Friday, November 27, 2009

Don’t Be An INVISIBLE Reader

It's not Who you know ... it's who knows You


Since I became a blogger, it sometimes seems like I spend more time sitting in front of my computer reading, than just about anything else.

Over the past couple of years I've "interacted" with a whole bunch of cool people online. Some of them I "know" pretty darn well ... heck we might even make good friends. Except ...

A few probably don't have a clue who I am.

You see, in my thirst for knowledge (hey, I gotta try to put a positive spin on this little self examination), I sometimes (alright, probably too often) forgot to NETWORK. Don't get me wrong, I certainly got something out of the deal. If I wasn't learning and getting good information, I wouldn't have kept going back, and gotten to know more about my blogging "friends". But, in the process, I did deprive some of them of an opportunity ...

The chance to get to know more about ME. :-)

Every time I've read a quality article, then simply moved on without so much as even leaving a comment, I've been guilty of this offense.

And here's the thing, staying invisible just makes no sense, no matter how you slice it.

So here's a challenge for myself (and it can potentially be your mission too, should you choose to accept it):

I have quite a few blogs in my google reader, that I follow regularly. It probably wouldn't be a stretch to say that on some days I may read 100+ articles/stories. Right now, usually all I do is read them. Here's what I propose to change ...

Every Time I read a "good" post I will do at least one of these things:

  1. Blog about/link to it here on Todd's Tips, or one of my other niche sites

  2. Tweet about it

  3. Share it with my FaceBook friends

  4. Submit it to other social networking sites

  5. Leave a thoughtful (and hopefully interesting) comment



If I do any of these things on a consistent basis, the bloggers who I follow will eventually make it their business to know exactly who I am.

And here's the best part ...

It's a Win / Win situation for all involved.

I obviously have some self interest here ... I want to increase my influence by become more well known.

But in pursuit of my goal, with methods I've chosen, I will be giving at least as much as I will eventually get in return.

Seriously, when was the last time you met a blogger who didn't want to be linked to, tweeted about, facebooked, stumbled, or get good quality comments?

Ok, so that's my plan.

And since I'm still (and probably always will be) a world class procrastinator at heart, I shall start this project (along with my new diet and exercise regime) ...

Tomorrow :-D

Honestly, it's 1:30 am here, I can't be up all night, reading, tweeting and commenting.

Oh wait though, I can start this off with a link though ...

In a roundabout way, an inspiration for this post was my buddy Sire, who has a very interesting blog about blogging (among other topics). But what makes Sire really unique is the habit he has of always, and I do mean Always, visiting the blog of every person who comments on his site, and leaving at least one comment of his own. Now that's networking, and it's a great example of how to really connect with your readers ... and not be Invisible.

And on that note, I am outta here ... it's bed time for bonzo.

Catch up again soon,
Todd

37 comments:

  1. Nice call, I have been attempting to do the same myself lately because I to read lots of blogs without reaching out in some way. When I do think about it I will write a comment or tweet it out, but not always. I should do what I recommend others to do while starting something new, and that is to do it everyday for 30 days until it becomes a little more natural. Cheers.
    .-= Marketing Ideas´s last blog ..Happy Thanksgiving Day and hat tip to Allyn Hane =-.

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  2. Hi again Todd. To make yourself known by being a supporter? Wow, it's so quietly brilliant! I too spend most of my time reading rather than writing. But more often than not I fail to comment. I think it comes from a place inside of me that feels like I don't want to bug people. (How ridiculous and unproductive is that?) From this point forward I will have a tiny Todd on my shoulder reminding me to comment on most of and promote many of the articles I devour. Thanks!

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  3. Interacting with other bloggers is a great way to make new friends and connections.
    .-= Mocha Dad´s last blog ..The Thankful Box =-.

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  4. Hey Josh,

    lol, that is one of the quirks of human nature ... most of us aren't nearly as good at taking our own advice, as we are at offering up to others. hmmm, maybe this is one of those
    obvious "secrets" to success ... we probably already know most of what we need to know to be successful; if we could just convince ourselves that the person we'll be taking advice from isn't an idiot ;-)

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  5. Hi Heather,

    Oh boy do I know that feeling ... for me it was more often along the lines of: "I'm not sure I have anything constructive to contribute" ... in other words, if I can't leave a brilliant and witty comment, I just won't say anything ... I'll remain Invisible.

    The funny thing is, most of the time it's quite obvioius when someone it "trying" to be brilliant and witty ... and more often than not, they miss the mark completely. Those who tend to get the attention they crave, are the ones who just genuinely say what they think.

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  6. Hi Fred,

    I couldn't have said that better myself :-D

    Oh, and I love the idea of your "Thankful Box".

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  7. Ah sh*t I'm too sick to be brilliant and witty - will you make do with a gidday from down under and mental note to link to you with your new kws?

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  8. LOL ... see, this is what I mean ... that's probably one of the most brilliant and witty comments I've read in quite some time :-)

    Sorry to hear that you're sick ... seems to be some of that going around huh? I hope you feel better soon.

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  9. If you count that as briliant and witty you need to find a better class of blogs to read LOL

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  10. Hiya Todd,

    It's too early in the morning to try and be witty and I'm only on my first cup of coffee, so no jokes today. I'm sure I'm not subscribed to nearly as many blogs as you are, but I'm adding more and more as I go along. Lis may not know it yet but I subscribed to her blog recently but haven't yet commented, but have remained the invisible lurker over there. (The same goes for Mocha Dad aka Fred)

    I sometimes feel like I have nothing to say at all, or what I would say would end up sounding like Great Post, Keep it Up and end up being sent to the spam folder. So, for the most part, if there's a blog post that I really like (even if I don't comment), I'll Stumble it, post it on my Facebook, tweet it etc etc. I especially like to link it up in a post that is relevant to what I'm writing about, since linking it up is Forever, rather than just posting it on Social Networks which eventually disappears and is forgotten.

    Now back to planning my diet and exercise regime, since I don't want to wait until New Year's Day and make resolutions that go in one year and out the other. Ugh...
    .-= Lin´s last blog ..Zhu Zhu Hamster Pets Black Friday Madness – Where to Find Zhu Zhu Pets =-.

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  11. I am a real bad commentator, I need a questions / hint / provocation at the end of a blog post to get my gray matter into gear! But I like the idea of "giving rather then receiving", I will join you in your project and make more efforts to leave comments and to link more to other bloggers, I am using social media less every day, but when I notice that a blogger likes them I am more then happy to give them a thumb up! SY
    .-= hospitalera´s last blog ..Time is money, don’t waste it! =-.

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  12. Hi Lin,

    Actually of all the options, finding a way to link from within a post is almost always going to be the most desirable ... so, I'm sure nobody is going to complain if you link instead of comment :-)

    As for the diet and exercise, I'm actually going to start paying a little better attention myself starting on Dec 1st. Nothing drastic, just not skipping run days when I'm tired, doing more push-ups and sit-ups, and only hitting ye olde dessert bar 1 day a week instead of 4 or 5. What's your plan? Maybe we can help keep each other honest.

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  13. Hi Sy,

    I'm with you on that ... generally not a fan of the social media. Although I do remember back in the day, before I knew better, it was pretty exciting to see 1000 people show up in a day due to stumbleupon. lol, none of them ever stuck around, but hey at least they looked right ? ;-)

    I'm actually already having to cheat a little bit on this project.

    The majority of my reading is done while I'm at work ... during the slow periods ... which is most of the time. Our internet is filtered, but not too bad. Sometimes I can even get to my blog ... but at times a lot of stuff is blocked. The cool thing is though, I can pretty much read anything I subscribe to in google reader. So, at the very least, I reactivated a cool little plugin that will post my shared content down there in the footer widget area. Plus, it also shows up on my friend feed. So when I read something I like, it's pretty painless and easy to hit the share button.

    All in all, I expect it should be fun getting to known more people.

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  14. Very well said. I think networking and making blogger friends is an important part of being a blogger. :)
    .-= curiousillusion´s last blog ..Movie Review: New Moon =-.

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  15. Hi curious,

    Thanks for stopping by. I like your flickr pictures ... seeing what you can do with an iphone: http://www.flickr.com/photos/curiousillusion/3938012490/ I would expect we'll see some really cool stuff when you get your dslr. This project 365 sounds interesting. When I still lived in Hawaii, I tried to post a picture a day ... not only to have something to put on my blog, but also as an excuse to actually bring my camera out with me. Which reminds me, its sitting on the shelf here in my room, and hasn't even been picked up for over 2 weeks. So how hard has it been to remember to try to take a picture every day?

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  16. I'm absolutely try my best to comment on every post I read if I feel I have something to add. If I don't but still think the post is worthy of some love I retweet it, share it on Facebook or any of the other bookmarking services that are available. This way, I am showing my fellow blogger my support and hopefully building relationships along the way.

    Best regards,

    Karl
    .-= Karl Foxley´s last blog ..13 Ways To Encourage Blog Comments =-.

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  17. Networking really is a lot of fun. I often wish I had more time to spread around the comment, Tweet and Facebook love. I know that I need to get better at it, good call Todd.
    AL
    .-= Allyn´s last blog ..Using ‘Last Minute’ As A Buying Keyword Modifier =-.

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  18. Hey Al,

    Yes, for many of us, time is definitely the limiting factor. One of these days I'll figure out what the correct balance is.

    I do like the position you're in over there though. Pretty much a "field of dreams" ... just keep building those Beer Reviews and they will come ;-)

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  19. Hi Todd,

    It is a good idea that you decided on. Not being an invisible reader will be good for you and everybody else whose blog you read and visit.

    I do comment on most blogs I read although I've started to slip a bit lately.
    Some posts are very long and involved and making comments on those takes quite a long time.

    Social media seems to be losing it's luster. I very rarely bookmark anymore unless I'm totally thrilled with something.

    I've recently installed the keyword luv plug in and now I'm looking for people that have it installed as well. Have you ever considered installing it?

    It rewards your commentators not only with a dofollow link but with an anchor text link as well.

    Vance
    .-= Vance Sova´s last blog ..Email List Building, Email Opt In List, Online Giveaways =-.

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  20. Hi Todd,

    How are things my friend. Seems like everyone has gone their own way and doing their own things these days. I seemed to have lost contact with everyone, except Lis.
    LOL

    Agree, we have to keep in constant touch.
    .-= Costa´s last blog ..Using WordPress Blogs For Affiliate Marketing =-.

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  21. If you ever start to make any real money, and I mean over $10,000 per month, you will realize that staying invisible is by far the smartest choice. There are a lot of jealous people out there and the more you make the harder it is to protect it. Staying invisible is the only way to go if you have websites that don't depend on branding.

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  22. Hi Vance,

    At one time I had that keywordluv plugin installed. It's a good idea, just not something I feel I need to do. I already have commentluv here. And in any case, I'll be making an effort to "reward" people who make good contributions through other means, such as in-post links, sharing on google reader/facebook/twitter etc.,

    To be honest, I'm not sure who came up with this idea that we should have to bribe people to leave comments on our posts. The way I see it, if someone is not going to share their thoughts about my post, simply because they couldn't anchor a keyword instead of their name, then I'm going to assume I probably wouldn't care what they have to say anyway. ;-)

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  23. Hi Costa !!

    I'm doing well, thank you. Great to "bump" into you here. I just popped over to your blog ... lol, looks like could have saved myself a whole lot of time customizing my themes, and just hired you. ;-)

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  24. Hi Karl,

    Yes, it sounds like you're doing what needs to be done.

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  25. Hi Sarah,

    You raise a very good point ... and I should have been more specific.

    For a blog like this one, where there is a brand ... the brand of ME ... I want to be as social, and as visible as possible.

    However, I also have other niche sites where I don't necessarily "hide"; but at the same time I'd be quite happy if none of my fellow blogger ever visited ... unless it was arriving via google search, and leaving with an adsense click. ;-)

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  26. What a great post, and not only because I got a mention either ;)

    Honestly I learned long ago that the best way to get yourself our there is to always leave good quality comments as you can. Not only will it increase your exposure, it's also more than likely going to gain you some loyal readers in return, and yes, a lot of these will become online friends.

    I have a question though Todd, seeing as you wrote this at 1.30am, when is tomorrow exactly? :D
    .-= Sire´s last blog ..Giving Your Blog That Christmas Feel =-.

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  27. Hi Todd,

    Thanks for your reply. I do comment on blog posts that speak to me and that I feel I can contribute something to. I even commented a few times on a couple of blogs that had the comment link redirected.

    There are very few blogs with keyword luv these days so I'd have no connection with most people should I decide to comment only for the link.

    It's nice that you reward people whose comments and blogs you like in other ways. Some of them are more valuable than that from the plug in.

    I don't consider having the plug in a bribe though. It's a form of reward the way I see it.

    It's funny that most people who are good commentators so far haven't taken advantage of it, I mean in a good way.

    Vance
    .-= Vance Sova´s last blog ..Email List Building, Opt In Email List, Online Giveaways =-.

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  28. Todd, hello, I have just spent an interesting half hour reading this post and most of the comments attached. I am firmly in the same camp as you in that I enjoy the social aspect of blogging.

    Commenting on blogs can be quite time consuming, lets face it we are all writers and we want someone to read what we write so there is a temptation to leave the commenting to others.

    Personally I only comment if I feel I can add some value to a post. I really hate one liners that are purely there because my comments are dofollow. Actually I am quite ruthless in comment moderation and reckon I can spot the spammers most times. That said in order to develop your blogs and grow readership perhaps my approach in this aspect is wrong?

    I am constantly seeking blogs to read in certain niches that interest me so I suppose that comments aside content still needs to be king and engaging potential readers just like your post did today for me is essential.

    With this in mind I shall follow your blog with interest and maybe add a comment when I feel its appropriate.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Across the Universe-A Trip Down Memory Lane =-.

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  29. First, Sire is very good about that, I'd agree.

    Second, I think I certainly don't qualify as an invisible reader in any way. As long as I have something to contribute, I'll say something, and not just one line unless it's funny and fits the mood. But never to anyone who's just getting to know me; they probably wouldn't get the joke.

    Good stuff here, Todd. :-D
    .-= Mitch´s last blog ..Is Instant Messaging Dying Out? =-.

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  30. lol Sire ... tomorrow is whenever I happen to wake up :-D

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  31. First of all - super jealous that you lived in Hawaii. I had a chance to visit a few years ago, loved it.

    Its not hard to remember, it's hard taking a picture of somethign different every day that youre happy with. I ended up getting uninspired and quit but I recently got my dslr and now I've been taking pics every day just because I love my new camera. I don't think I'll do an official 365, but maybe I'll try to take a pic every day for a while to get practice in.
    .-= curiousillusion´s last blog ..24 Days of Christmas catchup.. =-.

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  32. Hi again curious,

    Congrats on your dSLR ... and on getting out to take some pictures again. I really like the 365 idea. I went to all the trouble of brining my Canon 20D and 3 lenses with me here to Iraq ... and then I've only taken pictures about 4 or 5 times in 2 1/2 months. Maybe I should start a "picture of the day" too ... if for no other reason, than to make me take my camera off the shelf. ;-)

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  33. Yet another post which kept me reading to the very end. My new blog is undergoing its infant days and I have yet to get the sort of traffic I dreamed about on a daily basis. You have a point though...

    Linking and commenting on other bloggers' posts would increase the chances of networking. I guess that's one of the best ways to not only promote your own blog, but also to stimulate the mind to engage in all forms of discussions.

    When I first visited your blog, I was attracted by the interesting contents which, more often than not, aids me in my blogging activities. But now, I'm more than attracted. I'm a fan!
    .-= SHZ´s last blog ..What If Men Read Chic-Lits? =-.

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  34. Hi Shz,

    First off, I very much appreciate the compliments ... thank you.

    And second, you write well, just keep writing, and making friends .. the traffic will come. Have patience.

    Todd

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  35. lol, even as the blog owner, I sometimes feel guilty about leaving one sentence comments ... but in some cases it is appropriate ... like when just saying "thanks" ;-)

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  36. Hi Todd,

    You're most welcome. You deserve them anyways. And thanks for your compliments. Yeap, I'll definitely keep writing. Thanks...

    Have a nice day!
    .-= SHZ´s last blog ..The vampire's assistant did not disappoint. =-.

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  37. I have to admit that I have failed in taking the advise of Griz to write more content and read less... But I like reading! I learn from reading, and I get to know people and what they're up to when I read their content...

    Excellent Post Todd

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