Losing Connection With Your Blog Readers

As I sit here writing this blog post, many memories and thoughts are racing through my head.

How did I get here?  Where is “here” exactly? How do I have readers, a community, or followers?  Do they trust me?  Do they really know me?  Do I really know them?

I have been blogging for three years now.  Not long in the grand scheme of life, but my blog has evolved somewhat over that short period of time. What was once an outlet and hobby is now a full-time career. A passion still, yes, but a business nonetheless. I feel grateful that it happened that way, but sometimes I wonder if it changed me in the process, or even how I treat my readers.

I have seen bloggers tainted with the disease.  They reach success (by either creating an income from blogging, traveling frequently to media events, launching new communities, etc.), but leave their followers in the dust along the way. They snub their dear fans at conferences or ignore their reader’s emails and comments.  Their loyal supporters are now beneath them, written off.  Forgotten.

Then their community slowly dies. Crickets start chirping in their comment boxes.  They start to lose credibility and respect.  They lose the very reason they started blogging in the first place.

It is easy to do, trust me.  The more fabulous opportunities you start receiving and media events you attend, the less time you have for everything else, including engaging with your audience.  Thing is, you can’t have one without the other. If the balance is off, you and the reader suffers.

This is something I struggle with often.  The last thing I want is to distance myself from my readers, or have them feel disconnected from me. I cannot express enough how much I value my subscribers and loyal fans, many of which are now good friends of mine.

Our readers are not customers.  Instead, they inspire us to write.  To publish our work.  To share with and learn from.

I am what I am today because they lead me here.  They must not be forgotten.

If I haven’t said it enough lately, THANK YOU. Truly. Please approach me. Talk to me. Never stop.

What about you? Do you regularly engage with your readers and followers, or are you a reader or follower of a community and feel left behind?  I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.