Dear New WordPress Bloggers,
Thank you so much for following my blog! I’m so glad you’ve decided to become a part of my blogging community. Or have you…
A few of you left comments. You are so good at what you do! That’s exactly how you build a blogging community. You are on your way to being a successful blogger. I always respond and try to stop by your blogs to read and comment. Here’s the thing: Most new blog followers never stop by the Wild Ride. EVER.
Some new bloggers have an itchy index finger. They click to “Recommended,” and hit “Follow, Follow, Follow,…” all the way down the list. How do they handle so many new email notifications? They probably turn them off. What about the Reader? It may resemble a Twitter feed when following thousands. Whoosh!
A properly built WordPress blog is structured with real connections with other bloggers and readers. It is strengthened by getting to know others. Reciprocating doesn’t mean, “Ha! You followed me back, sucker! You’ll never see me again!” It means taking the time to reach out to those who make the effort to read your words.
You may confuse blogging with Instagram or Twitter.
It takes a minute to pick out a photo, edit it, and add hashtags on Instagram. Okay, maybe two. Twitter takes even less time. We plow through our feeds and can engage with followers or not. There’s very little time investment on either side. With so much in our feeds, about one-hundredth of the people who follow us may see our posts before they slip to oblivion. On those sites, users follow for followbacks. I get that.
For most bloggers, posts take an hour and sometimes days to polish before blogging them publicly. (Or they should since no one wants to read poorly written garbage.) We may add carefully edited photos or video which takes even more time. Our site is a living room where we welcome strangers to sit down on our favorite couch with a cuppa joe or tea and stretch out while we share our wild lives and then open it up for discussion.
The WordPress Reader makes it easy for you to take a look at our latest posts. (It’s right up there on the left side of the black bar.) Bonus! Views from the Reader and Likes are being counted, as of last week. That’s such a huge relief since I want to know if my posts are hits or big time misses to the sound of crickets. I’m always learning too.
You should ask yourself this question:
Why do I want to be a blogger? To become famous and spew? To build an author’s platform? To sell books? To make money? Those are all end-games. Blogging for results will get you nowhere.
Instead, focus on the path of writing what you are passionate about and you will see results. It’s all about practice and community building.
Follow blogs without the expectation of a followback. Writing books and screenplays takes most of my time, but I still make the effort to stop by, read, and say hello when I can. That’s how I’ve built my community.
I follow four hundred people. Some don’t follow me. I read them like the newspaper or a magazine. Newspapers and magazines don’t follow me either… yet.
Don’t build a flimsy blog. No one wants to post in a headwind so strong no one hears your voice. You may get frustrated. After a few months, you may quit. That would be a total bummer.
Build a strong blogging community and you will get to know other bloggers pretty well. You might even meet them in real life. They may help you when you are sick, even if they live halfway around the world. They aren’t just another avatar or a number. They are real. They could be your people in your community if you build it correctly. The best part of blogging is the instant gratification of interaction. I love my blog. Have fun with it, communicate with others, and you will too!
I hope that helps you in your first year of blogging. If you need any other help, tips, or guidance, I’m always here at the Wild Ride. Yee Haa!
Wishing you the best of luck in your blogging journey,
Susie Lindau – AKA – Wild Rider
P.S. Here are some other blog tips and tricks:
Wild Rider Magazine – Crush Procrastination and Boost Your Blog
Blogging Tips from a Wild Rider – How to Hook Readers
Why Blog And What the Heck is a Writer’s Platform?
Do you see a pattern of follows and unfollows? What are you doing to build community that could help others? Do you follow a lot of blogs?