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Leo Babauta shares his Blog’s Tipping Point

In the Skribit question widget in my sidebar the number 1 requested post is for me to ask ‘a bunch of pro bloggers what their tipping point was?’ I’ve done just that over the last few days and a few answers have trickled in so far. The first is from Leo Babauta from Zen Habits.

The tipping point came when two things converged for me, early on in the life of Zen Habits (first quarter 2007).

The first thing was that I was gaining readers a bit at a time, until I had a small but extremely positive and encouraging group of readers.

The second was when I realized that they were there not only to respond to my posts and be an audience, but to shape my blog and its future.

By listening to my readers, and having a conversation with them, I was able to figure out what they really wanted, what kinds of posts would be most interesting and useful to them, and to give Zen Habits a character that was not just mine but theirs as well.

update – question submitted by Trent.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Bontb says:

    I like that! Kind of similar starting point like mine was. Focusing now more on Readership then Traffic.

  2. Sandy Naidu says:

    Taking good care of our customers (readers) is the key isn’t it…Making them wanting to come back for more…I have now subscribed to Zen Habits..Read only couple of posts so far but seems interesting.

  3. Rob Brydon says:

    Darren,

    It’s nice to know that you are considering your regular readers.

    Thank you.

  4. Luis Gross says:

    Interaction with your readers can be the best way to gain the trust necessary to build your blog. Positive and prompt responses to reader comments, asking for feedback, and encouraging Ideas and suggestions your readers might have is definitely the way to go.

  5. The big question is “how do you interact with people who don’t interact with you”?

    i often ask my readers questions or prompt them to comment/interact but it rarely gets anywhere. As bloggers we understand the power of commenting on other blogs but does the non-blogger understand the importance of commenting on a site they visit?

  6. Trent Hamm says:

    Awesome! This was my suggestion on the widget!

  7. Muscle Post says:

    This was a great idea! I’m definitely interested in hearing how more A-List bloggers had their tipping point. Keep ‘em coming, Darren!

  8. It seems to me that Leo’s tipping point was probably very similar to most A-listers. Blogs that do not focus on relationships with their readers will not thrive – with few exceptions. Just take a look at Problogger.net, JohnChow.com, etc. You can see the compassion that the bloggers have for their readers.

  9. Tim H says:

    Interesting, however, speaking of feedback, I feel it would be very helpful to know how long it took for you to reach the tipping point.

  10. Oo, good point, Tim H. But I do like Leo’s overall thoughts on community and relationships. Reminds me I’m on the right track, and to continue to involve my readers.

  11. Susan says:

    And not just interactions on line. I’ve had very meaningful meetings with my readers at events, which has led to their being active boosters of my site.

  12. Leo is extremely modest. Giving all the credit to his readers is a very Zen thing to do. Big respect.

    The Daily Minder

  13. GreenTea says:

    I just started my blog about a month ago and so now I understand the sense of community that comes from commenting, whereas I was clueless about it before. I won’t say how few comments I’ve gotten so far because it is zero. Hehe. Anyway, I am taking steps to follow the suggestions in the ProBlogger book to help with that. I discovered Zen Habits a couple of weeks ago and he has obviously done an amazing job….

  14. GreenTea says:

    After my last comment I was thinking, yeah, Zen Habits is such a great site, why am I not subscribed? So now I am!

  15. I think the tipping point will come at different times for different reasons for all of us.

    No matter how it comes, hard work, focus, and dedication to your blog will be the reason it shows up.

    Live From Las Vegas
    The Masked Millionaire

  16. So it seems the secret is that there is no secret. Just keep being creative and provide relevant content. Sounds like fun, I think I can do that and simply enjoy the process :)

  17. Great response. I love Leo and his blog. He does things so different that he’s just himself. The tipping point questions are a great series.

  18. Ryan McLean says:

    I am a zen habits fan and I read his blog almost everyday. This is great to know that I make a difference to the content on the site.
    Hopefully I can see some success just like leo has