I Have a Question About Blogs

I don’t ask this in a negative way. It is just a thought that crossed my mind as I looked at blogs today – ones I decided not to even pull up to see what they have to say – not that everyone would be interested in my two blogs, either.

I started thinking about what does and doesn’t interest me. How do we present ourselves to others so they would want to open our blog. What is it we think is most important for other bloggers to know about us from our very first sentence?

I am Buddhist. I’ve written about that in different ways on my blog in posts that have something to do with faith and religion. But I don’t feel the need to make that the number one thing that is important for people to know about me above everything else.  My being a Buddhist is not why people read my blogs.  In other words,  I don’t write a Buddhist blog.

I think faith is personal. Your faith shows by who are. Is your faith the first thing people need to know about you? Is it important for people to know you are Christian before they read your blog? Does any other person of another faith feel the need to know you are a follower of Christ? Do people of other faiths put their faith at the head of their description of their blog. I’m Morman. I’m Muslim. I’m Jewish. No, but by reading their blog you’d find that out.

I have friends of other faiths. It isn’t a prerequisite to be Buddhist to be friends if you respect each other and don’t insist on converting or say, “I’m right and you’re wrong.”

Please, don’t be offended. I’m not saying to not write about your faith. I write about mine, too. It’s an important part of who I am. But I am much more than a Buddhist. What I have learned through the teachings of Nichiren Buddhism has changed my life in many positive ways. But my blog is about much more than Buddhist teachings. If I made being a Buddhist an important part of the description of my blog mI’ll be a lot of Christians wouldn’t open my blog and I would have missed meeting some great people.

I have come across many Christian blogs that are only about the teachings. Nothing wrong with that. ButI find when someone has to tell me they are Christian before I even know what their blog is about – I skip right by it. It looks like it is the focus of their blog. If someone tells me up front they love to sew then it looks like it is a blog about sewing – skip – if it says they are concerned about the food we eat – I open it – if the most important thing is they love dogs – skip, I don’t have a dog and never will. Do you see what I’m getting to? There are many non Christians who won’t open a blog who gets emphatic about being a Christian. Do you only want Christian followers?

I would have checked out that blog if the bio was about what was in the blog, so they lost a potential reader because they didn’t use the space to tell me anything interesting.

Of course this is only my opinion. Everyone is welcome to think differently. I would be interested to know what you think.

Are You Using StumbleUpon the Right Way?

social media, StumbleUpon,how to write a blog, how to use social media
How are you using StumbleUpon?
photo credit: alphamisanthropos.wordpress.com

All of us want people to read what we write. We think we written a good post but our stats are low. If we don’t get good readership in the first few days it gets pushed down the line. A couple months go by and maybe someone will click on it.

When I look to see how other blogs are doing with their social media. Some, like twitter and facebook are used a lot, but StumbleUpon, if you even use it, usually has (1) beside it which means you probably posted it there yourself. That won’t work.

I’m assuming you have an acct there. If you post it there by sending it from your blog you have absolutely no control over how it is listed. Here’s an example: On my other blog, My Name is Jamie. Life in Prison I write about Jamie Cummings life in prison and maybe that post is also about the extreme lack of good medical care. If I post it to SU from my blog SU will probably pick up on the word “medical” because they have no category for “prison” issues and it will end up in “doctors” and I can be absolutely sure it will bring very little readers to my blog.

Instead, copy the URL of the post. Open StumbleUpon separate. Your face (or avatar) is on the right. A down arrow is beside it. When you click on it there will be options across the top. Click “add a page”. There is a line where you can pick the category in which to put your post. Since there is no category for prisons I ALWAYS put it in crime. You can also write a summary of what the post is about to entice people to click on the posting that brings them directly to your blog.

StumbleUpon is not really a site people will often send your post. You want to use it to bring readers TO you. But when I’m surfing I will often send articles there. Other people who use ST only as source to read and stumble, but don’t have a site they are trying to promote, have certain categories they go to they have picked as one of their interests, and ST will show them new posts in that category. If your blog has a general theme I would put every post in that category so your name becomes recognized in that category, and SLOWLY you will get followed.

You can make lists but it isn’t required. I make lists so I can go to the one for each of my blogs easily and see how all of them are doing without having to go to each post on my blog to see if the numbers increased. You can also put your post in more than one list. Example: You wrote a poem. it is about family relationships. Initially, if you write a lot of poems put it in the category “poetry” and then create a list for poetry and family relations and put it in each list. Right now I have 36 lists.

I have found that people do not comment. You just want them to come to your blog. People who are not WP bloggers have a hard time commenting and liking a post. You should use the comment form and the comment will go to your email. Some people will follow your blog by email but if they miss it you can always end each post asking them to fill out the form to receive new posts by mail and send them each new post by sending out a group email.
I saved the best for last. It is called “Stumble”Upon for a reason. If you have written a post that resonates with people they will click the “thumbs up” button and send it on. The faster it stumbles – the faster it stumbles. I’ve gotten lucky and several posts so far have brought 600 – 9000 readers and still stumbling every day. Once they come to your blog it opens the door to reading other posts. You just need an additional way to help people find you. Sometimes they peak, slow down and then it starts stumbling all over again. Go to this post in Jamie’s blog and look at the numbers.

Youtube video of what five years in solitary confinement can do to the mind

The average number of stumbles on my posts so far is between 60-100. (and that is in addition to the stats I’ve gotten from WP and other places.) While you are at the SU site do good for other people’s efforts and do your share of stumbling posts you like. Find sites you like and follow them. I’ve had several follow me back, but since I use other SM sites I don’t have time to spend a lot of my day there. Check out the category for social media. You will find other posts on how to effectively use StumbleUpon and other types of SM. I am going to post this post there as well. I didn’t learn this way of using ST from anyone so maybe it will be of help to other people too. Good luck. Come back here and let me know how it works for you! Reblog this on your site and help other people, too. Whether you’ve been at this for a while or if you are new, every bit of knowledge helps us to do it better.

Using StumbleUpon the right way will increase your readership at least 30% or more – from my personal experience.

Oops – forgot something important. If you are only using a tablet to create posts, the option to select a category and write a blurb aren’t there – at least they aren’t on my Nook. So I go to either my desktop or laptop to put it on StumbleUpon