As you probably know by now, Shanna attended a blogging conference earlier this month in Atlanta.
This was her third round at Haven, and each time she returns, she is so full of energy, and recharged, and ready to take on the world. After spending three days with her peers (in the real world … not through a keyboard), she’s reinvigorated because she was surrounded by people that understand what it’s like to work on a web site from home, and these friends understand how challenging it can be when numbers dip, or how frustrating it can be when a time-consuming project receives a lackluster response, or how stressful life gets whenever the site is unavailable, or how annoying social media can be when algorithms change and your exposure is squelched.
Not everyone understands that.
I didn’t — and I’m her best friend and hear her talk about these anxieties at least once a week.
For the longest time I didn’t get it; I couldn’t see how the “abstracts” in her business could itch at her like the leftover crawling sensation of a spider you crushed (or released to the wild if that’s more your speed).
But now that her and I are further down the blogging-as-a-business road, I’m at a much better vantage point for seeing when she’s having a rough day because a vendor is not responding or a surprise deadline snuck-up a little faster than expected.
So today, I’m talking to the other side of the web site … to the readers of blogs.
Today, we’re talking about how to hug a blogger.
We all read blogs. And over time, we naturally feel a connection with the author, regardless of whether or not we’ve ever met them. We hear anecdotes about their families. We know their likes and dislikes. We know their pets’ names. And we may learn some very personal stories.
But sometimes we forget to let these authors know what an impact they have on our lives.
That ends today!!!!!
Starting today, we’re going to learn what bloggers want.
We’re going to learn how to give a blogger a virtual hug and tell them, “Thank you for sharing that with me.”
Hands down, the best way to show a blogger a little love is to comment on their posts.
Even little comments matter. “This is great!” “Love the color!” “Charlie is awesome!” You don’t have to write a novel … but take a second to let the author know you stopped in, “Hey from Wichita!” It probably took a long time to write that post (from finishing the project, to writing the draft, to editing) — what’s a second or two to say “hey”?
If you’re on a site and there’s no place to leave a comment, visit the Contact Me page and let them know … it’s probably just an oversight.
But please keep it positive. There is already enough negativity in the world, and there’s no need to perpetuate it.
Browse the site
Numbers matter to bloggers. Probably a little too much.
I call it the pageview-to-pleasantness quotient. It’s simply this: there is a direct correlation between the number of blog pages viewed by visitors and the pleasantness of my wife’s mood. NOT THAT SHE’S EVER IN A BAD MOOD. I’m simply saying that on days with abnormally high page views, she’s particularly happy. On days with lower-than-desired pageviews, she’s … “less” happy.
When you visit a site, take an extra minute to click on one of their other articles — that’s why there are dozens of plugins that try to show you, the reader, what other articles might be interesting.
So for my sake, please, take your time and browse around.
Need a suggestion? Here’s a great story about a disastrous trip to the YMCA…
Like and Pin and Favorite and +1 and …
Typically, bloggers promote their articles in social media. And why not … EVERYONE is there and it’s usually free.
But did you know if you like a company on Facebook, you probably aren’t seeing everything they post? From our experience, we’re awfully happy if we reach 10% penetration on anything that gets posted to the business page on Facebook.
Pinterest has some funny algorithms too … but it’s not nearly as stifling as Facebook’s.
Twitter is good, but there’s the character count, so it’s not too conducive to promoting a DIY piece.
Instagram! Instagram is really great … it’s like Facebook without words. Like away on that one!
Google+ is … what it is …
But if you see a post you like, Like it. That matters. Pin it. Favorite it.
Every interaction is appreciated.
Sharing is Caring
Along similar lines, but with a drastically different result, you can show some love by sharing a post on Facebook.
There’s a term in Blogland called “Going viral”, and it’s sort of a blue moon. It happens … but not very often. But it happens because you SHARE a post, and then someone else SHARES the post, and then someone else, and then their friends share it, and it spreads into something like a really good, non-deadly equivalent to typhoid Mary.
So please, in the words of your preschool teacher, share dammit.
This is an easy one. On just about every blog out there, you have an option to subscribe. And a lot of times, within that subscription section, you have options:
- You can sign up for an email alert whenever a new post is published, and then you just wait for that arrive, click through and voila.
- You can also get a link to add it to a newsfeed (my preference), like Feedly or BlogLovin.
Either way, your blogger loves it when they get a subscribe notice.
Typically, around that same section on a site, you should also be able to subscribe to social media pages where you can get some fun, non-post updates as well.
Links to Shanna’s social media pages are in the above section or should be available along the top of the sidebar. (And I’ll give this plug — on her Facebook page, she LOVES linking to old, magnificent homes that we could never afford — but they’re still pretty cool).
Lastly, visit a blogger’s sponsors or click an ad.
Most bloggers aren’t getting rich off their blogs, but when you click through to a sponsor, a little change gets added to the coffers. It’s typically not much … but as the sites grow, hopefully, the sponsored clicks do as well.
That’s it for today.
Now go lock hands with a neighbor and start belting out “I’d like to buy the world (wide web) a Coke, and keep it company”.
And most importantly, go out and show your favorite bloggers some love.
See you next week!
Thanks for stopping in, and please visit some of my other posts on blogging below.