Friday, March 09, 2012

Blogging


I've been blogging for six years. I started with four followers, my big yellow fellow writers, then somewhat accidentally found a site called Illustration Friday where any artists or illustrators who want to will create and post something from a weekly prompt. I visited about ten of the artists I liked on IF and about 6 or gave me the courtesy of a visit back.

Today I have 143 followers, which means only that at one point 143 people were at my blog and at least initially liked what they saw. I have about 50 more- than- occasional visitors and I'd say between 20 and 25 regular visitors, some (many) of which are now friends not just visitors.

If I wanted to double the number of people who follow my blog I believe I could do that. The first thing I would do is start visiting other writers and other blogs, leaving comments on their posts. It'a not guaranteed, but the chances are good that someone I visit will visit me back.

I also would visit some of the people who leave comments I like on other blogs that I visit. That is how I have come to know and happily so Annie of Wine and Words. She is complicated, challenging, honest, and a hell of a writer and poet. I don't know where Wander has come from, but he is 34, 35 years old and he write these hard-earned poems that I love to read and comment on. And now, when Annie or Wander comment on my work, my posts, I am happy.

I might also search out artists and other interesting people. I would do all this with the understanding that if I do not visit and support the blogs of others, they will not likely visit and support me.

I screen to some degree. I always always appreciate anyone who comes to my blog, who takes the time. But not every connection sticks. this works both ways: there are a few bloggers I really enjoy but because they never come to my blog, I either forget or it's not a priority to go to their blog.

In the universe of possibility, know 100 followers, or 50 followers, or 25 followers is not much. But in my little universe, I am thrilled to have met the most wonderful inspiring people. Plus, My blog is like taking courses or going to college. I can't begin to comment on what I have learned.

I know so much more about Australia. (kiaakiss Hells). My poems and stories are cared about and treated tenderly, I get feedback! I have twice witnessed dying with such dignity . I have fallen in love and alas fallen apart. Discovered South Africa. Treated to the delights of gardening and cooking and photography (Lori!) and poetry and my paintings and illustrations and skellies and mandalas. Learned about paper clay and collage and micron pens and a zillion creative ideas of every kind imaginable. Found a friend for life (♥ Lo) and actually, I hope, several.

I regularly "talk" to and share and visit people very much like and very much unlike me from all over the world: Iran, Argentina, England, Oregon, British Columbia, India, Australia (even Perth: Hello Robyn!), Italy, The Netherlands, Florida, California, Malaysia, Indiana, Tennessee, Canada, the Philippines, Maryland, Oklahoma, Chicago, New England, France, Detroit......

.....I could go on.

I am writing this post on blogging because I have noticed a number of people lately who want to start blogging and are looking for the marketing and the science of it. My message is something different.

I say: Use blogging to meet some incredible people and make some incredible connections and learn and share something about yourself and others. That alone will be the most unique and gratifying reason to blog.

And if you want to expand your blog, think in terms of how much time you have to support the bloggers who will be supporting you.

And be real. That part is hard to fake.

Oh, and one more thing: Blogging a most wonderful world. It's intoxicating and exhilarating. My god the writers and artists and creative fantastic people I have met.

I can't wait to see the comments and takes on this!! :^)

Love
kj

43 comments:

  1. You summed it up quite nicely. I have a couple of good handfuls of "regulars" who I know read my blog, and then there are surprises now and then, and that's nice. I trust a lot of people who followed just hoped it was a popular place to be clicked on. I don't necessarily follow everyone back, especially if I never hear a comment from them...I just find that suspicious, for some reason. Still having so many follows is a little strange, really.
    I think you definitely need to network with other bloggers, and follow people you find interesting... it's what makes for your blogging community, and it can be very cool.

    I think you found me via a comment made on another's blog, or vice versa. Either way, I am thankful.

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    1. we go back a ways, barbara. i think so folks just click on 'follower' without thinking. xoxo

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  2. Replies
    1. well robyn, the feeling is certainly mutual!

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  3. "follow people you find interesting".
    Yep, that's what I do.
    Artists, writers, knitters,gardners,,,it doesn't matter what they do,,but who they are.
    I think I came to your blog first after having read your comments on someone else's blog,,thinking you were witty and funny.
    I just love it when I'm right,,,
    xoxo

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    1. babs. i love love love your sense of humor.

      i hold on to you tight!

      xoxo

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  4. I have a huge number of "followers" signed up as such; however very few of that large number really come to visit...or leave comments. Perhaps some, I know some do as they tell me, visit regularly but do not leave comments (close personal friends who do not blog themselves; relatives (same)...

    I have also realized a sudden drop off of "my core group" of followers; maybe I post too often, perhaps I am becoming boring to them, I have no idea *I try to bathe daily...but I am finding that I need to seek out NEW BLOGS and NEW BLOGGERS who are doing more art like I do it seems to get the same interest back...so I am reaching in that direction. That said, I would love love love to KEEP all my core group of followers who I also follow...but many of them are posting far less often and some not at all. It's like loosing real friends. It's sad. But life moves on and I feel I can go with the flow if it all. I just do not plan on stopping anytime soon even if I am the only one looking at what I post! So there!!! ;-))

    I also notice that if I post on facebook I may get a comment there but not on my blog by that same person. So I need to not duplicate what I put in those two places I guess. Makes sense.

    Obviously you pushed a button in me. I love blogs for all the same reasons you do KJ. I love the camaraderie, the round the world getting to know all about you, the real life friends made from blog friends; and the education I get from seeing what others do in their writing or art...or grand parenting...or any part of their lives really. The inspiration to keep creating. The feedback.

    Whew. Look at me writing a book on YOUR blog!

    Glad we have met this way.
    !

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    1. lynn, good point about posting on FB and then here on the blogs. i tend to leave a comment one place or the other, not both

      we are probably alike. i don't like endings one damn bit. but i also know who i hope to hold on to and i will do my part. the rest is not up to just me

      keep drawing!!!!

      xoxo

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    2. I notice not only the post is interesting but also what my blog friend comment :)
      About leaving comment Sometimes my life is just busy or when i am sick a quick response on FB is nice to let the other know I am still there and appreciate what the other does :)

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  5. Yes, kj, this makes perfect sense, even to a Bear. I follow the blogs I like — blogs that say something to me, one way or another.

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    1. that's what i do too, rob-bear.

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  6. I totally agree with u..
    blogging gives u immense to learn..
    u meet some really talented people.. and the unique relationship u share with them is beyond explanations..

    I really feel lucky to have many blogger friends who constantly help me growing in lot many ways.

    really loved the idea of your post.
    Fact- " Blogging a most wonderful world "

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    1. yes, jyoti, it's not easy to explain this to someone who does not blog; how a community can be so in a virtual world. but we know it is real and i know i am the better for it.

      thank you for coming by again. xoxo

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  7. My god Kj, you know how to make a person feel good; let’s hope you don’t go to the dark side, with powers like that you could destroy the world;-)
    I found your blog through Annie at wine and words, I tried to find you again but it took a while then blogger wouldn’t let me comment. I found Annie through a friend of mine Christopher at a view from the northern wall, he also was the recipient of my first poem, he encouraged me to write, and he was the first person to refer to me as a poet. I have been blogging for less than a year, and a good portion of my posts haven’t been viewed more than ten times.
    I had a realization about a week or two ago…my blog is my art. I am glad to have begun to find friends from the blog world, and I wouldn’t give them up, but the primary reason for my blog is for my art. You have paid me one of the finest compliments that I have ever received…you called me a writer, and told me to join the club; coming from where I come from that is huge. I like the other artists that I have found and I can appreciate the power of the written word better now that I have found it.
    I also try to visit and comment on other’s work. I want it, so why wouldn’t they? I deserve it, so why don’t they?
    Kj you have a very beautiful approach to your writing.

    Thank you friend,
    Wander

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    1. you are most welcome, mr. wander. :^) i agree with you so much: we share our art. that is so great.

      it took me some time to call myself a writer, but really, the truth is that is what we both are.

      xo

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  8. First: hugs from the Netherlands ;-)
    You've said it exactly the way it is. Because bloggers think about things before writing them down and know what they write is to be read and even re-read, makes the communication a lot more intensive and better. I think that bloggers know each other way better than e.g. neighbors or colleagues.

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    1. ah wieneke, , we go bak to the beginning. i treasure that.

      for me too, it's true i have closer connections here than i often do with my neighbors and colleagues. there is a part of me here than doesn't always show up there....

      xo

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  9. KJ-what a warm, generous, helpful post! I am teaching a class right now on blogging, and you just taught ME a lot. I am grateful for you.
    See you Monday, and rock on, sister!
    Love
    Nerissa
    Ps will pass on the wisdom.

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    1. nerissa! how nice to see you here! you may find my friend yoborobo's comment below of interest. her books and dolls and creations are in high demand, and i just about salivate seeing what she does, but that is not what her blog communicates. smart woman, she is!

      yes, see you monday night!!

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  10. I described blogging recently like this: it is communication between like minded indivduals. If you are interested in the same kinds of things, then those are the followers that you will have. Sometimes,if I like a post so much, I want to think about it, rather than leave a comment. Silly me, I am so old-fashioned.

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    1. Kay, ha! Not always like minded! I love the different view points.

      I don't always comment either. But if not then, I may return later :-)

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  11. I have said this before, but I think it's like building a virtual neighborhood. And all the people in my blog neighborhood are interesting, kind, creative, insightful and unique. Not a slacker in the bunch - haha. I know a lot or writers/artists who want to start a blog to increase their sales. I tell them I don't think it will work. Bloggers, for the most part, aren't interested in that. They are interested in you, as a person, what you think, and what makes you tick. It's why I come here. Because I love reading what you have to say, to see your spin on this Big Blue Ball. Glad I met you here, kj! xox

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    1. Bullseye, Pam

      You've said it all

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  12. I have a boyfriend now who doesn't understand or believe that you can be friends with people you only meet on the internet. Poor man. He doesn't know what he's missing. I've been missing my writing and visiting a lot lately.

    I had to laugh. I had a few followers, quit blogging for a bit, came back and had more followers. How does that work?

    I did decide to scale back and only read the blogs I really enjoy, otherwise it starts to feel like work. It's a smaller community but I like small. In real life I only have a few good friends, otherwise again, it starts to feel overwhelming. I need time alone too.

    Love the writing. Take care woman.

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    1. thank you, lilith. i have many people who don't understand blogging. i've given up explaining, although 'the blogs' is a character in my second book (and a challenging one to convey)

      xoxo

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  13. A lot of the people I started with are no longer with me, either I quit them or they quit me, mostly because we were not connecting anymore, it happens. I have some though who have been here the whole time, Suki is one and dear to me. I have no idea how people find me, but I love it when they do and when I find a kindred spirit. I have to say that I even love some of my followers, Jos, Angela,Suki,Pam, Melanie and M.Kate,Kelly and Lynn,Babs, Lo,
    Judy,Becky, 2 Robyns and sweet Lori(I know I am fogetting some, please forgive me, you KNOW who you are), But I care about them all even the ones I am no longer connecting with. I do not believe that it must be an even exchange. I go to many blogs and comment there and never receive a visit, I still go, and I don't take it personally, I know that we are all busy and I appreciate the ones who do comment, but I go anyway without getting anything in return, and I have many followers who I rarely visit, or who I have never visited, there are only so many hours in a day
    after all. I still appreciate them all and I think they know that.
    I always love finding new bloggers and I tend to look for artists because that is what I am into :-).
    I have met many life long friends here, two are my dear Jos and Becky, one I get to see often and the other I can't wait to meet!
    I know that I will find more bloggers and I will drop others, ebb and flow.
    Blogging is wonderful,
    Glad I met you Kj :-).
    xoxo

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    1. annie, i don't care about an even exchange. but i do tend to do better with reciprocity of some kind. it's just a matter of how i give and spend my time.

      and yes, ebb and flow....not my favorite but i know it's life

      xoxo

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  14. I just do it for the money, but since nobody has never sent me any money (I did receive other things, but the pawnbroker wouldn't give me much for them), I'm becoming jaded, wizened, grizzled, embittered, and sometimes I snap at my cat, who in turn bites me, and the day goes downhill from there. I'm thinking I might need to sell encyclopedias if I want to make money literarily. I'm glad your blogging experiences have been better, and that everything is great in your world. Yeah, sure I am.

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    1. you are a rascal, snow, you, the most sentimental and loyal blog friend ever.

      if i have any visitors who believe snow's comment, may i just say this: HAHAHAHAHA!

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  15. Aw, friend for life? You betcha!

    Blogging has changed my world too. I have met some amazing people. Artists, writers, spiritual friends, musicians and sisters of the heart. I do feel you're all an extension of my family.

    I may post something quick these days here and there and not have time to visit as much, but I do appreciate knowing you're all out there. I don't like to blog with pressure. I visit when I can and I linger as much as I can. The ones who "know" me know I'm doing the best I can.

    Is my life richer from blogging? You bet!

    xoxo
    Lo♥

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  16. lo, i am sure you don't need to worry about when you blog and when you don't. blogging is about fun and not about pressure. i hold that reminder dear.

    love
    kj

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  17. Tsup*!* Well thunked up and said Kj

    The world of blogs for me is a bit like having an online library at your fingertips - there's always something to catch your eye for a passing moment or linger longer and have your brain engaged at a different slant to its regular position about some topic or other...
    so many sections and shelves to select from and only so much screen time to our days though ;.

    Smiles.

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    1. hello annie! i'm with you: i have learned SO much.
      xoxo

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  18. Huh - since I'm neither a writer nor an artist, I'm suddenly wondering how I came to your blog (or you to mine?). It's been so long now. I like the randomness of it all, and miss that most about having gone private.

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    1. cs, this is really interesting because i don't know how we found one another either.

      and yet we have been steadfastly loyal. it helps that you trekked to YART, i think something got confirmed from sharing that time, and i'm glad about it. xoxo

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  19. kj,

    Interesting post. I began blogging eight years ago because I felt a great need to write...and writing on a pleasant looking background made me more prolific. I love the friends I've made, old and new and even the ones who touched my life for only a time have given me something. I am so grateful for the rather unexpected side benefit of friendship to writing on a blog, since I have very rarely sought anyone out...most have found me through some site or another, where I might leave a comment. So I love the rarity of it, the synchronicities and co-incidences of connecting with other bloggers.

    Many old friends rarely blog now. If I am very lucky, I might receive an email or two throughout the year from very good friends, with whom I have stayed connected.

    I find time seems to be speeding up, as well, heh, I can't find the time these days to visit as much or write as much as I once did. Yet I still like to keep in touch with my favourite bloggers, although I don't always leave a comment. Whether people comment or not on my own blog doesn't seem to matter to me...but I have visited each of my follower's blogs and am happy to note that each have something which resonates with me, as well. My posts are too long for people to just follow outright, I think, haha!!

    Love you, kj, I love your awesome creativity...I am always entertained each time I visit your blog! xx

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  20. aw gee whiz marion, i didn't expect to make REAL friends either. i love you too, and i say that with conviction and belief that blogging or not, we will remain friends. we met on blogland lane somehow :^)

    i am ever thinking about my travel plans.....
    :^)

    love kj

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  21. This was an amazing post KJ!
    Indeed blogging has enriched my life and I think it is just so great to have met some in real. It adds a dimension, but I also cherish the other blog friends. When I started I thought I would surround myself with fellow mandala lovers but I ended up with a warm family of people who are interested in a variety of things. I learn so much every time, am amazed, enchanted and in awe.
    I love my blog friends, I love blogging
    I love you ♥

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  22. Six years is a long time. I stuck it for about 4 I think and still occasionally post but as you know, met the last love of my life here and some wonderful friends that have visited and that I hope to visit when my circumstances change. It's a great hobby, a fantastic way to network and for a while at least, helps us communicate with people we would otherwise never meet. Keep it up kj....

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  23. I enjoyed your post kj and also all the comments! Blogging has taken penfriendship to a new level - it has certainly expanded my horizons and I'm learning so much! I'm always discovering new bloggers but have to reign in my following (and commenting) as I could easily spend the entire week online! xx

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  24. I found this subject very interesting since Lynn and I have discussed this with each other a lot lately. So many we started out with have either quit blogging or have slowed way down. I know I have to a degree since I felt I was becoming a bit boring & a few health problems got in the way, so a weekly post worked out best. Now its every few days. I started blogging because I had moved and missed my old Art friends. Those who kept me painting and gave me a reason to keep doing it. Since my DH had retired I wanted to spend time with him and not go somewhere away from home so Blogging was perfect and it did get me going and I did meet more fellow painters and made some very nice and good friends along the way. Lynn being one of them that I have gotten close to. I dont want to ever quit and I do miss those that dont come anymore. I try to widen out to others that do what I do too and hope they come to mine eventually. If not I still get inspired going to their blogs and commenting to keep them going too. This has been a timely subject matter. :)

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