Monday, April 14, 2014

Look at me! Look at me! #atozchallenge

        I hope everyone's raising a lot of "L" today!

---Arlee Bird

The "Look At Me Syndrome"

      There are a lot of things we do to call attention to ourselves.  The clothes we wear, the cars we drive, or the way we might talk loudly on our cell phones when we're in public.   Often we might deny that we're doing something to get others to notice us.  "I'm doing this or wearing this or whatever because I like it--it's something I'm doing to please me".

       Okay, believe that if you want to, but if you're putting it out there for all the world to see there is some desire to show off what you like or what you feel like or whatever it is that the inner you is itching to make known to others.

        This is especially true with blogging.   How many times have you heard a blogger say "I don't care how many followers or comments I have, I'm blogging for myself"?     Thank goodness I don't hear this too often, but it's been often enough to make me roll my eyes in wonderment.   If this is the case why aren't those blogs private?   When you put up a public blog, no matter what you say, there's a part of you that wants someone else to read it.   Each post says "look at me!".

         Even more so this is true for you who have signed up for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  You've got your blog on a list and you're waiting for someone to click your link, visit your blog, and leave you a comment.

   How to Get Noticed

          Feel like you're getting ignored?   Not getting the number of visits you expected during this Challenge?

          Let me lay it straight to you.   That list is a lot of blogs and it's easy not to stand out on the list so don't count on your just being on the list to get you regular visits  There are other ways to boost the numbers that come to your blog and to receive more comments.

  •  Post good content -- if you hook your audience with something they like you're more likely to get repeat visits.   If you're not getting those repeat visits then maybe you should reexamine your content and try a different approach.
  • Use intriguing titles-- The post starts with the title.  Many times that's the most important thing that draws visitors.  
  • Include fascinating images-- Pictures catch the eye before the words do.  Even if your focus is on the writing, a related image can cause the visitor to pause long enough to read what you've written.
  • Advertise on social media-- There are many places you can share your blog links with others.  Find the ones that work best for you and let others know when you've put up a new post.
  • Link to other blogs in your posts--tell your readers about other blogs that you find to be interesting. You'll help those bloggers and will usually in turn draw some attention back to your own blog.
  • MOST IMPORTANTLY!!--Visit other blogs, follow them, and leave a comment.  If you leave a good comment that pertains to what they've written then you will stand out more to that blogger and to visitors on that blog who read the comments.  Leaving a comment will typically result in a reciprocal visit from the blog where you left the comment and can lead to an ongoing blogger relationship that can last long after the A to Z Challenge has ended. 

          Don't try to kid any of us.  If you're on the list and your blog is open to the public, you want to be noticed.  There's nothing wrong with saying, "Look it me!" if there's something worth looking at.

Look At Yvonne Lewis!

        Here's a bit of A to Z Challenge history for you.   When I put out my Challenge to bloggers in 2010 to blog with me from A to Z, the first person to take the challenge was poetry blogger Yvonne Lewis who blogs at Welcome to My World of Verse.   She's been a dear friend ever since.

        She's back again for this year's Challenge so I hope you'll visit her and while you're there join as one of her followers.  She's had some blog problems but hopefully this new one is here to say.  She's got some wonderful A to Z entries again this year.

          And just in time for April Yvonne Lewis has released her third volume of poetry.  The book is Moments of My Life and distribution rights are in the works.    I'm particularly stoked about this release because I'm on the cover!   That's me with Yvonne at the bottom of the cover.  Plus I've written a few words about Yvonne in the book's Introduction.  Wow, it's so cool to be sharing the stage with this poet whom I've admired for so long.  Show Yvonne some support and order her book.  Wouldn't it be cool to see an A to Z blogger in the Top Ten of poetry books on Amazon!



      What is your best method of drawing attention to your blog posts?    What do you see as the biggest mistake that bloggers make that causes them not to be visited often enough?     Besides blogging what are some of the things you do that say "Look at me!"?   

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Susan Scott said...

Hi Arlee - and to Yvonne if you read this! Well done Lucky Lady re your book! All success with it!
Arlee, you nailed it ... there is definitely a part of us that wants to be seen and acknowledged.

Of course the month of April is exhausting! Those who've taken part before know this! Reciprocating is VITAL, as is random hopping on the A-Z list and leaving a comment. This is a way I use to get noticed. Essential to leave a workable link when making comments. Essential to comment and make it related to the post. Images and title are important. Some images are free on Google. Use them. Have and use share buttons on own blog and use them on others' posts. Mistakes people make? - too long although I am guilty of 500 word posts.
Thank you!
Garden of Eden Blog

LittleCely said...

I agree that having a public blog means that you want views, followers and comments. This experience has been great so far. I'm following new blogs and have now a few followers of my own. Before starting the challenge I only had ONE! So there are no complaints from me.

I'm already brainstorming ideas to have a theme for next years challenge.

LittleCely's Blog

Grammy said...

Hey, Arlee,
Great post today! Oh, man, didn't you hit the proverbial nail on the head? Of course, we write to be read. At first it was only my family members and then it just kind of reached out to others. Amazing, isn't it? Thanks for the well-deserved mention of Yvonne. She is a doll! Best regards to you. Love to you, my old friend!

Cathrina Constantine said...

Good Post. I agree.

Anonymous said...

We need other readers because we don't wanna drive the family 'insane'. lol Thanks for the pointers!

Anonymous said...

I have a new blog and I definitely signed up for this challenge, to get some attention lol. It's so hard getting your blog out there when you're just starting out, and this challenge has been a great help so far!

Finley Jayne

Jolie du Pre said...

I know some authors who have been complaining about lack of visitors. I also know one author who quit the challenge because some of her readers were unsubscribing from her blog because they thought she was posting too much. ~~~ In any event, *I'm* perfectly happy with my results so far from Blogging from A to Z. Maybe it's because my blog rocks! Ha Ha!

Precious Monsters

kaykuala said...

A lot of L yes, I'm here:


Sandy said...

Congrats to you both on the book, that's quite exciting. I'll pop over and say hi once I leave here. I got really frustrated last year with the number of visits and comments I made vs those I received. I put alot into writing on all 4 of the blogs I signed up last year; this year I only signed up on and am much more relaxed. There are, always will be people who want the visits but clearly have no intention of returning them. Not sure why they blog, but guess they need attention more then the fun of getting to know another blogger. I do it for me, always makes me roll my you the first thing I think of is right! That's why you're writing is public vs private or even in a notebook. They remind me of the people on facebook who cut and paste the same thing over and over let's see how many people read my post....answer this and cut and paste and ...nope not me. If you've got something to say, say it if not...don't post. We're off and running on yet another week, a-z is moving right along...I have 1 letter I'm stuck on and keep hoping I'll get an inspiration for that letter before it pops up in alpha order. Traveling Suitcase

CA Clark said...

I like to think that a challenge such as this could be supportive and positive and all the eye rolling in the world doesn't change the fact that some people do blog for themselves and probably have no clue about privacy settings or that this isn't just an electronic version of the diary they kept before they bought a computer. I wrote my blog initially as a place to store some stories and I was clueless about so many things. I maybe had one or two posts a year and certainly didn't even know about blog hopping, links or privacy. When I became serious about changing careers then and only then did I take the time to start learning about having an online platform. Before last year I didn't even know what that was. In the last six months I have learned such basic things as how to format a post so all the words did not run together and spent more time in frustrated crying than actual posting. Every day I visit another person's blog I am learning new things. I still haven't worked out how to link back to things and I am still learning how to add people on some types of blog. I try to leave good comments where I can but frequently forget to put my blog address. I am enjoying this activity but I am also finding people who are tech savvy can be really dismissive of those of us who are learning. I am glad I found this blog hopping jaunt and I have told other people about it and I am continuing on my learning journey on L for learning. :) Thank you.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Nice plug for Yvonne and great advice. I need to visit her new blog. Sometimes I'm a regular at her stop, and sometimes, I feel it drops off my radar. For attention getting, I write reviews of entertainment and now restaurants on Dine off the Page, the header I'm using for this year's challenge. I make links to the venues and restaurants, post it on their facebook page, if they have one, or send them an email. I also have guests posting and that is a great connector for both of us.
Play off the Page

Lynda Dietz said...

I started my blog to promote my copy editing business, and in the hopes that people will read what I have to say and learn something while laughing. I have a friend join me once a week on my blog and we have a terrific time of it. Though I'm not pushing for followers or obsessed with it, I will admit to being tickled when there are good comments that show someone has read and appreciated what I've written.

Tina said...

Well you know me, of course I want people to notice me! I do understand about the whole reciprocity of our blogging community, and would not expect people to just come visit without me putting in any effort at all. My motto: If you visit, they will come. :-)

Congrats to Yvonne!

Tina @ Life is Good
A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

Anonymous said...

Of course we're doing it to be seen! My initial feedback was good to start with, but with each day, my views etc are dwindling away. Yes, I have a few people who are kind enough to come back every day, commenting or liking and if it wasn't for them, I'd have nobody.

Maybe I took the wrong route with my theme, but I'm not going to give up on it. And if at the end I'm left with no one visiting, well, at least I'll learn a valuable lesson for next time.

I do visit other blogs, some of which I like to return to. But I have noticed quite a few on the list beneath me that aren't participating in the challenge. However, I try to aim at between 10-20 blogs a day to show my support and leave a comment.

Sayantini said...

I agree. Thanks for the pointers :)

Chrys Fey said...

My best method of drawing attention to my blog posts is to write content for writers that they may not find anywhere else.

The biggest mistake I see other bloggers do is not commenting back. They don't reply back to the comments on their posts, which shows readers your active and appreciate them, and they don't go to other blogs to return comments. Being consistent in returning comments is the best way to get followers.

Rob Z Tobor said...

I dont worry too much about followers, Yes it is nice to have active followers but I still have two blogs which in one case has one follower (me) and in the other (none). . . . . I think you need to think of blogging in the long term, you will be very lucky to have instant success, much like everything else in life I guess . . . It requires a bit of hard work . . . . . . .DAMN

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

The two biggest issues I see are posts that are too long and those who don't return comments or visit others. No one will beat a path to your door.

Unknown said...

The sheer number of people participating in this is daunting! I try to visit when I can. This month has been horrible for me since I'm pulling 14hr days, along with taking care of everything at home being a caregiver...I've missed a few, but I am doing my best.

Jamie Dement (LadyJai) - My A to Z - Caring for My Veteran

Samantha Bryant said...

This has been a very interesting challenge! I've never really written "ahead" before--it was pretty much, have an idea, write it, post it. I think I'll keep on writing ahead and have a regular posting schedule (not daily, but maybe weekly) after this.

It's also been really great to check out other people's blogs. I've learned a lot about what looks good on a site and what the benefits and problems are with different blogging sites. I'll be working through all I've learned for months!

TheCyborgMom said...

Wow, that truly is an honor to be on the cover of someone else's book! I'm really enjoying my very first A to Z. It's not only driven up my traffic, but it's opened my eyes to blogs that I have never seen or heard before. The gears are already turning for next year :)
Visual Proof

Paula said...

I would have looked at your blog, if you had left a link

Paula said...

Yes it is about being noticed, but it is also about being loved, promoting a point of view, a business or whatever, but to do any of that you need to be noticed, to be read! I have a lot of visitors from Google searches, having seen what some of them are looking for I think they must often be disappointed.

Paula said...

Lisa Perkins said...

I am so glad I found this challenge! I am having so much fun with it!

Michelle Wallace said...

I like to go out and visit other blogs... that's the best way to draw attention to your blog.
Mistake bloggers make? They don't always reach out to others... try and make new friends...

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

I am enjoying new people who are at times blowing me away with their writing! Then there are a couple of people who simple intrigue me whom I find crazy and fun! This is part of the great part of the challenge which has kept me returning since I first began in 2011. jean

Anonymous said...

True. And visiting others, returning visits is the best way to go.

Rob Z Tobor said...

That is very kind, I normally do put the link on but not always

cleemckenzie said...

I've been lucky to find some new great bloggers this year. . .last year, too! That's one of the best parts of this challenge. Yay! Look at me! I'm happy here.

J said...

The challenge is fun and of course if you have a public blog you want people to read what you have to say. A few years ago I remember one woman kept saying she was not writing for others, but then who was she posting those things for? Maybe some people truly mean it when they say they are only writing for themselves, but maybe what they really mean is sure I want readers, but I am not going to let my detractors keep me from posting what I care about.

G. B. Miller said...

Commenting and reciprocating is the one surefire way to build a readership, which is the main reason why I'm doing this for my new blog.

A-Z Challenge at Father Nature's Corner

Anonymous said...

Everyone is so talented! Here's my post for today's letter:

Arlee Bird said...

There are so many ways to approach this Challenge and for many approaches it can be difficult to say which is right or which is wrong. The main thing is the networking. You give excellent advice.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Arlee Bird said...

There you go and congratulations! If you aren't getting comments and adding at least a few new followers there is something wrong with your approach or your blog. Sounds like you've been doing something right.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Arlee Bird said...

You're another one of the original A to Z'ers and it's good to have you back in 2014. A to Z is a lot about friends and community.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Arlee Bird said...

Most of my friends and family stopped reading my posts a long time ago. Now I don't have to bug them to read either.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Arlee Bird said...

A to Z is a great way to kick off a new blog.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Emma said...

This is my third year blogging in the A to Z Blog Challenge. I love every minute and the people that like or follow are helping me realize my writing isn't that bad.Participating is helping me gain writing confidence. Another issue is I don't believe I know how to title posts. So I do my best. I always look forward to participating although I never know what the blog of the day will be. I just hang loose and see what happens. Thanks for starting this a few years ago.

Kathleen Jennette said...

I just go down the list and pick and choose. Where or not I like the blog I leave a comment. Its all fun and all in the name of the challenge.
KaTy Did at
Life's Ride In Between

Anstice Brown said...

So true. There's nothing wrong with drawing attention to things you have created and are proud of. Most creative artists, even those driven by a personal desire to create, have some hope of at least one person seeing or reading their work. Writers usually write with an audience in mind, however small; the whole point of writing/producing art is to get some kind of message to another human being.

My main method of drawing attention to my blog is by visiting and commenting on other blogs to build up a bit of a network. Having a social media platform that is linked to your blog is a good idea to. I'm not sure what the biggest mistake bloggers make is, but one of the things that puts me off is if a blog has a lot of negative posts. If the blogger is always moaning and there's nothing uplifting there I'm unlikely to go back. Another mistake is when blogs are just full of memes are content reproduced from elsewhere. I know I have been guilty of this from time to time, but I'm trying to include more original content these days.

Besides blogging, the other 'look at me' things I do are dressing up/putting on makeup for special occasions, performing in dance shows and posting pictures on social media.

~Tizzy @ Creative Therapy

Arlee Bird said...

Negativity is usually a big turn off, although I've seen some blogs where negativity is presented in well written or intriguing posts that draw me in. A purpose to negativity makes it work better, but still I wouldn't want a steady diet of it.

Content that is not original is a big no-no in my thinking. It doesn't help the blogger who does it either.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Donna B. McNicol said...

To me the biggest mistake is not listening to you and other advisors who say KEEP IT SHORT. I visit much more sporadically if the posts are paragraph after paragraph.

In the long term, when I did A-Z in 2012, I visited and commented on more blogs than this time. Why? First because there were less participants so it wasn't as intimidating when looking at the list. Second because more of the participants wrote shorter blogs. Of course this time around I haven't run into any CAPTCHA so that is better...LOL!

Donna B. McNicol
A to Z Participant

Arlee Bird said...

Short blog posts can be a big order to ask. I know I go long sometimes, but I've gotten better.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Arlee Bird said...

I think the overall quality gets better each year.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

Arlee Bird said...

That might be the interpretation. I also think when people say things like this they are making excuses for not being social and consequentially having few comments and followers.

Wrote By Rote
An A to Z Co-host blog

DA Cairns said...

I am once enjoying again enjoying participating in the A-Z Challenge. I am also once again, failing to get noticed. As I am already following your aforementioned advice, I can only presume that my content is not "floating boats". Never mind, I am most definitely concerned with drawing attention to myself and to my work, and although I have been unsuccessful in building a following after 5 years of trying, I am still enjoying myself (most of the time), and I only think about quitting once or twice a week. On we go... :)

Arlee Bird said...

If you're enjoying yourself in blogging then that's a big positive. You should enjoy yourself!

Firstly, I'd ask if you check the stats regarding your number of pageviews per post and how do the amount of comments you receive compare to that number? If you see that you're getting some pageviews but no comments then I would suggest that you reevaluate your content and maybe try something different. Don't expect immediate results and be willing to experiment.

I didn't explore any of your blogs extensively, but from what I saw it appears that most of your content has to do with your books. If this is the case perhaps you need to do something else. If a blog visitor hasn't read your book I think they can quickly lose interest in your post if it centers around some aspect of your book. Maybe some other author bloggers can offer more advice about this. Visit some of those blogs to see what they do to attract comments and following.

Don't give up! Play around with the blogging and have fun with it. See what people respond to best. And keep visiting and commenting on other blogs. I've been doing a poor job of this and I see a big drop in the comments and visits on my own blogs. This is the big time-consuming somewhat unfortunate truth about blogging. I still haven't found the secret otherwise.

Good luck!

A Faraway View
An A to Z Co-host blog

Arlee Bird said...

I've gotten some of these complaints as well--this year and in past years. From the first few days my visitors have dropped for the most part, but I'll take the blame in that I'm not visiting and commenting as much as I should. Reciprocation is the main key to most most blog traffic. The first week always sees a flurry of activity and then it drops off. I don't know about the unsubscribing thing--maybe there's a way she can adjust that function to prevent too many posts. Then again maybe her subscribers aren't that loyal and merely tolerate her and the increased posts become a nuisance.

But yeah, your blog rocks and you socialize so that makes a big difference.

A Faraway View
An A to Z Co-host blog

Anonymous said...

l is for liebster award