Marketing Your Blog In The Real World (Offline)

This week’s post is different – instead of sharing another “newbie” tip, I’m actually seeking your advice.

Over the past month, I attended two weddings, met many people for the first time, and did much more “offline” socializing than normal.

Upon meeting someone new, the inevitable ice breaker is, “So… what do you do?” followed by the obligatory mention of profession and home state, and ideally, stimulating conversation ensues.

But despite encountering folks from across the country with a variety of interests, I hardly mentioned my blog, Webomatica. A few days after the last event, I realized I missed the opportunity to gain a few more readers.

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Blog For An Audience… Even If You Have None

The beginning blogger tip I have for today involves a bit of fantasy.

Blog as if you have a large and passionate audience – even if you have none.

Not having an audience is a fact for most new bloggers. Once online, even if you write interesting, quality posts, the common reality is: very few people notice.

While this may be discouraging, I suggest pretending you have a huge audience of thousands that hang on your every word, day in and day out.

Why?

Because it will vastly improve the quality of your blog.

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Navigating The Five Stages Of Blogging Fatigue

Kent Newsome has a good post outlining five stages of blogging, from creation to abandonment at Newsome.org. They are:

  1. Excitement: While setting up a new blog, the blogger is full of great ideas, is inspired, and expectations are high.
  2. Expectation: When starting from zero, little things mean a lot and progress seems exponential.
  3. Frustration: Blogging meet diminishing returns, turns into inefficient work, and the blogger finds it harder and harder to get attention amid the multitude of other blogs.
  4. Alienation: Rejection of the blogosphere.
  5. Abandonment: A dead blog.

I could instantly relate to these stages as I usually oscillate between 2 and 3, while on a really bad day (perhaps after a blogger calls me a moron) I can drop to number 4. After one year, I have yet to give up on blogging completely, but I’ll be honest — I’ve come close.

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Blogging? You’re A Moron

How did that headline make you feel?

By that headline, I don’t mean to say you’re a moron for starting a blog. I just wanted you to experience being called a moron – because if you have open comments on your blog, you will inevitably receive negative comments in response to your posts – some directed at you personally.

Negative comments can be particularly deflating. As bloggers we spend a great deal of time brainstorming posts, writing, proofreading, and rewriting, all with thoughts of what the reaction will be. Clicking “publish” is essentially putting yourself out there for the entire world to enjoy – but also to judge. After spending much time and energy on a post it can be
particularly discouraging if the first comment received trashes your post and you as a blogger.

But I feel that even the worst negativity can be turned positive. Here are strategies I use to deal with negative comments:

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Two Powerful Link Experiences

I was very happy when Tony asked if I’d like to submit an article to The Blog Herald, as I’m a regular reader of both this blog and Tony’s Deep Jive Interests.

I first reviewed several months of The Blog Herald to brainstorm post ideas. One that stood out was Changing Life With a Link by Lorelle VanFossen. It asks the question: Has your life been changed just because of a single link?

I’d like to share two experiences with links that were particularly inspirational to me as a beginning blogger.

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