Do I have to build a community to be a blogger?

I enjoy writing. But, everything I read about being a blogger says I have to participate in social media, network with other bloggers, allow readers to comment and respond to them, build a community and a whole lot of other things I do not want to do!

Can I be a blogger without communicating with my readers? I don’t want to talk to a lot of strangers!

For some people, having a blog is about two-way communication and community building. But not for me. I have extremely limited communication with my readers. So I know for a fact that you can make money as a blogger without talking to strangers.

Do I have to allow comments on my blog?

You do not have to let people comment on your blog posts.

You can turn off comments on your WordPress blog. Just go to Settings > Discussion.

You really should not allow comments that have not been manually approved. It offers the option of Comment author must have a previously approved comment but I’ve had people write good comments, get approved, then make comments to promote stuff I don’t want promoted on my blog.

If you have Comment must be manually approved selected, the comments are held in the queue. You can see them at Comments. It is right below Pages.

This is where you read comments and decide whether to approve them. Reading blog comments and deciding whether to allow them to show on a page can take a lot of time. It takes even more time if you respond to all of the comments. If you don’t do it regularly, you can have hundreds and hundreds of comments to wade through. Even if you keep adding words to your Disallowed Comment Keys (found in the Discussion settings), you will still have a vast majority of junk.

You don’t have to completely disable comments. You can allow them only on new posts for just a few days. In Discussion settings select Automatically close comments on posts older than 2 days under Other comment settings. That’s what I did for a while. I got fewer spammy comments.

I check my comments rarely and I allow very very few of them. So I may as well have comments turned off.

Do I have to network with other bloggers?

It is up to you. You don’t have to. If you already have friends who are bloggers, it can be helpful to have someone to talk to. But be careful. You don’t want to waste a lot of time networking with people who are just trying to sell you something. And certainly don’t feel pressured into buying what they are selling to “support each other”.

Some people find blogging to be lonely. Some people who start blogs are already lonely. But why not build real friendships with people who share your values?  Spend time with people who have qualities and standards that are a positive influence. Time spent with friends and family of various ages and interests will be more refreshing.

Do I have to participate in social media to be a blogger?

No. You do not have to have Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media account. Some of my blogs have Facebook pages because when I first started actually monetizing my blogs I thought I had to. Even when I was really working it, I did not find that much traffic comes in through Facebook.

Pinterest

I only have a personal Pinterest account. I often pin things I’m interested in, then write a blog post and pin from the post. My blogs get some traffic from those pins.

My blogs have the Pinterest Pin It Button For Images Plugin. Most of the traffic to my blogs comes in through Google, but Pinterest is second. A distant second, but still nice traffic. Nearly all the traffic from Pinterest is from people just pinning things from my site. I do not have to do anything. The traffic from my own pins is a tiny percentage.

Facebook

If you are going to use Facebook to promote your blog, make a Facebook Page. You have to also have a personal account, but all of the posts, comments and photos are separate.

Then invite your friends to follow your page. You can use your personal Facebook page to promote your blog, but if you do it all the time, you will find more and more of your friends stop following you. I snooze accounts that are nothing but promotion.

Conclusion

You do not have to build a community to be a blogger. Most of the people I spend time with don’t even know I write. I do enjoy Social Media, but nearly all of my Friends are people I know from real life. And I talk more about my new puppy than anything else.