Friday, February 12, 2010

Be a Blog Slut

This may very well be the wrong place to present this, y'all being a slutty bunch already, but I met a couple people yesterday who weren't really sure how, or hadn't been all that successful in gathering blog followers. So I thought I'd gather what I had to offer and offer it up for a grope.

Now when I try to present myself as an expert, after all of 8 months experience, I expect some laughter, but I haven't done so badly, in my short life of being textually active... I've got a fair number of followers and have made a fair few friends.



Learn From An Expert

I could NEVER EVER call Elizabeth a slut. But to be honest, she IS pretty free with her favors...

The smartest thing I ever did was read a couple established blogs and find someone who was doing EVERYTHING right and then follow HER around. Now my content is really different because frankly, she is just better at putting the writing tricks into perspective (and our styles are about as different as night and day), but I did several things she did, and they WORKED.

The first, was to look at her sidebar and see what blogs she was reading. She's a writer. I'm interested in writing... It was a pretty safe bet that I'd be interested in quite a bit of the same content. I don't follow all the mystery blogs she does because I don't write genre mystery, but most of the general writing and a FEW of the mystery ones, I do.

I also read the comments to her posts to get a feel for the OTHER really nice people out there—she has nice friends—and started following some of THEM around, too—pestering THEM.

I followed her advice about the social networking thing. Much of what I have to say, I learned from her (the innuendo of it though, was my own addition-as if you didn't know that).

Most importantly though, I learned it goes a LONG WAY to be really nice. If somebody comments on your blog, RESPOND—they will feel loved. If somebody visits you, visit back... Her old-fashioned southern manners have worked well, even for a naked chick in Michigan.


A Little Mutual Appreciation

Commenting on other people's content WILL earn you a visit from them—maybe not the first time, but the real bloggers that get into form, updating regularly and caring about followers KNOW the gig... you check them out a few times, you WILL be checked out. Their READERS will ALSO check you out if you are clever or interesting.

The very fastest way to earn a following is to get out there and be a good follower.  Oh, I know... we all gotta be ourselves, but it's called NETWORKING for a reason. 


Find Your Niche

Anybody can master missionary... in fact some people with this approach might be accused of just laying there... You need to figure out what you're good at that other people will find either INFORMATIVE or ENTERTAINING. Some desperate people even just run around naked and hope to get attention *cough *.


Spread the Love

Seek out people who don't already have followings... Try to help them out. They'll appreciate it. Visit a lot of places... Given limited time, maybe strategize to have 30 blogs you really follow and visit 4 a day, commenting each time... that keeps it down to about 15 minutes or so, but makes sure you are in several different places and after a month or so, you will be recognized.

I have a couple blogs I read almost every day (like Elizabeth's, Rayna's or Jan's) because I feel a specific loyalty (read: friendship) to those bloggers. Some days I can read most of the new stuff in my side bar, but MOST days, I only have time for 3-5 blogs, so I browse titles, but also browse who I owe a visit. (who's visited ME; who have I neglected for a while?) A lot depends on timing... who has a recently updated blog when I have time to read, but I DO try to not neglect anyone too long.


A Hard Truth

The agents don't need you. There are some terrific agent blogs out there, full of information. When you are querying, READ THEM. When you are polishing, READ THEM. When you are seeking expert advice READ THEM. But unless you are reading ABOUT social networking from them, they are NOT where to invest your time in social networking.

Leaving a comment for Nathan Bransford is like this... if you slept with Warren Beaty, do you think he'd remember the mole on your inner thigh? Not likely, unless it was so grotesque that it entirely ceased events. The most popular guy around just has too many choices for a single incident (or serial of them) to be noticed. I comment when he polls, and occasionally when I can't help myself, but I am under no illusion that he has noticed me.

Agents have TONS of wannabe followers traipsing around after them, and if you comment OFTEN on their blogs, you might ANNOY them (I suspect I've annoyed Jessica, but I'm sure I'm not the only one), and if you only comment from time to time, you are NOT going to be memorable... Read them for your content--they're helpful, but if you are limited in the amount of time you have, then the agent forums are like trying to sleep with the quarterback... Only the already popular girls get to do that and you are wasting your energies.

19 comments:

gae polisner said...

you're brilliant.

and im not just saying that to get into position. Right now, my blog is neglected, because my endless mid-manuscript pile is not.

So, there's not much to follow on this end, but, man (ok, naked woman) am I enjoying following you. ;)

er. point made then.

Watery Tart said...

Thank you, Gae! I'm really glad to have met you with this ABNA thing, as I suspect you (having been in the top last year) know a ton about the writing end... so I will try to help your inner nudist, and you can help me navigate ABNA!

M.J. Nicholls said...

Agreed! I prefer commenting on neglected and lonely blogs. It's the underdog in me. I can't really be arsed with Nathan Bransford (partly because he has a smug superannuated face) and partly because of the fawners. "You're SO WONDERFUL, Nathan! Publish ME, Nathan!"

Some of the blogs I've found via blogs haven't worked out for me. I think it depends on what you're looking for in a blog buddy. I find keeping them on monthly rotation works well. American bloggers are more concerned with whoring themselves and their proudct. ::vomits::

If I comment three times on a blog and no one peeps their head out to say hello, I bid them adieu. It's just RUDE.

PS I didn't enter the Amazon contest. Some issues arose in my MS.

Watery Tart said...

I like the lonely blogs too, but more than once, I comment in one and realize they are lonely because the blogger is anti-social... doesn't respond... so you've read and commented into a void... that's depressing...

Yes, the fawners can be cumbersome... he's got one fawner who happens to be the only person in the whole world I don't like (a writer who lives where I do and made up stuff to try to get my son in trouble *grrrrrr*). When I see her, I feel like squishing something. But annoying fellow author aside, there is an awful lot of pandering... (though honestly, I wouldn't mind seeing him in his Cabana boy best... he has that look, if you know what I mean... the one I like offering me a fruity drink and then dancing like I like--wholesome boys make FABULOUS Cabana Boys)

Did you just vomit on me? *snort* Can't hold your liquor... But yes... we're an attention seeking lot. You Brits will self-deprecate and I love you for it, but I can't seem to bring myself to do it. My stock leaped ship to escape his majesty and so the rebel/attention seeker was born.

And POO that you aren't at Amazon! (Is Chris?)

Liz said...

but I loooooove Nathan--he is hot! Do you mean to say he's ignoring The Wench? sigh (knew that)
My new blog is one of the lonely ones at times. . . but that's cool. I still yammer away on it like Somebody is listening. The Beer Wench gets her fair share of hits because I plaster her address all over everything like the promotion seeking slut she is. The Bed Wench on the other hand is flying under the radar a bit....but the folks who like her, REALLY like her.

Watery Tart said...

I need to spend more time with the bed wench. It's mostly STORIES though, which I tend to think 'oh when I have time' but then never do... I did pass the link on to a like-minded friend, but I suspect he will be a silent reader (he writes a bit of the stuff).

Seems though, that when you can find the thread leading to the blanket of THAT GENRE of readers, it might unwind quite nicely... it is just finding your starting place---reading lots, commenting lots, and when you are one of the girls, time the push just right--"I write this stuff too" and you are in.

Sugar Whiting said...

Yay I can be a blog slut! woot. lol..ty for your awesome advice!

Watery Tart said...

Thank you, Sugar! I noticed you following not too long ago--welcome! I also notice that we're doing some weight loss in the new year at the same time (that's my Saturday focus, because Saturday is weigh in)--so I will pop in on you too!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Textually active! I love it! And...the spell-check didn't even flag that word. IS it a word? I'm feeling out of the loop.

Thanks for saying so many nice things about me! And I would definitely brand myself a blog slut, judging from the hopping around I do. :)

Jessica scares me a little. I don't comment there. :)

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

siderealview said...

I just realized I wasn't taking your advice, so I added the Kairdiff procrastinator to my blogroll - what an omission, partic as you were the catalyst in the first place. Advice, from a Naked Lady in Michigan is particularly kindly (coupla exceptions totally reasonable - you guessed it J & N - agreed) - & whatever you say about N being dishy, he is just too full of it...for my taste. So dear (Naked) Lady, you do it again - great advice great timing... most of all your h(e)art on your sleeve & it shows. I'm with Elizabeth on textually-active - your other string to the bow: inventor & intuitive with it x

Watery Tart said...

Can't take credit for textually active--I've seen it before, being the connoisseur of innuendo that I am.

And it's totally true, Elizabeth--I followed you like a nut for a long time, because you DO do everything right!

Marian-Tara's breaking for a bit, but I'll nudge her back into it eventually. *giggles* What I'd like to do with N doesn't have a lot to do with publishing... between you and me... Glad the advice comes with good timing... Hope it works out! (I know I owe you a read and a comment!)

Jan Morrison said...

what a facinating conversating you got going there tartlett! Oh, does tartlett have two t's or just one -I guess I mean three or two. Oh phooey. What I've noticed is that I desperately need more ram because my computer is so !@#$%&*^&^!! slow that I spend all my time waiting for things to load. I usually knit or practice the accordion but really! Friendship takes time and awareness in the virtual world and that other one too...
and it is worth it.

Watery Tart said...

teehee--Jan, you can spell tartlet(t) however you like... though with only one t at the end it is more like an aplet or cotlet, isn't it? Am I more likely to get eaten that way? *ducks* Sorry. Innuendo dies hard...

Hate it when the computer is slow... It happens now and again, but I suppose DOES make us appreciate better...

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Tartlet sounds like a baby tart, and a tartlett reminds me of Miss O' Hara. Which would you rather be?


Lovely post as usual. And if the number of followers I have is in double digits, it is only because I did all that you did, only I followed you :-)
Second born Thursday Twins have it easy.

Watery Tart said...

Are you awake, Natasha?! We aren't both up at the same time all that often... You had a very good habit WELL established before I every considered blogging, so I may be a better SLUT, but I've learned a fair bit from you about the Blog part. (be clear, i'm very comfortable as a slut)

As always though... without a Natasha, there would BE NO Tart...

Creative Chronicler said...

Great advice for new bloggers. You should make a blog slut badge, I bet it would be popular.

Watery Tart said...

Thanks, CC! Blog Slut Badge... what a GREAT idea! I will have to think about it... work better when my ideas stew a while, but that seems like an excellent little award!

Liz said...

here's the ultimate difficulty of Blog Sluttishness (which I am all for in principal). How does one make time to:
1. write new stuff
2. edit/polish old stuff
3. read and comment on your reading buddy's stuff
4. blog hop and leave pithy and useful commentary proving how verbally and textually astute you are on the necessary genre specific type sites (in my case BEER and DECENT NAUGHTY WRITINGS you won't find in Penthouse)
5. have one or 2 day jobs
6. do laundry/cook for hollow-eyed neglected children whose photos are on my desk for some reason (oh yeah, you)
7. survive.
'scuse me--gotta go find another blog now!
just askin!
cheers

Watery Tart said...

ACK! I have children! I keep forgetting!

ET-I have NO IDEA--I know my friend who is so successful is an at-home mom (though with two separate publishing contracts, so her writing demands are greater than ours) but i think the trick is to give a time designation. It's all we can do...

I think it's better to do 3 great blogs a week than 7 half-assed ones, yet I persist--having FOMS and all--have to blog daily...

So my recommendation is to give up laundry.