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Time to Sit Up

The sixth official month of M3 is over. Six months with the title blogger and 475 posts in the files. By industry standard, M3 is two years old. I have made some discoveries along the way. A few of which can make the path smoother. A few of which will make you point and laugh. I will let you figure out which is which.

Yeah, yeah. I followed the directions.

Far be it from me to preach to others about following the directions, but the fact remains, read the instructions. Just as you would when you assemble a piece of disposable furniture, knowing how Tab B and Slot A should be combined is assumed important. Even if you did not do it before you started, it is worth a read. Partly.


Have you heard any of these?

  • You want your blog to be found.
  • Find your niche.
  • Research your keywords.
  • Find long tails.

Barf. Homework. I did all of this. You know what no one told me?

  • Demographics of your audience
  • What do they want to hear/discuss/learn?
  • Stop taking yourself so seriously.
  • No pigeon holes.

If you are looking to blog a service, as in this is the only thing you know anything about, by all means, check out who your competition is going to be. Strategize. Blog. Go back to start and begin again.

If you are looking to blog, make friends, make a fortune blogging, sell a few ads…skip that stuff. At least in the beginning.

Who are you?

This is a two-fold question.

A.) Who are you…the blogger?

B.) Who are you…the blog reader?

A.) If you are an aircraft mechanic, chances are decent starting a blog about tatting (This is the art of making lace, people.) is likely an ill-advised choice. The majority of writers will tell you to write what you know. For a blog, this is fantastic advice. You do not want to spend hours researching a post which will likely never see the light of day after its initial die-down.

B.) You need to answer this one as well. Who did you invite to read your blog? No, not who did you tweet your blog. Who did you invite? *Ugh*


Mere guess, mind you: You did not start a blog without passing the idea before a friend or twelve. Did you ask any of them to visit? Did they? What do you mean you do not know? (Takes a deep breath. Twice.)

In Writing

Those people you invited should have RSVP’d.

No. They should not have commented on Facebook or replied to your tweet or merely +1’d your post. They should have commented on your blog. Hits are important, but interaction is even more important. It pleases the search engine spiders when they crawl your blog to find the pages bigger with comments…especially when they crawl ancient pages and find new comments.


When you are traveling the blogosphere, you are likely going to go to the places where you read things in your groove (not niche, not yet). Cruising places of interest means you have a likelihood the blogger will be interested in what you have to say. This may well be your most important reader. Why are they not reading your blog? Did they know you were there? Wait…did you read the last paragraph?

Be seen when you visit. If you have nothing constructive to say, like something, follow or look around for something where you can comment more than a spam net hook… Great post! gets you in the spam filter on every single blog platform…even if you have previously made a comment on the blog.

You Showed Up!

What did you do when that blogger stopped by to see what you strung together into a post?

  1. Nothing
  2. Commented back
  3. Started a discussion
  4. Listened and posted subsequent to the comments

In order…

  1. D’oh
  2. Good
  3. Better
  4. Evolution

1. You lost a reader. Readers hate to be ignored. Who shops in a store with no sales clerks or cashiers?

2. Your reader will probably come back the next time you leave a comment at his/her blog.

3. Your reader came back to the same post…again, realized you might have a grasp of your topic, might have found you personable (or irritating enough to continue to berate), and a relationship was born.

4. Your blog took a step into being its own creation away from the niche you picked out.

Now, it may be time to go back to all those techno instructions about keywords and long tails. And definitely time to start marketing your blog. Next time, we are going to discuss some of the finer points in marketing your blog (and your books and albums) without paying for marketing or driving your friends and family to stab your voodoo doll.

Is your blog a niche blog? Are you keyword driven? Do you like strangers at your blog or are you more comfortable with the people whose blogs you read? What question would you like to see answered next?

Hashtags: #blogging #SEO #getread

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© Red Dwyer 2012
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  1. Hi Red, I think I’m a little Redder 😉 in the face at the moment.. Getting around to visit yes you are right, I do eventually, I try at least once a month to make sure I go down my list, and new subscribers who never comment even, and some who won’t even let you into the blogs even after asking to be invited!, Often makes me suspicious of motives.. But When I started blogging in live spaces in 2007 I think? My motives were I felt inspired to create and to share.. So even though I know my poems may get copied etc. Such is the act of sharing. For within them is a message I want to get out as within all of my posts.. Just like yourself, who always has an interesting topical post full of insight and humour which I love by the way.
    I am not highly educated and go with my thoughts and inspirations, and have never I don’t think consciously gone touting for subscribers.. Im always Happy to welcome strangers when they comment. Spammers well we all get them and I have a Good old laugh too at some of their comments too..
    I congratulated myself silently the other day when my hit list reached 30,000 and I patted myself on the back, thinking I hope I have given food for thought to some of them who stopped by.
    I am always very pleased to see you Red, as I admire you as a woman, a mother and a fellow blogger who is also Making a difference in her world.. Love from my heart to yours and I mean that.. I hope too you are feeling brighter and better.. Blessings ~Sue
    Oh a new check box I hadnt seen before~ do I check the Non-spambox? well here goes
    Sue Dreamwalker recently posted..Natures Balm.~ Grow Your Own~My Profile

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      Congratulations! That is truly an achievement! And you do have such lovely things to share. I do not lament those who choose not to come to visit, but rather I appreciate those who do come by to read. I am very glad to have been introduced to your space. I have found many things which are inspirational and heartfelt. Yours is a space which makes my heart soar. I think we are kindred spirits, Sue. Much love for you, dear Dreamwalker. <3

  2. Interesting research/thoughts, Red! I started a blog because I’d read that if I was selling things online (Etsy), I should. It began as a “here’s what’s going on with Live Clay behind the scenes,” and morphed into its own thing. I’ve learned that, more than anything, the blogosphere is interactive. It’s about cultivating relationships. I never have as much time as I’d like to read what other people are posting, but I get in some reads every week.

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      I follow so many, I have a rotation. My biggest issue is when I have travel which interrupts it…I look so delinquent when my bi-weekly visits are interrupted by a week.

      Thought you should know…Momma LOVED the rooster. She did not know who sent it, so I finally asked her if she had gotten a package from me. She was thrilled to know I had gotten him. And she put him precisely where I thought she would. I need to come by and leave you a testimonial!!

      PS Oh, right, on topic. We are going to discuss the “you should have one” phenomenon in another post. 🙂 Glad to see you today! Next time, be sure the CommentLuv button is checked so others can click right through to your latest post.

  3. I’m so glad Momma likes Rooster. Yay! Ok, I’ll look forward to a future post regarding the You Should thing. Meanwhile… that’s a good idea about rotation reading of subscriptions, instead of feeling guilty about not being able to read everything, every week. Take care!
    Laura recently posted..WeekendMy Profile

  4. 99% of the people that interact with me online or my blog do NOT know me in real life.
    Bearman recently posted..Attachment Parenting Editorial CartoonMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      I cannot claim that, Bearman. My virtual life and my real life intersect pretty regularly. I was speaking to a friend not long ago who admitted I was the only person she had every met online to whom she had spoken on the tele before. I laughed. I reach out from virtual reality into physical reality with some striking regularity. Most ppl get over the idea I am a stalker once they talk to me for a few minutes.

      After more than my fair share of stalkers, I am less worried about the people I meet online as I am the people I have met in person. Reason #4,932 why I really need to move.

    • You have a real life? I wonder if I can get one of those, too?
      Binky recently posted..Full BrainMy Profile

      • Red

         /  May 15, 2012

        They go pretty cheap these days 😉 Or Fraz could wish for you one…

  5. This is fabulous advice! You have learned SO much very quickly. FWIW, I love what you’re doing here & have recommended you as a blogger to watch. Having studied the art, science, and witchcraft of blogging, myself, I give you an A! I look forward to seeing what you do with M3 in the future.
    Red Tash recently posted..I woke up this morning and just couldn’t live with it.My Profile

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      Thank you, oh fabulous one! I had someone in the inbox this past week who took an extra few to get back to me when I told her M3 was only six months old. She was certain the blogoversary was going to be a second…not a first. Thanks for the shout out, I do so appreciate it. It is after all, what keeps the blogosphere spinning. Now that I am feeling nearly up to par, I am hoping we get back to brass tacks pretty shortly 😉 Glad to see you tonight, Red.

  6. I was not very good at interacting at first, but I think I learned my lesson. It’s funny how many people never seem to return the favor of commenting on their blog. I have found some quite good blogs, but after repeatedly leaving comments, if they never comment back, I tend to lose interest. I’d much rather spend my time with someone who will take the time to comment back.
    Binky recently posted..Full BrainMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      I visit those blogs with far less frequency. Some, I only read and do not waste the effort to comment. Eventually, I do lose interest. If I wanted a newspaper, I have plenty whence to choose.

  7. All I initially was going to do was write about topics that I cared about within youth ministry. I had no plan to really make any big deal of the blog and frankly wasn’t concerned about who read it or didn’t read it. It started as a way to process what I was thinking about through writing. But, then I started to get ideas on the broader spectrum of life, kids and how it intersects youth ministry. On December 1st I started writing a post a day and I thought I would just go until I ran out of ideas.

    Well, it is May 15th and I have more ideas then I have time to write. Then I added a random Saturday post for all the loose ends (The Lego Jar) and have had a good time with that. I enjoy the comments and the dialogue. I get irritated when people come by and disagree with me but then don’t want to reply to my response. I check on a whole bunch of blogs often and people who follow me I will at least visit their blog once. But, I don’t have time to follow everyone who follows me and not everyone who follows me has something of interest for me to read and comment on.

    I have a variety of people who follow. I have no problem with the random visitor, but an occasional comment is nice. Comments help me to know who is coming and what they are thinking. I also have had people I know discover it and pass it on. Bottom line- I am thankful for those who take the time to come and read my blog, but if I don’t get 1000 followers, that will be alright.
    Derek Mansker recently posted..Cleaning the road one brush at a time.My Profile

    • Red

       /  May 16, 2012

      Your Lego jar is fun. I follow so many, I could not viably visit them all for every post and comment coherently. I would need an extra 10-12 hours per day. The best thing about comments will always be the tangents which give us something new to blog. Almost everyone I have met in the blogosphere was a random visitor or I was a random visitor to their place. For me, it is a large part of the charm to see how we all blend together around the topics. Good to see you tonight, Derek.

  8. Can I ignore people I hate? Just kidding!

    You have yet again hit some key points, this one I am bookmarking to come back to. I have been ignoring things for the past few weeks. Blogging and bloggers. Don’t know why, well actually I do just don’t want to say.

    This is one of the very best I have read on Blogging, you of course have avoided all the silly stuff and focused on what is relevant.
    valentinelogar recently posted..Zaftig in a MirrorMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 16, 2012

      I am definitely going to cover your current situation in terms which will apply to all of us because, in fact, at one time or another, it does apply to all of us. I have read so much trash about blogging, I have decided there are plenty of bloggers willing to get the cookie cutter This worked for the best blogs I ever knew, so I am going to tell you what they said instructions. I am merely going to focus on the things they have never told you…and likely never will.

  9. This is excellent advice on blogging, Red, now if I could only partake of that wisdom and follow your instructions to the letter….*sigh

    • Red

       /  May 16, 2012

      Oh, Ray, you are so very funny. You do all of this now. I think, though, you may well enjoy one we will cover later. Matter of fact, there are about ten of the lurkers who may come out of hiding when I post that one. It applies to every.single.one.of.us.

  10. I guess my blog is just a place for my daily grind and thoughts.

    It seems popular though: I send a letter to two friends every two weeks which is effectively what I blog over the previous two weeks and email four friends every day.

    I set my blog to not allow search engines, but there have been several attempts to access my blog from search engines by people without my best interests at heart.

    There are some seriously nasty people out there in the real world…

    Love, hugs and get well soon! 🙂

    prenin recently posted..Tuesday – More editing work.My Profile

    • Red

       /  May 16, 2012

      You have the original definition of a blog, Pren. Web log was original an online diary. You have quite a large circle of online friends. It is a prime example of a blog which suits its own purpose without the need of following the blogging rules. That is what brings so many of your guests back again. {HUGZ} Red.


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