Starting a blog can be intimidating. While there are virtually zero barriers to entry in a physical sense, the psychological barriers are significant. If you look up “blog” or “blogging” on google, you will immediately be whisked away into the high-end of the blogosphere with bloggers that are making six-figure incomes and have tens of thousands of loyal readers, subscribers, and fans. They have hundreds of comments on every post and some have even hired moderators to help readers navigate their complex, multi-level comment discussions.
BUT… you overcame your fear and started your blog anyway. You created your first post, clicked submit, and then waited. And waited. You checked your stat page every half hour, hoping that someone, anyone would read your blog. And then you got a HIT! But upon further investigation, you found out it was your mom… the only person who noticed your NEW BLOG post on Facebook…
So you write another post, hoping for better luck, and the same thing happens. You write for weeks with a maximum of 4 hits per day when you begged your Facebook and Twitter friends to read it.
So, what next? Is it time to throw in the towel?
NO! DON’T QUIT!
What you need to do is: stop engaging in a one-way conversation!
The narrative above is not completely fictional. I’ve been there. But then I stumbled onto a little secret: blogging is a conversation. It’s a series of relationships with other bloggers, readers, learners and internet surfers. And in order to get them to read your blog, you have to engage with them.
So, I started stalking the mega-blogs and commenting my little heart out in hopes that I would hit the jackpot and one of them would notice me. They never did. I didn’t even get any traffic from my fellow commenters. So much for conversation. No one even reads my comments!
A few weeks later, another WordPress blogger named Gen Y Girl “liked” one of my posts. Now I wanted to know… who was she and why did she visit? I stopped by her blog and noticed a few hundred folks regularly visiting her blog and engaging with her content. She’s not a blog giant, but she definitely posts solid content and has a decent-sized tribe. That’s when it clicked! The only reason I knew about her blog is because she “liked” one of my posts. She initiated the conversation and I reciprocated.
Here’s the discovery: if you’re a little fish, first get comfortable in the little pond. Get to know other little fish and learn the ropes of blogging before venturing into the big ocean. As you grow and develop your blog by investing in a blogging community, you’ll slowly develop a readership of your own.
The first time someone took the next step and subscribed to my blog, I was ecstatic! I quickly realized that my excitement was not unique and returned the favor. I’ve found some amazing blogs this way!
My next step: guest blogging. I think trading guest posts with other little fish seems like a great way to expand your reach and find other readers who may be interested in your content.
Is anyone interested in a guest post?