Advertisements

Tag Archives: WordPress

Well, could I have her spam, instead of the baked beans, then?

Humor me, just for a minute, ok?

This is only going to work if you’re reading this post on my blog. So if you’re reading this via email, or in a reader, you’re going to have to do me a solid and click through to my blog. I KNOW. I AM SUCH A PAIN IN THE ASS.

“Aaaaaamy, it’s SAAAAAAAATURDAY, I don’t WAAAAAANT to.” Urgh, just HUMOR me.

OK, so you’re here. Scroll on down to the bottom. Ooh and aah over Andreas’ pretty blog redesign while you’re there, no one’s stopping you.

Are you there? Awesome. Right there in the middle. See that? See my follower count?

2,336 followers. (Well, that’s what it is NOW. Who knows what it’ll be when you read this, at the rate things are going.)

Now, if you’re new to blogging, or maybe not a blogger, this probably seems pretty spiffy. And if you’d told me when I started blogging I’d have that many followers? I’d totally have laughed at you. I was thinking the other day how funny the idea of blogging would have been to the me I was ten years ago, and how, if now-me went back and talked to then-me and told her what I’m up to, then-me would tell now-me she was a crazypants. She’d admire her kicky new glasses, though.

Now, you can break this statistic down further, if you get behind-the-scenes in the dashboard. I’m not supposed to show you this, probably. This is probably breaking all kinds of blogger rules.

Eh, don’t care.

Now, first I added these all together and didn’t get the 2,336 and was all WHAAAA? but then I realized they’re not counting the comment followers so that’s alright.

As you can see, I don’t care about Tumblr enough (I know, I suck, I really only use it to post blog posts and never, ever click over there, Tumblr has always confused the everloving hell out of me) and probably I should use my blog Facebook page more (listen, there are only so many hours in a day, people, I do what I can.) Twitter’s ok, even though I’ve been really terrible at the Twitterz lately. I keep saying I’ll go back eventually. It never seems to happen. I HAVE NOT YET GIVEN UP HOPE, HOWEVER!

The blog-follower count looks nice, though, right? Impressive? Look at all my readers! I’m like a legitimate blogger!

Well, no. Not really. And let me tell you why.

That follower count?

About 75% of those people are spammers.

It’s a dirty little secret WordPress doesn’t want you all to know. Or doesn’t CARE if you know, actually; they’re doing nothing, absolutely nothing, about it.

How do I know they’re spam followers? Well, I’ve clicked through to their blogs. Or, at least I used to, before I started getting probably ten of them a day and I just got tired of it. Some don’t have blogs, just Gravatars with shady non-name names. Some have blogs, but with only one post, and it’s in really broken English. Some have blogs with just reblogs. Some have blank blogs. Some have blogs with links to things like “free vacations now” or “iPad giveaway.” sj had one the other day with posts about boxes. No, not the euphemistic kind, which would kind of be an awesome, if porny, blog. Cardboard boxes. Posts like “Boxes vs. Cartons.” Because THAT’S a real blog. (Side note: it wasn’t.)

ZOMG SO COMPELLING BOTH CARTONS *AND* BOXES YOU GUYZZZZZ!

ZOMG SO COMPELLING BOTH CARTONS *AND* BOXES YOU GUYZZZZZ!

I’ve tromped with my kickass Doc Martens all through the forums trying to find out a why, and a how, and a WHAT THE HELL CAN I DO ABOUT THIS, and the answer, per WordPress?

“Meh.”

There’s no option to delete spam followers, once they’ve chosen you to target. (And it seems they’ve chosen all of us to target.) WordPress says they’re “looking into why spammers have increased lately.” These threads go back to April, and that’s when I started seeing the spammers – March/April.

WordPress also added the option to “like” a post straight from the Reader not too long ago, when they updated the Reader, which means you get likes on your posts IMMEDIATELY upon publication. Well, if you only published a photo, there’s a possibility a like happened that quickly. But if you write at length as much as I do, odds that someone named “trueerectionpillz4u” read and liked my 2,000 word post in .0005 seconds are pretty slim.

WordPress doesn’t seem to think this is a problem. And I suppose, for them, it’s not. It inflates their user count. They can then use that user count to sell ads, to recruit new bloggers, etc. And some of the new bloggers (me, for example) pay for this service, so they make money from us. No, these spam followers aren’t a problem for WordPress.

And, technically, they’re not really a problem for us bloggers, are they? Not really. They aren’t DOING anything there. Sometimes they randomly reblog our content on their shady blogs, and their weird Gravatars show up in our likes, and they’re there inflating our follower counts, making us look fancy and popular. And who doesn’t like to be popular, am I right? I mean, when I started blogging, I’d look at that follower count on other blogger’s blogs and think, whoa, THIS person knows what’s up.

But they’re lies. That follower count is lies. Most of our followers aren’t real people; they’re not reading our content. They’re not interacting with us. They’re just kind of…there. Weirdly lurking. Sometimes they hit “like,” which I assume they think maybe would get someone to click their spammy blog. Sometimes they don’t do ANYTHING. And that’s a little disconcerting, isn’t it? It’s like having this weird silent army stalking you all the time. You don’t know what the hell they WANT.

Now, WordPress has been oh-so-helpful in telling us that we can report each and every one of these spammers to them, they’ll “look into it” and “maybe delete the accounts.” Well, if it was just one or two spammers, fine. But who the hell has the free time to check up on, and report, probably 700 or so fake bloggers? And why is it MY job to do this? Shouldn’t these people have to prove they’re not spammers on WordPress’ end?

Another end result of this? Some of you new followers, who very well MIGHT be real people? Well, I wouldn’t know. Because I no longer have the time to weed through all the spam to get to the real blogs. So I might be missing some awesome new blogs I should be reading. I WOULDN’T KNOW. I used to be able to check out all the new blogs that followed me, and now I can’t do that. So, new bloggers, if you ARE a real blog, say hi. Comment, or say hi on Twitter, or send me an email. SOMETHING. I can’t promise I’ll follow your blog – I read a LOT of blogs, and my time gets more and more limited daily – but I can promise if you’re a real blogger, and not a creature made of spam, I’ll at least check you out.

I’ve also stopped following other blogs in the WordPress reader. I used to do a courtesy follow every time I followed a WordPress blog. Why courtesy follow? Well, I hate the WordPress reader. I refuse to use it. So I use an alternate reader. (Feedly, if you must know – it’s no Google Reader, but nothing is. Sigh.) But I *used* to click the “follow” button on any WordPress blog I was following in my reader; that way, the blogger knew I was following them, and maybe they’d return the favor, and we could all go ’round the mulberry bush. NOT A EUPHEMISM. I don’t bother anymore. I assume most WordPress bloggers aren’t bothering to even check out new followers anymore, so why should I do the extra step? I follow on the sly; if I like the blog and have extra time and feel I have something worthwhile to say and am not too daunted, I comment, and then they know I’m reading, I suppose.

What’s the solution to this? Well, there isn’t one. Not until WordPress creates one for us – and they’ve shown no interest in doing that whatsoever. And like I said, this really shouldn’t bother me. And I know I’m kind of biting the hand that feeds me by even blogging about it here – WordPress doesn’t like you to complain about them on their own service. (Or at all, actually. Too many complaints, I’ve noticed, they stop responding to you in the forums, or their most vocal volunteer, whose name I won’t mention but I’d be willing to bet anyone who’s come in contact with this person knows EXACTLY who I’m talking about – will snark at you, seemingly in the hopes of making you…I don’t know, quit asking for help? Quit WordPress? I’m not really sure.)

(Side note: as I was writing this, I just got another spam follower. Don’t think I didn’t note the irony. I’m like a magnet for such things.)

So, you either move to Blogger (terrible service, terrible functionality) or you self-host (and lose the community you have on WordPress, because there really are real people in there, among the spammers) or…you, I don’t know, go to LiveJournal? Start writing furiously in notebooks and taking photos of the pages and putting them up on Instagram? Your options, they are somewhat limited, friends. WordPress is by far the best blogging platform, and they know it. And when you’re at the top of the food chain, you don’t have to listen to the little guys saying “help, help, I’m being oppressed,” now, do you?

I don’t have an answer for you. I don’t have anything. I just have a huge cloud of spammers following my blog, is all. Like gnats. Like pesty, pesky gnats. I’d ask them to stop following me, but we all know they’re not reading these posts, so there’s no point.

I can tell you, based on the way this, and many other things, have been handled, if another comparable blogging option ever opens up, I’d be one of the first ones to jump ship. Hell, it’s either that or the random scribbling in notebooks.

Which, sometimes, seem like a very good option.

Shoo. Shoo, spammers. Shoo.

Advertisements

Royal Rumpus, Day Six: stopping (starting?) the presses and those pesky people you may or may not know

Happy Sunday, everyone! Whew, Saturday was BUSY. Well, I stayed up way too late into the wee hours of Saturday morning, which was my own damn fault, but when I can stay up late, I tend to overdo it. Then I slept in, which was very nice and very decadent of me. But THEN, when I got up in the morning, WHEW ALL THE RUSHING! Because Saturday was K.’s wedding shower, so I had to get all fancied-up! And go to a COUNTRY CLUB! I know, right? Me at a country club. It’s like the opposite of a diamond in the gutter. This place was NICE. We wedding showered and friend K. got many gifts and I did not win any of the prizes for the games because I was terrible at them, even bingo (WHO CANNOT WIN BINGO FOR THE LOVE OF PETE) and we had some delicious foodstuffs and then I went to the (shudder) mall.

Argh, mall. You are my nemesis.

Argh, mall. You are my nemesis.

I know. I hate the mall. With the stores and the people and the crowding and the escalators one could very likely get stuck on and then tumble to one’s death or get grinded to one’s death, take your pick. But I really, REALLY needed shoes. And was only halfway successful, because I wanted at least one pair of black shoes and one pair of brown shoes and only could find black shoes. WHY NO BROWN SHOES? Is there something you’re not telling me? Has there been a run on brown shoes? Also, there were a lot of patent leather – or at least fake leather – shoes. Shiny shoes? Really? Those get scuffed. Bad news. Who designs these things? And THEN, since I was in the mall anyway, I ran to the store for clothing and again had a little luck but not all the luck and what happened at the store is a story for another day.

WHEW! All the things. When I got home, Dumbcat was all “MOM WHEAR HAEV YOU BENE.” And I collapsed collapedly.

But! You are not here for True Tales of What Amy Did on Saturday. Well, I would assume. You are here for our daily dose of bloggiversary goodness, right? Right. Well! What will we talk about today? What have I learned that I will share with you, from the goodness of my kindly heart, hmm?

Getting Fresh

I know a lot of bloggers dream about getting Freshly Pressed. And it’s a very good dream, and, overall, it’s a very good thing. And (shockingly, still, months later) I can barely believe it happened.

So here’s what happens when you get Freshly Pressed. You write a post. Within a few days, you get an email from WordPress telling you it’s been selected to be Freshly Pressed. If you’re a normal person, you probably think, “Oh! Well! What a deserved honor that has been bestowed upon me! As I am a grand writer!” If you’re me, you start breathing funny, and you squeak like a mouse caught in a trap, then you wonder if you’re being tricked, and you think a mistake has been made.

Punk'd. Just like Justin Timberlake, baby.

Punk’d. Just like Justin Timberlake, baby.

Once your post goes up on Freshly Pressed, you have 24-48 hours where you pretty much need to turn off the notifications on your phone. Because it’s going to be going off ALL THE TIME. You’re going to get a ton of likes, and a ton of new followers, and probably a ton of comments, which, if you’re anal like me, you’re going to want to reply to. Your stats for the day or two are going to shoot through the roof. It’s exhausting, but it’s also exhilarating. Because, listen, I know it’s not nice to mention in polite society, but, well, we’re not polite society here, so I’m safe – I don’t think there are too many of us bloggers that don’t like being the center of attention. Otherwise, why are we here? I think, if given the option, even the blogger who says, “Oh, no, I’m glad I have a small readership, I’m glad no one pays that much attention to me” would immediately sell their soul for a celebrity-level readership. Because, when it all comes down to it, we’re attention whores. Some of us are just a little less shameless about it than others, is all.

You will probably get some trolls. I didn’t get too many, but I did get a few. I just deleted them. I didn’t even let them see the light of day. A lot of the people following you will not be real blogs. I checked out most of the blogs who followed me and a lot of them were placeholder blogs with nothing on them or spam blogs selling male-enhancement pills or, strangely, fake luggage and/or handbags, as if these people are selling things on the streetcorners of New York City. (Lately, this has been happening a lot – I would assume this is happening to most of you WordPress bloggers? Our followers counts are no longer reliable, because most of the followers aren’t real. WordPress knows about it, but says it’s not a problem. I find it shady, but I suppose it’s not really a problem, mostly just an annoyance. I do wish there was a way to make it stop, though. I like to know how many real people are reading my blog, not just weird fake handbag purveyors.) You will also get a lot of people who comment or like once and never come back. That’s the nature of the beast. It’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up too much. Or at all, actually. Bigger things to worry about in the world, you know?

In-between selling purses on the streetcorner, Antonio blogs most bloggily!

In-between selling purses on the streetcorner, Antonio blogs most bloggily!

After the furor of the few days dies down, things will be back to normal. You might keep some of the people you found (I still have some of those people – hi, people!) but for the most part, those people fade back into the woodwork. You were the flavor of the week. You get a sassy banner for your blog, if you put it up, and you can tell people you were Freshly Pressed, and there you have it.

Is it cool? Hell, yes. Does it change your WHOLE LIFE? Nope. It’s a couple days of awesomeness and then it’s business as usual. It’s nice to be validated. It’s nice that the people at WordPress noticed you. Is it something you should want? Yes. Is it something to be so upset you haven’t gotten? Well, no. And I’ll tell you why. WordPress is looking for something in particular, and very few blogs have it. Follow their Freshly Pressed page for a while in your reader. You’ll see the pattern. The posts are usually short, usually have some sort of pretty graphic or photo, usually are broadly relatable, usually are either something people will argue about or something people will squee over. If you are Freshly Pressed, it is probably not going to be for a post that represents what you usually write about or how you usually even write, which brings in a lot of readers who expect you to write like that all the time and are sorely disappointed. The same people do tend to get Freshly Pressed multiple times. It’s because they know what WordPress is looking for, and because they’re on WordPress’ radar. You can cry foul all you want, but it’s WordPress’ game to play as they wish.

So, yeah. It’s cool. I continue to be pleased it happened. I appreciate that it did. I am always pleased to see it happen to someone whose blog I read and whose work I love and who I care about, because I love that they got that validation. But I also see the flaws in the system, and I hate to see bloggers trying to hard to get Freshly Pressed and getting so depressed when it never seems to happen to them.

Keep writing. Keep doing your thing. If you get Freshly Pressed, awesome. If you don’t, please don’t think it’s a flaw in yourself. It most absolutely is not.

OK, let’s get down to it. So what’s the second-most read post on Lucy’s Football? What’s your guess? Ideas?

Oh, I’m not going to keep you hanging. It’s a beautiful Sunday, you probably want to go play in the sunshine or something.

Aw. Like these kids. You totally want to play like these kids.

Aw. Like these kids. You totally want to play like these kids.

My second-most popular post…in the past two years…

…with – ARE YOU READY FOR THIS INSANITY? – 1,922 hits in the past seven months, I don’t even, I DO NOT EVEN, that is TWICE AS MANY AS THE THIRD MOST POPULAR POST, is…

An Open Letter to Facebook’s “People You May Know” Feature.

This post isn’t that funny, or well-researched, or anything but me being peevish when I saw an ex pop up in my “people you may know.” There. That’s your daily glimpse at the man behind the curtain. I wrote this because I was peevish. I am often peevish. Most days I am able to tamp it down and go about my day. This day, I wasn’t.

The stats are so insane on this post because I get hundreds, literally, LIT-rally if you’re Chris Traeger, hundreds, of searches a month from people who want to know things like “how to turn off the people you may know feature” and “people you may know has disappeared” and “there are people I don’t know in the people I may know” and it is UTTER LUNACY.

Listen, I know the Facebook help section is useless. And if you ask stupid questions like this there, you’re not going to find answers. The thing is? I’m going to give you some tough love, here. YOUR QUESTIONS ARE ASININE. I will tell you ONE MORE TIME. People you may know on Facebook IS NOT GOING AWAY. It’s just THERE. IGNORE IT. I know you can do this. Put on your big-kid pants and IGNORE THAT SHIT.

IGNORE ITTTTT.

IGNORE ITTTTT.

Or, you know, just keep clicking on the post. I never said I wasn’t an attention whore.

Happy Sunday, people of the internet. One more day, and we reach the END OF BLOGGIVERSARY WEEK! Ok, well, maybe there will be a TEENY bit more the next day but I promise it won’t be as annoying. Have happy Sundays. Relax. Rest. Read. Enjoy life. *smooch*


Blogging etiquette. Should that be blogiquette? Maybe. Kids today, with their words and such.

I think we need to have a chat about blogging etiquette, my most lovely readers.

What? Who does Amy think she is, Emily Effing Post? Nope. I never know which fork to use, and I don’t understand the white-after-Labor-Day rule, so I don’t wear white at all. (That’s actually not that hard, since I only own one white thing, and that’s a white teeshirt, and it has crazy pitstains, so I can only wear it under things now. TMI? Yep. So now you can see I am SO not Emily Post. I don’t even play her on teevee.)

Oh, screw this, I know nothing about this crap.

Oh, screw this, I know nothing about this crap.

There are a lot of bloggers in the world. How many? Don’t know. This pretty infographic tells us about the state of blogging in Merka:

The most important thing you can learn from this? Other than I couldn’t find one for the world (sorry, world)?

There are a LOT OF BLOGGERS. You are one of MILLIONS.

Also, odds that you’re going to make your fortune as a blogger? Slim to none, sunshine. Sorry to burst your bubble. I have made $25 from blogging in the past year and a half. It’s not something you do because you want to make a lot of money. (Well, it might be, but you’re going to be disappointed pretty damn quickly. Or unable to pay your rent. Or eat. Or feed your cats. Dumbcat disapproves of this plan. He likes to eat quite a bit.)

So, because there are so many bloggers, I think it might be time that we mention some of the general rules of blogging.

I know! You’re all, “What? There are RULES?” and no. No, there aren’t, not really. But there is etiquette. And a lot of people aren’t being polite. And it’s bothersome. You want to be polite, don’t you? Sure you do.

Now, I’m not the queen of polite. I mean, I TRY to be, but I’m sure some people think I’m the rudest person to ever rude it up. I’m cool with that. I do my best. I can sleep at night. But some people…well, I think it’s one of two things. Either you’re new to the blogosphere, so you don’t know the ropes, or you just don’t care. Either way, let’s have a chat, ok? Cool.

Now, remember how up there I said there weren’t really rules to blogging? I lied. There’s one.

Here’s the one, which I will center and make all-caps and bold with stars because it’s just that important:

***HAVE FUN***

There. That’s it. That’s the number one rule. That is THE rule. Don’t do it to make money, or to become the most famous blogger EVAH, or for whatever other weird reasons might compel you to blog. Do it because you like writing, and because you have something to say, and it seems like it might be fun. And if it continues to be fun? And if you meet amazing people? Well, good. That means you’re doing it right. And if it stops being fun? Well, it’s something you should stop doing. I mean, listen. Work’s not fun, but if you quit doing it, you couldn’t pay your bills. Paying your bills isn’t fun, but if you quit doing it, you would have no power. Or water. Or home. But if you aren’t having fun blogging – well, why the hell are you still doing it? It’s an extracurricular. So quit it. It might not be your thing. That’s ok. It doesn’t mean you’re broken. I mean, soccer isn’t my thing, but that doesn’t mean I’m broken. Just uncoordinated. You’re still ok. You’ll find something. Promise.

ANYWAY. Let’s talk about etiquette, ok? Because it’s necessary.

Write good posts with actual information in them. So! You’ve started a blog. Great! Now, what to write about? That’s up to you. What do you like? What are you good at? Are you funny? Are you serious? Do you want to talk about your kids? Tell stories? There are a million things you can blog about. Only you can decide what you’d be best at. What not to do? Write one or two sentences (too often – once and a while, sure. Shake things up.) Reblog other people’s posts and do nothing but reblog other people’s posts – again, once and a while is ok, but if it’s all you do, how are you going to develop your own voice? I promise, people want to get to know you, not just see what other people are saying. If they wanted to see what other people were saying, they’d follow them. Just be YOU. Seriously. If you don’t know who you are? Figure it out. Sometimes it takes a little while to find your footing. That’s fine. You’ll find it.

Don’t steal. You saw what happened to Jean Valjean, right? Right. OK, so you’re new to blogging, you’re reading a lot of other blogs, they seem SO COOL…so, they wouldn’t mind if you took their post ideas, right? I mean, they have a lot of followers, and you WANT a lot of followers, so if they’re doing this neat thing like they’re recapping an episode of Game of Thrones using X-Files action figures or something, well, that’s a cool idea! Yank that right off of there! It’s not like stealing from a store, right? WRONG. It’s WORSE. It’s intellectual property. That person worked hard on that. They worked hard on the post; they worked hard on getting those followers. But AMY! What if I steal the idea but TWEAK it a little? NO. Us bloggers, we are a savvy bunch. We know when you’re yanking our ideas. We know when you’re stealing the way we talk, our blog designs, a cool idea we worked weeks on developing. And here’s the thing: a., can you really sleep, knowing your cool idea was just stolen from someone else? and b., any followers you get are eventually going to figure this shit out, you know. You’re not fooling anyone, not for long. (Also, this goes for the big blogs, too. I won’t name names, but there’s a big-name genre blog that steals from the smaller bloggers within that genre ALL. THE. TIME. It’s a shady-ass blog, and it’s getting tons of followers and hits on the hard work that the smaller bloggers are doing. I’ve got my eye on you, big blog. And someday, you’re going to get yours. Seriously. I believe very strongly in karma being a bitch.)

Do you really want to be the kind of jerk who swipes? Well? DO YOU? Dora would totally shout at you if you did.

Do you really want to be the kind of jerk who swipes? Well? DO YOU? Dora would totally shout at you if you did.

Read and comment on other blogs. Now you have a blog, and you’re writing (hopefully non-stolen) posts that are awesome and full of kitten-rainbows. You want people to read your stuff! And your best bet? Other bloggers. Listen, I just counted, and I am subscribed to 191 blogs. And I add more every day. And I’m SELECTIVE about the ones I subscribe to, mostly because I don’t have time to read the ones I DO read, so I have to be careful about adding new ones. Now, not all of those update daily, but some update MULTIPLE times a day. I read them all. I comment when I am moved to do so and if it’s a WordPress blog, I hit the like button when I’m moved to do so. A lot of bloggers are very engaged with other bloggers, more so than most readers, I’d dare to say. Because we write, and we love to read what others are writing. You need to engage with other bloggers. Follow their blogs; learn from them (but do not, per the last paragraph, STEAL from them. There’s a fine line between inspiration and thievery.) Comment, and comment thoughtfully, if you are moved enough by their post to do so. If you like their blog, RSS it, or get the new posts emailed to you. This is your community now. Dive right into the pool.

Dive right in there. Wear floaties if you have to. No one will judge. Promise.

Dive right in there. Wear floaties if you have to. No one will judge. Promise.

BUT, don’t comment with nonsense. NOW! You’ve read a post. This blog has a lot of followers! You know if you comment on it, your name and a link to your blog will be in the comments! THEN ALL THOSE PEOPLE WILL FOLLOW YOU AND YOU WILL BE FAY-MUSS! Well, you might get a click or two from those comments, sure. I’ve gotten some wonderful followers from comments I’ve made, both the bloggers and others who follow that blogger. HOWEVER! Here is a tip. Do not just comment with the following, or a combination of the following: “LOL good post”/”Ha ha this was funny”/”I read this, good”/”Good writing”/”Thank you”. Why would you even comment with such a thing? Please put content of some sort in your comment. I mean, yes, comments are awesome, and bloggers love them? But we don’t know much about what to do with that kind of comment. Do we respond to it? Ignore it? Also, we’re aware you’re here to draw attention to yourself and your blog. YOU ARE NOT FOOLING US, SLAPPY.

And, don’t link-spam. If you’ve commented correctly, your name and a link to your blog will neatly show up in to the left of your comment. You do not need to put a link to your blog IN the comment. That’s overkill. And it’s rude. It’s one of those unspoken rude things. Don’t do that. Also, and I don’t know when this became a thing, and I blame WordPress, but apparently there’s a setting now where you can blanket-spam a bunch of people with a link to your blog. I’ve gotten a ton of these in the past couple of weeks. “Check out my blog!” “Read my blog!” “I follow you, now you follow me back!” And – my personal favorite, and if you’re reading, whoever did this, yes, I’m totally talking about you – “Send this to 21 more people now.” And that was all. IT WAS A BOSSY BLOGSPAM CHAIN LETTER. Let me tell you something. I delete these when I get them. I don’t even click the link. If you’ve commented on my blog, I’ve checked out your blog. I promise. I’m diligent about such things. You don’t need to link-spam me. I might be reading; I might not. As I said, I can’t read every blog in the world. I have to be selective.

I can only assume you don't want to be a processed meat-like product, so cut that out, you.

I can only assume you don’t want to be a processed meat-like product, so cut that out, you.

Don’t overpublicize. You don’t need to put up links to your most recent post a billion times. Once or twice on Twitter/Facebook/wherever else you publicize your stuff? Cool. Ten times? More? Tweeting it to a bunch of people asking them to read it? Spamming blog comments with it when the post has nothing to do with the post you’re publicizing? (I’m not saying NEVER put a link to your blog in someone’s comments. If you know the person, it’s ok. Or, I’ve put a link to someone ELSE’S blog in someone’s comments before. THAT’S ok. But don’t be a spammer, yo, see the paragraph above. It’s rude.) People are going to get sick of seeing all those links and they’re going to stop paying attention to you. Seriously. Trust me on this.

Be polite. Don’t be rude in people’s comments. That’s not your house. You want to be rude on your blog, cool. That’s your house! Someone else’s blog is not your house. So don’t walk all through there with muddy shoes. AGAIN, there’s an exception – if you know the blogger, and you have one of those jokey sarcastic relationships with them, go to it, jellybean. For example: I like to use SHOUTY ALL-CAPS and be very sarcastic. But I wouldn’t do that on someone’s blog I didn’t know well. I would do it on someone’s blog I’ve known a long time. If I didn’t, they might think I was sick. Otherwise, be polite. Your mom told you to be polite, and she wasn’t kidding about that.

I'm sorry, but this made me snort-laugh. I never said I had a high-brow sense of humor.

I’m sorry, but this made me snort-laugh. I never said I had a high-brow sense of humor.

Reply to your comments as much as you can. You have readers now! And they are commenting! Now, once you become a big old huge blogger, you might not have time to respond to all your comments. But are you The Bloggess? Are you Wil Wheaton? No. No, you are not. You are cutting off a dialogue between you and your readers if you don’t talk to them, and where can you talk to them? In your comments. Reply to them. Joke with them. Ask them things. Respond to their questions. And guess what? You might even make FRIENDS with some of them. I know! Shocking! Seriously. Try it.

Use social media, but do not abuse social media. You are a blogger! With followers! And commenters! A good thing to do is make a presence on social media. Twitter and Facebook are good. Some people have luck with Google Plus, Tumblr, things along those lines. Do what you’re comfortable with. Or what you’re NOT comfortable with, maybe. Go outside your comfort zone. It won’t bite you. Probably. Don’t abuse your social media presence, however. Don’t annoy people; don’t harass people; don’t post like a zillion links to weird stuff that isn’t even FUN or GOOD, don’t just retweet things. Think before you post. PAY ATTENTION. I can’t emphasize this one enough. If someone’s not talking about something? Probably don’t needle them about it. If someone seems sad, maybe ask them what’s wrong. If someone’s celebrating, congratulate them. Paying attention shows you’re a good listener, and potentially, someone people want to get to know. Also, don’t beg people to follow you. Ask them, nicely, a few times, but don’t constantly harass them. It makes me crazy when someone’s constantly in my face about following them. If I wanted to be, I would. I’m pretty savvy about the interwebs, dudes and dudettes. (SIDE NOTE! This is a me-thing and not an anyone-else thing, but I don’t use my personal Facebook for blog stuff. So while I appreciate people who have found out my REAL IDENTITY ZOMG and want to be my Facebook friend, odds are very good I will not approve your friend request. I’ve mentioned this in my FAQ’s, I think, but that’s where I keep my family and friends. I don’t invite strangers in there. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, and please feel so, so free to follow my blog Facebook page, or friend me on Twitter, where someday I might actually post shit again. But odds are very good you’re not going to be accepted on Facebook, and I’m sure you’re lovely, and not at all a stabmurderer. But, sorry. I have to have a certain level of knowledge of you, and trust, to let you onto my Facebook page. Thanks ever so for understanding.)

Be patient. Nothing good happens overnight. I know, it’s easy to look at some bloggers who have like 2,000 followers in 6 months, and be all, WHY NOT ME! I AM THE WORST! and freak out. I know. But keep doing what you’re doing. Have fun. Write what you know how to write. Make friends online. And if you get your 2,000 followers? Cool. And if you don’t? You know what? Not at all the end of the world. Don’t compare yourself to others. You’ll never measure up. You know why? You’re not them. And, there’s someone out there attempting to measure up to YOU and failing miserably. Just don’t. Measure your success against how happy you are. Are you happy today? Then you’ve succeeded. Are you sad? Then what are you going to do tomorrow to make it a better day?

OK, this is insanely long, and you know what? It stops being fun for me if I can’t get any sleep. So to bed I go. Have fun is the number one rule. And the number one etiquette rule? Well, it’s simple. Follow the golden rule. Treat others like you want to be treated.

Then take that, and your happiness, and go out into the world and CONQUER it. You’re invincible now. And who doesn’t want to be invincible?


%d bloggers like this: