For the past several weeks I’ve been inundated–baptized if you will, with the operations end of blogging.
I’m a writer. A storyteller. That’s what I do. I’m also a creator of things, which writer types tend to be. I create businesses and websites and blogs and then I fill the sites with essays and stories. I take it all very seriously even when there’s no pay in it.
Turns out there’s a whole other aspect to my little laboratory of ideas and creations that I haven’t spent a lot of time thinking about until last week: Operations. Marketing.
I’ve since evolved from the timid hope that someone will come over here and read my work and like it (and tell me so) to boldly inviting people to look at it. Hope wasn’t really working out very well. Inviting people works better.
As I said in a recent blog post, I stumbled into a couple of bloggers who shamelessly share blog links and invite bloggers and writers and creators of websites to post their work and show off a bit and introduce themselves to the thousands of followers these guys enjoy. They’ve been at it awhile. They get the operations aspect of blogging. I’ve never been a big picture kind of person so six years after starting this blog I’m just now seeing some traffic on it. And comments. And interaction. It’s heady stuff. I’m almost embarrassed by my reaction to it.
I’d prefer to be a snob about the whole thing and just sort of turn my nose up at rattling my own cage for attention. I’ve always thought of myself as a purist. I only write for me. Who cares about an audience?
Well. As I mentioned in another blog post, people actually reading my words and then commenting and interacting is like a drug. An illegal drug. Or a nice prescription drug. No, not an antibiotic, the other kind. Turns out I’m an addict. I like the exposure. I’ve thought entirely too much about it lately.
What this recent exposure has also done is make me a little self-conscious. Gaining 80 new followers in the past two weeks has forced me to think twice about slapping just any old essay or article up on my blog. I have an obligation now to write something half-way decent. It goes without saying then that I now have a writer’s block the likes of which I haven’t experienced since my days of last-minute deadline writing for a weekly newspaper. I was a lot younger then and the stress of it only served to make me skinnier and edgier. Now that I’m old, the opposite effect has added three pounds to my already fat ass in the last week alone and here I am writing a sophomoric essay on marketing my blog. Surely there’s balance somewhere for me.
Here’s the big payoff and I guess the balance to all this newfound big-picture marketing and interacting that Jason @aopinionatedMan and DonCharisma found out a long time ago: Community Building. It serves two purposes; feeding the addiction and finding new, compelling, talented, humorous, unique voices to inspire and entertain.
Writers read as much as they write. I do, anyway. Finding other bloggers who share little pieces of their lives, their work and their humor is the payoff. My two-week tour of networking with other bloggers has garnered 80 new opportunities to be inspired, to share a little humanity from places as far away as Australia, Germany, East Africa, Canada, Mexico and just around the corner in Missouri.
So. All that said, and I know, I know, I rattle on and on, I created this extension to my main blog, Bzirkworld, as a place to share my new network of friends. I’ve been stunned at some of the brilliant writing I’ve stumbled on with the help of networking sites like Opinionated Man and Don Charisma. I also found some great blogs thanks to Dream Big, Dream Often.
My regular blog theme does not include a lot of plugins or a sidebar where I can post a blogroll so I can’t display the blogs as I want. And, I don’t want a regular blogroll because I think readers tend to ignore them or they become static.
I’m still deciding how exactly I will introduce my new friends to my newer friends and build an even bigger community here. I may steal the mega-blogger’s idea and do invitations to share links. I don’t know. I’ll be fiddling with it all evening.
If you’ve read this far I’ll be somewhat amazed. I wish I could reward you somehow. With a cookie or something. Or, how ’bout I share your link? Let me know.