A lot of people on my dash seem to feel disheartened by the lack of asks they receive.
While it is good to communicate how you feel every now and then and that it is completely understandable to feel dismayed at the lack of response from other people when you reblog an ask (it happens to me too!), it’s not very effective motivation to call people out on their ‘failure’ to send asks. A gentle nudge, a gentle reminder that we appreciate receiving asks is great. But.
Here’s the thing. No one is obligated to send you anything. In the end this is all for fun. No one likes being guilted, so let’s not play the blame game. Instead of going at length about that, here’s what I think:
I DO think it’s common courtesy to send someone an ask before reblogging (I certainly do it, and make an effort to choose questions that might be interesting/challenging) but it isn’t necessarily a requirement.
It’s a two way street. You may be doing things that put people off, and I’ll tell you what and how you may improve interest from other people.
1. Make your characters accessible.
Here is the number one thing that personally stops me from sending asks for more people, or responding to some asks. I don’t know anything about some of your characters. I know some off the top of my head, but for people I don’t know very well, sometimes I’d like to get better acquainted. Then I get to their blog. No links to profiles. No links to character tags. I don’t even know the character’s full name, so I can’t even look it up on lodestone. I have no face to put to a name. I don’t even know what race this character is.
People are curious. Let them be curious, but point them in the right direction! Put stuff about your character where people can easily see, on your sidebars/links. I have encountered interesting characters just by reading before sending an ask.
2. Don’t reblog 50 ask memes in a row.
As fun and as tempting this is to do, a stranger going to your blog and seeing nothing but reblogs is… off-putting. It’s hard to approach someone you don’t know so well. It’s much easier to send asks to a blog with a personality, which brings me to my next point.
3. Original content makes your characters attractive.
Maybe you like drawing your character. Maybe you’re good at taking screenshots. Maybe you’re good at edits. You don’t even have to be good at visuals per se. You can write drabbles. Or maybe you have a wicked sense of humor involving your character and you can make memetastic content. Go for it. People will be curious. People will get to know you and have a better idea how to approach you. Put your heart into it, show people who your characters are, what they like, little scenes of their lives. People like stories, so tell them a story.
Put you and your character out there, and people will recognize you. People won’t know anything about you or your character if you don’t take this step.
4. Don’t JUST send asks. Talk to people.
Sending asks is only ONE part of the give-take. Get to know the people around you. IC and OOC. Sometimes sending asks isn’t enough. If people have only seen a name a couple times, interacting with them to send one symbol and disappearing, never to speak to them again, it’s not a memorable thing. Talk to the people around you. Befriend them. Get to know THEIR characters. Show interest in theirs, outside the ask box, on a more personal level and with luck, they’ll show interest in yours. Have fun with other people, share silly things you do with them. It helps. It’s easy to want 328490 anon asks, but it’s also very satisfying to receive asks from friends who understand your character.
5. Reblog the 'correct’ kind of ask meme.
You’re free to reblog any ask meme, just understand that if the topic is not one other characters can relate to easily, people aren’t going to send you asks. If it requires intimate IC knowledge of a character, it’s difficult to send asks to you. If you want a wider audience, here’s a litmus test: reblog memes that you can easily send to a stranger without shame. You don’t really want to send one like [MY OC DIES IN YOUR OC’S ARMS] especially if that sort of a thing only elicits an IC reaction when your character personally knows them. Speaking of which, people usually love memes that have your characters gauge theirs. Sometimes you’d be surprised to know your character may feel antagonistic or attracted towards someone else’s. Or even ones that ask your character questions without putting their own character in it, to see yours have a fun reaction. It’s a two way street, and if it’s fun for them to read, chances are they’d love to come back and send you more.
6. You have 50 characters.
This isn’t a bad thing but this is related to points 1 & 3. It’s hard to get to know and remember so many characters. You might wanna put one in the spotlight if you really want to maximize interaction. I have difficulty getting attention for my alts but that’s because I personally hardly produce content for them. I love my alts, and I want people to know them, and I’m sure some of you do as well, but realistically, if you want equal attention on your characters? You need to put equal effort into posting about them.
7. Sometimes people won’t send you anything.
THIS IS THE REALITY OF LIFE. Sometimes you’re SUPER into a set of questions that people are coincidentally not. Maybe they’re busy. Maybe your reblogged it at a weird hour. Maybe they’re feeling shy. In any case, this happens. If it does, move on. Don’t dwell on it. You’ll only feel worse.