Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Spoken Word New York's Nicole S. Ross: 4 Steps To Effective Blog Participation For Writers
4 Steps To Effective Blog Participation For Writers
By Nicole S. Ross
Almost everyone these days knows what a blog is. You can’t surf the Internet for too long before you run into a blog regardless of what the topic is. Blogging is a two sided relationship, one that exists between the owner of the blog and the readers of the blog. As a writer, your goal is to participate in the blog so that the readers of the blog become aware of who you are and what it is that you do. Participating in one or more blogs is a simple, highly effective and totally free way to find real prospects on the Internet.
However, before you get started, you will need a few things to make sure that you are able to make the most of your participation. Those things, in order are:
1. A Gravatar – a gravatar, also called an avatar, is an image that follows you from site to site and always appears beside your name when you post comments on a blog. Your gravatar allows people to start to recognize you by face, which is very important if you are a writer. Studies have shown that when a person knows you by face, they feel connected to you and this is precisely what you want if you are trying to gain more exposure. Gravatars are free and only require that you have a picture of yourself to upload for use with the service. Once you upload your picture, you will be given the option to crop it and then save it. After saving it, any blog that you comment on that supports gravatars will show your face next to your comments.
2. A Destination – most of the time, when you comment on a blog, the blog owner will allow you to place a link back to a destination of your choice. For writers, this will usually be a link to your Facebook profile or another site where the user can learn more about you and what it is that you do. I do want to stress that in almost EVERY case, you will want to use your Facebook profile because it will allow them to friend request you which in turn allows you to send them messages in the future. Using a regular website link will not give you those capabilities so make sure you always use your Facebook profile unless you have a very specific reason not to.
3. A Plan – depending on the blog and the amount of readers that it has, making comments on a blog can dramatically increase your exposure to people who are looking for places to see writers perform their work. And all that you need to do is look at the articles on the site and think of them as conversations. You need to participate in as many of these conversations as is reasonably possible. To participate, you will need to read the entire article and make an intelligent and useful comment.
For example, if the blog has an article about another poet, read the article and then use your comment to congratulate the poet on the article and let them know that you will look forward to seeing more of their work in the future. If you are familiar with the poet, you could also use your comment to give other readers your recommendation of why they should take the time to check out this poet in person.
Doing this will encourage other poets to do the same for you, which not only builds a connection between you and other poets, but between you and the other readers of the blog because you are helping them separate the good from the bad when it comes to spoken word poets.
A word of caution though, NEVER use your comments for self promotion or any sort of unnecessary negativity when it comes to another person’s work. You do not want people to see you as someone that goes out of their way to tarnish another person’s reputation.
4. Consistency – being consistent means that people will start to want to hear your opinion on certain topics along with the writer of the article. It is not uncommon for blog readers to value the opinion of specific regular commentators as much as or more than the writer of the content. In many of the top blogs, the commentators are more responsible for the growth of the blog than the content writers are. The reward for being consistent is conversations and traffic. People will feel connected to you, want to know more about you and will also want to talk to you more.
I hope that everyone reading this will take these four steps and put them into action right away. Not only will they prove to be extremely valuable, but they will also put you on the road to running your own effective blog if you choose to do so.
Please visit Ms. Ross's sites: