I have been blogging for close to 1.5 years now. I’ts been an amazing journey! I have discovered some hard but vital truths towards mastering the art and trying to become successful in my craft. I am persuaded that writing is a gift given to me by God. In January of 2015 I became brave enough to act out on my calling. It was NOT easy by far to develop a reading audience whom I could effectively reach, minister to and share my experiences. Within the first 365 days I was extremely discouraged, felt like quitting and often times did. By the close of the year I found renewed hope with just 18 followers of which I knew only three or four were truly reading.
I have read my share of articles on how to grow traffic to your blog site. I think those I have encountered eliminated some harsh realities that cannot be overlooked if you are one with hopes to increase your readership. So here are my 2 cents on the Essence of a True Blogger.
1) Bloggers cannot be selfish! If you are spending 100% of your time writing and are not stopping to appreciate the work of your fellow bloggers, you are setting yourself up to fail. Successful writers are also readers. Carving out time in your day to read the work of other bloggers is essential. I do this most days and have created a list of my favorite bloggers so that I don’t miss their most recent posts. I try to aim for 15-20 minutes daily if I can, but never go more than a week without stopping to consider the work of others. I find that I also become encouraged, discover something new or even run across something that makes me laugh. It is all so timely! My daily medication indeed! You say you don’t have time? What if your followers consistently said the same? Make the time!
2) Bloggers must follow other Bloggers! If you are advertising your blog to just your family and friends and think they are automatically going to support you, think again! I am connected to nearly 500 people on Face Book alone and WordPress counts those you are linked to on social media as “Followers”. That is such an inflated number! Out of those nearly 500, again only a few visit and really support my blog. People live in a microwave society and I believe the love for reading is becoming a dying passion in this current generation. A microwavable society we live in for certain where people want things fast and don’t have time for a 10 minute good read. Hook up with like-minded people which are other bloggers who are crazy about reading and writing. Most will be strangers but not for long! I have met some really cool people in this little blogging world of mine! They follow me and I certainly follow them back!
3) Don’t get the big head as a Blogger! I have noticed that some bloggers reach a level of success with their audience then forget their humble beginnings. They won’t read other blogs, are constantly encouraging you to read other articles they have written by sharing a link with you, won’t respond to a comment and won’t follow back. This one is my pep peeve. I don’t expect every blogger that visits me to automatically follow me back but there is a certain level of blogging etiquette that should just be! If someone takes the time to read, like and then comment to something you have written, show your appreciation by responding. It’s just the right thing to do! I vow no matter how many followers I accrue that I will never forget how I felt 365 days after starting and still having such a minimal audience. Today I am truly grateful and will forever remain!
If you are wondering why you can’t build an audience ask yourself, are you a selfish blogger? This thing is about give and take. You can’t get absorbed in your own agenda with tunnel vision! None of us can reach success without one another.
If we remain selfish in our pursuit as writers I think we set ourselves up for failure ultimately. A good writer must read! If we are not reading (or at least acting like we are by pushing the like button periodically for others) then what are we truly doing here?
Just food for thought and some REAL TALK!
Remember that encouraging sound coming from your cellular device with a notification that some one began following you, left a comment or liked your post? Those were the sounds that initially gave us motivation to just keep writing. Someone still needs that and you need to keep providing it! We write for others so don’t forget them in your journey towards creative success.
We may not agree on each other’s written dialect, traveled paths or faith choices but our connecting commonality is our undeniable gift of creativity and passion. With a thought and stroke of a pen (or keyboard in most cases), we conjure up inspirations for others to consider. We owe it to one another to support this artistry and not get the big head when we feel we have “arrived.”
Think on these things and share if you find relevance. That is all I have to contribute to this matter. Now run share that…