How do you get a blog following? Blogs can make you famous. Examples that immediately come to mind include Julie and Julia started by the woman (Julie) who decided to make every item in the Julia Child's cook book and blog about her experience. Next came the book. Next came the likely 7 figure movie deal starring Meryl Streep as Julie herself. Did Julie know or plan for her blog to become an international sensation? I doubt it. Can one really plan for these things?
Or what about my friend the BSNYC? (a.k.a the Bike Snob). His blog also lead to a book deal. The book is doing so well that even Amazon.com is sold out. And he started his blog completely anonymously. I've read that even his wife didn't know he was writing it for the first month or so. How did people find out about it? How did he promote himself? Or did he? It didn't take long (mere months) before he had a tremendously large following. If I could get him alone in a room that would be the first question I would ask: Did you actively do anything to get people to follow your blog? Or did you just post every day and by some stroke of luck and word of mouth, you connected with people and they followed?
Blogger has recently introduced a "Stat's" tab in the Blogger in Draft version (I thank Carly for alerting me to this feature) and when you click on it you can find out (accuracy unknown) a little bit of info about your own blog and the types of followers you have: Where they are from and what computer processing system they are using and who links to you through other blogger pages. (Hmmm is big brother watching more than we think?)
People read my blog. I have 5 followers who reveal themselves. I know many more people that read. Most of these people link in through facebook which means that most of these people reading my blog are people on my friends list. People come up to me all the time and tell me they like what I write. I don't get many blog comments. I wish people would comment more but I'll take what I get. I'm not writing this blog to be famous or otherwise. I write what is driving my soul at the moment and once it is out, it is generally over and I move on. I realize that what I write won't appeal to everyone. I am OK with this. If you don't get it, stop reading.
If you scan the blog listing on the side of this blog you will see I follow about 13 different blogs. I have more that I have hidden in my blog list but these are the ones I like to have quick access too. I could likely follow many more but I sense that blog following could get out of control. The ones listed here are ones that update regularly or they are close personal friends of mine and I like to be able to see when they update. I have not yet been clever enough to figure out how to get emails when they update. I also haven't been able to figure out how to get an email when someone comments on MY blog.
The Versatile Blogger Award
So imagine my surprise when one of the bloggers I follow, Holli, voted me as one of her Most Versatile Bloggers that she follows. Holli writes the blog called A Life Less Ordinary -- a title I like because the movie by the same name is one of my favorite movies -- about trying to achieve two goals: fighting a kickboxing match in the ring and publishing her first novel. That might be as versatile as she comes.
Versatile, what does this mean? If I may paraphrase Dictionary dot com, I will define versatile as having many uses. So as part of my award I am to, in turn, do the same to other blogs I follow and nominate them as most versatile blogger. I guess one can look at this award system as a pay-it-forward endeavour and perhaps as assistance to help less followed blogs to obtain a greater following.
Here are the rules:
1. Thank the one who gave me this award.
2. Share seven things about myself.
3. Present this honour onto 15 (five, in my case) newly discovered bloggers.
4. Drop by and let my fifteen new friends know I love them.
And here I comply with the rules (to the best of my ability):
I know Holli in person but I believe we have only actually met once. I would like to change that. We were briefly in the same writer's group and we both attended the same meeting one time at Bread and Circus's. I thank Holli for nominating me for this award and if you are here on this page right now because of Holli's recommendation, then thanks for stopping by. I hope you stay awhile and see what happens next.
As for sharing seven little known things about myself, I did this once already in another entry and I gave you 25. So I will refer you back there as I don't know if I could come up with seven more. Or at least not today when I am mentally and physically on vacation and feeling like I could have a nap.
I will give you 5 blog suggestions as I don't follow 15 new blogs. The ones I choose are the ones that I check into on a daily basis to see if they have a new nugget of wisdom to share with me. These are the ones I connect with and they update regularly enough that it makes it worth it to me point you in their direction. And I have to admit, I know them all well and in person too.
Lisa Takes Flight: Lisa is an avid runner and mountain biker and in a very short time she became one of the best friends I have ever had. Lisa started her blog post divorce and writes on a variety of topics about life and about finding yourself and because we are soul sisters I get everything that she says.
One Crazy Summer: Fellow triathlon junkie and Tribalistic teammate Greg tells us his near daily adventures as he balances family and marriage and training for the triathlon of all triathlons: Ironman. His photos are great and every single post makes me laugh out loud. He can turn a 5 hour solo ride into the adventure of a life time.
The Road Less Travelled: Another fellow triathlete, Christian, mother of 4, student, and recent very good friend and my most feisty competitor, Terri writes about everything worth living about. She is thoughtful and because she is the newest blogger of the bunch I suggest, I am very excited about where she will end up. The real life Terri amazes me and inspires me and her blog is doing that too.
Wife in the Fast Lane: Young and enthusiastic and far from jaded yet (unlike yours truly), Carly writes about everything in life that she loves. And that is A LOT of things. Her passions include triathlon, the outdoors and travel, IKEA furniture, preparing for med school, fundraising obscene amounts of money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation in the name of her aunt who recently died of breast cancer, and enjoying her (newish) marriage.
Winnipeg Cycle Chick: Another good friend Andrea writes about what it is like to be a fast woman in the man's world of cycling and she does it with flare and with humor and she tells it like it is and takes no shit from no one (at least in her blog. The REAL Andrea is sweeter than sugar cane.). She writes about her hatred of pink cycling gear, the conversations on the road, racing and crashing, and about dealing with Bike Shop Assholes who think you know nothing because you lack a penis. I doubt Andrea needs my seal of approval. She's recently had her first blog dissing comment discussion and personal attack and this is a sure sign that you have a pretty big following and you're being noticed when people suddenly find the need to tell you "you suck" and get a life. Rock on Andrea. Show them who's man.
So there it goes. I will now alert my favorite bloggers to this honour and they can pay it forward from there in any way they choose. Please enjoy what they have to say.
And if you are curious here are the stats on this blog as of today:
My top five most viewed blog entries (since May) are:
Feelin' Like Bailing (74 page views)
Body Test Kenora Style (70 page views)
What I Can't Blog About (54 page views)
My Life on a Bike (43 page views)
Canola Country (32 page views)
Do I consider these my best entries? Not necessarily but it only goes back to May so some of what I feel are my best were written before that. I like "What I can't blog about" a lot though. That is definitely one of my favorites. As for what are my best, that is for you to decide, so if you have a favorite you would like to point out to me, please post it in the comments below.
It also appears that my Blog has some world wide viewing with the majority coming from Canada (understandably). But my blog has also been viewed by readers in:
United States 81
United Kingdom 17
The hits from Luxembourg intrigue me. Andy and Frank, welcome to my blog?? (Wouldn't that be cool.) Anyhow if you are reading from afar, or even if you are reading near by, feel free to drop me a line. Thanks for hanging out. See you soon.