The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Blogging Advice?

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PRE-AMBLE

While some of the craziness of getting picked up by Blogs of Note is beginning to die down a bit – I’m currently only getting about 700 visits a day rather than 5,000 – I’m still trying to work out the best way to deal with the change in circumstances.


Sitemeter visitor stats for the past 4 weeks


It took me 4 years to build up to having 40 followers, and in less than 2 weeks I now have in excess of 750.

How many of these new followers will stick around has yet to be seen. In fact, there are some bloggers I know who I’m pretty sure at this point would make a game of how quickly they could lose them all again by being as offensive as possible (yes you know who you are).

And while I have to admit a certain temptation…

One of the things I seem to have been overwhelmed with is the vast number of new bloggers asking me for advice on how to create a successful blog and/or to visit their sites and comment. But there are 2 problem areas here.

The first is the obvious logistics of it all, if I still want a life.

As I’ve built up my blogging connections over the years, it’s been done in a slow and steady fashion: one or two at a time; several visits, several comments back and forth and eventually deciding whether I would add them to my sidebar to make it easy for me to find those who were beginning to make an impact on my thoughts and outlook.

But I simply do not have enough hours in the day to spare to take this approach with hundreds of newly connected bloggers.

I have made several random clicks and left a few comments here and there, and already I’ve found some fascinating people, but it’s going to be quite some time before I manage to properly build up any relationships to the point of regular visits and sidebar listings.

The other problem area is the sense that many new bloggers seem to think this massive influx of visitors implies I know what I’m doing. But in a way it reminds me of an old joke a Ukrainian friend once told me:
A millionaire from America returns to his native village in the Ukraine for a visit. He is welcomed warmly and invited to tell his tale of fortune and success.

With the village all gathered round, he beings…

“When I left here, I was not a rich man. I met my wife on the boat to America, and when we landed at New York, I had but 5 cents to my name.”

“How did you survive?” asks one of the villagers

“Well, with that 5 cents, I bought a dull and dusty apple. I cleaned it and polished it and managed to sell it for 10 cents.”

All the villagers lean in a bit more, and one asks, “and then what happened?”

“Well,” he continues, “with that 10 cents, I bought 2 more dull and dusty apples. I cleaned and polished them both and was able to see them for 20 cents”

The villagers are now on the edges of their seats, as one of them asks, “and then?”

“Then, my friends, in the true spirit of the American Dream, my wife’s uncle died and left us 4 million dollars!”

AMBLE

However, there are 2 pieces of advice I consider the most important (others may feel differently), which I will pass on to any new blogger wanting to create a blog worth visiting more than once:

The first is practical:

try and make sure your blog is easily readable
  • - Small paragraphs are much easier to cope with than large swathes of unbroken text
  • - avoid having vivid backgrounds like red, or complicated images behind the text
  • - avoid moving images on the page – they just pull the eye away from the text and are irritating

The 2nd is to ask yourself,

What is anyone who reads this going to gain from it?

Assuming you are wanting strangers to find your writings interesting, leave comments and come back again (if not, then none of this applies anyway), then you need to give them a reason.

Is your post educational, entertaining, informative, amusing, goading, containing insights, looking at things in an unusual or unexpected way?

Why should anyone care what you’ve written?
“Me and Tracy, right, we went to the shops today and bought some magazines. I saw Gary and ignored him.”

So what? What’s the story? Where’s the insight, humour or pathos? Why have you shared this with me? What response are you hoping to get? Can you write it in a different way to help you get the response you want?

(UPDATE: Broken Down Barman has taken that line and turned it into a post of insight, humour and pathos - well, humour anyway - well, if you share that kind of sense of humour... Click here )

POST-AMBLE
Experiment, play, explore, spew forth. Your blog is a place for you to write whatever you wish.

But if we want people other than our close friends and family to read our blogs, we do need to make it easier for them.


Other thoughts on what I've learned about blogging over the past 4 years can be found here: 500 Posts
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95 comments

Joan Crawford said...

Excellent Ukrainian story! Congratulations on, um, your wife's uncle dying, as it were ;)

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

But what had Gary done for you and Tracy to ignore him? Come on, spill the beans.

Kim Ayres said...

Joan - ah, if only!

Daphne - well, if it was my story, I wouldn't be ignoring him. Instead I'd set him up so the CIA thought he was a terrorist...

Mary Witzl said...

Like that Ukrainian story. Though halfway through I was all set to go out and buy some dusty apples...

Melanie said...

Excellent thoughts. Lovely to hear I'm not the only one who thinks rambling posts are a bit annoying (although I do anyway).

Ed Adams said...

Thanks for the tips. I also have a rash I'd like your opinion on.

La Jenno said...

Good tips for blogging, Kim. I was one of those extra 750+ that started following in the blogs of note days, but I also started on the same day here. :)

Thanks for sharing the joke, too. I can't tell you how many times I get asked for relationship advice (Marco and I met online and have a mostly-harmonious and happy relationship), and I tell them the same thing every time. "You need only follow one simple rule for everything to be as it should: You be you, I be me."

Dimple said...

Thanks for the good advice. One thing about blogging that I like, and that would be impossible to do with everyone who might visit, is forming the relationships about which you speak. One can only be friends with a certain number of people...

Laughed out loud at the punch line!

Pat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pat said...

Oh dear! I copied and pasted and it did it twice and you can't just delete part of it apparently.
I'm really tickled at what has happened to your stats and the tips are excellent especially with regard to the layout. It amazes me how many are impossible to read.
As for what one writes what you say makes me realise why I don't feel like writing just now.

Dan. said...

The thing I love about people commenting on anything I have written is when you click on the person’s name and find another wonderful blog to read, you suddenly find out about somebody else who you would never have known about unless they visited your site.

It’s quite scary about the amount of good stuff that is out there.

But some good tips you have given out mate.

David Aitchison said...

i like ur style o bearded one! i just joined the bogging world (yes bog, not a spelling mistake) 2 days ago and my feathers, ruffled at the lack of an immediate 1000 friends (or followers as i hear it is termed as), are now smoothed! i will continue blathering away for at least 4 more days before i expect to join the ranks of Bogging Stardom! will continue to read your posts though, even if immediate friendship does not ensue! your writing is a pleasure!

cheers

Mike Steelman said...

Wonderful advice. I wandered onto your blog through the Blogs of Note and have truly enjoyed it.

tlacotzontli said...

Hi,

The reason that I followed your blog is because you are a writer like me, I am new on these incredible world and you are the first foreigner that I found it. I like the way you told your thoughts and I been learned on your writes.
Even I put your blog as a blog friend on my own. It will be great if you read my own writting stuff just to know your thought.
I hope that you can visit me.
Regards

Eoghan Cregan said...

Hi, really enjoyed the blog. Definitely some sound advice in there.

Близнецы said...

That story is too funny. :)

Rachel Fox said...

One of my problems with the hugely visted blogs is that there are SO many comments (just too many to read - especially if there are loads of them every post and not just now and then when the topic is especially meaty). On a good blog the post and the comments and discussion are all part of it but that becomes impossible if there are too many people contributing. It's a shame really.
x

Jennifer said...

I love your blog Kim. I wish I would have been a REAL savvy blogger and found it all by my discovery self, but I'm thankful Blogs of Note picked you up and now I can read it! I am new to blogging, but before I committed to this work I told myself..."Self, the best way to build it, is from the depths of my heart, challenging my writing, slow steady growth and looking for inspiration." Your candid, real way of approaching this is honest, refreshing and helpful. I want people to read my work, but more than that, I want the people who read the work I'm doing to be affected & provoked, hopefully in a good way. You do this here, and if we are all wise and receptive to learning, we can observe your creation and GROW! Thanks Kim!

Midnitefyrfly said...

I think Jennifer hit the nail on the head. The only thing I want to add is that I cannot imagine what it felt like to get the instant recognition and how challenging it would be to address a whole new following as you have. Great job :)

The Pollinatrix said...

I'm new to blogging, but not to writing, and I really appreciate the section on considering what the value of your writing is for others. This is a question that's haunted me for some time now.

When I was taking poetry-writing in college, I once turned in a very blah poem which I had basically pulled out of my ass the night before. My professor, the poet Dave Smith, called me on it and told the class - it's one thing to write clever poems, but at some point you have to ask yourself - what is important to write about?

I also often think of something Annie Dillard said: What could you write that would not be offensive to a dying person?

Thanks for your wonderful blog. I wish I'd discovered it pre-Blogs of Note, so I'd be less of a face in the crowd.

Jennifer said...

Hi There,

I've only been blogging for about a month now but I am in the habit of checking out the Blogs of Note every day. You're only the second blog I've opted to follow in that time, I think you have some great stuff here and I look forward to your new posts. I find them to be witty, insightful and honest, as well as incredibly fun to read.

Keep up the good work, and good luck with your newfound Celebrity Blog Status!

Jennifer

Patrick said...

Thanks for the advice. But I really can't imagine myself getting 5000 visitors a day and trying to reply all comments. Nightmare. haha...

Jayne Martin said...

Yes, it certainly does seem to be a case of "Be careful of what you wish for..." Having been a professional television writer (in a former life), I know very well the importance of entertaining your reader and creating a story, so I think this advice from you is very solid for those new to writing. I'm happy to have found your blog and will continue to return for more of your storytelling. - Jayne

Gillian said...

Good advice but my wee blog will never get to "celebrity status". I just waffle on about random nothingness. Congrats to you tho.

Coralee said...

I think I'll stay around. ..I do enjoy your style. . .

BreMarie said...

Congrats on Blogs of Note and your numberous visits!!

Thank you for the advice about blogging and page layout :)

Have a good week.
B

savannah said...

nicely said, sugar! ;~D xoxo

erika konya said...

It would scare the living daylight out of me if suddenly hundreds (or thousands!) of people were flocking to my blog. While I don't mind random strangers following it, and I do want to raise awareness by writing it, my blog is deeply personal, and I want readers who care and not readers who merely want to be entertained.

I think you are doing a great job handling your sudden cyber fame :) It shows character and it has been as interesting to watch as it's been reading your blog. All the best to you.

Jan said...

You're wise.
You're also extremely conscientious trying to check everyone out !
I'm still here.


p.s. word verification is farti
thought you might want to know :)

Charlie said...

Great tips, Jim. I should have followed them.

hope said...

I'm glad I'm one of the Original 40 who can say, "I knew him when...."

So in an effort to keep from making your head explode, you only need to know I still read daily and I don't expect to receive a comment back...for a while. :)

LegalMist said...

I agree with you, Kim - a good portion of the fun of blogging is reading and getting to know a bit about other bloggers. It must be overwhelming to have so many new readers all at once.

On the other hand, though, the blogs I enjoy the most have been the ones who are writing because they enjoy writing and have something to share, not because they want to impress the multitudes. I follow many bloggers who don't "follow" me or list me or even drop by to comment, just because I like what they write.

So, keep doing what you've been doing, and I think you'll end up keeping most or all of your readers and followers, even if you don't make it 'round to all their blogs.

I also agree with you about the readability issues - I do find dark or bright or moving backgrounds very distracting.

Anita Bier said...

Great advice! Found you through Blogs of Note just like a lot of people - congratulations on your success!

straw76berry said...

Well you might think I jumped on your band wagon too however i'm sorry to say I didn't know you were a blog of note. (congrats though x)
I am new and you were in somebody elses following and I had a nosey at your bits so to speak. And they're very impressive ;-)
I don't even know how to find out if anyone has been looking at my bits though?? only if they have added me !!??
I don't expect a reply oh busy bearded one...but if ya keep flashing ya wares..i'll keep a peeking ..xx

Suz said...

Thanks for the tips and the chuckle. I hope one day to have the "problem" you have with all the posts and visitors. I've only been doing this for a couple of months and I hope my posts touch those who read them.

Eryl Shields said...

Now you tell me!

oscarsgrl said...

hello again, your latest blog about blogging is very interesting, I read you are a step parent, and although I do not know the history there I am also a step parent, I just posted a blog about it and I understand obviously you are busy, but if you have the time please read it, you have been at this ( step parenting ) for far longer then me, and any advice would be much appreciated!!!

Helen said...

Hey Bearded One - love your blog. I know, I know, I'm one of those new people who have just found it and you are wondering whether or not I'll stick around. Is she a potentially loyal reader? Well, I have to say that I feel connected to you and your blog in a couple of ways. I love to write, but I seriously doubt that I have the ability or the endurance to do anything of great substance.The little buzz I get from my blog and ensuing comments, might have to be enough. Still, a book is lurking there somewhere.
My husband is a fairly passionate photographer, and for some time now we have been wondering what direction his photography should take - he is currently manager of a Camera House here in QLD Australia. (He gets to do a lot of talking about cameras, photography etc. but not much chance to do his own) Your blog and photographic site has been an inspiration yet again. Thanks!!

Mindful Munky said...

It took 4 years for you to build 40 followers? Oy... Thanks for the tips, I think they're really helpful for beginning bloggers (like me).

the broken down barman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the broken down barman said...

whoops dont know what happened there?!?!?!?
anyway, i was saying:

well i thought the story bout buying magazines had potential, so i went and finished it off for you!!!

Thrup'ny bits said...

Slow and steady, eh? That such an excellent blog should be chosen on a Friday; I notice it's the week-end when I get most visits to my effort. I'm currently reading through 2006 . . .

Alan

The Confessionist said...

thanks heaps! i will be sure to take your advice :)

Cindy said...

I'm new but did get onto your blog through the Blogs of Note. I had browsed through some others, found some I thought I might like but have a long way to go. I like yours and planning on sticking around for the future posts! :-)

starrlife said...

Love the tips- I have a hard time keeping it brief sometimes! You are very brave to take on all of those followers!

cannwin said...

I love the point you make about making posts easy to read. I hate going into a blog that's one HUGE paragraph. I never read them.

Another thing I think people forget is long, long posts are killers. I try to keep mine fairly rational in that aspect.

41 comments is a bit intimidated Mr. Bearded One. It makes little bloggers like me feel drowned out, but I am intrigued so I will come back some more.

PS I read the Ukranian story to my husband who is always going on and on about 'the American dream.' He laughed.

Bella said...

hi Kim,

always a pleasure to see you drop by. You're right, it's impossible to link to or visit that many people, and it will die down eventually, or so I was told by another blogger. If these newbies need help there's plenty of information available out there, and nice to you to oblige with a few pointers. I for one, am not a great blogger by a long shot, but I do love visiting people and reading, and exploring the net and blogland. Have a good Wednesday!

Entrepreneur Chick said...

Well, it's always a numbers game in terms of who might read you, who might follow you.

Well written, excellent advice post.

Why I blog? NOT to promote or sell anything, not to promote any of the four companies I own, BUT, I am crystal clear in my objective- I am blogging for a book and will lift the posts to go into the book.
"Entrepreneur Chick- How to Roll With Da Big Roosters".

Also, I find it's an excellent outlet- because I can't tell a lot of people what I truly think and feel- as it would be rude, inappropriate, not seemly. However, in my blog- I let it effing RIP.

Stephen Archie Manin said...

Wow, as a virgin blogger I found this really helpful and insightful - thank you!

Kim Ayres said...

Mary - Ah, but where you are, you'd have had to charge 50 cents and been haggled down...

Melanie - rambling posts ca be fine, if they're entertaining :)

Ed - the solution is simple enough - you need to strip off naked, roll in cow dung, run through the high street and spit in the face of the mayor or other local dignitry.

Oh, and make sure you get a mate to catch it on the mobile phone and upload it to YouTube so we can see if you do it right!

La Jenno - if there's one simple rule in our house it's, communication is everything :)

Dimple - it was even funnier coming from the mouth of a Ukranian :)

Pat - I love your writing and visiting your blog - I always feel like I'm having tea with dear family friend. It's just a shame you don't live closer, or I'm sure we'd constantly be meeting up in cafes :)

Dan - in my early days of blogging I ended up following links to commenters on just about every blog I read, and then to their commenters too. Months of my life disappeared...

David - it's not a dissimilar thing to picking up a musical instrument for the first time and expecting to be able to play it. And then being convinced someone will walk past the window, hear your incredible playing and immediatly knock on the door and want to sign you up for a record deal :)

Mike - thank you, and welcome :)

tlacotzontli - I have tried to comment a couple of times on your blog, but there's something not quite right with the settings - ever time the word verification comes up, the box in which I should be writing it, disappears, so I cannot leave a comment. I hope you come back and read this, as I can't leave a message on your blog to tell you.

Eogahn - thank you, and welcome :)

Близнецы - :)

Kim Ayres said...

Rachel - I do know what you mean

Jennifer - to my mind, the best way to grow is first of all try and decide what kind of person we want to become - and then, we start behaving that way. Over time, so it becomes :)

Midnitefyrfly - fortunately it's just online recognition - at least I've not had people approaching me in supermarkets :)

Pollinatrix - I'd be less worried about offending. Someone once said if you've pissed off no one, you've taken no risks. While we don't have to set out to upset people, we can't live our lives as people pleasers, because then we don't live OUR lives.

Jennifer - thank you for your kind words. Although "celebrity" is a) far too exaggerated and b) frankly horrifying...

Patrick - at least I wasn't getting 5000 comments a day...

Jayne - when real writers are out there looking, it's a bit intimidating... :)

Gillian - all I do is waffle on about my life - you never know...

Coralee - thank you :)

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Haha, awesome Ukranian story :D

I've come less and less to consider myself a blogger. Just someone writing about things.

Definitely solid advice, though.

Kim Ayres said...

BreMarie - thank you :)

Savannah - xoxo

Erika - I had not heard of Angelman syndrome until I visited your blog, and you are a superb writer too. I wish you every success with it :)

Jan - I did indeed want to know. Farti is possibly one of the best WVs I've heard of :)

Charlene - I learned them all from you

Hope - comments like that only make my head bigger - you should cease immediately

LegalMist - I think I have to remember that different people are reading blogs for different reasons. Not everyone is looking for a relationship. Some just want to read and not be hassled by the author... :)

Anita - welcome, and thank you :)

Super said...

I too, am one of the young, bewildered bloggers striving to make a name. I rediscovered my old blog when it appeared as an option for my google profile, and decided to start the old girl up again. Still runs like a dream, but my single post from June 08 was hastily deleted, to avoid embarrassment. Your blog has provided some inspiration (especially the post on 'how to blog'), and hopefully I too will be up and away soon. Don't worry, I'm not going to pester you for advice (as you feared), but the time may come when I really, greatly, truly need guidance on how to grow a fitting beard. Peace!

the broken down barman said...

what is this blogs of note anyway?? i aint got a clue man

Kim Ayres said...

Straw76berry - If you scroll down to the bottom of my blog, on the right hand side is a link to Sitemeter. It's free and tells you how many visits you get

Suz - wishing the best of fortune to you :)

Eryl - you don't need any help - yours is one of the finest blogs out there :)

Oscarsgrl - giving advice on blogging in infinitely easier than giving advice on step-parenting, where there are just too many variables

Helen - welcome, and thanks for taking the time to comment with such warm words :)

Mindful Munky - anything you can gain from this blog is happily given :)

BD Barman - just taken a look and you, sir, are a master of the written form :)

Kim Ayres said...

Alan - usually comments go quieter at the weekend - up until now most of my readers have been sneaking in from their place of work

Confessionist - nae bother lass :)

Cindy - do check my sidebar, there are some rather good blogs to be found there

Starrlife - why is it whenever someone uses the word "brave", they usually mean "foolhardy"?

Cannwin - I still read your comments, even if there are a few to get through :) This post was longer than I like to make them, but I had a few points I needed to get through and didn't want to make 2 posts out of them

Bella - how did we ever survive in the days before blogging? Singing songs around the piano?

Entrepreneur Chick - if you own 4 companies, I'd be surprised if you didn't have a goal for the blogging. Mind you, I would never have dared to be so open on my blog back in the days I was a businessman, not unless I was completely anonymous.

Stephen - you're welcome :)

Kim Ayres said...

FLG - I am a man who blogs, not a blogger who happens to be male... :)

Super - first of all, stick a comb to your chin, to get a feel for it. Then, if the beard doesn't feel like making an appearance, dip your chin in some PVA, then a tray of pencil sharpenings. But if all else fails, just stop shaving for a couple of months

BD Barman - all you have to do is scroll back a couple of posts and you'll find your answer. By the way, did you notice I linked to your post?

David Aitchison said...

My chin hit the ground and received a nasty gravel rash when i saw the amount of tailor made replies!! you are a gun! i am amazed... but am also sending u a medical bill for the wound on my chin ;) please dont reply, you must be exhausted and i dont want another injury

Kim Ayres said...

David - mostly it's just "thank yous", but if a bigger answer occurs I'll give it. Occasionally I start a really big answer then just make a blog post out of it

David Aitchison said...

well you, Sir, must have the stamina of a penguin, which i learnt today, from the esteemed academic source of WikiAnswers, have the longest endurance out of all animals and can walk up to 80 miles and travel for several months if they are in water!!

Jennifer said...

In the blogging world I have not thought of what I want to be grown into yet, but hopefully this will come, maybe I should decide this so it will become something : ). Thank you for commenting on my comment. Your true dedication to this work amazes me. I have read many of your older posts. The journey here is compelling. The work so blatantly real and honest. I am very appreciative of this. As an artist I feel your experience has much to offer those of us who are sharing of ourselves and experiences and I thank you.

Also, I feel that my word verification is not as fun as others, it is SHINE, but I wish it was farti.

Real Girl755 said...

I love reading your blog! Even if I have been reading it for only a few days. You're so sweet! Although I'm not sure that's what you were trying to get across with this blog. You're funny, too, don't worry.

Many thanks for not trying to scare us newbies away!

Chris Mancini said...

That's really good blogging advice. I'm still trying to figure it out myself. I agree and it seems the obvious advice is always best: Try to write something someone wants to read. Although I would like an uncle to leave me four mil...

Falak said...

gr8 advice.... will surely keep in mind!!!!!

:)you seriously are funny and insightful at the same time. one of the very few people who have found the perfect balance between the two........ most probably you already know this....... but i still had to say it :P...... i think i'd like to stick around....

Jane Abbatt said...

Thank you for sharing the millionaire from America joke and making me laugh! A great tale to pass on to business colleagues!

oscarsgrl said...

Thanx for the comment and I absolutely agree, my husband and daughter are a package deal, thats why I fight so hard for her...and I suppose your right, there is no advice all I can do is follow my heart which is what I have always done and will continue to do!!

nashashibi said...

thanks, I hope u check my blog and give me your advice, I am new and I can use ur expetise if you don't mond

erika konya said...

Thank you for dropping by and finding it out :) Also, thank you for the compliment, it means a lot coming from someone so talented (and it makes me feel good being a non-native English speaker.)

onemockingbirdhill said...

Good Grief, am I supposed to be letting my close friends and family read my blog? Let me check. So far, so good...they think I am shopping online or playing Mystery Case Files games. Whew, you scared me there! Wishing you much cheer in the weekend and week ahead, and how kind of you to take the time to post that advice for us newbies! Wendy

Tgoette said...

Hi Kim,

As a new blogger I'm obviously in awe of your accomplishments and look forward to following you and trying to assimilate all your gems of wisdom into my own little blog. I appreciate your advice and expertise and invite you to come on by sometime and see what you think.

http://tgoette-sophisticatedlunacy.blogspot.com/

Kim Ayres said...

David - Are penguins the best analogy? I wrote about them once (see here)

Jennifer - shine is good :) It's only when we choose a path can we take control of the journey. But we san always choose a different path later :)

RealGirl755 - sweet? Someone else called me cute in another post. Reminds me of my post How other's see us

Chris - the strange thing about the obvious is it isn't usually obvious until someone points it out. It might have been obvious my car keys were on the table, but having looked there 6 times already, they only become obvious when my wife points to them...

Falak - thank you - I'll take praise where ever I can find it :)

Jane - you're welcome :)

Oscarsgrl - we just have to pick up bits and pieces of advice as we go along and build them into something that makes sense for ourselves

Nashashibi - if you read this blog post, you'll see I'm a bit overwhelmed with people asking me to visit their blog

Erika - I would never have known you were a non-native English speaker - your writing is far better than most native English speakers :)

Onemockingbirdhill - well, I was speaking from my own experience - I fully understand why so many people blog anonymously so they can vent their anger against various family members...

Tgoette - my achievements are nothing to be in awe of - they largely consist of spending too much time on the computer, and then randomly being selected by Blogs of Note after 4 years...

Emil Kirstein said...

Thanks, Kim. Sound advice for newbies. Blessings.

Falak said...

Thanks a lot for replying to the comment!!! I think the fact that you specially find time to reply to the comments endear you to your followers....... And don't worry I am generous when it comes to praises especially when the other person deserves it :)Hope some day when you can you will come visit my blog.....

The Pollinatrix said...

Thank you for the reply to the comment - it really is a nice touch.

At the risk of offending, I'd like to say that I think you missed the point of my comment, which was simply that it's important to consider the value for other readers of what one writes.

And you needn't worry - it'll be a fat day in hell before I become a panderer. I've been called many things: bellacose, pushy, and high maintenance, to name a few - but never a people pleaser.

Just for the record, though, I'm not I'm not "high maintenance," I'm "elevated perpetuation."

(Incidentally my verification word is "retort."

Kim Ayres said...

Emil - you're welcome

Falak - I'm always amazed by the number of poeple who don't reply to comments. I mean, if someone said "hello" to you, wouldn't you say "hello" back? It just feels like a common courtesy

Pollinatrix - OK, you caught me out - I was answering so many comments, I just grabbed one aspect of yours that leapt out at me. Yes, I agree - if we want to be read by other people, we have to write something worth reading for other people. Sometimes, however, I think we can play it too safe. We want to be read, yes, but we want to be liked too, and this can mean we end up being bland for fear of being offensive

The Pollinatrix said...

So true. There's a fine line there for sure.

I've always tended to err more on the offensive side, without even trying. I'm amazed sometimes by the things that offend people.

And while I gave you a hard time about misunderstanding my comment, I have to balance that by saying how much I respect your efforts at replying to all comments.

The Average Everyday Girl said...

Wow great story... I really liked listening to what you have to say.. it just shows the irony of how some people get to where they are, and how others don't.

I've just started blogging yesterday, so thanks for the tips! =]

Kim Ayres said...

Pollinatrix - don't worry, if you're really have given me a hard time, I'd have deleted your comment - it's not a democracy here, I'm a dictator :)

Average Everyday Girl - you're welcome :)

Midnitefyrfly said...

WOW! I cannot imagine keeping up with so many comments. I think I might get scared to write something, fearing I might leave one person unacknowledged and feel guilty. truly admirable!
(and you don't have to acknowledge this post- take a break you deserve it!) LOL

plentymorefishoutofwater said...

I am half tempted not to comment now I have seen 80 people beat me to it (jealous) but anyway, great advice. Hope I've got as many followers for my dating disasters blog one day. Did you just randomly get picked up by blogs of note?
plentymorefishoutofwater.blogspot.com/

Kim Ayres said...

Midnightfyrfly - ok, consider this reply a figment of your imagination

Plentymorefish - well it was random as far as I was concerned - I didn't do anything I know of to make it happen - but in the Blogs of Note notes they say there is a vague method to what they do

Stinkypaw said...

Wow, I can't get over your graph and how many visitors you have/had. I feel lucky with my 20 or so, wow!

I so agree with the easily readable aspect of a blog.

Brian Boulnois said...

crumbs when i first typed in google to ask about creating a blog didnt realise there is act to doing blogs, to me blog is away of writing down your thoughts when u have no one else to talk to.

Ron Tipton said...

Good advice on writing a successful blog. I try to write a blog that I would find interesting. I have learned to stay away from political blog postings. There are millions of that type of blog posting. Mine wouldn't make much of a difference.

Each of us has a unique story to tell. I write about my life. I write about my goals, aspirations, frustrations, disappointments, and happiness.

I do disagree with you on the moving parts in a blog. I like a slide picture show of the author of the blog. I would find that interesting on other blogs. I also like music on my blog. It expresses my personality and the way I feel. A friend suggested to me that it is distracting for him so he turns it off when he reads my blog. That is his choice. I do not have a problem with that. However, I am not going to customize my blog to suit his tastes...

The one suggestion I agree with you 100% is to make the paragraphs short and readable.

Each one of us has a unique life and experiences to share with someone out there in the vast blogosphere. If there are readers that fine my blog interesting, then fine. If not, then all is not lost because writing my blog is a form of therapy for me.

That's what I love about blogging. There are no hard and fast rules. I do not have to seek permission to be myself nor do I have to apologize for writing about the most interesting person in the world which in my opinion is me.

Thank you for you for your blog and being honest. You are much appreciated.

Ron Tipton

Bryan Wignall said...

This Actually may help so much! i just posted my first blog ever today, and i was really intrigued as to how long and just how in general to get looked at by other bloggers.

Sang said...

Well, I was about to leave a wonderfully thoughtful comment, but I see you have your hands full.

Yeah, I changed my mind after looking at the number of comments. I don't want a popular blog.

I'll just look like a snob when I don't answer the majority of the comments. Ya know, because of the whole space-time continuum thing being a limited human experience ;)

Rati said...

Well, I must say I am guilty of clicking on your blog following Blogs of Note. And I could feel instant empathy because that is just what I have been trying to do. Promote my blog, get rich quickly, make millions out of my incessant rant. I know one day the bubble will burst but till then....
and thanks for the tips, will use them all!

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

But, you know, I liked it when we just a little group of friends with our in-jokes and stuff ... now we got to stand at the back and grumble about how you ain't got time for us any more ... oh hang on a minute I already went through this once with Arthur Smith! Just got to wait for you to get a big head, overdo it on the recreationals and crash and burn, and then we'll be there at your blogside with soothing words and some grapes, saying we told you so ....

Kim Ayres said...

Stinkypaw - scary, isn't it?

Brian - it all depends on whethr you want other people to read and folllow your blog. If you're just writing it to unload your own thoughts, purely for you, then it doesn't matter. The point I'm making is if we do want other people to read it, it helps if we make it readable :)

Ron - Like I said to Brian above, it all depends on what the blog is for, and how you want other people to react. For example, if there was a shop in town where they always played irritating music that annoyed the hell out of me, even if I wanted to buy something from there, I would still think twice about going. Now, if the owner has the shop for his/her own satisfaction, regardless of customers, then it's a choice s/he makes. And that's OK, so long as the owner never complains s/he doesn't get as many customers as s/he'd like :)

Bryan - glad to have helped, and best of fortune with your own blog :)

Sang - fair enough - go back a few posts and you'll see I felt better about myself deciding not to be a Writer, after reading a post by Khanh Ha and publishing

Rati - I see you've been going for 6 months now - how many millions have you made?

Daphne - just because I couldn't think what to write on your post about Floyd, doesn't mean I've abandonded you. Fer guidness sake, wummun! And I bet Arthur said the same thing (only with a different accent)

David Aitchison said...

Kim- read your penguin blog! well written as usual, if rather bleak! glad i believe in Jesus! i stick by my statement though! penguins do have pretty all right stamina. so whether or not they eke their way through life on a comparable level to anyone else, you cant take their physical brilliance away from em! love the description of that beautiful moment with your family!! have no idea what bramble tastes like but im sure im missing out!

Kim Ayres said...

David - I have no comfort in the Christian (or any other) religion. If there is a God, s/he has not chosen to make him/herself known to me in a way that I would understand.

As for brambles, they are also known as blackberries. Think of blackcurrents, but the taste is more subtle and rounded

David Aitchison said...

each to their own i guess. i see God working in most everything i see. tis an amazing relationship to experience, though im not one to force it upon anyone! im sure if u so desire to look u'll find he's been chatting to you all along but.
i think i like brambles better then blackberries! appeals to my.... i dunno... my Scottish heritage?? cant put my finger on it but i like it! oh i got it, brambles has a more wild rugged sound that speaks of handpicking in beautiful but remote terrain! an image that is always good in my book!

T Shubnell said...

Good advice to bloggers. Hope mine fits the description of entertaining and informative. My ramblings are more about what I find on the web vs. my personal life.

Kim Ayres said...

The great thing about blogs is the sheer variety :)

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