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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

5 Ways To Get Your Family and Friends to Read Your Blog

So, we know this already:

Blogging is pure vanity Vagueblogging

We all blog for different reasons.

Usually it’s one of these:

To get free shit
Recognition (i.e., “I EXIST, WORLD!)
Blow off steam
Catharsis
Hopes of making it rich and/or getting a book deal
SAHM Mommy loneliness
A way to connect with the world
Showing off and Bragging
Wanting people to feel sorry for you
And More, of course

Regardless, most bloggers have one thing in common: we want to be read.  Unless of course, we make our blogs private, which a lot of people do.

I began blogging in 2007. My reasons were none of the above, actually. I just wanted to get people off my back with requests for me to email them photos of my kids. This was before the dawn of facebook, blogging was sorta new, and I was in the throes of postpartum hormonal “Don’t Give Me Another Job/Guilt-Trip  Mode.”  E-mail was the main source of electronic communication.

I knew that people just wanted to see my kids’ growth, etc, and some family and friends lived far away, so I could see their point. But to me it felt like a guilt trip. No new mommy wants that. I didn’t even know how to reduce the size of photos, and it took a long time to email them to family and friends individually. I decided to alleviate this problem with an Awesome Solution: I Started A Blog!

Yup, I announced to the world (well, MY world – family and friends, that is) that I now had A Blog. When I got the Guilt Trip email requests, I’d email so-and-so the blog link. Or I’d tell them I had a blog and give them the link. I began to post some pics of my kids, not obsessively or anything, but I put a few up weekly, and set up Google Analytics.

THIS FAILED MISERABLY. Because:

1.      No one read the damn thing except for maybe 5 online friends whose blogs I read, and one family member popped on there occasionally.
2.      It became a tit-for-tat thing, where people would say they’d follow and comment if I did so to their blog – all non-family friends who had kids around the age of mine.
3.      Which gave me another Job – reading like 5 blogs a day and posting comments. (Was this harder than sending out the damn photos on request?)
4.      It exposed family and friends as fucking liars when they’d say “oh, yeah, I’ve been looking at that,” when Google Analytics showed they’d never once gotten on my blog.
5.      It caused tension when I inevitably said, because I couldn’t keep my trap shut – I am Mommy Needs Vodka, after all – that I knew they were lying because I’d checked my Analytics and saw they hadn’t visited it.

FTW: The only thing it really did for me was this: put the ball back in their court and let ‘em know they could see my kids in person if they wanted or look at my blog, I wasn’t emailing photos, period. So in that sense, it filled its purpose after all.

Unexpected Consequences

So who WAS reading my blog?? Acquaintances and undesirables whom I had NOT shared my blog link with! Or so I thought.

I asked myself: “Okay, so why are the people who professed to want to read my boring blog NOT reading it, while people who shouldn’t give a shit, are reading it 2-4 times a day? Huh?”

It was a matter of psychology, obviously. I now see that. So at long last, if you’re still reading:

5 Ways To Get Family & Friends To Read Your Blog

1.      Don’t tell them you have a blog. See, it works both ways. While it feels like "A Job" to fulfill a request to email someone photos, it also feels like "A Job" to read someone’s blog. People don’t like Jobs or Obligations. Who needs 'em?
2.      On your email siggy, put the link to your blog way below the end of your email. I mean about 2 inches or so. Not everyone will scroll that far, but the friends who do will probably click on it and once they find out it is yours, they’ll be all “WTF, why didn’t she tell me she had a blog! It must be a secret. Maybe she’s saying shit about me on there?”
3.      Let someone overhear you say to someone else that you have a blog. If they ask you about it, say you’re not giving out the link because it’s personal. Like I said in #1, people don’t like Jobs, but they sure as fuck crave Secrecy and Voyeurism! So if you do this, that person will spend HOURS googling to find the link to it. This happened to me by accident. I’d begun dating a guy and he overheard me mention to a friend something about my blog, and he asked me for the link. I said I’d rather not, and he lied told me he respected my decision. My ass. Took him days to find it, and when he did, read every banal post on it.
4.      Vagueblog. As in, vagueblogging. Spill some coffee on a memo at work? Make that into: "After what happened yesterday, I don't know how I can go on anymore. I've just had it!”  That’ll bring you viral traffic from all those friends and fam who didn’t take the time before! Just be sure to turn off your ringer.
5.      Post More than Just Photos. Diversify. Sure, your people wanna see your kid. Now and then. Like one or 3 pics per post, per week. Not 20 per post with 2 sentences of text. Maybe Put some meat (read: intrigue) in your blog, along with the pics, and that will bring gawkers back.

Everyone wants to believe they’re reading something they can’t get on Facebook, that you don’t necessarily want them to read, that they figured out some little secret, and that it will allow them a window into your soul that they otherwise would not see.

5 comments:

  1. I couldn't post a comment from the email that this came to, and I had to search this blog out just to post. Weird.

    Anyway, don't be too quick to judge if someone is NOT reading your blog. Remember, Analytics does NOT show you, nor anyone living in Nebraska as reading my blog. Weird, huh? So someone COULD be reading it, but that damned site won't show it. No one in my family even KNOWS about my blog, and I have several friends whom I do not tell about it, just because, they wouldn't find my sarcasam funny.

    Who knows how/why people tune in or out.

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  2. Great headline -- certainly got my attention since family and close friends don't seem to read (guessing they've had enough of my shit in the offline world?).

    My new strategy: Writing about my vibrator. I'll let you know if it works! (accordingtotrish.com, btw)

    Loved this post. Rock on, sista.

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  3. Number 3 is totally true. Nothing like talking about your blog to someone else to make people feel compelled to read it. Even if you've been asking them to read it for months. Ask them, they won't. Talk about it like it's some secret society, they are all in.

    Weirdos.

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  4. Awesome! I too started blogging with a family blog... which I had to ask people "did you check the blog, so and so's birthday pics are there" "did you check the blog, it was f@cking Christmas so I posted some photos."
    After a year of that I said screw it and started a blog about ME. I mean yeah its about me and I am a wife and mom but those are side characters, its ME! I have a chronic illness and I find me rather amusing, seemed like a great idea ;)
    Carrie @ Just Mildly Medicated

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  5. Great tips! Thank you for sharing! I find it almost hilariously funny that I am an author of a memoir on motherhood yet had never even seen a mommy blog until my book was published just this November! Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this whole underground railroad of mommy bloggers that I never knew existed! In a way it's probably good because I definitely would have started one if I knew about it and then I would have been so busy reading other blogs and commenting like you said above that I would have never had time to publish my book! Now for the kicker, while I was working on my book on motherhood, I needed a stress relief so I began writing a funny blog about my Basset Hound Leo who has speial needs! HAHAHA, I was well aware of all the doggie blogs out there once I started writing my dog blog!It's even funnier now that I see the show DOG WITH A BLOG when my dog has had a blog for quite some time now! I started it as more of a funny thing to do to make my friends and family laugh! My best friend had a blog on being bipolar and it was dark and depressing like the nature of the illness so I knew my dog blog would make her laugh! Anyway that's my babble for the day! Now get me a VODKA!!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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