An Introvert’s Guide to Blogging
by Sweaty of Do Sweat the Small Stuff
If you’re an introvert like me, using social media to enhance your blog can be more than a little daunting. All of a sudden, it’s like high school again, and most likely you’d feel like the new kid who had transferred in the middle of a semester, complete with volcanic pimples and shiny braces.
While I’m far from being a social media expert, I do know a few things from my days of being a blogger. Below are the most basic, but essential tips that could help you fit in without having to reinvent yourself into someone you’re not.
1) Read, comment, and reply.
Blogging, first and foremost, is about sharing. It’s a give-and-take thing. If you want people to read your blog, then read others’. Leave sincere and thoughtful comments that showed you have paid attention to what they’ve written. Every one wants to feel validated; for bloggers, nothing could be more rewarding than a comment that acknowledges his or her post’s relevance.
The same goes to the comments left on your post. Remember that those people have spent their precious time reading what you wrote instead of a million other things they could be doing at the time. Show them that you appreciate what they’ve done by replying to each of their comments.
2) Set up a Twitter account and Facebook page for your blog.
Believe me, you need at least those two. Why? Because it’s the easiest way to communicate and advertise your blog to others. Unless you’re a celebrity, chances are people don’t know you exist. Twitter and Facebook provide a way to make yourself known. And no, you don’t need to be tweeting or posting a new status every minute for these two forms of social media to be effective. Remember, the most important thing is to make others aware of your existence. At the very least, tweet your latest post at regular intervals throughout the day, and post it on your FB page right after you publish it.
3) When you find blogs you like, follow AND visit them regularly.
What I mean by ‘follow’ is: follow them through Google Friend Connect (if available), subscribe to their RSS feed or via email, add their Twitter accounts, and ‘Like’ their FB pages.
I personally use Google Reader to organize my subscriptions, and Hootsuite for all the tweets I follow. Without these tools, it could be quite difficult to stay updated.
I really don’t recommend following just any blog for the sake of quantity. You’d just end up crowding your inbox and Reader list, and soon enough, confuse and overwhelm yourself.
Next, visit the blogs you’ve followed on a regular basis. It’s important to let them know that you are in it for the long run, not just a once-in-a lifetime occurrence. Especially with established blogs with a high number of followers, you would need to visit them at least a few times if you want them to notice you. There is no short-cut to building meaningful connections when it comes to friendship. If you want loyal followers, then you must be loyal to them too.
4) Join Blog Hops or Writing Prompts linkys.
Joining a Blog Hop is a good and easy way to make your blog presence known and for you to get to know other bloggers. You just click on the links submitted by the other bloggers and you’d instantly be transported to his/her blog. The same goes for you.
Writing Prompts are more specific, but I personally like them because they tend to be more selective. You’re more likely to meet bloggers who have the same interests as you there than through Blog Hops.
5) Don’t bite more than you can chew/be yourself.
It’s normal to want tons of followers, to be popular and well-liked. Just don’t expect it to happen overnight. Besides, how you define success for your blog is relative. I know many prided themselves on the number of their followers (me included--boy, was I obsessed with the numbers!). However, if you’re in it for the long run, you’ll find that what matters most is the connection/friendship you build with others. Believe me, the last thing you’d want is to have hundreds of followers and still feel ‘lonely’ at the end of the day.
You must be honest and reasonable with yourself when it comes to setting up goals for your blog. Just because it works for some doesn’t mean it will work on everyone. What’s right for me might not be right for you. Don’t feel like you need to post x amount of times per week just because so and so does it.
Take into consideration the life you have ‘outside’ of blogging, your work commitments, your relationships with your spouse/partner and children (if you have any), and your sanity. Establish a schedule that you are comfortable with and can stick to in the long run. I’ve seen many bloggers who over commit themselves in the beginning and ended up quitting because they got burnt out .
There are an endless amount of resources on blogging out there that you can tap into. I really encourage you to make full use of them. By no means the five tips I highlighted above could encompass all there is to know about blogging, but they’ve served me well in the one year that I’ve been blogging. Hopefully you’ll benefit from them too.
You can find Sweaty:
At her blog: Do Sweat the Small Stuff
FB-ing at http://facebook.com/dosweat
And as a contributing writer at Just Be Enough
Want to add your two cents? By all means, email me and have your say. Your post could be the next here in the Kitchen.