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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Following My Own Advice

The post I wanted to put up today is lost.  I remember writing it, just don't know what happened to the dumb thing.  So I started browsing the holding tank for something already written. 

I found this post (written several months ago).  Ironic that I've been stressing over all of these. I think it's time I started following my own words of wisdom.

Blogging Rules
1-Pick a schedule and stick to it.  That's not to say things won't happen, but if you're aiming to post every day and finding you're missing a several days every week, you need to re-examine your schedule.

2-No lip service.  Don't post about writing (or cooking, or stamp collecting or politics or whatever) just because that's what you think we want to read.  Certainly, if you're holding yourself out as a Christian blog there are probably topics you should stay away from, but as long as you are true to yourself and your passions, your audience will accept you.

3-Back Scratching.  There's a bit of "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" behind the scenes in blogging.  The unspoken rule is if I comment on your post you will comment on mine.  Or, if I follow your blog you will reciprocate and follow mine.  While there's nothing wrong with this on the surface, long-term it's unsustainable.  You cannot possibly follow everyone who follows you AND interact with each of them in any meaningful way.  I'm warning you, but you'll do it anyway and then you'll be ready for the next rule:

4-Letting Go.  There comes a point in every blogger's career where they discover they've bitten off more than they can chew.  You have a couple hundred blogs full of great information, witty observations, or just downright funny stuff.  But you've only got X number of hours to read and comment and you're finding yourself continually falling short of your own expectations.  Let Go.  Set up a schedule, or just browse blogs at random and comment when something really resonates.  No one will hate you for it, I promise.  We're all dealing with the same time limitations.  Do what you can (or what you want) and don't worry about it.

5-Don't be a Sheep.  If you find you followed a blog prematurely, then by all means unfollow them. (yes, even me!) This has happened to me on numerous occasions.  Sometimes I followed just to be nice only to discover the person's beliefs did not mesh well with mine.  Sometimes I backed away because they were sooooo long winded I couldn't make it through a post.  Other times there really was no concrete reason other than I just wasn't "feeling" them anymore.  Your time is limited.  Don't pledge loyalty to someone you don't enjoy 100%. 

5a-Don't take it personally when you lose a follower.  It happens.

6-Be Real.  It's no shocker that there are (gasp!) fake bloggers out there in cyberspace just like there are fake people in your real life.  Don't be one of them.  That doesn't mean you have to put forth all of your dirty laundry (in fact, please don't), but if you are commenting on a post, be yourself.  If you disagree with the crowd, that's fine, say so.  If you promise to help someone with XYZ, then DO.  Be courteous, be polite, but you don't have to pretend to like someone / something if you're not feeling it.


Miranda Hardy said...

Wow! So true. There isn't enough time in the day to comment and read all the blogs I follow. I've made it a personal goal to unfollow the ones I rarely ready when they pop up on my feeder.

salarsenッ said...

You've really nailed this one! I wanted to comment on your first thought and then your second and so on... They are all valid. Nice reminder. Happy New Year to you!!

Kim said...

I only comment if I feel I have something to add, or if the post touched me in some way.

I think a blogger would have to be a bit batty to think that all of the followers read their stuff every day.

I better stop here, before I go into a rant about "Stopping by from SITS" comments.

Karen Walker said...

Hey, Vicki, these are so good. The only one I'm not sure about is Unfollowing. I don't follow all the blogs I signed on to follow. I only follow blogs that are on my blogroll, and a blog only gets on my blogroll if I am compatible with the blogger and what they blog about. But going back to unfollow someone just doesn't make sense to me. But that's just me.

April Plummer said...

Great post! I think you're spot on! I don't comment on EVERY blog I read, but most. It's tough and takes time, but it's worth it to cultivate relationships. And I enjoy it. And yeah...I know I can't read every blog I follow every day. Who has the time for that?

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

yeah. i'm really trying to make myself feel ok that i can't read every post by everyone i like... but that's impossible.
you hear that self?

Carolyn V said...

That's great advice! I need to follow some of those rules a little better. ;)

Happy New Year Vicki! Whoop!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Vicki, this fits in so well with my post yesterday and is excellent advice!

DL Hammons said...

And why didn't you post this months ago????? Excellent!! :)

Anonymous said...

Great post. I was thinking of doing a post, in the future, on blogging. Have a wonderful 2012!