Wednesday, 2 November 2011

An insecurity too far?

This is my post for this month's Insecure Writer's Support Group.

I've been hesitating over writing this post, for reasons that will soon become apparent.

I'm insecure this month - and last month, to be honest, but I chickened out of writing about it - about my blog. And, yes, I'm aware this will come across as a Please follow my blog post; but it's not meant that way - hence the hesitating (and initially writing something else that didn't ring true, deleting that and writing this).

I look at the blogs I follow, and the blogs I continue to discover through IWSG, and they all seem to have lots of followers; some of them are younger than mine, and yet they have hundreds of followers. I'm not going to admit how many I have, but think of a number and chop it into little pieces and you might be close.

Okay, so that's enough self-pity. Now for some self-help:

Problem 1. I have a blog, but I have nothing to say. The point of this blog was to document my expanding writing career. I started it in July 2010, when I was being quite successful - this year has been less so. My current novel is being read by some fantastic readers which means I don't have any joys of editing posts to write; I'm buried in research for publishers, which is tedious enough to do let alone talk about; I have no new projects.

Problem 2. Possibly people view my blog because they think I'm a proper writer (ie. published) and quickly realise I'm not. From a networking point of view it's like Tom Cruise befriending the guy who played  fourth- man-walking-dog in Eastenders last night.

Resolution 1. Perhaps I need to go back to the original premise, which was to record for myself the twists and turns towards success, and ignore the stats. (I've written before about my love of the stats; it's turning into a poisonous relationship.)

Resolution 2. For my part of the bargain, maybe I can slightly change the focus - I could include more links, more snippets of useful information, more... erm... I'll give it some more thought.

Thanks for reading - and apologies for the self-pity. Normal service resumed soon!



18 comments:

  1. That didn't sound like self-pity to me. You came up with some viable options that WILL work. I've been blogging since April and you'll see on my sidebar that I have 447 followers or something like that, but only a small portion of that number views my blog on a daily basis. I think the key to getting followers is to be yourself and genuinely connect to other bloggers. the other key is write more posts. If you write more posts more of your followers will see your blog and the more often they'll come. It doesn't have to be about your stats, write what you feel. I'm not published either and I've found some success using these principals, don't let a little thing like numbers discourage you, just be you!

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  2. There are so many blogs to compete with. I'm fairly new to the whole blog scene. Although I'm very grateful for my 7 followers, it's very discouraging when you see other blogs that have hundreds. Guess no one's interested in what I have to say.

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  3. Thank you both for visiting and commenting.

    J.L. - I know I shouldn't look at the stats, but they're addictive. Thanks for the pointers - I can't imagine getting 447 followers, but I'll make it 448!!

    Siobhan - I think you've nailed the problem, so many blogs to compete with. But if we both follow J.L's advice, it might work out ok!

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  4. Don't feel bad, Annalisa - I've got 17 followers and I think one of them is me!!! I totally sympathise!

    I don't think it matters whether you're published or not - most likely more writers are unpublished than published! I always enjoy your blog :)
    I feel under pressure to write something brilliant on my blog but never can, so just write whatever's on my mind.
    I don't read many blogs - not because I don't want to but because of lack of time. I don't even always remember to read the ones I follow, either! I always get to see yours though, because of the 'follow by email' thingy.

    Your voice is as interesting and as valid as anyone else's - and followers will follow! (No pun intended, but hey!)

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  5. Hi! Thanks for commenting on my blog this morning. I hate giving unsolicited advice,but maybe you could add Google Friend Connect? That's how I got most of my followers, but I also added other ways for people to follow by adding Facebook, Twitter, Email, and RSS Feed buttons to the top of my sidebar. Give readers access to your blog in different ways because not everyone comes to you through the same vehicle, ya know? If you're interested in adding the buttons, I did a post about how to add them on my blog. I thought they were stinkin' cute :)And as far as posts? I like to look for posts that either 1)Teach me something 2)Remind me of the importance of something I already know or 3)Gives me insight to the real person behind the blogger so I can get to know them better. Best of luck!!

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  6. Hi Linda - thanks for continuing to follow, and for your support. I must be only following the really popular blogs - I feel a quest to find the smaller ones coming on.

    Charissa - thanks for the advice, it's interesting to find out what makes other people tick. I'm popping back over to yours to seek out that post!

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  7. Hi there,
    New follower here, Annalisa. I went thru some similar feelings and still do sometimes, but I'm trying not to compare myself and my blog to others. I once heard comparison is an act of vengeance against yourself. And it is. If you enjoy blogging and it helps and serves you, it will probably help and serve others. People will find you. These blog hops helps with that a lot.
    Karen

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  8. Hi Karen, thanks for the follow. I'm trying hard to just enjoy the process of blogging. I use the stats mostly to procrastinate (I should be writing a short story now, my pad is open, the pen is ready!)

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  9. Be careful what you wish for - you might be overwhelmed!
    I'm not sure I'm following you because you don't have a Google Friends Connect widget in your sidebar. I bet you'd get a lot more followers with the widget.
    Maybe time for a shakedown of new ideas for your blog? Something that would fire you up despite the slower year.

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  10. Hi Alex, I tried to add the Friends Connect widget, but ended up with an empty box and a title. I use the 'follow' tab in the left hand corner personally - doesn't anyone else know it's there? I shall perservere with the widget, though.

    Me v Blogger - round 12...

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  11. By heck, it worked this time! Phew - laptop was almost thrown across the room!

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  12. Some good comments here, I don't have much to add. Just wanted you to know I'm still here, and still reading :-)

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  13. Hi Sarah, thanks for still being here! Have you been busy blog-hopping today?

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  14. Hi Annalisa,
    I encourage you to just keep at it - write what you feel like writing. Your last post inspired my thoughts for my IWSG post with your comments about how to books. So you are having a positive impact. It took me about 8 months to progress to a 2-digit following. Keep going. You'll get there.
    xoRobyn

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  15. Hi, it does not sound like self pity at all, it sounds like you are frustrated and I totally get that. I actually thought that I was already following your blog because your name is unique and it sounds so familiar to me. I am a new blogger and I try to follow (not just follow, but actually read the content) of all who follow me. I have posted a few times about how frustrated I am because I click on the photo of a new follower and it takes me to their google profile page, but does not list a link to their blog. I do not know if that happened with you, but if you follow my blog and I have not read your content it is very possible that the reason is because I could not find you. I find some people, the same way I found you, by clicking on their name in the comment section of other blogs. For some reason when I do it in my own comment section I can only land on about one half of the commenters profiles. That is my fault and I think it is because I am using DISQUS for comments and I have to figure out how to fix the kinks.

    Everyone else has already given you great advice, but I cannot stress the importance of being linked through google friend. I am not a big twitter user, but most bloggers also link their blogs through twitter. The best advice I can give you is to make sure that your blog is easy to find.

    When you see your name in the comment section of a blog OTHER THAN YOUR OWN, click on your name or photo and follow it to your blogger profile page and see how others view your profile (I learned from a nice person who pointed this out to me in a comment) that the way we see our own profile page is often different that how other bloggers can see it. Make sure that when other bloggers land on your profile page that your blog name and link is visible and that they do not have to plow through a host of other blogs to try and locate it. It should be beside something that reads:MY BLOG.

    I feel certain that your lack of followers is related to the difficulty they have in finding your blog and NOT because they don't like you or your blog or the content of your blog. I have discovered that among this large group of blogger-writers are the nicest, most easy going and friendly, helpful people I have come across in my lifetime.

    Write about what you like and what interest you. You will gain many loyal followers by participating in blogfest like this one. The number of followers that you have is not a true indication of how many actual readers you have. Your comment section is more indicative of that. If you make your blog easy to find, participate in blogfest, read and comment on other blogs and post about things you like, you will soon have so many followers it will be hard to keep up.

    One more thing, the writer/bloggers out here are a very diversified group.You will find multi published authors, debut authors, authors who have landed agents, but are not yet published, self published authors, writers in the query process and writers still struggling to finish their book and each writer has useful information to share. All of the above interact with each other and offer support and advice.

    Please keep posting and try not to get discouraged. This is one month that you probably will not get many new followers because so many are participating in NaNo. Best wishes to you. It takes courage to write what you just wrote and I am confident that once people are aware of your issue you will be inundated with offers of support , help and advice.

    Sorry so long. I know how you feel and I am just trying to help.

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  16. I think blogging has to be for you--if you're not the type to do silly stuff just for a post, don't do it because it will seem forced. I love your focus on the trials and tribulations of writing--that is such a universal and relatable theme. As far as followers, the best thing I have done is to join blog hops. Not only do they give me fodder to write about, but you meet some super cool people, too. Good luck to you, and thanks for coming to visit me, too.

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  17. Robyn - thank you for reading, and I'm quite chuffed I inspired something :-) I enjoy the process of blogging, so I'm not going anywhere just yet.

    Julie - I think I'm tempted to try other blog-hops. Although, I'm sure I'd get confused remembering who's who!

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  18. Hi Melissa, thank you for such a considered response! Your message ended up in my spam, which is why I haven't commented on it before - apologies, I hate ignoring people.

    Although blogging and Facebook etc can make it much easier to connect with people, I agree that the technology can be hugely hit and miss. I follow a lady who can't comment on her own blog. It must be very frustrating for her.

    Thanks again, and welcome!

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Please comment - I love a good chat!