Tag Archives: instagram

The Price of Success

You know what I think my biggest conundrum would be if I was a successful blogger?

What I would really do with 169 comments to a post that I wrote.

Lately, the folks at the Daily Post, which is the supportive arm of WordPress, (the site that hosts this blog, for you non-bloggers who read me), have been offering several helpful and informative tips.

Most of them are designed to help you become a better blogger, so they tell you about ways to make your blog attractive to readers and ways to get more readers – because face it, the bloggers who just blog for fun and only because they like to write, are few and far between.

I’m not saying that they don’t exist. I’m saying that there are probably at most two of them out there. Maybe just one now, because I used to say that it was fine if my voice just bounced off the wall and came right back to me. But I had to change that line in my “about” page because really… who was I fooling?

There are infinite posts about people not caring about the stats that WordPress provides, but since they allow you to track your progress (as if this is Jenny Craig or Jillian Michaels), they probably should feel obliged to tell you how best to improve them. Because nothing can beat that feeling of realizing that you’re up by4 from the 2 readers you had last week.

They tell you to not forget things like Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest and Google+ and all the other social media outfits, because you can’t just sit there and write and hope that somebody finds you. Girl, you better werk. Your tail off.

You’re told to make sure you connect one to the other and make sure your tweets lead back to your Instagram which takes you over to LinkedIn and onto Tumblr . And if you write somewhere else, make sure you link that too, ‘cause girl you need to be FOUND, and you need to be READ.

If that sounds like a lot of work, it is. Because in addition to all of this, you have to read the posts of all the people you follow – and those you don’t – so that you can then follow a new set of people. And try not to just toss out a kiss-me-arse “like”, but leave a genuine and thoughtful comment that shows you actually read what they wrote which may allow you to engage another commenter as well.

By the time you’re finished reading the fifty-hundred posts (mind you, only one per blogger because there are tons of them out there), commenting on most and breaking down and liking a few, (because if you were to write something meaningful for every living post you’d be there all living day), you realize that you haven’t checked any news sites yet, or even done any of the work that someone’s actually paying you to do.

So probably the best thing to do is to look for tags that interest you, because frankly that’s the best way to cut your way through the clutter – ‘cause some of the stuff that you encounter can be “interesting” (you’ve got to sing that last word) – and may not be your speed at all. Sure I want to expand my horizons, but maybe not that much.

And then there’s Freshly Pressed. Don’t get me started. For the uninitiated, FP, as most bloggers refer to it, is where your post is pushed to the top of the pile because a group of people read it and thought it so good that everybody else should read it too. It’s like being singled out for an Academy Award.

But just like the blogger Blurt posited in one of his posts, when he spoke about figure skating at the Olympics, some events shouldn’t be judged, because doing so is entirely subjective. A gander at some of the “chosen ones” will show you what I mean.

One blogger wrote about being Freshly Pressed, having her traffic increase exponentially for a time and then like a drunk falling off a stool, landing back into the abyss where most of us reside on a daily basis. My words, not hers.

Of course, it’s the quickest way to be discovered, but for the rest of us it leaves us wailing as Effie did in Dreamgirls, “What about me, whaaat about meee?”

So you decide to write a post about the five, seven, fifteen or twenty-one things that you should do, or be, or know, or have. Because lists are HUGE. If that doesn’t get you in, then you write a “rant” about whatever irks you about what somebody did, said or wrote – respectfully of course, because we all have to play nice.

Don’t forget the open letter to absolutely anybody, because you want everyone to actually read it, or do as one blogger did  and write an open letter about why you don’t like open letters. Some people find that they can actually draw readers like flies with controversial topics or better yet, controversial-sounding titles that may or may not have anything to do with the subject at hand.

Or you can simply ask a fellow blogger to write a guest post on your blog – but there are all kinds of caveats and make-sure-you-do-this’s involved. Driving traffic to your blog is like taking on a second job, which the blogger Opinionated Man was willing to do, for a price of course. Or you can be a guest blogger for someone else. But I take it that’s something you wait to be asked to do. Because nobody likes to be called pushy.

I tell you people, I am learning a thing or three on here. I have to give thanks to blogger JustDeb who sort of inspired this post. It had been in the recesses of my mind but I just had to stop what I was doing when the beginnings of this post began taking shape in my head. There is something to be said for being in a community of bloggers after all.

So the answer to my original problem seems to lie in asking those bloggers how they handle it so that I know what to do when it happens to me.

Dang. This post was fun to write. I think I’ll do this again tomorrow.


Are You Gonna Tweet That?

birdphotAs if there aren’t enough avenues to communicate with people we know, gaining popularity in my neck of the woods (but old hat in others), is another vehicle that allows us to correspond with a lot of people we don’t know anything about. And it doesn’t matter how mundane, pedestrian, unkind or taboo. We are becoming very comfortable with putting just about everything out there. Doesn’t matter who’s looking.

Tweeting has become the medium of choice for showing people what we’re up to, or – let’s face it – for telling people all about our business. It’s very popular with celebrities who are followed by those of us who are less famous and it’s making Facebook (and its proclivity to attract potential employers), seem so passé.

I suppose most like it because of the fact that you can use fewer words or characters to express your thoughts. This need for brevity fits right in with the way we communicate these days when we message or text, by using the abbreviations and acronyms that fit our quick download lifestyles.

As a consequence, most tweeters keep it short and sweet or whittled down and witty, but some have no problem doing concise and cruel. And unlike Facebook and Instagram where the poster wants to be known to his ‘friends’ or ‘followers’, if there’s no notoriety, people who tweet can decide to remain anonymous. There’s a bully in every class isn’t there? And a coward too.

Tweeting is perfect for giving blow by blow commentary of an event – if it’s interesting. And therein lies the rub. Similar to the other social network platforms, tweeters thrive on giving status updates, so the medium is full of users who have absolutely nothing to say. Or users who are convinced that everybody’s interested in where they are or what they’re doing today (oh yeah, same people).

And then there are the users who send ‘selfies’ – pictures taken by the man, who wants the world to know how he really looks without his shirt on. Or the woman who shows off her post-baby body, or her latest blinged out manicure. I don’t mean to be macabre, but pretty soon they’re going to be able to call any one of us to identify the body.

But even though pictures may be worth a thousand of them, words still rule the day, because some people take careful aim with them, and if the target rises to the occasion, accommodates what’s called a twitter war. And if you are following any of those persons, you too can be on the front lines.

Some people ask why we don’t call each other anymore and settle our differences face to face without everybody else having to know about it; but with our commitment to full disclosure these days, it’s clear that a battle isn’t nearly worth fighting if there isn’t anybody watching.