Archive for the Category »New To Blogging «

Sample of wordpress dashboard - commentsUntil comments begin to show up, new bloggers often feel like they’re in an echo chamber – talking to themselves.

For some blogs, it can take months before someone comments. For others, a matter of days.

It’s when we feel what we’re sharing isn’t being read, we think of giving up.

After all, blogging is supposed to be interactive.

Today’s Lesson

I feel fortunate that I receive the amount of comments I do. Comments inspire me to continue on. Comments inspire new posts. And via comments I get to meet other bloggers.

But it wasn’t always that way. My audience (or lack thereof) remained silent for quite some time.

I’d publish posts, but no one seemed to care.

But I didn’t give up.

What worked for me were five things.

  1. I visited other blogs and left comments.
  2. Not every blogger reciprocated with comments on my blog, but some did, as did some of their readers. HINT: Comment on new or smaller blogs. Generally, A-list bloggers do not reciprocate comments.

  3. I linked to other blogs, but I did it a little different.
  4. I set up a series which I named, “New Blog Of The Week” (NBOTW) and hunted for new bloggers (usually under four months old). I used Tuesday as my NBOTW day and would write a post showcasing their blog, including excerpts from three of their posts/pages and included links to them.

    This was a slow process, but over time, I began to build my readership, as well as my blog community.

    I’ve discontinued this series, however, the list of 90 blogs remains here.

  5. Another important aspect to receiving comments, ASK questions.
  6. Even if you feel your post is complete, it doesn’t hurt to ask your readers, “Did I forget anything?’, “What are your thoughts on this topic?”, or ____fill in the blank___.

    Give readers a reason to comment.

  7. I answered the comments I received.
  8. Although I occasionally miss comments which show up on older posts, my goal is answer all comments I receive on this blog.

    Unfortunately, due to the amount of spam I receive, I closed the comments on posts older than 90 days.

  9. I asked a comment expert for additional advice.
  10. Liz Strauss, of Successful and Outstanding Bloggers is known for the huge amount of comments she has received over the years so naturally she was the one I approached for advice.

    In a two part interview, I asked Liz, How to Maximize Blog Comments and How To Get Readers To Join Your Community.

    The information Liz shared is priceless.

For some bloggers, comments aren’t important, but for others, they become the real reason to continue on.

Today’s Assignment

What technique(s) do/did you use to entice your readers to comment?

Care to share?

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 The Flinch“Pass it on” is the final assignment in the ebook I read over the weekend.

The book, “The Flinch”,written by author and blogger, Julien Smith is a free download from Amazon.

To complete the assignment, I am passing it onto YOU.

Today’s Lesson

My blogger friend Davina told me about this book and when she forwarded the link to me, I downloaded it immediately. Within the first few sentences, I was hooked.

I knew “the flinch” played a major part in my life and wanted to learn more.

The first words which resonated with me are in the introduction,

This is a book about being a champion, and what it takes to get there. It’s about decisions, and how to know when you’re making the right ones. It’s also about you: the current, present you; the potential, future you; and the one, single difference between them.

It’s about an instinct “the flinch” and why mastering it is vital.

This book is about how to stop flinching. It’s about facing pain.

Now you might be asking, “What does this have to do with blogging?”.

Let me share a few more paragraphs,

Forget secondhand learning. It leaves no scars. It doesn’t provide the basic understanding that sits in the body as well as in the brain. There’s no trace of its passing. It might as well have been a dream.

Firsthand knowledge, however, is visceral, painful, and necessary. It uses the conscious and the unconscious to process the lesson, and it uses all your senses. When you fall down, your whole motor system is involved. You can’t learn this from books. It just doesn’t work, because you didn’t really fall. You need to feel it in your gut – and on your scraped hands and shins – for the lesson to take effect.

But if you’re surrounded by padding, scar-free learning is all you have left. It defines who you are. It limits you, but those limits aren’t actually yours – they’re the limits of the men and women who came before you.

When I read those words, I was reminded of how easy it is to learn blogging from others. How we can avoid making the same mistakes they did, and how we can possibly advance faster in the blogosphere if we follow the lead of fellow bloggers.

But, is that REALLY beneficial? Is it REALLY helpful for a blogger to NOT go through some of the pains associated with trial and error?

I think it’s one thing to learn how other bloggers succeeded, what steps they use(d) to promote their blog, what they think of different blogging issues and to even hear about the mistakes they made, but that’s their blogging journey. Not ours.

To copy what others do (or have done) “may” work for us, however not learning from our own mistakes, could be detrimental to our authenticity.

It could also make us lose sight of other possibilities.

That’s not something I want.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

How do you prefer to learn blogging?

Trough trial and error, including by making mistakes?

Or would you rather fast track your blog and avoid the pitfalls?

Care to share?

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Just as water can extinguish a fire, comparing ourselves to others can dampen our desires.
~Barbara Swafford

I think we can run into problems when we compare ourselves to other bloggers. We might start to think they write better than us or have a better theme than us. We may also see they have more subscribers, commenters, friends, followers, Facebook likes, retweets and/or Google +1’s.

Although we’re aware each blogger starts at the same place; with one blog post, one comment, one subscriber, etc., it’s easy to forget these facts when we’re struggling with slow blog growth.

Today’s Assignment:

I like quotes. In just a few words, volumes are spoken.

The quotes I’m sharing today are ones I think can not only help us in life, but can also help us on our blogging journey.

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
~ Bertrand Russell

When I was a child my mother said to me, ‘If you become a soldier, you’ll be a general. If you become a monk, you’ll be the pope.’ Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.
~ Pablo Picasso

No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.
~ Ansel Adams

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Why should we worry about what others think of us? Do we have more confidence in their opinions than we do our own?
~ Brigham Young

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.
~ John F. Kennedy

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
~ Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Address, 2005

To thine own self be true.
~ William Shakespeare

Today’s Lesson

How do you stay true to yourself when blogging?

Do you have a favorite quote which keeps you on track?

Care to share?

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