How to Gain Followers and Influence People6:30 PM
It's true that blogs are personal web logs, little bits and pieces of an individual's personality. I don't deny that. It's also true that a little conforming is necessary to be successful in being yourself. The circle of blogs I interact with - well, I don't fit in.
I went undercover as an outsider to learn the tips and tricks of the trade. Here's what I discovered.
Be a photographer. View your world through a lens. Plan to wear a camera strap as part of your daily wardrobe. And say so - a "Photography" link at the top of your blog, perhaps, or a lengthy paragraph in the "About Me" section. Try a photo header with some super snazzy editing (courtesy of Gimp, of course). And participate in photo link-ups. That's a good way to earn followers too.
(By the way, I tried to be conformist and pretend I was an amateur photographer. No need to emphasize the "amateur" part, you know...I can be honest with myself.)
Another thing. Everyone who has 200+ followers is spontaneous, elusive, pretty and in love with beauty. Get creative. Think random. Write detached, eerily gorgeous posts a la Alice in Wonderland (in Century Gothic font - an absolute essential).
Stay in touch with pop culture - fashion, say, or current music. Work song lyrics into your posts, write up about concerts and outfits, and rest assured, the comments will come in. That's key to influencing people: just go with the flow.
The most successful bloggers - listen to me now - the most successful bloggers, besides being photographers, are absolute graphic design whizzes - HTML divas, if you will. Change your blog design every three weeks or so. You know how popular your blog is by how many copycat templates pop up on the web.
Offer blog advice, troubleshoot Blogger and dispense HTML codes freely and without a second thought. You can never go wrong with free beauty makeovers for the less technological brethren in the blogosphere. We latch onto you very quickly.
Three essential hobbies to become a successful blogger are writing, photography and music. Write a novel. It seems to be the national bloggers' pastime. Everybody's doing it. Why not jump on the bandwagon?
So that's what I learned - that and the fact that I'm a poor conformist. I think the thousand words are worth just as much as the picture. I take my time combing through the HTML code. I don't know the first thing about fashion or music or discovering beauty.
And that's okay. Some of us are plainer, wordier, un-technologier. We like sarcasm instead of eery beauty; we dig confrontation and meaty discussions instead of eye-dazzling posts. We may be in the minority, the around-fifty-followers bracket, but we're needed.
But I, from a distance, still admire that group of beauty-hunting, Canon Rebel-loving, graphic-designing bloggers.
Curious. Which are you?