You can hide but you can’t blog

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.

The Frontline

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).

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135 thoughts on “You can hide but you can’t blog

  1. Stu,
    When I started blogging it was because I wanted to have longer conversations than I could have on Facebook. The process was cathartic, and I was connecting on a different level w/friends and family, but I really wanted conversation. I wanted to hear what other people thought. When I came over to Twitter my purpose was to learn how to do that. Everyone is leaps and bounds ahead of me, thank goodness, so I have a lot to learn. I cannot believe how I’ve been led. I don’t know how @LoriGosselin found me, but when I found @Lifeforinstance I was in heaven. I started getting familiar w/names and visited blogs that I NEVER would have found by myself. Makes me wonder how many more wonderful writers and thinkers are out there? I’m connected to other genealogists who follow my blog, My new question is, they may be following, but are they being served? You need feedback (measurable) to know. I just want to make a difference.I treasure my friendships, AND I want to be of service/value. Know what I mean? (Boy can I talk!)
    Thanks.
    Betsy

    • Easy now, don’t get too crazy. Now that you have found us no need to make too many more friends. I mean, after all we ARE the ‘in’ crowd right.

      Gini got me started, but Lori is where I perfected the comment bombing. She’s good at asking the questions to make you think a little deeper than just a ‘great post’ response.

      Other than me…………and Stu of course, I think there might be one or two more wonderful writers and thinkers but probably too hard to find at this point.

      Whoa now, other genealogists? I didn’t know that was your gig. When my father passed away several years ago, I started digging into the family history. Because it can branch so quickly I have mostly just done the Dorman line. I have met 3-4 ‘cousins’ I would have never met and I’ve been able to go back to the 1790’s in North Carolina. I haven’t jumped the ‘pond’ yet, but it has been fun. Unfortunately, I haven’t spent a lot of time with in the last few years.

      I too treasure friendships and yes, I’m a talker too………….

      Good to see you and thanks for stopping by to say hi to Stu.

    • Betsy, I know exactly what you mean – it’s great to find that magical feeling of being valued by others, and by connecting with them out of love for what you both do.

      That’s the magic of blogging right there, being able to do what you want, and having fun with others!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      • Yes, I do agree about Lori. Whatever success I have had has been from emulating others and Lori was able to show what back and forth dialogue and questions were all about. Brankica had a post about your favorite site and I listed Lori’s because it is so easy to just jump in and engage.

  2. Nice piece Stuart – it’s all about being social – making connections – being a part of the blogging community. All the points you have made here support that notion.

    Excellent!

  3. Hi, Stu.

    I’m glad to find you here on Bill’s invisible (or NOT!) blog. I know you always have something great to say and what you have here is no different.

    As a 3-month old blogger, I can still say that I am a newbie and finding my way around the blogosphere. When I started out, I was really into developing relationships but I kind of lost touch for several weeks already because of circumstances in my personal life that I have to prioritize.

    And, if there is one thing that I would like to go into the future after having established relationships, joined social networks and kept on writing for our company blog while injecting my own voice and personality into articles on 3D renderings, that would be guest blogging. I understand what you mean about this being quite advantageous and hopefully it will help me gain traction for the blog that has become one of the loves of my life. 🙂

    I really enjoyed reading your ghost post, Stu. Bill is awful fortunate to have you. 🙂

    • ‘Awful’ fortunate might be right, but I’m glad he’s here………………..:)

      Honey chil’, I know you can write and I’m definitely going to have you GP here at the appropriate time.

      And don’t be lovin’ your blog too much, you have to save some of that love for me, right?

      I don’t know much, but one of the things I do know is certain niche bloggers have a more difficult time keeping the site social and informative. You do a great job of blending and would suggest people check you out just to see if the social part if that was all they were interested. Just sayin’………….

      Good to see you and thanks for supporting Stu; he’s a good bloke.

      • Hey, Bill.

        Sorry, wrong adjective…:D But, I meant it. LOL!!

        And, don’t worry, I have a whole lot of love to share, to you and to everybody. 😀

        Thanks for the kind words and the recommendations. You always make me blush so. 🙂

        P.S. I’m always happy to support Stu. And he’s not just a good bloke, he’s great!

    • Thanks for the kind words Kim, I appreciate it all.

      I remember at 3-months old, I was still struggling to find my voice, and to figure out what this whole blogging thing was about. I’m still confused now, but I’ve found my voice at least, and that’s a great thing to have.

      If you be patient, persistent, and passionate Kim, you’ll do well.

      And thanks for the ‘great bloke’, better than Bill’s ‘good bloke’ comment and his man-love! 😉

      • Ok, super bloke………….

        I’m at that 3-4 months stage and struggling with ‘where do I go from here, or is this good enough’? I don’t have the style or type of voice that people are just seeking me out for guest posts (yes, I do have some requests, yours included) so I think I’m searching for something more definitive that you will know it’s me when you read it.

        I have to tell you, Kim writes as good as anybody out there. Even though she has a niche site, it’s a shame more people don’t take the time to enjoy her writings.

        PS – confused is my middle name……

  4. Stu – thanks for your post. Considering I found this post through social media and found you through comments you’ve made, I realize the importance of the advice you dispense.

    I can’t even call myself a blogger yet – haven’t launched my blog but hope to in the next month. In the meantime, I’m having a blast finding new bloggers, commenting on blogs and learning a lot of valuable information. This is so much more fun – I’m wondering if I should even start up a blog! lol

    • Be careful what you wish for. I got very involved in commenting and actually developed quite the network just through that. I started my blog just because I thought it was a prerequisite to play the game. Next thing you know, people started showing up so I had to pay a little bit more attention to what I was doing. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey.

      Best of luck to you when you decide to take the plunge, and thanks for coming by to say hello to Stu.

    • Hey Vishnu, thanks for stopping by and commenting! And thanks for noticing my scattered comments!

      If you need any help with your blog if you choose to set it up, let me know 🙂

  5. So what was that Stu, like giving me a lollipop but dropping it in the sand? I see you calling me out for not venturing out from my home. Trust me, it’s not because I’m afraid; it’s more because I don’t think I have much that is GP worthy. If I’m going to GP, I want it to be epic and if it’s epic, then I think I want it for myself.

    I have been timid at times for no reason; I mean, it’s just a post, right? I’m working on it.

    The one thing I can do is jump in a conversation, ie just showing up. When all the heavy lifting starts you might find I showed up in flip flops instead of steel toed boots.

    We have a little different model, so I’m ok with taking it slow for now. I’ll eventually figure out my direction.

    Thanks so much for offering this up at my place; it has been fun to at least expand out a little bit.

    I hope your day is going well.

    • I don’t give out lollipops Bill, I give out tea and scones like any proper Englishman 😉

      Thanks for featuring me here today, and apologies for not commenting sooner – the different timezones (and my job) wreaked a little havoc. But I’m here now, and working through everyone’s wonderful comments.

      Let me know when your guest post, the ‘Bill Dorman spectacular’ comes my way 🙂

      • Glad to have you here Stu; I know your GP offer is on the table. That is definitely the biggest hole in my game, but coming up on the radar as something to take care of.

        I hope you have a great weekend, and you are a smart man to know ‘Sam time’ trumps all.

        Take care.

  6. Stu, great post here, and great to see you join the “ghost guest blogger” group:) Bill thinks he’s still invisible. Ha!

    I’m on the mend from a root canal gone bad, so I may be on dangerous ground trying to write cogently today, but I’ll give it a whirl.

    First, I think that commenting on others’ blogs is such a good tactic. Commenting positively is great, but I would add that commenting with “added value” is icing on the cake. I’ll use an athletics example:

    When coaching in athletics, when you provide positive feedback to the athlete, it makes them feel good. But when you provide constructive feedback, it makes them do better. Sometimes we can provide constructive feedback in our comments by shifting the paradigm a bit, offering a slightly different point of view, or “tagging on”…much like in brainstorming, when one tags onto a good idea and adds another good idea…and so on, and so on…

    Guest posting on others’ blogs has not yet turned into added viewers or commenters on my site, but I’m hopeful that it will. I love to write, and being asked to guest post (as I was here) is an honour and a privilege, but one also “secretly” hopes that it will drive interest to one’s own blog as well.

    Using “social media wisely” is, I believe, your gold-medal tip, Stu. There are so many choices, platforms, channels and opportunities that it can get overwhelming. Being wise, selective and sensible in choices is a smart thing to do. Cheers! Kaarina

    • It is very fickle and I don’t profess to have the answers as to what drives traffic. I know you can be an incredible writer, plug in keywords, network, comment, link up etc and still it doesn’t make much of a difference.

      At what level is it that you think you arrived? Is it a bunch of people showing up or is it ‘who’ shows up? Is it money?

      It is definitely a roller coaster, hopefully you can keep it fun and on track.

      Good to see you ma’am; thanks for saying hi to Stu.

    • Hey Kaarina, my fellow ‘ghost poster’!

      Thanks for commenting and stopping by, you make some valid points there. Commenting with value is always better, that’s how I like to think I first got noticed in the blogosphere (as did Bill!)

      Your mention about guest posting not resulting in added viewers intrigues me – my first guest post got a little attention, and most of them since have been beneficial in that respect. I’ve had 25 guest posts published now, so I like to think I know what I’m doing. Maybe 😉

      It may take a couple of guest posts to get that traffic coming Kaarina. Let me know if you need any help 🙂

      • 25 GP’s…………sweet; I only have 28 posts total. Maybe I can borrow some of your earlier ones an just put my name on it now…………:).

        You took the bold approach Stu and I probably need to be a little more pro-active in this area.

      • Hi Stu, and thanks for the offer. It’s still early in the game for me to be concerned about not getting more traffic from guest posts, so I will continue to happily be a “ghost” and watch the traction and action ongoing. I love to write, so being given the opportunity to guest post on others’ blogs is always an honour. Cheers! Kaarina

    • I was going to leave, you know… a real comment, but then I decided to blogjack would be more fun! 🙂 Or as Kaarina puts it “tagging on”

      Working on my blog reset, I’ve really been looking at these questions like Bill asked: how many people show up vs. who shows up? I think Bill is very right, it depends on your objectives. If you are blogging for business, I think one of the hardest questions you can ask is are your commenters your customers? They might be more friends/colleagues. That is not a bad thing, but it can give you a false sense of what you are achieving.

      Of course, if you are blogging for personal reasons or to be invisible 🙂 then community, can be enough. But if you are blogging for business, it should eventually go further. (I am going to be writing more on this in a few weeks, so I will shut up now!)

      I can’t tell you how much I appreciate every comment on my blog. And I think Stuart makes great points about getting out there, particularly with social media. Good stuff Stuart!

      • I struggle with the same thing Adam. We are re-doing our corp website and it should launch in less than 2 weeks. We will have a blog and that is where you will find my ‘corporate’ voice at times. Periodically, I will be referencing it in my personal blog, but very similar to how I would engage at a Chamber function.

        I agree, the people showing up at a business site might be people just like us, all looking for an audience. Visibility is key; I think the more you can do that everything else will start falling into place.

        I like this ‘tagging’ on stuff; that might be my new MO.

      • Glad you “tagged on” Adam.

        Bill and I just had this exact conversation about goals/objectives in terms of blogging. I think they can certainly change and shift over time. I’ve made some decisions about my own blog based upon where I’m at and where I’m going, and will be focusing more on business topics that would resonate with my potential clients who own businesses. But since I’m more of a business/life coach hybrid, I’ll always maintain a true “coaching” essence…assisting people to be the best they can be, in business and in life.

        I look forward to your post(s) on blogging for business…maybe I can even be a “ghost” on that topic? Cheers! Kaarina

  7. Hi Bill,
    Right on the money. In order to leave interesting comments it is essential to be interested. The fun of blogging for me is that it takes me to interesting people with interesting ideas that expand my mind. Never boring. Only risk I run is addiction.
    Nice post.
    Thanks!
    -k @FitOldDog

    • And addicting it can be, sir. There is always one more person to see or to talk to. Time and numbers and when do you say ‘ok, this is the size of group I can work with’?

      Thanks for coming by Kevin and throwing Stu some love, much appreciated. Hope you can make it by again.

    • Funny you say that Kevin, I ran the risk of blogging addiction once I really got into it. I managed to stop myself, but others haven’t been so fortunate. It becomes like a video game addiction.

      Thanks for stopping by Kevin 🙂

  8. Hindsight is 20/20, right? I suppose there were things I could have done differently, but I wouldn’t know all that I know now if I had chosen a different path. I started blogging when I started my business last year, but I wasn’t that dedicated to it. I used that age-old excuse, “I don’t have time!” The truth is that I do have time if I make writing a priority (I don’t know why I didn’t; writing is my passion. I suppose it takes me a little longer than some people to learn a lesson.).

    I’ve been working on making more connections. I have presences on several social networks, but it’s only been lately that I’ve started to make solid connections with people like Gini Dietrich, Danny Brown, and Ken Mueller. I’ve also been exploring the guest posting idea. I like to do it – after all, I do like to write – and it’s a win-win for everyone. I’ve also become more active in commenting on posts, and, like Kaarina Dillabough, I try to add value where I can.

    Thanks for the post! It was an enjoyable read.

    • Hindsight is indeed 20/20, but we don’t drive our vehicles or our lives backwards. Just keep writing, commenting and connecting. And of course…providing value! Just followed you on Twitter, and will head over to check out your blog. Cheers! Kaarina

      • I provided value once; somebody asked me if I had chance for a $5 and I accidentally gave them change for a $10. Man, that still keeps me up at night…..just sayin’……….

    • No, I think I have the record on how long it takes someone to learn. I just happen to have some dumb luck.

      I have several people lined up for GP’s but would love to get you in the mix at some time if interested.

      The people you mention (incl Kaarina) are the right people to be connected with.

      Good luck with your journey and hope you can fulfill your passion for writing. Thanks so much for coming by to say hello to Stu. Hope to see you around.

    • That’s the beauty of life Erin, looking back at things and realising the potential we missed out on. But then we can use that awareness for the next time!

      Thanks for the comment, and I wish you the best with your blogging exploits 🙂

  9. Stuart, it’s funny, I’ve recently been checking out many, many blogs which are on 10-best lists, netsetters, 25 new and exciting bloggers to check out in 2011, etc. etc., but none of them have as many comments as I see here on a regular basis.

    I am interested in what you have to say. This post was interesting … and this was certainly an engaging post. Stuart, you are doing a great job with your blog! … How’s that? Seriously, I do appreciate your positive message and always helpful posts over at your place.

    I’ve been so focused on getting my blog off the ground, and my day job, I haven’t had time to comment as much as my idol, … Bill Dorman, or really learn how to use Twitter. Mark Schaefer’s The Tao of Twitter is on my “to buy” list. I also like the post Ari Herzog wrote back in may about commenting success.

    Great advice here, Stu. Thanks! Congrats on the guest post spot too!

    • You MUST get Mark’s “Tao of Twitter”, Craig: just download from Amazon. It’s fab!

      And Bill does have a great community here: lots of engagement, lots of sharing, great stuff! And don’t be telling Bill he’s your idol or we’ll never hear the end of it:) Just sayin’…..Cheers! Kaarina

      • Bill, the Tao is excellent. I think you know a lot of what’s in it innately (you’re a Twitter natural, though I don’t think you will admit it!) but it saved me from continuing my poor social media ways. I would absolutely grab it; it’s well worth it.

    • Yeah, what’s up with that Craig? I’m sure when you see these 10 best lists, I have to be number 11……….or at least 12, huh? I mean I guess you have to cut it off somewhere.

      Stu is doing a great job, has a great message, and doing a lot of the necessary leg work. Now that the focus will be his blog and site, watch him take off.

      So are we still running neck and neck on who goes first; your blog or my self-hosted site?

      Good to see you Craig, thanks for stopping by while Stu was in the house.

      • Interesting that many of these sites had less than 10 comments per post. Bill, I do think that when you do get that self-hosted site we’ll see you on some list fairly soon. Maybe MY first post will be: 10 Influential bloggers and their secrets to explosive growth and mega-traffic. See the secrets revealed in my new e-book. Buy it now for the low price of $9.95. Available for 2-days only 😉

        My goal is to have the site up before September. We shall see.

        Good to visit again, my friend.

    • Hey Craig, are you getting a blog? You’re one of the better commenters out there, a lot better than some long-term bloggers. This could be the start of something big!

      Thanks for the kind words, nearly all of what I have now has been trial and error – I did something, and if it worked, I kept it. If not, I got rid of it. A motto for life in a way!

      You’re right, Bill and I (especially Bill) get more comments than some much ‘larger’ blogs. I wonder if it’s to do with the direction of the blog, or the general popularity of us bloggers? I prefer the latter 😉

      Take care Craig, and if you get Mark’s book, let me know what it’s like 🙂

      • Stuart, you are two very popular blokes!

        Thanks for the kind words, Stu. Not sure if it will be the start of something big, but I am looking forward to “conversing” with everyone a bit more. I’m trying to plan this out so I have adequate time for all: Maintaining a decent looking blog, actually writing something that might generate a few replies, and commenting, ’cause commenting is fun, me thinks 😉

        Yes, I guess trial and error, one step forward, two steps back is the way is usually goes in the beginning, eh? Regardless, it sure looks like you are getting it, Sir!

        Comments are extremely important for blog longevity and future growth. Two of the top dogs, Seth Godin and Leo Babauta have banned comments, but I’m pretty sure they both did this because the comment streams just became too overwhelming, right? Seth G. did have comments at one point, correct? A good problem to have no doubt. Maybe you will have that problem 🙂

        Thanks, Stu and I’ll let you know what I think of the book. Mark Schaefer is another great guy out there.

  10. Hi Stu,

    You picked a great topic for Bill’s blog–he’s a great example of how to truly be social on social media. When I first started blogging, I was in full research mode trying to figure out what to do. Luckily I found two extremely knowledgeable experts: Kristi Hines (Kikolani) and Brankica. Both emphasized the importance of not just commenting on other blogs, but joining the conversation and community. Their advice gave me the courage to get out there.

    Reading The Tao of Twitter helped me get beyond my lurker ways on Twitter and start talking to people. Now I share and chat and have fun there. I’ve been blogging now for about 6 months and my very first guest post was published yesterday over at Danny Iny’s Firepole Marketing. And, my next one will be on Spin Sucks on Monday! I can hardly contain my excitement, because in the beginning, I didn’t think I had anything interesting to say.

    If I could turn back time, I would definitely jump out of the nest straightaway!

    Well done Stu. Love this post.

    • Marianne,

      I’m beginning to think Bill understands all this better than anyone. I recently subscribed to Kristi’s site and Brankica’s excellent blog. I’m going to just get The Tao of Twitter today.

      Congrats on the guest posting!

    • Kristi is great, I just haven’t plugged into her yet at the level I have w/ Brankica and crew. That is so cool you’ll be doing a GP at Gini’s, can’t wait to see it. Your GP at Danny Iny’s was great.

      You are definitely doing a lot of the right things and it’s been fun to watch your progress. All you pros will be leaving me in the dust if I don’t pick up my game.

      Great to see you and thanks for stopping by and saying hello to Stu.

      The Checker fries and burger were great today.

    • Hey Marianne! Congrats on the guest post at Danny Iny’s place, it read really well. I didn’t get a chance to comment, might do later. Well done!

      We’ve all got something interesting to say, it’s just a case of saying it. Kristi and Brankica speak their minds well, and it shows – they’ve got two great blogs going on. I’m sure you’ll reach a similar level too in the future.

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  11. I also enjoyed the post Stu and I was one of those that was “afraid”. Yep, who would have known. Me with my outgoing personality. But I didn’t know I was suppose to leave a comment when I visited other people’s blogs and then I was also afraid that people wouldn’t enjoy what I wrote. Yep, the fear of the unknown holds a many people back. Sure glad I broke free from those chains.

    So I’m up on all three of your suggestions but haven’t done many guest posts. To be honest with you, it’s finding the time. I’ve also surveyed my list and they aren’t too keen on reading other people’s posts over at my place which is the only reason I haven’t incorporated that into my own blog. But I have no doubt, things will change over time.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us and it’s a pleasure to meet you. Always enjoy visiting Bill’s place and now that he’s got guest bloggers once a week, I’m always curious to see who’s up next. Great job!

    Adrienne

    • Time…don’t we all wish we had more of it, Adrienne. I think we each just need to carve out the time necessary to achieve our priorities, and let go of the rest. There’s just too much information, so many options, too many channels to try to do it all, all the time. But as I commented to Marianne, let’s all be encouraging others to jump out of their nests, perhaps a little earlier than we might have. Cheers! Kaarina

    • Easy now, it’s not going to be every week; people will start coming by to see them instead of me……………:).

      This GP offer has been interesting and fun. I was a little surprised to see this level of traffic twice a week now at my site, but then again Kaarina and Stu have done a fantastic job.

      Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate you.

    • Hey Adrienne, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts here, I appreciate it.

      You’re right, the fear of the unknown holds all of us back in some way, otherwise we’d all be doing what we want, whenever we want. Which isn’t a bad thing. So let’s get rid of this fear!

      Now I’m pumped 🙂

  12. Bill, thanks so much for hosting this post! I love how Stu sets you as an example in his guest post! It’s true that you have been such an inspiration with the way you connect with people and the community you’ve built here. =)

    When I started my blog, its purpose was to document my experiences here in Peru and although I loved the idea of a community, I didn’t even think that I should try and build one! =P When a writing friend introduced me to a LinkedIn blogging community, things just took off from there. The members pulled me out of my nest and I was introduced to such an interactive and rewarding world of awesome bloggers like you and Stu! =)

    Like many others, I really need to find the time to guest blog more! It seems like the perfect way to share knowledge. Have you guest blogged much, Bill?

    • Shhhh, guest blogging is my Achilles heal. I have had some requests, but have really drug my feet. I guess that’s might next big thing (for me) is to actually step out and let others post my stuff.

      I’m having fun just hanging around for now but will try to figure out more of a direction.

      So good to see you and thanks for sharing today. Stu did say some nice stuff, huh?

      Hope all has been well for you.

    • Hey Samantha, thanks for commenting! I didn’t know that about your blogging, that sounds great! Peru’s a lovely country I’m sure.

      Finding the time to guest post can be tough – I’ve written 8 guest posts over a 2-week period, and that’s drained me a little. I’m having a break to catch up on comments now!

      Take care 🙂

      • Ari’s the man; he was probably one of the first to offer me a GP opportunity. However, like you, I haven’t taken him up on it yet…………..I’ll get there hopefully sooner rather than later………

  13. Hi Stu, just when you get to the end of the comments someone goes and adds another one!!

    Really enjoyed your post and it’s difficult to add anything to all the great comments that have already been made. I think that many of us are the same in that we lack the confidence to get stuck in at first and the self doubt holds us back. However when we allow ourselves to be drawn into the amazing blogging community we find that the doubts evaporate and we do stuff that we never imagined we were capable of.

    We just have to take that first step with a comment or some interaction, you will never achieve anything though if you don’t take that step. I suppose it’s a bit like a butterfly emerging from that chrysalis, it’s great when it happens to you but it’s even more satisfying when you have encouraged someone and you see it happening to them!

    Thanks for your thoughtful post Stu and congratulations to Bill for having the wisdom to be your host 🙂

  14. Stuuuu!

    When I read this I just kept thinking: MATURATION. Not that you were immature…but it made me think of all the progress you’ve made in blogging this year. Seems like only months ago when we were both brand spanking new and trying to figure it all out. I’m still trying to figure it out on my end, in some regards, but along way we’ve come. I’m not speaking about traffic, subsribers and all that..I’m more so taking about the comformt of our content. I’m sure you no longer worry about if your content is good enough…as you may have when you were new…as I did.

    Keep up the good work my friend.

    What’s up Bill!

    • JK my man, Stu did do a great job didn’t he?

      I think we are all in the same boat to some degree; still trying to figure out a definitive direction but leaps and bounds from where we started in terms of confidence.

      It is like maturity, you get to a point and just say ‘it is what it is’ and don’t worry too much about it.

      Thanks for stopping by and saying hi to the next big thing; Stu Mills……….

    • Jk, you described it perfectly right there amigo!

      I remember the days of when we were starting out, and when we said to each other, “This blogging thing’s pretty cool!” Turns out we were right 😉

      I hope we stay in touch when we’re big and famous Jk, I really do. It’s gonna be fun watching the Notebook take to the skies 🙂

  15. Good guest post here Stu. I’d have to say I started blogging in reverse. I stepped outside my blog and was commenting before I really started blogging seriously. Even then, my comments pointed back to my site not the blog. Leaving interested and interesting comments was what got me going, gave me the confidence that I do have something to share with others that they’d find helpful, interesting. I’m ‘social’ and use it in moderation to promote my blog along w/ many other things. Guest posting scares me.. I freeze up, esp. when it’s open topic. For my own blog I can get it done but for others.. I panic and try to hard. Something to work on. FWIW.

    Oh and for Bill, Marianne and other fast food friends… had Checkers fries yesterday, they didn’t make it home. 🙂

    • Checkers fries rule…………….just sayin’…………

      I could copy and paste your response; we are so much alike with methodology and reasons for not GPing; must be an SEC thing, huh?

      Thanks for stopping by to say hello to Stu. Hope your day is going well.

    • Hey Davina, thanks for stopping by today!

      It took me at least a month before I figured out that, in blogging, you have to actually go out and meet people! I think I’ve got the hang of it now, but everyone is different anyway. There’s no set route to greatness.

      Sounds like Checkers are the new craze or something? 😉

      • Marianne had a post about the best hamburger so we were all weighing in on which franchise chain we thought made the best burger. It was mixed, but most everybody like the french fries from Checkers…………

      • I lurked even before I started commenting; I wanted to learn and see if what I had to share was helpful, valuable.. or would I just be an idiot. Finally I took a chance and just started sharing my opinions.. then blogging more consistently and look where I am today! 😉 Not sure about greatness, but it’s been terrific fun, a great learning experience. Oh.. and as Bill said, the fries are really good. FWIW.

  16. It’s so reassuring to read your comments and ideas about “hidden” bloggers…so similar to my own experience… I started 2 blogs in April, with no understanding of how to get ideas out there so others might share them. Even creating the blogs stretched my tech and “social” limits. It took months of just consistently adding posts to each blog and not being able to figure out how to connect them with others…really I was bewildered about how to connect. Family and friends didn’t seem to “get” or connect with what I was creating. I had no idea what “tags” were and never even found the wordpress tags section until June. I just kept holding onto my intention to “share” my pages and the hopes that others might stumble on them and find them useful or helpful. At times…well, most of the time…I felt like I was back in 7th grade..shy, self conscious, clueless….but then I did find that tags section, have been finding other like minded blogs/people etc… Thanks for your good ideas…I’m going to print your post and put it up by my computer to keep reminding me of these ideas…Kathy ps…before April, I thought blogs were only for twenty-somethings to write about travels and escapades…I had NO idea how broad and expansive the blogging world is! What a nice surprise!

    • And when you copy and paste, it’s ok to highlight all the nice stuff he said about me….:)

      Read Davina’s response; we both jumped in on the commenting side before we brought our blog along with us. If you were to ask what is the ‘one’ thing I need to do, I would say ‘engage, engage, engage’. Go to other blogs and be an active participant in the conversations. Don’t be shy, people will respond.

      It is a great big world out there……thanks for sharing your song on my Monday post. I hope you have a great weekend.

  17. Great post Stu.

    This reminds me of a blog post Marcus Sheridan (The Sales Lion) wrote a few days ago. He talked about twitter, and the power of mentioning other people in his tweets (and in blog posts).

    I find it hard to promote a blog post this way, to send it directly to the people I mention. That’s first and foremost because I’m scared that the quality is not good enough and that they instead will think of it as spam. When I publish content on my own blog, I have no problem, because it’s like I’m talking to friends inside my own house.

    I don’t have any problems leaving comments, and I don’t have any problems when it comes to guest posts (even though I haven’t written many). The fear is direct marketing (push) of my own posts.. so I can truly understand where the fear is coming from for other bloggers.

    As you’re saying, it helps a lot to leave comments, and start building relationships. When we’re friends, everything becomes less frightening.

    Jens

    • And we’re all friends, right? I might link someone in a post, but depending on who I was sending it to might be my determining factor. I would certainly feel comfortable if you sent something to me and I’m guessing you would be ok if I did the same to you. But I doubt I’m just going to drop an A-lister name in there and let ‘er rip. That’s just me though.

      Did you grow a big bushy beard while you were in the woods? Can we call you grizzly Adams now?

      Good to see you buddy, thanks for taking the time to stop by.

      • That’s how I feel Bill. It’s no problem as long as we’re all friends, but when we’re talking about A-list bloggers, then I wouldn’t have done it 🙂

        I have been growing a beard, but it didn’t come out the way I thought it would be 😉

    • Hi Jens, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, I appreciate it, and I’m sure Bill does too 😉

      I agree with you about Marcus’ tactic – I’m glad it worked for him, but I’m not sure if I would have decided to do that myself. Each to their own!

      Friendships matter in the end Jens, and I’m happy that we’re in the same circle 🙂

  18. My number one rule for blogging is to have fun with it. Just enjoy and don’t over think things. It is really easy to get caught up in the minutiae but you miss out on a lot of the really good stuff that happens in between the big things.

  19. I love meeting other bloggers. I would not have the comments or the community that I have without them.

    I am just now starting to guest post. I have a social media post that will be out next week. I look forward to it.

    I am active on Twitter, and have been very fortunate to meet several bloggers in real life when I went to Blog World NY.

    I enjoyed this post, but i heard there was cake here. Where is the cake?

    • You can’t have your cake and eat it too…………you must be thinking of Griddy’s; she has nice stuff over there. This was a typical dude set up w/out a lot of proper planning so all I had were saltines and whatever beer I had left in the ‘fridge. I just ‘ass’umed people would bring their own stuff. I’ve told you, I can ‘just show up’ real well.

      I also love the meeting and getting to know the other bloggers. One of these days I will GP…………

      I’m expecting one out of you over here fairly soon; spiked hair and all…………:)

  20. Hey Bill and Stu!

    Holy comments! I’m not gonna lie-I didn’t read each and every one in detail. However, I usually do for a couple of reasons:
    1. I hate repeating what everyone else says. I want you to know I have a brain of my own when I comment and that I haven’t regurgitated someone else’s thoughts.
    2. Often the comments add so much to the post itself. There are nuggets of wisdom to be found.

    Anyway, I just realized after reading this post that I’ve been blogging for 10 months! I still feel so new. We all make mistakes along the way but that’s part of learning. I used to read people’s blogs (and the comments) and then just slink away. I couldn’t decide what to write and didn’t think they would really want to hear from me.

    The more I read, the more comfortable I became and just put myself out there. I found that it was easier than I thought and people appreciated my comments. (They liked me…they really liked me!) This also helped me with blog posts on my own site. As someone with a niche site, I agree with what others have said above that sometimes topics can be tough. You want to be social yet informative. I just try to mix mine up and make sure that whatever I write sounds like me. In fact, I have a new post in the works that may include stinky diapers. Now I have you wondering what that has to do with my business. Well, I’ve found that personal experiences make for the best writing.

    Bill, I’ve taken up a lot of space so I’ll stop now. Stu, it was nice meeting you here! Headed over to your blog!

    • I follow several niche sites and know it’s very different than the ‘social’ crowd so maybe your expectations should be different; then again, maybe not. Our corporate website is being revamped and will launch next week. It too will have a blog and I will contribute some articles. I won’t know how to act if nobody shows up. I’ll be running back to my party……..:).

      I think that is a good strategy indeed in trying to mix it up and especially just being yourself.

      I actually follow a couple of mommy sites so can’t wait for the poopy diapers story.

      So good to see you Alicia and I’ll be by later.

    • Hi Alicia, sorry for the late reply – as you may have noticed, there’s a lot of comments here and replying to them has become my new job 😉

      You made such a brilliant comment that I can’t do justice to it with an equally long and brilliant comment, so I’ll settle for this – be yourself. Blog for yourself, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

      I hope that covers it, and I’m looking forward to reading about your stinky diaper experience 🙂

  21. I came in so late that the comments already hit the 100 mark and now I am too lazy to read each and every one of them ;p

    So, I might just write and then read all that said above and realize…oh my, they’ve said the same thing!

    I’ve been here (blogging that is!) for almost a year now and still can be amazed by the power of the blogging community. There are so many, they have so many things to say…seems like I am in high school all over again… so many bright people around me 😦

    But I hear what you have to say about guest posts…people do come back to your blog and see what’s going on and that is amazing. I have done some guest posting, would love to do some more…let’s see where and how!

    Congrats on being the second ghost blogger Stuart! 🙂

    • Funny you should say about guest posting more Hajra, when I’ve just decided to open my door for you 😉

      Thanks for commenting, and I understand about the number of comments here – there’s just so many! It’s taken me a while to get to them all.

      I didn’t know you’ve been blogging for that long Hajra – congratulations! I bet you’ve learned a few things along the way, such as “Comment quicker to a Bill Dorman post” 🙂

  22. And you are in my queue (I thought Stu would like that) Hajra.

    I’ve wondered about having too many comments and some people think, ‘I can’t add anything to this’ and just go away. I know I’ve done it a time or two………I guess it’s ok as long as you don’t stay away for good, huh?

    Thanks for taking the time to at least say hi to Mr Stu. Hope all else is well and you have a great weekend…………or is it already Monday where you are?…………..:)

  23. Hi Stu,

    I have made some really impressive connections ( pat on the back) 😉 :P. You are one of them. My purpose was initially to defeat traffic sent by Google vs traffic I could bring myself. Fortunately, both have combined well to give me a good amount of visitors. I think the engagement is necessary because we can learn from others a lot

    A great post. Thanks for sharing.
    Ashvini

    • Hey Ashvini, what do you mean by defeating traffic sent by Google? Are you talking about traffic driven by SEO?

      It sounds like you are enjoying your journey and gaining some traction; good for you because it can be very fickle in the social media world at times.

      Thanks for coming by and saying hello to Stu.

      • Hi Bill,

        Exactly. I am talking about trying to increase % of traffic coming from developing contacts and using social media. I have been fairly successful ( though Google still is ahead of me :).

        You got it right when you said, I am enjoying my journey because there are so many fantastic people to meet and share the thoughts while also gaining some traffic.

        You are awesome friend too, Bill 🙂 Thanks for replying 🙂

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