What should new bloggers do to get noticed?

by Guest Author, Disperser, (Emilio J. D’Alise) who blogs at http://disperser.wordpress.com

Blogging is SO last week!
Facebook is LIKE, today!
Twitter is today and tomorrow!

As a new blogger, you need to adjust not only your thought process, but your writing, too.

We live in a Twitter world, you see. Brevity is the key, even at the cost of clarity. No one has the time for anything more than sound bites.

Me? I am a dinosaur; the longform is not only my friend, it’s what my creative process requires. Even writing this piece is a challenge.

600 words, or less? That many fall out just by opening a document.

The other advice for successful blogging is to make it visually striking. Speaking of visually striking . . .

Flowers, C-130, Bugs,The photo has nothing to do with this post per se, but it increases the chance someone lingers to examine it, especially if there is only one photo in the post. You see, many people use the Reader, and the Reader will pick a photo at random to show in the summary of your post. By having only one, you control what it will show.

That’s why many bloggers only use one photo per post; they know the rest are wasted since rarely does anyone clicks to read the entire post. I, on the other end, post upwards of forty photos per posts, and I don’t mean in a gallery. By my count, I’ve ‘wasted’ 8,327 photos.

Assuming you get someone to look at the photo, they might read a few sentences before and after it, but don’t count on it.

Photography is one of my hobbies; the other is fiction writing. It’s tough getting people to read stories that are multiple thousands of words, no matter how good the accompanying photo.

Some bloggers resort to ‘flash fiction’; short and interesting vignettes. For example, a vignette in seventy-seven words:

“We’re lost, aren’t we?”

“No, just got turned around a bit.”

“Want to look at the interactive map again?”

“No, that’s what got us here in the first place. I’ll ask the locals for the way.”

“You? Ask for directions? I’m impressed. Do you think it’s safe?”

“Yeah; they look peaceful enough.”

The cows ignored the spaceship landing, but grew attentive when what looked like a straw bale exited the ship and started walking toward them. – Directions (copyright 2014 – E. J. D’Alise)

While not my preferred form, it’s a challenge I sometimes accept.

So, what should new bloggers do to get noticed?

Some bloggers (urged on by the platform providers) try competing with Twitter and Facebook in the form of 365-days project (a photo a day for a year, often with few, if any, words), and its many variants. Others join challenges, sometimes themed to current events. For example, Halloween photos will be coming up soon.

Writers can write 140-characters-or-less Halloween nano-stories, like these three examples:

“His Black Belt training kicked in when the kids startled him by yelling ‘Trick or Treat!!’”

“His wolf teeth ripped the coyote’s throat open. He had warned The Pack to let the kids be on Halloween Night.”

“The growl was scary, the raspy voice chilling, and the rancid breath sickening, but Old Man Miller always had the best candy”.

As a plus, those will fit within the 140 character limit for Twitter.

But I say onto you . . . Nay! Do not follow that path!

For one, you can’t compete with Twitter and Facebook; they are well-established; you might as well use the two services themselves.Two, here’s the real secret to getting your blog noticed: it’s …

Sorry; I hit the 600 words limit.

Visit the Disperer’s blog at http://disperser.wordpress.com and view his Photographs at http://ejdalise.smugmug.com.

Related posts:
Another Update
What Makes a Brief Blog Post Memorable?
Writing a Blog Post

46 thoughts on “What should new bloggers do to get noticed?

  1. Haw!! Great post, extremely funny. I remember Old Man Miller. He sure made trick-or-treating interesting. Thanks for the memories– I can almost smell his breath… : (

  2. Emilio J. D’Alise … You tricky little devil. Just when I thought you were going to reveal THE SECRET, you ended it. Funny and it caught my attention. Especially that very alarming bug. ;-)

    I typically post 3 photos and a video. The Reader always picks up the video, but that’s OK with me. FB gives you an option on which photo to use. LinkedIn always chooses the 3rd photo. Not usually my fave, but there you go.

  3. Congratulations on your guest post! I’ve lost thousands of photos, too, I’m sure. Blogging is about so much more than getting noticed, isn’t it?

    It’s a travel journal, which I’ll be able to access when I’m 90 and remember the motorcycle journeys that I took at 50+; it’s the sharing of photography, and learning more about photography; it’s the making of friends, and the building of relationships.

    As you can tell by this comment, I don’t use a lot of brevity either!

    Off to check out your blog! :-)

  4. I’ve read your article & I find it informative & funny.
    But, teacher, I need further advice, being a newbie, how do I contribute a post to The Daily Post’s Today’s Prompt? Try as I have, with all the reading about Pings & stuff, it seems to be in vain (like banging my head on the wall) :(

    1. This it timethief speaking to you:

      Yours is not a meaningful comment on the post and its content at all. It is a request for support and for that you need to post to the support forums, rather than attempting to slide it in as a comment on this post. Here’s the link http://en.forums.wordpress.com/?new=1to create a support forum thread. Also note that I removed you signature link at the bottom of the “comment” because it’s redundant. Your username is linked to your blog already. So no you can’t post 2 links back to your site here. I have my blog comments set up to send all comments with links in them to moderation in order to reduce spam.

  5. I’ve gone through the same thoughts on my own blog. Everyone loves the pictures, few read the words. I’ve decided nuts to all of them. I blog for myself and I blog to share things with people. Often what I blog ends up in a link I send someone for a reason, such as my struggle when I returned to work after my daughter was born, working my first job (when I discovered my great aunt was more powerful than my father or grandfather), and the death of a pet.

    I’d love to have tons of followers, but I have something better – followers who are faithful to read and leave comments and encourage me. That’s better than nameless faceless whoever’s that subscribe and never do anything more.

    Nancy

  6. Well, according to this I am a failure as a blogger. :) First off, I have no Twitter account. Secondly I use my Facebook account mostly to post my blog updates. (My life is very boring, so if I updated my Facebook page with what is going on in my life it would go like this:
    6 a.m. Woke up.
    7 a.m. Ate cornflakes.
    8 a.m. Took a shower. Felt good.
    9 a.m. Put on clean socks. Felt real good.
    10 a.m. Arrived at work at the NSA.
    10 a.m. – 9 p.m. My activities have been censored by the NSA.
    11 p.m. Arrived home.
    11:30 p.m. Watched Letterman. He was funny tonight. Can’t remember any jokes but he was funny tonight.
    Now I am asking you, who would want to read that day-in and day-out. Or is that day-out and day-in? Also if I was on Twitter, only my mother would follow me.)

    Thirdly, most of my posts are over 600 words. Fourthly, I am not out for readers with short attention spans. Fifthly I don’t post pictures on most of my posts because I want my readers to “read” my text. I do follow a number of photographers and love what they post.

    Most of what I read about twitter is that many use for accumulating followers. Which means that nobody is a reader everybody and everybody is reading nobody.

    Another reason is for news on certain things. Since I get my news by smoke signal, I only get the important stuff like Jesus came back this morning. He’s looking for you. Otherwise I go with the old adage that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And you know what Smokey the Bear says about starting forest fires. Don’t.

    Disclaimer: I own Twitter stock. Am doing very well with it too. So please use Twitter.

  7. I noticed the other guest bloggers replied to the comments.

    I was not sure about the etiquette of commenting in the case of a guest blog post, but I’ll follow the example set by previous guest bloggers and interact with readers kind enough to comment.

    . . . after dinner; I was just informed the food is ready.

  8. Quite an enjoyable read. Loved the ending. Writing style seems to be as a big reason to return to a blog as content. (and I always love pictures and illustrations and visit to see those)

    Found timethief’s comment about “new style of hit and run blogging”. Hadn’t thought about that evolution of blogging form, but it seems to be true. I’ve shortened post length quite a bit compared to the earlier ones….not necessarily better posts, but probably read by more people (who are looking for a snack of brain candy – not a meal?)

    The world is much too hurried ….people are losing their vocabularies…which leads to fewer and shorter sentences? Glad there’s still places where longforms and wandering ideas can ramble freely.

  9. Is this a joke? It’s true that economy of words is important. But, I don’t agree about keeping all of your posts short. Google favors longer in-depth posts. Longer in-depth posts make you stand out in a world where everyone thinks they must offer short blips. Of course, it depends on your niche too.

  10. Oh noooo, why did you hit the 600 word count? How am I able to find out the secret of blogging now? Oh wait, you made your point pretty clear in the first 600 words, so… yeah.

    Thank you for this post, I got your point.
    I’m struggling to find my feet as a new blogger, but I don’t plan in cutting down my posts if I have more to say, or expanding them if all I have to say on the topic fits on 500 words.

    1. Honest, my point is do what makes you happy blogging. You’re competing with so much content that it’s better writing about your passions and not so much worrying about getting the most viewers you can.

      The advantage with that approach is that anyone who does follow you likely shares your interests.

  11. LOL. Didn’t expect that ending.

    I know what you mean. If and when I talk at all, I usually talk too much. Same with writing. Besides, it takes longer to carefully compose a short post and still say what you want to say.

  12. Ok, I’m a miserable blogging fail… Not failure, lest you get the wrong idea. I’ll always have too many words with photos to trigger the spillage! See? It’s like this comment….. Most saw up to the word “lest”…. The way I really see it is some of us are just more brilliant in oddly demonstrative ways that will never be anything but misunderstood! 😉

    1. @roughseasinthemed

      Maybe I will host a 140 character describe your blogging style challenge next. It would be a speed posting challenge, just like speed dating. lol :D

      I love dogs and and horses and they love me. The dog is my friend’s malamute/shepherd crossbred pup and I knew he would get your attention, K. ;)

      1. How does ‘mine’ or ‘my own’ sound for your challenge? Reminds me of those terrible précis things that were in style (could well still be) on CVs. An articulate clever know-it-all who can do everything that is thrown at her, although may well throw most of it back would be mine. You must remember that. I loathed it. Meaningless in the extreme. I always put my effort into the covering letter. Sound bites were around long before Twitter :(

        Just LOL! I didn’t think it was yours because you said you had smaller dogs these days, but yes, he totally caught my eye. Bigger pic when you have time on TTTS?

        1. Trust me when I say that I can crank out 140 characters of informative style blog promotion along with the best of them. I’m just too embarrassed to do so. However, I’m beginning to like my idea and I may run with it. lol :D

          Sorry, but I am not allowed to post a larger image.

  13. Disperser,
    I absolutely loved this guest post. You made me laugh out loud at a time that laughter isn’t the primary emotion I am experiencing. Brevity prevailing over clarity is the characteristic of what I refer to as new style hit and run blogging that’s a result of being connected 24/7, and it that makes me grind my teeth. However, I am too polite to comment or to publish a rant on the subject. ;) Quietly clicking out of all sound bite style sites never to return again, is my patterned behavior. lol :D

    1. “Disperser” says it all!

      Fearfully whispered in dark corners, cursed in some circles, I’m working to make the name Disperser much like the name Madonna (but, you know, with more clothes on). Thanks for contributing to my reputation.

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