Yes, I am a blogger!

Hi, my name is Randy, and I am a blogger.  But I’m not an addict.  I don’t need to attend some “bloggers anonymous” meeting for excessive addiction.  Heck, there are a lot of people who didn’t even know I blog.  Part of the reason for that is because I don’t blog often enough.  And I don’t write on topics that go viral.  I don’t even get picked for the “Fresh Pressed” page on WordPress‘s home page because I don’t write on trending topics.

I don’t have many followers, and most of my reads come because I post on Facebook and Twitter where “friends” and “followers” sometimes give a cordial view.

But the thing that is most interesting about the whole blogging experience: I have three blogs.  Yep.  Three.  I have this blog, one about gardening and raising chickens, and one about being a Cub Scout den leader and the many experiences that we have each week.

And now I have had thoughts about starting a fourth blog.  But I’m not sure.  It isn’t that I am hoping to gain more readers with different blogs linking to each other.  I don’t do that now.  But it would give me a chance to diversify what I write about and keep the blog separated based on topics so that they are easier to find.  Is that a bad idea?

Maybe I will just end up getting myself in over my head.  Four blogs and not a lot of time to write.  Maybe one of my other blogs, possibly this one, will be a little more neglected if I spend time on another one.  It isn’t like I have more time available to write another one.  But you as a reader may enjoy it.  Maybe the blogosphere will be able to find me easier if I am more defined on my topics.  I don’t know…I’m not a blogging expert.  Maybe this is where I ask my fellow blogging group people to give me some pointers.

Regardless, I do enjoy this.  And I want to write more.  But I’m not addicted.  If anything, I am conflicted.

Just another view from a Palmtree.


Thanks for the follow…

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Here’s a shout-out to the people that have started following me on twitter.  Thanks.  And even though I don’t know any of you personally, I look forward to learning more about you and what you want to share with the Twitterverse.  Well, maybe not for all of you.  Let me explain before you stop reading.

Last week I saw a re-tweet that mentioned an article titled “The 40 Most Approachable Social Media A-listers on Twitter.”  Of course, the list was not created after a poll of all Tweeters, but instead was a list created by the author (Brian Rice) showing his own opinion.  But he said that following and interacting with these individuals is a MUST!  I read the list and saw that of the 40 names, I was already following six or seven on Twitter.  I was even following a couple on Facebook too.

I decided to follow every single person on that list.  My reason?  Mainly because I am the social media marketer at the company I work for and I am always looking for people that know what they are doing in this arena and what they can share to help me.

Another reason I started following all of those people is because I have read so many articles about things that can be done to gain a following for your blog, and one of the suggestions was to be interacting with A-listers that have a large following.  Now, I know I am not interacting yet as was suggested, but I am starting.

After following all forty people on the list, I posted a Tweet saying that I was following them all in hopes of going viral.  Two things happened as a result over the last few days that I think is interesting.  First of all, I received a message back from Marjorie Clayman (@margieclayman) with some profound truth.  She said in essence that doing things because I want to go viral will not help my postings go viral in the way that I want them to.  This comment directly relates to the second occurrence that I found interesting.

In the last few days since posting that tweet, the number of followers that I have on Twitter has doubled.  No, that is not viral.  In fact, many of those new followers are members of that list of forty names that I started following, and they are following me back.  Others that started to follow me are people that also follow those forty names.  All of us seem to have some common interests when it comes to social media.  It is to all of you that I say “thank you” for following me and I hope to enjoy more interacting through comments and direct messages.

But along with these new followers, I acquired another twenty followers that don’t tweet.  They follow dozens, if not 100-200 people, and are even followed by a few dozen others, but they don’t tweet.  Who are these people?  Why do they want to follow me?  Do we share any common interests?  I didn’t know the answer to these questions so I decided to click on their profiles to learn more about them.  Marjorie was right… I don’t necessarily want to go viral in this way.

All of these unknown, non-tweeting followers are women.  Most of them work in the porn industry… at least that is an easy assumption based on some of their profile pictures and website links on their profile.  But I could be assuming erroneously.  It is all a judgment based on outward appearance.

It is interesting that I suddenly had these people following me.  I don’t blame it on the fact that I started to follow those forty social media A-listers.  Timing could have played a huge role in the whole thing.  But regardless, it is still interesting to me.  I don’t think that I share anything in common with these people.  I don’t think they share much in common with any of the people I follow (I could be wrong… I don’t know their personal lives one bit).  Maybe they are just using social media to help market their own business, whatever that may be.  And they are trying to become viral, just as I would like to see happen with my own blog postings.

So in the end, I have actually learned a lesson… or two, or maybe more.  The first lesson I learned is that when I tweet using sarcasm, I need to make it clear that I am being sarcastic.  I had no intention of following those people so that I could become a viral blogger; I just said it out of jest.  When Marjorie responded, I decided I better not lead anyone else into misunderstanding so I deleted that tweet.

The second lesson came from Marjorie’s response.  Although, it wasn’t necessarily the response itself that taught the lesson, but also the resulting follows that reinforced what she was saying to me.

The third lesson was actually something that I had already learned, but was reinforced learning.  It is that if I want to become approachable like those 40 A-listers, I need to interact more.  If I have a question, I need to ask it.  If I have something to share, I need to share it.  If I want to comment on someone else’s tweet, I need to say it… especially if it contributes to the conversation.

I can’t just write my views and expect that the posting will get 10,000 views in the first three days.  Heck, I have written 50 blogs postings and I haven’t even gotten 10,000 views combined since I started.  But that is not the objective.  My interaction will hopefully return interaction, which in turn will help me as I develop my writing, which is the reason I started my blog in the first place.

Summed up, if I am social, people will be social back.  If I have the objective of quick popularity, I may get it… but who will I be popular with?  Probably not the ones that will help me accomplish my goals.  So hopefully I have learned what I need to know and will be able to follow through as I follow all of you.  And if you have learned from my own experience, than I am glad that I could help.  The view has definitely expanded.

Just another view from a Palmtree.