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The importance of having comments

When I started to write this blog almost two years ago, the main motivator for me was to connect to people and tell them about sake. That time I didn’t know much about it (not that I know everything now) but I wanted to share my passion, my interest and help everyone discover this beautiful drink.

Slowly but steadily, the readership of my blog started to grow. If in the beginning, I had a few people a month checking out my blog, now it’s usually a few hundred. It’s still a long way to go to make it a popular blog, but it’s still a niche topic and I don’t expect tens of thousands of people visiting my blog just yet. However, I, of course, want my readership to grow as fast and as much as possible.

One thing I really lack here is good interaction with my audience. In order to improve my posts and write about things interesting for my readers, I need more feedback. Comments under my posts would be a very good way to see if my audience likes what I am doing and whether you feel that the topics I choose are covered enough in any particular article.

Another way to interact with me is to sign up for the email list. Currently, I use it in two ways. First, I send updates about new posts I publish. I try to write regularly, but alas, time and other constraints make it less often than I would like. So it’s not like you know that every Thursday I publish a post. In this situation, an email notifying about an article could be very useful if you like what I write.

We are going to Japan in November and I will write about the things we do, the places we go to and the people we meet. I can’t promise to do it every day but it will be a feature of my blog for some time after we return. I want to let people know about good places to drink sake, eat, relax and have a good time. So if you want to read about it, it makes a lot of sense to subscribe now.

Another way I use the email list is to let my subscribers know about events I organise. So far my wife and I put together two events. The first one, a year ago, was good but the recent Tsukimi Sake Drinks were particularly successful. So we have plans for more events in the future. They will be around various topics, not necessarily only about sake. But all of them will have a sake element.

We had very good feedback about the Tsukimi Sake Drinks, but it would be great to have some reviews under the post about it. Also if you didn’t make it for any reason it would be interesting to find out what you think about it judging by the write-up, Again, it would be great to have more subscribers to be able to attract more people to the upcoming events.

However, there is a third way I want to use the email list. I would like to have direct interaction with my subscribers, to be able to ask them what they think about my ideas about new posts, topics and events. This kind of feedback is always invaluable.

I have recently had a short conversation with one of my subscribers who is also a friend. She mentioned a very interesting and valuable thing. She said that my posts are very interesting for her as she’s interested in sake and know a lot about it. However, she was not sure if they are attractive to those who don’t know about the topic at all.

And it’s exactly what I needed to hear! It’s very easy to fall into this trap and write for a narrow audience of people who know a lot about the subject. But it was not the purpose fo this blog. It was, on the contrary, intended to tell a story about sake for those who probably never drank it (like me a few years ago) and probably don’t even think about trying it.

This comment has made me rethink the whole concept of my blog getting back to the roots so to speak. I have a list of topics for my future posts (like a sort of an editorial plan) and I am now looking at them under a completely different angle. So you see how important good feedback can be.

I am sorry if I bored anyone with this long post. But I would like to make a plea. Please leave your comments under the articles, they are so important for me. Please subscribe to my email list if you haven’t done it yet. And please, get in touch with me any other way if you have comments, ideas and suggestions. Together we can make this blog more interesting, attract more people and spread the word about sake to a larger audience.

Sugidama Blog



Alex is a London-based sake blogger, podcaster, IWC Sake judge and sake advocate. He is a publisher of the Sugidama Blog website and a host of the Sugidama Podcast. Alex has an International Kikisake-shi (Sake Specialist) qualification from SSI (Sake Service Institute). He sees his mission as expanding the awareness of Japanese sake among as many people as possible and helping the growing community of sake lovers to bring together beautiful Japanese sake and non-Japanese food as a way to build a better understanding between our cultures.

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