I would like to introduce my friend Stuart Mills; he is a personal development blogger with workable strategies to assist you with improving your life. You can find Stu at Unlock The Door just about any day. Please pay him a visit and enjoy this offering.
Are you scared to go outside?
If someone asked you this question in the context of everyday life, you may laugh and dismiss it as nonsense. But when it comes to blogging, the truth for some new bloggers is that they are afraid to go outside into the big bad blogging universe. They’re afraid to get involved in mini-communities and micro-networks, and they’re afraid to promote their own work for fear of it being ridiculed. In other words, they’re afraid of the very reason why they started a blog in the first place.
Flying The Nest
When we think of bloggers today, we look at the hundreds of well-known bloggers who are making a name for themselves. Some of these bloggers are beginning to become known outside the blogging medium, increasing their reputation to the general public. Blogging is becoming more and more popular.
And yet, for every handful of bloggers who are active and thriving, there are at least a thousand bloggers who are either scared to promote their work, or who have ditched their blog altogether. Apparently, there are over 160 million registered blogs in the world today – the fact that around only 1000 are anywhere near ‘well-known’ is quite sad.
The main problem that these bloggers have is that they haven’t ‘flown the nest’ yet. They haven’t left the comfort of their own blog and ventured to new bloggers, new people who they could start to build a relationship with. Instead of doing this, they have ‘stayed at home’, and continued to tinker with their design, or maybe write a new post every month, or do some more research into best SEO practices.
Then a spiral appears. By staying at home, the blogger begins to fear building relationships with other bloggers. They begin to fear leaving comments on other blogs, and even start to avoid visiting blogs altogether for fear of their own blog being made to look inferior. The downward spiral continues, until eventually, the blogger just stops blogging. And another blog is left to float around in the eternal wasteland.
This downward spiral can be avoidable. The remedy for this affliction is, quite simply, get out there and meet other bloggers. Don’t stay put and expect others to magically come to you, the best thing you can do is introduce yourself to the world. Announce yourself to the world. Then people will notice you, and they’ll begin to listen.
I’ll use myself as an example – I have been blogging for nearly 10 months, and Unlock The Door has now reached a point where it’s regularly getting at least 40 comments per post. This is because I went out into the field, made connections with other bloggers, got to know them, helped spread their content, and generally made myself useful. The result? I’m getting more comments than some bloggers who have over 200 times my number of subscribers. I think ‘getting out there’ works wonders.
If I haven’t convinced you with my own example that having an outgoing presence is important, let’s look at our friend Bill Dorman. He has been blogging for even less time than me, and yet his posts now regularly get at least 60-70 comments. Why? Because he has an outgoing presence – he frequently leaves comments, he uses Twitter regularly, and he happily strikes up or joins in conversations with other bloggers. This has helped his blog immensely.
How To Build An Outgoing Presence
I’ve learned so much over my 9-10 months as a blogger, and most of it has been from trial and error. Some of the things I’ve learned no longer work for me, and I’ve tried my best to weed them out as much as possible. However, what I’m going to share with you is what does work for me and has worked for me ever since I started using them.
Here are 3 tips to building an outgoing presence:
Leave interested comments
Leaving a blog comment is a tough thing to do when you first start blogging, and it’s a skill that you get better at over time. So do you leave comments that are great and which every blogger enjoys reading? Leave interested comments.
An interested comment is a comment where you express your interest in what the blogger had to say, and the blog itself. An example of such a comment would be this:
“I just wanted to say that I thought this post was really interesting. I enjoy reading about *subject*, and this was one of the more engaging posts I’ve read in a while. I think you’re doing a great job with your blog, and I’m keen to read more posts from you.”
Here, you reveal your interest and enjoyment in reading the post, as well as the blog in general. Every blogger loves an engaged audience, and if you reveal your desire to read more, they’ll be happy to have you comment again, and will likely head over to your blog in return.
Open up guest posting
The biggest source of traffic for me has been guest posting. Whenever a guest post of mine gets published, my traffic gets a surge as the audience of that blogger comes over to my blog to see what all the fuss is about. Each guest post has succeeded in boosting my audience to some degree.
If you’re already writing great content on your blog, why not use that great content for somebody else? A whole new audience will be exposed to your writing, and if they like what they read, they’ll head over to your blog to read more.
It’s also good if you open up your own blog to receive guest posts – bloggers will be happy to write for you in the hopes that they’ll get extra traffic in return, and this can start to get connections developed.
Join a social media platform
Social media is all the rage these days, with the popularity of Facebook and Twitter soaring through the roof, and an ever-increasing number of blogs now dedicated to social media. With social media in the position it’s in now, would it not be wise to join in and get some traffic from there?
But remember, there’s also a fear that too much social media can dominate your time. Here, it’s good to remember the Buddhist saying, “everything in moderation”. Even joining just one social media platform can reap reward for your blog.
Spend time on social media, and use social media wisely. The key is to develop connections there whilst raising awareness of your work. A win-win situation.
So what experiences have you had when you flew the nest? Did you struggle to get connections when you first started? How would you do things differently? Let us know!
Stuart is a personal development blogger who wants to help you improve at life. He thinks you’re awesome. You can often find him at Unlock The Door (http://www.unlockthedoor.net), where he writes constantly to make it a better day for everyone, and you can subscribe to his content here (http://feeds.feedburner.com/unlockthedoor).