Thursday, March 25, 2010

Now Take Your Functioning Blog And...

...Make it something people want to read. Every day. They'll want to come back and comment. They'll have your blog address memorized so they don't have to be reminded by their Google reader or sidebar or dashboard that your blog exists.

Easy, peasy, right?

Uh...

Okay, so you've set a goal. You've chosen a schedule. You're posting meaningful content.

Now what?

Bring more readers to your blog.

Sounds pretty simple, doesn't it?

I mean, that's what we want. We want readers to come, enjoy themselves (and not just cuz we're droning on about biting ducks), feel inspired to leave a comment, and then -- COME BACK tomorrow.

I'm going to share a couple of dirty little secrets with you (and hope you don't feel badly toward me because of them) that have helped me increase my blog traffic, make my blog followers swell and hopefully turned my name into one people recognize.

DLS #1: Follow blogs like there's no tomorrow. See how I have like 965 followers or whatever? *whispers* I probably follow twice that many blogs. Or at least 1200.

No seriously. I don't read them all every day, but I follow A LOT of blogs. Following is almost reciprocal. You follow me, I'll follow you.

Now, I'm not quite getting 950 hits on my blog every day. So not everyone is coming to read. But you know what? It sure makes me look popular, doesn't it? *insert snarfing here*

DLS #2: Comment. I've found that commenting is almost always reciprocal. I comment on your blog, you'll come comment on mine. I try really really (REALLY) hard to do this for all of you who comment here. Sometimes I make it. Sometimes I fall short. But I try.

We've discussed commenting to death here and here, but if you want more comments, you must comment more yourself.

Major tip: Right now, all you've got is your name. It's free. Spread it far and wide, wide and far by leaving your name everywhere you go. In the future, when you've got your name on a book, people will go, "Oh, yeah. I know that girl. She's scared of ducks." Or something.

Which leads me to...

DLS #3: Use your name as your blogger handle. It's name recognition, which is how you start to brand yourself. I've started meeting quite a few writers in real life. What's the number one thing they say to me after I say, "I'm Elana Johnson." They go, "Oh, you comment on my blog."

Me: *nodding* "Yes, yes I do." (See DLS #2)

It's like we already know each other, except they still can't pronounce my name right. But as I told someone over the weekend, I'll answer to almost anything!

DLS #4: Breed authenticity. Okay, this is the hardest one, I think. But I gave up a long time ago trying to be someone I'm not. You can't force humor. You can't force your voice. You just have to sit down and let yourself flow from you.

You are the only you out there. You're the only one with your name. You're the only one who can write your blog the way it should be written. So you must listen to yourself and be yourself and build a name for yourself that is different from everyone else.

Super easy, right?

I could go into a personal story here, but I'm worried this post is already freakishly long. So I'm going to torture you with more waiting. Hey! This is publishing. Get used to waiting.

I'll come back to this topic of breeding authenticity in a week or two. Next week I've already got something super exciting planned. And I'm taking tomorrow off the blogosphere unless, like a meteor hits the earth or something equally shocking.

But what do you think of my dirty little secrets? These specific ones are designed to increase your blog readership. I have more that relate to other areas of my goal. Many more. I'll spill them another time. In the meantime, start following, keep commenting, get your name out there and search yourself for who you really are.

Okay?

Okay.

133 comments:

Jonathon Arntson said...

Yay! comments work!

Your dirty little secrets aren't really dirty...they're mostly things people figure out over time. Sometimes, though, I chose to not employ these techniques and then I wonder why I've gone two weeks without any new followers. Then, I jump in and get ten in three days. Waxes and wanes it does!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Ok, I'm doing pretty well at all except no.3, which I think is okish cause I have my site link at the top right :)

Crystal Cook said...

Personally I really like it when you drone on about ducks biting you :)

And thanks for the tips, I try to do this, and you just reminded me I need to have a blogging schedule! How did I forget that? Must write that down.

Aimee said...

Those are good tips. I have been lurking around blogs for years, but your blog is the one that has inspired me to start commenting--and it seems to be working. I am meeting new people, my little blog is picking up a little steam, and I am enjoying it.

The meaningful content part is hard for me. I tend to just link to a lot of articles. I think it will take a little more time and practice to get that one . . .

JayceeKaycee said...

Couple of questions: If I read your blog on a reader, does it count for you? 'Cuz if it doesn't, I'll try to go directly to your blog.

Also: I am debating using my real name. I want to, for the reason you stated: name recognition. I started off using my real name on blog comments and my Twitter account, but I changed it after my husband had concerns about privacy. I'm not sure what I'm going to do if/when I start a blog.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

You follow 1200 blogs? Oh my! I've got A LONG way to go to get to a quarter of that. And I can't even keep up with those. Groan.

One advantage of commenting regularly on blogs is that the other followers see your name and get curious. Especially if they see you on several of the blogs they follow. And the next thing you know, they're checking out yours. :D

Christi Goddard said...

Oh, good. It wasn't just me being technologically inept when I couldn't find the comment button.

I wanted to add that I think your membership at QueryTracker blog helps. I didn't have many followers until I joined a forum. I still don't have many, but I've more than five which is more than I expected ;-)

I do #s 2, 3, and 4, but I'm not so good about #1. I spend so much time reading and commenting on the fifty I watch, I don't see how you have time for all of yours. You're like a Time God. Elana Kronos?

I've started an award, and that's brought a few people, but that wasn't my intent. I'm grateful for them, though. Eventually I'll do a contest for when I reach 100. I still squee when I get new followers. It's flattering that people like what I write.

And here I've been all rambly. Nice post. Looking forward to the next!

Krista said...

I guess I need to get going on following more blogs. Great advice, Elana. I've been waiting for this post (and will continue to wait for the next one--that whole patience thing). I assume that's one of the other secrets? Keeping your reader in suspense?
Very sly...

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

Freakishly long! Haha, you've seen my epic posts. And man...how do you have the energy to do all of that--wow!

Amy Jo said...

Thanks, Elana! I'm a new blogger myself, and it made my day when you started following my blog. :) Now I have more ideas about how to increase readers on my blog.

Chasing the Moon said...

Thank you for sharing your secrets for blogging success!

Chasing the Moon said...

Thank you for sharing your secrets for blogging success!

Janet Johnson said...

I'd kindof figured out #1 and #2. And I'll do it. Really. As soon as I figure out the "make is something people want to read" part. :)

Kristie Cook said...

Great tips! Bring us more! And if you have any about ducks and other birds, I'd like those, too. I have a thing about birds... *shudders*

You're right about commenting. I've gained a few followers just from commenting on your blog. And a pretty obvious one is to, uh, well, blog! Obvious, yes, but people don't visit and comment if you haven't posted recently. I'm horrible at this - lucky to get 2 posts in a week. But when I do post, I almost always gain followers and new commenters within the first day or two of a post. After that...nada.

Thanks for all you do for us, Elana! You're awesomeness defined!

Kat Harris said...

How do people pronounce your name?


Haven't you discussed the proper pronunciation here before?

That's the nice thing about my name.

It's Kat. Like the animal. Only not spelled the same. :-)

fairyhedgehog said...

The problem I've got, or that I would have if I ever got close to being published, is that I've done a grand job of spreading my brand all over the internet but using the pseudonym I chose when I first went online. (Which was a freakishly long time ago.)

I can't see me establishing my real name in the same way and I can't see a publisher being keen on the name fairyhedgehog, especially as it was stolen from Terry Pratchett. Oh dear!

Tamika: said...

Following and commenting do take you a long way. Since we are in the business of building relationships this makes perfect sense.

Can't wait for what you have for us next!

Ian said...

Sneaky Elana!
Well not really, more like good sense. I do #1, and now thanks to your nagging last week, I also do #2 (See? here I am commenting and stuff - that's your fault, that is).

But #3? I use part of my name, that's a half-mark, right?

I'm missing a trick on this whole thing though, I don't have a blog.
Maybe the reason for that is 'cause I can't think of what to talk about in one.
I can't think of anything that hasn't already been covered better by you or the other quadrillion smart writers out there.

Oh, and what's this about the ducks? (As said before - fairly new guy here - I missed season one of this blog)

Ducks are cute.
Now swans are another flippin' thing entirely. Big greedy, monster things they are.

Deni Krueger said...

I've only recently started so I'm always surprised when I see new people signing up to follow my blog. And then I think...holy sha-molians...I hope their getting something out of it! Even if it is just a laugh.

Zoe Courtman said...

Great post, as usual! I definitely agree - my concern is trying to come up with great content, yanno, posts that offer value to people. That's what I find difficult. I'm always thinking of posts that writers and readers can *use*. You're doing a spectacular job of it!!!

Christine Fonseca said...

Yep...authentcity is key!!! Thanks for the tips ELana!

Summer said...

Yes, I've definitely noticed the reciprocity of "follow me, I'll follow you." My own caveat is people who blog about something I don't care about. I mean, I'm in my mid-20's and don't plan on having children, therefore I'm not interested in strictly "mommy blogs." But I have a few "mommy bloggers" who follow me. I don't feel like that means I should have to follow them, if I'm not going to read their blogs anyway, you know? Hmm. However, I don't have a problem with bloggers who talk about their kids by weaving it into a story about their lives, because let's face it: I'm in the minority. Probably 80% or more of my followers and those I follow have kids. I don't have anything against kidlets, I just don't want any for myself.

Anyway, this is getting rambly. I'm still trying to figure out the fine line between blog posts that reflect my personality and blog posts that are strictly "content."

Susan R. Mills said...

I totally agree with your little secrets. I did a series of posts about this topic last summer. It's all about the 'I scratch your back, you scratch mine'. But I think the interaction can still be sincere.

Bethanne said...

I belong to a couple of writing communities. Writers are BY FAR the best at reciprocating. I've hooked up with other blogs and felt I was the only one jumping through hoops to visit people.

I thought about something yesterday. It's good to follow blogs of NON aspiring writers, too. Being a mom or an avid crocheter or a hiker... find blogs for those activities too. Because the thing is, there are lots of readers out there, and they aren't all aspiring writers as well. :)

As far as interesting goes...my blogging has hit a wall. I'm staring at my computer screen everytime I bring up my blog and try to figure out a post. Grrr.
:) Feel free to skip my blog today.
~Bethanne

Tara said...

I love your blog. Always great down to earth, real advice. I try to comment as often as possible around the blogosphere these days.

What I really need is your secrets - how do you follow so many blogs but still find the "regulars" in the feeds? I follow around 200 now and it's getting to where I miss a lot of my favorite blogs :(

And, how the heck do you know how many hits you get a day?

I've managed to (on your advice) change my comments to a pop-up box - see I is smart, a little.

You are my bloggy hero, I swear. You know everything ;)

Lydia Kang said...

Breeding authenticity sounds like a great future blog post so long as it isn't about some species of dog.
Har.
Thanks for the post, you wise sage you.

Liza said...

Things to contemplate, as always. Thanks!

Susan Erickson said...

I love it when you're bossy......

Candyland said...

Love your tips like I love my Homemade brand ice cream. That's serious.
PS Your interview is up on my site now. Hope you enjoy:)

Valerie Ipson said...

I love how you comment on other people's blogs when they comment on yours--you of the 969 and counting followers. You're awesome!

How do you pronounce your name, anyway? I think I've got Johnson figured out.

Karen Lange said...

Good, helpful stuff. You know, I don't necessarily think of these as dirty little secrets, I think of them as the practical tips to have a good blog, and to being a good blog friend. In doing so, we build a following, a presence, and as you said, brand our name out there. Thanks for sharing this, always appreciate your thoughts.
Happy weekend,
Karen

Karen Lange said...

Oops, forgot to tell you that there is an award for you over at my blog. No pressure or anything, just want you to know I appreciate your blog and all that good stuff.
:)
Karen
karenelange.blogspot.com

Piedmont Writer said...

Great post as usual. Keep the secrets coming.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I love that you try so hard to comment on everyone else's blogs. Following and commenting is definitely reciprocal and I find myself commenting more on blogs where I know I won't be ignored.

Like you said before, you blog with the intent of building relationships with other writers. That's a two-way street.

Excellent post!

Portia said...

And when you visit other blogs and meet other writers, you find all kinds of great content, references to cool contest, and a lot of support.

An quick aside: I've been keeping virtual stickie notes of my blog ideas, so on those days when my brain feels numb, I have some spark to trigger a topic I want to write about. It helps!

Talli Roland said...

Great tips! I'm loving this series you're doing on blogs (but I can't wait to hear about the ducks...).

And thanks for dropping by my blog, too!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Great advice. And I really thought you'd finish that line with "...and shove it!"

And good to know I'm not the only one following more blogs than follow me.

Jennie Englund said...

You're an awesome mix of realness and marketing savvy and creativity!

I'm blown away more and more every day.

Seriously.

That book should get picked up anytime.

Crimey said...

Elana, these tips are invaluable. When I'm at the point that I'm ready to improve my little blog, I'm coming back to your blog for advice.

PS. Thanks for pointing out your post on writing the query before the novel.

Angel-Star said...

hi--pretty new to this--good advice, thank you--we writers have to look out for one another, be a community and not remain isolated. my question (for anyone) is: since i email my blog to ten friends (which is pretty much my entire readership--sigh) is that counterintuitive? then they don't visit the actual blog! but they love getting it in their email! it's a conundrum...any advice?
thanks,
angel-star
from howoprahsavedmylife

Dawn Hullender said...

Hi Elana, I've noticed one more thing that helps me: networking. I'm on Goodreads.com, librarything.com, bloggers.com, twitter.com, facebook.com, myspace.com and so many others I can't keep up, but it helps in bringing readers in.

I've got all my sites networked to when I post a blog post, it alerts the sites I'm on.

Cool huh?

Carol Kilgore said...

Good job. I think all of these work. Enjoy your day off!

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Super tips. Thank you for your secrets. i hope it works for me. But I think that some of your magic is in your writing. You have a very cool blog. :)

One questiong, though. What if I don't have anything profound to comment on a persons blog?

Amanda J. said...

Great tips! I do my best at all of them, but I don't get to get on Blogger as much as I'd like. I'm always super busy with school, so I get on as much as I can, but man if that isn't very much at all.

It's all true though. I've noticed I get more followers when I'm out and about more and start following new people, not that I don't already follow a TON of people, but still...

Thanks for sharing, Elana! :)

Chantal Kirkland said...

As always, I love your thoughts. I do agree with the 'auto-follow' thing to a point. BUT WHOA! 1,000 followers! WHOA! I didn't realize you were...oh, wait, who am I talking to? That's right - the famous Elana Johnson, Author.

Abby Stevens said...

I think these are great tips, Elana. It's amazing how many people you do comment on regularly. I do see your name everywhere!

Courtney Barr - The Southern Princess said...

Elana - wonderful post! I never thought about the handle. I just adjusted mine to include my name.

Thanks for the wonderful advice.

Visit My Kingdom Anytime

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Elana, I just want to thank you for running this series. You're inspiring me to do more with my blog.

BTW, I'd love to read more blogs by fellow SF/Fantasy writers, so if there's anyone else out there reading this, let's follow each other!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Glad the comments are working. It's sort of like, if you don't talk to someone, they won't talk to you. I also like how you leave us with teasers and "here's what's happening next week" lures to come back and read. I look forward to your humor and words of wisdom.

Stephanie L. McGee said...

LOL

Have a good break from blogging. Enjoy the weekend, despite the poor weather we're supposed to have.

Marva said...

I read lots of blogs thru Google reader. Guess I should go "follow" them along with reading daily.

I'll set this as a test, Elana. I'll "follow" every blog I'm reading thru Google and see how many reciprocate. I do have an interesting blog series on myths and legends running now. I think YA fantasy writers would enjoy it.

Erica said...

Great tips! You really have great insight on all this! Thanks for sharing ;o) I think I'm changing my name right now - adding my last name. So thank you!

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

lol, love these tips. You weren't supposed to let EVERYONE in on the secrets, geez!

Carolyn V. said...

Elana J, great post as always! I'm glad you stalk my blog...and everyone elses. You're pretty cool that way. =)

Mary Campbell said...

Great tips and post like always Elana. It took me a while to learn it - I was a major lurker when I first started, but I soon learned that commenting and following other blogs brought them to mine. Now I feel a bit overwhelmed. I don't have time to comment on all my followers blogs. I'm in awe of your abilities.

Olivia Carter said...

Great advice. It took me a while to learn some of that stuff & I'm still not great at it. You do SUCH a good job at keeping up with blogs and people!

Elana Johnson said...

Amanda, you don't have to shatter the earth with your comment. Sometimes I just say, "Oh, I so feel you." Or "Congrats on the awards!" Because the fact is, I want the blog author to know I was there. And yeah, I'm selfish. I want to leave my name behind. So don't try shattering the earth. Just be real and kind and if someone doesn't appreciate that, well, too bad for them. Not you. Does that make sense?

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I've seen several bloggers re-working and re-naming their blogs thanks to this series of posts!

Question: How do you get around the 300 followers limit?

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Elana -

It's the Golden Rule: Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

I don't want just followers, I want friends (or really good acquaintances). So, I do my best to serve, encourage, and meet the needs of others. People naturally respond when you care about them.

Blessings,
Susan :)

SonshineMusic said...

I've been spending a LOT more time reading and commenting on other blogs - following bloggers like spiderwebs as one leads me to another to another. And I just put my first name on my blog. I'm working my way up there. Anonymity has been very freeing for me in the beginning to find my voice and begin to establish a routine and blog content. The more confident I become with that, the more confident I feel with rising from behind the anonymous moniker.

I'm just not quite all the way there yet. *sigh*

Falen said...

it's so true about the following and commenting being reciprocal.
Also hosting contests attracts followers as well.
In hindsight, i wish i would have come up with a blog title to go with my real name, but eh, too late now.

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

It's funny--the first two pointers I discovered completely by accident. I was trying to learn how the whole blogging thing worked--cause I had NO idea what I was doing--so I just started following blogs that looked interesting. And hey, like, half the people followed me back. I'd comment on their blogs. They'd comment back on mine. A lightbulb went off. But dude--1200 blogs? Yeah, I follow like...180 I think, and THAT feels huge. I'm starting to think you must be part robot. :)

And...okay...*blushes*...I have no idea how to properly pronounce your name. Must've missed a post about that during my hectic revising days. :)

Bish Denham said...

I've been trying to read and comment on more blogs...but...I'm such a slow reader, it takes a great deal of time. What I'm looking forward to is what you have to say about that authenticity thing.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the great advice. It is so timely as I debate whether to start a blog and whether I can handle it. I can't wait till your other tips.

Like Sandra, I'd like to try to follow more blogs of SF/Fantasy writers.

Kimberly said...

Great advice Elana!

I "met" a gal once who looked to me as an all knowing blog guru since I've been doing this for years, and she kept pumping me for info, trying to figure out how she could become "blog famous." Thing was, she didn't want to read or comment on other blogs. She thought there were other tricks that would work - great content, blog directories, etc...

I, being the shameless gal I am, laughed at her. A lot. But kindly, of course. It just doesn't work that way, does it?

Well said!

Christina Lee said...

yep, easy peasy *wink*
You are GOOD girl! I like what you said about authenticity too. I SO want to be funnier than I really am...but I'm just me, and hopefully... I won't get picked last for dodgeball ;-)

Shari said...

Excellent secrets! I'm even using one of them. I'm commenting. Thanks!

bookaholic said...

It's all about reciprocation. I get it!

Jenna said...

All very good points!

Just out of curiousity, are there any stories out there about how successful blogging translates into book sales down the road? I'm just thinking in terms of the return on your time investment. From a 1000 followers, will you generate 500 more sales? For the number of hours you spend blogging, would you get a greater number of sales doing the same number of hours of readings or radio interviews or other forms of marketing?

Patti said...

When I first started I wanted to think of a cute little name for my blog, but my husband said you want people to know who you are, so just use your name. Best advice ever.

Great secrets.

Elana Johnson said...

Jenna, I'm not sure there's data. I do know a good friend of mine just had lunch with a publicist from a small press here in Utah. The publicist said that when they're considering taking on an author, they look at their blog, their facebook, their twitter, and add up their followers. Then they divide that in half. She thinks that's a realistic figure for how many books you can sell on your own without the publishing house lifting a finger.

So I think it helps. But having data to back it up? I don't know if that's available.

I do know that all I have right now is time. So I'm spending it in the ways I think will help me now and help me later. You know?

I've also seen editors at houses say that 85% of the publicity for your book has to come from you. And I'm of the opinion that it's never too early to start. (Thus, why I've been blogging for 2 years!)

Elana Johnson said...

Ian, I totally noticed you don't have a blog. *frowns, and tries to look stern* It's okay if you don't have one because you can't figure out what to write, but you know. YOU are the ONLY YOU and even if I gave out a blog topic for the day (Oh. My. Heck. Isn't that a great idea??? I'm so doing that. Dibs, dibs!) I'm willing to bet we'd write two completely different posts. So to me, it doesn't matter.

It's sort of like going to a conference when you've gone to 50 before. You never know who's going to say something you've heard before in a different way that makes 1000% absolute sense to you. And then you'll be glad you went.

So yeah. You might be that person for someone.

Okay. Blog soapbox, out.

Mary McDonald said...

Coming from the fanfic world, I was already familiar with the recpirocity thing. If I commented on someone's fic, there was a decent chance the other person would read mine and comment. It doesn't always work but it's fun, and best of all, I've made some great friends that way.

I didn't use my name as my blog title, I wonder if I should now? Hmmm...maybe I could just add it.

Kelsey said...

Thanks for the post and helpful tips!

Amalia T. said...

Do you have magical speed reading skills?

I'm wondering if you keep track of the topics that generate the most interest-- if you post about, well, say, ducks, and your hits go down, do you avoid talking about ducks, even if you REALLY REALLY Love them? Or do you keep on keeping on about ducks every so often because they are your favorite thing, in spite of the fact that the audience is less in love?

elizabeth mueller said...

Elana, as always, I feel so enlightened after reading your blog. I really like your dirty blog secrets,thanks for sharing! :)

VR Barkowski said...

Awesome tips! Wish I'd had this information when I first started blogging. Some things I've discovered on my own, but it would have been much easier to have the information up front.

I still have a difficult time wrangling all the blogs I follow. I WANT to read them all, and it's impossible!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Elana, I think you are going to revolutionize blogging! :) I haven't been doing this for long but I'm already seeing more comments flowing about. Not just on mine, but everywhere!

Em-Musing said...

Right on! Write on!

Brenda said...

I've just started my blog and I must say, I get a little thrill when someone whose blog I follow comes to comment. It makes me feel like I'm not out there talking to myself. :) Not that there's anything wrong with that. Thanks for the insight. Very helpful!!!

Krispy said...

Great tips as always. How do you follow so many blogs without feeling totally overwhelmed?! I'm only more amazed by your diligent replying to comments. Amazing!

Lady Glamis said...

Great tips, Elana! I remember the day that I had more followers than you, but you've far surpassed me.

Although I do think blogging is important, I must strongly stress - from personal experience and near breakdowns from stress - that blogging and marketing yourself is important, but not more important than writing and attending to your family and friends. I've made that mistake, and it's hard to reverse the addiction. Blogging really can be an addiction. I'm not saying it is for you, but for me it did become that, and it was frightening. I had my husband very upset with me for awhile.

It is all about balance, and many writers, myself included, don't have time to peruse through so many blogs and comment all over. I used to, but I simply can't keep up anymore, and I'm finally reaching a balance where having fewer followers and getting a few comments is enough.

I think you're doing splendidly here in the blogosphere, and I hope you continue to spread the love! You do such a great job at encouraging all of us to explore our talents. :)

Kayeleen said...

Hey. I love how if I don't get to your blog before noon, there's already something like 90 comments and you still manage to respond to them. It's amazing.

I learn a lot from you. Happily, I had already started trying most of your blog secrets from today's post. I think they work!

Alison Eckel said...

I love that you are open about it. And the authenticity thing - I can tell it's the real you writing. It's probably why I love reading your blog. It's authentic - so I feel like I know you. Even my kids know about you - I'll tell them something about a blog I read - they'll say, "Oh was that on Elana's blog?" I laugh and say, "yep."

Southpaw said...

It's funny I've been debating on changing my blogger handle to my real name but change is hard. :)

Carrie said...

Your blogging secrets are great. Thanks for the tips on how to be better bloggers.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Yeah, that makes sense. I so feel you. :)

Liz Czukas said...

I feel so used! Just kidding, this is great stuff. In fact, I'd love to link to it on my very own blog. If I can just remember how to do that...

- Liz

Alex (Tales of a Teenage Book Lover) said...

Thanks so much for the advise.

Michele Emrath said...

89 splashes of life and counting--oh, I'm 90! Woohoo! Looks like your "dirty little secrets" are working. :)

Michele

B. Miller said...

Great post and so true. I follow everyone who follows me, plus more. I try to comment on every blog I read so someone will come back to my blog and see what I have to say. If I read, I comment! Otherwise, how would the writer know I read their stuff? It's what I'd want a visitor to my blog to do.

Corey Schwartz said...

Talked about you on my call with Shelli and I was so glad she pronounced your name wrong. Thought I was the only one who got it stuck in my head that it is E-lah-na.

Kelly said...

Whoa! You have almost 1000 followers! That is awesome.
Great tips for bloggers. I did notice that people started following more when I commented more!

ChristaCarol said...

I admire you, ninja :) Very good tips, I echo the comments above. I'm nearing 100 and am just getting excited over that, I can't imagine how I'll feel when I get to where you are!

Molly Hall said...

The blog world just keeps getting more fascinating. I've loved making all these connections with "friends" all over the world, finding our common ground through writing. Thanks, Elana! The idea of staying authentic and true to yourself when blogging is so great. Good note for writing too!

Cheree said...

Thanks for the excellent tips. I've got a lot of work to do.

Sara McClung ♥ said...

Dude, DLS#4 is SO true. I mean, they all are, but still! When I first started blogging I tried to sound all... idk, formal maybe? Like I took myself seriously. I wanted to be COOOOOOL.

But I'm a goofball most of the time and once I just let that come out I found my followers were so. much. more. interested in what I had to say. (Either that or they knew they could usually find something to laugh at me about, lol)

MG Higgins said...

Elana, you are such a generous blogger. You're Super Blogger! Where in the world do you find the time?!!! (Do you have some kind of time machine you're not telling us about?)

Terresa said...

Wish I could've read this post of yours back in Oct 2008 when I started my blog.

It took me 6 months or more to figure out the "follow" thing. That it's the cheese drawing other bloggers back to your site but much more than that, an offering hand of future friendship.

Authenticity is key. Yep, yep!!

PS: If I sewed, I'd make you a cape with "SB" on it for "Super Blogger." You amaze me with your bloggy prowess, how you dedicate yourself like a ninja, and write have a forthcoming book as well. Cool it with all that awesomeness, will ya? :)

Dolly said...

Great Post, and it obviously works because even though I have fallen behind on my blog reading - I saw your comment and remembered "yes I must go see if there are updates on Elana's blog" and here I am :-)

I follow lovely blogs, but of course I don't have time to read them all every day, so when people leave comments on mine, it pushes them further ahead in my mind and I make a point of remembering to check their updates.

beth said...

See? That?

That's why you are the Queen of the Bloggerverse.

L.T. Elliot said...

1200 blogs? You're a machine, Elana. I'm a dump truck. =P

Lisa and Laura said...

Are you wondering why we're down on the ground, laying at your feet?

It's because you are the blog queen and we are your meek, humble servants.

YOU ROCK.

Steena Holmes said...

another great post - as usual my dear ;)

Alicia J. Frey said...

Awesome post. Growing a blog is so rewarding. I get so excited every time I see a new follower, and I immediately run to their blog to return the favor.

I learn so much from the comments left on my blog. Such a wonderful world we live in - this writing land. :-)

Julia Smith said...

' "Oh, yeah. I know that girl. She's scared of ducks." '

LOL!

Undine said...

Puts me in mind of Gilbert & Sullivan:

"If you wish in the world to advance,
Your merits you're bound to enhance,
You must stir it and stump it
And blow your own trumpet,
Or, trust me, you haven't a chance!"

TomTomkinsUFC said...

I cant get people to follow me no matter what i do...and i think im quite interesting too =D

hmmm help?!?

Jemi Fraser said...

That's a lot of blogs! You are one fast reader!! :)

catwoods said...

Thanks for your dirty secrets. Glad they didn't come with a load of dirty socks! Me hates laundry, me does.

Jana Hutcheson said...

This kind of stuff is why I keep coming back. (I'd write more, but I've gotta go comment on some other blogs!) :)

Lynda Young said...

Another helpful post! Thanks, Elana. I've found that if I simply follow a blog without leaving a comment I rarely get a follow in return, but if I follow and comment I usually do get a respond in kind.

Dominique said...

I've been the hidden etiquette of blogs is that if someone comments on your blog, you should reply comment on theirs. I try to do that always.

G said...

Trust me, this post ain't long. You want long, check out some of mine.

Anyways, I alreay do what you suggested.

1) Unknown blogger makes a comment? I check out their blog for a reciprocal visit.

2) Unknown blogger follows me? I check out their blog for a possible reciprocal.

3) Building a name? Was doing that until I decided to change my handle from Georgie B to G. Fortunately, most everyone in the blog world knows me by both handles.

PJ Hoover said...

I love your dirty secrets!
And I'll look forward to your next week plans :)

Jackee said...

Perfect! Now we just need to know your dirty little secret on how to get to so many blogs in a day.

:o)

Myrna Foster said...

And you leave such nice comments.

Kristine said...

Thanks for these tips, Elana! It's generous of you to share like that.

Ann Marie Wraight said...

Hi Elena! I'm new to your blog so first of all THANKS for all your efforts!
Your 'dirty little secrets' were like a waft of fresh air....it's really REFRESHING to read your down to earth and honest view of the world.Have seen you regularly over at Literary Rambles and always enjoy what you have to say.
I always admire people who say what they ACTUALLY think...
I'm a new fan. Your blog is awesome!

KarenG said...

I have those days where I think, Oh I'm so tired of blogging and commenting. Can't I just quit and people will still be with me? Don't think so. Blogging is active not passive. Which means commenting and following and being engaged.

Sarah said...

How DO you pronounce your name? It can't be that difficult! Not like mine...Sarah Wedgbrow. It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it? I'm thinking I'll have to get a pen name.

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I'm guessing your name is pronounced the way the Greeks pronounce Helen - 'El-a-na'. With the emphasis on the first letter?

Matthew Rush said...

Elana, I had to come back to say THANK YOU.

Ever since you became a follower of my blog it is blowing up in popularity. I'm making sure to follow your advice and reciprocate every comment and follow but sometimes it seems an internet celeb with karma such as yours can make all the difference.

I just have to say ... you rock.

Barrie said...

What a very interesting post. a question: how long do you spend visiting/commenting on blogs daily?

Georgianna said...

I came here from Jamie Burch and I'm so glad I did. I've been torturing myself over how to respond to all my comments on my blog because I really felt it was important and you validated that. It IS much easier via email and I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks so. Thanks for all these DLSs!

ModernDayDrifter said...

I was really glad to read something about how to get more followers on my blog. I have been in search of more interesting blogs to read, as well as draw more attention to mine. Thanks for posting this! I'll take your advice! :)

Mary Brebner said...

Okay, girl, you've totally inspired me. I even moved from my original blog to one that has my name in the URL! And I'm looking for inspiration re. specific postings, so I won't be such a slacker-blogger!

Love your postings. :)

SAMUEL PARK said...

Fantastic entry. Learned tons! Thanks for sharing. I think you're my new superhero.

Peggy said...

Great advice! Thank you!

Melanie Avila said...

This is so helpful, thank you! I've been waiting for this post and then I went and started freelancing and haven't been able to read any blogs for a week. Ugh.

Looks like I need to follow more people. :)

Liz H. Allen said...

Reading and commenting are hard. But I try, I really (REALLY) try. I don't have a job where I can read blogs for part of my day. ;)

Dawn Kurtagich said...

Oh my God Elana, I love you. (In a non-stalker-non-weird-non-freakish way, of course.)

anne said...

I just discovered your blog while clicking on links of links. So glad I did b/c you have a lot of great advice here. I've only recently gotten into blogging. Not sure yet that I have a purpose (except to get it out of my head). But I'm excited to look through your advice and use it to hone my writing/blogging. (PS You look great with bright pink hair.)

See Elana's recent blog posts

Recent Posts Widget