110 thoughts on “Don’t Short Change Yourself!

  1. This post is great! It reallly annoys me when people comment on a blog just asking to subscribe to their channel. Like “I’ll subscribe to yours if you subscribe to mine.” I hate how a lot of the social media esq things are all about “who has the most followers”. It should be about quality,and passion for blogging not quantity.

  2. This post is so true. I was chuckling the entire time too! It is so easy to spot the copy and pasted comments and I pray I’m not like that! Thanks for following my blog and I look forward to seeing what else is happening in the world of theeditorsjournal! πŸ™‚

  3. Hi. My original purpose in coming over was, of course, to say “thank you” for following my blog. But, naturally, I had to stop and read while I was here. To be honest, your site has a “look” that compels people to stop and pay attention. I haven’t studied it to figure out exactly what constitutes that “look,” but I responded to it. As I scrolled down the page a little, each post, with its variety and attention-getting pics and graphics just seemed to beg for attention. Plus, clean white space always attracts me when I’m reading — online or hard copy. Nice work here.

    But I also stopped to comment on this post particularly because what you say is so important. I know, personally, during my time online, I have found great satisfaction in discovering new bloggers (sometimes totally new and sometimes just new to me) and posting their link and some information about them on my site to encourage visitors for them. I also periodically post a list of some of my favorite sites personally, just to send attention their way. Once I even created a special page on my site as a birthday card to a fellow blogger in England because he is such a kind, caring soul, and I thought he deserved the attention.

    My point in saying all of this is to say that those posts are some that gave me the greatest personal satisfaction and pleasure — and many times got good response from others as well. It all goes back to that proverb of life that you referred to in your article — If you want to have friends, you must first BE a friend. Now, of course, we don’t do it just to GET friends, but the truth is we can’t keep the reciprocity from working either.

    1. YOU…Sandra Conner, just ‘get it.’ Not only do you do your reading you understand that it is good to try and work things out for yourself also. You get the concept of give. Give first, not take first. And give, not just to get – but what a nice bonus if you happen to get something back! Our Members Division (for bloggers, creatives etc) works on that principle and in doing what you have also done by offering people the very large promotional platform the company has built, I heard that some folk don’t ‘get it’ because sometimes we offer to help for free! Can you imagine!?

      ‘I don’t get it! what’s the catch?’
      ‘The catch is we would like to help you.’
      ‘Why would you want to do that then?’
      ‘Because we can.’
      ‘Don’t get it!’ Lol!

      What an indictment of modern working life that the idea of a team of people enthused and excited about their work should provoke that reaction, even if it’s just one or two people. It tells us that some people don’t understand that they should be enjoying this online lark – but they aren’t, so they don’t understand when they meet people who do. Even I’ve got it in the neck from the Unbelievers who can’t believe that sheer red-blooded enthusiasm can build a successful blog…or indeed a business, from scratch. I know that the company would never employ Unbelievers – no matter how many qualifications or letters behind their name. We don’t need that lethargic, distracting and totally non-sexy energy hanging around in the air!

      It informs us very quickly about those people and it helpfully culls them leaving behind the kind of people who naturally understand reciprocity and generosity and saves the guys from having to cull them later anyway.

      Your spirit, energy and intelligence is what the scout team look for, that is even aside from your short story telling interests which we support for free – (shocking I know! πŸ™‚ ) and your love of great sounding words in the mouth – me too! πŸ˜€

  4. Love this! I just made my blog a few days ago (thanks for the follow by the way!) and it never even crossed my mind that reaching out other blogs could build a really awesome community. I’ll now keep in mind every blog has a person behind it, and I should reach out and let them know when they’ve influenced me in some way. Thanks for the post!

  5. Thank you so very much for dropping my blog and following me! Started blogging about 3-4 months ago and trying to find my way around the blogosphere – articles like these are so useful for people like me, who’ve been struggling. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  6. Thanks for the commenting tips. I would love to drive more traffic to my blog and have more of a steady following allong with comments from readers that are not spam, so I’m going to give this a try.

  7. I am absolutely flabbergasted! 250K followers in 3 months? Mind blowing! I must say that one of the greatest challenges I face as a writer is finding balance – the time to write, to blog, to tweet, to engage in offline poetry community and keep a busy full-time job. Time management is really of the essence, and I’m still trying to refine a system. Thanks for your insights and I will be visiting for some more tips! πŸ™‚

    1. Hey thanks Sheryl! First let me clarify that the 250k was visitors per month as it was not on the wordpress.com system.
      And you are right, it is about finding and refining a system that works for you. I’m hearing about this difficulty more and more so at some point I will address it more directly as best as I can.

      1. Thanks for the clarification πŸ™‚ I look forward to your post on refining a system that works for us writers and creatives.

  8. Thanks for the post! Do you have any thoughts on the issue of time. I follow a number of blogs and am interested in what they say and I try to correspond as much as I can. However, there’s only so many hours in a day. To be honest I welcome more and more followers to my blog and want thousands. There are some nights I’ll spend four hours just reading and commenting on blogs. But I can’t do that every night. I have a wife, kid, job, and a book to complete. Any thoughts?

    1. Okay so Bryan, as an overview you get an average of 8 comments on your posts so this isn’t going to keep you awake. Then you have your outside (of blogging) work, including the book which it is important not to lose energy and momentum on. You have family commitments and then you have to create new blog material, engage with existing blog interests and then new potential visitors and I hear that you mere mortals have to sleep, eat and do all that living stuff!

      First question I would ask is what are the 3 main goals for your blog? Please put them in order of importance. If you want to email me please do so, or if you don’t mind folk learning from your (very mini) consultation just continue to answer here. I really don’t mind either as I can put out what I have said to you in anonymous and general terms on another post.

  9. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Your advice is excellent and very much comes at a time when I am floundering wondering what direction I turn in my blogging and writing. Thank you for posting your sound advice. The poet known a clarice..Stormy Dormire

  10. I’m working out a schedule to write/comment and your tip on the different energy it takes to write or comment is helpful. I like to know a bit about another blog b4 commenting. Most days, I feel fearless about writing πŸ™‚

  11. Way true
    In this age of ‘double tap’ or ‘click like’ or ‘retweet’, it becomes easy to overlook proper discourse.
    I once saw an album a friend posted up on Facebook which had a whole bunch of trip pictures but there was one buried in there which was of, how shall we say, NSFW nature. While everyone commented on her album as a whole e.g. “Omg so nice!” and she had well over 40 ‘likes’, I was the only one who commented on specific photos (AND NOTICED that one particular one).
    Good tip.

    1. OMG! I bet she thanked you! πŸ™‚

      BTW I just tried to leave a comment on your blog and could find no (obvious) submit button. You might want to look into that. Could be me being dumb, could be my browser, could be your theme.

  12. I often times find myself not commenting on anything at all. I’ve recently tried to comment on things when I feel the need to and I enjoy it. This is really great advice. IT reminds me that people are human and human interaction isn’t one sided. Thanks for the advice.

    1. Thanks Melanie – and you know, that’s cool too if you have nothing to say of any real value. Sometimes that’s the case offline as well, so you just smile or nod to acknowledge the person. On good ol’ WordPress we have the like button to play that role.
      Best thing is to hunt out people who really interest you and you will always have something to say and it will be real.

  13. so true, we all struggle to find the time to read as much as we want to, but I always think to myself it is the really honest comments about your work that make your day, and if you do that for someone else, it will eventually come back around.

  14. Great advice EJ! Really enjoy your blog. I’m new to blogging and really trying to get my head around it all. With a 9 month old little girl I’m only just breaking through the exhaustion barrier to start writing again. But I love it and I think your comments here are an important reminder to cultivate community online. Takes time, but most worthwhile things do. Thanks for posting.

  15. Great tip, I figure I can learn a lot by reading other peoples blogs and try to keep upto date with the blogs I follow.

  16. You know, this was Good for me to read. I’m still “new” to all of this and trying to figure out how it works. What you said makes sense. I’m leaning as I go along and this is good.
    I read some of the comments and I see many of us had the same thoughts. One thing that struck me, caught my attention was the comment on fear. Fear being a factor as to why a blogger isn’t writing as much as they want in addition to being tired. I understand that. It’s being Vulnerable. That’s part of the job and that’s a scary place, yet we have to push past these fears. I know because it’s what I go through almost every time I post on my blog. Most times I think about shutting down but I give myself some space before I actually do it so I’m not being hasty and regret it later.
    I love writing and I could do it all day. But there’s this job thing and sleep thing that gets in the way, πŸ™‚ that I often have trouble scheduling my time. But, I keep plugging away at it and figure one day I’ll find my rhythm.
    I love your posts, btw. Good advice and I will READ and interact with more blogs. This will help me get my mind off my own problems. Reach out and connect. Who says being a writer had to be lonely? Times are changing.
    Thank you!

    1. I have answered a few of these points since you commented Tamara, about fear, vulnerability etc. so take a peek, I will address this as a post at some point as it seems to be an occurring theme.

      Yup, I know about that job thing and that old sleep thing! I don’t know how far you want to take your blogging, but don’t forget that folks who built their blogs to earn them the price of a house per year also had jobs and needed to sleep – they didn’t get any extra hours added on to their day!

      You are spot on that if you simply keep at it you will find Tamara’s rhythm for her blogging, it doesn’t have to emulate anyone else’s – unless you want to emulate their type of success.

      There is a subtle balance to achieve. if you make a schedule too hard, you won’t do it. Too easy and you won’t move forward at a brisk pace. And if you see little or no results you’ll probably eventually give up also.

      And yes, certainly reach out and connect. Your mate Jesus didn’t spread word of the gospels by hanging out by himself! πŸ™‚

      1. Great advice. Yes, I am serious about a writing career and all that goes with it. It’s true, it’s all about sacrifice to get what you want, and the balancing act. Finding and prioritizing tasks of the day, whatever it is; odd work hours, irregular days off, etc., I get it. Lots going on, lots to do. But it will be worth it.
        Thanks, πŸ˜‰

  17. I sometimes never know how much is too much to say in a comment. I might read a post that I really like and can think of so much to say but back off because I don’t want to be too outspoken. I will usually end up just “like”ing the post and carrying on. I guess that’s not great either. Hmm…lots to think about. Sigh…sucks being shy sometimes I guess! πŸ˜€

    1. You lot! You make me laugh you do! All you shy introverts who don’t know what to say…and yet while you are opining how you don’t know what to say or how to say it you are speaking (writing) loud and clear and confidently with just the right amount of words and just the right tone and manner! The only way we know you lack confidence is because you tell us!

      Truuuuust me dear Jenn, hardly any of the folk you see as super confident are. I have been back stage with some very big names and watched them hyperventilating before they walk out beyond the curtain – even throwing up! We ALL put on performance face. Remember that from now on to boost your confidence – mostly everyone is doing it!

  18. This is very true. I do feel that you need to give back what you intend to receive. If not it would make the world a very selfish place. In essence it is like a relationship and will only work if there is a reciprocal amount of care and enthusiasm on both parts for it to blossom into something more fulfilling. Thank you for the post.

      1. I didn’t want to say common sense as to not offend but you took the words right out of my mouth. I’ve had a few weeks break after some personal turbulent life events but now light is at the end of the tunnel I press on. You’re right it is fairly niche but I try and include and comment on.the cross curricular lessons within sport in general. Hard work, determination and perseverance. In fact a blogs popularity needs many qualities that go towards success in sport πŸ™‚

    1. I know right? Sleeping all day is even easier. Neither builds stellar blogs or blogs that can earn you a living though.

      But likes have their place. It is a neat little tool to say ‘hallo I visited you.’ Thanks David.

  19. Your advice on comments is so to the point. I have been building followers one at a time and find the comments section is the place to make a real connection. I liked the analogy of holding up a piece of paper rather than engaging in real conversation. As I review your blog further, I think you offer interesting material which needs additional review. Thank you for following my blog and I am following yours as well.

    1. Thanks John.You are right. Blog building is brick building. Every brick counts and adds to the strength of your little empire and therefore needs to be properly looked after. We know what happens to buildings set up on shaky foundations.

      Plus the secret is, (whisper) it won’t remain that way. If you do the groundwork, one fine day you get to a tipping point where suddenly it isn’t one brick at a time. That’s the secret that the lazy’s don’t know so that’s why I’m whispering – they’ll never read this! Shhhh! πŸ˜‰

  20. Thank you so much for your tips! I am have recently came to realize that I tend to comment on a small group of blogs, but I intend to change that πŸ™‚

  21. Hi the Journal, i think people might be now two scared to comment lol. I am certainly apprehensive! you make a good book, which is reiterated over and over by Dale Carnage in his book how to make influence people. being real honest, genuine is always best. its good advice after all Jesus put it in a nutshell “love your neighbour as yourself.” cheers Andy ps do you have any other advice for a identifying trends in the stats.

      1. Sorry I just wondered if you have any advice on interpreting blog stats and understanding trends especially when stats seem to yoyo.

      2. It’s not really something one can give a generic answer to Andy. One would have to look at your blog, your posts, your general activity and your stats to make sense of them for you – as in a consultation.
        Is it bothering you that much? And why?

      3. It doesn’t so much bother me, but is a measure of how I am connecting with my readership and am not sure I am getting to grips with that as much as I can. Lol

      4. Part 2 of my answer would be: “am not sure I am getting to grips with that as much as I can” – I may have misinterpreted this. Are you still talking about getting to grips with stats here or getting to grips with connecting with your readership?

      5. A bit of both I am afraid. The stats and comments are primary ways of feedback. Comments and likes are understandable but the stats fluctuate so much. Perhaps to answer my own question, I should be focusing on likes and comments as being more important. What do you do?

      6. They are both important to be honest Andy. it’s just that as I said I or anyone can’t really help you generally with the stats, that’s a specific analytical thing. For comments though, are you using tags?

  22. extremely good advice. Give and take, support and grow. It also helps if content is good :), which, incidently if you don’t mind my saying is what I find here πŸ™‚

  23. Excellent advice, as always, EJ! It’s true – one can spot a fishing expedition pretty quickly. It generally comes in the form of a really, really tiny boat bearing a single line, sometimes with a highlighted link. Geez. I feel so very special… πŸ™‚ Blogging IS time consuming, it’s true. But if we invest nothing, we get precious little in return. (Perhaps reading more and writing less would be a good thing for some of us?) But I agree entirely – we cannot expect to get something from nothing! You, btw, never cease to amaze – how do you keep up with us all? I know you say you never sleep… πŸ™‚ At first, I thought you might be kidding. But then, I read your threads. It’s true. EJ never sleeps. Like, ever. (Coffee – black – 5 sugars… it all starts to make sense, now!)

    1. Just call me Elle Vampiro! Mwua! Haha! Couldn’t do it if I didn’t love it! And this is what I try and get across – don’t start a blog or job or ANYthing that you just like and then keep yawning looking at the clock and saying ‘are we there yet?’ – Find something that blows away the desire for the things that mere mortals do – like sleep! πŸ™‚ EVERYone has choices. They maybe different for a mom or a businessman or a sole blogger but most folk in the west have choices. So make good ones. Hehe! And it’s not coffee, although I like coffee…mmmmm! But haven’t had it for years.

      But these 2 lines are spot on Mother Hen, “But if we invest nothing, we get precious little in return.” and “we cannot expect to get something from nothing!” Absolutely spot on!

      1. Ahh – sleep. That’s a tough one for me – I need lots, but get little. Sometimes, it’s only the passion that keeps you going and investing.

  24. This post has certainly given me food for thought. I’m curious about how you approach the search for other people’s businesses and blogs, and roughly how much time do you spend doing that each week? I’ve a feeling I could easily get caught up reading and commenting on a pile of other blogs and never do any writing of my own. And yes, procrastination is one of my issues.

    1. I look for titles (or sometimes a pic will do it). For me, the only way I would have to paste a generic comment on someone’s blog is if I wasn’t interested in the subject. With so many blogs to peruse why force the convo on one that does not do anything for you?

      Regarding businesses, I look for what excites me. Cool designers, hand crafts folk, cool ideas, writers…GOOD writers. I do it 4 to 5 times a week – so practically every day. If you are a serious blogger this is fairly standard. If you are a hobbyist anything goes, it doesn’t matter.

      As for getting caught up – sure it happens – there are some great blogs out there! But don’t make that the norm. Schedule your time for meeting and greeting and for being creative separately because they are not the same energy.

      If you are procrastinating ask yourself why. It is usually one of these reasons:

      Because you have too much on your plate. – Review your schedule.

      Because you are tired. – Get some proper rest.

      Because you are not really so blown away by what you are doing you would continue to do it during a blizzard or whilst giving birth! – Review your blog or your goals.

      Can’t think of any more right now!
      Hope this helps Ann.

      1. I could name a lot of things – not having to say, not saying it well enough, blah blah blah. But when you get to the root of it, I guess it’s really about exposure and rejection. I’m an introvert and I don’t generally open my interior world to many people. But that’s what I’m doing on my blog, and it’s scary. It’s emotional rather than rational. I’m not giving up though. Thanks for the question, it made me really think about it.

      2. Weeeeeell, you’ve come to a good place to help that fear. WordPress has some of the nicest folk you will find online. No one is really going to reject what you have put out there so much as not visit if you yourself don’t support your creativity.

        You won’t have to worry about ‘haters’ until your numbers (of visitors) start flying – that’s when they start arriving and by then your confidence will have grown to deal with it.

        As for the emotional fear of posting YOUR world TO the world, it isn’t uncommon. Would you believe that I have a neurological condition that exacerbates your fear a million-fold? Getting into the HABIT of posting against that fear is at least one of the answers. I wish you luck Ann, just keep going.

      3. Thank you for the generosity of your time, advice and encouragement. And you have so beautifully demonstrated the truth of your post, you know I’ll be back! πŸ™‚

  25. I needed to read this. Something i have to incorporate personally into my blogging style. Thank you so much for sharing. Following great tips, gives great results.

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