So with the advent of the new year I have goals in mind which I already listed in my 2015 Reading, Blogging and Art goals. It got me thinking about 1 goal in particular which then spawned this discussion and tips post! My goal that spawned this was…
More Interaction! Also I had a more specific one “to visit at least 5 new blogs a week.” I know that might sound hard but oddly enough I’ve done pretty well at finding blogs I haven’t been to before and hopefully making new friends! But lets break my interactions down shall we? And hopefully you might find some of them useful!
– Regular and frequent Content! Post blog content on a daily basis if I can, which usually I’m pretty good at doing (if you can’t that is totally understandable! – whatever you CAN do, folks will still interact with you if you are interacting with them!)
– Respond to your comments! Reply back to the comments left by visitors and then I go visit their blogs in return (I keep track of this by if I’ve responded to their comment on my blog then I know I’ve visited them back for that comment) I’ve been a bit slick lately in responding to comments on my own blog only because I’m 7weeks away from my pregnancy due date, and sitting for hours at my computer desk is hard. So if you get middle of the night comments from me with lots of typos these days it’s because I’m on my phone lol
– Randomly jump to a blog I don’t recognize! When visiting and commenting on a post from blogs I already follow I quickly glance through the list of folks who have already commented on that post and then jump over to the blog/commenter names of ones who have names I don’t recognize. (WHAMMO new blog discovered!)
– Kick it up a notch! I’ll also take it another step further and if that new blog also has other bloggers who’ve left lots of commenter names I don’t recognize I’ll leave that page open and hit it back up again later in the week for even more new blogs I have yet to encounter/visit! I’m weird I never completely close my browser session so I can pull all the pages/tabs back open the next day and puck up where I left off in my blog browsing madness.
– I use my social media to randomly visit people! At least once a week or every other week I’ll go through my twitter feed and get to a person’s blog via their profile if I see a tweet from them and if I realize I haven’t visited them in awhile. Or I’ll look through the list of people who follow me and visit their blogs.
– How do you decide what blogs to visit each day!? Do you use an RSS feed reader – do you check it and clear it daily? I know I don’t. Do you use the comment back method and use that to visit blogs every day based on who visits you? (This can really limit the amount of visitors you get, but hopefully helps maintain your relationships with your steady followers and friends). Are you an email subscriber? – I personally can’t stand subscribing to blogs via email. My inbox is crazy enough as it is. I also have a haul of blogs that I manually type in the address bar of my browser so often that my browser pulls then up so quick because roar ones I usually visit I a daily basis cause yeah I stalk when I can. Pretty much I think the best way to do this whole follow/visit thing is shake it up and vary your method. We only have so much time in a day/week. So try out different methods and don’t always just stick to one because you might miss out on another way that could make things fun for you. My next goal is to try Stumble Upon because I’ve noticed I’ve been getting page view hits from it and I’ve never even been there! 😕
– Sharing is Caring! Some bloggers are fabulous about doing “around the blogosphere” type posts where they include links to other bloggers sites that they want to highlight. I tried this for awhile but got lazy. But I LOVE looking at the ones that other people put together and almost always I end up looking at practically all of the blog and discussion links. Especially the one that Oh! The Books does on a weekly basis.
– Try sharing a review perhaps!? If sharing content that frequently is too much work for you, you could always try sharing another bloggers review at the bottom of your review as “other reviews of this book by such and such bloggers”. I know I personally always stop by and check out the reviews of a blogger that happens to link to my review. Its a great way to strike up conversation with another blogger and also its just nice. Someone that does this often to my reviews and always tickles me pink when she does is Kristen @ Fantasy Cafe. She so fabulous at including usually 2 to 3 other bloggers reviews linked at the bottom of hers.
– Discussions! When you discuss something and you were inspired by someone else’s post – why not mention theirs and link it in your post. An extra bump for them and it’s just nice. It’ll make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Some thoughts and advice on visiting, commenting and plugins/platforms:
– The importance of visiting other people’s blogs! It’s a community for a reason. By visiting them and reading their content that is also how you get to know them and I personally believe it’s essential to comment because that’s how you interact and engage. Hopefully they’ll even respond to your comments (and hopefully you’ll notice they’ve responded..some sort of comment reply notification is key!)
– If you have a blog I recommend installing a Comment Reply Notification plugin – that notifies the commenter that you’ve responded and it emails them your response. I also just discovered via a few other bloggers a fabulous plugin for reminding you that you have comments on your own blog you need to respond to called “Comments not replied to.” I just installed it so we’ll see how that works it. Other blogs use different commenting platforms that automatically do that, such as disqus (but I personally hate disqus and all other commenting platforms especially ones that require you to login…just annoys the piss out of me) lol but they aren’t bad really nite that I stay permanently logged in. So maybe they don’t annoy me that bad lol
– Not all commenting platforms notify people you’ve responded! Ultimately, many folks like the varying different kinds of platforms. Just remember based on what type of commenting platform that you choose, If it doesn’t notify the commenter in some way that you’ve replied to their comment its sort of like you are shooting fish into a bottomless barrel – or shouting into an empty room. Got it? Good.
PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNITY EVENTS and FEATURES!
– Challenges – I try to do them and always end up forgetting about half the ones I join in on. But this is a great way to interact with people. And this year I preformatted at least two quarterly update posts to make sure I remember! And I even added a widget that I got from Ashley @ Creative Whim that tracks my challenges!
– Readathons – one of my favorite ways to meet new readers even though ultimately I don’t always change my reading habits for a readathon.
– Twitter parties – Join in on them and chat it up because they are totally fun (most that go along with events even have prizes)
– Themed months hosted by other blogs – These can be soo much fun and usually come with a linky to link up your themed posts that then other people can peruse the list and check you and your content out. Highly recommended!
– Link Ups! and Weekly Features! – There are various types of link ups I’ve seen around and they are usually done as memes or features or just something the blog does on a regular basis. Examples are
- Nathan @ Fantasy Review Barn hosts Tough Traveling – every Thursday
- Anya @ On Starships and Dragonswings hosts Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays – Every Friday link up SFF posts, reviews and giveaways (and get auto entered to win a prize for every link you submit)
- Tabitha @ Not Yet Read hosts Art it Up! – every Thursday
- Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight! host a monthly link up of 2015 Discussions
– Blog Hops – Believe it or not I really don’t think the big giveaway ones do anything significant for your blog! (Other then increase your “stats” and pageviews temporarily.) I don’t know if this is true it might just be my personal opinion but a goodly portion of the increase might just be giveaway goblins who are after the free loots you are offering and will likely never visit your blog again. Do I still participate in giveaway blog hops? You bet your sweet ass LOL because I like to reward my already current set of loyal subscribers and I figure hey why not see if I actually do meet some new people. I can’t say that I never do – because back in my earlier days I used to use blog hop lists as a way to easily find new blogs to follow. Especially for those themed hops that I found really appealing to my personal reading tastes.
THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO AVOID
– Don’t sign people up for your freaking newsletter just because they left a comment on your blog. Its not cool.
– Don’t sign people up for your freaking newsletter or blog tour company without their permission.
– If you’re wanting to actually make friends and connections in the community don’t try to short shrift anyone, actually interact and it will pay off and hey jee wizz you might freaking make friends! #Gasp
– Avoid leaving spammy type comments like “I’m a new follower you should follow me back” or “Great content – by the way I have this giveaway going on you should enter.” (well unless you’re already their established friend and you know they would really want to know LOL).
Sometimes we all leave generic comments, just letting them know you were there in my opinion is often all you’re aiming for when you can’t figure out much to say – so that’s cool! And I’m a firm believer in that almost all comments are nice, someone is taking time to leave it and I freaking appreciate it. The only time I don’t so much is when it is blatantly self promotion cause you know that doesn’t really leave a nice vibe – know what I mean? This goes the same for authors that visit. If all you are doing is dropping by to tell me I should read your book that really isn’t going to get you a response from me.
Please remember these are just personal opinions of things I try to apply to myself and I merely wanted to share how I interact with the blogging community. Some people may not agree with them and in no way am I an authority on blogging etiquette so you can take it all with a grain of salt! Or a cookie =)
I hope you guys liked my new doodles I did just for this post! Course I’ll be lazy and use them again someday I bet lol.