YOU HAVE MORE FRIENDS THAN YOU THINK
There have been some interesting responses to my blast your blog through your address book posting. Some say “I don’t have that many friends. I’m not that comfortable doing it. I’m nervous about how I will be perceived.” All of these are totally valid reasons. But you have to look at it this way; who is going to just come and knock on your blog’s door? How are they going to find you?
You have no choice but to be as bold as you can be if you want to build a following. And by employing some of these almost kamikaze tactics, I have learned who some of my real friends are.
If your friends do what one of mine did and wrote on my comments page, “You’ve got to be kidding me. Get me out of here” you realize you were not as close as you thought. That was the charter member of the SOB club. There are nice ways of saying “not for me.” This was not one of them.
Sending your blog to every address that your Gmail or Yahoo account has ever saved, your ex-mother in law, your college sophomore’s ninth grade gym teacher and other various people you might not consider “friends” is not the only way to collect readers. And don’t count anyone out. The gym teacher might really dig what you have to say.
There are many ways you can send your baby blog into the world to seek out new friends.
First off there is Stumble Upon. Now Stumble Upon is a big place, it’s the size of Calcutta, 15,000,000 people. In one way it’s like folding your blog into a paper airplane and sending into the skies of downtown Calcutta and hoping some body reads it. On top of which much like Calcutta, you can get easily lost. But who cares? Let’s say you get one person who reads it and sticks. I cannot underemphasize sticks, but that deserves its own blog.
So one person on Stumble Upon finds you and that person becomes a loyal reader. That is one friend you did not have yesterday.
And if you put your blog on Stumble Upon each time you post, it will have some impact down the line. I did it forever. I would see one person read a blog, maybe two people read a blog. It wasn’t an exhilarating experience, but one or two are better than none. And if you really take it to the power of positive thinking place, you can say out of 15,000,000 choices people had two picked me.
And in the beginning you must look at this as one person at a time.
I look at every thing I do that way. When I go out and sell my book, people will say “Why go to Philadelphia you might only sell ten books?”
Well, if five of those ten like it and they tell a friend and three of those five tell a friend that is how you build a following.
So put it on Stumble Upon. No one knows who you are. You won’t get a “You’ve got to be kidding me” response. And if you do it long enough people will end up knowing about you who did not know about you before. More Friends!
Then you always, always, always put it on your Facebook Page. There is no excuse not to. Mark Zuckerberg wants you to.
There is also no excuse not to have a Facebook Page. It’s like saying you don’t have a tooth brush these days.
Facebook it. Stick it right in your feed and write a comment that will entice people to read it. Use photos! I always use images or videos with my blogs. Always. People respond to the visual first. So grab them with a photo of something related to your topic.
Take some time and find the right images and use them. Take them off the web. Take screenshots; find iconic images, use personal images. I don’t care – just use them.
This is what I don’t advise, as bold and brazen as I can be, I don’t post on someone’s wall without their permission. I hate it when people post things on my wall. I despise it. I instantly take them down. You can tag people if they are good friends and they appear in your blog. You can send out a message with a link asking FB friends to post it on their wall and many will.
So all of a sudden their friends are seeing your work and people who did not know you become aware of you. More Friends!
Networked Blogs ~ a totally imperfect system. But it’s better than nothing. Sign yourself up with Networked Blogs on your FB page. I’m telling you your FB page is one of your best friends and friend feeders when it comes to this stuff.
I can’t exactly tell you what Networked Blogs does. Greg Lee, my online Guru signed me up for it. As a percentage of how many read the blog I don’t have many members. I think I have 37 members. I have over 2500 Facebook Friends, so do the math, not great. But those Networked Blog followers tend to read it quickly. They are some of the first to read it, which means if they like it they will be the first to Share It or Tweet It which is what you want. Friends of friends = more friends!
It sits in a little box on the bottom of your home blog page. It used to also be on FB but in their daily changes they removed it. They could have put it back up in the time I have been writing this, which would not surprise me.
It looks a little sad when it’s empty, like Hollywood Squares with only two celebrities. But again, get your mom to sign up, your best friends, the fuller it looks the more people will think it’s cool to follow you. Mine was very empty for a long time. I just didn’t look at it. Now it has 37 smiling faces, that’s fine, that is 37 people I didn’t have when I started. More Friends!
TWEET it. Right away. No Twitter? Get one the second you finish this blog.
My blogs go from my FB to my Twitter and my Twitter goes into my LinkedIn and some of my stuff goes to my Tumblr; when I remember to put it there and this week I started posting on Google +.
That is also another blog, but get yourself a micro-blog on Tumblr and post it there. The more places you are the more friends you are likely to make.
Twitter is great. It breaks down like this you will get the most followers where you have the shortest content. Makes sense, attention spans being what they are. So you will have more Twitter followers than you do FB Friends – though not always. But more people will read you off of Twitter often times or at least be willing to take a look. You will have far more people follow you on Twitter than you will follow or sign up for your blog. Just the way it goes. People will commit to 140 characters they don’t necessarily want to sign up for a thousand of your words. Now if you slip your 1000 words in your Twitter, you have a chance of getting them to read it. And also in terms of more friends, people are far more likely to Retweet you than Share you or send your blog to nine hundred of their closest friends.
And then depending on your topic you can place your work in other sites. If you are a female blogger Blogher is a great spot, just keep putting it up there. There are endless sites where you can place your content and slowly develop a following.
They are communities and they don’t take to you just dropping your stuff and not paying attention to other people’s or getting involved in group dialogues. They are like mini communes – you can eat the cabbage if you help plant it and water it. I’m not great on those sites. I’ve tried it, doesn’t work for me. But that is me. Other people live by them. If you are a joiner, I say join some of the online communities that are appropriate for what you write about and be a part of a blogging community.
If you make yourself interesting you will find people who are interested in what you have to say. But you have to reach out to them. You have to make it easy for them to find you. Unless you are famous or willing to give them a ton of money, they are not going to come looking for you on their own.
To Be Continued…