ooooh, love this question! My grandmother is 88 and uses a computer, she is a huge fan of my blog and just can't believe all the folks I'm "meeting"! But then there definitely are those (like many of my friends) who just don't get it. I think they think I must have a lot more free time then they do. Like "oh, it MUSt be nice to be able to surf the net like that."
For me, it has opened up a huge creative outlet. Unfortunately that stack of books I used to read is sitting in the corner gathering dust!
I've never asked family and friends what they think of blogging in general. I do get some very good support from a handful of people I know in real life. The rest of my support is from fellow bloggers.
I do have a friend that now wants to begin her own blog because she sees it as a way to get "freebies" (via product reviews). I feel she doesn't have a clue as to how much time goes into blogging and trying to promote our sites and gain a good following. She just sees it as getting some FREE stuff.
Elizabeth, I'm in awe of you! 3000 followers in a year! I'd love some pointers if you don't mind!!! I've been blogging for almost 2 years and am no where near that number!
Superm0m, I'm sure it's frustrating to have your family and friends think this is a waste of time. It's not for everyone. But if it's something you enjoy, then keep at it!
Annegrete, looking forward to seeing your daughter's blog! :)
Well, I can tell you what I did. I know I could have done better. But here goes:
I am a founding member of a great coupon site called Hot Coupon World. I have super friends there and the site is huge. Initially my blog was a frugal (grocery) blog so I got a good jump start from them. I have hooked up with several blogger groups like this one as well as getting myself listed on the state blog (al.com) as a frugal blogger. I also do giveaways and reviews. Look on twitter for groups of bloggers in your niche or in your area (I'm not in Houston but Houston Area Bloggers comes to mind) because they really tend to take care of their own. Attend twitter parties. Basically, be present. Be commenting and being social with other bloggers in places like this.
Find a message board which centers around a topic that you write about a lot, and you can contribute there as well as possibly sharing your blog link in your signature.
Make sure that in your personal emails as well as your business emails, your signature has your blog link, your Facebook link, and your Twitter link. I put something like:
Follow me on Twitter!
Like me on Facebook!
I'm also doing a feature on my blog on Fridays that involves the local merchants in my small town, and they are very excited about it. They're telling their friends, etc. I've attended a blogging convention where I made some good connections and learned a lot about how to talk to PR folks, etc. I also sell ad space on my blog. I'm looking at doing a revamp soon because I need more "above the fold" space.
Anyhow, those are a few of the things I've done. It's hard work and I bet I went 6-8 months with less than 1500 total followers. It snowballed from there!
Thanks so much, Elizabeth! I really appreciate you taking the time to share with us, your "secrets"! Time is a huge issue for me. I just don't know where the day goes, but it slips away without me getting much accomplished! I'm hoping that once school is out, I can get my nieces here to occupy the toddler so I can put some of your ideas into action.
I already frequent a message board and have seen some traffic coming from the link in my signature. But again, time to participate and contribute there, takes away from time I could be blogging. I really need to get a schedule going! Or hire a sitter! :)
Thanks again for your tips!
Have a great (rest of the) weekend!
I think many of my friends don't realize how "big" blogging is! I still get people asking, "What is a blog?". I now just say that I own and run a website :)
It gets frustrating though when those close to me act like it's a hobby. To me it is a business (albeit a fun one), but when I have lots to do, they just don't seem to get it.
Others respect what I do, and encourage me...
They pretty much just roll their eyes and nod their head like they think it's stupid. It annoys the crap out of me. I'm a new blogger and I can't wait to show them all that this is more than just something to do. I really love doing this!