Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Magical, Mythical Blogs

There is a common complaint-ish...maybe a common confusion among many bloggers. They are constantly asking how can they be like other blogs in terms of audience. How do you build an audience? How do you get those page views up? Why isn't my blog flourishing?

My answer is almost always, WHO CARES!!!???

Clearly, you do, because you continue to talk about it. So, I'm here to tell you how I doubled my blog views in one month, and doubled my social media following in two months. Yes, I did this all within the span of TWO MONTHS. I went from about 2,000 page views per month to over 4,000 and from right around 100 followers on Twitter and Instagram to over 200. (This was information gathered last spring. I'm now nearing 300 Twitter followers and am over 300 on Instagram. I've also reached over 5,000 page views on my blog, but not consistently so.) How I did this was super, super, super easy and also fairly maintainable. However, despite the numbers, the ENGAGEMENT on my blog, Twitter, and IG hasn't really grown. I have made three new and consistent friends on Twitter, one on Instagram, and one regular commenter on this blog. Despite doubling my numbers, I can't say that I'm happy with the engagement. So I'm going to tell you exactly how to do it, and I'm going to be extremely realistic with you.

You can read the list for it's bold items and just take that away, or you can read all the explanations. It's a bit long, but worth it. Consider this a mini eBook that I just dropped on your ass for free! Kinda like the new Miley Cyrus album.

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1. TWITTER PARTIES :

These are a fad now, and they are largely fun. I've participated in about five twitter parties, regularly participating in two, one of which I'm going to ditch after this blog post. The first Twitter party I ever visited is hosted by Firework People. I stumbled across them at the end of January and really had a great time. It's a group of women who are supporting each other. The party goes over the course of an hour and involves about seven questions. You answer the questions by replying to them. The moderator will retweet interesting or poignant answers, which is how people find out about you and how you get followers. Firework People alone doubled my page views on my blog in February. One month + one party + once a week (every Tuesday from 9p-10p EST) = double my page views. That's a lot, right?

Here's the problem with Firework People; They are a business. They are a business that wants to help women "change the world with their fire". Whatever the hell that means. I mean, it means that you should give them money, whine to them a bit, and they will (probably) tell you how to advance whatever it is you're advancing. When I first started following them on Twitter, I really liked them and almost joined their "sisterhood," which was some sort of paid program that seems to be gone now. It was a fairly reasonable amount, under $20/month, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I'm glad I didn't.

In the beginning, I was LOVED by everyone. I picked at least four people to follow on Twitter each week and had all kinds of engagement and was invited to Facebook groups full of people who loved me. But then, everyone became a little tired of me. It was probably because I don't spend much time talking about what I CANNOT do and spend a lot more time talking about how awesome I am. I'm also getting really tired of women trying to charge other women for what is really just friendship. (Like Sarah Morgan's Badass Babes Club, which I called out and so she blocked me on Twitter. The creator of Firework People, Ashley Beaudin has posted some really judgy things which I've called out and so she blocked me on Twitter. Why are we paying people who can't even handle disagreement?)

In the beginning, my engagement jumped. The end of each session is an "encouragement session". You call out awesome people. So I called out my awesome people, who were not at the party. After a few weeks, they changed that into calling out people who were at the party. I found I couldn't do that. I have since been able to do it twice. What happened with Firework People was quick love that has fizzled. I still choose two people per party, but I usually unfollow them within two weeks. Now, my tweets are not retweeted as much and no one is shouting out how awesome it is to have me there. They have separated into cliques and I'm not interested.

A much better Twitter party (for me) is the Daring Creative party hosted once a month by Kyla Roma. There is a coordinating Facebook group too. This party happens the last Thursday of the month and 2p EST, which is a difficult time for some people. This group is much more business focused, but I have found better engagement from it. Kyla has never once made me feel like I should be less confident in my journey, unlike every other group I've found. Kyla is fun and I follow her on IG as well. I once disagreed with Kyla in my vehement way and she took it to Direct Messages to clarify instead of getting butthurt and unfollowing me. I fucking respect that. The engagement is higher too. As I do with all parties, I follow two people per party. I have yet to unfollow the Daring Creative peeps. I also bring a lot of people to the party, which Kyla always thanks me for; something Firework People has never done.

There are other Twitter parties. I could do a Google search for you, but fuck that. I have participated in at least three others that I didn't like. After this post goes public, I am fully ditching Firework People and their cliquey ways and sticking with Daring Creative. Firework People might be what you need, so I suggest you try it out. I'm just too self-confident and not interested in bullshit and cliques for them to work for me.

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2. Facebook Groups :

After my first couple of Firework People parties, I became friends with Liz Furl and everything was going great until I disagreed with her and she blocked me. She created a Facebook group for anyone who wanted to write personal posts. I joined, posted some links, received tons of engagement, and kinda liked it. That wore off when I realized most of the women in the group were so sensitive and easily offended as to be incapable of understanding the point of some messages. I have little time for idiocy, especially when it's born of insecurity. I left the group just before Liz blocked me on Twitter (where she seems to have left). Whatever. For the short time I was there, I saw a jump in page views. So I joined several other groups:

Daring Creative : I like the group, but I find it hard to participate. Still there.
Freedom Hackers : VERY IMPRESSIVE, but all about business. Left the group.
BYOBlog : All about design. Seems cool, but I don't like it. Left the group.
The Blog Loft : Meh. I don't get much out of it. Left the group.
SITS Girl : Honestly, not sure about this one. Still there.
Blogging Boost : Self-promotion, nearly no genuine engagement. Left the group.

I think Firework People had a group, because I was part of it, but it appears it's disappeared. It was a nice space, if you're into them. I'm not.

There you have it. How I doubled my traffic. All I did was go to some Twitter parties and join some Facebook groups.

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But I did want to throw an honorable mention out to Steph, writer at Loudmouth Lifestyle. It's probably no surprise that she ends up on this page, since we used to be best friends. She created Loud Ladies, which is similar to what Firework People does. All girls, all about blogging and being an entrepreneur. She started a Google + group that I enjoyed for a little while. My fave thing is that it updates into my e-mail and I can reply from there. No Facebook needed!!! But the group was really all about making money from your blog, which I don't care about. Also, I got tired of questions that came from places of insecurity. I felt like I was the only self-confident one in the group. I left the group and about four months later, my friendship with Steph dissolved. The friendship dissolved for mostly non-blog stuff, but not entirely. Our friendship was built online and as her online space changed, so did our friendship. So why am I telling you about her? Well, it's a place you could go to find people. I would say that half of my best internet friends came from a mutual following of Steph and strengthened in that group. Maybe you will find something as nice.

At the end of the day, all you have to do is write. If you enjoy it, then do it. Make your blog look however the fuck you want and put whatever fucking content you want in it.

9 comments:

  1. I love the shit out of the Daring Creative group. There's nothing but support coming out of there and nothing of the inferiority complex/general left out and not cool enough feelings I see from any other group of people. Kyla kicks so much ass.

    What a lot of people don't ask themselves is what are they going to get out of higher numbers. Are they planning to sell something? Are they planning to have ad space? Because in the grand scheme of things, in my opinion, numbers don't mean anything to most blogs. Yes, it's great if you want to expand your horizons and engage people (like you <3). However, most of the people out there trying to up their numbers don't really have a goal or endgame other than a blurry vision of becoming a mommy blogger. Another reason why I love the Daring Creative group -- we're working toward something tangible and Kyla really reinforces that kind of message.

    *steps from soap box

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    1. I think you bring up some great points. Why do people want a bigger audience? What is the purpose? Is it just to feel good? I have a handful of regular commenters and I couldn't care less if I gained another handful or more. Too many people and I won't be able to engage authentically.

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  2. you are so damn real! i love you lol.... girl let me tell you I'm still struggling right now tryna figure out what it is i want from my blog... i'm really not interested in free clothes... money maybe but it would have to be for something of substance to my readers, but still i feel like accepting money or anything for that matter is selling out.... I'm not going lie and say i don't want more views and followers but I'm honestly a bit lazy so i don't see me doing anything different...xx

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    1. I think that if you made money, it's not selling out. It's ok to make money, as long as you don't change your whole blog. But it's also ok to have a fun, little blog, with a small-ish audience, and do it because you love it. I like your blog. I don't think it needs to be anything else!

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  3. Even when I blogged regularly I didn't care about numbers. It was only when I got involved with a group by Lauren Hochleutner of Pink on the Cheek that I started questioning everything about blogging. I was being told I needed this and that and at that time in my life, I needed SOMETHING (hard to explain), so I let myself get sucked into it and my blog has never been the same.

    I'm glad to read your thoughts on Firework People. The reason I've never really participated in those kinds (aside from time and forgetfulness and because I can't Twitter well) is because it all feels fake to me. And I don't like fake. I don't want to waste my time on that. So I'm skeptical of a lot of these "encouraging women" groups, because I don't want to just be smothered in "oh, you're so awesome!" That makes me feel a bit patronised. I might need some hard truth. THAT makes me feel empowered.

    Long story short, I don't social media well. Maybe one day.

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    1. Well, your blog should just be whatever...a hobby that you enjoy. But I don't know what you mean about how you don't social media well. You do it fine when I see you on the line!

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    2. Just went to Pink on the Cheek. Gross.

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