So, you’re new to this blogging thing – a newbie – a blogling. Yep, I can see it in your eyes. You have high hopes of soaring stats and ratings through the roof, don’t ya? First of all, let me welcome you to the conversation! It’s nice to meet you. Pull up a chair, let me buy you a cup of coffee. For what it’s worth, let me share a lesson or two that I’m still absorbing. I was just in your shoes just a few months ago.
To start, there are two mistakes I would try to avoid:
- Field of Dreams Syndrome. Take it from someone who lives a cornfield or two away from the Field of Dreams…"if you write it, they don’t necessarily come". People won’t find you if you’re not part of the larger conversation. That sage advice mom gave us when we were kids is still true: "the only way to have a friend is to be one" (I think that’s the second time I’ve quoted mom this week! Yikes!). Join the conversation, comment on posts, check out the blog of someone who commented on the same blog and make another comment. Comment on other comments on the same post. When you join the conversation, people will notice you’re there -"I wonder who that person is?" [click] and they’ll stop by your blog to check out what else you have to say.
- The Elephant Hunt. I understand the temptation. If you "bag the elephant" and get a blogging heavy-weight like Tom Peters, Guy Kawasaki or Seth Godin to mention you or link to you it would be a coup. Good luck with that. I think you’ll find yourself quickly discouraged. I also think that while you’re fixated on bagging the elephant you’re going to miss a whole host of very cool meerkats in the bush. They may not give you overnight stat success, but they know the terrain, they’ll show you around and introduce you to some other great bloggers (who knows – maybe they know an elephant!).
Some of the coolest meerkats in the blogging-bush – bloggers I respect like Mike Sansone, Liz Strauss and Amy Gahran will tell you that blogs tend to grow organically. Look at my Feedburner subscriber chart. It’s the epitome of the principle "slow and steady wins the race". Nope, I’m not taking the blogosphere by storm, but the chart tells me I’ve got a nice steady shower of growth going.
Try this prescription for steady growth:
- Post three to five times a week.You never know which post is going to resonate with people. Don’t think too hard about it. Build a habit and keep posting.
- Build a habit of commenting on different blogs. Start joining different conversations. You’ll be surprised how sprinkling a comment here or there will open up new doors. To find new blogs, check out bloggers’ links, scour technorati tags that are important to you, follow comments and commentors like rabbit trails, or do a google blog search for your favorite keywords.
- Build a list of blogs you really like and hang out there. It should be a manageable list or you’ll get discouraged. Find a handful, read them religiously and comment frequently. Be a friend.
- Follow the golden rule. When people comment on your blog, respond the way you want others to respond when you’re commenting. Post a follow up comment, send a thank you via e-mail, and pay their blog a reciprocal visit complete with a comment or two.
Thanks for stopping by. Let me know how it goes. Why not start now? Leave a comment and join the conversation (I promise to practice what I preach!).