5 Random Thoughts About Blogging After A Local Blogging Get Together

After all the lamentations I’ve made on this blog periodically about how hard it is to get local people to notice your websites or blogs I got invited, last minute, to a local blogging get together in downtown Syracuse. It was a lot of fun, and if you’re interested in my little writeup about the event check it out here on my Syracuse Wiki blog.

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It was a lot of fun and I had a good time. Matter of fact, we all had a good time, so much so that we stayed 30 minutes past when we had planned on leaving, and I was ready to go another hour. I hope some of you get to do such a thing one of these days, as it was as much fun as some of the tweetups I’ve gone to.

Being me, once I got home I decided to look at all of the blogs just to see what people do and how they blog. After doing that, and looking back on the event, and thinking about a question Brian Hawkins was pondering lately about how people perceive what blogs are, I came to some random thoughts about blogging, perception, and reality. I decided to keep it at 5, otherwise we could be here for days. Here are my thoughts; I’d love to hear your impressions about these later on.

1. There’s no one way to blog. Yeah, I already knew that one, but this brought it home. We all live in the same community, some for many years, some for a few. Some of us have shared experiences, as I knew a few of the people there. And yet, each of us has something different to say in many different ways. Our language is different in how we describe things, and how we share our passions are different as well. It’s truly fascinating.

2. Images really do enhance blogs drastically. It was only a couple of years ago that I started adding images to every post of mine and I thought it was just a nice touch. As I looked at many of the blogs from the local people I realized that there’s something about images, especially personal images or images highlighting something folks have done, that makes some posts special. One of these days I’m going to have to figure out how to get myself into more of my images, although the ladies are easily more photogenic than I am.

3. The question about what makes a blogger is hard to answer. All of the people who showed up saw themselves as bloggers. Yet, about 33% of them haven’t written a new blog post in 6 months or so. Does the act of owning a blog make you a blogger, or are you a blogger if you’re actually blogging on some kind of a consistent basis? I’m one of those folks who feels if there hasn’t been a post within at least 3 months you’re not a blogger, but who gives me the right to determine such things anyway?

4. All bloggers need to find ways to communicate better with each other when it comes to comments. Only one of the blogs that I commented on actually sent me something telling me someone had responded to a comment I left. That highlights something I come across on many other blogs, where people sometimes actually have responded to a comment, but their notification system is out of whack thus commenters never know that their missives were responded to. It’s something we all need to check from time to time by leaving a comment on our own blogs, after signing out of course, then responding to it and seeing if you get notification from yourself; uhhh, use a different email address for your original test comment of course. lol If you don’t get a response, you know you have to fix it somehow, probably with a plugin of some sort.

5. When all is said and done, it’s about community. Even folks without a lot of blog posts or comments on their blogs crave a community of some sort, people they can relate to in one way or another. The night of our event it was cold, with wind gusts up to 40 MPH. The lady who put it all together said she was worried only 3 or 4 people would show up because of that, yet a lot of people braved the weather, which was actually worse the next day.

Why should we write blogs? I often say there’s only 3 purposes in writing a blog; to entertain, to inform, or to educate. It turns out there’s a silent 4th purpose; to connect with others. No matter whether you’re writing about food or interior design or poems or short stories or blogging or running or whatever, you’re hoping someone stops by, reads your words, comments or subscribes to what you put out, and at some point maybe talking to that person outside of a blog and, if you’re lucky enough, meeting some of those people in person. I mean, how social can social media get!

Those are my random thoughts; what are yours?
 

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The Fine Line Between Blog Visitors Success And Failure

For the past two years, I’ve wondered one big question over all others; what is it that makes one person get thousands of subscribers versus someone getting a hundred.


by Laurence Simon

It’s an interesting question to look at because, though we know that traffic that’s meaningless isn’t supposed to mean all that much, the truth is that traffic really is the key to everything.

If you want to make money you want traffic. If you want readers to see you as an authority on something so that you’re asked to go and speak to others in person and make money off it, you want traffic. If you’re looking for some kind of validation that you’re words are communicating with anyone, you want traffic.

Something I do that I’m sure others do from time to time is check out what some of the top bloggers are saying or doing that seems to be working for them, then compare what they’re doing with what you’re doing. Hey, you know it’s true.

In my mind, I don’t see lots out there better than what I do. I do see some things much different. I see some people write some fairly technical stuff, but not as many of them. I see some folks who write a lot of nothing and rank better than I do, and I’m not sure how that happens. I see some of the big time bloggers who may write only half the time, allowing others to guest post on their blogs. Heck, I allow that myself, but I don’t have a lot of people who take me up on it.

So, what really makes the difference? I think it has more to do with having some bonafides when it comes to whatever it is you do. For instance, John Chow is a guy who’s made a lot of money online. Truthfully, he’s made a lot of money offline as well. People know that, and it gives him a built in audience before he says word one.

Darren Rowse is the same. When you look at her early stuff you see that he had few commenters. But somewhere along the way he broke through, got advertising, was able to show that blogging could make someone a millionaire, and that was that.

Y’all see this book I’m helping to promote, Beyond Blogging, there to the side. Well, every person in that book is a 6-figure a year blogger. Some of those six figures are more than $500,000 a year. Even if those guys didn’t try to make money by blogging, they’d be making some money from blogging.

I’m not mad at anyone who makes a lot of money blogging. Heck, I’m not mad at anyone who makes a lot of money at anything. What I am, though, is wanting the knowledge to figure out how these folks do what they do. It’s not that they all help each other out. It might have been at one time, but no one would have helped anyone if they hadn’t shown something beforehand.

Also, there’s something about participating in the entire blogging community. The way I believe I’ve helped my subscriber number grow is by commenting on other blogs. There are a lot of new people visiting that I might never have met if I hadn’t visited their blogs. Okay, a big ups has also come from both Sire and Kristi in the last month, so I have to give them some big things as well. But I really believe subscribing to lots of blogs so I have something to comment on has helped greatly.

Commenting on other blogs might provide that big difference between success and failure. Things like running a contest might get you a blip, but most of those people won’t stay beyond the first entry. Truthfully, other than finding not only a niche that will bring a lot of visitors but also finding a way to stand out, I can’t think of anything other than commenting on other blogs that will help generate visitors to come to your blog. Well, maybe writing 10 posts a day; I don’t see that happening any time soon.

What do you think about all of this? Share your thoughts on the topic, and let’s see if we can come up with solutions.

Advantus Decorative Vision Motivational Poster

Advantus Decorative Vision Motivational Poster






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