I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, because we still have 68 followers to go, but when we launch the contest Wednesday – if that’s what we’re doing – I’ll be swamped and I won’t have time to thank you properly.
Look at what I posted in March, just 8 short months ago:
I also said:
It wasn’t that long ago – about a year – when we were closing it on 1000. Now, just 13 months later, we’ve passed 2000.
It took more than three years to get that first thousand (we call that the dark times), and a little more than one year to get the next thousand. I’m sure it will take even less time to get the next next thousand (3000).
Well, I called it.
Three years to get to 1000 followers
13 months to get to 2000 followers
about 8 months to get to 3000 followers
Now, rather than bask in the glow of my amazingness while you all say congratulations…
Well, okay, let’s do that
But also, let’s explore WHY this happened/is happening.
First, like most of you, there was a time when NOBODY was following my blog. A LONG TIME. And I mean NOBODY. I didn’t care (yes, I did) I was writing for me (and wishing others were reading) and I was content (because I had to pretend to be) that I was improving my skills with each post.
Well, what changed? I took some advice from Allison because why not? Nobody was reading my blog anyway (not even her, I don’t think) and she said to make some changes. My image was a book cover, Savvy Stories, and the blog was called that.
People wanna connect with people, not a book cover, she said. (Plus, I wrote other stuff after that book, so it wasn’t super relevant anymore).
So I took a fave pic of me and my daughter, cropped it down to just me. Made it black and white (it’s color now) and slapped it up there.
BOOM! Hello, that’s my smiling mug staring at ya, world. No more hiding behind a book cover.
And why would I? I’m kinda photogenic.
I started following other blogs, especially popular ones, commenting on them to make friends with the owners, and asking questions about how to grow my blog.
I shared what I learned about blogging and writing with you, but I was
- always trying new things
- kept doing what worked
- moved on from stuff that didn’t
Remember Writers Off Task With Friends? How about our top ten lists? Gone! What about Ask Dan Anything, or Brag Of The Week? Still doing it! Some stuff works, some stuff doesn’t. But that was never ALL that was going on here. My writing contests put me into another layer of the stratosphere – soon we’ll hit 50,000 views for this year – but I was always here doing my thing, too.
4. I was more “ME,” which a lot of you struggle with
5. I was more engaging with YOU, which a lot of you also struggle with.
6. I told you I’d help you, and I did my best to do that,
7. I just kept doing it.
Those don’t sound like secrets. They aren’t. The secret is, most of you won’t do it. You’ll get tired and discouraged and you’ll scale back or stop. Don’t. I felt that way, too. I kept going. I found people who wanted to help me, and I took their advice. And some of that advice came right around the time I was gonna hang it up. So don’t hang it up. Reach out instead.
Some of you don’t have the talent to do what I do.
9. Yes you do.
Have fun and the world will find your smiling face. It found mine.
You’re a better writer than you think, and
if I could give you one thing, it would be ENOUGH confidence. So fake it until you do.
See, I shake in my boots sometimes, too. Yes, yes I do. But I’m also a showman because it’s fun to me, and some of you come to watch the show. So I give you one.
10. If you can’t be ME, be the best YOU you can be. The helpful you. The smart you. The engaging you. All of you can do that. I had to learn it, but so can you. Reply to every comment. Share the stories of people you meet – how many new authors have I given a break to here? Plenty. You can do that.
11. But also look for people who want to feature you. Look for them. When a friend gets a written interview, ask that place to interview you. I did a lot of written interviews; some got a lot of notice, some got none. I still did them and I’d do them again, ALL of them, because even 1 person counts. The person doing that blog with no followers wants to interview me? I’m in. Because maybe 3 years later they have a 3000 person following, and I’ll make a friend in the process. That’s better than going it alone.
12. We left some people behind, too. And I miss them. But they are gone and not likely to come back. It happens.
13. Some of that was my fault. Some wasn’t.
Some are going to fade away in the next few months or years. I’ll miss them, too. That’s life.
For the most part I like to think you come here to have a good time, and even when I’m a little dull I’m still pretty fun. Probably. (If you disagree, try drinking before you read me.)
You can do it. I’ll help when I can.
If I can do it, you can, and I almost gave up – so you can’t.