During the course of my Engagement Series, I reached an important numerical milestone for a blogger – I got to 100 blog subscribers. Pam Ross wanted me to write about how I got to that point.
Like so much in the world of social media, my getting to this point was a combination of wonderful support from great people tied to some simple common sense and a pinch of endurance. So let’s talk about each of these three things together, shall we?
Support from Great Folks
My number of blog subscribers has made huge jumps twice during my blogging career. The first time was when I was fortunate enough to have a blog tweeted out by Chris Brogan. The way he worded his tweet inspired a lot of people to come over to my bloggy house, and a lot of you stuck around, a fact for which I am entirely grateful.
Over the course of time, other great people have offered me a hand in growing my online presence. Jay Baer graciously allowed me to blog on his site, as did Danny Brown. Brian Rice of the BtoCommunity blog site wrote a wonderful post highlighting me as an “approachable A-Lister,” which was an incredible honor. And a lot of you I met thanks to Gini Dietrich, who wrote a post about me that I’m still blushing about.
This might all sound like I have four leaf clovers growing out of my ears, and sometimes I really do feel that way. However, I would toss out there that these folks started talking to me (I think) and reading my content because they thought I was doing good work. I don’t nag or beg for favors, and I try to fulfill as many favors as I can. In the online world, as in life, the love you make is equal to the love you take. I am a living testament to that fact.
A Modicum of Common Sense
Before I got an extra lift from these great folks, I figured out something amazing about the world of blogging. Are you ready?
If you don’t let people know what you want, you probably won’t get it.
Strangely enough, I learned this lesson in regards to comments. When I started letting people know that comments are my favorite part of blogging, I started to get more comments. I did not make the great leap of carrying this logic over to the subscriber factor, though. I have no idea why.
The fact is, though, that during my Engagement Series I started asking people to subscribe. I did so very unobtrusively (I think). I didn’t ask on every single post. But I started nudging people on occasion to hit subscribe if they didn’t want to miss a post. I found it a bit uncomfortable, truthfully, to promote this site that way. As if missing a post of mine would just be a travesty of epic proportions, right? But letting people know that I was trying to build a community of blog subscribers encouraged people to subscribe.
It seems so simple in hindsight, doesn’t it?
A Pinch of Endurance
There have been a few different times over my year of blogging that I have wanted to throw in the towel for various reasons. During my first, oh, six months or so of blogging, I had as much traction as a completely bald tire. I wasn’t getting any comments. I couldn’t buy a comment. As for retweets? Phht. Hardly. I didn’t even have a Facebook “like” button on my first couple of blog sites. I feel comfortable in saying that I wouldn’t have gotten any likes in those early days either.
I’d check my traffic and it would be stuck at numbers like 15 visits, 20. My Twitter following wasn’t getting past 60. I did everything the experts said to do, everything that seemed to make sense, and it didn’t make a jot of difference.
I endured though. I stuck with it. I went through big climbs and big dips, complained to friends about how much time I was spending here versus the reaction I was getting, and eventually, things started to shape up a little. That’s the way most people have to build their online communities. Lots and lots of time needs to be spent feeling like you just might be wasting your time, and then more time needs to be spent continuing to write anyway.
It’s Really All About You
Of course this is all just from my perspective. Every day, I looked at the people who come here and talk to me or the people who tweet out my posts over on Twitter and I think, “Man, I am one freakin’ lucky woman.” Why are you all here? Why do you stick around? I can’t really answer that for you, but I have always been and will always be appreciative and grateful. In my head, I’m still that blogger who is learning the ropes. Every comment is a great gift. Every new subscriber is a miraculous addition to my online world.
I hope that never changes.
So really, you should tell Pamela how I earned your trust and your support. I dare not put words in your mouth. But this does give me a rather convenient time and place to say thank you to all of you, whether you’re a subscriber or not, for coming by here and being your special selves.
I hope that answers your question, Pamela 🙂
Image by Svilen Milev. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/svilen001