When someone tells you good morning, you feel obligated to return the greeting. The same goes when someone opens a door for you or gives you a complement. It’s a gut-reaction. Studies suggest that this response is ingrained in all of us as a natural impulse. Think of it as a human default setting like Calibri font in Microsoft Office (Times New Roman is so much better). It’s called the rule of reciprocation.
The rule is simple: Reward kind actions with kind actions. So essentially it’s like the Golden Rule–or Karma. If you do good things, good things will be done unto you.
Example of the rule in action:
A salesperson offers you a free sample. You feel innately obligated to purchase the product.
A coworker buys you a present, so you buy her one in return.
It applies to every aspect of our lives, both personal and professional. So it goes without saying that it applies to your writing life.
Do you feel obligated to review someone’s book because they reviewed yours?
Do you follow someone on twitter or WordPress because they followed you?
Social media is a great example of how the rule applies. Have you ever noticed that the people you follow on twitter typically follow you back. Likewise, if someone follows you but you fail to follow them back, they usually unfollow you within several days.
To be honest, I don’t follow everyone who follows me just to keep more followers. If they unfollow me, they weren’t the type of follower I wanted anyway. I’d rather build my platform slower but have genuine followers who are interested in what I have to say. Those followers are more likely to purchase my books.
The same goes for blogging. Do you comment simply to have a presence on another blog? Or do you comment because you genuinely have something to say about a post?
So what kind of blogger are you?