The topic for today’s Monday Listicles is 10 acronyms you use regularly. I struggled to come up with anything that would be funny: LOL, DMV, O.P.P. (I was going to send out a tweet that said, “I don’t know about you, but I’m down with O.P.P.” and then I checked Urban Dictionary and found out what it stood for – so I didn’t send the tweet.), or PBR (when I was a kid my dad would say, “PBR me, por favor” then offer to pay me a nickel to run upstairs to get him a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Sometimes I would say, no. Then he would offer me a dime and I would take off running for the fridge).
Anyway, I couldn’t come up with anymore than that and I couldn’t make it funny, so I’m going to just go with the un-funny theme and write about blogging instead.
Update: One thing I forgot to mention that is a life-saver is HootSuite. I use HootSuite to schedule all my posts on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Use it, so you can schedule it and forget it.
a. Too many ads are distracting. If your main focus is to make money, then you need ads. But I still think there should be a limit.
b. Use easy-to-read text. It should be a plain, simple text, not cursive (mine probably needs to be bigger, but I haven’t taken the time to figure out how to change it.)
c. Turn off Captcha on your comments. People are less likely to comment when they have to jump through hoops to do it. (I have issues with Disqus where people aren’t able to comment, but I can’t figure out how to change it and it would be a pain to switch at this point.)
d. Write something worth reading. Write something controversial. (I need to do this more.)
4. Use a catchy title…like one of those sparkly lures that’s gonna get the big fish (dumbest analogy ever). If you’re doing my blog hop, Finish The Sentence Friday, don’t use that as the title. Use something that would make you click on it if you were the reader. Or figure out that whole SEO thing, that I know nothing about, so people will find your post through Google. Two of my favorites for good titles are Julie Deneen 2.0 and Thoughts from Paris.
5. Blogging is competitive…like when I used to play against my team mates for a higher spot on the high school tennis team. I was friends with them, but I wanted to be better. If someone is reading someone else’s blog, they’re not reading yours. People like to play nice and pretend like we’re all a bunch of friends singing kumbyah…which to some degree is the case, but we get jealous too. I know I’m not the only one. I try to push my jealousy aside and continue to support other bloggers that are doing way better than me, but it’s not easy. So this is where the support group (or one or two blog friends) comes in handy because you can go and cry and whine on their shoulders and they’ll understand you because they feel the same way. For those of you that don’t get jealous and see this purely as a friend-making opportunity: You rock! I wish that were me.
6. Focus on one to two forms of social media to promote your blog…not all of them. This is advice from Jon Acuff. It makes sense to me. I’ve focused on building up my following on Twitter with Facebook as my secondary. I stumble most of my posts on StumbleUpon and if I have a Pinterest-appropriate post then I’ll make a button for the post and pin it. But I spend most of my effort on Twitter. Sometimes I create memes from my tweets and put them on my “Funny Pics” page, then pin them to Pinterest from there. Sometimes I’ll get some hits from those. I can use those memes on Facebook too.
7. Share other’s stuff…like…I wanted to say like somebody who gets around shares an STD…oh wait, I just said it. The best way to get people to share your stuff is to share their stuff. Mackenzie from Raising Wild Things is excellent at this. She just started blogging a few months ago (like two) and already has 586 followers (I currently have 261 after eight months with a Facebook fan page). She’s a great blogger and very funny, but she’s also a great sharer. I need to follow her example and share other people’s stuff way more. I just joined Triberr and am starting to share other’s posts there. So far it’s been kind of fun.
8. Join a blog hop…there’s no simile for this, just do it. As a writer, I prefer to join hops where the goal is not just to get a new follower, but to have someone read my junk. Sometimes I’ll do the “gain followers” hops in hopes of getting my blog in front of new readers, but I find that most often those followers never read my blog again or they unfollow me later. If you’re looking for some hops, look on my left sidebar under Hops & Prompts.
9. At about month six you get burnt out…like the bottom of my muffin pans when I cooked those egg cups too long (sucked). I got tired of reading blogs. I used to read 20-30 blog posts a day. Now I read about five, or the minimum required to participate in a blog hop. I started to realize that some people were only reading my blog because I was reading their blog, and vice versa. I don’t want that. I want people to read my blog because they enjoy it, not because they feel like they have to. My stats have suffered (which weren’t that impressive to begin with), but I’m trying to be okay with that.
10. Don’t be offended when people don’t reciprocate reading your blog. I was totally offended. Then when I hit that burnt-out point I understood. I also began to understand that the more groups you’re in, the more hops you participate in, the more followers you have on social media, the less time you have to read other blogs. I have a number of followers whose blogs I get to rarely or never that I would love to read, but between the burn-out and all the marketing, mixed in with the real-life three kids and homeschooling, I don’t get to do as much of that as I’d like.
So, that’s what I’ve learned. Can anybody relate? Was this helpful? If it was, please share it.
And here’s another question for you: How do you reach non-bloggers? How do you get them to follow you? I’m stumped.