The Forward Momentum of Bloggery (continued)

Mike backpacker copyThis post explores the art and science of bloggery. It is a continuation of the last post.

Comments

When I first sat up my blog I waited in gleeful anticipation for the comments to start pouring in. And waited. And waited. What the hell is wrong with these search engines?, I thought. Surprise! You will have to leave your blog house and go and make some friends. If you want people to come to your blog and comment you will have to do the same at theirs. Call it what you want, tit for tat, or whatever, but most people do not want to be part of the chorus that constantly croaks at your blog and never ever even peeps at theirs. The best relationships are pretty balanced.

Blog Relationships

My favorite part of the blog equation. You meet a lot of great people and can partner up on different projects. I’ve been fortunate to partner with Sandie Law, of Geeked Off! on a article about genetic modification of food. I’ve also been fortunate to have given advice, and have helped support and encourage many bloggers on a personal and professional level. And others have done the same for me. Barbara Swafford, of Blogging Without a Blog, recently featured Linda Abbit, of Tender Loving Eldercare and motivated me to sign up as a hospice volunteer. Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

And there’s Jaden, of Screenwriting for Hollywood, who also has motivated me to finally take the plunge and get the novel done and turn it into a screenplay. She’s also going to give us tips on screenwriting contests and the best places to send your screenplay to, so if you have a secret fantasy to write for Hollywood, visit Jaden’s site.

Melissa Donovan of Writing Forward has also inspired me with her writing advice. She has a lot of great blogging tips, too.

If I haven’t mentioned you specifically, recognize that I do appreciate all of you. I want to thank all of my friends I’ve found online.  I think that it is more important to me to have these relationships than become over the top popular.

That’s been my blogging journey so far. What’s your’s been like? Do you have any special tips to add that might help others?

Photocredit: © Ellen Wilson

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22 Responses to The Forward Momentum of Bloggery (continued)

  1. Writer Dad says:

    I agree. I’d rather have modest subscribers who READ my content that I can interact with than a giant subscriber list with people who add me to the reader just because.

    Writer Dad’s last blog post..But Daddy

  2. Friar says:

    Same thing when I started. I wrote stuff that I thought was pretty funny, and then assumed OF COURSE people would come flocking to read me!

    (hah!). Big suprise. I remained largely unknown for a long, LONG time.

    What helps, is for another blogger to take you under their wing, and help you out.

    Aside from Brett (who I already knew), you were the first to do so. I fondly remember when you told people about The Deep Friar in your “Ugly Duckling” post. I always appreciated that.

    So then I started visiting your blog, and commenting, and meeting other people, and commenting on THEIR blogs, and so on…and so on….

    It took months. But eventually a “critical mass” was reached, and I have a modest but steady stream of traffic, with a small group of loyal readers.

    I woudln’t want to become TOO big. (I learned this when I fluked out and got 2400 hits in one day with my Bob Dylan post…I started to freak out). I prefer small and intimate.

    Friar’s last blog post..Who are the People in Your Neighborhood?

  3. You’ve hit on the most delightful benefit of n blogging – meeting all your fellow bloggers who otherwise would have remained unknown to you. I’ve also entered into joint projects and ventures. It’s a blast.

    Tit for tat is a very honest way of explaining reciprocal commenting.

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Work’s last blog post..Everything Counts So Make It Count

  4. Vered says:

    “it is more important to me to have these relationships than become over the top popular. ”

    I agree.

    It’s not the same for everyone, and I totally respect people that emphasize the “business” side. I want MomGrind to grow too, but I enjoy the interaction more than anything else, and lately I always find that I enjoy the process of writing itself more and more.

    Vered’s last blog post..Thank You For Smoking

  5. Karen Swim says:

    Ellen, the unexpected benefit of blogging for me was definitely the people! The blogosphere is filled with so many interesting, gracious, talented people. Everyone’s your neighbor and it’s cool to go hang out and have a cup of tea or coffee. I am also passionately pursuing strategies to encourage non-bloggers to read and join conversations.

  6. Melissa D informed me about commenting, thank goodness!

    The friendships I have made through commenting are so rewarding — people out in the world who like similar things and on certain topics have similar morals. In the blog world is where I am intellectually stimulated and find much of my day-to-day joy. I’m a NERD!

    Op, you reminded me that I have to do that screenwriting contests list. Next month! That will be very useful. Took me many years and working in the industry to see which ones count.

    @ Friar — Yeah, Melissa took me under her wing. I would be NO WHERE without her knowledge.

    I don’t mind the high traffic days. What I don’t like about the sudden floods of people (new strangers) is that they tend to leave nasty rude comments and make statements about me, that had they read a single other post they would know was absolutely an inaccurate statement about my character, but… it’s sort of funny.

    Jaden @ Screenwriting for Hollywood’s last blog post..Write a Screenplay in One Month: Week Three (Prizes Announced)

  7. Friar says:

    @Jaden

    Melissa was one of the first who paid attention to me, as well.

    @Ellen

    By the way, where or those Sand Dunes? The U.P….?

    (We have some on Lake Ontario (Sandbanks) and on Lake Erie (Long Point) but not as extensive as that.

    Friar’s last blog post..Who are the People in Your Neighborhood?

  8. Hi Ellen,

    It pleases me that you have learned from my writings, and via Linda becoming a New Blog of the Week, you signed up to volunteer at your local hospice. **smiles**

    When I started blogging, I wrote for a long time before I started getting regular commenters. I had no idea how that would change my life and add even more to my love of blogging. I found out there are so many people in blogosphere who truly care. Although we may never meet, they become our “faraway” friends. We visit each others cyber homes, catch up with each other, and through them, meet more like minded people. It’s a wonderful process.

    Thank you for the link love and your kind words. I truly appreciate it.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Four Day Open Mic – 8/21 to 8/24/08

  9. I am also a big fan of “writing forward”. I enjoy her writing voice. Its so natural.

  10. Ellen Wilson says:

    @Writer Dad – Yes, That is far MORE important to me as a writer than having people skim my stuff. I know I ask for the impossible, and that we all get busy, but I would rather absorb someone else’s writing than skim it. You cannot be transformed by another that way. It’s all surface veneer.

    @Friar – Yes, I fondly remember the Ugly Duckling post! It’s nice to have a community of people that comment. Just imagine if those 2400 people had all commented. Wouldn’t that be a trip? Would you even try to answer them all?

    @Tom Volkar – Yes, in a way it sounds selfish, but I like equality and try to practice it in my life. It takes a lot of time to visit various blogs. You took time to visit my blog. Thanks!

    @Vered – I respect blogging for business reasons also. For instance I might advertise stock photography from this site. I don’t know yet. I don’t mind if my site grows, but if it gets too big the interaction part would suffer. If I was selling items on my blog I probably would take a different approach to marketing.

    @Karen – That will interesting to see how that pans out – getting nonbloggers to comment. I never really thought much about that because I commented on other’s blogs for awhile before I had my own. I thought it was just something people did. That, and the fact that I was getting so sick of the Elance message board. You remember that, hehe.

    @Jaden – I can’t wait to see the list!

    Yeah, if I don’t get intellectual stimulation I literally feel like I will rip out my eyeballs. I get so bored! I think that’s one reason I write, to entertain myself. Then I worry people won’t understand my stuff. Well, you like it, so that means something. I love Sunday picture day.

    @Friar – The sand dunes are in Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore on Lake Michigan. This is one of the most extensive natural areas that Michigan has. It was protected in the 1960’s and subsequently hasn’t had to suffer the devastation of development that other areas (Traverse City) have.

    @Barbara – Yes, it is an interesting process. You never know how you will be transformed by another person, idea, or interaction. It pays to stay open to all of it.

    @Shamelle – I agree that Melissa’s writing is very natural. It is very grounded and easily draws me in and stablizes my thought processes. Relaxing.

  11. AxeCity says:

    Hi Ellen,

    That was really thoughtful to talk about your blog relationships experience, I believe this is really the best of all about blogging.

    AxeCity’s last blog post..How to design a commercial flyer?

  12. Marelisa says:

    I only blogged alone for about two weeks because then I visited Vered (saw her at zenhabits), and she visited me back, and somehow Sara (On Simplicity) found me and I started visiting her. Then I just started “poaching” people from their blogs (I would see people who “looked” friendly on their blogs, visit them, and leave comments on their blogs). Lo and behold, in a short while I had people visiting and commenting on my blog. Now when I post something I have a good idea of who’s going to stop by and leave a comment, and I’m always so happy when they do.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Five Simple Ways to Create Passive Income

  13. Ellen Wilson says:

    @AxeCity – It’s good to see you again. Yes, I think the relationships are what it’s all about.

    @Marelisa – Ha! I love this “poaching people” saying. That’s funny! But really true. It is how you find people to talk to. We all want to be heard, and we all need to be needed. It’s the most human of things.

  14. Ellen, thanks so much! Your words and pictures have given me a lot of inspiration too and affirmed my desire to (eventually) make it a goal to really learn photography. One of the things I love about the Internet is that it allows us to expand our circle of friends. I’m grateful for that, always.

    Melissa Donovan’s last blog post..Slam Poetry’s Wonder Woman

  15. Harmony says:

    Ellen, you have artfully blessed me in many ways. And in this post, you mention what I have found to be the most profound thing about blogging.
    When I started I remember reading how many bloggers turn off the comments so that they can control the content of the blog. Understandable.

    BUT, like you, I have found the best treat in the whole process is the friends I am making through comments. They notice if I am not around, cheer me on, challenge me…it’s all part of a consciousness I really enjoy.

    Thanks for these posts on blogging.

    Harmony’s last blog post..Whistle While You Work

  16. Ellen Wilson says:

    @Melissa – I’m glad my tips are an inspiration. I always think of you when I write a photography post.

    @Harmony – Yeah, I like that statement, “it’s all part of a consciousness I really enjoy.” Really, what’s the point if you don’t learn from others?

    I don’t understand turning off your comments, but I guess you could control the whole blog dynamic by doing that. Or could you? I mean really, everything you do radiates outward, so if you have readers they will be affected by everything you write.

  17. Lance says:

    When I first started blogging, I had dreams of many subscribers and lots of comments. Surprise! It doesn’t happen by itself! I quickly found this out. But what I’ve also realized along the way is that what really does it for me is the comments – meaningful comments. And once I got to that point, I really felt blogging come alive for me. It has been a wonderful experience, and a learning experience along the way as well. I am loving the journey this is taking me on!

    Lance’s last blog post..Sunday Thought For The Day

  18. Ellen Wilson says:

    Hi Lance,

    I don’t think I was as quick as you. It took me awhile.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the meaningful comments. Sometimes people put a lot of effort into their comments. As much as a blog post at times.

  19. Cath Lawson says:

    Hi Ellen – I can’t believe I missed this post. I must have seen the title and thought it was the one I’d already read.

    When I began blogging, I was completely clueless. I was commenting on all the wrong blogs – eg. the popular ones and I didn’t really understand the idea behind building a blogging community.

    Luckily, I also met Barbara Swafford quite early on in my blogging journey and she’s always been a great help.

    One tip I will add, is make sure your blog is easy to navigate. Mine wasn’t and it makes life difficult for your visitors. Also you don’t get as many page views – people give up trying to look. I’m trying to improve on that now. You can get lots of plugins and widgets for popular posts, recent articles etc and they’re definitely worth using.

    Cath Lawson’s last blog post..What Is Your Responsibility As A Writer?

  20. Ellen Wilson says:

    Hi Cath,

    I did the same thing. I didn’t understand the the idea behind community either.

    That is a good point about your blog being easy to navigate. I’m not entirely sure from a non blogger standpoint if it is. I will have to ask some of my non blogging friends and family if they find it easy to navigate. I think we lose site of all of that because we are so conditioned to find everything quickly on a blog because we’re so used to it.

  21. clara says:

    Hi Ellen,

    I found your blog thru Melissa’s Donavan Writing Forward…I’m so liking it already! I just took a month off from work to attend to my startup freelance writing biz (i’m knowing i have a big decision to make in regards to devoting a year to what is truly my passion)

    Today, I’ll only concentrate on the tasks at hand…finding folks like you, debbie & others is a good start! please visit clara54’s weblog when you get a moment…

    Clara.

  22. Ellen Wilson says:

    Hi Clara,

    Thanks for stopping by and good luck to you. I hope you don’t feel to overwhelmed with it all (I did, and still do at times!)

    You probably will make good progress in a year if you keep at it.

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