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Blogging 101, Day Fourteen: Deeper into the Blogosphere

Time to do some more following and commenting, and use this laid-back day to catch up on anything else (or write your own post).

You’ve already explored the WordPress.com Reader and started following topics and blogs that resonate with your own interests. So why are we doing it again? Growing your community is a process, not a single task. Continue cultivating relationships, and use this laid-back day to focus on any other assignments you’re still working on.

Today’s assignment: spend some time reading through the topics you follow, and follow five more blogs and/or topics that intrigue you as you read.

Why do this?

  • Because getting a clearer sense of the breadth and global reach of the blogging community will make your own blogging stronger and richer.
  • Because the more you put yourself out there, the easier it is for others to find you.

If you’ve already added topics to your Reader, focus today on finding new blogs to follow; conversely, if you already have a growing list of blogs populating your Reader, explore new, uncharted topics. If you’ve done a bit of both, keep that up.

When we search for topics, we usually start close to home. The chef looks for food blogs, the college frosh searches for other students. It’s a great idea and good habit to mix things up sometimes. Part of the fun of blogging is the serendipity: no matter how long you’re been blogging, you never know when you’ll find a new favorite writer or make a connection that changes your blog (or your life).

  • Look up the name of an author you like, to see what others have thought about books you’ve read.
  • Search a faraway country (Estonia? Madagascar? Nicaragua?) or a place you’ve always dreamed of visiting (The North Pole? The Maldives? The Taj Mahal?): who knows what you might dig up?
  • Think about natural extensions of popular topics you’re already following. If you love photography, try specifics topics like fisheye or film photography.
  • Try wplongform for longer posts of 1,000 words+ or wprightnow for responses to current events.

If you need a break from the Reader, you can also visit blogs you’re already following — scour the comments section for readers who left thoughtful remarks (a promising sign that their own posts are equally interesting) or look for a blogroll. If you have more than a few minutes to spend, do some blog-surfing — click a link on site you’re currently visiting to find something new, and repeat every time you’re ready to move on.

When you find something that inspires you, be sure to leave a comment or like the post along with following the blogger.

Since this is a less intense day, it’s also the perfect opportunity to revisit anything we’ve covered that you’re still not sure about, write a non-challenge post of your own, or spend some time helping your co-bloggers over in The Commons.

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  1. Waddup guys!

    I written a new post on my blog (http://LhuWenKai.com) on 5 Types of People You Should Totally Hang Out With To Be Happy. Would love it if ya’ll checked it out! (at the end of the article you might win a US$15 starbucks gift card. /winks/)

    I believed quite a number of ya’ll have read the first part of it, 5 Types of People You Should Avoid To Be Happy, and I really need to thank ya’ll for all your feedback and likes and comments on it :) In just a few short days, it’s already my most successful article by a mile. Really love the community.

    Anyway, I’m not really into books. I used to read quite a bit when I was in primary school due to peer pressure (yea that phrase is a li’ll bit weird to use in a primary school context haha). But now, I prefer reading newspapers and columns and things like that. I really want to get back into reading to further improve my grasp of the English language and hence be able to write better, so I will appreciate if ya’ll can introduce some nice books for me to read (I laugh really easily so yay for comedy books). Doesn’t matter if it’s horror, or romance (One of my favorite books is “Twilight”, so don’t hold back). As long as you think it’s nice, tell me about it :)

    Take care ya’ll! Happy writing!

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    1. I just read your post. I like your humor and having the moving pictures was very effective. I also think the 5 areas you choose are good ones.

      In terms of suggestions……. I know we each have our own styles. When I write I always go back over and over and see if there are any words or any sentences or paragraphs that are unnecessary, and if I find any, no matter how small, then I remove it. I think people are more likely to read posts that are fairly short, or are subdivided into sections, like your is, but the content under it is pretty short. I think you will have more readers if you shorten the text under each section.

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      1. That’s a really great idea. My style is usually to keep my lists short and my explanations/elaborations long, but Imma try the opposite in my future posts. Thanks!

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    2. Man you gotta read The Alchemist, or The Old Man and the Sea. I LOVE those books, they’re not comedy really but they are seriously good reads. The Alchemist or Breakfast at Tiffany’s are also quite short and the English is easy enough in them which won’t hinder your reading in a foreign language, Keep up the great blogging. TPJ x

      Like

    1. I would love to be able to go to a place like TWG! Loose Leaf tea is amazing and the aromas that many give off are addictive:)

      Nice post though, I look forward to following you and seeing where you visit next!

      xo, Haley

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  2. I think that if you’re a writer who likes to inject humour in their posts (whether you talk about anything from films, to music, to culture, to whatever) it’s a great idea to follow the Freshly Pressed blogs under the topic of Comedy / Humour. It’s a good way to learn about other comical styles and try other voices on for size.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I realize I am a bit loosing track on the 101 steps, but following new blogs and commenting is something I have been doing from the start. As new people started to follow my blog, I discovered new blogs on my favorite topic and started following them. I see my community slowly expanding, and this is great. Now my next task is to improve on layout, sidebar and media integration. I really must go through the Learn WordPress guide. Thanks for the daily prompts and challenges.

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  4. What a fun idea for today. Here are the areas I have decided to explore:
    1. My Myers-Briggs personality type, INFJ
    2. Introverts
    3. The zompacalypse
    4. Biking
    5. Aspergers
    Here’s a link to the post I wrote today about how different completing homework is today compared to when I was a kid.

    http://amforte66.wordpress.com/

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  5. Good idea; think broader! I only search topics that interests me (photo blogs). I might try “MC”, “stamp collecting” or “wrestling”! I might find inspiring photos there too!

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    1. Bless you for continuing to work in FILM. ROLLS of FILM! Beautiful shots on your blog. I’ve traveled to the southwest a handful of times and I’m always inspired to take pictures – it’s such a beautiful region of our country and you’re really capturing it.

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  6. Hey Michelle,

    I am super new at blogging and I recently signed up for your emails. Thanks for all the great information.

    I want to relay to you a crushing experience I had this morning. I have only posted three times on my blog, and each time I send out a mass text from my phone. This morning an acquaintance texted back asking me to stop sending her my blog link.

    Now, intellectually I understand where she is coming from. I hardly know her and out of the blue she is receiving three random texts from a woman she hardly knows, referring her to a personal on line journal. I get it.

    Inside I feel ashamed and embarrassed. Rejected, I want to roll up into a little ball, like a black little doodle bug. I want to shut down all together. Yes, I realize it’s just one person’s input, but putting myself out there hasn’t been easy.

    Had this happened to you? How did you get through it? I guess what I realize is that I’m generating spam. Shameless self promotion. I’m sure this is part of the learning curve, but man, it hurts.

    Any feedback would be cool.

    Thanks,

    liz

    ▶ Show quoted text On Apr 28, 2014 7:03 AM, “The Daily Post” wrote:

    > Michelle W. posted: “You’ve already explored the > WordPress.com Reader and started following topics and blogs that resonate > with your own interests. So why are we doing it again? Growing your > community is a process, not a single task. Continue cultivating > relationships, and us”

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    1. Hi Elizabeth! First off: please try not to feel embarrassed — easier said than done, I know. We all make mistakes when we’re starting out and trying to get people to pay attention. I’ve definitely left my share of spammy-sounding comments on other people’s blogs, and learned the hard way that they’re not well-received.

      The texts are essentially spam, as you’re realizing, and she’s politely requesting not to receive these messages (at least, I hope was was polite!). It may not even be than she’s not interested in your blog, but that she doesn’t want to receive unsolicited links as text messages, which is understandable — we all struggle to manage the influx of information we get each day in emails, text, social network feeds, etc.

      Moving forward, the rule of thumb for websites is anyone you communicate with has opted in to that communication — clicked “follow” on your blog, for example, or signed up on a mailing list. It’s also fine to post links places like Facebook and Twitter, where people can choose whether or not they want to take a look. Beyond that, you’re heading to spam territory. Sending a link or two via email to good friends is probably fine; they’re your buddies, and you’re starting an exciting new thing. More than that, are you’re headed for trouble. After an email or two, even your best friends can decide to click “follow,” and more email just becomes noise (or spam).

      This was an honest mistake, and it only speaks to your method of trying to promote your blog — *not* to what you’re actually saying. All her response says is “I prefer not to receive unsolicited promotional text messages,” *not* “I think your blog is stupid.” I think the best thing you can do (and what I did) is get up and dust yourself off, apologize (if that feels okay to you), keep blogging, and start making genuine connections with other bloggers in the WordPress.com community.

      And because it bears repeating: please try not to feel embarrassed. Honest mistakes: we all make ‘em, then we feel a little dumb for a while and try to move on. Heck, this would even make a great blog post.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Don’t worry about it at all Liz. We all love blogging here and we demand to hear your voice!!! I’d say get rid of the text thing though…it might be weirdly personal and anyway texting’s like so 2009! She’s only one person and she mightn’t be into hearing other people’s stories cuz she’s too busy with her own thoughts. Where can we find this blog of yours so we can encourage you to post more often! We need you here! TPJ x

      Like

    3. I also had emailed friends, family and acquaintances in my enthusiastic beginnings, but I learned, like you, that not everyone wants to hear about it. I, too, felt hurt, but in time, I saw that there were new people that I would never have even known about following me.
      Like Michelle says, it is not a personal thing, just not everyone wants to read blogs or have email/texts that they feel are soliciting them repeatedly.
      I hope that you have a great experience making new friends in the blogging world!!

      Like

      1. I use FB as my social media and basically I started a page and left it at that. Everything I post is linked via facebook and the people that ‘like’ my page get my updates (or my direct subscribers). FB has gone well too over 200 followers in a couple of weeks – the comments above are right not everyone appreciates our blogs and working with like minded bloggers has been extremely beneficial for me.

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  7. Coincidentally, been doing this for the fast few hours! It’s really nice when you get to discover new blogs [whose authors have the same interests as you]. :). Thank you for this!

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  8. Thank you for this! I’m a relatively new blogger as well and just today I was beginning to feel discouraged and comparing myself to other prolific bloggers with a crowd of an audience. But I will definitely start checking other people out and commenting and following! :)
    Slowly but surely I guess..

    Like

    1. Hmmm…. that’s strange. We do auto subscribe folks to The Daily Post and WordPress.com News just to help them get comfortable here at WordPress.com. You can unfollow at any time — no hard feelings. :)

      Other than Daily Post and WP.com News, no other blogs should appear other than those that you have chosen to follow.

      I’d suggest giving Support a buzz — they can delve a little deeper for you:

      http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

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  9. This exercise, 101 that is, has introduced me to so many different blogs that I might never have discovered. I have really enjoyed reading the posts of people so different from myself in age, culture, experience and vision, as well as my usual community whom I value as friends. Their different perceptions have amused, impressed, educated and enthralled me.

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  10. Spent a good bit of time on the blog today, I was lucky I had a day off so I could sit down at the computer and get lost in our virtual lovely world of people’s ideas. I’m going to complete Day 14’s challenge by loading up on photography blogs. For some reason, i’m becoming almost obsessed by it and loving taking new shots and seeing other people’s photos.

    I truly believe that each photo can tell an awful lot about the photographer and the story of the moment that he or she took it. It’s also wonderful to have the opportunity to see so many beautiful places from around the world where different bloggers are living or have traveled to. The only problem is it gives me a serious case of wanderlust.

    Here are some of our photographs. Take a look if you like, comment at will and, of course, say hello. We’d love to hear tales of your adventures! TPJ x

    http://tigerpawsjnrsstories.wordpress.com/photographs/

    Like

  11. Hi @Michelle thanks for the great idea and wonderful tips.

    Everyday I go into tags and explore to find something new. Also find some old blogger friends blogging, usually read their stuff and comment.. I am now becoming more familiar with reader and enjoying new and new stuff everyday.. Will put the final update tomorrow on how I went to share with all the people of 101..

    Really learnt a lot so far, looking forward to more events and learn more everyday …
    :)

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  12. This is great advice and I feel good that I have a handful of blogs that I am now following! I do not often come across people that think as I do so I have trouble getting others to follow me but I am getting out there!

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  13. Just stumbled across this Blogging 101 series and am looking forward to participating! What a great way to help me focus and challenge me to write and get more involved in blogging. As someone looking to catch up – should I start from day 14 or jump back to day 1? What do people think?

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    1. You’re more than welcome to start anywhere you like — no assignments are mandatory. We offer them as a way to provoke some thought about blogging, help folks meet one another, and offer a comfortable spot people can use to chat, ask questions, and just have some fun.

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