Dec 9, 2009

No meme today. I've got things to say.

To follow or NOT to follow... that is the question!
random side note: did you know that the word "meme" is pronounced like cream and describes any "viral" forward or themed writing.  Like a 30 things about me forward...

Let me start by asking this question:  Why do you follow? Why do you comment?

If you are one of those people who are choosy about who you follow... why?
If you are a
lurker... someone who reads a lot of different blogs but never leaves a comment... why?



This is just my guess... I could be wrong... If you are stingy about being a follower, it's likely you don't have too many followers.  If you are stingy about leaving comments and you have a blog, it's likely you don't have too many comments.

This blogging thing is a whole lot like the rest of life.  Call it "karma"... call it "you reap what you sow", whatever you call it, it's the principle of treat others how you want to be treated.

I have a free tip or two if you are a newbie blogger, or you are frustrated by your lack of followers, even though you've been blogging for a year.  I've gleaned these tidbits from places like Speaking from the Crib, and Brent Riggs over at the McLinky Blog . Plus just what I've learned since I started this excitement back in late September.  On October 2nd I started getting annoyed by my 4 followers.  Not because I didn't love them.  I really do.  They were my first faithful friends.  I just wanted more. Who wants to write for 4 people if you aren't getting a grade? 


So, me with my 78 followers and 100 posts would like to share with those of you, who are frustrated by it all, my top 5 blog tips. Please look at those two blogs above and if you have a question - GOOGLE IT! It's amazing what you learn with that search engine!

THE TOP 5 BLOG TRUTHS I HAVE LEARNED IN THE LAST 100 DAYS:
1. Content IS actually important.  People won't visit often if you don't keep writing. If you aren't as naturally hilarious as Speaking from the Crib's Kelly or Martinis or Diaper Genies Amanda or any of those other laugh out loud bloggers, find your niche and keep writing.  People will find you. Don't underestimate the power of the niche.  What am I talking about?  I am not completely sure, but I do find a coincidental similarity in the commenters and followers of many of the blogs I read.

2. Comment often and comment freely.  When I first started, after reading this post at SFTC, light dawned on my vacant brain, it was an AHA moment for me.  This is how I can get more followers? The key is to go visit at least 5-6 NEW blogs a day, read a little and leave a comment. 
Excuses Excuses. Do you have a fear of comment leaving?  Do you feel like you are interupting a private conversation? Do you feel like a dork who is stalking a cool kid? Don't view it that way! Most bloggers put a little part of themselves out there, just waiting until someone affirms or validates them.  BE THAT PERSON.  Don't know what to say? "Just stopping by, found you at..." "This is great, I love the pictures"  "This made me laugh! Thank you!"  It's not rocket science! Generally speaking, I have never been offended or annoyed by someone who has left a comment. Really.  In fact, if someone comments on my blog.  I go and comment right back.  AND I FOLLOW!

3. What does it mean to "follow"? This depends on who you are.  For some, it means you think their blog is cool.  For others, it means you plan on reading their blog on a regular basis.  For me, it means that I want to encourage you to comment, and we all know that most people don't read ALL of the blogs they follow, but what's the harm in that?  We all want to see BIG numbers there, don't we?
Don't be a following scrooge.  I'm not telling you to go out and follow every blog you come across.  If you cannot imagine yourself EVER reading the blog because of the topic or because of the language, then don't follow it.  It doesn't hurt to be discerning from time to time.  My guess is that for every 100 blogs you follow, you may find 1 or 2 that you don't want to follow.

4. Widgets don't always make it better.  From time to time I come across a blog that may have good content, but it takes SO long for the blog to load, I get tired of waiting.  The more links, ads, and fancy widgets you have on your blog, the harder it is to discern WHAT the blog is really about! The first time YOU load your blog up (you do that don't you?), it shouldn't take more that 5 seconds.  I'm not kidding.  Start counting.  If your main content doesn't come up before that... change something.

5. Please, for the love of Mike, get rid of your word verification. I'm not sure what you're guarding against. I have had about 4 random comments in Japenese that I've needed to delete, they were selling something. I'm not kidding. But since I get comment notification, I found them right away and deleted them. No stress.  Please, I love to leave comments, but if I am trying to drop by a bunch of blogs in one day... typing in "farthpee" is going to slow me down (and distract me too). So, click on "Customize" at the top of your page.  Click on "Settings", click on "Comments", now scroll down.  Where it says "Show word verification for comments?" CLICK NO.  Please. Now, while you are there... if you want to know when someone leaves you a comment and would like to reply by email, I would suggest you fill out YOUR email address in that bottom section that says "Comment Notification Email", you will get an email whenever you get a comment.

That's all I have to say.
Please make a difference in a bloggers life. 
Comment and Follow.  
You'll be glad that you did.

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17 comments:

  1. OK OK OK!!!! I will get rid of the "farthpee" but don't come crying to me when you don't get to type words like "titsend" or "pittlewuss"...it's funny and you know it!

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  2. Well said! Your writing just keeps getting better and better! That's why I keep coming back for more.

    This is what I do. Don't sweat the followers. It is nice to have hundred and hundred of people who follow you and be noticed but it is also noticed to be noticed by the same people who comment consistently on your blog. I find myself commenting on the same people's blogs who comment on mine...If they are lurking on mine--then I repay the favor--Only if their blog is worth it..And nine times out of ten the people who leave me comments almost ALWAYS get a comment on their own blog...:)And that's the truth..

    Also keep your posts short...People don't want to read extremely long posts--they have MANY other blogs to catch up on...

    That's all I have to say. And one more thing--YOU ROCK!!! I sense a blog award in the near distant future for you...:)

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  3. LOVE this post. I totally agree! I love to comment on everyones posts. For 2 reasons I think... first being that I was raised to treat others the way you'd like to be treated. The other being that it's extremely hard for me NOT to comment. I'm one of those people who want to put in their 2cents all the time. hehe Plus I'm all for making new friends! Start convos with these awesome bloggers!
    Anyway... great post AJ!

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  4. I only discovered these tips a few months back. They're spot on! Great advice for any newbies out there.

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  5. Great tips! I always cringe when I see the word verification - and sometimes I've probably lost a comment or two I've left because I close the window before I realize the word verification is going to pop up!

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  6. Wonderful tips..

    I enjoy blogging and when I first started I did not have many follower either. Then it started to grow. I just enjoy blogging and meeting new people. I do smile when I get a new follower. I do not read a blog with out leaving a comment. Have a great day.. Come by tomorrow for my Round Robin if you would like..

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  7. SPEAKING FROM THE CRIBDecember 10, 2009 at 9:09 AM

    as always, thanks for the shout out and these are ALL good tips

    i have been thinking about doing another educational post, it is in the draft stage, but i am in xmas mode right now, so it'll be up in the new year

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  8. first off, what a nice mention..thank you!
    here's my deal.
    Commenting is tough and I have SUCH a guilt complex about it. I know I miss people who comment on my blog and I feel so bad about it. I try to follow EVERYONE who comments on MODG. And I comment on those who also comment.

    AAAAAAAh
    no more comment word.

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  9. You've summed it up nicely. And I agree completely w/ One CLuttered Brain.

    ;-)

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  10. Gosh, I thought it was 'just me'. lol, I couldn't agree with you more. I see my stats. At least 100 visitors (not engines) a day...and like 15 comments? WHY??? Why not just write SOMEEEEEthing? Like even...you suck. Gosh!

    I follow blogs that hit me right off the bat as funny, interesting, cool or whatever. Sometimes I wait a couple visits to follow.

    as for commenting...it's VERY rare that I don't comment. And as for word verification. I can't stand it. Slows me wayyyyy down. But then again, I'm not sure I DON"T have it on my blog. lol. I've never thought about it. I must check on that.

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  11. Yup, another good post, AJ. Just another example of why I gave you an award! :)

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  12. I usually leave a comment, even if the person hasn't left a comment on my blog. Not so much for the 'return comment' but because it's a nice thing to do and I usually have something to say.

    I think finding a niche is key too...it's just hard when you're having a sucky day and people come to you for laughs...

    great post!

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  13. I am a comment freak, you know that. Mostly because I like to put my 2 cents in. :)
    But I limit my following because i like to read my peeps blogs, like yours ;).
    I really don't give a hoot who follows me or not. I do feel like it is like life. I like a few good friends, like u:)

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  14. Well put, and thanks for the tips. Great post.

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  15. I think you know that I agree with everything in your post!

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  16. MODG doesn't follow "everyone"! That liar! :)

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  17. It IS all about karma. It's funny - sometimes you write and write and write and you THINK that nobody comes. But then at a party everyone is talking about what you wrote. "why won't you just follow?" I want to ask. It's so odd.

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