But Everybody’s Doing It

This happens not to be how I view my blogging but this metaphor is built into every one of our blogs. You’ve all done sales. Every time you’ve recommended a book, movie, or restaurant, you were doing it. And every referral of yours that someone’s followed through on showed either your delivery was good or the product sold itself. Well, here you are self-employed as a blogger, your currency not dollars and cents but time. So why isn’t your blog growing as you’d like?

1. They don’t know you’re there.
I’ve seen you put up 800, 1200 impassioned words and I’d love to see you earn more than four likes. You obviously care about your blog. It looks good. You’re open for business. But it sure is quiet. If your livelihood were at stake, what would you have made sure to do before the Grand Opening and kept up? Right, advertise. I didn’t think this needed to be said again but are you visiting and engaging bloggers? Do better than I did. When I stepped out on WordPress, it was just my nose pressed to my words. I didn’t know to look up. Twenty-one months later, giving to get is how I neither blog nor live but if you’re offering decent material, Natural Cyber Law says you should enjoy some support back.

2. But they’re not buying.
There is a sense in which we’re all peddling our blog and asking passersby for their time. Our FOLLOW ME button betrays us in this hope. If your business plateaus, what do you do? The question really is what should you do differently? You change the marketing, move, rethink your niche or product. The product would be the last thing you touch in blogging because there are so many of us out here that a decent presentation should connect you with like-minded viewers. Through the wide range of topics I have covered, my offering comes down to my writing. My product – though I wrinkle my nose to say it that way – is every word I lay as carefully as a mother does her newborn in his cradle. If the idea of sales is too crass for you as it threatens to be for me, think of sponsorships. Sales is really the business of eliciting support for merchandise, service, or information, and sponsorships seek patronage usually on a larger scale or for artistic enterprises. Whether small or big, quantitative, or qualitative, patronage is payment in various forms for work considered worthy. In blogging, what you’re asking of us is our time. You either convince us you’ll make it worth our while or you don’t.

3. There’s nothing in it for them.
Remember, you’re not filling a private journal but seeking an audience. You scribble away zealously. You really want to write this, share that. But will it grab us? If you were someone else and stumbled on your blog, would you be impressed? Would you follow? I’m not talking about subscribing to your own blog to raise the count. I’m asking if you’d find any amusement, entertainment, beauty, insight, inspiration, intrigue, laughs, provocation, stimulation, information that’ll make you want more on that blog. Leave you actually looking forward to more.

171 thoughts on “But Everybody’s Doing It

    • I can try to offer something in my next visit but the answers would be in my other posts on blogging. =) Tap any title to open up the sidebar and see BLOGGING under MY TOPICS. Thanks for being here, J.

      Diana

  1. Yet perhaps, Diana, not everybody is doing it for the same reason. πŸ™‚ Having spent decades in Marketing related roles, I get your message, from a business perspective. My sense, however, is that there are plenty of bloggers who are writing and sharing what they choose simply because they enjoy being a messenger. They’re not in this for the statistics, the follows or quantitative relevance. They appreciate having a forum in which to express, vent, inspire or whatever is their qualitative goal.

    Indeed, bloggers appreciate feedback and that outcome is (as you point out) often directly related to their “product.” But I would proffer that if a blogger’s primary intention is to grow a fan base, they may well be in the game for a misguided reason. If on the other hand, they generate thought, significance, and meaningful connections — even with a relatively small number of readers, then that may be the measure by which they regard their humble efforts as successful.

    • Hi Eric. I think that with you, it’s not when I’ve done something right that I hear from you but otherwise LOL. Eric, there is a reason I introduced the post as I did. It is actually difficult for me to approach my work from the point of sales. You might as well be talking about my trying to peddle my baby. At the same time, there is a mechanical and quantitative aspect to blogging literally built into its machinery. I have yet to see a blogger remove his Follow Me widget, and the majority leave their likes counter up. My deeply personal and artistic journey here slowly caught up to the business side of blogging (though it hasn’t entirely) where I acknowledged that we all would rather be speaking to 5,000 people than 50. I say all because those who don’t have turned their blog private.

      “thought, significance, and meaningful connections” My readers well know this is exactly what I’m about. I also have shared not long back that I’ve come to see we CAN have it all. There is no reason for the competition between quality and quantity. And I was hoping to remind people that they connecting is precisely what they want to do, not just write to empty their heart. I embrace every word you share because they’ve defined much of my blogging. I simply wanted to present what might be a fresh perspective to those who’ve been struggling to get off ground and have asked me for guidance. Thanks, and the best to you in the new year.

      Diana

      • And a thought filled and fresh perspective you have shared. Well. πŸ™‚ You and I are, I believe, on the same page; simply addressing the subject and related value from different perspectives. I fully appreciate yours, too. Much the same re: kind wishes returned for the new year, Diana.

    • “But I would proffer that if a blogger’s primary intention is to grow a fan base, they may well be in the game for a misguided reason” That is your opinion and one not shared by many that use social media to be read… also I find it funny when people say comments like yours and READ blogging related articles. If you are indeed here just to share your message why read and comment on posts such as these? Ever consider that? -OM

  2. Have to agree, D. I know, for example, that I could do much more in marketing. It does not happen to be my favorite activity. I’ve worked slowly, allowing my blog to grow naturally as people check in and decide they like it. But I do work hard on my blogs, just as you do. I want them to be well written and mistake proof. I don’t always achieve these objectives, but I try. I also devote considerable attention to photography, as much as I do to writing. Hopefully, it shows. I enjoy all of the people I follow and try to check in regularly and comment meaningfully. I consider it fun, but I also consider it a responsibility. It’s how we live in the blogosphere. The challenge is, how does one find all of the time? Still, I shall make it a New Year’s resolution to market more. –Curt

    • Hey Curt, you know, I’m really pleased to hear this from you. Precisely for the work you put into both your writing and photography. I’ve seen that you take your content and presentation seriously, both of which I have to say beg a large readership for the quality. I also know you put forth the rest of blogging (on other sites) with integrity. With bloggers like you, it isn’t so much WHAT you put out at this point, but whom and how many you engage, to be frank. I can’t tell you what a pleasure it’s been to get to know you this year, esp through the RACE. Thanks again for the faithful support and give Peggy a hug from me and T, and happy new year.

      D.

      • Yes, it’s been fun D. Who would have ever thought that such good friends could be made over the Internet. It has been a plus I wasn’t expecting. I also love the way it spreads out. I’ve come to really enjoy Timi in Nigeria, for example. And we met on your blog. So a happy new year to you and T as well. I am looking forward to continuing the journey. –Curt

    • You sold me … A like and a comment ! … wondering what you’ll do to sell me on the follow πŸ˜›

      Seriously though, there seems to be a tranche of hardcore blog facists who promote not promoting or marketing themselves as “THE way” to blog … just meh! really … perhaps in days of yore it was enough to write intellengent spam like they do, but times I feel have changed, maybe the door is now open for real creativity πŸ˜€ perhaps not … who am I to predict the future … the great Don Charisma isn’t omnipotent …

      ANYWAY – good on you for calling it like it really is … and banging on my door, you have my attention πŸ˜€

      D

      • Since you brought it up again, I have to remind you that you’ve followed…TWICE. πŸ˜› LOL. (Whisper: you don’t make others work so hard for your follow. Why you expecting it of me? *tease* Remember, I call it as I see it. It’s all good. I hope. ^ ^)

        Well, this really would make for a longer dialogue that neither of us really has the time for. I was actually of the facist persuasion, D. And I still have my feelings on some of the methods powerbloggers and aspirants use out here…(Endorsing those methods was not what I was doing in this post.) I THINK which is partly the reason that despite our past disagreements, JC has on more than one occasion surprised me with the public compliment of “pure blogger” for the kind of blog I have built.

        What I was doing here was simple. Pointing out the marketing that is literally built into the engine of blogging, and drawing out the implications of the fact that no one is removing his “Follow Me” button from the front page.

        Thx for the props. I’ve been over at your place (esp since you tapped me twice :P) and receive the honor of the quasiomnipotent DC’s steps on my doorway.

        Diana

      • There was over 500 comments on my blog yesterday, occasionally I lose track … long story short this one “slipped through the net”

        I couldn’t see a reply link on your reply to my comment, so dunno how this will read here – hopefully not like I’m having a conversation with myself … still at least I’d have good company if I was πŸ˜€

        I don’t keep score of who followed who, how often etc … I think we’re all free to follow or not follow based on personal choice … I do find all that a little petty considering a trained monkey with an internet connection could anonymously follow my blog … in it’s basics it’s simply an RSS feed that we’re following …

        So entirely teasing you over the “how ya gonna sell me a follow” πŸ˜€

        I’ve also seen those who I thought were “loyal” subscribers unfollow, and often refollow later on. My conclusion, it matters not to me, they are free to choose based on what’s currently going on for them. They are still friends, happy with following or not following doesn’t matter. Friendship is of import to me more than keeping scores.

        The old school fascist blogger who somehow thinks that visits and subscribers will apear by magic out of the blue, purely based on “skill”, is living in days of yore. It might have been like that on WordPress years ago. BUT Blogging went social some time ago, and the map is constantly changing. Blogging is becoming more like other social networks not less. And the powers that BE in WordPress are pushing it hard in that direction, because it’s what’ll eventually be the success or failure of WordPress in the long term.

        I’m not even sure who out of OpinionatedMan or I first followed each other. All I care about is the fact that I made a friend, and a mentor who’s always been very gracious and helpful towards me. He is a “powerblogger” a word he invented as far as I know. You’d have to ask him if he’s an aspirant, that I don’t know. Bottom line for me is his talent is not just building his audience, he knows people and knows how to get a blog REALLY buzzing. SOCIAL MEDIA, not blogs in a vacuum. He’s also very open about his methods, which do involve speculatively following people, from what I understand.

        My point – OpenMan is progressive and innovative – he’s actually creating new shit that wasn’t there before, a leader and a hero in my eyes. He’s not sitting around bitching that no one visits his site, and that they should based solely on his talents, and bitching that other bloggers are spammy. And not relying on lightly buttered slices of intelligent spam to be a “good” blogger. He MAKES things happen. He MAKES NEW things happen. And he makes things happen whilst promoting what he’s doing, marketing what he’s doing and getting others involved in the social side which helps *ALL* concerned. A REAL blogging leader. JC is awesome, basically πŸ˜€

        Things rarely stay the same, change happens. My view is to go with the flow to certain extent, but also to create what’s happening too. This can’t be done with insisting that things should be how they were in the past, or insisting *anything* of one’s subscribers, subscribers are free to do whatever the heck they like. Change leaves the one’s who don’t change behind.

        So this is why I reblogged your post and support your message. You’re encouraging people to really shine at blogging, through being honest about what’s actually occuring. What saddens me most about blogs that get no visits, is that the blogger never gets the chance to shine and share their gifts. And this is why I do for instance events, allowing others to guest blog for me. Help them promote and market themselves, so THAT THEY CAN REALLY SHINE.

        It gives me a real kick to see someone create something awesome, something they’ve fully engaged their passion and enthusiasm into. And I know that I REALLY enjoyed the experience when Jason gave me the chance last year, so assume others would feel the same way. Win-win. Collaborative promoting and marketing.

        DC

      • “So entirely teasing you over the β€œhow ya gonna sell me a follow” :D” Well, you did ask twice. He he.

        You do realize you wrote a post here, don’t you? You speak – with the panache of the great Don – a lot of my own thoughts on blogging, some which I’d planned to write not long in the future.

        “I’m not even sure who out of OpinionatedMan or I first followed each other.” LOL I know neither of you remembers.

        This wasn’t the first time I was real nor the first where I’ve encouraged readers to reach deep into themself and high for the bar. As J’s done for many, so I have my own stories in working with him and he’s actually the reason I have paid it forward and nudged guests and others out of the starving artist syndrome to the wealth that is theirs as a blogger. The win-win is what I love about blogging. What goes around really does come back, though not always through the same person (I NEVER expect that, and have met my share of ungrateful people out here). Even this wk, J PRed me, you PRed him, he reblogged you, I followed and came to you, you liked what you saw, etc.

        I know we’ll talk again. The best to you, D.

        Diana

      • Wasn’t aware my requests were being counted, or that the count measured something specific … must be something doesn’t compute in my male brain ! … and as I recall one was in a comment addressed to you personally and the other was in the reblog comment as to everybody else … so only really once my dear OR reiterating the same thing as to highlight for others πŸ˜€

        And yup, do realise it’s a whole post … maybe I’ll blog it later, been chillaxing a bit today, yesteday was v busy … Probably have to rewrite a little, as otherwise I’d have to explain the context …

        For me it’s just people getting along and helping each other … I do what I can within the constraints and commitments, because I enjoy the social side … but I have had to develop some boundaries for those who actually just want something for nothing … all I’m asking now for Team Charisma World People is people actually comment on my blog … that way I get a chance to know them a little first and helps me to know what they’d like to guest blog about and how they like to interact with others (and me) … So even that could be argued I’m doing for them, as it takes up my time and effort to respond …

        A kenyan guy I just accepted, he’s such a enthusiastic personality and writes so beautifully, I could hardly say no … I can feel his enthusiasm through his words … he tells me he’s only been writing a short while.

        I love that you’re a lady blogger, and don’t seem to be in a constant battle of the sexes … *yawn* boring that’s so last decade ! … would love to see more lady bloggers being progressive, and breaking free of the old mould … it’s what could make WordPress.com super awesome, instead of just plain awesome πŸ˜€

        Glad Jason’s been a mentor to you too, he’s a good guy I’m sure of it … even sent me a comment from the poolside in Florida drinking a beer … crazy !

        I’ve nicknamed him OpenMan because it’s easier to say than AOpinionatedMan πŸ˜€ … don’t tell him that though !

        Happy New Year

        D

      • “all I’m asking now..is people actually comment on my blog …even that could be argued I’m doing for them, as it takes up my time and effort…”

        You’re also generating more comments on your board. =) But it’s always more work anytime we open up our blog to anyone. We’re allowed to set whatever parameter we wish. My current policy is guests by invitation only.

        If you’re able to crack open a moment in your busyness for a post on the topic. One of the few I closed comments on, not very long:

        https://holisticwayfarer.com/2014/12/09/i-enjoy-stripping/

        I have neither time nor patience for battles out here. Feminists can yell all they want on WP. In that time, I’m working on my art (that is, writing) and my blog.

        I wouldn’t call him MENTOR. He did graciously invite me into his space and free me to do my thing. But I hAve learned things watching him, as I observe other powerbloggers and aspirants. ^ ^

        No obligation to tie up this thread w/ a response ribbon, DC.

        HW

      • Ah, whoops, am I hijacking your thread ? … sorry about that !

        Tried to say similar to a couple of people regarding conciseness of writing … and yes in a world of ideals, I’d like to say more in less myself … just often takes longer to write less … Poetry is an emerging skill for me … do my best with my modest skills …

        Props on the battles, we’re all just people aren’t we ? … had one reader in huff today, difference of opinion, that’s life … egocentric loners I don’t really need following my blog anyway … dead weight …

        Anyway, I’ll bid you adieu … I’ll drop you a follow, who knows maybe we’ll become friends, stranger things have been known πŸ˜€

        D

      • I’m waiting for a THUNK a hunk of a wow post from DC – FROM DC (not quotes) – to leave my trail of spare comments under. =)

        “who knows maybe we’ll become friends,”
        Looks like we’re on our way….

  3. I spent the first few years blogging away without realizing there was such a thing as Reader! Engaging with other bloggers has made not only a big difference in how many people visit my site, but has also introduced me to some great people to exchange ideas with.

    Primarily, I write out of a deep personal need to find words for the ideas that fester until I find a way to express them and also for sanity. The added gift of sharing with, and getting to know others was unexpected. I am most grateful!

    Just as I reached the end of your post I received my end year Word Press report with cumulative statistics for 2014 via email.

    Happy New Year!

    • “but has also introduced me to some great people to exchange ideas with.” Awesome, right, Deb? It’s such a great (even beautiful) exchange, that we get as much out of the interaction as we hope to offer. And yes, I didn’t know what the hec the Reader was for a good while. I know why and how you write, D, and I also know that you esp in that need wouldn’t want to be talking to the wall. LOL. Who does??? It’s been good to see you able to connect with like-minded thinkers. Yes, the annual was awesome. I shared with some friends. -)

      Happy new year,
      D.

  4. That is great advice! I can’t think of anything I’d add. Have fun, I suppose. People need to enjoy what they’re doing. I know a few people who are absolutely miserable about blogging. LOL, well then change something to make it more fun or else stop! I’ll read just about anything except a post about how miserable you feel because you HAVE to blog, as if that is my fault or something πŸ˜‰

  5. I had no intention of marketing when I started blogging–still don’t. I know several who post articles, recipes and still try to blog for pay too. I have not found even one blogger successful at all those efforts. I blog for myself and maybe my family, but I’ll admit I would like for people to read. I understand that most are not interested in what I blog– just a fact of life. As soon as they see a religious topic, or even a religious application to a memoir they check out.

    • “but I’ll admit I would like for people to read.” Beth, this is everyone’s hope on WPress. Or they wouldn’t be here. So no one whose blog is public writes just for self and family. I have nudged you out there but I guess you haven’t sighted the colossal sea of Christian bloggers on WP??

      • I have read and commented on Christian blog sites. We do communicate. But for some reason the Christian bloggers are not as aggressive as those who use four letter words, lewd pictures or hard rock music. I had one rather aggressive blogger to write me saying, “Why don’t you publish what people want to read?”

        I had helped her a bit with a post or two when she asked for help, but she repaid me by saying my character study or spiritual growth lessons stunk. I have to admit that was discouraging to be judged as valueless.

      • She obviously didn’t share your worldview, Beth. She clearly is not the kind of person you’re writing for. She isn’t sitting there thinking of you today so you need to shake her off your radar (I know I’m the one who brought her to mind.) Actually, I can name several proactive Christian bloggers off the top of my head. Keep on.

        D.

  6. Great end of the year reminder, thanks! I haven’t kept up with weekly posts on my blog because I felt I had to make some changes and learn a lot more about the world of blogging. I’ve committed every DO NOT… on the blogging list and I went from enjoying the learning process of blogging to being worried about what I was and was not doing correctly.
    I’m not interested in having a large number of people click the “follow” button if my material isn’t of any help to readers. The hardest part is keeping up with other people’s blogs, I don’t click “like” unless I mean it, sounds silly, but in the beginning I felt pressure to follow blogs because all the advice said it was selfish not to follow a bunch of other blogs and ‘like” their material. I read a variety of blogs, but have given up feeling pressured to “follow”, “like” or “comment” on everything I read. Anyhow… thanks again for sharing your wisdom and experience with your readers.

    • There is no pressure except what we impose on ourselves. Just like in “real life”. Yes, it is good to reciprocate support but that can be done in different ways and at one’s pace.

      “to being worried about what I was and was not doing correctly.” I’ll be indirectly addressing this in an upcoming post. =)

      Thank you for being here. I appreciate the feedback.

      Diana

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  9. I have never disagreed with you so completely (came near to it but never this close πŸ™‚ ). Bloggers are as varied as life itself. Just because someone is quite by nature does not necessarily mean that we should encourage them to go out and be aggressively social. Some people are happy with a small group of good friends but others feel the need for a much larger circle of acquaintances. Some have a message designed for the few and some even write for themselves alone. Isaiah preached to the masses only in the sense that anyone who passed by might listen, but in truth he was preaching only to the Remnant because he knew that only the Remnant would listen to him. Should Isaiah have heeded your advice and made his message more “entertaining” to reach a wider audience? Personally, I have my doubts.

    “You do not know, and will never know, who the Remnant are, nor what they are doing or will do. Two things you do know, and no more: First, that they exist; second, that they will find you.” Albert Jay Nock

    • “have never disagreed with you so completely” Well, it was sure to come, Malcolm. =)
      You know, I’m glad for the dissent as it gives me the occasion to elaborate. If I were to pursue every aspect of blogging in response, it would beg a series (comprised of disclaimers) for the fact that blogging IS such a multifaceted enterprise. I was surprised a reader who’s been with me since my earliest days called me the life of the party. She saw me as an extrovert, which I am most certainly not – though I can be sociable in person. Point being that I never had in mind to urge anyone out here to behave contrary to his, her nature (which I myself do not do). We can all blog and succeed at our own pace and according to our own goals. Blogging is so malleable. As I’ve said, it is where you can be your best you.

      In the writing, I was keenly aware that many readers have a good following and that not everyone even writes on their blog (as they photograph, etc). I was speaking mostly to those I’ve seen struggling a long time, some of whom have asked me for guidance. And entertaining was not even on my radar (besides the fact that if you’re not a good entertainer, you should be true to yourself and don’t go there as a blogger).

      One of the guests who wrote for the money series emailed me, and I quote:
      “You have a loyal, enviable following. We all want an audience. Anyone who says it doesn’t matter is lying to you.” I was, in this post, addressing the fact that we all would rather be engaging a readership of 1000 over 10 or 100. Yes, keeping the proportion of active, vested readers the same w/ the change in number. I was simply pointing out what you yourself do out of courtesy or interest and the way you respond to bloggers who support you. Remember, MG, I had no idea bloggers engaged one another, in my earliest days.

      As to Isaiah, the analogy does not hold with me. I dare not take something as sacred as the mission of a prophet under a historical redemptive call to preach God’s word to the Chosen and apply it to blogging, esp when nothing so riles me up as the sacrilegious use of entertainment to attract crowds prevalent in churches today.

  10. You are the best, Diana! Giving good advice, making us think, making us laugh ( oh, I love when you respond to someone!). Good stuff. And aren’t the cats on my blog adorable?! πŸ˜‰

  11. Carl Sagan said, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” I read selected blogs with just that in mind, and love that people choose to read mine. You, friend, offer sound, practical encouragement. It is another gem should wise bloggers choose to apply it in their cyber life. If they do not, what you offer is still a gem. And I am going to drop it into my velvet pouch right now!

  12. As for me, I like to push myself with poetry. I don’t use my blog as a personal journal, but I share my poetry/songs/thoughts, and hope to engage in conversation and relationship with those that my thoughts may touch. I do, however, have a blogger friend that blogs daily and uses his blog as a social place. Like a pub. I read his content daily because we’ve built a relationship/a friendship. He writes about anything and everything. And he’s a loyal reader that gives great insight into what my writing has to say. I so appreciate him because, even though he’s not a brilliant writer, he enriches my life through relationship. Now there are other bloggers that I truly love because of their content. And with them I have a certain level of intimacy as well. One of them would be The Culture Monk. I love what he has to say. I read him purely because of content. Then there are other poets that I read purely out of loyalty and a common appreciation for the art of poetry and expression through words. I guess that’s the beautiful thing about blogging. The freedom of expression, sharing your passion and relationship. At least that’s what it is for me.
    Bless you Diana. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas.
    πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for sharing, Staci. I like how you challenge yourself with the poetry. You know the puShinG is going to win points with this Korean mama. =) I appreciate your conscious reading, how you read different bloggers for what they offer as only they can in both their content and relationship with you. I’ve seen your interactions with the Monk and knew you liked his content. As I said to others here, it’s wonderful how malleable blogging is in every way. This post was largely for those who’re struggling to get off ground. You know what you’re doing in the blogging. I also did mean to wish you a happy belated 41st a while back. The busyness got the better of me. Looking fwd to what the new year holds for you, in your new home as well as your cyberpad. =)

      Xx
      D.

      • Ohhhhhh, that’s so great that you are reaching out to help new bloggers. I had to stumble and fumble a bit until I got ahold of it. Actually, come to think of it, you are probably one of the best to be doing this.
        Awwww, thanks for the bday wishes D, and no worries at all. I know exactly how the busyness gets the better.
        Oh yes, new home… a little anxious about it all. We just sold our house yesterday. Yeah! Let’s see what God has in store. I’m telling you, life is definitely an adventure.
        A huge happy new year to you, the hubby and little T.
        πŸ™‚

  13. D, I was unaware of your blogging series. And such sage advice you offer. I think the great thing about WP, is the marketing part is really just connecting with other like minded peeps… so much better than having to shuffle around a networking event and make small talk. Although I will confess that I have tried to imagine what a WP networking event would look like…can you imagine seeing all of us in one room at one time?? πŸ˜‰

    • I’m just now sliding into my (2nd annual) blogging miniseries. =) I love the simplicity of this: ” the great thing about WP, is the marketing part is really just connecting with other like minded peeps… so much better than having to shuffle around a networking event and make small talk.”

      That’s all it is, just building connections. And they can make such a profound impact on lives.
      Thanks, El.

  14. I love each of these points! What I love about your blogging is it is power packed with info that can be applied in many ways!
    I read at night when my day is ended and only one brain cell firing! I tend to post in the mornings when I am fresh. I am always surprised when I realize someone new follows, I didn’t start out to gain followers so each is always humbling to me. I’m so happy to share and read! It makes me smile, laugh and sometimes cry and it’s the most wonderful experience for me. I’m so glad I found your blog! Big hugs to you and more blessings then you can contain for 2015. πŸ˜€

    • Well, I’ll take thAt blessing, MM. *more blessings than I can contain* Thank you for the lovely, clear feedback as usual, and I’m not surprised you’re growing your following. =) Your place is full of beauty and hope. Yes, laughing and crying with you all has made it an incredible journey this year. Beats crying and laughing alone. LOL.

      Xxxx
      Happy new year,
      Diana

  15. Are you a mind reader, too???
    Seriously…I was making mental notes to ask how you have so many engaged, intelligent and kind followers and then read your post! I keep thinking I’m missing something and agree with what you’ve eloquently outlined. I think I’m an authentic and compassionate when interacting with other writers/bloggers, but I definitely need to spend more time and care with the content. Your newborn metaphor is perfect! Thank you for this very timely post πŸ™‚

  16. thanks for this … I have followed a similarish journey… I started a blog as a way of publishing my writing – a deep wish of mine because I believe in the power of the word ( and really I want/ need /desire to enlarge reflect and bring to awareness the awesome beauty of our earth and our connection with her) . I really didnt have a clue about any of the parts of the process apart from writing and tapping the publish button. every so often I have a play around and learn a little bit more.
    this year I joined in to the april a to z blogging challenge and suddenly my world expanded – I took the time to check out other people and began to follow blogs and now feel like I am developing kindred friends. I feel like I am growing as I take the time to explore others ideas and stories and this in turn is inspiring me. I still have a no frills approach to my blog – but my followers have expanded this year past 20. all those ideas like marketing advertising etc have always made me shudder because essentially I am living far from the market place in a house in a forest but I know it is about reaching out with the stories and connecting with others so I am on a learning curve while staying true to the divine muse within. thank you so much for this reflection
    sandra

    • Hey Sandra, that’s really all “marketing” is. Getting out there in cyperspace, stories connecting with stories. ” I take the time to explore others ideas and stories and this in turn is inspiring me”. Exactly. The harvest can be so rich and go back into your thinking and writing and enrich your life.

      Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us. =)

      Love and light, and happy new year.
      Diana

  17. I only entered the blogging world 8 months ago and I have to admit I was unaware the amount of interaction I could have through it. I started it to just write down my stories and couldn’t believe that anyone would actually be interested in my long winded narratives. I like my readers, esp those who have become regulars Di, but I don’t think I can cope with too many cos I struggle for time as it is to catch up on other’s posts not to mention writing my own!! (And that’s why I am always amazed that you read any of MY posts amongst all your followers!)

    • It is hard to keep all the balls up in the air, I must say, T. I completely understand how you feel and I just do my best.

      I am tired, even now.

      ^ ^

      But you’re all worth it.

      Thx for keeping up, Doc.

  18. How interesting! I didn’t realize I was soliciting readers as it started out as a family affair. However you are right. If you have “follow this blog” as a built in invitation on your blog site you are actually inviting all who pass that way to view your work aren’t you? I have to confess to surprise people did discover my blog, that just goes to illustrate how curious we all are as we roam the internet these days, and it has been a lot of fun meeting new people. Wishing you a very happy and profitable year 2015.

    • “β€œfollow this blog” as a built in invitation on your blog site you are actually inviting all who pass that way to view your work aren’t you?”

      Exactly, Ian. I’m glad it’s unfolded in a lovely surprise for you, Ian. Thanks again so much for the faithful support.

      Happy new year to you and yours.
      D.

  19. Diana, I enjoyed reading the above post. I did read a number of comments which are valid to each individual. However, personally for me the one that resonates is “We can all blog and succeed at our own pace and according to our own goals. Blogging is so malleable. As I’ve said, it is where you can be your best you.” Well put Diana! Each one of us has a goal what ever that might be. Some would like to take their time in growing an audience others prefer to achieve this much faster. My blog is a work in progress and enjoy having the time to be creative with it and work on the growth of my visitors, viewers & followers. Happy New Year!

    • Oh, I’m glad you chked out the different comments before replying, M. =) I don’t have to repeat myself. I wanted to be real in addressing the hope that bloggers have for a growing audience. Thanks for connecting, and happy new year.

      Diana

      • “If you were someone else and stumbled on your blog, would you be impressed? Would you follow? I’m not talking about subscribing to your own blog to raise the count. I’m asking if you’d find any amusement, entertainment, beauty, insight, inspiration, intrigue, laughs, provocation, stimulation, information that’ll make you want more on that blog.”

  20. Food for thought. I’ve just had a couple of months away from blogging, so your post is a timely reminder for me to think about how my words will travel me into 2015.

  21. I love all your blogging tips, Diana, in fact you inspired me to write my own blogging tips and both posts are in my top 10 most viewed. Passing on blogging tips and advice to anyone who blogs or is thinking of blogging is one of the nicest things we can do here on WordPress.

  22. Awhile ago I wrote a post about why I write. An extract (below), mirrors some of the sentiments you’ve expressed.

    “When people say that they write for themselves and not for others, and then publish the writing that they wrote for themselves on a blog for the world to see, the irony does not escape me. I write because it matters to me that you read what I write. If it did not matter to me, I would write in my diary.”

    Writers/bloggers who add ‘marketing’ to their repertoire of skills are more likely to see consistent growth- it doesn’t just happen (there are some ‘exceptions’). Even for established authors, pray tell, what are all those book signings and appearances about?

    When I’ve applied the points you shared, I’ve seen growth in readership and engagement. If it has not been a priority for me, it isn’t because I do not realize the importance, but because life happens. I can do better. I will do better. Thanks Diana!

    • Wonderful. As to the book signings and appearances: eXAcTLy.

      Marketing is built into the infrastructure of blogging. It’s how active we are with this component and how we aim to leverage it. There’s nothing wrong with life’s happening. Happens all the time. ^ ^ I was speaking largely to those who’ve been flailing out here, who remind me of my earliest days.

    • Re: “When people say that they write for themselves….”, what of those who write that which they truly believe is worth sharing but feel, in the notion of stewardship, that they have done all that is required by merely putting the thoughts out there? That if their words attract millions of pairs of eyes, attracts only those of “livelytwist”, or attracts none, they still have squared their debt to the Muses?

      Keeping score is important to some bloggers just as it to some lovers. But not to all.

      • Hi, thanks for taking time to read my comment and sharing your thoughts. Well, here’s how I like to think about it- if you put it ‘out there’, it’s because you want some”one” to read it.

        The number of readers who see/read it is another story altogether. I think that despite our best efforts, some of us may never have a “huge” readership, and that’s okay as well, if we’re okay with that.

        We blog for different reasons and our blogging ‘ambition’ differs. I like to think that when we write ‘publicly’ we write with an audience in mind and for an audience. I wonder whether those who share in the notion of stewardship do not feel ‘something’ when they realize that some”one” has stumbled on their words? The desire for relevance, significance, the notion that we matter, as expressed by someone reading our words, can be a strong one . . . or what do you think? πŸ™‚

      • You are correct. Even though the primary goal is achieved when “post” is punched, recognition is still appreciated. I appreciate this exchange with you because it validates, to some degree, my very being and for that I thank you. You took stewardship of my comment and did something with it. That’s the zen of it. Peace.

  23. These are great tips Diana! I will be reading your other blogging articles. I know that “marketing” has not been one of my best skills in any area I’ve worked, so it is no surprise that it is not here either. Your support and encouragement this year has helped to keep me blogging and I sincerely value YOU! All the BEST in 2015!

    • I was thinking about you yesterday, P. =) Aw, how nice to hear of the encouragement you have felt from me. Same here, and thanks so much for popping your head in.

      Wishing you all that is bright and good in the coming year,
      D.

  24. All the recent books on writing say you should have a blog, so I have a blog. I don’t think I’m a blogger though. When I started to get followers, I found that exciting, even addictive, and I found it taking time away from my writing. I had to decide if I was a writer who blogs or a blogger who writes. I try to balance it out now. I don’t write to blog, I blog what I write. If that makes any sense.

    • “I had to decide if I was a writer who blogs or a blogger who writes.” Hey, I appreciate the distinction you came to realize. I’ve learned how to blog but I am a writer before and after. You make complete sense, though some may have to blog for a time to see. You don’t haVe to do anything “they” say you should do. I don’t FB or Tweet.
      My advice was for those who’ve asked and the many who want to blog better. But I think anyone who doesn’t disable his likes or remove his Follow Me widget would really prefer a larger than smaller readership. Thanks for the support this year, btw.

      Just stay happy!
      Diana

  25. If the power goes off, are my blogs still readable? If Maslow taught me anything, it was about self-actualization. I challenge myself. When I first began selling insurance, I hit up all the friends and relatives first. Then I went back to teaching where I could have more of a following and feel good about the mounds of papers I corrected in 42 years. I did not have to worry about clients dying or becoming ill, worry about commissions. But the payoff is/was a long time coming. A long time…coming. I just do it. Still hard work. But the blog paycheck is worth every penny…. Er, is that peanuts-payoff? :o)

    • LOL Isn’t our paychk awesome? If people put into their work what we do into our blogs, gee…You’re talking to a former school teacher, btw. And a homeschooler. =) Keep challenging yourself, James. And sincere thanks for staying with me.

      Diana

  26. Thought-provoking as always Diana. Without consciously thinking I was marketing myself, I did begin blogging as marketing – because they say writers should have a blog to promote themselves. But that first post was so scary that I certainly didn’t feel I was marketing myself – more putting something out there to see what would happen! I was amazed when I got my first like. Since then, I am conscious about promotion on one level – links to previous posts and promoting my publications – but I think the key for me is that I don’t feel as though I’m marketing myself, I feel that I’m just making human connections (though marketing is a secondary effect of that).

    • I was surprised you liked this one, Andrea. =) But I’m glad you did, ha ha ha. You shoULd be consciously promoting the writing you publish outside WordPress. And that’s the beauty of “marketing” here. As some of us have said in these threads, it’s nothing more than making authentic connections. I will start and end with my art. It is possible to have it all – at our own pace.

      Xxxxxx
      Me

      • πŸ™‚ Well, I did have a few moments thinking, not sure about this πŸ™‚ But, ultimately, I could still write what I write and not publish it if an audience wasn’t important to me. I soon get turned off if all bloggers do is promote their latest publication – the way I look at it is that what I write on the blog showcases my writing style, which complements what I write outside of the blog.

  27. I feel like you could probably write a book on how to build a successful blog, Diana. Always appreciative to learn from your wisdom. I do think your energy and presence plays a huge part, I must say. Your followers are loyal and clearly are so excited to jump into the conversation with you. xo

    • I wish I had a tiara for the best of my V.I.P. commenters – like you. =) Laughing bc blogging really isn’t something I could fill up a book about (hence just these li’l posts). But keep doing what you’re doing, Diahann. I was speaking largely to those who’ve been treading water. Your beautiful strokes and dives are taking you far.

      Here’s to another year together.

      Xxx
      D.

  28. Oh I just read above not to use the word “yes” commenting. So here is a no~ πŸ™‚ Well not actually but no I can’t compete with super bloggers. I have nothing to write but info and to post a a few piddly photos of x y and z. And no, i’m not looking for “Oh shucks you are better than you think.”

    Everyone should know their limitations and I certainly have mine. I have not the physical energy at this point in my life but I’m hopeful that in the months to come that i’ll be better after the afib surgical procedure.

    i’m not into blogging to be a writer but I do want to be a source of information and maybe a few cute pictures.

    I love you honesty and how you really go out of your way to help and inspire bloggers to up their game. Good going young lady.

    Best regards,
    ~yvonne

  29. Thanks, as always, D. I feel as if you’re talking to me (self-centered, I know!). If only my computer weren’t so slow…if only I weren’t so slow. I’m not sure mincing a novel into blog posts is the best thing–the continuity is lost, perhaps thoughts rather than comments are evoked? I enjoy the interaction on your blog; I usually read most of the comments as well as your post, which is not something I can say about every blog I read regularly. But I have gained some faithful readers and made some meaningful relationships, of which your is certainly one. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    • Ha ha…a good, natural “self-centeredness”, J. I mean, I wrote it to let it speak to whom it will. I’m so glad to hear you’ve built relationships out here. As for your doubts on your blog content, you just have to step back and ask (if you want to) if what you’ve been doing is working. Obviously, there’s a level at which we as artists put out what WE want to. We certainly can’t do the inverse. But as bloggers (which I take it we want to grow as if we have a blog!) we must assess and reassess readership response and growth, and ask ourself if others seem to love our output as much as we do. I wasn’t answering the ques for you. Just piggybacking on your doubt.

      I have to add that the comments here are the bomb, I think better than the post sometimes. =) You’ve all taught me so much.

      Thanks, and I wish you and yours all that is good and bright in the coming ahead, my faithful friend.

      Diana

  30. Reblogged this on Don Charisma and commented:
    Very well put my dear … being successful, (however that looks to each of us) involves promoting ourselves – the basic fact is that we all do it in one way or another … so stop being coy about it !
    Do a random act of kindness – TODAY not tomorrow, say hello to someone new, smile at a stranger – that’s promoting 101 right there, it’s not rocket science … and that’s what makes the world go round πŸ˜€

  31. I blog for myself and for anybody who wants to read. i agree we are all promoting something, usually ourselves. But I like to think it’s also about friendships and community too. πŸ™‚

  32. Yet… another ‘pot ‘o gold’ at the end of the rainbow that is the wonderful Holistic Wayfarer! Thank you, Diana for sharing this post in particular. I believe many of us bloggers like to reassess our cyber creations come year’s end and realign, rethink, and recommit ourselves to ways to grow come the new blogging year.

    I hope you have a fantastic New Year and I look forward to experiencing more light, truth, and wisdom via the Holistic Wayfarer in 2015.

    K’lee

      • No greater lesson has come to my life than the importance of truly being who you are… finding it, sharing it, being it as much as possible… Thanks for the continual validation, Diana.

  33. Diana, When I first started my blog (almost a year ago now), I mistakenly thought it was just about the writing and my personal goals: get it out there and encourage others. Virtual relationships are just like the in-person relationships. It is all about connection and being a part of each other’s lives. That takes time and effort. I can be honest, I would love to have a large following, meaning that I can encourage more people in their faith journey. I’m not there, but I keep learning through your example and sage words of wisdom. We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, I know that I have been a genuine caring friend and follower of those blazing the trail ahead of me. Thanks Diana for all your encouragement in 2014. May 2015 be even bigger, brighter and better for all of us!

    • I appreciate your feedback bc I half-regretted not mentioning Christian blogs on this post. It’s exactly as you share. Show me anyone who’s opened a blog account and would shun a readership ten times their current size. And you bet you’re on my radar for the loving, loyal support you’ve proved, D. THANK you. That’s why I make it a point to reply to every comment (no matter how tired I am!) from readers and support back (though that takes time, wading through all responders). I am glad to share in your journey and look fwd to see you going from strength to strength.

      Love,
      Diana

  34. Thanks for the note. I am a novice blogger living under the myth — build it and they will come. They are coming in dribbles, but the tidal wave is just beyond the horizon. We’ll see.

  35. This post really does answer some very needful questions new bloggers like me ask always. Thanks for listening out and answering πŸ™‚ . I have learnt that even with great content quality, connections still have to be forged to grow any idea and as you said above you just have to go break the dam πŸ˜€

  36. Kudos for sharing your thoughts on blogging. I know it’s contrasting the essence, but in the blogging world, reciprocity plays a very good part, and not just your materials. I just reached 4000 followers. I stopped caring about that number. I enjoy blogging because of those comments. And through those comments, I know whose blogs to read. Then I can enjoy reading other blogger’s posts.
    About your #3. I have learnt that you shouldn’t talk too much about yourself in a blog post. It’s shouldn’t be about me, me, and me. Although, a blogger should never hesitate to make any blog post that he/she feels readers are not going to relate with. πŸ˜‰

    • I’m a few months shy of my 2nd yr on WP and I went against the flow of traffic in 2014. I learned to crack jokes and talk about myself. Slowly. And my awesome readers loved it. I learned laughter knocks down walls, helps build community and friendship. And the biggest reason I started offering glimpses into my personality, past, and present life is because people could relate. At least that has always been my m.o. in the writing. I’ve written about this. Resonance. Because it’s exactly as you say it, it’s not all about me – not from where YOU’re sitting.

      Congrats on your milestone. =)

      Diana

  37. Hi Diana. Thank you for the tips. To be honest I start my blog with the same intentions, to have a lot of traffic, but unfortunately you need to allocate a lot of time to build that market. After I read your comments I realized that to blog is like to play poker. Some times you win some times you lose and you need to have a poker face. I always appreciate your sincere comments so thank you for them Adrian B.

    • I don’t know anyone who opens a blog account and doesn’t want traffic. Hmm….I’m not sure about the poker analogy. I think more than the hand we’re dealt, we get what we put in, which yes, means time for sure.

      Thanks for sharing, A. All the best to you, buddy.

      D.

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