Friday, April 1, 2011

FBFF: Rules of Engagement

I've sat out the past couple of weeks, but I really liked this week's FBFF questions regarding blogging rules of engagement.  So, let's get started...

1. Guest posts are a good way to gain new exposure.  What do you think
is the appropriate way to go about securing a guest spot? 

I would never, EVER randomly ask someone to to allow me to do a guest post.  I am going to do a guest post soon, but the authors of the blog personally contacted me and requested that I do so.  If someone were to write in a blog post that they were searching for guest bloggers, I would only contact them with my interest in doing so if I thought my blog or what I have to say is relevant to their blog.  I would never just do it for the exposure.  I would also never guest post on someone's blog that I didn't follow or keep up with just to reach their readers.  Being genuine is so very, very important.

2. Leaving comments is essential to growing your blog.  But how can you
leave a comment without coming across as ‘Follow Me. Follow Me!’?

The idea of being genuine, again, is so important here.  When I leave a comment, I'm always thoughtful, contribute something to the dialog, and speak honestly.  Leaving comments like, "Cute shoes!  New follower - please follow me," is just not appropriate.  I really don't like when people say their my newest follower and then promptly ask me to follow them.  It makes me feel like they only decided to follow me so that I would be bribed into following them.  I'm less concerned with the quantity of my followers than the quality.  I want the people who follow my blog to have a genuine interest in what I write and the pictures I share, and comments should reflect that.  A more appropriate comment might include a relevant comment about the content of the post, followed by, "I always really enjoy reading your blog.  It's great getting to know  you through your posts!  Stop by and say hello sometime if you'd like!"  Just make sure that whatever you're saying is your honest opinion, not a phony political move.

3. We’ve all gotten a mass email at one time or another asking for
blog exposure, a link exchange, etc… But the mass emails don’t work. 
How do you make your email stand out from the crowd? 

To be honest, I don't try to gain followership by sending emails.  I browse through peoples' blogs, and if I find one I enjoy, I follow it and comment regularly on posts I particularly like.  Sometimes I'll communicate through Twitter as well to let someone know I've enjoyed their work.  If a blogger or another reader sees my comment and decides to stop by my page,  that's wonderful, but I don't email people eliciting exchanges.  I like to allow connections to happen more organically.

4. In interacting with other bloggers where do you draw the line
between seeking support and begging for exposure? 

My previous answers kind of address this, but, being a newer blogger, I know that it's nice to feel like you have a community that supports you.  When I first started out, I visited the blogs of other new bloggers to let them know I was a newbie as well.  I tried to voice my support and let them know they weren't alone in their new ventures.  Usually, when you reach out your hand to someone and demonstrate your support, people are more than happy to support you as well.  We're in this together!  We shouldn't have to feel like we're competing.  Also, like guest blogging, if someone mentions that they're looking to do features, I'll email them if what I have to contribute is relevant.  Wrinkled Dollar, one of my daily reads, recently elicited requests to feature readers' inexpensive outfits.  Since, like the other Jessica, I'm an avid thrifter and deal-seeker, I knew this feature would be a good fit for me.  I contacted Jessica, and she agreed.  There was no bending over backward and jumping through hoops.  I don't think bloggers need to make it over-complicated.

5. What’s one rule of engagement error you made and how have you
remedied that? 

I didn't used to comment enough.  I think it's so important that if you want to be engaged in the blogging community that you actively participate - not only by posting blogs regularly, but by reading and commenting on other blogs as well.  Before I became a blogger myself, I was strictly a blog reader.  When I decided to start my own blog, I quickly realized how important comments are in engaging with other bloggers.  I love reading each and every one of my comments, and I know other bloggers hold the same sentiment.

And there you have it!

What do you think?  Agree?  Disagree?

Let's engage.

2 inclinations:

Lindsay said...[Reply to comment]

Great article! I completely agree with you about only leaving genuine comments. Thank you for sharing!

Jessica Marie said...[Reply to comment]

@LindsayThanks, Lindsay! Genuineness is always key!

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