Last week I took Gretchen Rubin’s Quiz: Do You Make Other People Happy? | LinkedIn. For those of you who don’t want to go to her site, here is the quiz:
- Do people seem to feel comfortable confiding in you?
- Do people seem to drift toward you? Join a conversation that you’re having, sit down next to you at a meeting?
- Do people whom you hardly remember go out of their way to greet you warmly? Say, the friend of your old roommate, or a former co-worker?
- Do people seem to want to connect with you — by making plans or by emailing, calling, or texting?
- Do people seem energized by you? Do they smile and laugh in your presence?
Mixed in with the above questions she has the following:
- Do people follow your recommendations?
- Are you a source of material comfort or security for someone else?
- Do people whom you’ve introduced often go on to have a continuing relationship?
- Have you recently been involved in the improvement or growth of an organization, group, or process that involves many other people?
- Are you providing opportunities for other people – job leads, blind dates, contacts in a new city?
Notice the difference between the two? The first group is about how people respond to you, while the second is about contributions you have made. Perhaps by combining the two Rubin was trying to show that people will be attracted to you if they perceive you are making a positive contribution.
As writers we will be regarded for our contribution. Whether or not we have a magnetic personality may make little difference in book sales if our book or blog is loved by its audience.
However, I have noticed that people who are open and engaging do tend to have more “follows” and “likes” on their blogs. Of course this does not mean that those without this level of recognition are less attractive or personable. Perhaps they have not been discovered.
There is a lot to learn about the art of blogging. Recently I have discovered a strategy for gaining popularity that has less to do with one’s contribution as a writer or having a likeable personality, and more to do with effective marketing. Those who take time to consistently “like” and “follow” others, tend to reap the rewards of their labour in gaining followers themselves. While nobody is forcing anybody to follow them, there seems to be a sort of unspoken expectation to reciprocate the compliment.
I love to spend time reading the blogs of others and find that if I am not careful my writing will be neglected in favour of reading. Reading what others are writing is important in order to keep up with information, to learn to write better, and, I believe, also to support other writers.
In the blogging world, however, I have begun to wonder if “follows” and “likes” are beginning to be distributed like business cards. I spoke with an author at a writers conference who told me she drops most of the cards she collects in the garbage before she leaves, along with all the others that are trashed. How sincere are we in our “likes” and “follows?”
Like everyone else out there, I am saying, “pick me, pick me.” Please like me, please follow me. And if you are just “liking” me or “following” me to direct me to your site that’s OK. It will give me the pleasure of meeting you. Who knows, I might even “like” and “follow” you back.
Thank you, Ryan.
Like anything, the more sand you sift the more gold you find. I have posted your email, thanks again! -OM
I like your analogy about sifting through sand. Wish I had more time for that. Thank you for posting my email. It is an honour. And don’t worry, I won’t be repeating the process anytime soon. Lol!
Couldn’t resist liking and following! It’s hard to keep up with reading, as there are soooo many blogs out there! I have bookmarked ones I find of special interest, and even then feel swamped by how many are accumulating there. I think that yes definitely ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ are a bit like swapping business cards. I really love the commenting and interaction. Seems that the more ‘cards’ go flying about between bloggers, the greater the pool of people to talk to. For me it is kind of a step into sociability, which is welcome after being rather reclusive for a time. 🙂 Love your post, (got a giggle out of ‘like me like me!’) and I’m off to read some more, before zooming off for some shuteye.
Thank you for the comment and the follow! I bookmark a lot of blogs too. Like you, I wish there was more time for reading. I love the interaction. Take care!
I too have wondered about some of the “likes” and “follows” on my blog being like business cards. I put so much of myself into every single thing I write, so I really hope that is not the case. I came across your blog because of a post by harsh reality ~ http://aopinionatedman.com/2013/05/06/an-impressive-email-by-tina-httptinafriesen-com/ and thought I’d come and see what you have going on over here. I sincerely “like” what I’ve seen so far so please know that the “follow” I am about to click is sincere as well. 😉 Have a wonderful day, Tina!
I’m not concerned about the level of commitment of the people who come to my site. I’m just happy they showed up. =) But I admit I am encouraged by the ones who keep coming back to “like” and comment. Thank you for the “like” and “follow.” I look forward to visiting your blog shortly.
interesting read, if we follow for the sake of following, our Reader will be overrun, and we won’t be able to see the needles for the haystack.
the posts that i like are shown on my mainpage, as well as those select few that i follow, so wouldn’t dream of liking posts just to curry favour 🙂
Having a hundred followers doesn’t mean that a hundred people will read what we post day by day 🙂
We are all different. I don’t mind if someone “likes” or “follows” me because they want me to visit their site. I just think of it as an introduction. If we are serious about marketing our product we need to make contacts. I am slowly beginning to admit this reality.
that’s a good point 🙂
Tina, that’s so true. We want to be liked and noticed. I just started blogging in February and I admit I’m sometimes overwhelmed by just how many blogs there are, especially on writing. Anyway, thanks for visiting my blog. I’m glad to discover yours.
Your blog looks very interesting. Nice to meet you!
Thanks for liking my posts. I like what you have to say here and have learned it to be true. Look forward to future posts…Wendie
I loved your tribute to your mother. I recognized a little of my own experience when you talked about walking in your mother’s shoes. Thanks for stopping by.
On your blog is some of the most intelligent and thoughtful writing I’ve experienced on the internet lately. You have a nice voice. Glad I found your blog through your comment on another blog about poetry.
Thank you for your kind compliments! You’ve really raised the bar for me. Glad you stopped by!
Well don’t go crazy and start trying too hard! I should’ve asked you to just delete my original message, no need to even respond, just keep writing. Glad there are still some smart people out there with nice writing voices. PS- You can delete this message if you want. Just keep writing. 😉
Thank you for encouraging me to write!
Tina, I can relate to needing to watch how much time I spend reading – so I’ll have time for writing. There are a lot of good blogs around to read and not enough time. 🙂 It is important to be true to who we are and post what we are passionate about. If people like it, then that’s a bonus!
Blessings ~ Wendy
Brave post, and I agree. I am not much of a compulsive “liker” but it does make sense. I a happy for the opportunity to read your blog and to “meet” you in this virtual world.
Nice to meet you too! I look for something to like. Sometimes I will follow, sometimes not.
Hi Tina. Thank you for the like. I’ve enjoyed reading your post and visiting your blog. Pam
Hi Pam, I enjoyed your poem about mothers birthing and nurturing. I’ve heard that many new ideas and ventures are “birthed” by women. I think of women like Susannah Wesley, Catherine Booth and Aimee Semple McPherson. Thank you for visiting. =)
I found this post interesting, due to the fact that I am a beginning blogger. When I first started my blog two months ago, I wanted it to be mainly for showcasing articles (or clips) and books that I’ve had published, and didn’t give much thought to attracting “Followers”. I was more interested in landing clients. Although I’ve already landed a few writing jobs from those clips, I’ve quickly become fond of reading and following other peoples’ blogs, and have begun writing unpublished articles just for fun. As a writer, I find inspiration for my own writing by reading other bloggers’ thoughts and comments. Sometimes it just feels good to be part of a community – whether you’re getting the “Follow” clicks or not.
I love what you say about being part of a community. That is the great thing about blogging. It is so inspiring reading what others have written. Thanks for stopping by! All the best with your writing business.
This is very well said. I enjoyed your About pages also, and it was interesting to hear how you started writing.
Thanks for liking my post about Oaxaca, and for following my blog. Since I returned to Alaska, I’ve been on blog non-motivation, but I guess it will come in time!
Thank you for stopping by! I love your photos. They give me a unique glimpse into places I’ve never been. How’s the weather in Alaska? I hear you are having record temperatures.
Well written so true!
Thank you, Chris! Glad you stopped by.
Reblogged this on Iníon Na Ealaíne and commented:
Not something I would think about out of the blue, but a good read regarding one of the colder, harsher truths about blogging.
This is definitely true. Somewhat the cold, hard truth of it. I think a lot of bloggers love to get the said “likes” and “follows” that helps feed their writer/blogger pride(I know I do), but really how many of those are actually genuine/real? But if bloggers were even the slightest bit passionate, I doubt that this fact would faze or stop them from continuing to blog. Some of them treat the blog as some sort of digital diary or a medium to vent anyway(just so happens their readers sympathize/relate). Plus, the amount of likes/follows don’t dictate how good the blogger is. To me this will really and intensely matter to those who are very emotionally attached to attention. Definitely a good read! 🙂
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for the reblog. I am still optimistic about all the “real” people out there who are genuinely interested in other bloggers and their writing. I am discovering more of them all the time. All the best!