From the mail bag:
I’ve read your book (it’s funny) [Thanks!] and I also come by and read your blog on occasion. I have a question for you. Can you remember back in August, 2006 when you first started your blog how you generated readers, people to leave comments on your blog?
Yes indeed: the trick is to read other medical blogs, comment thoughtfully and appropriately (making sure your comment links to your blog; be sure to fill in the “website” field of the comment, after “name” and “email”), and use topics of mutual interest as they arise to generate thoughtful and appropriate posts of your own. The medical blogosphere functions as a community in every sense of the word. The only way to get anything out of it is through what you put into it.
Bear in mind, of course, that it was a lot easier to do that 5 years ago, as there were far fewer blogs. Perhaps a few dozen of us were fairly regular readers/contributors to each others’ blogs. KevinMD was and still is a huge presence. Contributing a guest post there (he solicits them) guarantees a lot of eyes on at least one post. If it’s interesting enough, people will click through to your blog.
If I may be so bold as to quote myself, always follow the Dinosaur’s blogging rules:
- Write well.
- Say something.
- Mix it up.
Linksmanship matters. Think Goldilocks: not too much, not too little.
Remember too that not everyone is cut out for blogging, especially over the long haul. I and many other bloggers tend to go through cycles of more prolific blogging alternating with leaner times. Personally, I’m in the latter phase, in that I really haven’t been keeping up with my blog reading at all for at least 6 months now. My posts are relatively few and far between, and don’t engage with other bloggers and topics of common interest the way they used to. But that’s okay; people change, and blogs come and go/wax and wane.
Bottom line is that the way to have a lively, interactive blog is to be lively and interactive. Telling patients about a blog and posting about it on Facebook just doesn’t cut it.
Hey, that was pretty good. Maybe I’ll make this a blog post.