Sunday, January 4, 2009

Three Reasons Following Makes Sense

At the risk of sounding like I have a blog-crush on Anthony Pacheco, Hack Writer, I need to point to him once more as the awesome king of know-everything. Dipped in awesomesauce, even. Yeah, I know, kinda weird. But hear me out.

I was initially hesitant to put up a "Follow This Blog" sign. I felt it pretentious and weird -- and it made me feel awfully vulnerable. I mean, what if no one followed me? Yikes! But even beyond that, I always felt a little odd following someone else's blog. I felt like I was committing to a life-long relationship, and that just didn't sit right. But I ended up hanging out the sign, and Anthony's comments on that announcement set me to thinking.

Following Blogs Improves Your Readership and Your Brand Name:

1. When your picture is on someone else's blog, it's likely others will click on it. In retrospect, I realized that I often click on the pictures I see on someone else's blog. That's how I found some of you.

2. If someone doesn't have you listed on their blogroll, this is an easy way to circumvent the fact that they overlooked you. Ah yes. I have realized that I don't update my blogroll as often as I should. There are some of you that I read regularly -- but I've just forgotten to add you. Don't take it personally: just follow the blog, and your pic will be up for everyone to see.

3. Following like-minded writerly folks keeps the pressure on to continue producing high quality posts. Your name is your brand name (I learned this at the PNWA conference this summer), and it's your job to make sure others associate it with writing. We're all in this together, and this community helps keep focus, motivation, and encouragement at the forefront.

So, anyway, that's what I think. Even if you choose not to follow this blog, consider following others you read. Sometimes it feels like we're passing ships in the night, and unfortunately I've forgotten more good blogs than I've followed or added to blogroll. And if you haven't already, add this feature to your own blog. I'd love to follow you!
Note: even if you don't have a Blogger account, you can still use your Google Profile to follow others. In fact, it's a pretty good idea to have that profile updated with your current information so that people can find your blog, regardless of whether you use Wordpress or Blogspot or whatever.


B J Keltz said...

Done. Thanks for the comment about using the Google profile. Blogger and blogspot don't like me (usually). Now I can torment other writers like, say, that guy over there dripping with some sauce that seems pretty awesome. Oh wait...that's right...he doesn't HAVE a follow thingie.

That's okay, I got you, Kierstin and Amber. Viva la Harem!

Doug said...

Great idea Alex. I have now added a link to your blog on mine.

other lisa said...

Well, okay, I added the people following this blog widget (nobody, so far!). I earlier added "blogs I follow" to my dashboard...I guess I should add some more, but I'll see what happens with my efforts thus far (I also had to update from "classic template" to one of the new ones with the layout tab, which was pretty time-consuming).

Alex Moore said...

@bj: isn't he just delightful? we'll have to stop talking about him or he won't be able to walk through the door, his head will be too big...

@doug: as i've added you to mine. do consider setting your google/blogger id to open & then adding your wordpress address to it, so that ppl can find you (anthony can walk you through if you don't know how).

@otherlisa: and see how many people are already following you? wow! you have joined the awesomesauce club, girl!

Amber Lynn Argyle said...

I'd have to agree. Still, sometimes I find it hard to fit all of the things I need to do into my day, and sometimes a blog feels like it takes time from my writing.
My hope is that it's all worth it.

Alex Moore said...

@amber: i know exactly how you feel some days...ken just posted about that on his site as well. i guess, for me, i try to put a time limit on it. otherwise, it sucks up all my time -- and although i enjoy it, the most important thing is the writing.