journaling - I make a hard copy of my blog posts through Blog2Book but through blogging I have come across some great people and throughly enjoy reading and commenting on their post. I don't blog hop or respond through email.

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