For those of us who are skipping out on #BlogHer this week, you absolutely have to check out the Summer Blog Social being hosted by Jessica @ 4 Plus an Angel and Liz @ A Belle, a bean & a Chicago Dog. They’ve written up some pretty great prompts to give us all a chance to share our advice and seek the help of others who have more experience (or are more successful in certain areas) in the areas that we struggle with. For example, on Sunday, I shared my thoughts and frustrations with my lack of ability to find consistent Sponsors here. While blogging isn’t about the money at all, showcasing and highlighting featured businesses and blogs is important to me. But, for whatever reason, I feel like I’m once again the high school outcast and I’m not cool enough. Ha.
But today, I am going with a different prompt and sharing a little bit of insight that I hope some of you newbie bloggers who stop by will find helpful and insightful. Everyone knows that Social Media has become the powerhouse of blogging…micro-blogging I think is the term that they’ve coined for it. And it’s quickly becoming the fastest way to grow your blog readership and build your tribe.
Here’s a quick list of things that are sure to get your headed in the right direction with readership and social media connections:
- Stop avoiding Twitter.
I know a lot of people are still wigged out and avoiding Twitter like it’s the Black Plague. The idea that anyone would care what you are doing (in 140 characters or less for that matter), is just beyond conceivable. But let me tell you, as someone who has been there and thought that—NOTHING that I have found will increase your readership or your traffic flow faster than Twitter. It may take some time initially to gain followers, but if you’re consistent with it (and I promise you will be because it’s TOTALLY addicting) you will start seeing that Followers counter climb. People like to communicate. We’re all in this (“this” being life and motherhood and blogging) together. So start tweeting. And re-tweeting. And sending that @ symbol to people to start a conversation. Reply to tweets…just get out there.
- Fix your Commenting System.
If you are still on blogger and you aren’t seeing the comment love that you’d like to see, then you’re possibly still doing one or two things that are driving your readers and possible commenters away. You either A) Have that stupid Captcha thing enabled where you have to type the jumble of letters and numbers that you normally can’t see in a box before you can ever enter your comment; or B) You are using Bloggers default comment system and aren’t replying to your comments because your readers don’t have their emails available.Comments are the fuel behind most everyone’s blogging. We lurve the interaction, the feedback, and the fact that someone thinks what we’ve said is important enough to relish a response. And your fellow bloggers GET THAT, so we want to leave you comments. But when someone reads 100+ blogs per day and comments on ALL of those blogs, we don’t really have time to jump through hoops to tell you something. So make commenting easy.
That being said, when someone takes time to leave a comment (especially when it’s something more than, “I’m stopping by from (insert meme or blog hop here) and I don’t have time to leave a comment worth reading so I am just going to tell you that I was here so that you will come visit me” type stuff) we like to get a response. It we take time to pour some thoughts out on your blog, take time to talk back. This isn’t easily done with Blogger, so if you’re still there, consider installing something like Intense Debate or Disqus to make interacting with your readers easier. And then take the time to respond to those comments.
- Don’t get too big for your blog.
Nothing frustrates me more than a smaller-ish blogger with a Dooce or Pioneer Woman mentality. Having a few hundred followers is great. REALLY great. I’m right there with you in the 550-600 followers range. And I love each and every one of those followers. But, it’s my goal to never reach the point of thinking that I am better than another blogger because of my numbers or that I’m too good to highlight or include another blogger because my blog is a wee-bit bigger. We all start somewhere. And most of us will never be The Pioneer Woman. So show a little love and support for your fellow bloggers. This isn’t high school, and you aren’t better than the rest of us. No matter what you think.
- Highlight other bloggers & give them encouragement & advice.
I think one of the BEST decisions I made with blogging was to incorporate my weekly Spotlight Saturday feature. Every week, as I read all of your blogs, I take notes on the posts that really stand out. Whether they make me laugh, make me cry, or just make me think…if they can stir some sort of emotion deep within me, then they deserve to be acknowledged and shared with the rest of the blogging world. I love to highlight other people. I love to build up my fellow bloggers. Blogging is about community, and communities are built through camaraderie.Likewise, when someone takes the time to comment or email me with a blogging or social media question, I take the time to answer. I do my best to offer them the best advice I can, and send them to different places with BETTER advice if I need to. ENCOURAGE each other. There is enough readership out here to go around.
What tricks have you used to grow your readership and build your blog up?
Using Prompt 5: What activities, practices, features or events have helped you most in terms of blog or social media growth?