Top ten things I’ve learned in the three months I’ve been blogging…

Shades

Shades

1. Numbers are nice but the connections I have made with people are WAY nicer.

Running around finding new people to follow on twitter can be exhausting!

The best way I have found so far to find followers is first to stop thinking of followers as a faceless mass and to ENGAGE with them as people. I read people’s blogs, I click their links, I make comments, I send a note, I join their Facebook fan page.

2. It only works if you work it.

One of my first “I don’t know her IRL” that I followed was Alexi Wasser from imboycrazy.com. In blogging world she is a household name as is Penelope Trunk, who I also tracked down to follow on twitter and both of these amazing women and really great writers followed me right back!

Then a few days later I was super excited when Michael Tarbi followed me and having learned protocol on this from Alexi and Penelope I followed him right back. Then I sent him an incredulous DM, “Why are u following me? WHO AM I?” He wrote back, “I like your blog.”

And now I have sugar plum visions dancing in my head of him doing the cover of my poetry book…I really like the skull. Dammit.

Currently I’m working on putting together a decent 90 second “why imboycrazy blogger and me should be friends” video because, well that’s one of the things bloggers do is feed into each other’s narcissistic views of themselves. How rocking is that? This type of activity falls under the umbrella term of “networking” and if you work it, it works.

3. Link. Link. Link.

Make it easy for the person who runs across your youtube / vodpod / vimeo vids to find your blog.

Then on your blog make it easy to find you on your twitter and your Facebook.

On your twitter and your Facebook make it easy to find your blog.

On your blog make it easy to find your youtube, and your linkdin and your flickr….and digg and d.elicious…

Spend some time learning code grabbing for widgets to make things look cool.

I’ll tell you right now though that you cannot use javascript in wordpress.com for security reasons, but you can still do A LOT and I suggest going to other people’s blogs too and seeing what they do as a place to start learning how to ask the right questions of search engines to start building a good looking and easy to navigate blog. Also encourage feedback for your blog from anyone at ANY time. Hint. HINT.

4. Tag. Tag. Tag.

Tagging is what brings you the randoms who did a random search and your blog came up and then they spend half a day clicking links no one’s clicked in weeks and suddenly your blog has meaning.

Tagging has been cool for thousands of years. GET HIP.

5. Thrills, of which these are but a few.

*Breaking statistical records on your blog is like Christmas.

*Someone subscribing to your blog is like eating chocolate cake while gazing upon a basket full of kittens playing with yarn.

*Someone you have never met joining your facebook fan page is like both of those combined.

6. Blog topics are endless.

Blog topics get back burnered like crazy. Write them down at the very least. I tweet them as headlines to myself for later retrieval.

7. Video may have killed the radio star but it has huge potential for the blogger. 

Incorporating video into your blog is the only way to go. If you aren’t using video you are not reaching every person you can reach and you never will.

8. Give your pictures captions and tag them like you would anything else.

At least five times a week people click my blog because they are looking for a picture of “red tulips in the rain.”

9. Tell people.

Don’t be ashamed for wanting to be a blogger! Blogging is awesome. Fact: The average blogger is a world class lover. Get a business card with your blog link on it and tell everyone to check your awesome fucking self out. Bumper stickers are cool too. If someone doesn’t love a free bumper sticker … I mean yeah RIGHT…non-issue.

10. Public is the new default.

Figure out what your comfort level is. For me, I have public as a default. I himmed and I hawed about it and I wondered constantly, “how shall I separate my writing?

Shall I have separate blogs for separate writing?

Will my research and academic papers be necessarily separate from my videos, my diary, my poetry, my fiction, my photography….or do I just accept the fact that I am all of these things.

I am a writer who gets the toughest people to open up in interviews, I am a writer who says the “f” word with random frequency on my videos.

I am writer who uses words only a specialized group of individuals on the planet knows the meaning of because they aren’t in dictionaries and so why can’t I be all of those things in one place, I asked myself one cold November morning.

And the answer for now anyway is I can but I have to be brave and I have to have my line drawn that I will never, ever cross.

If public is default, you can imagine there are still things I hold sacred and dear. Things whose power in my life is due to the very essence of its anonymity and I need that place for myself, that introverted writer in me needs some mystery for herself in order to bring my game.

11. Do you blog? For how long have you been blogging? Do you have a tip?

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  1. #1 by La La on February 2, 2010 - 2:04 pm

    OH NO! I feel like I already left stuff out!

    bit.ly or ow.ly links should go under #4.

    Microbloggers disdain long links.

    An account at one of these url shortening Web sites is free, easy, quick to join, quick to link to your twitter, tracks clicks for you and makes it to where you don’t turn away readers because of long and aesthetically unpleasing links.

  2. #2 by gilbertmusings on February 14, 2010 - 12:02 am

    Great post!

    • #3 by La La on February 14, 2010 - 12:24 am

      why thank you and i totally loved your VDay post today!! 🙂 Do you twitter or have a FB fan page? Follow me and I’ll follow you! 🙂

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